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NG900 & OG9-3 Workshop NG900 (1994 to 1998) & OG9-3 (1999-2002) & '03 Convertible Technical Forum

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  #1  
Old 1 Week Ago
Waasaabii Waasaabii is offline
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Default Ignition Switch Not Turning

So last night I was at work and left my car windows down all the way and it decided to storm really bad for hours so I came out to a completely soaked car. I'm talking it took bowl to get the puddles out of the floor and everything was soaked. I was worried about the electronics but I couldn't keep the windows down because it was still raining so I waited till this morning and by that time the Florida heat still hadn't done much but everything had moisture on it including the ignition switch in the center console. I went to turn the key to on this morning to roll the windows down but it just wouldn't budge. After flipping the key over a few times and messing with the steering wheel it finally turned to on and I had no problem. I went to the gas station and when I came out same problem and it took a few minutes to get it to turn to on. Do you think it will be better after it tries to evaporate? Or do you think something got messed up with my ignition switch permanently? The shifter felt a little notchy too and I pulled the shift boot up and there was alot of moisture so I opened all the doors and pulled the boot up to attempt to dry some.
Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 1 Week Ago
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Jeremy R. Jeremy R. is offline
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Try spraying some oil in there. If it got too wet, there may be some rust that formed inside.
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Does the cylinder center pop up all the way when you take the key off? Does it help if you push the shifter down in reverse when you take the key out? Maybe a squirt of wd40 around the outer edges of the cylinder if it is not popping up.
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Waasaabii Waasaabii is offline
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What type of oil would you recommend? I was thinking of spraying electrical contact cleaner into the key hole directly and letting it sit and then maybe trying to spray wd40 around the edge not into the hole directly?
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EdT EdT is offline
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I wouldn't spray any contact cleaner or degreaser in there.

If spraying in some lubricant doesn't help, you will have to proceed to further disassembly and/or replacement. These are complicated devices and they certainly can wear to the point where they don't want to turn.
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Waasaabii Waasaabii is offline
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So I just realized that my key fob no longer works when clicking the buttons also. I had a problem where my car alarm would go off for about 30 seconds then stop randomly so I started using the key in the door to lock it to not set the alarm to avoid the noise in the middle of the night. Now it will not turn at all, I am in the middle of trying to remove the cylinder now but cannot figure out how to press the release at the right angle.
Anyway would the fob batteries have anything to do with it transmitting the information to the ISM?
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Old 1 Week Ago
Waasaabii Waasaabii is offline
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Also no interior or exterior lights working so I'm assuming battery is dead.. Would a dead battery prevent the car from letting the key turn to ON to take it out of gear?
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multisaabguy multisaabguy is offline
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you are correct, if the battery is completely dead you can't get the car to neutral ,not sure what would have caused the battery to go that dead though.
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  #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waasaabii View Post
Also no interior or exterior lights working so I'm assuming battery is dead.. Would a dead battery prevent the car from letting the key turn to ON to take it out of gear?
Manual or automatic?

Anyway, no, I don't think so. If the transmission is in P or reverse so the key can be removed, there's no reason not to be able to insert the key and turn it all the way to start, battery power or no.

The trouble here is that to get the cylinder removed, you have to get it to the OFF position (first stop clockwise, key pointing to 12:00).

Having been through this with both my 900 and 9-5, go to youtube, check out "removing key cylinder for OG9-3 or an earlier 9-5 (same thing for the NG900, really). Bend up a coathanger, spray some lube in, get it to the OFF position, and pop out the key cylinder.

The trouble is that the cylinders get stickier and more reluctant to turn, and pretty unpredictably. Nothing like sitting in a parking lot fiddling with the ignition for five or ten minutes, as if you're trying to steal the car.
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Old 1 Week Ago
Waasaabii Waasaabii is offline
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Okay thanks I am trying to remove the cylinder now and I just can't seem to get it to pull out I'm sticking a 3mm Allen key in the hole and trying to depress the pin thing but it won't release have been trying for an hour now in different ways
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Waasaabii Waasaabii is offline
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Just realized I think my problem is I can't get the key to the OFF position it's just stuck in the lock where you can take the key in and out and won't move either direction.
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Yeah, it will only come out in OFF position. Keep jiggling the key, pushing up and down, etc etc etc and it should eventually break loose from LOCK one last time.

One hint when you're getting close with the cylinder removal tool is when the key no longer turns from the OFF position, however you don't want to try that in case you go back to LOCK!

I found that a bent coat hanger worked better than a hex key, for whatever reason. And the more times I've done it, the longer it takes to get it to release.

There's a little pawl that's part of the inner cylinder that sticks out through a slot in the outer cylinder. In the OFF position, it can be pushed in and the inner cylinder comes out.

After that you can read up on various ways to partially disassemble the cylinder to clean and lubricate it.

The more advanced solution is to take it completely apart. I did that and put it back together, minus three pins which would keep the cylinder from moving out of LOCK when installed. This is a job for someone who is probably more careful than I am.
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Waasaabii Waasaabii is offline
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I just sprayed a bunch of electrical contact cleaner down into the cylinder and it did seem dirty as some of the water came up brownish and now it seems alot smoother with the key going in but still doesn't move at all and can't get it to OFF position.
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  #14  
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EdT EdT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waasaabii View Post
I just sprayed a bunch of electrical contact cleaner down into the cylinder and it did seem dirty as some of the water came up brownish and now it seems alot smoother with the key going in but still doesn't move at all and can't get it to OFF position.
Well, that can also be flushing out lubricant (of which there is an amount from the factory). I would spray in some oil and see if it helps.

Maybe put some heat on it with a blow dryer. Who knows, it might help.

If you can get a good ignition cylinder and key from the junkyard (will need the key to remove the cylinder), you can either put in the new cylinder, or rekey the good cylinder to fit your old key. I did that for my 9-5 and it worked well.
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Waasaabii Waasaabii is offline
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So if I got a key and ignition cylinder from the junkyard I could just plug and play? Or would I need a TECH2 to reflash the key? Or would I need the whole ICM and other things like ECU?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waasaabii View Post
So if I got a key and ignition cylinder from the junkyard I could just plug and play? Or would I need a TECH2 to reflash the key? Or would I need the whole ICM and other things like ECU?
If your key has the remote buttons in the head, you simply remove the button module from your present key and put it in the new key. That module includes both the remote and the transponder. The physical key does nothing more than turn the cylinder.

If you have two keys right now, you could make a new key blank and put the other key's module in the new key. No programming required. But, then you don't have a key to fit the door lock any more.

In my opinion, the cleanest way to do this is to rekey the good cylinder, cleaning and lubricating it in the process. (I used white lithium grease, seems to work fine in cold and hot temperatures.) But if you screw up the little springs, then it's not so clean.
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Waasaabii Waasaabii is offline
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Alright I know of a car at the local junkyard that is a '00 Saab 9-3 with a key with the fob and cylinder but the problem still is I can't get my cylinder out in order too replace it. I'm getting a ride to the yard now to try to go snag it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waasaabii View Post
Alright I know of a car at the local junkyard that is a '00 Saab 9-3 with a key with the fob and cylinder but the problem still is I can't get my cylinder out in order too replace it. I'm getting a ride to the yard now to try to go snag it.
All I can say is keep trying, have someone else try it, etc. It always eventually turned for me.
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Waasaabii Waasaabii is offline
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Thanks everyone for all your help but I finally found the solution. I sprayed WD40 (only thing I could find) around the edges of the cylinder and pushed down repeatedly hard on the cylinder and then all of a sudden it seemed to pop up a little higher. I stuck the key in and was able to get it to the OFF position and pull the cylinder out pretty easily. I then realized it was the spring at the bottom that was all gunked up so I cleaned it all really good with electronic contact cleaner (again only thing on hand) and then sprayed it out thourougly with WD40. Worked it in really nicely and tried to key and it worked great. Seemed to be not pushing back up enough on the last little bit. I would've liked to use some kind of silicone spray and graphite but couldn't drive the car anywhere to get anything. I will use it like this till I notice a problem again and then disassemble again and use the right stuff.
Thanks again
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  #20  
Old 6 Days Ago
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Great that you got it working!

I will note that "cylinder not popping up" and "can't turn key from LOCK" are two different problems with different mechanical causes.

Other than gunk and lack of lubrication, of course, here's what's happening:
  1. "Does not pop up" is due to mechanical wear in the operation of the spring-loaded pin that's underneath the plastic cap, located through the middle of the inner cylinder. Also can be caused by the spring-loaded pawl at the top that keeps the cylinder from popping up until the key is removed. If it hasn't been popping up, then mechanical wear has likely happened.
  2. "Can't turn key from LOCK" is due to one or more of the "pins" not retracting fully into the inner cylinder when the key is inserted. There's a sharp edge in the outer cylinder which all the pins have to clear in order to turn to OFF. Unfortunately every time the cylinder jams and you try to force it to OFF, it puts a notch in the leading corner of the pins, which just makes it jam on the edge some more.
The TL;DR is that the more times the cylinder jams, the more the mechanism has worn out of spec, and the more likely it is that problems will recur.


For my 9-5, I got a good-working cylinder from a later car (my car has the later "middle channel" keys, not the "edge" keys as on NG900/OG9-3 cars). I cleaned, lubricated, and rekeyed the newer cylinder, using as many of the newer cylinder's pins as possible. (They're all coded, so, write down the codes in order, no problem!)


With the 900, I thought a disassembly and thorough lubrication (white lithium grease) would fix things. On reassembly, there was one particular code of pin that kept the cylinder from turning to OFF from LOCK. I tried to fix up the pins, no luck. I left them out. There are still like nine pins in the cylinder; Saab went kinda wild with making them pick-proof.
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