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  #1  
Old 30th July 2011
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Default Key won't turn in ignition / Steering wheel is unlocked

Hi, I own a 2004 Saab 9-3 Linear and my key won't turn in the ignition.

I was packing things into my car and the doors were open and the lights were on for about 20 minutes or so, and my battery died. I own a manual so I did a rolling/push jump-start. I drove it for only a few minutes and had to get get gas so I turned the car off. When I turned the car off, and took the key out, there was no familiar "clicking" noise that I usually get when the steering wheel locks. I went to turn the key again and it wouldn't budge. My steering wheel is currently unlocked and I still can't turn the key.

I feel as if there is something wrong with my SID or computer in the car because it doesn't show any message saying something is wrong. I have researched this subject and people say that they have received messages saying "Steering wheel mulfunctioning", "Key not recognized". I don't get this.

I believe it's the Ignition Switch Module, although I have a receipt from the original owner saying they replaced it before.

Anyone know whats going on? Thanks
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  #2  
Old 30th July 2011
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battery is low on voltage..
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  #3  
Old 30th July 2011
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I have my battery on a charger at the moment. Also, I've tried jump starting it.

Do you think when the battery is at full charge and I hook everything back up, the steering wheel will lock?
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Old 30th July 2011
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if your battery is discharged enough,jump won't do it..

after the battery is charged leave it for 1/2 hr to let the residue charge drain off,then check the voltage..

a good battery should show around 12.5+ v

the steering lock will re-engage after taking the car for a drive..
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Old 30th July 2011
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Fully charged the battery. It read around 12.5 - 13V. Still can't turn key at all. Steering wheel still unlocked. Still no messages coming from my SID either.
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Old 30th July 2011
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disconnect the neg term for 5 mins..make sure the car is unlocked & key out of ignition..

reconnect neg term,insert key in slot(don't turn or try to) leave for 5-10 secs to resync to the car then remove the key for 5 secs re-insert should now be able to turn the key..
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Old 30th July 2011
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That didn't work. I checked the fuses too to see if any were blown that we going to the ignition and the steering wheel lock, they were both fine.
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Old 30th July 2011
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Here's a really basic question. I don't mean to insult anyone's intelligence, but troubleshooting is my business and I always like to start with the most basic things; it's amazing how often that leads to a quick solution. I know you're not getting a "KEY NOT RECOGNIZED" message on the SID, but, just for grins...

Have you tried the other key?
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Old 30th July 2011
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Unfortunately, the dealer never gave me another key. I bought this car used, and there are things he never told me...

I saw a video of a man on Youtube sticking his finger in the keyhole and that message actually came up. I tried this and mine does nothing. I believe my computer is malfunctioning along with the situation of the ignition switch module.

What do you think?
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Old 30th July 2011
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use tech2 and force key..
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  #11  
Old 30th July 2011
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Anyone think I could just replace the ignition switch module?
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  #12  
Old 31st July 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad5150 View Post
Unfortunately, the dealer never gave me another key. I bought this car used, and there are things he never told me...

I saw a video of a man on Youtube sticking his finger in the keyhole and that message actually came up. I tried this and mine does nothing. I believe my computer is malfunctioning along with the situation of the ignition switch module.

What do you think?
I think it's unlikely that you have two simultaneous, related failures. I'm NOT a mechanic and don't know squat about fixing cars (I troubleshoot computers), but it sounds like the security system isn't getting any signal from the ignition that a key (or thumb) has been inserted.

So...yeah, maybe you do need to replace the ignition switch...?

But, you might try replacing the battery in the key first. The SID should have warned you that the key battery was getting low, so that's probably not it, but it's a cheaper and easier thing to try first.
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  #13  
Old 31st July 2011
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Yeah, I replaced the key's battery when it first happened. So that wasn't the problem I guess.

This same occurrence happened to me before. My battery died while I was working, and when I went to go home, I couldn't turn the key. The only difference is that my steering wheel was locked when my battery died. So I just charged it and it turned fine.

I believe there wasn't enough charge in my battery to lock the steering wheel when I turned off my car on this recent occasion, which might be causing the problem. Just a guess though, I'm no car guru.


Also, Is there any way to clean the ignition switch for a temporary fix? I just took mine out to get some practice in for when I need to replace it.
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Old 31st July 2011
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Ok, so since I had the ignition switch module out of the car, I could see it better and depressed the spring that was locking the module. I put the module back into the car and hooked the battery back up and depressed the spring again in the module. The key turned and when in the ON position the system did it's little check on the SID and said everything was OK... Well I tried to then start the car, and that didn't work. I had to then depress the spring again to turn it to LOCK to take the key out. My steering wheel never locked when I took it out...
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steering lock...it won't re-engage without taking it for a short journey..
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  #16  
Old 31st July 2011
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So if I were to hook up a tow rope to my car, and tow it to my local dealer that has a Tech II, do you think the steering wheel will lock and I'll crash?
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  #17  
Old 31st July 2011
DavidL DavidL is offline
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I depressed the ignition lock spring and turned the ignition to on. I rolled the car down our yard and released the clutch: the car started with out any problems. I took it for a short trip about 2 1/2 miles.Returned home with the same symptoms, couldn't return key to locked position with out depressing ignition locking pin and retried going from Locked to Start; couldn't turn key.

I think it would have to be the ignition module.

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Last edited by DavidL; 1st August 2011 at 06:30 AM.
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  #18  
Old 1st August 2011
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Just ordered the switch from Eeuroparts. Hope it works.
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