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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My brother has a 2009 9-3 that died while he was driving it the other day, and when he tried to restart it, there was no cranking. All the accessories are working (radio, lights, dash, etc.) just nothing from the starter.

I couldn't think of any single issue that would cause both of these problems. I was thinking maybe NSS was causing the no cranking issue, but the car still wouldn't crank after shifting thru the gears repeatedly and also trying in neutral.

He took it to a mechanic who told him it was the "computer" and that he sees this "all the time with these cars". Does this diagnosis make sense to anyone else? I tried searching thru multiple forums looking for simular issues or common issues with the ecu and didn't find much, so I'm doubtful on this diagnosis. I have a decent amount of experience working on cars, but I've never done much with newer cars and never anything with Saabs.

Any help is appreciated.
 

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Could be. A cheap fix attempt would be to swap out the CPS. It's easy to get to on the 2.0T and <$50 IIRC.
 

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He turns the key to start and nothing happens. Can the ecu prevent the starter from engaging?
Yes. We both may have the same issue. I've shelved it for the time being to buy a new car. Let me know if he resolves it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The cars at the shop now. Last I heard he was trying to track down an ecu.

Any estimate on what you think should be a reasonable cost to swap out an ecu (parts+labor)? I think I saw on some 9-3 the ecu is basically right under the engine cover. Is this still the case for 2009?
 

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The cars at the shop now. Last I heard he was trying to track down an ecu.

Any estimate on what you think should be a reasonable cost to swap out an ecu (parts+labor)? I think I saw on some 9-3 the ecu is basically right under the engine cover. Is this still the case for 2009?
Yep, easy access.

A new ECU is expensive last I checked. Like $700. I'm sure it will be about $1k OTD.

Finding a used one and someone nearby with a Tech2 could make it literally 1/3 that at most. That will probably take longer to get the car back on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, I looked briefly on ebay and saw some for around $150. If he gets a used one can he just take the ecu to a dealer (any GM dealer I'm assuming) along with his VIN and get it reprogrammed, or is there more to it than that?

What year ecu's will work on a 2009? Does transmission/engine matter?
 

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My car did exactly this. I got an ecu from eBay, but the wrong year, matching part number tho, it caused all sorts of check engine light codes. Dealer said he can't program it with my engine software due to possibility of frying the ecu. So I returned it and got one that came from my exact same model and year. Had the dealer add my VIN to the BUS, been working perfectly since!


One easy way to check if it's the ecu is to disconnect battery and clear the ecu. This allowed me to start and drive my car until the next time it died. My ecu failed because of a bad memory block, so the second it tried to write to that block, it couldn't and panicked. Thus shutting the engine down. I still have my ecu cause I wanna see if I could replace the memory module.

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Last question (I think). Can he just bring the ecu by itself to a dealer or does he need to have the car towed there to have it reprogrammed?

Thanks guys for the help. I'll let you know what I find out.
 

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The car would need to be present. I would buy the ECU and put it in. I read once a dude put one in without marrying it and it drove for a bit. Sorta risky but if you gotta get towed you gotta get towed either way.
 
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