SaabCentral Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
2003 9-5 aero sedan, auto trans. I took a quick jaunt to the corner store about a mile away. When I came back out, I tried to start the car, the key wouldn't budge. It was stuck in the "Lock" position. It did this once before, earlier in the week, and I figured it was the theft deterrent system being wonky so I pressed the unlock / lock on the key and that did the trick. This time, no dice, the buttons did absolutely nothing. Dead. The key battery is fairly fresh too. I should also add that the display has the "Service Theft Alarm" message - and has since I bought the car almost two years ago. My wife's 9-5 Arc wagon has that message too but the ignition has never locked up.

I whipped out the smartphone and pulled up a search on "Saab 9-5 key won't turn". There is one thread here on it and several in other forums, mostly for 9-3s. There are all kinds of attempted remedies from oiling, to hitting with a hammer. The first thing I tried was pulling fuse #17 and putting it back in after 30 seconds to reset the system. Nope. Then I got out my electrical tool box (I have lots of tools in the trunk. I do service work) and the can of Caig DeOxIt D-5 contact cleaner. I took off the ignition cylinder cover, unplugged the module on the cover and squirted contact cleaner in the hole and around the cylinder. I put it all back together, put the key in and worked it around. It wouldn't turn at first. After working the key just right it turned. I drove home and parked. I shut it down, got out and tried to lock it with the key. It didn't work, still dead both lock, unlock and the trunk release. After coming inside, sitting at the PC for 15-20 minutes and reading threads on the topic I decided to check it again and, low and behold, the key's lock and unlock buttons work and the key works in the ignition. It doesn't work perfectly freely though. There is a hint of resistance and sometimes something doesn't spring out of the way quite right and I can't get the key in at all. I discovered this after taking off the cover and shooting a lot more cleaner in there while sitting in the driveway.

I am very hesitant to put oil in there. I was once told by a locksmith that it is not good at all to put oil in a lock. If anything, dry lube only. I might try powdered graphite but I hesitate to do that too. Time for a new lock cylinder? But why would this affect the function of the key's remote lock - unlock function?

Being a service car, it needs to start reliably. I often drive out of state, quite a distance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
ideas:
do not mix powdered graphite and remaining oil
remove the cylinder, take it apart, clean everthing, apply some white grease and try again.

is there a second key you can try?
I think the remote will not work correctly when the cylinder does not spring up when you turn the key. But I do not know if that happened at your cylinder.

sometimes alarm "forgets" the key and needs to be reactivated by pressing (any, or a specific button) 5x.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The cylinder did indeed spring back to the highest position each time it wouldn't turn. It's the first thing I checked. DeOxIt D-5 isn't oil. It's cleaner. It's the best electrical contact cleaner money can buy. Hopefully, it cleaned any oil that the previous owners might have put in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
ah, ok.
anyhow, if all oil and lubricant has been washed out maybe its time to grease it again.
You can also check for some edges on the small slides inside the cylinder.

edit: I think there should be some kind of flap at the top of the cylinder to prevent dirt falling in. On mine it is not there anymore, maybe yours is also broken and some parts are blocking the cylinder or other parts have fallen into the cylinder?
removing the cylinder takes a few minutes, it is worth a shot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. I shall definitely remove it and clean it up. I'll give it a thorough inspection as well. I'm going to research the best lubricant. I have a wide variety on hand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
838 Posts
I'm not sure (but happy to be corrected) that the physical rotating of the key should not be affected by any electrickery. The electronics (in the key and the loop in the key-hole surround) will control what happens when start is attempted but should not prevent the key being rotated to the start position.

In a car with a steering wheel lock, one wiggles the wheel to release the key. Have you tried wiggling the shift lever/selector? Also I don't know why your key buttons were intermittent (again, happy to be educated). The issue sound to me like a purely physical one. There are a couple of small moving parts apart from the tumblers that can become obstructive with wear in the key cylinder, and I would agree, yank it and clean it out. When its out you can clearly see what goes on.

As an aside, I've read numerous times of this mythical little dust flap in the key slot. I look for it every time I find a new Saab at the scrap yard - never seen the flap, and my two ('02 and '04) don't have it! Maybe it was an early feature, discontinued?

If you end up replacing the cylinder, you need only the cylinder and matching key blade. If you transfer the electronic module from your existing key to the new one, the car doesn't know the difference. Except that it would open the door/glove box etc.

Good luck. Doug
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Yes, my 02 hasn´t this flap neither. But still not sure if it should have been there.
I would avoid replacing the cylinder at (nearly) any costs because you would have to carry two keys all the time. And if you loose your single ignition key you run into bigger problems.
Most probably the ignition lock could be repaired.
I am not sure if there is connection between the locking mechanism and the key position.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Saab probably figured the flap wasn't necessary. The only way stuff is going to get in there is when people are in the car generating filth. Any time people are in the car the key is in the ignition.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top