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To pass along some info and fish for comments and opinions:

Yesterday, on a trip out of town, the remote/FOB key in my 2001 93 failed to turn and I could not change gears. Fortunately, we had a back up or it would have been a major problem and expense.

After reading through saabcentral threads on the subject, I contacted my local Saab mechanic who mentioned he could easily take out the cylinder and tweak the tumblers to work with both my well worn original key and the virtually new, back up key (without remote). He said that it doesn't take much for a small inaccuracy of the soft metal to create a problem and he does this all of the time for around $85..

Additionally, I can order another cut backup (without remote for $110) through my mechanic which will need to be programmed ($65). It has to go through him because the source I found is not nearby and they need ownership verification from my mechanic.

My main questions are:
1) Are there any sources that are lower cost for cut keys by VIN and have a remote (no one local can cut them)? My mechanic said you can swap the chip in the key 'cases' and he can program a new one like he did my back up a year ago.
2) After yesterday's panic attack and looking at the condition of the original key, I'm thinking that the potential exists for the problem again if I get the tumblers tweaked. Due to the multiple expenses, I'm not sure whether or not getting both the tumblers tweaked and getting another back up made is necessary/justified and this time. Any insights relative to tumbler adjustment duration and reliability?
3) In light of the SAAB bankruptcy, how many backups would be wise relative to the unknown availability in the future?
4) What would MacGyver do? :)
 

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Keys are very hard to find. An All-in-1 key would be about $40 at the dealer, without the electronic guts, if they had them. Generally they don't. So, if your mechanic can get one for $110, it's probably worth biting on it ASAP. $65 is a little steep for programming, but not unheard of.

There is an aftermarket key that comes with a transponder, but they are hard to find. Ilco apparently made or makes one, but good luck locating one. It's also hard to find anyone except for a dealer who can cut a key of this type. There are people who can do it, but not many.

I don't see anything wrong with having the mechanic tweak the key mechanism.
 
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