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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This morning I drove to get some breakfast. When I came out my car would not turn over. I put the key in, turned it... all of the lights worked, the windows and sunroof opened with good power, the air blew hard and the radio worked but the starter wouldn't turn over. I knew that the battery was good based on the other electrical items working so I fidgeted around with the gear selector. I moved it in and out of park a few times and it finally turned over. I went home and turned it off and the same condition occured. Based on information from this site, I have officially confirmed that I have a defective/dirty/corroded etc... Neutral Safety Switch (NSS) on my car.

I saw all of the write ups about bypassing the switch by putting a push button directly to the starter relay but did'nt like the idea of going that drastic for such seemingly simple problem. I decided that I will be the guinea pig and try something new as a workaround.

So, to that end.... I was looking at the WIS and saw that a portion of the NSS is strictly a series switch that connects the Grn/BLK wire at Pin 6 to the BLK/WHT wire at Pin 4. In essence, it simply allows the path to complete from the fused side of Fuse 36 (grn/blk) to pin 86 of the starter relay. The Manual Tranny has a straight grn/blk wire running from fuse 36 to pin 86 of the relay as well.

I just hard wired it and it started just fine. I also put in drive and bumped the key and the starter hit so I know it's working. The entire procedure (minus the research) took less than 30 minutes.

I will drive it around for a few days and see if I throw a cel or get a gearbox message but I don't think I will.

The picture below is for a T-7 equipped 200 9-3. Notice that the jumper simply skips over the normally-open SPST NSS switch.



The next picture shows the same diagram for a 1998 T-5 equipped Saab 900SE (1998). Notice the difference in the starting circuit. The T-5 cars had an immobilizer that was also in series with the starter relay. If you place the jumper as shown, you are bypassing both the NSS and the immobilizer. If you wanted to only bypass one or the other, you could easily search for the proper wire in the harness and install the jumper around the defective switch.






Open the fuse panel and locate Fuse number 36. If you remove the panel, you can access the wires on the back side. You need to splice a jumper wire (22ga) to the bottom wire of fuse 36 It's either going to be Grn/Blk or Red/BLK depending on your model. If you want to try it before you splice wires, just pull the fuse and insert the stripped wire into the connector then replace the fuse on top of it.




The other end of your jumper wire will connect to the GRN/BLK wire on the starter relay (Pin 86). The starter relay is located in the relay panel under the steering wheel. You must pull the cover panel to access this.
 

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A CEL, no !
This system is triggered by emissions.

A check gearbox ?
I THINK not..

And the NSS is cleanable and re-lubricative, a fair amount of work, but cost effective, IMO..
And, after a man knows the Saab electrics, the testing/diagnosis is generally easy...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
earthworm said:
A CEL, no !
And the NSS is cleanable and re-lubricative, a fair amount of work, but cost effective, IMO..
And, after a man knows the Saab electrics, the testing/diagnosis is generally easy...
I agree and will eventually pull the switch and fix it properly. That being said, this is obviously a widespread problem and I have seen posts where people installed pushbutton switches to trigger the starter relay. I would pull the NSS before I drilled a new hole in my dash for a pushbutton switch.

The way I see it, the manual transmissions hardwire across those pins so it should have no ill effect. If this 10 minute solution fixes my problem until I get a chance to spend several hours pulling the NSS and rebuilding it then I am more than satisfied.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
75 miles OK

Well, I have now driven it to work and ran several errands with the car. I would guess 10 starts and 75 miles since I added the jumper and all is well. The car cranks fine and hasn't thrown any CELs (as predicted by Earthworm) nor has it triggered any gearbox codes (once again, good call by the mighty earthworm).

I will probably get around to pulling the switch next time I'm doing something major to the engine compartment but for now, I see no reason to worry with it. In fact, I may go ahead and do this to my wife's car to prevent her from ever being stranded if the same thing occurs. I don't really see the need to have it anyway.

((Keywords for search: NSS / Neutral Safety Switch / Won't start / Starter / cranks ))
 

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Hey Frank_Drebin! It's a shame you don't have pictures of your step by step procedure... Some people don't know how to read the wiring schematics...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Leon said:
Hey Frank_Drebin! It's a shame you don't have pictures of your step by step procedure... Some people don't know how to read the wiring schematics...
Ok, I added some more details to my original post. I also included some pictures and the diagrams for both the T-5 900 and the T-7 9-3. Hope this helps.

P.S. I went ahead and did the jumper on my wife's car even though it has never failed. I like the peace of mind of knowing that she will never be stranded due to this common issue.
 

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Hey Frank! Thanks a lot! The pictures are great! I appreciate it.
 

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Hey Frank! I finally got around to doing the by-pass method, but I have a question for you. Is the car supposed to "engage the starter and turn the motor over" just by turning the switch to ON? I followed the directions correctly, but as soon as I turn to ON, the motor turns over, once it starts, is it supposed to stop the starter motor from turning? Please let me know when and if you can. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Leon said:
Hey Frank! I finally got around to doing the by-pass method, but I have a question for you. Is the car supposed to "engage the starter and turn the motor over" just by turning the switch to ON? I followed the directions correctly, but as soon as I turn to ON, the motor turns over, once it starts, is it supposed to stop the starter motor from turning? Please let me know when and if you can. Thank you!
No. It should work just like it normally would.

The bypass only takes the "switched" wire from the ignition switch and bypasses the immobilizer and NSS. If done properly you should never know it's there. If your starter is turning over as soon as you turn the key on then you are most likely conncted to the wrong fuse.

I would verify the wiring and make sure you are going from the starter fuse (36)to the starter relay. It sounds like you are on a fuse that is switched as soon as the key is on. You want to be on fuse 36. Maybe you tapped the one above it, to the left of it or got turned around when looking from the backside. The wire from the starter relay fuse should only be energized when the key is switched to the "crank" position and should not be energized in ANY onther position. Do you have a multimeter to check it with? Just look for 12v ONLY when turned to the CRANK position.
 

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Frank is still using the key switch for its "momentary-ness".
Quite clever.. I used a momentary switch to bypass everything, to demostrate that the starter itself was NG(no good).
These procedures must be placed in the WIS, if not already hidden there..
If something were wrong with the ignition switch, the problem would persist, but the fault-finding finger would turn to the switch..
And that the NSS can be cleaned and repacked with a lite grease is all to the better.
 

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Sorry to resurrect this one Frank_Drebin, but I'm still trying to get my "Project" car to fire. My 1998 Saab 900 SE Turbo turns over fine. I did the check method with the DIC by inserting a plug, grounding it, and then having someone turn the engine over, but the DIC still didn't spark?? ( After reading your post in response to my question, I did find that I had actually connected the by-pass wire to the bottom of fuse 35, don't know how I mixed that up, but I did, lol. ) Since I think you know a lot about wiring schematics and such, "Does the car check to see if something is working fine before it lets the DIC spark the plugs?" From what Earthworm said in another post, he thinks that the car fires all the time, but I don't know after replacing it with another "good working" DIC. Something tells me that maybe if the Crank Shaft Position sensor is bad, then the DIC won't spark? Does this sound right? I can't think of anything else to check and I just may end up selling my project car. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Leon,

I think you may be right on with the CPS. If the CPS isn't reading the position of the pistons, it won't fire. Ignition timing is based on the CPS readings. I have one that I pulled off of my 1999 9-3 because it started acting flaky once it warmed up. I can mail it to you if you want to see it your's will at least start with it. It won't work long term but you could use it to test your car and at least get your car started before you spend the $$$ for one.
 

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I guess most of the time, since you can't remove your key unless the selector is in Park, the NSS seems somewhat redundant. However, if there is any way that you might unintentionally start the car in D or R , the results could be very unfortunate.Remember Murphy's Laws.
 

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john bernard said:
I guess most of the time, since you can't remove your key unless the selector is in Park, the NSS seems somewhat redundant. However, if there is any way that you might unintentionally start the car in D or R , the results could be very unfortunate.Remember Murphy's Laws.
We are bypassing devices in order to trouble shoot.If the device is not functioning properly and the bypass "works", then we know exactly what to do. And with the way Saab has set up the fuses and relays, this troubleshooting is positive and easy..
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
john bernard said:
I guess most of the time, since you can't remove your key unless the selector is in Park, the NSS seems somewhat redundant. However, if there is any way that you might unintentionally start the car in D or R , the results could be very unfortunate.Remember Murphy's Laws.
I hear what you're saying but I would rather take that risk than risk my wife being stranded somewhere when this is such a common problem. I've been driving for 20yrs and have never accidentally started a car while it's in Drive. I can't even think of a normal situation where this would be a concern.
 

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I think it is a excellent habit to have the foot on the brake when starting any vehicle, manual or automatic - particularly with military tracked vehicles.;oops: ask how I know...

And I hope that these problems have been finally cleared up - NSS, relays, switches, solenoids, even wires and connections..
 

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Frank_Drebin said:
I hear what you're saying but I would rather take that risk than risk my wife being stranded somewhere when this is such a common problem. I've been driving for 20yrs and have never accidentally started a car while it's in Drive. I can't even think of a normal situation where this would be a concern.
In 65 years of driving, I have more often than I'd like to admit tried to start a car in D or R, but the NSS would never let me do it. I guess the NSS is just for people like me.
 

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Hey Frank! Thanks so much for the suggestion! So you're saying it would work for at least a little while? If you wouldn't mind holding on for it for a week, that would be great! I'm getting paid in the middle of the month and if you will PM me your paypal account, I will send you about $6 ? Is that ok, or enough for shipping? Thank you!


The thing is, I bought the DIC off of EBAY and the seller has 354 positive feedbacks, so I really don't think he would send me a bad one, and what not.

About my project car... I bought it because the owner said that when he would turn the key to the "Start" position, he would only hear the relay under the dash clicking, all power options worked, windows, etc. But it wouldn't turn over. So, thanks to all of my "friends" that I have on Saabcentral, I was confident it was either a bad ground, or the NSS. Needless to say, I bought the car with the hopes of getting it going but still nothing yet.

Thank you all for your replies! :p and frank, I will keep in touch within the week, please let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Leon said:
Hey Frank! Thanks so much for the suggestion! So you're saying it would work for at least a little while? If you wouldn't mind holding on for it for a week, that would be great! I'm getting paid in the middle of the month and if you will PM me your paypal account, I will send you about $6 ? Is that ok, or enough for shipping? Thank you!


The thing is, I bought the DIC off of EBAY and the seller has 354 positive feedbacks, so I really don't think he would send me a bad one, and what not.

About my project car... I bought it because the owner said that when he would turn the key to the "Start" position, he would only hear the relay under the dash clicking, all power options worked, windows, etc. But it wouldn't turn over. So, thanks to all of my "friends" that I have on Saabcentral, I was confident it was either a bad ground, or the NSS. Needless to say, I bought the car with the hopes of getting it going but still nothing yet.

Thank you all for your replies! :p and frank, I will keep in touch within the week, please let me know.
Yes, the CPS I have should work fine until the car gets heated up. On my car it would crank, run and drive fine for about 15 minutes, then it would just completely cut off at redlights. It should at least get your car to fire up if your's is bad. Just PM me with your address and I'll toss it in the mail to you tomorrow. I'm not worried about getting any money from you.

What was wrong with it that kept it from turning over? Was it the NSS?
 

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Frank_Drebin said:
It should at least get your car to fire up if your's is bad. Just PM me with your address and I'll toss it in the mail to you tomorrow. I'm not worried about getting any money from you.
Ahh! Thank you soo much! I appreciate you doing this for me! If it works, I'll let you know and pretty soon, I will hopefully be installing a new one from Eeuroparts! Yesss!

Frank_Drebin said:
What was wrong with it that kept it from turning over? Was it the NSS?
Yes, as soon as I did the by-pass method, it turned over fine and freely. The timing chain looks fine, with all spark plugs removed, I see all the cylinders moving freely, overall a nice/clean engine. Just no spark? This is my last stab at this, I hope this works, I can't wait!
 
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