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Hey all, newbie to the forum and as a Saab owner. I've wanted a 9-3 convertible since 1999, and was finally able to buy a 2003 just a couple of weeks ago. It's a great car, and the weather has been perfect for taking the top down. I have had a slight problem twice now, the car wouldn't start.

When I turn the key I get no sound. There is plenty of power, windows go up and down, I can play the radio, etc. so it's not the battery. There's no clicking which would make me think alternator. It's not trying to turn over, which would make me think starter. It's just silent and not starting. The first time it happened the tow truck took it the dealer. The dealer called the next morning and said they couldn't replicate the problem, it fired right up. They said they tried all the regular culprits, but couldn't trace down a problem.

I drove for another week with no problems trying to figure out what could have changed. The only thing I could think of was postion, when it was hoisted up on the wrecker and then back down, and the shaking from riding to the dealer.

So it happened again tonight. I shook the car back and forth both from inside and out and nothing but some weird looks from others in the parking lot. Then I pushed it back about two feet and VRROOOOM, she fired right up.

I don't get it, what's the problem? Any ideas or thought would be appreciated.
 

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No offense to Coliphage but before you actually do what that linked thread suggests, you may want to consider other options besides drilling a hole in the dash of your $40,000 car to install a pushbutton switch.


I had the same problem in my 2000 9-3 and narrowed it down to the Neutral Safety Switch (NSS). I don't know if your 99 is a T5 or a T7 but both suffer from the NSS premature failing issue. If it's a T5, it could very well be the immobilizer. Either way, check out this thread and decide for yourself.


http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=109861

After you get it bypassed, you can decide if you want to fix the NSS or just leave it as-is. Your call.
 

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Frank_Drebin said:
No offense to Coliphage but before you actually do what that linked thread suggests, you may want to consider other options besides drilling a hole in the dash of your $40,000 car to install a pushbutton switch.


I had the same problem in my 2000 9-3 and narrowed it down to the Neutral Safety Switch (NSS). I don't know if your 99 is a T5 or a T7 but both suffer from the NSS premature failing issue. If it's a T5, it could very well be the immobilizer. Either way, check out this thread and decide for yourself.


http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=109861

After you get it bypassed, you can decide if you want to fix the NSS or just leave it as-is. Your call.
Nice job but would one be able to start the car in reverse or drive? I think that was the purpose of that button. You have to manually over ride the NSS AKA the Range Switch in order to start the car. That way you'd make sure you're on park first.

I like your method better but have this concern :)
 

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Yes I agree with Frank that you may not want to drill a hole in the first place. You may run the diagnostice wires using either methods and make sure it is the neutral safety switch. After that, you can do want ever you want to do: replace the switch; intall a button; or just short it.
 

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hkayssi said:
Nice job but would one be able to start the car in reverse or drive? I think that was the purpose of that button. You have to manually over ride the NSS AKA the Range Switch in order to start the car. That way you'd make sure you're on park first.

I like your method better but have this concern :)
Yeah, I understand that concern as well. I guess it's a matter of getting the car rolling again. But in all fairness, I also can't think of a time that I have ever hopped in the car and found it in D or R. :lol:

I can tell you that I'm not spending the time, money or effort to replace the NSS when I can bypass it this easily though. You know, from the factory the manual transmissions in these cars don't have the safety interlock preventing them from being cranked with the clutch out. Also, I think that the pushbutton that I saw in the 1st linked thread was actually to bypass the starter relay not the NSS.
 

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Steve9-3 said:
Hey all, newbie to the forum and as a Saab owner. I've wanted a 9-3 convertible since 1999, and was finally able to buy a 2003 just a couple of weeks ago. It's a great car, and the weather has been perfect for taking the top down. I have had a slight problem twice now, the car wouldn't start.

When I turn the key I get no sound. There is plenty of power, Please define windows go up and down, I can play the radio, etc. so it's not the battery.The load test voltage ? There's no clicking which would make me think alternator. It's not trying to turn over, which would make me think starter.Corroded cables, poor connections ? And even a down and out starter will try and give a grunt or a click.. It's just silent and not starting. The first time it happened the tow truck took it the dealer. The dealer called the next morning and said they couldn't replicate the problem, it fired right up.Does the dealer even know how to load test a battery ? They said they tried all the regular culprits, but couldn't trace down a problem.

I drove for another week with no problems trying to figure out what could have changed. The only thing I could think of was postion, when it was hoisted up on the wrecker and then back down, and the shaking from riding to the dealer.

So it happened again tonight. I shook the car back and forth both from inside and out and nothing but some weird looks from others in the parking lot. Then I pushed it back about two feet and VRROOOOM, she fired right up.

I don't get it, what's the problem? Any ideas or thought would be appreciated.
A diagnosis demands that all things in a circuit are properly tested, then eliminated.
The NSS has not been tested/isolated ??
All I had to do was bypass the relay with a simple bridge at the starter relay under the dash.
The NSS can also be bypassed in a similar manner.
I do not think it is the battery is bad, but its test must be good.
 
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