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I have had the steering lock malfunction issue on my 03 ARC for about 3 years. I have had it into the Saab dealer and it has been confirmed that it is a bad CIM.

It became an issue when I was unable to turn the key to start my car. (the steering wheel remains unlocked)

The bad news is that i have yet to find a real solution to the problem that doesn't involve a new CIM. (I assume it must be possible to disassemble the CIM and put a new actuator in it)

The good news is that your car can drive again with a little work on your part.

What i did to make it work may be a little tough to explain but i will try my best and tried to grab as many pictures as I could today, I didn't disassemble the ISM this time for pictures, but I am stealing some from here

First, to get the key to turn in the ISM:

1. Remove the drivers side kick panel



2. Put a small piece of baling wire (about 1/2") curved at a 90 degree angle into some hemostats to make a small hook.

3. Take a flashlight and get down on the floorboard to look up at the bottom of the ISM, there will be a small slot in it.



4. You need to take the hemostats with the wire clamped and put that small hook through the slot at the end to the rear of the car, push up firmly and pull it to towards the front. What you're doing here is grabbing the small actuator by the spring and pulling it away, while holding the actuator in this position, the key is free to turn.

I used this method for about 2 months before i got tired of it and just disassembled the ism and took the little actuator out. (Maybe someone has a spare ISM laying out and could contribute some better pictures) but the actuator and spring just pulled right out if i remember correctly.



Now your car will come on, but for some reason it will not allow you to start, you need to then:

A. Locate the starter relay under the hood, a pair of needle nose pliers between the larger terminals will activate the starter.




B. The more permanent fix is to run a grounded push-button from the inside of the car to the starter relay. I decided to use the smart slot for my push-button because of it's proximity to the key and simplicity for hiding wires. Its worth noting that I would love to figure out how to use the "-" button on the dash for this!

I used the bolt directly underneath the smart slot for the ground source.



Some solder and a 25 cent pushbutton and you're ready to go!







So I believe that's it, You do have to clear the error messages every time you get in the car (I wonder if those can be turned off) But other than that the car starts and runs fine (and has been for years).

If you would like any more detail or help on this, just ask and I will see what I can do!

Also, I sincerely apologize for the nasty state of my car, The camera flash really makes you notice the dirt and grime that you can't really see.
 

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Awesome write-up. Thank you!
 

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What is the intended purpose of the "smart slot"?

How did you get through the firewall when going from the starter relay to the "smart slot"?
 

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What is the intended purpose of the "smart slot"?

How did you get through the firewall when going from the starter relay to the "smart slot"?
You can buy accessories for it like another cup holder or ice scraper.
 

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Can that little push button handle the current of the starter circuit? I think you'd be safer with a heftier switch and a 40 amp relay....


Sean
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What is the intended purpose of the "smart slot"?

How did you get through the firewall when going from the starter relay to the "smart slot"?
I went through right on the top-drivers side grommet on the firewall, I just poked a wire hanger through it and fished the speaker cable I used.



Can that little push button handle the current of the starter circuit? I think you'd be safer with a heftier switch and a 40 amp relay....


Sean
The wire isn't handling the current from the starter, it is merely using the starter relay that is already there by providing a ground to suck in the relay.
 

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I'm confused, what kind of actuator is in the CIM? And what does it do? Did u not just buy a CIM because of the cost? You can get a used CIM from a breaker with a key or 2, than just marry it all up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm confused, what kind of actuator is in the CIM? And what does it do? Did u not just buy a CIM because of the cost? You can get a used CIM from a breaker with a key or 2, than just marry it all up.
My understanding i that there is an electric actuator that locks and unlocks the steering column. And I didn't get a new CIM because of the costs, though I know a used CIM can be had for relatively cheap, the costs associated with getting a new one and it's installation get more and more prohibitive as these cars age (and lose value). Also, I thought it was a good trick for getting her home when stranded.

It's not something I would call a fix, but more of a workaround.
 

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I don't understand how you wired up the relay. Can you take a picture of it?

Also, when you say "Remove the driver side kick panel", doesn't the picture show the passenger side?
 

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Also, when you say "Remove the driver side kick panel", doesn't the picture show the passenger side?
Looks like a picture of the driver's side to me. I see the transmission lever there at the top. Driver's seat is on the right.
 

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"Looks like a picture of the driver's side to me. I see the transmission lever there at the top. Driver's seat is on the right."

Right. I see it now, sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I don't understand how you wired up the relay. Can you take a picture of it?

Also, when you say "Remove the driver side kick panel", doesn't the picture show the passenger side?

The fourth picture shows the relay pulled, the red wire is just stuck through the hole in the contact towards the rear of the car and the relay is stuck back in place, holding the wire.. Just to be sure, I recommend taking a volt meter to the relay just to verify which contact on the relay supplies the ground for the starter.
 

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a fix error take out key turn wheel

ok wifes 08 93 aero had the error message "take out key turn wheel" it got worst and worst and also determined wheel not locking. anyway weeks of checking test trying had to replace bad CIM and SCL worked for a hour and error again then again. The shop reprogramed the computer for the 10th time this time when it asked if had rain sensing wipers (it does) they changed the answer to NO....that worked of all things... Give Travis at Atomic auto in Portland, Or a call if need info
 

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so... everything is pretty easy here but i have one question about the actuator in the ism. I tried pulling it out like the pictures and your directions insist but it does not come out I'm scared it isn't the right thing to pull out (it seems to be soldered ). any suggestions or another picture of your ism with it pulled out for verification that it is indeed the actuator??
 

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So who ever reads this thread that is a little confused... you can pull out the "actuator' but there is no spring where the pictures suggest (just pull the 2 contacts out). then what I did was put a small piece of thick paper where the pictures suggest to block the locking mechanism in the ism so you can turn the key but of corse not start the car. Then follow as directed with the grounded push button so you can start your swedish beauty. Worked like a charm if you need pictures for reference contact me. This isn't a complete fix but is a workaround as stated by the original poster but will work for as long as you need it to. Way better than 400 plus replacement for the cim. cheers ;ol;
 

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To make instructions even clearer...

Needed:
Wire cutters
18g wire
2 way toggle switch or 2 way push button (only two contacts on the switch)
Drill & drill bit (if you are going to mount it)

I wanted to clarify how this "workaround" is done.

My situation:
Whenever I take out the negative battery cable to reset my ecu, my car's ISM locks without a "steering lock malfunction" error. Since there is no error message coming from the SID, it looks like it should start, but the ISM is locked and I can't turn it at all. I didn't take apart my ISM. What I did, is force the key into the on position - essentially breaking the actuator pin or possibly the plastic part the actuator pin locks into place. Either way, I'm not responsible if you break your ISM completely. The right way is to take the ISM apart like OP did above. Personally, **** it, it's only a stupid pin! Just make sure if you're going to force the key, grab the key with a firm grip, near the bottom of the key so it won't crack or break.

Anyhow, here are clarified/detailed instructions. Any questions, email me at [email protected].

1. Find starter relay. It will be R8


2. Insert 18g wire into pin 85 (there is a small hole you can thread the wire through). The relay will be yellow. Look on the fuse box, the pins will be numbered. Really, it's labeled! Replace relay back into it's socket.


3. Run wire into cabin. I ran mine running along the fender, into the door. Either way you do it, get it in the cabin. (Pic coming soon)

4. Find a place in the cabin you can put the switch. You may want it somewhat hidden yet easy to get to. Like the OP said above, he put it on the multi slot. I put mine somewhere else.

5. Wire the switch with the wire from the relay you just snaked into the cabin. It doesn't matter which pin on the 2 way switch you wire it to.

6. Wire a ground wire to the other pin on the switch. Find any place that has a good ground. I found my ground near the hood (bonnet) latch release.


Now you are ready to use. Step by step:
1. Turn switch on (or hold push button)
2. Fully depress clutch (manual only) & start car
3. Turn switch off (or release push button)


HOWEVER. I discovered that after you:
1. Turn starter relay switch on
2. Start the car
3. Turn starter relay switch off
4. Turn off the car
5. Lock the car with FOB
6. Then unlock the car with FOB,

it will start WITHOUT needing starter relay switch turned on. Somehow it activates the starter on it's own again (like normal operation)...Very confusing. So now you won't have to turn on the starter relay switch unless the car doesn't allow you to start the car. But alas, this is for a situation like mine. I'm not sure if it goes back to normal operation of you constantly have the "steering wheel lock malfunction" error.

Remember, when using a toggle switch, turn it off after starting!!! If you leave it in the "on" position, every time you hit the clutch switch, the starter will activate/turn on for as long as you hold the clutch down

-------------------------

Explaination on why it works (for those interested and curious like myself): I believe this workaround basically activated the clutch switch.

The troubleshooting part

Problem 1:
Could not turn key

Troubleshoot 1:
(N/a)

Solution 1:
Force key into on position


Problem 2:
Car will not start when clutch depressed. All lights on dashboard light up fine when key turned to "on" position. Seems like it will start, but to no avail.

Troubleshoot 2 (after installing "workaround" starter relay switch):
-When relay switch turned on, car will start when clutch fully depressed.
-When relay switch turned off, car will not start when clutch fully depressed.

Solution 2:
Clutch switch activated allowing starter to turn on car.


From figuring this out, I believe the T8 ECU's security system deactivates the clutch switch by "blocking" the ground on the relay (somehow).

Damnit, I need a schematic. My head hurts now from being too curious!
 

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Mine stopped working after a jump start and once I finally parked it and turned it off I got the dreaded SWM error showed when I came back.

The wheel is actually locked and I've replaced the ISM with a new one first to see if that's the issue but I still get the SWM error and can't move the wheel.

I can mod the old ISM like this thread suggests but will this bypass even help if the wheel is actually locked?

Anyone think that once I get the key to the on position or the car turned over that the lock will release? Is there a manual release for the lock mechanism?
 

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Ok thx that looks simply enough but sorry if this is a dumb question but isn't pulling the neg on the battery for 10-20 min also a reset for the ECU. My car has been sitting for a week w/ the battery disconnected and when i put the new ISM in and connected the battery, the wheel is still physically locked and the SWM error appears in console every time I put the fob in.
 

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Ok thx that looks simply enough but sorry if this is a dumb question but isn't pulling the neg on the battery for 10-20 min also a reset for the ECU. My car has been sitting for a week w/ the battery disconnected and when i put the new ISM in and connected the battery, the wheel is still physically locked and the SWM error appears in console every time I put the fob in.
try this:

Reconnect battery
Unlock car
lock car
Unlock again
Try starting and see if steering wheel unlocks.

If not, take off neg terminal and re attach.
Then try starting again (without lock/unlocking car)

Or you can try and take part the CIM and remove the steering lock mech.
 
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