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Just wanted to add to this thread to say that yes, this method listed above does work! I just drove the car for the first time in weeks by following this. I did not wire a switch as shown, but just manually released the actuator so the key would turn, then jumped the starter relay and sure enough, it fired right up. Unfortunately all problems remain. I read quite a few posts that said to drive it around for a few and the steering wheel may lock again, but it did not :(

It appears there are 2 common steering wheel related messages. One says something like "Steering wheel lock malfunction pull over when safe..." and the other says "Steering Wheel locked, remove key turn wheel and try again" or something similar. Mine is the later.

Like many of the posts that I've read, my symptoms are that the key won't turn at all, the steering wheel turns freely with out the key, and one issue that seems to be unique to me is that the odometer light and CD tray light will not ever shut off, so the battery will die after a few hours of sitting if I don't pull the battery cables.

What I have tried so far:

  • double & triple check the battery - it holds a steady +- 13v when not connected to the car.
  • replaced the ISM - Pep Boys had it for about $190 - but no change
  • replaced fuses 1&2 inside the car (even though they were fine)
  • disconnected the battery multiple times including overnight
  • lock/unlock with the key fob & followed a process I read online of manually locking and then unlocking with the FOB to trigger some sort of reset.
  • bought an ODBII scanner - it read "No Error Codes"

So I think I am down to either the actual Steering Wheel locking mechanism or the CIM. Both options are expensive. If I have missed something that I could try at home please do let me know. If anyone has seen a tutorial on replacing the steering wheel lock mechanism please link it in a response. Thanks

Anyway, since I was lucky enough to have the ISM in my hand at the time of reading this thread, I took some close up photos of the actuator and spring location. OP's method does work, and did help me get the car started so now at the very least I won't have to have it towed to the dealer. ;)





Here you can see I just used a paper clip to pull the lock back.

 

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awesome! please report back once its fixed
 

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Well I finally gave in and took it to the dealer yesterday and had to shell out $500 to get the Column Lock Module replaced & programmed (not the CIM) - in addition he cleared codes, did a "software update" and now we are back in business. Thanks for the help provided on this thread and forum :)
 

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Glad to hear it got sorted. Thanks for coming back.
 

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Going to try this. Is there any way to wire all this up like the one for the ng900?
 

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I have this exact problem

The car I've just bought has the exact set-up as described by MaskedMonkey, button in the same place and everything - they must have used your post MaskedMonkey! I wasn't aware of this problem and thought someone had fitted a starter button to be 'cool' and I didn't like it so started taking it out and then realised the actual key turn starter didn't work. Taken me ages to find this post.

I want to try and actually fix it so going to pull the lock module and try to service it. I'm further hampered by having a faulty SID that doesn't display anything and no access to a Tech2 (may be paying a visit to aliexpress for a clone soon though) so can't check codes and guessing that this is the problem (no lock module click on inserting the key).

Has anyone had this problem to have it resolved by replacing the steering lock or is it always the CIM?
 

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Workaround...

For those of you with this issue, what has worked for me is to remove fuse 2 and re-install. It seems to reset everything and allow it to work. Of course every time you have to restart you need to do this. What I have done is put wires into fuse position 2 and remoted a normally closed switch. So by pushing the button it has the same effect as removing the fuse. When I do that I can start it again. It is a work around. This is by far one of the least reliable cars I have ever owned.
 

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Disable Vats

I'm just curious. I have the steering wheel lock malfunction. New ISM didn't work. I don't want to put $300 in a new CIM. Can I disable the VATS entirely and it go away or no!?
 

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I just tried this on my 2005 9-3 that is having the same immobiliser and steering wheel lock problems. however, the car cranked but never fully turned over, any ideas? Also the car was cranking while the key was in the "On" pos, not the start pos
 

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Just wanted to add to this thread to say that yes, this method listed above does work! I just drove the car for the first time in weeks by following this. I did not wire a switch as shown, but just manually released the actuator so the key would turn, then jumped the starter relay and sure enough, it fired right up. Unfortunately all problems remain. I read quite a few posts that said to drive it around for a few and the steering wheel may lock again, but it did not :(

It appears there are 2 common steering wheel related messages. One says something like "Steering wheel lock malfunction pull over when safe..." and the other says "Steering Wheel locked, remove key turn wheel and try again" or something similar. Mine is the later.

Like many of the posts that I've read, my symptoms are that the key won't turn at all, the steering wheel turns freely with out the key, and one issue that seems to be unique to me is that the odometer light and CD tray light will not ever shut off, so the battery will die after a few hours of sitting if I don't pull the battery cables.

What I have tried so far:

  • double & triple check the battery - it holds a steady +- 13v when not connected to the car.
  • replaced the ISM - Pep Boys had it for about $190 - but no change
  • replaced fuses 1&2 inside the car (even though they were fine)
  • disconnected the battery multiple times including overnight
  • lock/unlock with the key fob & followed a process I read online of manually locking and then unlocking with the FOB to trigger some sort of reset.
  • bought an ODBII scanner - it read "No Error Codes"

So I think I am down to either the actual Steering Wheel locking mechanism or the CIM. Both options are expensive. If I have missed something that I could try at home please do let me know. If anyone has seen a tutorial on replacing the steering wheel lock mechanism please link it in a response. Thanks

Anyway, since I was lucky enough to have the ISM in my hand at the time of reading this thread, I took some close up photos of the actuator and spring location. OP's method does work, and did help me get the car started so now at the very least I won't have to have it towed to the dealer. ;)





Here you can see I just used a paper clip to pull the lock back.

So this work around will not work if you have the "Steering wheel lock malfunction pull over when safe..." error and if your key fob is not recognized?
 

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Please respond anyone who knows

I have this exact problem right now, so you mean to tell me I can remove the actuator and its spring, then turn my key then start my relay with sticking needle nose pliers in R8 then Ill be able to turn my car on? Where or how do I stick needle nose pliers in the relay how? I stick them in stick it out then go turn my car on? I already cleaned it out, then got key not recognized. I just need to start my car and drive it home then Im buying a new ISM

UPDATE:
I just used a paper clip to push the spring back then I started it with the relay but couldnt actually start it bc I drive a stick Saab 9-3, so I need help from a friend to push the clutch in to start it so I can drive it home. When I bypassed my ISM, everything turned on normal. Just got the same repetitive key not recognized, my friend has a tech 2 then I am going to try my other keys, and finally I am going to purchase a new ISM most likely. Bc once I bypassed things functioned pretty normal, but still were spazzing a little, noises and clicks and beeps were going off, also due to my battery drain in my car which is my other headache. I have an aftermarket alarm, stereo, and a big *** amp in the trunk.... I still need to find that drain, but more importantly fix this starting issue first so I can at least just charge my battery and start it like I have normally been doing. My alternator and battery tested good the battery is less than a year old. Electronically just getting a pretty fast drain in my car, usually the alarm stays on though which is good. But doing the bypass oh boy once I stopped things were really spazzing. I initially got my steering wheel malfunction due to my steering wheel locking after I got out of the car, and it dying (steering wheel is actually unlocked though). Come back, charge it, theres the failure. Did the cleaning of the ISM, popped up the key not recognized.... So one after the other my next steps are to get it home by the bypass, then start off with a new ISM. Ill keep my updates in here as I go along.

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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For those of you with this issue, what has worked for me is to remove fuse 2 and re-install. It seems to reset everything and allow it to work. Of course every time you have to restart you need to do this. What I have done is put wires into fuse position 2 and remoted a normally closed switch. So by pushing the button it has the same effect as removing the fuse. When I do that I can start it again. It is a work around. This is by far one of the least reliable cars I have ever owned.
I just got the steering malfunction error. I reset battery and car started without error. Turned off, error again. Fuse #2 trick worked! Thanks.

What does that mean as far as ICM and such? Good Friday weekend so can't get to shop.
 

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I just got the steering malfunction error. I reset battery and car started without error. Turned off, error again. Fuse #2 trick worked! Thanks.

What does that mean as far as ICM and such? Good Friday weekend so can't get to shop.
Okay! I went to my Saab Mechanic. It was my steering lock on the steering column.

My mechanic refused to put on another 2003 steering lock from their preferred used car site Goldwing Saab because 2003s whole mechanism is different and is a headache with computers.

I grabbed an entire steering column from a junk yard for 2003 ONLY for $75 and used just the steering lock box on it. My mechanic installed for $150.

Caveat for 2003s.....apparently they're very different.
 

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My situation:
2007 Saab 9-3 Auto 2.0T
I have this error: "Steering wheel lock malfunction pull over when safe"
CANNOT turn steering wheel , it's locked
CANNOT turn key in ignition

I have two questions:
1) Has any one gotten this "work-around" (or fix) to start the car?
2) Has any one gotten this fix to unlock the steering lock?
 

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My situation:
2007 Saab 9-3 Auto 2.0T
I have this error: "Steering wheel lock malfunction pull over when safe"
CANNOT turn steering wheel , it's locked
CANNOT turn key in ignition

I have two questions:
1) Has any one gotten this "work-around" (or fix) to start the car?
2) Has any one gotten this fix to unlock the steering lock?
I got the car started by sticking card-board into the ISM actuator pin and jumping the relay.
So this does work with my above situation.
Also I cleaned and greased the inside of the ISM, but it doesn't seem to change anything. Although I did not try it without the cardboard blocking the actuator pin.

The steering wheel is locked however.
How do I remove the steering locking mechanism?
I can't seem to find the exact size Allen wrench and I'm not sure if screwing that bolt in is how you remove it, is it?
I think the Allen head is 5.3mm; I don't know for sure though.
 
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