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2004 9-3 Aero, 2008 9-3 Aero, 2009 2.0T XWD
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Forgive me for opening up a new thread, I'm new here but I'm not about to bore you and say "Oh, I've got the steering wheel lock malfunction, what do I do??"

I've searched about all I could on that topic. What I will try and NOT bore you with (Hopefully) is the issue I had with my 2004 9-3 Aero in hopes to find ANY one who's experienced this.

Now, keep in mind, I've taken this to 3 different mechanics who specialize in Saabs in the LA area, they've all told me the same thing, they've either worked on hundreds of Saabs and have never seen such a thing or they say, it's an extremely rare case.

So here are the details:

I bought a used 04 9-3 Aero last summer, it had just reached 100K miles. Needed general things, new sway bar links, oil change, tires, and a battery etc. A few days before I bought the new battery, the old one pretty much died, I got that dreaded steering wheel lock malfunction. I read through the forums and lots of you said it could be this or that, fuses, faulty lock, faulty CIM etc. So naturally as soon as I got some money, I took it to a Saab specialist out here. They ran it through the Tech-II, I got a bunch of codes, mostly for lights some a window switch, lock system, etc.

The mechanic pointed to the code for the steering wheel lock and said it could be the Ignition switch, CIM, or the lock its self. They gave me a rather pricey estimate of what it would cost to get all those items, around $20 short of $1,500. I took my chance on the Ignition switch, nothing happened. I took the steering wheel lock off and heard it rattling inside and figured, this might be it, one of the error codes did say internal fault after all. So I bought a used Steering lock with a matching part number, took it to the shop to get it programmed and...

HERE'S WHERE THINGS GET INTERESTING :eek:

The mechanic hooked it up to the T-II, but it kept denying security access, the reason why? The car has TWO VIN NUMBERS. He'd try to punch in the right one but it wouldn't let it since there was apparently another VIN that needed access. He said at that point it was beyond his expertise, he told me, at some point in the life of the car, some one "Piggy-backed" a module on to the car with out completely programming it (his words). He told me, dealerships are the last resort since they have some sort of higher up version of the Tech-II and they're the only ones that could do it.

Now I haven't gone yet because, well this stuff is expensive. My question to any one is , any idea how a module can be half way programmed? if so, what module(s)? Has any one experienced a car with dual VINs?

I know it's a long read but from what everyone's told me, this doesn't happen very often.
 

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First, the steering lock does not need to be programmed. It is a actuator and is a "plug n play" part. When the technician had a choice to choose vin's, the tech 2 States which ecm has a different vin. From this, whichever module has a different vin number than your vehicle the technician can attempt to program it and if unable to program then that module would require replacement. Note that engine control modules are ordered by vin# and in some cases will not work with another vehicle's without setting error codes or check engine lights. Let me know if I can be of more assistance. Would be glad to help.
 

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2004 9-3 Aero, 2008 9-3 Aero, 2009 2.0T XWD
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply man,

Regardless it still requires Tech-II no? every forum has said it has to be married to the car. I had replaced the rear window switch so when the technician was attempting to program it, he said how it shows that it's from a different car but that it shouldn't really be an issue.

The really weird thing was that the car started with the replacement lock in and then gave the malfunction on the second attempt, he said he's never seen that happen before. He said he couldn't tell me what module it was since it was out of his ability via the Tech-II. I don't get how something can be "Halfway programmed" with out the car giving me obvious signs that something is really out of place.

I haven't got any check engine lights or anything like that. the only errors I have with the car are:

Lock system Malfunction (The rear doors seem to kind of work on their own)

Steering Wheel lock Malfunction.

I don't know if this helps but when I bought the car, it had the AUX input already programmed but there wasn't any unit installed on the car. I thought I had lucked out since all I had to do was buy the unit and install. could that be related?

I really appreciate any advice you have to offer!
 

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Yeah, the window switch is no big deal. The tech2 IS needed to diagnose it and also the saab iris server which to my knowledge only saab dealers are authorized to access it. There is no half way programming modules, if the module is interrupted while programming then you will have an error code but can usually be re programmed but in some cases may need replacement. The aux issue most likely has nothing to do with it and the door locks is typically the door lock actuators themselves failing. I know you're not going to like my answer but taking it to a dealer may be your next step. ..
 

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When you say you took a chance on the ignition switch do you mean that you didn't replace it.? Because 99% of the time the steering wheel lock message is CAUSED by the ignition switch. Just another top tip.
 

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2004 9-3 Aero, 2008 9-3 Aero, 2009 2.0T XWD
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Discussion Starter #6
The technician did explain how the tokens work and how dealers have a specific type of access. I figured my only choice is the dealer :cry:

The tech guy said how it was programmed with the identity of the other vehicle still in it, no idea how that would work.

I started with the lowest costing things on the list of possible causes for the Steering lock malfunction, I replaced the ignition switch with a brand new one, it didn't solve the issue so I spent some time looking up the codes, searching every forum and decided to have a look at the lock itself. It rattled a bit so I figured that couldn't be a good sign.

I also have a 9-3 Arc where the steering wheel lock was stuck and wouldn't lock the steering wheel, my mechanic buddy took it off and put it back and the lock began to work properly again. That situation led me to have a look at my own lock. :confused:
 
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