Good morning everyone! Please help. Johann is a 2000 Steel grey Saab 93 - a thing of beauty. For the last 6 months Johann has been in two different shops because he won’t start. He’ll crank, it’s a not a battery issue. It’s not a bunch of other issues that involve other “thingies” my mechanics have discussed but I haven’t committed to memory. Finally, the problem was identified as the “computer,” which required “rebuilding,” and so it was. The mechanic notes also mentioned something about a “misaligned drive shaft” and associated “sensor” issues. My Johann came home Friday for the first time in 6 months, ran beautifully yesterday and then this morning…it happened…I turned the key, and it started, only to die immediately thereafter. This happened twice. On the third try, it didn’t turn at all. Once a mechanic told me Johann was possessed. I’m starting to think he may have been right after all…can anyone help? BTW, Johann is just one of 4 dead vehicles we own (Chevy Malibu won’t start; VW Cabrio transmission about to fall off, BMW moto won’t keep battery charge) which also has me inclined to think demonic possession may be a factor after all…
Have you tried putting it in neutral and starting it, neutral safety. If it’s a manual maybe a clutch switch or is an immobilizer switch in the tranny. There is antenna immobilizer and of course the ignition key in the console. Hopefully the key is not covered in Coke or coffee. Of course the pictures show the start circuit, not fuel, ignition or all the other thingies.
Thank you! I am quite certain the key is dirty with everything…my husband just cleaned the key and it turned over but then died again…
I wouldn’t worry about the key as much as I would worry about the lock cylinder and ignition switch.
If this Saab has the traditional wacky Saab placement of the ignition switch on the floor, there is a very strong likelihood that a decade+ accumulation of of spilled liquids, dust, and grit has ruined the switch.
Update…my husband got it started…by opening the sunroof. The sunroof has been funny for years. He wonders if the sunroof assembly is causing a short somewhere. Just so you know, neither my husband are car people (although bless his heart, he likes to think he is)…so is this theory even grounded on any realm of possibility.
He also cleaned the key and the ignition hole with alcohol - but it seems not to have had any effect.
After re-reading your post, it seems that sometimes the engine turns over and sometimes it doesn’t, and when it does turn over, sometimes it fails to start.
So…although a gunked-up ignition switch could explain a non-crank situation, it wouldn’t explain cranking but not starting. As a result, I think that another thing to consider is a bad crankshaft position sensor.
Edited to add: Regarding “…my husband got it started…by opening the sunroof”, I think that this is more than likely just a coincidence. An intermittent starting problem can seem like it coincides with something totally unrelated, simply because it is intermittent.
Weird random electrical stuff is very often related to poor grounds. Your shop should find a diagram and track down every grounding point on the vehicle, clean and retighten and perhaps even run some new grounds. At this vehicle’s age stuff like that becomes a very real possibility.
Sounds like you need a real Saab service tech. See the link below to help find one close enough for you.
I don’t want to insult your mechanic but if you have FOUR car that don’t start, and he’s worked on them, you might need to find a better mechanic.
Did the check engine light come on before it failed to start? There are a bunch of things that could be wrong, crankshaft sensor, ignition module, engine computer ect.
Possessed? Doubtful, but I have never known a vehicle to be a he, maybe make it a she? Plan b, is it always a cold start when it fails? Try to get a handle on no start situations, ie after a rain etc. so you can have it analyzed during failure mode. Leaving it at the shop, or stopping by the shop if you think it will not start again is best. Intermittent failures are the worst.
"if you have FOUR cars that don’t start, and he’s worked on them, you might need to find a better mechanic."
That thought came to my mind also…
Might be better off guzzling that alcohol, versus using it to clean the key
Just saying . . .
VDCdriver’s suggestion of a bad crankshaft position sensor (CPS), is one to consider, although it sounds like if there is a problem with the CPS, it isn’t the only thing wrong. I’ve had 2001 and 2002 SAABs they both had the CPS fail. It can be tricky because it can be intermittent. There is a way to tell if the CPS is acting up - when you turn the ignition the starter will turn over, but the tachometer needle will not move and the engine won’t start. I don’t believe the CPS will prevent the starter from turning over however, so if you turn the key and nothing happens, I don’t think it is the CPS. Grounding and ignition switch issues might be the place to look for that…