2000 saab wagon starting prob

My Saab 95 works fine until it stops. That is I can drive all around town doing various errands and then suddenly it decides to not start. If I wait between 20-60 mins it will start right up again. I never know when this will happen so I always bring a book and lunch with me. This is not funny because the Saab dealers cannot figure it out because it never happens when the car is in the shop. Am I nuts? I live in Miami and it is hot and humid and by the way the odometer and speedometer do not work either but we haven’t fixed them since we were told upwards of $3000 for this and I just paid the car off and don’t have the dough. Pls help. Thanks Sally

Lets start with a little more information.  Tell us exactly what happens and does not happen, in full living color detail (high def) what happens when you try to start it and it "decides not to start"

I agree with Mr. Meehan as usual. The “no start” thing needs to be defined a bit better.

The engine won’t physically turn over with the starter motor?
Will turn over but does nothing?
Will turn over but only coughs or sputters?
Automatic or manual transmission?
When the key is turned to START, does the engine turn over or do you only get a click sound?
No click sound?

I have this same problem here (1997 SAAB turbo) in Toronto (for 5 years now) and have read various site and many SAAB has this problem and shocked that no SAAB dealers know how to fix it. I have spend thousands trying to resolved this issue and still have not.

I have bought a second japanses car for running errands and while it is 14 years old, experienced no problems. I have decided that I will never ever own a SAAB or any cars made by GM or their subsidiary because they keep sucking money for this fix but done nothing.

Next car will be a Japanese. I will refused to support a manufacturer who sells junk and make no attempt to fix this problem despite numerous report of this issue.

My Saab wagon has the same exact problem. When I try to start the car, nothing, no sound from the engine trying to turn over, no sputtering, no noise at all. Head lights go on fine, all other components of the car start up fine. It is as if the gas cap is off and a security / safety setting is preventing the car from starting (from running into this problem over and over again, I’m sure the no-start is not caused by any of these security / safety settings, but it is how I can describe the problem). A Saab dealer replace a bolt meant to fasten the electrical line from the battery to the starter. They said these bolts commonly can cause this problem and that a new bolt should fix it. The bolt change did not work for my car, however it may for yours.

Go to another dealer! It should only be a few hundred to have the spedo and tach fixed! Also, it sounds like you could have a bad ignition control module, an O2 sensor that is going bad, or a bad fuel pump or fuel pump relay.

I replied to your message before with the same problem with my Saab wagon. I’ve just brought it to my local Saab dealership and they told me with 100% certainty that it is my “Gear Sensor” within the transmission. This is the sensor that tells the car what gear it should be in. Essentially my sensor was overheating (caused by short trips like going to the store) and the car could not tell if it is in Park or Drive. This is what would cause it not to start. The fix is going to cost $600 at $100 per hour labor. I would recommend getting this sensor checked if you haven’t already.

I have a 2001 9-3 with same problem (although different model than yours)- you turn the key to start, all of your interior/exterior lights work fine but nothing happens under the hood! 5, 10, 30 minutes pass and then it will start. It has been driving me nuts too (see my post under Saab no start). I think I have finally figured out the problem- check the neutral safety switch (same part perhaps as the gear sensor and thanks to Expert cartalk bloggers ok4450 for turning me on to this). This component bolts onto the top of your transmission and lets the car know if it is in park, neutral, etc. If it doesn’t think you are in either P or N, then guess what, no elctricity gets to the starter. Try cycling your gear selector a bunch of times to see if you can then get it to start in either P or N. In trying to diagnose my problem, I have changed the starter relay, and the electrical portion of the ignition- no luck. Do a google search for Saab Neutral Safety Switch- parts sell online for about $350, but check this site for best price at $317 http://www.thesaabsite.com/93/93transmission.htm It should take your mechanic slightly more than 1 hour to do the labor. Good luck- hope it helps