2001 saab radomly won't start or even turn over

Asked by Sep 21, 2011 at 09:35 PM about the 2001 Saab 9-3

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 2001 saab  won't start sometimes or even turn over. All the gauges and the radio come on but that's it and now my buttons on my key won't even work and there is a dinging sound that won't go off while the door is open and the light doesn't dim ON when you pull the key out of the ignition ( it used to do this) Any ideas of what is going on?

15 Answers


Hi there, Firstly, does your car start well first thing in the morning? If it does, fine. But then if it won't start for the rest of the day, say after you have done your groceries and then this issue happens...like intermittently Well, if that is the case, it could be due to your neutral safety switch being faulty.(ebay sells some used ones) I used to have this problem on my 2001 9-3 Intermittent no start problem - you turn the key to start, all of your interior/exterior lights work fine but nothing happens. 5, 10, 30 minutes pass and then it starts. The neutral safety switch sits 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 electricity 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. Chances are it may work some times. But it gets real frustrating, especailly when you are in a hurry. And believe me that's when it relly won't start. Another trick I learn't and with much sucess is to pour water over the neutral safety switch and then get in and start your engine, it'll surely fire. I do hope this will help you. Cheers.

31 of 31 people found this helpful.

Im having this exact problem now with my 2006 9-3. Ive had it back to the dealership 3 times and they have replaced $3,000 worth of parts. Guess what.....still happening.

11 of 11 people found this helpful.

its the neutral saftey switch , its a default apparently in our saabs, where if it gets 2 hot under the battery somewhere it wont start, i live in florida the way i learned to start it was to turn key, then put the gear up and down from park to the other end then press gas and it will suddenly start its a royal pain, I want to sell mine its falling apart, the florida weather everything is cracking falling off, I just over it, i want a scooter sell my car for parts, im tired of wasting money after money on a car thats only done 88,000 i mean really??? a toyota or a many cars go on forever ive had nothing but trouble I paid 6900 for it and now its a mess, Im very depressed. just dont even want to look at it.now i hafve 3 new problems the past 3 weeks, CRAZY??

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

WOW donmcut if you looked it up online you could have saved the 3k, its a known problem with our saabs, i wish you knew b4 , but mecahnics dont care most time they just want our cash...I said most not all their are very nice 1s 2, but find me one in florida....lol

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

Sometimes the DIC connections get corroded if not installed correctly, like mine. I'm a N00B, but if I scrape the connections it works again.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

It was the neutral safety switch in my 9-5.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

Its the neutral safety switch 4-500 bucks for the part. Just replaced it on our 2001 Saab 9-3 ..

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

I had the neutral safty switch dis engaged and it's been fine until now! It's 90 in Ct. And it won't turn over!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Have 201 9/3 se convert. Love it. 216,500 on it. Have replaced averthing. Battery, battery cables and Bosch starter. Works great until it gets hot out. Start ok in morning drive to McD for coffee then leave to start and it won't Worked every day this week until Sat. Tried several times on Sat even late Sat night when it was cooler. Tried 8:am this morning after a cool night. Started right up. Will take to shop in am and let them now about this problem. Love this car. Bought it new

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I have Saab 9-5 2.3 turbo it just deid when was drive down the road now it won't start at all can anyone help please

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

Had anyone had any problems w the gas gauge not working? I've searched for a fuse or relay online and through parts stores they can't seem to figure it out either. When the computer says refill fuel now I get topped off at 5-6 dollars every time.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Where exactly is the neutral safety switch found.

32 of 32 people found this helpful.

Put battery in wont start

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I also had this problem for years -- starts fine sometimes, other times nothing in 2001 turbo convertible. Drove me crazy. I'd give it a break for 10 or so minutes, and it was good to go again (not fun if you're in a hurry) .Here's what I learned: The Saab has a really complex electrical system: when the amplifier (which is connected to the CD/radio) starts to go bad (due to age or moisture) it sucks the battery dry. The amp can be on the fritz for months or even years before it finally kicks out altogether. Here's the solution: 1. Disconnect the amplifier and get a decent stereo (or use an iPod/iPad) -- in the convertible it's in the kick panel in the passenger side; in the other models it's under the driver's side seat. 2. Get a new battery -- the one you have has likely been badly battered the bad amp. 3. Go about your merry way -- it'll start every time. How can I say this with confidence? I realized my battery was over 5 years old -- when I replaced it, the Saab started every time. Then, I blew out the 16-year-old amp during a beautiful fall day. Bought another amp on eBay and installed it. Went shopping -- car wouldn't start! Removed amp. Installed a new Kenwood radio from Best Buy with JBL speakers from Crutchfield. NO PROBLEMS EVER! This problem of not starting nearly sent my beautiful Saab to the junk yard: I'm glad I took the time to figure out how to fix it. Oh, and the new stereo --- unbelievable! If I had known that the amp was such junk I would have done this years ago.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

2003 Saab ran fine went shopping came out nothing. Won’t crank over. Had friend try jumping nothing. Sat for 2 hours then all of a sudden it started. Got it home. Started this am ran for 15 was fine. Turned off tryed starting n nothing. Could it b a bad battery

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