I just purchased a 2003 Saab 9-3 at an auction, which was running fine
during the sale. It had some minor water damage. The battery went dead
from sitting in the auction yard, and now when you put the key in the
ignition, the following message displays:
STEERING LOCK MALFUNCTION - MAKE A SAFE STOP AND CONTACT SAAB DEALER.
I contacted my Saab dealer and they never heard of this message. They want
me to bring the car in for diagnostics.
Does anyone know of a quick reset to get this message cleared, before I tow
it to the dealer?
thanks in advance.
This may not be a big deal. Here is how the system works.
When a key is inserted into Ignition Switch Module (ISM), a signal is
sent to the Column Integration Module (CIM). Once the CIM verifies
that a valid key for this car has been inserted, the CIM sends a
message to the Steering Column Lock (SCL) to disengage. Once the SCL
disengages, it sends a message back to the CIM that the steering lock
is disengaged. The CIM then sends a message back to ISM for the key to
be able to turn.
You will get the message that you have if the SCL can not disengage.
Usually, this is because the steering wheel is turned a little bit and
the wheels of the car are being force back against the SCL. This
action causes a binding of the SCL that it can not overcome. The fix
is simple. With the key out of the ISM, move the steering wheel
slightly off the SCL , by turning it a little one way or the other and
hold it off the SCL.. You will feel that there some play in the
steering wheel as you move the it back and forth. Try to hold it in
the center of that play. Now insert the key into the ISM and all
should be well.
There are also other possible problems and they would require proper,
possibly extensive diagnosis to repair.
If the warning message is still on with the car running, DO NOT DRIVE
THE CAR!! You run the risk of danger to you and others. Have the car
towed to a repair shop.
Most likely, it will have to be a dealership, because now in addition
to having a Tech II, one must also have a computer running TIS
software with a registered hardware key in order to replace control
Also ,be advised that this car may not be under warranty. Saab
maintains a database of cars that have been totaled, flood damage etc.
They will not warranty those cars.
Additionally, the 9-3SS has minimum configuration of 15 control module
and can top 30 units depending on installed options. Some of the
modules are mounted low in the car(SRS module comes to mind). If the
car was flooded, it may have major problems in the future.
Steve Crowe, Master Saab Tech
Harpers Ferry, WV
I got the same message and had to be towed to a Saab dealer. One of the
modules you describe had to be replaced. The situation you describe
displays a different message. Both messages are covered in the owner's
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