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Einleitung

I have a 2007 Saab 9-3 Aero petrol Automatic car. It has been a joy to own and ride, but recently it started to show warning messages:

"Steering lock Malfunction. Please come to a safe stop and call service" (or something like that)

On other occasions, the key would refuse to turn. Disconnecting the battery for a while would sometimes fix the issue, but this was clearly not a safe car to drive any longer.

Googling the issue revealed that there are two components involved in starting the car:

The ISM (Ignition Switch Module) is where the key is inserted.

The CIM (Column Integration Module) is located inside the steering wheel. It is the security centre and controls the central locking, ignition, immobilisation, steering lock etc.

Both of these could be the culprit. However, whereas the ISM _can_ be replaced by a layman (i.e. me!!), the CIM requires both special tools and the electronic equipment to be able to remove and replace, and pair up with a new set of keys.

So, equipped with a Haynes "Saab 9-3 Sept 2007 to 2011 Owners Workshop Manual", a set of star shaped screwdrivers, and a camera to record all the steps, as well as a pile of clear plastic bags to put the screws in and label them (they are all subtly different in size, thread and length), I set about to replace the ISM with a unit I bought on eBay. This involves removing the centre console to get to the ISM itself.

  1. Our starting point: The center console with the ignition switch in the middle
    • Our starting point: The center console with the ignition switch in the middle

    If this is bad does the clocking ignition switch have to be replace with it as well. My 2003 SAAB is not starting and the lights and gauges stopped working and were flashing. It also would not shift..Is this really caused from the ISM?

    Shondel Begley - Antwort

  2. This is the screwdriver bit used to remove all the screws.
    • This is the screwdriver bit used to remove all the screws.

  3. This is the item we need to replace
    • This is the item we need to replace

  4. Step one is to remove the front side panels. There is a single (covered) screw in the footwell on each side that can be removed, and the panel slides rearwards, down and out.
    • Step one is to remove the front side panels. There is a single (covered) screw in the footwell on each side that can be removed, and the panel slides rearwards, down and out.

  5. Unscrew and remove this screw
    • Unscrew and remove this screw

  6. The panel can now come off.
    • The panel can now come off.

  7. Rear cover is removed next.
    • Rear cover is removed next.

  8. Next, locate the rear cover visible from the back seats, between the two front seats. Pull it sharply to the rear, and remove.
    • Next, locate the rear cover visible from the back seats, between the two front seats. Pull it sharply to the rear, and remove.

  9. The rear side panels in front of the rear cover are now easily accessible and can be removed.
    • The rear side panels in front of the rear cover are now easily accessible and can be removed.

  10. Next, remove the rubber mat in front of the gear lever.
    • Next, remove the rubber mat in front of the gear lever.

  11. The (shiny) gear lever surround trim can now be prized off, starting at the rear, and removed.
    • The (shiny) gear lever surround trim can now be prized off, starting at the rear, and removed.

  12. Removing the gear lever surround trim exposes a single screw holding a retaining frame underneath the gear change mechanism.
    • Removing the gear lever surround trim exposes a single screw holding a retaining frame underneath the gear change mechanism.

  13. Unscrew the retaining screw
    • Unscrew the retaining screw

  14. Remove the retaining frame
    • Remove the retaining frame

  15. Slide out horizontally the protective plastic cover underneath the hand brake.
    • Slide out horizontally the protective plastic cover underneath the hand brake.

  16. This exposes a single screw. Remove this.
    • This exposes a single screw. Remove this.

    OMG, is that what this is? That is a pretty useless invention… Mine (2008, manual) doesn’t have the slit.

    Gábor Bánóczi - Antwort

  17. On the other side, remove the CD holder top cover,
    • On the other side, remove the CD holder top cover,

  18. unscrew the two screws inside,
    • unscrew the two screws inside,

  19. and remove the CD holder itself. This exposes another single screw. Remove this.
    • and remove the CD holder itself. This exposes another single screw. Remove this.

  20. Remove the bottom rubber cover in the centre console storage unit.
    • Remove the bottom rubber cover in the centre console storage unit.

  21. This exposes two screws that need removing.
    • This exposes two screws that need removing.

  22. The drinks holder has another rubber mat.
    • The drinks holder has another rubber mat.

  23. There are no screws underneath, but this is a good opportunity to remove it and clean it separately.
    • There are no screws underneath, but this is a good opportunity to remove it and clean it separately.

  24. Underneath the air vent controlling air flow to the passengers from the center console sits a square duct.
    • Underneath the air vent controlling air flow to the passengers from the center console sits a square duct.

  25. The Haynes manual suggests pulling this out next, and although it is possible to do so, it requires force, and is much easier to do later when all other fixings have been removed.
    • The Haynes manual suggests pulling this out next, and although it is possible to do so, it requires force, and is much easier to do later when all other fixings have been removed.

  26. There are two cable bundles connected to the center console from the rest of the car. One is connected via a large, square plug with a red tab.
    • There are two cable bundles connected to the center console from the rest of the car. One is connected via a large, square plug with a red tab.

  27. Push a screwdriver inside the red tab and pull, and the connector splits neatly apart.
    • Push a screwdriver inside the red tab and pull, and the connector splits neatly apart.

    Would you happen to know which of those wires sends the voltage when cranked? I know the violet/yellow one provides voltage when key is turned to ‘on’. I’m trying to install a push button starts. Thanks!

    Tito Sanchez - Antwort

  28. The other is an earth connector near the rear of the console. This can easily be pulled away.
    • The other is an earth connector near the rear of the console. This can easily be pulled away.

  29. Remove two screws located in front of the gear lever.
    • Remove two screws located in front of the gear lever.

  30. The next bit is a bit fiddly to get to: There are two screws going horizontally, one underneath the handbrake,
    • The next bit is a bit fiddly to get to: There are two screws going horizontally, one underneath the handbrake,

  31. the other on the CD holder side. These need to be removed. There is limited workspace. Use a separate loose screwdriver bit, and a spanner to twist it.
    • the other on the CD holder side. These need to be removed. There is limited workspace. Use a separate loose screwdriver bit, and a spanner to twist it.

  32. The center console is now loose, and can be puller backwards and upwards, and removed from the car. The center console is now loose, and can be puller backwards and upwards, and removed from the car. The center console is now loose, and can be puller backwards and upwards, and removed from the car.
    • The center console is now loose, and can be puller backwards and upwards, and removed from the car.

  33. Tip the centre console upside down and locate the ISM ignition switch.There are four spring clips holding it in place. Use a screwdriver to compress each clip in turn, whilst pushing the switch out of its socket. Tip the centre console upside down and locate the ISM ignition switch.There are four spring clips holding it in place. Use a screwdriver to compress each clip in turn, whilst pushing the switch out of its socket. Tip the centre console upside down and locate the ISM ignition switch.There are four spring clips holding it in place. Use a screwdriver to compress each clip in turn, whilst pushing the switch out of its socket.
    • Tip the centre console upside down and locate the ISM ignition switch.There are four spring clips holding it in place. Use a screwdriver to compress each clip in turn, whilst pushing the switch out of its socket.

  34. The switch is connected to a cable via a connector. Locate the torque lever and twist this to release the connector. The switch is connected to a cable via a connector. Locate the torque lever and twist this to release the connector. The switch is connected to a cable via a connector. Locate the torque lever and twist this to release the connector.
    • The switch is connected to a cable via a connector. Locate the torque lever and twist this to release the connector.

  35. You now have the ISM in your hand. Swap this with a replacement unit. Mine cost £126,00 new from eBay. Clip it in the same spot, and connect the cable again. You now have the ISM in your hand. Swap this with a replacement unit. Mine cost £126,00 new from eBay. Clip it in the same spot, and connect the cable again.
    • You now have the ISM in your hand. Swap this with a replacement unit. Mine cost £126,00 new from eBay. Clip it in the same spot, and connect the cable again.

    • The rest of the procedure is doing the dismantling in reverse. However, this is the best order that I found (choosing the wrong order once or twice):

  36. The square air conditioning duct goes in first. The console goes in next. It is a bit awkward to riggle past all the lugs, screws, tabs and cables, but just persevere. Once in, fit all the screws holding it in place, including the awkward ones.
    • The square air conditioning duct goes in first. The console goes in next. It is a bit awkward to riggle past all the lugs, screws, tabs and cables, but just persevere. Once in, fit all the screws holding it in place, including the awkward ones.

  37. Connect the two cables. The earth connector is push-on, and the square plug self-locks when the red tab is pushed. Connect the two cables. The earth connector is push-on, and the square plug self-locks when the red tab is pushed. Connect the two cables. The earth connector is push-on, and the square plug self-locks when the red tab is pushed.
    • Connect the two cables. The earth connector is push-on, and the square plug self-locks when the red tab is pushed.

    This is a good time to test out your new switch if you haven’t already.

    Andy Hudson - Antwort

    • Next, fit the retaining frame underneath the gear lever, all screws around it, then the shiny gear lever surround trim, and finally the rubber mat in front of it. Fit the side rear panels, then the front panels (fasten them with the single screw), then the rear cover.

  38. With all side panels in place, re-fit the screws around the gear lever and CD holder. Finally, slide the handbrake cover in place, and screw the CD holder in. All rubber mats put in place (you *did* clean them whilst you had the chance, right..?).  You are done!
    • With all side panels in place, re-fit the screws around the gear lever and CD holder. Finally, slide the handbrake cover in place, and screw the CD holder in. All rubber mats put in place (you *did* clean them whilst you had the chance, right..?). You are done!

    • Touch Wood, my car is now purring, with none of the issues I had before. Having heard quotes from around £1,000 upwards for a complete ISM / CIM refit, I am well pleased with the result.

    I have not as yet got the replacement part but, I'm not saying that it'll be the easiest set of instructions to follow. It looks like it's not going to be the hardest either, thank you.

    waynesthe1 - Antwort

    Just completed fitting ism … driving the car for a couple of days to make sure issues resolved before putting the rest of Humpty Dumpty back together again

    thanks very much for posting this, was quite satisfying to do, saved a fortune

    Cheers

    David

    david ward - Antwort

Abschluss

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

9 weitere Nutzer haben diese Anleitung absolviert.

Lars Erlandsen

Mitglied seit: 17.04.2018

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2 Anleitungen geschrieben

18 Kommentare

And the key worked once plugged in and the battery is reconnected?

Michael Sullivan - Antwort

These are great instructions. I had the dreaded ‘steering lock malfunction’ warning message on my 9-3. Bought an ISM off eBay for £35 and had it fitted and working fine in 2 hours. Thanks so much for posting.

Mike - Antwort

Instructuctions spot on. In 1.5hrs I had the ISM out, cleaned and back in. And no more steering lock errors. !!!

gtsmail951 - Antwort

Does anyone have advice on how to replace the ignition switch on a 1998 9.3 automatic transmission Saab

davina gammon - Antwort

Most of these steps are not necessary at all, you can pull the ISM out from the side when you have removed the side panel, its tight but more than possible. This is very easy, 3h is a joke it takes 30 minutes at most!

Filip Andersson - Antwort

My starting point was a Haynes manual. Not all the steps worked as described. The steps above will work. Three hours it took, and it didn’t feel like a joke. By the way, the Saab is still chugging along nicely (touch wood). Not missed a beat since the repair.

Glad you’ve found an easier way. For the rest of the mere mortals, me included, the above steps will work.

Lars Erlandsen -

Any clue as to why after install of new switch the key won't turn?

Ryan Nordbrock -

Does it need coding into car or is it just plug and go

Jason platten - Antwort

The steering wheel unit will need re-programming. However, the ignition switch that I replaced, listed above, needs no re-programming at all!

Lars Erlandsen -

Great instructions. I also had the ‘steering lock malfunction’ warning message on my 2011 soft top 9-3. Fixed by replacing the ISM with a used item from eBay for £38. If only Haynes instructions were this good!

David Saker - Antwort

Très bon tutoriel changement en 1H30 .

Merci beaucoup Lars

didier.vanelslande - Antwort

vous êtes les bienvenus (Google translation from “you are welcome”) :-)

Lars Erlandsen -

Thanks for this advice - it’s really well produced. However I can also vouch for the alternative method which just involves removing the side panels and carefully lowering the ISM out of the left hand side. In total the job took about 20-30 mins and the car is good as new now. I also removed the gear lever surround to give it a good clean. But still thank you as I did follow a few of your steps.

Jeff Hilton - Antwort

Thanks great photos and information is ism plug and play or needs re programming thanks Clive

Clive Briggs - Antwort

Hi, Clive.

The ignition switch in the center console is plug and play. The unit that is wrapped around the steering wheel, however, needs re-programming. I was warned this would involve a 4 figure sum of money, so I was happy my £120 key switch gamble replacement did the trick. And the Saab is still running. With the key switch working flawlessly…

Lars Erlandsen -

Thanks for the tips. I solved the same problem at the service station. But I installed the timing light for MSD ignition myself using your instructions.

William Clark - Antwort

Do i need to code/program it after replacement? What about keys, do they need to be coded again?

Robert Rupa - Antwort

Just read your instructions and followed them to the letter , many thanks

Julian Barnes - Antwort

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