Question about 1995 Saab 900

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Key won't turn in ignition - manual trans.

After getting my car back from having the convertible top replaced, I can't turn the key in the ignition. It seems like the key used to push in a bit and then turn, but it doesn't do that anymore. The key still works on the doors and trunk.

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  • gtaf59 Oct 21, 2008

    Thanks, I'll give that a try! I did notice that the slot cover isn't springing closed and I can't remember if it did before I took it in or not.

  • gtaf59 Nov 06, 2008

    I tried what you suggested, but still not luck. It doesn't feel like the stick is completely in reverse - the ring that you have to lift to go into reverse doesn't feel like it's been seated completely. It moves a bit, but not enough - feels like it's stuck in the up position.



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Is it possible that whoever put the new top on was not familiar with the transmission having to be in reverse before removing the key and just kept yanking and pulling until they got it out.....thereby messing with the key cylinder....just a thought.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008

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Try buying some electronic parts cleaner in an aerosol can with the little plastic tube. Push the tube into the key slot just enough that is pushes the spring-loaded slot covereing aside. Spray it liberally into the key slot and wait 1/2 hour to allow it to dry completely. This stuff is designed for electronics so it leaves no conductive residue, and evaporates rapidly. Now use a tube of dry lock graphite and squeeze some into the slot the same way you used the cleaner - pushing the slot covering aside. Now try your key.

Posted on Oct 21, 2008

  • Jeff
    Jeff Nov 07, 2008

    What year is the car? The shift linkage was updated in early '96 to a newer design. In the older linkages the bushings can wear out and make gear selection notchier and rubberier than normal. This can prevent you from fully and easily engaging reverse, among other things. If in fact you are not getting it fully seated in reverse the interlock may be only partially operating making the lock cyclinder operable, but barely so. This is speculation however, I had some similar issues before updating to the newer linkage. Before charging at the linkage, pry up your shifter boot and make sure the white plastic reverse guide/fifth gear catch is still affixed and complete, where it is mounted to the top of the shift housing. It is on the right hand top side and should be very easily visible to you. This tutorial on a DIY short shifter has some good pics for reference:

    This one shows the old style shifter linkage:

    This deals with shifter alignment:

  • Jeff
    Jeff Nov 25, 2008

    Invert the shift boot up over the knob and pull on the reverse lockout ring and observe if it is fully pulling the bottom up to ride along the guide. It not, the little spring may be broken and you will have to replace it. Removal of the shift knob is a destructive process (you have to destroy the one that is on there and then replace it with a new one). Before doing this however, confirm that this is the real problem by trying to help the bottom end come up to engage the guide fully with one hand, while shifting into reverse with the other. If you can now fully engage reverse easily, then this is the problem. If not, do not undertake to remove the knob.
    One thing that does not add up, is that you have not mentioned that the lever pops out of reverse when backing up - a sure sign that reverse is not fully engaged and nearly universal in this regard.
    This makes me suspect that it may be the lock cylinder itself that is failing. If that is the case, it has to be repaired or replaced. Repair is often not feasible and replacement will mean having another key.



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Spray wd-40 in the ignition key hole and let it remain there for few minutes, after that once again try to remove the key and see if that helps.


But if that is not helping then ignition lock cylinder has to be removed out and key has to be manually removed.


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