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Discussion Starter #1
Returning to the car after a long drive to Littlehampton, the 9-5 would not start. On the display it says 'service steering wheel lock'. I followed the instructions in the car manual to release the lock - no difference. The lock is not on because when the car is switched off you can hear it come on, also you can now turn the steering wheel. All the other electronics seem to work. I disconnected the battery and reconnected it to see if the electronics would reset it but it made no difference. To my shame I had to arrange a Recovery truck to bring us back home.

I noticed the starter button green light does not come on. The mechanic attending thought it may have to do with the starter switch but was not sure. I have had trouble with the starter button a few months ago and used contact cleaner so that she started on the first push of the button (as guided by forum members). The car had an annual service by a SAAB garage, North Motors, in January but at the time they were not fully equipped with the SAAB tools (SW?) for the new 9-5. I will have to arrange a recovery van to take it to a SAAB garage next week. Has anyone experienced this fault on the new 9-5?

Thanks for your guidance.
 

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Lawdoc I have had trouble with mine in the past but I have just jiggled the wheel a bit (quite hard mind you) and it came out of the locking mode.
However, gareth- allen may be right as since I have replaced my battery it has not happened since.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the prompt suggestion Gareth-allen and Ausman. However, the mechanic attending at Recovery did put on his mobile battery and it did not make a difference. Would that not have sorted the problem if it was low battery voltage?

Does the SAAB plugin tool have a reset option for the steering lock, does anyone know?On the universal plugin, the recovery mechanic detected no error codes, so a mystery.
 

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A generic code reader will only get error codes that cause eml to come on
Saab tool tech2 maybe tech3 for your car will bring up all of the error codes and you will have at least one if there has been a message on the display
 

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mobile battery wont work , this is a clever car it has smart charge and ecu controlled battery sense - it knows !!!!

replace the battery clear the codes it will be fine

regards gareth
 

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Got to report mine locked again yesterday and took me a while to get it to unlock. Service steering wheel lock kept coming up. Kept getting in and out of car, locking and unlocking and after about the fifth time it worked.
A good remedy however is not to park the car with wheels in a turned position because on reflection it only happens to me if I haven't straightened the wheels when parking.
 

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Got to report mine locked again yesterday and took me a while to get it to unlock. Service steering wheel lock kept coming up. Kept getting in and out of car, locking and unlocking and after about the fifth time it worked.
A good remedy however is not to park the car with wheels in a turned position because on reflection it only happens to me if I haven't straightened the wheels when parking.
Hey Guys
We have experienced similar glitches. We asked the service manager at our Saab dealer at the last service (January) about the issue and he said a new software patch is being updated now in Sweden. So when we go for our next service it will be updated. Apparently this is a known glitch. Hopefully this upgrade will fix it once and for all. So suggest chatting to your local Saab service centre.
 

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Hey Guys
We have experienced similar glitches. We asked the service manager at our Saab dealer at the last service (January) about the issue and he said a new software patch is being updated now in Sweden. So when we go for our next service it will be updated. Apparently this is a known glitch. Hopefully this upgrade will fix it once and for all. So suggest chatting to your local Saab service centre.
So Jawd62, I notice your also in Australia. I'm in Adelaide. Apart from the steering lock issue what else have you got. Mine has a problem retaining the correct time. Minor I know but a bit annoying. My SAAB service centre seem a bit vague when I speak to them about software updates but I have no other SAAB place to take it to. They were the original new SAAB dealers.
 

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So Jawd62, I notice your also in Australia. I'm in Adelaide. Apart from the steering lock issue what else have you got. Mine has a problem retaining the correct time. Minor I know but a bit annoying. My SAAB service centre seem a bit vague when I speak to them about software updates but I have no other SAAB place to take it to. They were the original new SAAB dealers.
Hey Ausman
We have not experienced the time problem with ours. We have had the usual initial problems which have all been fixed now. Driver seat heater going, leaking steering column rack. The only recurring pain in the ass is the service steering wheel lock warning which hopefully will be fixed next service. Thankfully all our repairs were done under warranty. We have found the car to be mechanically sound just the software is a bit dodgy. As for parts we have experienced no problems. We had to replace the windscreen over Xmas due to stone chip that cracked the whole screen over time. Took a couple of weeks for the windshield to come from Sweden. We do a lot of interstate driving and the car is an excellent long tourer, much better than our previous 95.
Cheers
 

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Hey Ausman
We have not experienced the time problem with ours. We have had the usual initial problems which have all been fixed now. Driver seat heater going, leaking steering column rack. The only recurring pain in the ass is the service steering wheel lock warning which hopefully will be fixed next service. Thankfully all our repairs were done under warranty. We have found the car to be mechanically sound just the software is a bit dodgy. As for parts we have experienced no problems. We had to replace the windscreen over Xmas due to stone chip that cracked the whole screen over time. Took a couple of weeks for the windshield to come from Sweden. We do a lot of interstate driving and the car is an excellent long tourer, much better than our previous 95.
Cheers
Good to hear. We have had no mechanical, heat seat or steering column issues as yet. I agree she is a wonderful tourer on the open road. Not super happy in city traffic. All in all a great motor car.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. This is just an update as my car has now been returned from the garage. The garage changed the Steering control unit (UKP 89), total bill UKP 295 including labour. They also updated the engine sw (FoC) which they should have done at annual Service in January but did not have the SAAB tools at the time. All in all, two recoveries - one to home and the next to take the car to the garage- plus car out of action and unexpected bill has left me feeling nervous about driving the car to Denmark next month. However, I shall keep in mind about keeping the wheel straight when parking, as suggested.

Btw, the garage mentioned that since the 2013 service they had put on three updates. Apparently, the SW is being maintained/updated by SAAB in Sweden. Moreover, the mechanic felt that they had seen problems with the 9-5 steering lock control unit on a couple of other early 9-5s, if that is of interest.

I am still puzzled why the car does not always start on the first push (button). Yesterday we did a 200 mile drive leaving the battery fully charged (14.9V on the display). This morning it took 3 pushes before she started. Is this a common occurance on other new 9-5s, do any of you also experience this intermittantly ? It was not like that in the first year after I took delivery of the new car.

Thanks for your comments.
 

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Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. This is just an update as my car has now been returned from the garage. The garage changed the Steering control unit (UKP 89), total bill UKP 295 including labour. They also updated the engine sw (FoC) which they should have done at annual Service in January but did not have the SAAB tools at the time. All in all, two recoveries - one to home and the next to take the car to the garage- plus car out of action and unexpected bill has left me feeling nervous about driving the car to Denmark next month. However, I shall keep in mind about keeping the wheel straight when parking, as suggested.

Btw, the garage mentioned that since the 2013 service they had put on three updates. Apparently, the SW is being maintained/updated by SAAB in Sweden. Moreover, the mechanic felt that they had seen problems with the 9-5 steering lock control unit on a couple of other early 9-5s, if that is of interest.

I am still puzzled why the car does not always start on the first push (button). Yesterday we did a 200 mile drive leaving the battery fully charged (14.9V on the display). This morning it took 3 pushes before she started. Is this a common occurance on other new 9-5s, do any of you also experience this intermittantly ? It was not like that in the first year after I took delivery of the new car.

Thanks for your comments.
Sorry lawdoc but I haven't had a similar start issue with mine yet but thanks for the info above re recent updates. I will take this info to my dealer next service.
 

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well, looks like I have just got the "steering wheel lock" message and a dead car. I actually had it a couple of weeks ago, just disconnected the battery for a minute and then it was fine. A week later I arrived at the car and it was completely dead. I charged it up and again it was fine for a week or so. Then went on holiday and used the valet parkers at Heathrow who ring me mid holiday to say my car is dead and no amount of jump starting will revive it. They got the AA out who couldnt fix it but said the battery was fine. They then towed it to a garage who plugged it in to diagnostics and they couldnt work it out either. The garage spoke to Saab who said it may need a software update and it should go to Vauxhall to do this (same engine I guess) Vauxhall had the car for 2 days and I just heard they cant do the update and it needs to go to Saab in High Wycomb. Didnt know there was a saab place in High Wycomb? Throughout this process the garage that first received it have been organising everything and keeping me informed and I sense a genuine desire to get to the bottom of this rather than just shunt the problem off, but still no positive news and no car.

I'll let you know how it ends but in the meantime, any perspectives or advice welcome but also anyone with this car may want to proactively investigate software updates.

J
 

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Hi, money would be on the alternator, a known weak point.
 

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well, looks like I have just got the "steering wheel lock" message and a dead car. I actually had it a couple of weeks ago, just disconnected the battery for a minute and then it was fine. A week later I arrived at the car and it was completely dead. I charged it up and again it was fine for a week or so. Then went on holiday and used the valet parkers at Heathrow who ring me mid holiday to say my car is dead and no amount of jump starting will revive it. They got the AA out who couldnt fix it but said the battery was fine. They then towed it to a garage who plugged it in to diagnostics and they couldnt work it out either. The garage spoke to Saab who said it may need a software update and it should go to Vauxhall to do this (same engine I guess) Vauxhall had the car for 2 days and I just heard they cant do the update and it needs to go to Saab in High Wycomb. Didnt know there was a saab place in High Wycomb? Throughout this process the garage that first received it have been organising everything and keeping me informed and I sense a genuine desire to get to the bottom of this rather than just shunt the problem off, but still no positive news and no car.

I'll let you know how it ends but in the meantime, any perspectives or advice welcome but also anyone with this car may want to proactively investigate software updates.

J
After a good run we have been spared the Steering Wheel Lock saga for a while.......up until now. Major dummy spit this week. Returned to the car at our local shopping centre and pressed start and the warning came up. Car would not start. Called the auto service, the bloke came but could not start the car . Called a tow truck to take the car to the dealer but we could not get the car on the tray because of the other cars all around. At this point arranged for tow later that evening when the car park was empty. However, as the car was electrically dead with little or no power from the battery I rang our local auto battery shop and they had a new battery for the car there. So I purchased a new battery and installed it in the car hoping this will help. After replacing the battery, power was back but that warning was still there! So got out of the car and locked and unlocked the doors with the key fob and re-entered the car. BINGO the car cleared it self and the starter worked! Such a relief. The car ran perfectly. So I drove home and contacted the dealer and explained what happened. Drove to the dealer and they checked for error codes.....no error codes as such. However, SAAB in Sweden sent an information notice outlining the Steering Wheel Lock Fix. The technician connected the car the computer and new software patches were installed from the factory in Sweden. So the car now has the latest software and the patch for the Steering Wheel Lock........The technician showed me the fix notice and explained what he was going to do. This is the first time I have seen a direct notice from SAAB relating to this issue. So fingers crossed this will resolve the problem as this has been the only recurring problem we have had with the car. Anyhow if any one else is experiencing this issue there now is a factory fix (fingers crossed):)
 

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Thanks Jawd62. I will print this off and take it to my service centre here in Adelaide though it has been a long time since I have had the steering lock and warning come up. Cheers
 

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Just to close out my story on this (see a little further up) a non Saab garage (that it died near) had no idea on this and nothing showed up on the codes. Eventually got it t trailered to Saab and they did the same software patch install as described by Jawd62 above and all is well.

So, if you've not had it done, I'd suggest you do it sharp ish as when it dies it dies suddenly and almost inavariably in an inconvenient place.

Other than that it's great and after 18 months and 20k miles all is well and I wont be swapping it anytime soon.

J
 

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Had this problem a few times - it would clear itself eventually, but very inconvenient, and a new battery made no difference. However it became more frequent and my dealer recommended guess what - yes, servicing the steering lock - which actually means replacing the electronic unit that is attached to the steering lock because it does a lot more than apply the lock, apparently. Since, then no problems.
 

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mobile battery wont work , this is a clever car it has smart charge and ecu controlled battery sense - it knows !!!!

replace the battery clear the codes it will be fine

regards gareth
I have had the same problem for the last 6 years. It is intermittent though and usually if I lock and unlock the car it sorts its self out.
I had a new battery 3 years ago and that didn't stop the problem.
A small inconvenience for me so I just put with it.
 

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