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Failed Inspection - Can Start In Gear

445 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Ljubo
Hey guys, I'm pretty sure I'm correct that the 2001 9-3 does not have a starter inhibitor/neutral safety switch on models equipped with a manual gearbox, but I would like some confirmation from real experts. The Virginia state inspector failed my car because you can start the car in gear without depressing the clutch, and he insisted this is not allowed no matter if the car was equipped with such bullsaab switch from the factory or not. I know he's wrong, as I've read the inspection procedure instructions. I just want to make sure beyond any doubt that my car is operating as designed before I call the VSP Safety Division to have this inspection outcome challenged.

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The shop responded to my email:

I am sorry for your frustration. I have pulled the diagram for the vehicle and circled the part that needs to be repaired. The issue is starting while in gear. Once that issue has been resolved then it will pass inspection. Please let me know if you would like a quote for the repair, I would be happy to assist you. Let me know if you have any questions.
The diagram they sent looks like a generic circuit. I don't see anything identifying a year, make or model.

I'm putting together a response including pages from the WIS online. Any additional information that anyone can provide will be greatly appreciated.


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In case anyone is interested, I plan to send the following to the shop:

The diagram that was provided does not appear to be from Saab, nor does it appear specific to my vehicle; I do not see anything that refers to year, make, or model. This could be a generic circuit that is provided by your shop's diagnostic tool and/or software/technician assistant service, but it does not necessarily reflect my vehicle's design.

I have attached some diagrams and documentation from Saab's Workshop Information System. These are specific to my year, make, and model car and were written by Saab engineers. Please have your mechanic note the following:
  1. Starter Motor - Brief Description: The only reference to gear selection being monitored prior to starting is specific to automatic transmissions.
  2. Starter Motor - Operation: Again, the only reference to gear selection being monitored prior to starting is specific to automatic transmissions.
  3. Starting System - List of Components: The only component listed in the circuit tied to a transmission is 239, which is specific to automatic transmissions. There are no componets that refer to manual transmission gear selection or clutch pedal position.
  4. Starting System - Main Components: Again, the only component referring to a transmission is the Gear selector, automatic (239/77).
  5. Starting System - TWICE, Immobilization: The only other immobilization device equipped on my vehicle is the TWICE, which is a security device that authenticates the electronic key before the car can be started.
I have attached these files for convenience, but please inform your technician(s) that they can access these files at Starting system – 9-3 2001 | SAAB Workshop Information System Online.

Lastly, there is, in fact, a switch on the clutch pedal to check for engagement/disengagement. It is the switch that sends a signal to the computer to cancel cruise control when the clutch is depressed, and I have confirmed that it works as designed. It is the only function that the switch authorizes/performs.

I will be contacting the VSP Safety Division tomorrow to arrange a review of this inspection.


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I just remembered I have the Haynes manual. In it, I found this.


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I just got a call back from the shop. After reviewing my emails and doing some research themselves, they confirmed that my claim is correct and said bring the car by and they'll put a sticker on it. 👍😎
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