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  1. #1

    Join Date
    30 Jul 2017
    2003 9-3 linear
    Thumbs Up:   0

    Door shut, locks/unlocks but will not open.

    The car was given to me after a family member was side-swipped in it. It was hit on the front driver's side. So I got a fender and front door for the drivers side from a junkyard and put them on. I also had to transfer the interior door pannel from the old door to the salvaged door. I thought I was done, even though I did not change out the lock system. In my naive excitement i shut the door. Now the handles won't open it. The dash screen (I think there's a different name for it) says, "Lock system failure. Contact service."

    The door IS fully shut. Not only did I shut it firmly the first time, it sounded good when it shut and is well aligned with the vehicle. It's not protruding anywhere.
    Since then I've pressed on it hard while lifting the handle, attempting it multiple times over the last couple days.
    The exterior handle rises fully, like the door is locked. The interior handle pivots to maybe 50% of the normal range of motion, and won't move/pull the cable any further. This is unique from the other door handles that are not broken. They still have a full range of motion with the doors locked. The lock tab moves up and down with all the other doors, but it doesn't have the delayed internal click like the other doors do.

    I have managed to partially remove the interior door panel again while sitting in the driver's seat, but the cable is connected correctly to the back of the interior handle. I was hoping for something obvious at that connection.

    Also, since I got the car some ECU is not programmed. I've read some threads about that, but I'm still not sure how to fix that. Perhaps someone will know if fixing that programming might fix my door?

    At this point my thoughts are suck on 'how am I going to open my door???'. If I can open the door I can easily change out the lock system to the original and have this thing working the way I want it to.

    Thanks in advance for all the help!


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  2. #2
    Saab Owner Digger's Avatar
    Join Date
    28 Oct 2016
    Minneapolis Minnesota
    2006 9-3 2.0t SportCombi
    Thumbs Up:   130
    Yes fixing your programming might fix your door and it might not. There is a module inside the door that needs to match the car and there are two different security module types. One is the so over engineered you've got to be kidding security system and the other was designed by a truly evil genius. It sounds like your salvage door might have one of those parts that won't make nice with the others. If it helps any, lots of newer cars have individually identified electronic door lock modules controlled by the HAL 9000. It's not just Saab.

    If you changed the key lock with the car door this might just be an inconvenient job, pull your battery cable and use the hard key to unlock the door.

    If you didn't, this is going to be a real inconvenient job and depending on whether or not it's a two door with some working room or four door without, it could mean ruining your door panel or poking a hole in your brand new door skin. Hopefully you have the old door handy so that you study up on how to trip this door latch with the least amount of damage.

    Pulling the drivers seat will give you more working room, disconnect the battery and don't reconnect until the seat is back where it belongs or you will give yourself an air bag code. Also wrap up the seat rail ends really good so you don't tear the upholstery while you're moving the seat inside the car.

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  3. #3
    Saab Enthusiast
    Join Date
    10 Apr 2017
    Denham, England
    2011 2.0 9-5 Aero
    Thumbs Up:   33
    If the door locks and unlocks, unlock it and then try pulling upwards on the outside handle as you open it.

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