How to get a key out of a saab

Updated February 21, 2017

The ignition in classic Saab cars is not located near the steering wheel but between the gears and handbrake, for safety reasons. If your key becomes stuck in the ignition, you can usually remove the key by turning the ignition to the first notch, putting the car into reverse gear and then returning the ignition key to the off position. If your Saab key is stuck in a door or the boot, you can try lubricating the key and lock. You may have to repair or replace faulty components such as relay fuses, relay boxes and internal locking mechanisms, however.

Turn the ignition key once from the off position until you feel it click into the first notch. Most Saabs have three notch positions: off (you have inserted the key into the ignition slot); notch one (basic electrics); and notch two (starting the engine). Put the car into reverse gear. Keep the car in reverse and change the ignition key back to the off position. Remove the key from the ignition slot.

Squirt lubricant, such as WD40, into the mechanism between the key and the ignition slot. Restrict the amount of fluid injected using a narrow tube, which usually comes with the lubricant. Wipe excess lubricant with a dry cloth. Put the car into reverse, return the key to the off position and attempt to remove the key.

Determine if the locking mechanism is broken. Remove the casings around the internal locking mechanism. Broken components will be bent, cracked or ripped. Repair the locking mechanism. Remove any broken parts by unclipping them or unscrewing them using a screwdriver. Buy a replacement from a hardware shop, or take the broken part to a dealer to ask for a replacement.

Tighten loose linkages. Open the boot. Remove the vinyl liner inside the boot lid. Locate the small, black box containing the linkage mechanism. Open the box by unclipping the lid. Replace broken actuators which operate the cams inside the linkage mechanism. Tighten the linkages so the key fully engages when you test it.

Repair blown central locking relays. Open the passenger's door if possible. Get inside the vehicle. Unscrew and lift out the kneeboard, which is located directly in front of the passenger seat. Reach in and locate a small, black plastic box that is attached to the top of the floor heating tube. Replace the existing fuse.

Replace micro-switches in faulty door locks. Micro-switches are located inside the door, behind the lock. There is no easy route to them. Strip down the internal door casing using a screw driver. Locate the slide mechanism on top of the internal fittings. Fix the slide mechanism if broken or stuck or replace the whole lock barrel with a new one for best results. Test the new lock. Re-fit the door casings.

Things You'll Need

  • Multi-purpose lubricant, such as WD40
  • Narrow tube
  • Dry cloth
  • Screwdriver
  • Relay fuse
  • Lock barrel
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About the Author

Natasha Parks has been a professional writer since 2001 with work published online and in book format for "Thomson Reuters," the "World Patents Index" and Her areas of expertise are varied and include physics, biology, genetics and computing, mental health, relationships, family crises and career development. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biophysics from King's College, London.