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Gary, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Saab
Satisfied Customers: 1052
Experience:  Senior Technician
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I've just been told I need a CIM replacement (Column

Customer Question

I've just been told I need a CIM replacement (Column Integration Module) because my key's remote function won't open the doors anymore. Is there a cheaper way to go other than the dealer?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Saab
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

There is no other way, if it needs a new CIM.

Replacement and programming should be done by the dealer.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Gary- Thank you for your response.
Unfortunuately I'm not satisfied with the response as I've seen people do this themselves on Youtube. Again I appreciate your time.Thanks- Dan
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.

Hi Dan,

I've replaced many CIMs in different GM based vehicles.

My advice to you is to follow GM protocols.

I hope you get it sorted.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK. I'm curious if you think putting in a remote starter might be a good way to work around the problem of paying a dealer $900 to replace the CIM.A remote starter has it's own keyless entry system and is much cheaper to install (Approx $350). That said I've heard Saabs are quirky with remote starters. I don't want to screw things up further but it seems like it could be a smart alternative to replacing the CIM. Thoughts?Thanks- Dan
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.

Hi Dan,

The CIM in a SAAB is similar to OPEL which both of are GM based.

The CIM is the bus master, meaning nothing works without a working CIM.

Starting the car without a programmed key present may not be possible.

I'd say you'll be taking your own chances with adding a system like that, but IF you find a PRO installer who is willing, AND has done this before, then go for it.

Personally, I would not be doing anything like that, risking blowing up many modules.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. I guess I thought that being that the ignition still works fine means that the CIM isn't completely broken? If it was the car wouldn't start. No?I'd still use the CIM for starting the car, but the remote starter to just open and close the doors.If I did that would I still be risking a lot?Dan
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.

Ok, yes you could use the new system to operate the door locks only, independant of the factory system.

Be aware the interior light, door ajar light, chime etc need to see the lock assemblies status to work correctly.