This little sensor is mounted on the front of the engine on turbo SAABs from 1994 and up. It's job is to tell the engine management system the angle of the crankshaft. Essentially, it's just a magnet that corresponds a pulse from a trigger wheel mounted on the crankshaft. However, without the signal, the car doesn't know what order to ignite spark or fire the fuel injectors, therefore leading to a no start condition.
Sometimes the sensors just fail and have no visual signs of wear, but on the car I was working on today, this was not the case.
Oil from an oil leak at the cylinder headgasket soaked the sensor harness, causing the rubber to swell and eventually rupture. Heat from the turbocharger also aids in the degradation, though there is a metal heat shield over the sensor to prevent this. If this was a clients car, I would have definitely caught it in the consultation, but this was an out of state tow in that broke down locally and had the car towed to me.
Easy enough job to do. A common failure that can leave you stuck and stranded... no bueno.
I'm getting out of the cold and heading to Florida for a week on a bit of a vacation. Heading to the Rolex 24hrs of Daytona race on Saturday/Sunday. See "Yinz" later.