Bang the Tank to Make It Go
Earlier today, my dad helped me get the car to start with a similar method. Symptoms: starter motor ran nicely but no ignition occurred. He called my brother, who is even wiser in the ways of the motor car, and got some interesting advice. Apparently, these symptoms occur mainly due to trouble with the fuel pump. And yes, it was actually uncommonly silent.
The thing to do to a SAAB in cases like this, says my brother, is to knock the pump out of its meditative mode by simply banging on the gas tank. So my father turned the key to the lit-lamps-but-no-ignition position, got out of the car, crouched behind it with a hammer, and gave the tank a few thumps. When he turned the ignition, the car started. Beautiful simplicity! Without help, I'd have had to get the thing towed to the repair shop.
[More blog entries about cars; bilar.]