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The Workshop

In this section of the site, we aim to introduce features on some common procedures. This is also where we post running reports on cars that we are running ourselves. Feel free to contact us if there is some procedure you would like us to cover and we will investigate.


Running reports & procedures: an overview

Only the most recent reports feature here on the Workshop page within a Spry widget accordion feature (click the appropriate tab to select the content you require) and as the reports grow, older reports will be sent to the archive. We passed our first anniversary (May) and running reports are growing in both size and scope but this will expand further during Autumn 2010 and Winter 2011. The website may be just over a year old but remember we have been running and repairing SAABs for more than a decade.


Go to the Running Reports Archive>

Go the the Procedures Archive>

Latest running reports
Added: August 21st 2010
9-5 Vector: on vacation!
2002 SAAB 9-5 Vector 2.3 automatic saloon
Date to service: 18/04/2009

royalty free image provided by Wikipedia contributor Deus Ex Regular readers are well aware that there has not been an update to the Running Reports in some time. Even so, SAABs have come and gone and although the feature on the SAAB that ran out of oil never appeared here, the rebuild of the engine was features at least in part in the procedures section of the workshop archive.

Earlier this month, the owner of our old Vector asked the author to send the car for its annual MOT test and to carry out any repairs required. Confident that none would be required, the car was duly sent to the local independent SAAB garage. The result was a pass (of course) but an advisory had been issued noting that the coating on the indicator bulbs was starting to peel.

The holiday season is well through now and the nights are startIng to pull in again here in the UK. In sunny Sunderland, the dusk is upon us by 20.35 now, so all SAABs must be put to bed well before that time.

Our Vector's owner planned to go on holiday and consulted the author about the trip: should any spars be taken and should any work be done prior to departure, given that the 9-5 had only seen limited use and racked up just 3,400 miles since it left us.

A spare Direct Ignition cartridge is always a good thing to carry on a trip and we are always happy to oblige but when it comes to service work, there can be no compromise and the rule is annual oil changes at the very minimum, even if the car has covered only 1,000 miles or less. Accordingly, the oil and filter was changed.

Weather in the UK can be unforgiving, especially in the Summer months but the Vector enjoyed a very warm sojourn north of the border. Of course, Scotland boasts some fantastic scenery and the SAAB racked up 830 miles without incident, although there was one scare when the owner (wisely) checked the coolant and oil levels en route. Apparently, upon checking the dipstick, no lubricant could be seen, until the owner's wife pointed out that the oil was so clean that it could barely be seen.

Issues since last report:

One slow puncture. Curiously, we have found that the 'split nail' style wheel is especially prone to this and the local tyre shop usually clean the rim and use bead sealant to effect a cure..

Indicator bulbs required changing due to peeling orange coating (!)



Visiting the other local SAAB independent specialist to deliver a driveshaft, the author encountered a familiar looking SAAB 9000 Anniversary. The owner was pleased to see me and told me that the car was still going well, more than 5 years after I'd sold it. It was good to see 2 old friends again!










Remove the 'Time for Service' message

Press & hold down the CLEAR button for at least 8 secs
The official way to reset the service indicator is with the AD 400 Tech 2 scan tool but the message can be removed by a simple procedure:
Turn the ignition to ON. Then, press the CLEAR button once and release. Now, press and HOLD DOWN the CLEAR button on the SID panel for at least 8 seconds. Audible signals (beeps) will now be heard. The word 'CLEAR' will appear on the display after around 4 seconds but keep the button pressed until the word 'SERVICE' appears. Release the clear button and turn off the ignition and then back on to check the operation has been successful.

Re-time the RDS clock

Radio Data System is a protocol (or communications standard) that encodes data with FM frequency radio transmissions. RDS enables radio stations to combine a Programme Identifier with transmissions so that the radio locks onto the strongest transmitter during the course of a journey. The system depends upon good reception, which, if not available, will result in the message ‘NO RDS’ being displayed on the SID.

Pre-requisites for setting RDS time:
Good reception (signal strength)
Received station must be transmitting RDS signals

Press and hold down BOTH buttons beneath the Clock (SID unit)
The message ‘RDS RE TIME’ appears in the SID display

The clock will now be synchronised with the radio broadcast data and reset. Job done!

No output from audio system

The symptoms weren't something we've seen before - the radio channel was correctly displayed in the SID panel
but no amount of adjusting the volume resulted in any output from the speakers. In such circumstances, the SAAB Workshop System is worth its weight in gold because when we ran a document search using the search string 'no audio output', all was revealed.

Initially, we'd feared that some especially ham fisted fitter had chopped wires to the radio when installing a Parrot bluetooth set-up but the answer was easier than that! The radio system includes an amplifier, which, on RHD cars, is mounted upright against the driver's door A post. It is protected by a fuse, which the WIS suggested we should check. It was, of course, blown. Voila! Sounds restored. You really need RDS traffic reports in Sunderland just to find out what wackiness those boffins at the Civic Centre have been indulging in. It's dead easy to spot their latest work - just look for a HUGE traffic jam where, previously, none existed. Some wag writing in the local paper suggested that 5 year olds on vocational training might just have produced something better than the now notorious Toll Bar junction...








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