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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:27 am 
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Location: Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Car Model: 9-3 Vector Convertible 1.8t
Hi,

I have very recently acquired a 2007 Saab 9-3. This has the old style built in head unit, see photo below...
Image
The head unit is completely dead. Everything else appears to work, so really I need to know if there's any kind of obvious fault finding I need to do. I'm not after trying to upgrade, just either to fix or replace the head unit with one that works.

Is there anything I should be trying before I condemn the one that's in the car?


Last edited by scatmancraig on Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:04 pm 
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Location: South Oxfordshire
Car Model: 9-3ss Aero 2.0T; OG9-3 vert
Do you have indicator noises? These are from the central dash speaker.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:11 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 9:39 am
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Location: SW Herts
Car Model: 9-5 Aero est. 9-3 Carlsson
It can’t be completely dead because it controls the display on top of the dashboard, and that seems to be working. Does it show the radio frequencies?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:05 pm 
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Location: Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Car Model: 9-3 Vector Convertible 1.8t
TwyRob wrote:
Do you have indicator noises? These are from the central dash speaker.

No, no indicator noises at all.

sgould wrote:
It can’t be completely dead because it controls the display on top of the dashboard, and that seems to be working. Does it show the radio frequencies?

The dash top display works ok, but doesn't display anything radio related. There's nothing on the radio display at all either.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:21 pm 
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Location: SW Herts
Car Model: 9-5 Aero est. 9-3 Carlsson
It is switched on? The on/off button is to push in the volume button.

Then. The panel is powered by fuse 14 in the panel in the passenger end of the dashboard. It shares an earth with the SID on to of the dashboard, so that side should be OK unless there's a break in the wiring.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:59 pm 
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Location: Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Car Model: 9-3 Vector Convertible 1.8t
sgould wrote:
It is switched on? The on/off button is to push in the volume button.

Then. The panel is powered by fuse 14 in the panel in the passenger end of the dashboard. It shares an earth with the SID on to of the dashboard, so that side should be OK unless there's a break in the wiring.


I checked the fuse earlier, it's all ok. And I've pressed the volume button till I'm blue in the face! The radio buttons light up with the exterior lights on, but that's as much as you get.

How do you get the unit out of the dash? I've seen several on eBay, but not sure if you need to get tech 2 involved to swap them?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:02 pm 
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Location: SW Herts
Car Model: 9-5 Aero est. 9-3 Carlsson
The unit comes out by levering out the vent above. There are catches that can be eased to help. Then there are two screws to undo to remove the unit.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:13 pm 
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Location: Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Car Model: 9-3 Vector Convertible 1.8t
I have removed the head unit out of this car and tried in my other 9-3, and it actually works perfectly! So, to complete the test, I took the head unit out of the 9-3 convertible, and tried that in the saloon, still nothing.

So, it appears that the fault may be somewhere else in the system on the saloon. The CD player (single unit) appears to be powered up, as I can insert and remove discs ok. Clearly something else is wrong somewhere, but I'm not familiar enough with these cars to know where I should be looking next?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:25 pm 
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Location: South Oxfordshire
Car Model: 9-3ss Aero 2.0T; OG9-3 vert
Try swapping the SID from the good car to the broken car?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:45 pm 
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Location: Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Car Model: 9-3 Vector Convertible 1.8t
TwyRob wrote:
Try swapping the SID from the good car to the broken car?


Is the SID the display on top of the dash? How do you remove it?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:01 pm 
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Location: South Oxfordshire
Car Model: 9-3ss Aero 2.0T; OG9-3 vert
scatmancraig wrote:
TwyRob wrote:
Try swapping the SID from the good car to the broken car?


Is the SID the display on top of the dash? How do you remove it?
It appears to be on top looking at your pic. I know it can be removed, however I have never done it and don't want to give poor advice. I don't have a working WIS right now.

I think it involves removing the centre speaker cover and there are screws under there, just don't force anything!

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2003(53) 9-3 Aero 2.0T
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:35 pm 
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Car Model: 9-5 Aero est. 9-3 Carlsson
Which "head unit" did you swap? the one you see isn't the tuner, it's a major link in the car computer networks and is just used as the control panel for the audio. The tuner amp is behind the aircon panel and the CD player hangs from it.

But the dash you have suggests that you have the seven speaker audio. That has a further amp under the passenger seat. That's where I would start looking. That amp is often destroyed by water ingress. It builds up in the area below air inlet by the windscreen wipers. the drain below blocks and water runs in through the pollen filter and the heater blower and settles in the passenger footwell and drowning the amp under the seat. The audio relies on a complete optic ring to transmit data and audio between the amps, CD player and head unit. Any break and the whole thing stops.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:48 pm 
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Location: Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Car Model: 9-3 Vector Convertible 1.8t
sgould wrote:
Which "head unit" did you swap? the one you see isn't the tuner, it's a major link in the car computer networks and is just used as the control panel for the audio. The tuner amp is behind the aircon panel and the CD player hangs from it.

I swapped the more basic version from my earlier 2005 9-3 Convertible. Both worked perfectly in that car, but neither worked in the 2007 car. So the problem ius not with the radio facia panel.

sgould wrote:
But the dash you have suggests that you have the seven speaker audio. That has a further amp under the passenger seat. That's where I would start looking. That amp is often destroyed by water ingress. It builds up in the area below air inlet by the windscreen wipers. the drain below blocks and water runs in through the pollen filter and the heater blower and settles in the passenger footwell and drowning the amp under the seat. The audio relies on a complete optic ring to transmit data and audio between the amps, CD player and head unit. Any break and the whole thing stops.

Funny you should mention this, as I noticed that the passenger rear footwell was damp. I didn't notice there being an amp under there though. I don't know exactly what I'm looking for though.

If anyone has a photo or diagram of the under seat amp unit, that would be very helpful.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:13 pm 
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Location: SW Herts
Car Model: 9-5 Aero est. 9-3 Carlsson
This is a picture of a rusty one. So probably already damaged...

http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showt ... p?t=219267

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:44 pm 
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Location: Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Car Model: 9-3 Vector Convertible 1.8t
sgould wrote:
This is a picture of a rusty one. So probably already damaged...

http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showt ... p?t=219267

Hmmm, I didn't see one of those when I looked before. Is it easy to see or do I need to be lifting the carpet up to get to it? Having no audio is bugging me like crazy!

Assuming the amplifier is at fault, are they easy to come by secondhand?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:28 pm 
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Location: Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Car Model: 9-3 Vector Convertible 1.8t
Having looked more closely under the passenger seat, I have found the amplifier unit. There's signs of rust on the bit I can see, so I'm assuming it may be water damaged.

If I can source an identical (and known to be working) replacement amp, is it just a case of swapping them over, or do I need to pay a visit to someone with a Tech II? I'm keen to get the radio working in this car asap!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:15 pm 
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Location: SW Herts
Car Model: 9-5 Aero est. 9-3 Carlsson
Should be plug and play, if the amp is secondhand and has already been added to a car it's almost certain it would work. A brand new one would probably need to be "added" in order to wake it up.

I would look at some of the specialist breakers who will give some sort of guarantee, rather than an eBay item that has no provenance.

I haven't used any recently, but I've heard of a guy on Facebook "RonSaabLeeds" who has been breaking 9-3's for a while now. There's also Salvo in Ilkeston. And a guy in Ireland called Anthony Jordan. Also look at Suffolk Saab (often a bit more expensive, but all the stuff I've had from him has been good, and clean. Neo Bros also supply stuff.

Bear in mind that a new one is around £400 if they are still available.

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