Radio Nightmare on 2000 Saab 9-3 SE - Requesting Advise [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Radio Nightmare on 2000 Saab 9-3 SE - Requesting Advise

2nd October 2003, 02:41 PM
I guess I should tell the whole story. The radio on my Saab (2000 9-3 SE), for no apparent reason, started turning on and off at random. It would stop displaying the station to the SID and eventually would cut off. After about a week I took it to Shaker Saab in Cleveland for repair. I had just crossed the 50,000 mile mark and was out of warantee so I was bracing myself for a huge repair cost.

I was told that they would have to send my radio in and that any radio repair cost would be $180 (a fixed charge for all repairs, even the most minor). Satisfied that the problem was getting fixed, I removed my half working radio and went without one for over two weeks. Saab then received word that the problem with my radio was coffee had fried almost every board in the radio.

This surprised me b/c I had stopped using the cup holder after a coffee spill had fried my SID computer and the cup holder had not been used for at least a year. Thus, any coffee on the radio was over a year old and I was surprised that a problem like that would surface so long after a spill.

I am not sure if I even believe that the problem with the radio was caused by coffee, but I haven't and am not going to argue the point with them.

Anyway, because it was 'the result of coffee', the repair bill came to $380 dollars ($200 more than a normal radio repair charge). The service manager there, who seems like a great guy, offered to give me a radio that was slightly damaged after someone broke into a new 9-5 on the lot. He was kind enough to sell me the radio for the original $180 repair cost he had said it would be.

But when I came to get it installed he told me that they had not "divorsed" the radio from its last car and because of that he could not get the radio to work in my new car. He is now looking into other options, but in the meantime I am without a radio.

I have now been without a radio for over a month and would like to do anything possible to get rid of the hole in my dash and the ability to play music. I was wondering what can I do? For how much can I get a new radio? Is there some way that anybody knows that Saab can get a radio "divorsed" from its old car? Do you think they are being honest with me when they say this is the reason they could not get the radio to work? Why wouldn't Saab be able to override their own security?

Please help me. I am getting desperate. They have not even offered to sell me a new radio - I assume because they would be asking an absurd price.

I am not sure if people are bieng honest with me. I am not sure if I am getting taken. All I know is I am now without a radio and without any prospect of getting a new one.


2nd October 2003, 03:19 PM
If it were me, I would "divorse" myself from everyone involved in this transaction and either:

a. put in an aftermarket head unit
b. buy a used stock head unit from someone like Goldwing or on eBay or something.

my preference: a. for $130 you can get a great Jensen MP5010K that plays MP3s and grooves like Lincoln copper!


2nd October 2003, 04:25 PM
I'm with Khobalt (and welcome fellow Clevelander).
Surprised Shaker wasn't a bit nicer. I really like them.
If they would have told me $180, right then and there I would either go aftermarket (as I did in my 94 900) or I would ebay/goldwing/wrecker a new one.

Yes, it is totally possible the radio wasn't divorced, but don't they still have that car there? Can't they divorce it?

Really don't understand a Saab owner is going to steal a radio from a fellow Saab owner???

Mark P
2nd October 2003, 04:30 PM a Saab owner is going to steal a radio from a fellow Saab owner???

Thinking about it, it would be a good place to get exactly the right unit, with the right connectors, that needed a SID to display, and was exactly the right size.... :cheesy:

2nd October 2003, 04:42 PM
LOL Don't get any ideas Nkikis!! :nono;


2nd October 2003, 04:52 PM
Go aftermarket, plain and simple.

3rd October 2003, 01:16 AM
I thank everybody for their advice. Before my radio broke, I had no problems with it - the CD player never skipped, CDs loaded quickly, I liked the integration with the SID unit. I guess my preference would be to simply replace it.

But I am guessing, if the store posited a $380 dollar repair bill a new radio would have to cost at least that much, if not more, and spending that kind of money for something I could pick up at Best Buy for $99 is a little absurd.

If it is true, and I trust your advise CleveSaab, that their is this non-overidable "divorce" / "marriage" component to the CD player, there is little to do but purchase something new. They are unable to divorce it because they already sold the car (the possibility remains that when the car is taken in for service, the manager will ask permission to perform this operation - a prospect that may take months which I am not willing to wait).

If I were to buy a used radio from e-bay, would I risk getting a system that has been stolen and won't work? Does anybody know trustworthy places to look for something like that?

I guess the other option, that everyone on this board seems to recommend, is getting an aftermarket system. Since most (as far as I know) units are much smaller, how would this look? I don't want my dash to look crappy. I would love to get a satellite radio system in my car *being in Cleveland we don't have the best radio* but I am just very concerned with aesthetics.

Does anybody have suggestions as to how I would go about getting an aftermarket system? I saw Khobalt's post recommending a Jensen MP5010K. Any more systems would be appreciated. Also, how would I fill up the rest of the space?

Thanks for your help already. I know now that I will abandon any hopes of working through Saab and see what I can do on my own.


3rd October 2003, 09:33 AM

Not the most "Saab'ish" looking radio, but I think it looks good. I can set the display to any of 66 colors, but it's usually either red or green to match the interior lights.

Here's a radio kit that makes it simple:

The older Saabs ( 94-98 ) don't require this marriage/divorce thing. I wonder if a radio from an older Saab will go into a newer one? I don't see why not. We could actually try it out, though, if you want sometime. I have my old radio....don't know the code...but I can get it. I want to keep my radio, though, in case I sell my car.

As for Ebay, just don't buy from someone that has NO feedback.