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Discussion Starter #1
So increasingly often, the tailgate on my wagon does not unlock properly using either the remote or the unlock button on the door. The latch handle does release the tailgate, but there's a "sproing" sound and the tailgate catches on something after opening a centimetre or so. If I shut it, it's locked. If I try unlocking it with the remote or button, it seems to unlock and then lock again immediately.

Interestingly, the manual lock will always (so far :roll:) unlock the tailgate and allow me to open it. When I turn that, there's also a "sproing" sound.
Usually, once the tailgate can be opened, it can be closed and opened as much as you want and it works fine.

I have a junkyard tailgate latch which I can install, but I'm wondering if that's the problem, or with the solenoid, or something.
 

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My 2002 Wagon tailgate refuses to lock using the manual locking, only through the remote or button on the door.
Check those green clips that hold the metal rods in place, if one of them has come off you will get such behavior.
 

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Here's a work around that has worked for me, because I'm having the same issue:

Try this, with an open palm, put downward pressure on your rear liftgate window glass, while applying downward pressure with your hand, hit the unlock button on your key fob. You then should be able to open your rear lift gate using the latch lever.

In my opinion, the latch must be out of alignment or you possible need a good oil or lube on related components. Let us know when you discover a solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just as a question, the first time you try to open, does it open just a little bit and sit loose, like a door that isn't quite closed but isn't open either? Because that's what's happening on my car. It doesn't seem to do that after the first time, though. I shut it fully and then it doesn't unlock.


Also the lock makes two separate sounds, chunka (short pause) chunka when I'm trying to unlock after that first time.
 

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Just as a question, the first time you try to open, does it open just a little bit and sit loose, like a door that isn't quite closed but isn't open either? Because that's what's happening on my car. It doesn't seem to do that after the first time, though. I shut it fully and then it doesn't unlock.


Also the lock makes two separate sounds, chunka (short pause) chunka when I'm trying to unlock after that first time.
Yes, My rear liftgate locking mechanism does all the same things yours is doing. We've tried spraying lubricants on the moving parts but all that does is leave a mess.

My locking mechanism works randomly, there's no rhyme or reason to it. But, mine can make the standard noises but doesn't open 1/2 way by itself. The only that's worked for me is putting downward pressure on the rear glass. I've not yet tackled the problem, I have a list of other issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I tried pushing down on the window while releasing the hatch with the handle. No luck, it opened a bit and caught.


I pushed it closed, locked the car, unlocked the tailgate using the remote without pushing on it, and it opened fine. :roll:


Time to pull the tailgate cover and see what's going on, though I have quite a list of other more interesting things to do with the car. :p
 

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I tried pushing down on the window while releasing the hatch with the handle. No luck, it opened a bit and caught.


I pushed it closed, locked the car, unlocked the tailgate using the remote without pushing on it, and it opened fine. :roll:


Time to pull the tailgate cover and see what's going on, though I have quite a list of other more interesting things to do with the car. :p
Mine was messed up like yours although sometimes, I couldn't get it open period...until I tried downward force on the window and that works for me every time. I guess it's not a universal issue. I'm in for the same maintenance work you're about to do.
 

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I surely hope you are going to fix your tailgate issue, as I've having a similar problem since I got the car. I even replaced that broken plastic clip that held in place the metal rod, now it's behaving like yours. The only way to lock and unlock the tailgate reliably is to remove the metal rod that connects the manual key operated locking mechanism with the actual locking latch of the tailgate.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Okay, I got fed up and investigated yesterday. Short answer, there were two mechanical issues that sometimes made the lock unlock only partially. Then when I'd use the handle to try to open the gate, it was a crap shoot whether it would fully unlock, or spring back into locked position.

The issues and my solutions:

  1. The lock/unlock mechanism has two positions, with an overcentre spring that should pop it all the way one way or the other. However wear and dirt can make it stick right in the middle. I sprayed the working bits of the latch with Cat graphite lube and it took away that hint of stickiness.
  2. The linkage of the tailgate handle can actually interfere with the unlocking mechanism if it's anywhere other than off. I discovered that the handle was a little sticky, and forced it a few times to its fully not-pulled position (i.e. the opposite of the direction used to open the gate). Don't try to already pull on the latch while unlocking the gate, that just guarantees it won't unlock.
I have a spare latch, but after the lubing, I reused my original latch.

The manual key unlock worked because in addition to firing the lock/unlock solenoid, it also has a link to the lock/unlock linkage itself, and helped the linkage fully move the mechanism to unlocked.

To do this, you have to pull the tailgate cover.

I first pulled the side trim, which means pulling the top trim even before that. All are held by clips; the top pulls straight down, while the sides pull sideways, parallel to the window.

Remove the bottom handhold screws, remove the plastic rivets around the bottom (use the nub on the end of the Saab screwdriver handle), and support the bottom of the cover. (You might want to leave a couple of rivets in place, actually.) The top of the tailgate pulls straight out from the window. It will make a terrible noise but hopefully nothing will break.

Reassembly is opposite of disassembly. Be careful not to break the locator pin on bottom handhold. The clips that hold the top of the tailgate cover in place go in the tailgate, not on the cover. Hopefully your tailgate now works properly and you haven't broken any 15-20 year old plastic trim pieces. :cool:
 

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Okay, I got fed up and investigated yesterday. Short answer, there were two mechanical issues that sometimes made the lock unlock only partially. Then when I'd use the handle to try to open the gate, it was a crap shoot whether it would fully unlock, or spring back into locked position.

The issues and my solutions:

  1. The lock/unlock mechanism has two positions, with an overcentre spring that should pop it all the way one way or the other. However wear and dirt can make it stick right in the middle. I sprayed the working bits of the latch with Cat graphite lube and it took away that hint of stickiness.
  2. The linkage of the tailgate handle can actually interfere with the unlocking mechanism if it's anywhere other than off. I discovered that the handle was a little sticky, and forced it a few times to its fully not-pulled position (i.e. the opposite of the direction used to open the gate). Don't try to already pull on the latch while unlocking the gate, that just guarantees it won't unlock.
I have a spare latch, but after the lubing, I reused my original latch.

The manual key unlock worked because in addition to firing the lock/unlock solenoid, it also has a link to the lock/unlock linkage itself, and helped the linkage fully move the mechanism to unlocked.

To do this, you have to pull the tailgate cover.

I first pulled the side trim, which means pulling the top trim even before that. All are held by clips; the top pulls straight down, while the sides pull sideways, parallel to the window.

Remove the bottom handhold screws, remove the plastic rivets around the bottom (use the nub on the end of the Saab screwdriver handle), and support the bottom of the cover. (You might want to leave a couple of rivets in place, actually.) The top of the tailgate pulls straight out from the window. It will make a terrible noise but hopefully nothing will break.

Reassembly is opposite of disassembly. Be careful not to break the locator pin on bottom handhold. The clips that hold the top of the tailgate cover in place go in the tailgate, not on the cover. Hopefully your tailgate now works properly and you haven't broken any 15-20 year old plastic trim pieces. :cool:
I have run into the same problem couple weeks ago on our 2001 9-5 Wagon, trunk randomly opening or not, when either remote key or the button in the driver's door pressed. My solution was that I bent the vertical rod longer, next to the solenoid (see on the pic) My theory is that over time the rod deforms - becomes shorter - thus not being able to open the lock mechanism. It took me a few tries to find the perfect amount of bending, but trunk door works perfectly ever since then.


Sent from my STV100-1 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have run into the same problem couple weeks ago on our 2001 9-5 Wagon, trunk randomly opening or not, when either remote key or the button in the driver's door pressed. My solution was that I bent the vertical rod longer, next to the solenoid (see on the pic) My theory is that over time the rod deforms - becomes shorter - thus not being able to open the lock mechanism. It took me a few tries to find the perfect amount of bending, but trunk door works perfectly ever since then.
If it works, that's good.

I am not sure that the rod deforms any significant amount, though. I think you are simply giving the solenoid a bit more leverage. Like I said, the mechanism can get a bit sticky. Unsticking the sticky bits I think is a better long-term fix than making the solenoid work harder.

Also, I discovered when I pulled a solenoid out of a junkyard car, that the solenoid can be shifted a bit when the screws are loosened. I would:

  1. Lubricate the over-centre spring part of the latch
  2. Make sure the trunk release handle is all the way non-open
  3. Adjust the solenoid so the trunk opens reliably.
I think the above three steps will save you from trying to bend the rod. As noted, it can take several tries to get something that works.
 
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