SaabCentral Forums banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

2,000 Posts
9000 Forum FAQ <---- Look Here First

I'm going to repost this. I reworked the links, they should all work with the new BB software. If there's any problems or you think something should be changed, visit the Discussion Thread.

Q: What are the specs of my stock rims? What will fit?
A: 4x108 bolt pattern, 33mm ET for 15" rims, 16" have 27mm.

Q: How do I change the brake pads?
A: Front pads:

Climate Control
Only hot/cold air comes out on any setting:

Fan only works on 'high setting:
Most likely the blower motor resistor-pack is bad.

Other heating problem threads:

Blower motor replacement:

Temp gauge too high:

Lights not working:
Usually the obvious, bulbs, fuses, lighting relays, and the ocassional switch. For further problems the best thing is to check wiring diagrams in a shop manual to perform diagnostic tests.
More information:

Questions about clear or 'E-code' lenses:

Q: Rough idling, idle is too fast/slow.
A: Check all vacuum hoses, clean throttle body, adjust idle speed, replace air/fuel filters.

Q: "Can I remove the TCS/put in an off switch?"
A: Yes, but be prepared to spend a lot of money on replacement throttle bodies and such. There are a lot of parts to swap out. TCS can be troublesome, and in extreme cases, it's sometimes easier to get a vehicle without TCS. Also, a TCS switch does not elliminate the problems associated with TCS limp-home mode.

Spark plugs:

Locks & Alarm:

Fuel leaks:

Bad Fuel Economy:

Heating & Cooling

Q:I'm constantly overheating, I know it because my temp gauge points way too high
A:Most likely your cooling system is ok, the temp gauge is supposed to do that.
Check Jim Mesthene's last word on engine temperature

Q: "I'm losing coolant, but I don't see any leaks." (or wet in passenger footwell)
A: Check the heater core.

Overheating issuses:

Q: "I see that two different thermostats are avaiable for my car, 82°C and 89°C, which one should I get?
A: In 99% of the cases, 89°C is the right one. Check this thread

Q: "Why is my car not starting?"
A: The main potential problems of no-start situations are starter, no spark, or no fuel. If the car cranks, but doesn't turn over, it's either fuel or spark missing. If it almost starts, then dies, assume a fuel delivery problem, possibly a relay or bad pump.


Q: "Why don't I have cup holders?"

Power Seats:


Instrument cluster removal:

2,000 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Buyers Guide:
Can be found at and

Here's a useful thread for first time buyers:

Q: "Where can I get a manual?"
A: Some of the above-mentioned parts sites carry them. Ebay has plenty of CD-rom manuals to offer, as well as the occasional paper manual. And the last option is the over-priced, but most comprehensive, WIS from Saab.

Parts Sites:

Q: "Should I use X, Y, or Z product on my car?"
A: Follow manufacturer specs whenever possible, and if you feel compelled to use an additive or other such product, do your research on how it works, and other's experiences with the same product, in the same car. Do a forum search, do a Google search. You'll feel better about using it if you're well informed.

Q: What year/model/engine/etc is my car?
A: Try a VIN decoder, found here:

And for your mobile phone + Flash codes:

Performance Parts for the 9000:

Q: "Which engine is best?"
A: 2.3 FPT offers the most right out of the box. 94-97 Aero models are great if they're in god condition, and not abused. Aero/Carlsson models are top-of-the-line performance-wise. Arguments could be made for any engine. The V6 and N/A models are smooth and have great potential, and the turbos are great for easy, simple power.

K&N/Performance Filter and Intake questions:

Q: "Where can I find wheels for my 9000?"
A: Aside from the host of generic aftermarket wheels, offers Saab replacement wheels. Also look into Ebay and junkyards for used wheels. State Of Nine also sells replacement wheels made to fit your Saab perfectly.

4-lug Vs. 5-lug Info:

Q: Clutch pedal sticks at the floor.
A: Potentially the clutch master cylinder under the pedal. Replace.

Q: "Is my clutch going bad?"
A: Try to start from a stop in 3rd or 4th gear, a normal-functioning clutch should stall the car instantly, if not, the clutch is slipping.

Q: When changing gears they grind together.
A: Synchros are wearing, rebuild will be needed in the future.

Q: "How do I change the transmission fluid?"
A: On 94 and up models there is a drain plug. For years previous to that, you can or siphon out the fluid with a syringe and a tube. Adding a plug on older transmissions can, although a challenging task.

Automatic transmission to 5-speed manual conversion threads:

Q: "How can I make my N/A into a turbo?"
A: You can, but you wouldn't want to. It's far more cost-effective and simpler to purchase a turbo car. However, there are pleny of options for N/A 9000's to make them perform just as well as a turbo.
Check out:

Q: "Which is the best turbo?"
A: Have a look here:

Other Turbo Options:



Please PM me for any additions, updates or errors. Thanks and enjoy.

22 Posts

This is great benji9k! I'm new in this forum and this is exactly what I needed - references to repair info for my 9K.

1 Posts
a little help.

I'm currently trying to troubleshoot a load of problems in a saab 9000i i managed to get cheap recently. I've got the car running but it seems to massively lose power as it runs, the throttle can be held at a point and the revs drop by around 500rpm at any time and for a totally random length of time, it causes the car to kangaroo but at all times the engine sounds fine, there is a clicking noise which has been put down to either the injectors or the tappets. any chance anyone could point me towards a solution or any info? it's a 1987 9000i, which may very soon go back on ebay for any offer of around 80 pounds!!!! bloody thing!
Thanks for any help you could give.

18,382 Posts
I do no believe there are any good CD rom manuals availible for the 9000, there is always the EPC but that is a parts manual.

5,774 Posts
Heating Seats Diag.

Hi guys

I just stumbled on a good write-up on sorting out what's what when it comes to heating seat issues. Just used it and isolated the problem with my left seat.

2,977 Posts
K&N/Performance Filter questions:

Q: "Where can I find wheels for my 9000?"
A: Aside from the host of generic aftermarket wheels, offers Saab replacement wheels. Also look into Ebay and junkyards for used wheels. State Of Nine also sells replacement wheels made to fit your Saab perfectly.

4-lug Vs. 5-lug Info:

Q: Clutch pedal sticks at the floor.
A: Potentially the clutch master cylinder under the pedal. Replace.

Q: "Is my clutch going bad?"
A: Try to start from a stop in 3rd or 4th gear, a normal-functioning clutch should stall the car instantly, if not, the clutch is slipping.

Q: When changing gears they grind together.
A: Synchros are wearing, rebuild will be needed in the future.

Q: "How do I change the transmission fluid?"
A: On 94 and up models there is a drain plug. For years previous to that, you can or siphon out the fluid with a syringe and a tube. Adding a plug on older transmissions can, although a challenging task.

Auto to manual conversion:
Is it just me but have these saabcentral links gone bad?

43 Posts
Perhaps this can be added in to the F.A.Q. section;

Hi/Lo Fan Speed Resistor

Aluminum Housed Wire Wound Resistor

100W 0.22 5%

Stock # 4395034

@ (OEM) $160 USD

Stock # 188-059

@ U.K. & Euro supplier; £4.54

Stock # 284-HS100-0.22

@ North American supplier; $25.81 USD Shipped.

U.K./European Source and Part number (Thank you djtaylor!)
I can't like directly to the component on the site I bought from because you have to login first (free registration) but it's and part number 188-059


North American Supplier and part numbers;

Mouser Part #: 284-HS100-0.22

Mfr. Part #: HS100 0R22 5%

Mfr.: Arcol

Description: Arcol 100W Aluminum Housed Resistors

ALUM HS 100W 0.22 5% - RoHS COMPLIANT per producer documentation

Category: Wire Wound Resistors - Aluminum Housed

Thread source;

7,975 Posts
trionic 5 flash codes

2 Flashes - MAP sensor
3 flashes - Intake air temperature sensor
4 flashes - Coolant temperature sensor
5 flashes - Throttle position sensor
6 flashes - Oxygen sensor (lambda probe)
7 flashes - Fuel / air mixture
8 flashes - EVAP valve
9 flashes - faulty ecu

i thought these may as well go in here

7,975 Posts
tcs recalibration with isat thanks to aussie jim

ok, now this is for ISAT only, and you have to follow it to the letter.
before you start it is best if the car is cold. if your TCS is switchable it must be ON. and your cruise and brake lights MUST work(i.e the pedal switches must be good)

this is when the bad throttle is still on:
1) ign ON
2) clear all codes(TCS socket first)
3) clear ISAT( command code 000)
4) ign OFF
5) ign ON
6) enter system 3(ETS)
7) enter command code 974, when isat shows 8A974 switch ign OFF.

ok. now you have basicly reset the ecu values for the throttle ready for the new one. so swap it over and do what ever work you need to do. when ready to start her up, start here:
1) ign ON
2) enter system 3(ETS)
3) enter command code 971, ISAT will show 8A971, then change to 8D971, once it has done this start the engine WITHOUT turning ign OFF.
4) let her warm up to norm op. temp.
5) turn ign OFF.


6) ign ON
7) check/clear all codes( do NOT turn ign OFF)
8) with ign still ON, enter command code 973, ISAT will show 8A973 and the TCL CTL lamp will light up on the dash.
9) now start engine(WITHOUT turning ign OFF and WITHOUT touching any pedals)
The calibration will now start, the engine will idle at 850rpm for a minute or so and then it will rise up to 3000rpm(by itself). then when it has finished calibration, it will drop back to idle and the TCS CTL lamp will go out.
10) turn ign OFF, and your done. take it for a drive, check your codes and she will be all sweet.

now as i've said before none of this applies to TECH2, and i don't know how to do it with TECH2. and if the throttle is going to be calibrated it's best to do all your normal checks first such as base boost, plug gaps etc...

i hope this helps any body who has TCS and can get hold off a ISAT.

7,975 Posts
manual gear box removal

first thing discontct the battery and from the top remove the 14mm top starter motor bolt, then place an engine bar across the engine and sit it on the inner wing tops attatch the screw to the lifting eye at the gearbox end and take the strain, then jack up the car so the car is about 3" of the ground remove the LH wheel then undo the 8mm nuts that hold the wheel arch trim to the wing and remove trim,then you need to remove the liner, there is 4 10mm bolts that need to come out from under there when this has been done, from under the car you need to remove the panel connecting the front spoiler to the subframe, there is also 2 more bolts holding the wheel arch liner in, when these bolts are out you can pull the liner out along with the panel, from under the wheel arch a the back of the subframe there is 2 10mm bolts holding the anti roll bar to the subframe to get to them is difficult cus the rear part of the liner gets in the way, trim the bottom corner off and then you will get to them, you need to undo the anti roll bar drop link now, these break off so you may need to get a new one, its held on with a 16 mm nut, now you need to remove the 3 13mm nuts and bolts that hold the lower ball joint to the radius arm, when you've done this follow the subframe around to the front you will see that it comes i 2 halves with 2 14mm bolts, 17mm nut holding the 2 halves together with another bolt acting as a pivot remove the 2 bolts and nuts and the nut off the pivot bolt but leave the pivot bolt in place for now, now look to the back of the subframe and you will see that its the same there as the front exept 1 of the bolts holds the steering rack in place its got 18mm head and nut remove these bolt but again leave the pivot bolt on place for now, where the subframe is bolted at the back to the floor there is a reinforcing plate with 4 bolts in,2 14mm at the back and 2 13mm at the front, these also hold the radius arm bust on too, remove these bolts, there is also a 16mm bolt just in front of there that has to be removed, when you've done that you can remove the 2 13mm bolts that hold the front of the subframe to the car, now undo the gearbox mounting bolt again 14mm bolt with 17mm nut, the subframe should now swing down and pivot on the 2 bolts you;ve left in place, they can now come out and the subframe can be removed. now the clutch hose needs to be disconnected, use a hose clamp on the flexi and undo the joint that can be seen through the wheel arch and you need a 15mm spanner on the flexi and a 12mm on the steel pipe, also from under there you need to disconnect the gear linkage with is behind the gearbox and has 2 10mm nuts holding it on, now disconnect the drive shaft by removing the inner boot clip and pulling the shaft out of the inner cup(the grease is very runny so place some thing under it to catch it) now strap the shaft to the steering arm out of the way, there is a 15mm bell housing bolt above the RH drive shaft that has to come out plus the bottom 14mm starter bolt whilst you are in that area unscrew the speedo sensor, all that is left to do now is the 2 18mm bell housing nuts at the top and 2 15mm bolts at the botton but befor you take out the last bolt place a jack under the box and strap it on, remove the last bolt and gentally leaver the box off the engine and RH drive shaft and lowwer to the ground. refitting is reversal of removing exept the clutch will need to be bleed.

2,977 Posts
Buying and what to look out for on a 9000

1) Buying a Used Saab 9000
William "Chip" Lamb, West of Sweden SAAB, Charles City, VA.

Can you believe that the oldest SAAB 9000 on the roads in the US today is just short of its 15th birthday? Time flies. When it entered the US market for the 1986 model year, the 9000 turbo was the fastest production sedan on the market, at 141mph top speed. Creature comforts were pretty decent for a SAAB, a big step away from, say, the base 8v 900 available that year, and a broad variety of trim levels were available: from cloth seats and no sunroof to the works; and a hatchback sedan or one with a more "conventional" trunk. My advice to you - avoid the CD (trunk) variety; the hatchbacks do not handle appreciably worse and their hauling capacity is just short of a new 9-5 wagon.

Now the car you may be looking at on TSN's own classifieds or elsewhere may be a very new car or one with a good number of years and miles under its belt. A properly maintained 1987 9000 can be a pleasure, and a poorly maintained '92 can be an absolute nightmare. Trust your used-car buying instincts here more than you would, say, with a 900, and don't get all hot in the pants just because it's the only one in your town. Print this out and stick it in your back pocket, we may just save you a lot of trouble.

The 16 valve 2 litre powerplants in the 9000s are more or less the same as in a 900, save for the type of turbo, manifolds, and the occasional Direct Ignition cartridge (1990-). The LH fuel injection (versions 2.2, 2.4, 2.4.1 and 2.4.2.) are the same as the 900 and use the same sensors and meters et.c. Likewise, the Hall Effect (turbo) and EZK (NA) from 1986-89 ignition systems are the same as the 900 and switch from distributor trigger to crank trigger in 1989 like the 900. Timing chain and tensioner failure is just as common, as are the tappet hoses above the camshafts (1986-88) prone to the same sort of failure. Both of these noises are easily discernable, not necessarily fatal or terribly expensive to remedy, but should take consideration in your purchase price. You will notice that the 9000 clutch is not as easily replaced as the 900, and the transmission must be removed for slave cylinder replacement, so if clutch or hydraulics are weak, keep that in mind. The 2.3 litre engines utilize a balance shaft whose chain, sprockets and guides are known for premature wear with the SAAB 7500mi oil change intervals which some of them were suscepted to, here again, be careful.

1986 model year 9000 turbos were the only year without water cooled turbochargers. As such, if the previous owner failed to give the car its 30 seconds before launch and 30 seconds after landing pause before shutting down, turbo failure may be imminent. This is also true, to a lesser extent, with the later cars which featured a water and oil cooled turbo. If you're familiar with pre 1988 900s and this same ailment, continue on. Turbochargers run from $700 for a rebuilt unit to $1000 or so from a dealer; alternatively a "cartridge" or impellers and shaft can be had somewhat less expensively. Use your best judgement here.

9000s with automatics tend to be troublesome, but not usually like the classic 900 series where 2nd gear disappears. Usually auto trans failure on a 9000 relates to valve body, band or governor malfunction causing poor or no kickdowns, slippage, and generally poor performance. A rebuilt unit is expensive and the job is not for the inexperienced DIYer. Make sure the 9000 automatic you are looking at does not slip kicking down from 4th to 3rd and does not slip on its upshifts. Sometimes this can be as simple as a cable adjustment, other times it means trans failure. On the other hand, 9000 manual transmissions are very reliable but have been known for bearing failure in a few cases; certainly nowhere near the failure rate of the infamous SAAB 5-speed in a classic 900! Oh, and avoid automatics with evidence of a tow hitch, these trannies just can't take it!

Older 9000s have a tendency for their brake calipers to bind up, this is not really common but it is something which can be quite startling. This usually occurs in cars whose brake fluid has not been changed in some time and or has been sitting for a while. Symptoms are a wicked vibration in the front end after a few miles and a few hard stops, and a hot road wheel and hub. Calipers are not cheap for these cars, nor are ABS master cylinder/valve body/accumulator units. On the topic of ABS,

note the time it takes for the ABS and Brake Fluid lights to go off. If longer than 20 seconds after initial startup, you may have very old fluid and the potential for disaster on your hands.

Moving to the interior, you will notice a display in the lower left hand corner of your instrument cluster with a pictogram for open doors and failed bulbs. The rear bulb clusters are susceptible to moisture and corrosion (1986-92) and can set off a bulb out light if the printed circuit is corroded or even if the bulbs are not the same brand between left and right on that circuit! This is due to the fact that some bulbs have different ohms resistance between positive and negative and this is how the pictogram system determines a bulb failure. This may be a challenge for some of you. Another very common failure item is the high-beam dipper on the 1986-1987 9000s. The relay itself is just a manual switch within the combination switch. If you are looking at one of these early cars, make certain this works properly, a new one is over $200. Sometimes they can be repaired but you will want the car to pass inspection!

A common and expensive repair in terms of both labour and parts on a 9000 is the heater core. This is located between the firewall and "false bulkhead" in the engine compartment, nicely buried within the heater box/evaporator casing. If you switch on the automatic climate control, turn it to heat, and smell maple syrup, the heater core is either leaking or has just been replaced. Determine which. If you decide to buy a 9000 with a bad heater core, it is advisable to do the blower motor and speed resistor pack at the same time as all three are difficult items to access. Factor in about $700 for parts or $1300 for parts and labour if you don't want to do the job itself.

Coming back to the automatic climate control. Fixing the ACC can be an expensive and time consuming process, especially for the non-DIYer. To get an idea of its condition, press the AUTO and VENT buttons simultaneously (1986-89) and wait for the "88" blinking to begin. The system will cycle through its functions and come up with a number of faults. If "0" is displayed, the system is working properly, hit VENT again and it will resume normal operation. If a number greater than 0 comes up, hit VENT and write down the fault code, then repeat that procedure until you have recorded all the codes. Visit the Townsend site and find the section with the fault codes, then determine where and what they are. On a 1990 and later ACC system, you can still hit the AUTO and <---> buttons simultaneously; "0" will be displayed as the system runs through its course. This number may increase during the function test and if so, you need to find a buddy or a technician with the SAAB ISAT or Tech II tool to pull the actual failure codes.

Something you may want to avoid is a 1992 or 1993 9000 with Traction Control (TCS/ETS). These were the first two years for this feature and the electronic throttle bodies, bleeder valves, and other components are somewhat prone to failure. If at all possible if you desire a particularly nice '92 or '93 have the VIN run through the SAAB warranty database at your local dealership and see what service campaigns (recalls) have been performed; for instance SR369 - Electronic Throttle Body. If you purchase a car with "flawless" TCS or ETS, have it calibrated as soon as possible by your local dealer and continue to have this done on a regular basis to keep it in check.

Struts and shocks are available on the aftermarket as well as from SAAB, they do clunk, and they occasionally require replacement. Loose or dead motor mounts may make similar noises to leaky strut cartridges, so inspect those as well if your car makes noises over bumps.

Like the 900, the 9000s were very well protected against corrosion. Cars which have been wrecked or repainted are a lot more susceptible to rust, so look in all the obvious AND not so obvious places. Be careful, a rusty or wrecked 9000 is a very difficult car to repair properly and usually not worth anything but parts.

2) The 9000 Experience
David Prantl on TSN

A 9000 can be as reliable as any other car out there, including Hondas and Toyotas. The key to making this happen is keeping the car up to date on several unique service issues.

Speaking specifically about the 1991 - 1998 models (with the 2.3-liter turbo engine), the following things should be replaced before the car reaches 8 years of age:

1.[font=&quot] [/font]Timing chain and sprockets

2.[font=&quot] [/font]Balance-shaft chain and sprockets

3.[font=&quot] [/font]Head gasket (convenient when the above items are being done)

4.[font=&quot] [/font]Alternator brushes and voltage regulator (1991-1994 models)

5.[font=&quot] [/font]Cabin air filter

6.[font=&quot] [/font]Heater core

7.[font=&quot] [/font]Heater fan motor

8.[font=&quot] [/font]Center and rear exhaust pipes and mufflers

I have found these things to be time-related, not mileage-related.

The only mileage-related thing (besides brake pads and tires) is the automatic transmission. It's normally due for an overhaul between 100k and 150k miles. The 5-speed gearbox is a life-of-the-car component.

The car should also have annual brake-fluid changes including a clutch hydraulics flush (once every 2 years should still be OK), new coolant every 2 years, and oil/filter changes every 3k-5k miles using full-synthetic 10W30 (5W30 and 5W40 should also be OK).

Steering pump/rack
Not a problem on the later cars ('92-'98), since a fluid filter is incorporated into the fluid reservoir on these cars. This filter should be replaced once every few years.

DI cassettes
The early ones did not last, which means that 99% of all running DI cars out there nowadays will have a newer, updated, more reliable cassette installed. This part is extremely easy to replace on the road, with nothing more than the standard toolkit that comes with the car, so I recommend carrying a known-good spare cassette in the trunk for long trips.

Blower motors
Covered in the list above. Unfortunately, Bosch seems to have cheesed out on this thing.

Clutch hydraulics
Some cars were assembled with a faulty clutch hydraulic pressure hose. It would be prudent to have this replaced since it is a relatively quick easy and cheap operation.

Motor mounts
Not a problem on the 2.3-liter cars, if the upper torque-rod bushings are not allowed to get too worn out. The torque rod controls engine movement, and it's bushings are quick and easy to replace. As the bushings deteriorate, they allow more engine movement. Too much engine movement tears the motor mounts, and then you have a problem.

Electrical problems
I have found the electrical systems on 9000 cars to be reliable. An occasional dirty connector (e.g. Air mass meter, ABS pressure monitor) can cause a big headache to someone who doesn't know where to look, but someone who does can get it fixed in a matter of minutes. The biggest electrical nightmare however is the Traction Control system (TCS). Cars with TCS also come with ETS (electronic throttle system), which is also known as drive-by-wire. I know that many new cars today have drive-by-wire, but ten years ago it wasn't quite ready for prime-time, and SAAB really effed up implementing it. All ETS 9000 cars will almost certainly suffer the failure of the electrically-actuated throttle body before reaching 10 years of age. This failure makes the car almost undriveable, and usually costs upwards of $1000 to repair. I would recommend staying away from cars with TS/TCS. These include all 1992 turbos, and the majority of 1993-1995 turbos/Aeros. SAAB did not offer the ETS/TCS system on '96-'98 9000 turbo cars.

3) TSN 9000 BB : 9000 Owners Breakdown/Stranded Survey Results
Posted by Jim Moncrief on Mon, 1 Jul 2002 12:00:56

Belt and/or Tensioner pulleys 9

Alternator Brush/Voltage Regulator 5

Automatic Transmission 4

DI Cassette 4 ‘91 and up

Clutch Slave Cylinder 4

Fuel Pump 3

Crank Pulley (Harmonic Balancer) 3

Clutch Hydraulic Hose 3

Crank Trigger (reference sensor) 3 ‘90 and up

Electronic Throttle Control (TCS) 2 ‘91 and up

Upper Radiator Hose 2

Cylinder head gasket 1

Motor Mount (inner driver separated) 1

Safety Valve (TCS) 1 ‘91 and up

Starter 1

Manual Transmission 1

Intake Manifold Bushing 1

Turbo Over boost Switch 1

Clutch Master mounting bolts 1 ‘90 and up

Ignition Amplifier 1

Distributor Hall effect transducer 1 up to ‘90

Rubber Shift Linkage 1

Rod Bearing (catastrophic) 1

Thermostat 1

Clutch Master Cylinder 1

Fuel Pump Relay 1

85 Posts
Front Brakes?

The link above appears to not be working - for the front brakes anyways. Does anyone have another link to this info?

3,430 Posts
It just worked for me.
1 - 20 of 26 Posts