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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a 2001 9-3 vert and all has always been well with the top.
Today I start up the car and go to put down the top and it fails in mid-routine!!!

I've tried it 10 times more and it does the same thing each time

Here's what happens:

I Unlatch the top manually and then push the top down lever,
I recall that the windows used to all drop a few inches before the top would move--this does not happen and the windows stay fully up.

Otherwise all else goes as it should in the beginning:

rear window partion of hood/top raises upwards,
rear tonneau cover lifts up fully,
wings pop out on tonneau cover and rear of the top goes down,

here's where it goes wrong,

the top then lifts upwards but the folding/scossoring mechanism does not work and the top just angles upwards about 20-30 degrees and then it stops!!
then I get a beep from the SID and it says "SOFT TOP FAILURE"

This is what it does each time,
I tried to "manually assist" it here with my hand and I can help it to go a bit further but it still stops and gives the FAILURE message,
if I let the top sit tipped open like that for about 10 seconds then it comes down with gravity and closes

When I go to close it from here it then drops the windows and closes fine!


So I looked in the Haynes Manual and it seems there is some electric and some hydraulic action of the top

given it is opening some and then stops on the heavy part I am thinking that it may be due to the hydraulics fouled up???

Does anyone know the workings of the top mechanism well enough to help??

It seems I will next check the fluid level in the top hydraulic reservoir since that is in the manual

Anyone have any help to offer??

Thanks in Advance!
 

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Checking your fluid first is a good idea. Usually if the fluid is low you can hear the pump making a different noise. If the fluid is low only add the official Saab fluid.

If the fluid is ok then take the top to the point of failure then open the valve on top of the pump and see if you can manually lower the top. There are a couple of joints on the top frame that can get dry and make the top too hard for the pump to pull down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
will check, but remember it has worked fine daily until today with no prior problems . . ??
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
can someone clarify my questioning memory: after unlatching the front of the top manually and then pressing the top down lever, are the windows supposed to move at all as the top lowers?? or do they only go down after the top is lowered and it beeps, and then if you keep pressing or repress the button then it drops the windows?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks


am searching and reading up on the top

seems it could be leaky hydraulics or a microswitch failure or a switch tab bent out of place . . .
 

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av8ndoc said:
can someone clarify my questioning memory: after unlatching the front of the top manually and then pressing the top down lever, are the windows supposed to move at all as the top lowers?? or do they only go down after the top is lowered and it beeps, and then if you keep pressing or repress the button then it drops the windows?
You are thinking of putting the top up. When you have the top down and the windows up; if you press the soft top lever to bring the top back up then the first thing it does is drop the windows a couple inches. After the top closure is complete it will then put the windows back up.

this is so the windows are not broken or misaligned during the top up procedure.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
UPDATE:

the problem is that it won't raise the main top up as it is either too weak or some error is telling it to stop. if I manually help the top up while someone else pushes the button I can get the top to open fully. Once open it will close normally by itself with no sounds or problems.

the main obvious symptom is it makes a clicking sound as it raises the fifth(last) bow/the window section upwards. It does this at normal speed but clicks real fast about 7-10 times as it is rising up. the sound comes from the left pivot area of the top and NOT the right side.

the hydraulic fluid is full to visual inspection and I see no bent tabs, nothing loose, and no obvious leaks

any suggestions??

I'm sure that peculiar clicking sound is the telltale and someone may know what the problem is??
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay PROBLEM FIXED!!

I finally had time to really take time and examine the mechanism

Answer: the 5th bow microswitch had bent, the clicking was it dragging across the 5th bow lever arm as the bow raised up.

It was hard to muster all my fingertip strength, but it took about 10 minutes to gently keep coaxing the switch lever rearward and back into place. It was bent in the middle so I had to straighten it too.

the microswitch engages as the 5th bow lowers fully, the mechanism arm pushes the microswitch lever up and it presses a tiny finger button to engage the switch

I thought about removing the switch to bend it perfectly back, but that requires using a 3mm wrench deep up in a tiny area (trust me I tried) and seems impossible to get the front screw of it out without some major disassembly of the car! so I settled for the above fix instead.

I had seen it written this switch could bend and cause problems, it was that scraping sound that threw me off.

:cheesy:
 

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can someone guide me through the process to getting to the 5th bow microswitch? this problem is IDENTICAL To what my wifes car is doing, Im taking it to the dealer tomorrow, but if we can avoid that it would be better/
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
well the 5th mocroswitch is on the LEFT side of the rear (there's not one on the right side). It's next to the hydraulic rams. Best way to find it is to open the top such that the tonneau cover rises and then the 5th bow rises--then stop it there! Look for a little switch upside-down with a little metal arm. I don't remember any other switches in that area, so if you see one chances are that is it!
 

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so my wife just called from the dealer, after paying $95 to diagnose it looks like a couple(?) switches are bad that they want to replace at a cost of $500!!!!! and they said 10 days to get in.....so Im going to see exactly what switches they say are bad and either call around or try and fix them myself......should not be that hard I hope! Im NOT paying $500 for some microswitches that cost about $30 at automation direct or something like that (I really dont think its the switches themselves, but rather the actuating arms are bent out of position)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I just got a 5th bow microswitch as mine bent again -- it was $40 only. However, a lot of trim has to come off to replace it and its electrical connector that goes down deep.

Dealer prices are a joke--and they wonder why no one wants to take their cars to dealer for service anymore. My dealer wanted $175 just to put on the tech tool and tell me it was the 5th bow switch!

Look for a local Swedish car specialist or dive in there yourself.
 

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my 5th bow microswitch is destroyed, the actuator button is like totally missing and the arm was bent straight down, I bent the arm back in shape and it doestn click now, but of course the switch does not actuate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
well, if the opening description is the same then you may only have a problem with the 5th bow microswitch -- don't know how mine got bent either -- all was well until it happened one day.

mine was fixed for a while and then got re-bent -- now the little contact/button is shot so I got the new one

got it from the dealer -- dont know the exact part name -- but it was on the top diagram on the computer and was $40 and took about 5 days for them to order and get

sounds like you found it -- I have my switch in front of me and can take a pic if needed, but have not had time to put it in yet.

It has a 2 foot long electrical connector so I'm assuming I will need to remove the rear seat and pop off the rear left trim panel and then dig in and find the connection and plug in the new one -- you can see there's a single cap head screw holding the switch in and I tried to undo it originally and had to loosen it with my smallest needle-nose pliers cause there was no room to put a bit into the head! perhaps from the side with the top at a certain rise height you can get a screwdriver to its haed? if not then its a lot of time and swearing to get the old screw out and then back in -- I may even swap the screw out for a small hex head so reinstallation is easier.

perhaps someone with panel removal experience can help -- if you search about rear speaker replacement there are instructions for removing the rear panel ( see here: http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90987&highlight=speaker+replacement )

I am now working on some new rear speakers, cause I figure if I am going in there then I am going to do them too!

It's just nitty-gritty labor and I'd rather do it than pay some monkey to tear into it as fast as he can and do a poor job and potentially mess up other stuff while doing it!
 
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