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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I am a new Saab owner and a new member here. I have been lurking for a few days. I recently purchased a 1999 Saab 9-5 with 99,000 miles on it. I love the car, but it has lots of little things that need to be fixed. I still don't have an owner's manual, so forgive me if I ask questions that I ought to know the answers to. I will try to reserve most of my questions until I after I receive the owner's manual I bought on Ebay.

My first question is whether or not there is any point in replacing the information display screen in my car (the "SID", I believe). Mine is about 40-50% burned out, making it nearly impossible to read. I know replacement at the dealer is about $300. Is it worth it? If I have it replaced, will the new unit also burn out quickly, or has Saab improved the unit since 1999? Is there any harm that can come from not being able to read the display?

Right now I get two messages almost every time I start the car. One says "replace key battery", the other, whcih only occurrs occasionally, says something about testing the brakes. I read somewhere on here about the brake test, whcih I think I did correctly the other day, but today, I received the message again. Is this normal? is there a problem with my brakes? How often should this message occur, and what is the point of the brake test? Any help is appreciated.
 

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SID = Saab Information Display

The SID replacement is totally up to you really. There are neat things that it can tell you, which is a cool feature. But also, you've noticed on the dash it will say "Info Display" and that can tell you things such as burnt out bulbs and such. I plan on replacing mine, but I have had a 0% visibility one for a few months and it hasnt really mattered.
 
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Hi metrognome welcome to Saab Central


The Sid is easily replaced and yes the new ones are much more reliable. You can get them considerably cheaper than $300. You see them on eBay sometimes and I am sure one of the Stateside boys will link you to somewhere that sells over there.

Key battery warning is simple to fix, you can do this yourself. Just prize open the key fob and buy yourself a new battery :)

As for the brake test this happens every time you start the car. You may not have noticed this if you already had your foot on the brakes. All it is doing is checking that your brake light bulbs havnt blown :D

So all in all, no worries fella. Enjoy your Saab ;)
 

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If programmed (as yours is) you will get the "test brakes" message every time you turn the ignition on. You need to replace your alarm fob battery asap before it stops working, a battery is about $4-5. Re: your SID problem, it hasn't burnt out you just have loads of pixels mixing. Have a look at this excellent tuition from saab9-5.com on how to fix it. http://www.saab9-5.com/howto/sidrepair.htm I cut a thin strip of polystyrene foam about 2mm thick to place over the ribbon contacts inside the casing and now mine is pixel perfect. :cheesy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi guys. Thanks for all the answers. I think this forum will prove to be very helpful to me in the near future, as you guys really seem to know your Saab info!

I am anxious to try fixing the SID, although, I have doubts as to how well it will work for me. I may need more specific details on how and where to apply pressure to the ribbon connector to make the pixels come back.

I am very glad the brake thing is not an issue. :)
Looking forward to talking more with you guys soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi guys. I want you to know I managed to take out my SID and perform the rehabilitation as described in the two links provided. I could not have done it without those two descriptions, but it was actually quite easy, much to my surprise. My SID is better, but still not even close to 100%. I'm going to take it out again and give it another try. I wish there was some kind of map somewhere that told which traces went to which pixels on the SID. I'm afraid that I might undo some of the pixels I fixed last night. Some sections are almost perfect (like the second line of large text), while others (like the clock) are still useless. Also, does anyone have any other suggestions/techniques besides using a ball-point pen (biro). This seemed awfully tedious and is probably why I didn't get all of the pixels to light up. Would it be usefull to rub an object across all of the traces at once, or do I have to go up and down on each one individually?
 
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When I first did the fix on mine a similar thing happened. I got back about 80% if the display, however over the course of about 3 weeks it just got better and better. Now I only have one line out. I should try and do a re-fix but I am used to it now.. :D
 

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I found the biro nib method a real PITA as well, i ran the clip part of the cap from the biro down the contacts, this seemed to work just fine. :cool:
 

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i did the fix, and its about 85% good. but i am missing 2 screws along with thier fasteners! the actual plastic in the sid. anyone have any tips?
 

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You're unlikely to get them as spares, unless you can get them from a broken unit. Most SID's end up being repaired/rennovated. Were the parts missing already or did you lose them during the repair? :roll:
 

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I finally did this fix this weekend & my SID is about 90%. Going to let it ride for a week or so to see if I get closer to 100%. Those links made it a real easy task!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
OK, after about two weeks with no more improvement, I decided to take the SID unit out again and see if I could get closer to 100%. My fears came true. After two tries, it actually got worse each time. Now my SID is almost useless! I should have left it alone. :cry:

What did I do wrong? Am I pretty much doomed to having to buy a new one at the dealer?
 

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Getting back to your list of things to do. If your car is the V6 you might want to think about getting the timing belt replaced. I just go mine done. It is covered by Saab as a one time job. You might as well have them pay for it. Also if you have to replace the water pump that would be a good time to do it. Since the water pump is right there.
 

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Hello all!
Metrognome thank you for posting this question.
I have same problem with my '99 SAAB 95.

I will try to fix mine, by following those tips.

Only one question. How to move display from the dash board?
Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Darrell:

The second time I rubbed various blunt parts of a ball point pen (not the point) across the ribbon connector. I suspect this may have somethign to do with it. The third time, I ran the tip/point of the pen along each trace, as described in the link. This was mighty tedious work, but I thought it would help. It didn't. In retrospect, I should have left it alone. It was mostly functional. Let this be a lesson to the rest of you!

My car is not a V6, but I certainly do have other things to fix. My brake vacuum pump is giving me fits!

Serbsaab, if your car is like mine, there will be two black boxes to the left of the SID (if you are in Europe, I guess they would be on the right). These can be (gently) popped out by hand and/or with a flat-head screwdriver relatively easily. Once you do that, press on the side of the SID with your fingers through the holes you created by removing the black boxes. Press to the side and out, and the SID will come free pretty easily. If you have some kind of switches in those spaces, this might be a bit harder, but I suspect the switches could be removed fairly easily in the same manner.
 
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