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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2003 9-3SS that doesn't get radio reception anymore. The CD still works, amp seems to work fine - just nothing but static on radio, either band - FM or AM. Seek never lands on a station, and manually tuning I strong station I know of doesn't work either. There is no difference in level of the static with rear defrost on or off, so can I assume the filter on the opposite C-pillar is OK?

I have researched the problem here and understand there is an antenna amplifier mounted in the C-pillar. I pulled the c-pillar liner off and inspected - there are no loose wires, everything appears normal.

Is there a way to test the antenna/defrost grid? The amplifier seems to run about $190; I want to rule everything else out first.

Is there a fuse for the antenna amp that could be blown? My neighbor mentioned sometimes these types of amps have inline fuses, but I don't see anything like that in the parts diagram.

 

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You can measure and repair broken strips following method:

Thing you need: Multimeter (DC volt), alu foil strip.

Wrap alu foil to test lead, leaving 1/2" (10mm) unwrapped.
Start engine and put rear defroster on.
Plug not wrapped test lead to end connector (do not unplug it).
Put wrapped connector to center on each strip.
When strip is OK, you will measure 4...8 volts.
If you strip is broken between leads, you will have 12 volts (ie battery voltage).
If you strip is broken between wrapped lead and "free end" , you will have 0 volts.
Moving wrapped lead you will have "jumping" voltage point (0 to 12 or vice versa).
That jumping point is broken point.
Mark it (I used permanent pen).
Turn engine and rear defroster off.
Clean broken point with sharp knife (you must remove all dirt and paint).
Mask strip each sides with masking tape.
Paint cleaned part of strip (and gap) with conduictive paint.
Remove tapes.
Let dry atleast 24 hrs WITHOUT rear defroster.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I had the opportunity to test the rear window heater and it is working properly.

So the problem remains radio reception. I would like to try disconnecting the antenna amplifier and replacing temporarily with an FM loop antenna to see if that improves reception.

I have the amplifier dismounted from the C-pillar, but how do I disconnect the black coax cable from the amplifier's yellow output jack? Example pics shown below (this is not my unit - its just so you can see what I'm talking about)



It appears to me that the two spring clips on the yellow jack must be depressed while pulling the coax cable off, but the black plastic plug end is thick hard plastic and does not appear to depress easily. I can rotate the cable end so that the metal cutouts in the cable end line up with where I think the metal spring clips are on the yellow piece, but fingers, pliers, snap-ring pliers - all the tools I've tried to use are just tearing everything up and it just won't come off.

I dont' want to destroy this piece wrestling with it - is there some special tool I am supposed to be using?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Yes, I can push the black cable end towards the amplifier; it travels 3-4mm along the yellow jack, which appears to be fixed in position, and it feels spring-loaded, which I assume are the metal tabs depressing.

But, the cable must come off AWAY from the amplifier. So by what mechanism do the tabs STAY depressed after I push the cable end toward the amplifier, to allow me to pull the cable off, away from the amplifier? I have tried pushing the cable end in and then rotating it varying numbers of degrees, 30, 45, 90 - and then pulling it off, but it remains locked in place, and I am applying so much force I fear I am close to breaking something. I have tried rocking the cable and back and forth while pulling, I have tried inserting a flat-balde screw driver between the cable end and the yellow piece and twisting it while pulling. I have tried inserting a very small-tipped screwdriver underneath the black cable end, between the plastic and the metal of the coax, to see if depressing the metal tabs in the cable end will depress. All I've succeeded in doing is chewing the plastic up.

Thanks very much for your help, Mimmi.
 

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Try rotate cable.
I had same problem with my brother's 9-5 sedan.
Amplifier was broken and changing fix problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well I finally got it off but believe I broke it in the process. The black cap on the coax cable separated from the cable itself - the black cap stayed on the yellow jack mounted to the amplifier. I suspect the black cap was supposed to stay on the cable on, but all the pushing, pulling, twisting, wrenching, etc just broke the plastic and the cable end came out.

I still cannot see how it was intended to come off. I could push the cable toward the amplifier and rotate it varying degrees all day long, but there is no way I can envision pushing the cable end toward the amplifier (even with rotation) would successfully separate the cable from the amplifier. At some point, you have to PULL the cable AWAY from the amplifier, or it simply stays connected?

The FM loop antenna I hooked up to the antenna coax made no difference whatsoever in radio reception - it was worse if anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Update:

I ordered a used Antenna Amplifier off eBay and installed it - it has not changed the problem.

A few days ago, I was receiving poor but intelligible radio reception for an FM station on 96.1 MHz. However, I was receiving this signal on every single frequency from 87.5 to 108 MHz.

I removed the under-driver seat amplifier and blew dust out of it - I don't think this would have anything to do with the problem, but now I no longer receive any station on FM band. AM is just very low volume static.

The CD player works and sounds fine. My neighbor suggested its possible the radio was disabled by someone changing or disconnecting the battery.
Is that possible? And could this affect the radio only and not the CD player?
 

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Check all the window defroster lines carefully to make sure none are broken.

Are any windows tinted?

Might be the EHU is busted.

AMP has nothing to do with radio reception. It is all digital.
 

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Sorry in advance for not adding any solutions, but I've had a very similar problem with my 2003 9-3 arc. Just bought it 2 weeks ago and have been struggling with the radio since and this is the first thread I've found with a similar problem...

I'll start it up at one time and the radio is perfect. Crystal clear, I can tune it, etc. But 5 minutes later when I'm 2 miles down the road, or I restart it after running into the gas station, or whatever the circumstance may be, it'll go to straight static or a less clear sound. Other times I'll go to start it and nothing will come in. Not even static. And then sometimes I'll have great reception of one station, and every other station I tune to, plays only the original one. For example, the SID says I'm tuned into 98.1 FM and when I change the station to 103.4 FM, it still plays the broadcast from 98.1.

There's really no rhyme or reason to the madness. I've searched everywhere for a similar problem but couldn't find it. Everyone else seems to have an issue with their blinker signals as well. But mine come through clear as day no matter what my radio is doing at the time. Please help. Thank you in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I've checked all the defroster lines with an ohmmeter and can find nothing broken. I've diagrammed out the defroster/antenna grid:



So next step is to replace EHU? Are these "married" to the VIN in any way, or swappable? Any theft-deterrent codes or anything I need to be concerned about?

Think a used one from eBay is safe to try? The are about 5 times cheaper than a new one...

Thanks help!
 

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Ohmmeter DO NOT find any broken lines. All lines are parallel.
ONLY way to measure is measure volts as I already told.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Mimmi, thank you for this reply. Of course you are right an ohmmeter won't reveal breaks in conductors because they are all parallel. I should've known better than that, I made the diagram and everything.

Following your instructions, I checked every grid line in the defrost grid, having my bare test lead connected to point C in the diagram from the post above. I checked each line at the middle and each end.

Basically for each line, I got 0.1-0.2 V at the left side, 6.3-6.8V in the middle, and 12.9-13.3V at the far right edge.

I think this is indicative of a correctly functioning defrost grid with no breaks in the lines...

I also used and ohmmeter to check for breaks between the 3 lines starting at point B, there was no resistance between Point B and the right end of each of the 3 lines.

So may I assume the grid functions OK as an antenna?

Again, thanks help!
 

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Mimmi, thank you for this reply. Of course you are right an ohmmeter won't reveal breaks in conductors because they are all parallel. I should've known better than that, I made the diagram and everything.

Following your instructions, I checked every grid line in the defrost grid, having my bare test lead connected to point C in the diagram from the post above. I checked each line at the middle and each end.

Basically for each line, I got 0.1-0.2 V at the left side, 6.3-6.8V in the middle, and 12.9-13.3V at the far right edge.

I think this is indicative of a correctly functioning defrost grid with no breaks in the lines...

I also used and ohmmeter to check for breaks between the 3 lines starting at point B, there was no resistance between Point B and the right end of each of the 3 lines.

So may I assume the grid functions OK as an antenna?

Again, thanks help!
did you resolve it? i'm having similar problems with week stations coming in all static. only when the car is running. i'm trying to figure out whats going on. the car is new to me and my first saab. and the npr stations here in RI are low powered stations.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My problem is not solved. I did purchase and install a used Antenna Amplifier from a person on eBay but it made no difference. So the problem may be elsewhere (EHU?) or I was sold a defective amplifier.

New parts are just so expensive though.
 

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Have you checked antenna connector to radio?
Have you tried another antenna to resolve EHU failure? Even wire might be enough to recieve some radio station.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I just wanted to update this post. My problem is solved and I now have great radio reception. The problem was a defective radio receiver unit which is inside the dash board and mounts on top of the CD player.

I purchased a used radio with same part number from eBay and installed it, Voila! I receive radio many stations now.

Thanks for all your help. I don't listen to radio much so this was not a pressing problem and have ignored it for many months, but lately decided to try to fix it. I took the old radio out and connected it to a boosted FM antenna (Terk) and this did not help reception at all, so I figured the only thing left to replace was the radio.
 

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I just wanted to update this post. My problem is solved and I now have great radio reception. The problem was a defective radio receiver unit which is inside the dash board and mounts on top of the CD player.

I purchased a used radio with same part number from eBay and installed it, Voila! I receive radio many stations now.

Thanks for all your help. I don't listen to radio much so this was not a pressing problem and have ignored it for many months, but lately decided to try to fix it. I took the old radio out and connected it to a boosted FM antenna (Terk) and this did not help reception at all, so I figured the only thing left to replace was the radio.
Glad to hear you solved it! A few weeks ago my radio stopped working and wouldn't be surprised if it's also the main radio unit.
 
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