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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 98 Saab 9000 Turbo CSE. Ill go through each issue step by step. I have read up on the bigger issues but Im not perfectly clear as to what is happening anyways.

AC: This is a big issue all of the sudden. Last summer I was not driving, and the summer before that my brother drove this car. He had spotty air, sometimes working and other times not. Now, with it being in the 90s for the past 5 days in Cleveland, Im dying with no AC. Im trying to find the root of the issue but I dont know where to start. When I turn on my heat, it works perfectly, warming the car up in seconds (did all winter). However, my AC blows out warm (not heated by the car) air, seemingly room temperature.

What are the possible issues that would cause the car to not blow out cool air even on low? What is the easiest/cheapest/most likely thing that is causing it, and what should I check for?
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Radiator: Dont know if this is a big issue or not, but my radiator shroud became unfastened a month or so ago. Once I noticed it was dragging, I used some wire and duct tape to hold it up again, and it seems to be holding well. However, related or unrelated to this incident, my radiator light comes on when I start my car, and turns off after about 10 seconds. Also, if I round a sharp turn, often my light comes on until I come out of the turn. Is this something to be concerned about? Is my radiator running on its last limb, is it coming loose, or is it nothing?
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Vibration: Not a big issue at all, but there seems to be an issue with vibrating in the trunk door itself. I have subwoofers, and when you are outside of the car it seems as if the license plate will not stop rattling. You can hear it from inside too when the subs are on high. However, I took my plate and its holder off completely, exposing the paint, and it still makes the same noise. If I push in on the spot where the license plate used to be with reasonable force, the sound ceases. If I open the trunk door, the sound does not occur. I know it is inside the door, somewhere between the license plate's location outside and inside the door. It is not the hinge, because I shoved a ton of foam in the hinge to remove any room for vibration and it still happened. Any idea what part of the trunk door is causing this? I cant really get in there very well.
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Locks: This is by far my biggest issue with my car. My back two doors do not seem to lock any longer. If I use the automatic locks, my front two doors lock completely, but the other two don't go all the way down. If you stand outside of the car and pull the handle 2-3 times, the lock slides up and you can get inside. If you manually lock the back doors, they will not come up automatically any longer, and sometimes cause the automatic locks to not work at all (I can't hear the noise that it triggers, but if I use the key in my driver's side door it unlocks that door atleast). My locks seem to be jammed or the automatic locks are not working. Any idea as far as a solution to this problem goes?

Thanks for all of the help on everything, I really do appreciate it. I was planning on taking it in to get it checked out for these issues but I dont feel like paying a massive repair bill unless I have to, and Id like to have the satisfaction of fixing it myself. Thanks again, let me know if you have any advice.
 

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AC could be a couple of things. In no particular order 1. Check the fuse 2. Check the relay 3. Check the coolant charge

Door Locks: probably the actuators are going bad or the linkage needs lubrication. Pop off the door panel and inspect them. Check the Tech Help section I am pretty sure there is a link there.

Coolant. Check your coolant level, sounds like it is low

Vibration. Turn down the radio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, is there anywhere online that has a decent extensive manual for the 9000? It seems that the one Saab gives you isnt the greatest for anything other than setting your clock, from what I've seen in it.
 

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Not that I know of. There are some subscription sites but they are aimed at mechanics. The Hayes manual helps a little, but it is really vague.
 

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Stunna7516 - Homeboy :p! . I'm in C-town (live on Eastside, using garage space on Westside). Where are you?

Midway's suggestions sound pretty good. I would start there.

Where in Cleveland were you going to take it to for service? Ed Wolf Shaker Saab? Swedish Solution? Where?

There is no comprehensive saab 9000 manual. The Saab service manuals are a series of "mini-books" covering each specific area (Engine, Fuel System, Brakes, etc) and they cost $10-$20 a peice. I've been slowly collecting them.You can order them from Eeuroparts.com if you want. The Haynes 9000 manual is a good quick reference for most smaller jobs in my opinion. I have a Haynes 9000 manual (british version for some reason) and you're more than welcome to borrow it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Update: I checked all of the A/C fuses and none of them are blown or missing. I then bought a can of R-134 (NAPA sells a quick job one with hose attachment and valve) and put in 12 oz of the gas. The directions state to leave the car running and put the A/C on coldest on full blast. Now my car is loud anyways, theres a constant clicking noise. In fact, Id really like to fix it cause its awfully loud, but who knows what it is. Anyways, I put the can onto the low pressure valve on the compressor. Immediately when I started to inject this stuff, a VERY loud noise started to happen. I naturally stopped and turned off my car. When I realized that wasnt a problem noise, I started again. This time, the noise continued without the hose even being connected. So I drained the can. I checked to see if I had any cold air. None. Im assuming this loud clicking-ish noise presumably coming from the evaporator, radiator, or compressor, has something to do with it, like a belt is stuck or something. I dont really understand how to check the relay. A friend of mine told me that when you turn off the AC, one part spins on the pulley next to the compressor. When the AC is on, another one SHOULD begin to spin. Where is this, and what am I looking for in there?
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I actually have a Saab 9000 book (its the red one), I forget what it's called but it is British as well. Didn't really help with any of these.

And Swedish Solution is a :nono; for me. My mom took our old 9000 into SS, and had some repairs done. I guess they left some stuff unplugged underneath the dash from the last time, and my mom took it back in to have it looked at and they tried to tell her she needed to replace that stuff and it was fried. So my mom took it to another place to have it checked out and sure enough they just found that everything was disconnected. Never going back there again, although my stepdad loved SS before that.

Now, for cosmetic damage we go to a place called KEI Carbody in our home town, Chagrin Falls. They do a VERY honest job. In fact, when they repaired my 9000 after someone backed into it, we had **gasp** leftover money from the insurance claim estimate. How often does that happen? They have dealt with 3 other issues too for the lowest price around, involving my stepdad's V70, my mom's S80, my Saab, and our old 9000.

For mechanical fixes, we know a guy who works at a small shop in our town also. It is called Euromotors and they specialize in selling used European cars. They only have about 30 cars at a time, but they are always Mercedes, Saabs, Volvos, and Audis from the 70s, 80s, and early 90s. Anyways, he does a good job and really knows his stuff.

How is Shaker Saab? What about Bedford Saab as well, you know anything?
 

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The British book you refer to is the Haynes manual by the sound of it.

This might help you with the location of the compressor clutch http://www.saab9000.com/procedures/ventilation/airconclutch.html

Basically, the pulley will always spin but only when the clutch is energised, will the electromagnetic clutch engage and cause the compressor shaft to be turned.

The AC system takes something like 900g (I might be a little off there but it's in that order), you've added 360g but the problem with the DIY can like that is you don't know how much you had to start with. Add too much and you can stress the compressor and the A/C won't work very well, too little and there won't be enough pressure to activate the low pressure switch.

The low pressure switch is in series with the power to the compressor so that in the event of there being no refrigerant, the compressor won't operate and wear itself out. The regrigerant also has the lubricating oil in the mix hence why you don't want it running dry.

So I'd say you either still don't have enough in to activate the low pressure switch or there's some other issue (obviously!).

Here's where you have the problem with this at a DIY level, you have to start from a known A/C charge really to stand much chance of diagnosing the rest of the system from an electrical point of view. I wouldn't suspect the clicking noise is in any way the A/C system as if the compressor isn't turning, it's not the compressor and the radiator and evapourator are just essentially empty radiators with nothing in except refrigerant, i.e. no moving parts.

More likely the clicking is either timing chain/balance chain (which sounds like a bicycle chain with the pedals being turned in reverse, freewheeling or much more likely, a valve hydraulic lifter which is sticky. Normally they might clack for a few minutes when cold but then quieten down when oil pressure has filled it up again.

As far as the A/C, my advice is to get it re-gassed professionally to a known quantity and start from there. It's sort of like trying to confirm that engine and all systems *will* work, once you add petrol! Don't just go and add another couple of cans because you still didn't know what you started from and it still might be something else.

If you just want to do a quick test of the relay, remove it and just use a wire to jump across pins 30 and 87 in the socket but that's still going to be pointless if the low pressure switch isn't being operated by refrigerant pressure

Can you follow and electrical circuit diagram?

David.

David.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the help, I dont exactly understand everything cause Im new to troubleshooting and fixing cars, but I have a general knowedge and can learn pretty quickly. The belt on the compressor doesnt usually turn anything it just slides over?? Thats wierd, but Ill check it. Hopefully that's working.
 

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No, it's not sliding over the AC pulley, it would be up in smoke pretty quick if it was.

Look closely, you'll see that it's turning the pulley but not engaging the compressor shaft.

AC Clutch video

Here, I just popped out to do a little video of what the clutch operation should look like. You'll see that at the start, the belt is moving the pulley in a freewheeling fashion, then later it's obvious when the clutch engages. It can *only* do this if there's power to the clutch, which there can only be if the following are true:-

a) enough refrigerant to operate the low pressure switch (this is a switch that just sits in the pipework)

b) The AC switch in the car is set to ON

c) The fuse is ok

d) The relay works

As I keep saying, the unknown in your case is whether there's the right amount of refrigerant in the system. You can test the clutch just by providing power direct from the battery but it's unlikely to have failed before say a loss of refrigerant - hence my suggestion to get it re-gassed first.

There isn't actually much to an AC system, a couple of radiator like bits (condensor and evapourator), receiver/dryer, bit of pipework, high and low pressure switches and a compressor and the all important refrigerant. You've got to start with a known something though.

David.
 

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Stunna7516 - Oh you're in Chagrin Falls. Yeah Swedish Solution is lousy, I was just asking because there's only so many Saab service shops in the Cleveland area. Shaker Saab is pretty good (Bob is the master mechanic I deal with most) but its a dealership and they charge dealership prices for parts and labor ($80 USD per hour - ouch!). There is another shop called Larchmere Imports at Shaker Square.

As for your A/C issues, I would just breakdown and take it somewhere to have it serviced. There are many other DIY issues to address. I've replaced my Tranny, Headgasket, radiator, Waterpump, over the past 15 months and have no interest in messing with the A/C system at all. If you do decide to continue working on your A/C, keep us informed on your progress.

;) Also, lets Keep in touch. I would like more of us Cleveland area Saab DIY'ers to stick together and help one another since we're in physical proximity. Maybe we can prevent Swedish Solution from ripping off another Saaber, who knows?
 

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There seems to be a lot of good basic info about the 9K AC online. I used some 9K documents to help figure out what was happening with my NG900, because it is similar. The FAQ section on saabsite.com was helpful. So were the TSB documents posted in the reference section of genuinesaab.com, especially understanding the radiator fan low-speed setting and resistor fix, which turned out to be part of what happened to my car, even though it is a 900 and not a 9K. The AC relay just had to be pushed firmly back into its socket once...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Aha! Thanks a ton for the video. That is NOT happening in my car, and Iit was the thing I was looking at and thinking it couldnt be what has to spin. People on this forum are so much more helpful than most, I dont know many topics where someone would take a video of something like that and put it online for another perrson.

Yes I think Im gonna take it in and have it taken care of. I hate taking anything to a dealership also, so expensive. Jamal, sounds good to me, maybe you can give me some advice on my other simple projects I need to take care of as well. Anyone have an FAQ on checking all the parts of locks and possibly lubricating them? I think its nothing big but they probably just need a cleaning and oiling.
 

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Thanks for appreciating it, yes this and the other Saab forum are both good.

Don't get me wrong though, you can still work this one out but you've got to start from a known position and in your case, you need to know that there's stuff in the system.

Don't take it to a dealer though, just find a local A/C company that will evacuate and re-gas and go from there. You could well find that it all works straight away after that, or you might have another electrical fault but at least you'll know the bit you can't practically do has been attended to. I got mine re-gassed for £45 which is pretty cheap over here. I'm sure you can probably find something in the $40 to $80 range?

David.
 

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You should be able to find a company/guy dealing with just car air conditioning. I use a chap that comes to the house and has all his stuff in the back of his vehicle. He does AC, nothing else.

Just be clear as to what you want doing so that they don't expect to make it all work unless that's what you want to do. I'd just start with re-gas, it might well fire into life then anyway.

David.
 
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