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Discussion Starter #1
All,

New here to the forum, so first let me say Hello. Also thanks for all of the great info I have recieved from you all before I posted myself.

Now to my problem. I took the '03 93 in for detailing yesterday. In process of washing the carpets they decided to flood the inside of the vehicle with soap and suck the fluid out with a shop vac :eek:! When the car was returned to me, the audio system was dead and the onstar service is gone. Everything else seems to work fine, but flashing on the SID is the message "No Onstar". I don't care too much about onstar, but it seems to be intertwined with lots of the electronics in the car. All I really want is the Audio back.

I already checked the fuses and tried the onstar reset trick by unplugging the module in the trunk. If you all have any tips I would certainly appreciate it. If the problem persists I will have to take it to the dealer and have the detail shop pay for the repair, but I would rather not have to deal with the hastle.

Thanks in advance!
 

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mnsfollett said:
In process of washing the carpets they decided to flood the inside of the vehicle with soap and suck the fluid out with a shop vac :eek:! When the car was returned to me, the audio system was dead and the onstar service is gone.
The actual OnStar module is bolted under the parcel shelf in the trunk (under rear window). Probably not affected.

Your main concern is audio AMP1 under the drivers seat. The amp sits low and all the connections are under the carpet. The amp may be salvageable but the harness connections and amp will need to be dried. It's not easy to get to. If water got into the amp it may be ruined. You would need to dry it out pretty quickly before corrosive bridges form between components on the circuit board.

Those detailers are idiots! I hope they have deep pockets.

There have been several incidents of AMP1 failing and being replaced under warranty. So Saab may be willing to foot the cost of this one if you don't tell them the whole story.

Still, the detail shop owes you something for your trouble.

Oh, incidentally, soapy water is a far better conductor of electricity than plain water. That makes this no ordinary screwing-- more like a Royal Screwing:evil:
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the reply. I just got up close and personal with the amp you are talking about underneath the seat. It's hard to see but inside there is a blinking red light. The strobe of this light coencides with the blinking message on the SID about no onstar. Just how extensive might this problem be? Amp only, or something more severe?

The car is no longer in warranty. It has 66k miles on it. I actually bought the car used from the same detail shop. They sell used cars and do detailing work. Can the amp be replaced by something aftermarket or will it have to be the GM/Saab part?
 

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I don't know. The lowest parts probably got wet. But maybe shampoo foam somehow got over the amp as well. Lots of possibilities.

The unit itself is linked electrically to the system power bus and the speakers. If it shorted internally, it probably went into auto-protect mode. It is connected to the fiber optic network, so if the amp goes into auto-protect it probably can't do OnStar. I believe OnStar uses the center dash speaker. AMP1 powers the two door speakers and the center speaker, so it makes sense that OnStar would not be available without that amp.

Either the amp or connections to the amp are probably still wet. That causes short circuits. These are temporary, provided you get it thoroughly dried. If the soapy water stays around, the metal connections on the circuit board start to corrode and form bridges. These bridges can also cause short circuits. Sometimes they can be scraped off (if you can find them!).

You really need to get to the amp and start drying it. Unfortunately, that is not easy to do. You need to remove the seat. This is not a pleasant task as the bolts holding the seat are coated with threadlocker Saab imports directly from Hell. There are instructions at Saba's site for removing the seat if you have the time and energy.

I would start with a hairdryer. Work the seat controls to get the seat as far off the floor as possible.

The bottom line is the amp may already be trashed. A lot of electronic equipment cannot survive a good soaking. If there are a few drops in the amp you may be able to dry it. If there is standing water anywhere the hairdryer is not going to cut it.
 

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mnsfollett said:
Can the amp be replaced by something aftermarket or will it have to be the GM/Saab part?
The amp is 100% unique to Saab. The audio system is very unconventional due to its utilization of fiber optics and integration with things like OnStar. There is nothing aftermarket that can replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Got the amp out.

Ctrlz,

You da man for giving me all of this input. I managed to acutally remove the amp. I barely got it out without removing the seat. I checked the harness and connections, those seemed pretty dry. I got a hair dryer and went to work on the amp it's self. I am sure I got that all dry as well. Plugged her back in, no luck. If I were a betting man, I would say that the fools who were detailing the car got soapy water directly into the unit it's self and fried the whole amp. The amp has holes in it for breathing it looks like. Judging from the amount of water around (also water inside the black box which controls the Airbags) the amp, I am sure they flooded it. :x

Whats the over/under on a new amp from the dealer? $500? Or is that too low?
 

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I don't know the price of the amp, but it's higher than it should be! I think you are in the right range.

If you have the amp out, consider taking it apart and cleaning the PCB. The amp probably doesn't have too many parts. I have had some success with removing corrosive deposits with a simple toothbrush. You will be looking for white or reddish orange web-like growths on the metal wire parts. Particularly look at the bases of resistors, capacitors, and transistors as deposits and water droplets can hide there. A lot of what you see will be surface-mount components (look like little black ants). These are less susceptible to bridging. If you can get the board out and look at the underside, that is best. Sometimes I have scraped off deposits with a small jeweler's screwdriver.

My kids have immersed several things over the years. The telephone in the toilet was popular at my house for a short time:roll: My save rate is only about 25% unfortunately.

For the cost of a new amp, it is worth trying.
 

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I got a PM relating a similar problem. If AMP1 goes out, OnStar goes with it. Apparently the cost of a new amp is a sky-high $1500!!!:suprised; :suprised; :suprised; :cry: :cry:

The other interesting bit is that the serial numbers of the amps are registered with the car. So you can't just replace the amp with a new one. The system has to be programmed to recognize it.

Not good news, I know. Sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Dealers Quote

Just talked to the only Saab dealer in my state. Quote for a new amp $1000! Perhaps the prices have come down a bit. The parts guy suggested that since the car is out of warranty I contact a local car audio shop. The dealer apparently sends lots of their exotics to these guys for upgrades. He said they might to be able to find a work around for this car.

I called the detail shop about my conversation with the dealer. Told them the cost of a new amp 1k, they about shat their droors! :suprised;

Another comment to all who read. Apparently this problem is common for folks who accidentally leave thier windows down in a rain storm. Perhaps a little preemptive action is in order. All who have this amp under the driver seat create a cover for it so it dosen't get wet. Save you $$$$.
 
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