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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, so the obvious answer is never. But, I know some of you have TCS cars, what do you do to tame the beast? Many people comment that proper maintenance drastically reduces the chance of TCS issues, so what constitutes proper TCS maintenance? Just curious what to look for as I search for an Aero.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's all well and good, but when you're looking for a car in the midwest, in a certain price range, you have to take what you can get. I've found a '93 Aero that looks nearly brand new in the pictures, been in the same family since new. I'm still waiting on full records, but I know it has had the transmission and clutch replaced. So what happens when you've found a good deal on a really nice car?


You can't tell me that nobody on here owns a TCS car. I've done multiple searches, and I've seen mentioned numerous times that TCS can be very nice when working properly. Then they add that with proper maintenance, TCS isn't normally a problem. But nobody ever mentions what "proper maintenance" is.
 

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I am actually on my second TCS car.....I had a 1993 and I know have a 1995....all i know is this...TCS when it fails it can be tough to diagnose.....but if you know a little bit about the system you usually can fix it...and in my case for cheap....the 1993 tcs when out on me when i first got it.....changed the throttle body from saab (really dumb) but never had a TCS problem with it again...just everything else in the car broke.....my 1995 had a tcs problem when i first bought it....throttle body was fine....changed the safety switch and recalibrated and its fine....i am going to change the check valve as well as i have a new one just to be at piece...but would i do it all again....yes....the tcs throttle body even looks better under the hood....

if there were 2 aeros...both black 115k in working order 1 with tcs and one without......i would take the non tcs one...unless the tcs one was really really clean...my 2 cents....i will say if u do get the tcs car and anything is up, before you start spending away ur money, ask on here as I an many many other can prolly help...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback. I DIY everything, and it seems there is a lot of good information on fixing TCS problems. Also, from what I've read, rebuilding the throttle body is about the most expensive part, at $200. Faced with two identical cars, I'd take the non-TCS one, but I might not get that option.

So what is good TCS maintenance to look for? Replacement of the throttle body, safety switch, check valve, what else?
 

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Sounds like mine. I have '93 CSE with TCS. First year I owned it (2001-2002) I got limp-home mode at least twice a month. It was a real PITA but can be downright dangerous when I was on the US interstates (my wife was attending grad school there at the time). Changed the TCS safety/check valve. Didn't do it. Checked ABS wheel speed sensor -- ok. Indie checked the whole car and couldn't diagnose it properly. Finally while at Scanwest in Seattle, they figured out it was the elec, throttle body (ETB). Slapped in a new one for US$500 :cry: but that did the trick. Haven't had a single TCS related incident in 5 years.

So maybe to answer OWP's question, if previous owner had ETB replaced, TCS safety valve replaced, and/or one of the wheel speed sensors replaced, you're off to a better start.

But as I also recall, with manual cars (most Aeros are), it's only the throttle position sensor inside the ETB that causes LHMs, and that can be replaced. Whereas with automatic cars, the entire ETB would need to be replaced. Can anyone verify this ?

Therealet23 said:
I am actually on my second TCS car.....I had a 1993 and I know have a 1995....all i know is this...TCS when it fails it can be tough to diagnose.....but if you know a little bit about the system you usually can fix it...and in my case for cheap....the 1993 tcs when out on me when i first got it.....changed the throttle body from saab (really dumb) but never had a TCS problem with it again...just everything else in the car broke.....my 1995 had a tcs problem when i first bought it....throttle body was fine....changed the safety switch and recalibrated and its fine....i am going to change the check valve as well as i have a new one just to be at piece...but would i do it all again....yes....the tcs throttle body even looks better under the hood....

if there were 2 aeros...both black 115k in working order 1 with tcs and one without......i would take the non tcs one...unless the tcs one was really really clean...my 2 cents....i will say if u do get the tcs car and anything is up, before you start spending away ur money, ask on here as I an many many other can prolly help...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So, I'll look for the ETB, TCS, TCS safety valve, and wheel speed sensors. It is a manual transmission, I won't compromise and get an auto.;) I'm supposed to get a summary of the records tonight (records since new), so now I know what to look for. If the car is as described, I'm sure some of the TCS issues have been encountered.
 

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Its ok to get a tcs car when the condition of the car far outweighs any drawbacks of having tcs. I purchased my 95 Aero w/tcs back in sept 05 because it was in excellent condition, low miles, great color, etc. Its been relatively problem free with only one minor tcs hiccup in April 06 which was probably my fault.

Also what a lot of people forget is that a lot of 9-3s/Viggens/9-5s have a slightly different variation of it which can be just as much of a problem. Keep that in mind :)
 

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I'm not sure how he did it but the senior citizen I bought my '92 from had the system disabled. The TCS dash light's on but he stated it's been on since he had the system killed. All the fuses and relays seem to be intact so I can't say how it was done. The next time I'm in the dash, I'm gonna kill the light as well.

I sincerely intend on finding out, however! Meanwhile, I like the idea of not having to worry about the "limp-home" PITAs and all the other complaints I've heard about TCS.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think that would be valuable information around these parts. I'm suprised there isn't a procedure out there, most sensor driven systems can be tricked into thinking all is well. For example, if you don't want an O2 sensor, but don't want a CEL, you install an emulator that has the same resistance as the original O2 sensor. ECU thinks the O2 sensor is in place, everybody is happy.

For TCS, I can see where this wouldn't work in place of the TBS/ETB, as it's a signal that varies with throttle position. At the very least, I would think you could install something to simulate the wheel speed sensors, and eliminate 4 points of failure. Unless, of course, the speed sensors are also used by the ABS. That might be handy to keep.:cheesy:
 

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I've had a TCs Aero for 12 years now, and have had one problem in that time, needed to replace the throttle switch. To keep a TCS system trouble free you need to clean all the fuses/elect contacts every 5 or 8 years, and replace all hoses w/ new and ideally clamp them down so they can not come off.

The hard part is finding someone with the skill and tools to service an early Saab TCS system. Having it correctly calibrated every 5 to 8 years makes a huge difference in operation, and is not costly if you have access to a specialist.

I can't imagine driving an Aero w/ hi-performance tires in all weather w/o TCS, it is tough to get the power down in the best of conditions with all the torgue at 1500rpm. And a tunes Saab... My times around Nurnburgring's 13 miles are much quicker, smoother and easier with properly working TCS turned on, and the optional on/off button gives you the best of both worlds.

Saabs are not simple cars to service. TCS is just another system, and if not looked after can cause you a lot of grief.

Look at the electronic on a typical luxury new car in 2007 and imagine the cost of servicing them in 2022, they will be very cheap to buy as a result.
 

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The previous owner is a retired Michigan State professor (kinda reminds me of Irwin Corey) so perhaps he passed the problem on to some engineering students for extra credit...who knows. Although he doesn't seem to know WHAT was done, he swears it's dead and I have absolutely no evidence to the contrary.

From what I gather, most of the guys on this forum tend to do as much of their car work as they possibly can and seek out "specialists" as a last resort. That's my approach, anyway. Now that my Bentley & Haynes manuals have arrived (just today, in fact :D ) I'll see if I can trace what was done and report to headquarters accordingly!
 

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well my car is TCS and I am glad it is
it cannot cope with the horsepower but its enough to tame the beast a little
(and I can switch it off )
has it gone wrong ...oh yes
has it cost a lot of money to fix ? oh yes

the most expensive thing on the tcs system is the hydraulic controller

there are several flavours of this so if it goes wrong you have to be sure to get the right one

Mine went at about 140,000 miles replaced it with a second hand one after two attempts at getting the right one cost me as much as a new one when we were finished with all the faffing around and the labour costs

Year later the s/h failed too same way leaking fluid profusely
so bit the bullet and got a new one fitted ,by now given up on the dealer and a really good indy fitted it (cost less than the previous debacle )
still in and still working fine (touch wood ) at 270,000 miles

other things can go wrong like the electricky throttle, abs sensors and various one way valves and ecu's but mine has not
I have also heard of people that say that they can re-build the control unit
(Jury is still out )
So I would watch for ones around this milage and if the control unit has been replaced ...go for it (IMHO)
 

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95% of the time I wouldn't even miss TCS. But when the other 5% of the time rears its ugly head, like this past weekend when we got a big chill that dumped several inches of snow, I'm reminded of how useful TCS can be in the slick ice, slush and snow. I love intentionally breaking traction with the throttle and almost get some slippage, only then the TCS nanny kicks in and backs off the throttle and hey, look ma, no wheel spin ! :)
 

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I guess I'm kind of "old school" about this. I like old cars and by that I mean cars built before the introduction of totally software-based operation. Between the 8 cars hanging around here right now, only 4 of them are recent enough to even have acronyms related to parts.

I learned how to drive in a '69 Buick Riviera. I love my Benz, my beemer and am really getting into the Saabs for daily drivers but I can still drive a car without ABS/TCS/SRS/ECU/AMM/EGR/etc and make it through the winter jes' fine. :cheesy:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If you can't get around in the wet or snow in a good FWD car, you probably shouldn't be driving.;) I learned to drive in old RWD trucks, so FWD or AWD is a Godsend in nasty weather. However, sometimes it's nice to have that electric nanny to cut in when you have a little too much fun.

You make a good point though, there's something to be said for simplicity. Everything that is put in between the driver and the car is another filter, one more thing to dillute the experience. Sometimes the benefits outweigh the costs, but driving a pure, simple car can be very rewarding. My old (and departed) '70 Porsche 911T was slow, and often a pain in the ****, but it was a lot of fun to drive.
 

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If I had my druthers I'd have a non-TCS, 5-spd 9000 Aero :confused:

As far as handling in the snow, the capabilities of my Nokian Hakkapeliitta Q snow tires far outweigh any added benefits of TCS. I especially looked for 185-75/15s for even better bite into the snow and muck.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Agreed. But if I'm able to pick up an excellent condition, records since new, 1 family owned, '93 5 speed Aero for $2,000, I can deal with the TCS. Hopefully Friday, if all works as planned.

SaabKen said:
If I had my druthers I'd have a non-TCS, 5-spd 9000 Aero :confused:
 

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onewhippedpuppy said:
Agreed. But if I'm able to pick up an excellent condition, records since new, 1 family owned, '93 5 speed Aero for $2,000, I can deal with the TCS. Hopefully Friday, if all works as planned.
well stated....2k seems like a good deal...i sold my 1993 with 139k for 2700....i would have sold for 3k+ but the front seats were ripped and other such things....whats the mileage on the car? And i would suggest only buying it if its in good physical condition as well...not a show car....but u dont want to get it if its beat....cuz thats no fun either...lol....

and in regards to the snow....here in boston earlier this week...we had snow...i wanted to really see if the tcs is just BS....its really not.....when i had it on, it detected the slip and compensated for it....when i had it off....i just had more fun...:cheesy:
 
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