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Safety Security Convertible Instruments and controls

Owner’s Manual Saab 9-3 M2000
Saab 9-3 Audio System 89
Interior equipment, trunk 111
Starting and driving 133
Car care 167
Maintenance and owner assistance 211
Technical data 219
Index 233

© Saab Automobile AB 1999 Service Readiness, Saab Automobile AB, Trollhättan, Sweden Printed in Sweden



NOTE texts warn of potential damage to the car if the recommendations are not followed.

Since the policy at Saab is one of continual improvement, we retain the right to incorpo- rate modifications and to alter specifications during production without prior notice. If you have any queries concerning your car, its equipment, the warranty conditions or the like, your Saab dealer will be pleased to help.

Introduction This manual provides practical guidance on driving and caring for your Saab. The Saab 9-3 is available with a 2.0l turbo-engine, 185 hp or 205 hp or a 2.3l turbo-engine, 230 hp. Although the manual describes the most important differences between model vari- ants, it does not include precise specifica- tions of the different variants. Some differ- ences also occur to meet special legal requirements in different countries. Importation and distribution of Saab auto- mobiles, spare parts and accessories are handled exclusively by General Motors of Canada Limited in Canada and by Saab Cars USA, Inc. in the U.S.A. We recommend that you read through the manual before taking the car out for the first

time and that you keep it in the car for future reference. To find a specific item, use the overviews given on pages 3-6. A list of contents is given at the beginning of each section of the manual, and there is also a comprehensive index at the back of the book. Supplied with the car is a Warranties and Service Record booklet and a tire warranty folder which specifies the regular mainte- nance to be carried out. The book also con- tains important warranty conditions.:


WARNING texts warn against the danger of injury if the specified instructions are not followed.

Best wishes, Saab Automobile AB

The fitting of accessories that are not approved by Saab Automobile AB can damage other parts of the car. The specifications, design particulars and illus- trations included in the manual are not binding.

Instrument panel

High/low beam ________________ 71
Parking lights __________________ 71
Daytime running lights ___________ 71
Changing bulbs _______________ 181

High/low beam control stalk 71
Direction indicators _______ 72
Cruise Control __________ 148

Rear fog light ___________ 73
Front fog lights___________ 73

Instrument lighting ________ 74

Steering-wheel-mounted controls, Audio System __ 105

Warning and indicator lights _____ 54
Tachometer __________________ 59
Speedometer _________________ 59
Odometer and trip meter ________ 59
Gauge showing turbo pressure ___ 60
Fuel gauge __________________ 61
Temperature gauge ____________ 60

Ashtrays ___________________ 123
Cigarette lighter ______________ 123

Trip computer (Saab Information Display, SID) __ 62
Night panel __________________ 63
Clock ____________________ 64, 70

Washers and wipers ______ 74
Rear-window wiper _______ 75
Replacing wiper blades __ 179

Audio system____________ 90
Cassette player __________ 96
CD player ______________ 99

Hazard warning lights _____ 72

Climate control system: manual _______________ 76
Climate control system: automatic _____________ 80
Car care ______________ 167

Seat heating controls ____ 118


Sunroof _______________ 120
Convertible _____________ 42
Washing the car ________ 201
Waxing and polishing ____ 202
Touching-up of paintwork _ 202
Anticorrosion treatment ___ 203
Service program ________ 215

Taillights ______________ 183
Stop lights _____________ 183
Light switches ___________ 71
Changing bulbs _________ 181

Towing ________________ 160
Towrope attachment eyes _ 160
Towing a trailer _________ 156

Driving with a roof rack load ____ 158
Mounting of roof rack __________ 158
Maximum loads ______________ 220

Hood release handle __________ 168
Engine compartment: washing __ 201

Headlight switches _______ 71
High/low beam control stalk 71
Turn signal & lane change indicators ______________ 72
Headlamp wipers _______ 180
Changing bulbs ________ 181

Central locking __________ 30
Interior locking buttons ____ 31
Trunk lock ______________ 33
Child safety lock catch ____ 33
Car alarm (Anti-theft alarm) 35

Fuel filler door __________ 138
Refuelling _____________ 138
Fuel grade ____________ 224
Fuel gauge _____________ 61
Fuel economy __________ 153

Trunk lid lock ___________ 125
Lowering the rear seat ____ 125
Trunk _________________ 128
Spare wheel ___________ 130
Tools _________________ 130
Lighting _______________ 183

Tires & Rims_____________ 192 / 227
Driving in cold weather ________ 154
Brakes and braking ___________ 149
Compact spare wheel _________ 195
Changing a wheel ____________ 196


Internal rearview mirror ________ 124
Door mirrors ________________ 124
Vanity mirror ________________ 122

Interior lighting switch _________ 121
Interior lighting: changing bulbs __ 185

Power steering _________ 226
Steering-wheel adjustment 118
Airbag _________________ 22

Seat adjustment ________ 112
Safety belts _____________ 12
Seat heating ___________ 118
Rear seat _____________ 125
Folding down the rear seat 125
Child seats _____________ 18
Upholstery: cleaning _____ 200

Safety belts _____________ 12
Safety-belt care ________ 199
Airbag _________________ 22
Child seats _____________ 18
Child safety lock catch ____ 33

Glove compartment _____ 123

Gear changing _________ 141
Manual transmission ____ 141
Automatic transmission __ 141

Center console ______________ 119
Electric windows _____________ 119
Sunroof ____________________ 120
Convertible __________________ 42
Ignition switch _______________ 134
Starting the engine ___________ 135
Engine break-in period ________ 140
Parking ____________________ 151
Driving in hot/cold weather _____ 154

Engine bay: turbo

Warning labels ___________ 7
V.I.N. number __________ 229
Engine number _________ 229
Gearbox number ________ 229
Color coding ___________ 229

Ignition system _________ 225
Drive belt ______________ 179
Alternator _____________ 179
Spark plugs ____________ 225
Catalytic converter ______ 137
Simple fault tracing (A/C, ACC) ____________ 207

Turbo-compressor ________ 60
Pressure gauge __________ 60
Important considerations for driving _____________ 136
Technical data: engine ___ 223

Engine: description ____________ 168
Engine oil, level control and topping up _______________ 172
Engine oil: changing ___________ 172
Oil grade, viscosity ____________ 223

Brake system ________________ 227
Brake fluid __________________ 176
Brake pads __________________ 176
ABS brakes _________________ 149

Fuse panels ___________ 187
Changing a fuse ________ 187
Table of fuses __________ 189
Relays _______________ 191

Coolant, checking and topping up ________ 174
Coolant, changing ______ 175
Temperature gauge ______ 60
Driving in hot weather ____ 156
Driving in cold weather ___ 154

Washer fluid ___________ 180
Topping up with fluid _____ 180
Washer jets ___________ 180
Wiper/washer control stalk _ 74

Manual transmission __________ 173
Automatic transmission ________ 173
Transmission oil ______________ 173
Gearbox: technical data ________ 226

Steering servo _______________ 177
Fluid checking and topping up ______________ 177

Battery _____________________ 177
Battery charge _______________ 177
Jump starting ________________ 162

Warning labels

Radiator fan: The radiator fan can cut in even after engine has been switched off.

Drive belt: Danger! Moving belt

Coolant: Never open while engine is hot. Escaping coolant under pressure can cause serious injuries.

A/C system: Refrigerant at high pressure. Do not undo or remove any connections in the A/C system until the system has been emptied. Working the wrong way may result in injury. Work on the A/C system must be left to qualified personnel only. For working instructions, see the Workshop Handbook. The A/C system complies with SAE J639. Refrigerant: 770 g of R134a. Compressor oil: 150 cc PAG Oil SP-10, or SAAB oil 4759106 SP-10.


Battery: Contains corrosive sulphuric acid (40%) (cid:127) FLAMMABLE GASES formed when car is running and during charging of battery (cid:127) Always wear eye and face protection when working on the battery (cid:127) Smoking, open flames and sparks can all cause battery to explode (cid:127) Consult the manual before using jumper cables. (cid:127) Battery acid can cause SERIOUS BURNS (cid:127) Keep battery upright (cid:127) Avoid contact with eyes, skin and clothing

In the event of an accident, flush affected area promptly with water and seek medical help.


(cid:127) 8



AIR BAG WARNING Flip visor over


Wheel changing: Intended for the Saab 9-5 and 9-3. Use the jack only on firm, level ground. Use blocks. Max. jack load: 2200 lbs. (1000 kg). For further information, see the manual.


Belt beam Warning for pinch risk due to movable parts when beam is in unlocked position.


50 10 111

WARNING DEATH or SERIOUS INJURY can occur. (cid:127) Children 12 and under can be killed by the air bag. (cid:127) The BACK SEAT is the SAFEST place for children. (cid:127) NEVER put a rear-facing child seat in the front. (cid:127) Sit as far back as possible from the air bag. (cid:127) ALWAYS use SEAT BELT and CHILD RESTRAINTS

Long loads Always SECURE LOAD to prevent it from shift- ing during transport. An unsecured load could cause passenger injuries in braking situations or in the event of a collision. Cover sharp edges with a protective wrap. (cid:127) Max. weight 30 lbs. (15 kg). (cid:127) Max. length 6 ft. (2 metres). See your Owner’s Manual before securing loads.


Soft top, Saab 9-3 Convertible Push the handle in before driving away. There would otherwise be a risk of injury.

Keep hands away from moving parts of the convertible top. Failure to do so may cause personal injury. Do not raise or lower top with passengers in the rear seat. Personal injury may result from head contact with top.

Child lock safety catch Locked. The door can not be opened from inside.

Jack – The jack is designed solely for use in changing a wheel or fitting snow chains. – The car must be standing level and the jack must be positioned on a firm, level surface. – Never crawl under the car while it is raised on the jack. USE

1 Apply the parking brake and engage first or reverse gear; if the car has automatic transmission, select P. 2 Fit the jack at the jacking point nearest to the wheel

that is to be changed.

3 Wind up the jack until the car just begins to lift. 4 If there is a wheel cover, remove it by inserting a

screwdriver behind it and prying it off.

5 Loosen the wheel bolts by half a turn, using the tool

in the toolkit.

6 Wind up the jack so that the wheel clears the ground. Unscrew all the wheel bolts and take the wheel off.

7 Fit the spare wheel and tighten the wheel bolts

enough for the bolts and wheel to seat correctly.

8 Lower the car. Tighten the wheel bolts in the

sequence shown by the figure.


Safety Safety belts...................... Child safety...................... Airbag (Supplemental Restraint System "SRS")


12 18



Safety belts


Safety belts must be worn at all times by all car occupants. Child safety, see page 18. Check that the tongue of the belt lock engages properly. The A-pillar area (area beside the wind- shield) and the headlining of your Saab contain padding designed to reduce head injuries (3 or 5-door only). No modifica- tions to these areas should be made unless done so by your authorized Saab dealer.

Three-point inertia-reel safety belts are pro- vided for all seats.

Research has established that it is danger- ous for rear-seat passengers not to wear their safety belts. Otherwise, in the event of an accident, the rear-seat passengers can be thrown for- ward against the front-seat backrests, imposing much higher stresses on the front-seat passengers and belts and result- ing in needless injury to everyone in the car.


For safety reasons, you should adjust safety belts only while the car is station- ary.


Safety-belt reminder When the ignition is switched on, the ”fasten belts” reminder will light up for 6 seconds or until the driver and any passengers are wearing their belts. An audible alarm will also sound for six seconds or until the driver has fastened his belt.

Safety-belt pretensioners The belts of the front seats are fitted with automatic pretensioners, which are acti- vated in the event of a severe frontal colli- sion or very violent rear-end collision. They serve to reduce the forward movement of the body by tensioning the belt. The belt pretensioners do not activate in less severe frontal collisions, nor to side col- lisions, or rollovers.


If the car is involved in a collision, the safety belts, belt pretensioners and other components must be inspected by an authorized Saab dealer and replaced as necessary. Never make any alterations or repairs to the safety belt yourself but visit an author- ized Saab dealer.

Correct position for safety belt (cid:127) The lap part of the belt should be pulled as tightly as comfortable and as low as possible across the hips, so that it is just touching the top of the thighs. The shoul- der belt should be well in on the shoulder but not touching the neck.


Proper positioning of the safety belt is extremely important. An out of position safety belt can result in the wearer sliding underneath the belt in a collision (subma- rining) and injury can result from the lap portion cutting into the abdomen.

(cid:127) Check to ensure that the belt is not twisted

or rubbing against any sharp edges.

(cid:127) There should not be any slack in the belt. Pull the belt tight – particularly important when thick outer clothing is worn.



Sit correctly before putting the belt on

(cid:127) Refrain from tilting the backrest more than

necessary, as the safety belt provides better protection when the seat is in the more upright position.

(cid:127) Only one person per safety belt!


If two people share a belt, they risk injury by being crushed together in the event of an accident.

(cid:127) For most of the time a safety belt is worn, the retractor will allow the wearer freedom of movement. The retractor locks up auto- matically if the belt is jerked or withdrawn sharply, the car tilts, the brakes are applied hard or a collision occurs.



(cid:127) Children who have grown out of a child seat should be restrained by the car’s standard three-point belts. Make sure that the shoulder belt is not in contact with the neck or throat. If it is, a booster seat/cush- ion may be necessary.


Never fasten the safety belt with the shoulder belt behind the body or pull the belt off the shoulder and under the arm.

To fasten the belt

Press the red button to release the belt.

To release the belt, press the red button on the belt buckle, as illustrated. See page 199 for the checking of belt func- tion, cleaning etc.

Front seat belts Fasten the belt by pulling the belt and insert- ing the tongue in the buckle. Check that it is securely fastened. Because the lower belt-anchorage points are on the seat, the belt buckle follows the movement of the seat during seat adjust- ment. Grasp the shoulder belt close to the buckle and pull the belt towards the shoulder to tighten the lap belt part. The belt must be as far in on the shoulder as possible.



Safety belt use during pregnancy Pregnant women must always wear a safety belt to protect both themselves and the unborn child. The lap portion of the belt should be worn as low as possible across the hips – below the abdomen throughout the pregnancy.

The belt guide on the door pillar

Belt guide The belt guide on the door pillar can be set to five different heights. Set the guide as high as possible without causing the belt to chafe against the throat. In the case of a short person the guide can be lowered until the belt comes about an inch (a few centimetres) from the throat but still provides safe restraint. Raise the belt guide by pushing it upwards to the desired position. To lower it, the release button must first be depressed. Check that it has engaged in its new position by pulling up and down.



Safety belts, rear seat (the central head restraint is an accessory)

Securing a load on the rear seat

Safety belts, rear seat Three-point safety belts are provided for all three rear-seat passengers (2 for Convert- ible model). Fasten the belts by pulling the belt across you and inserting the tongue into the buckle. Check that it is securely fastened. Grasp the shoulder belt close to the buckle and pull the belt towards the shoulder to tighten the lap belt part. The belt must be as far in on the shoulder as possible. Press the red button on the belt buckle to release the belt.


(cid:127) Make sure that the belt does not

become trapped when the backrest is folded down or raised (see page 125). (cid:127) If you must carry an item of luggage on a seat, ensure that it is held securely by the safety belt. This will reduce the risk of injury by flying objects in the event of an accident.

(cid:127) Protect the belt from sharp edges.

Belts should not be worn with straps twisted.

Each belt assembly must only be used by one occupant; it is dangerous to put a belt around a child being carried on the occu- pant´s lap.




No modifications or additions should be made by the user which will either prevent the safety belt adjusting device from oper- ating to remove slack, or prevent the safety belt assembly from being adjusted to remove slack.


Safety belts are designed to bear upon the bony structure of the body, and should be worn low across the front of the pelvis or the pelvis, chest and shoulders, as applicable; wearing the lap section of the belt across the abdominal area must be avoided.

Safety belts should be adjusted as firmly as possible, consistent with comfort, to provide the protection for which they have been designed. A loose belt will greatly reduce the protection afforded to the wearer.

Care should be taken to avoid contamina- tion of the webbing with polishes, oils and chemicals, and particularly battery acid. Cleaning may safely be carried out using mild soap and water. The belt should be replaced if webbing becomes frayed, contaminated or damaged.

It is essential to replace the entire assem- bly after it has been worn in a severe impact even if damage to the assembly is not obvious.


Child safety


(cid:127) Children must always be suitably

restrained in the car.

(cid:127) NEVER put a child seat in the front. (cid:127) Children 12 and under can be killed by

the airbag.

(cid:127) The BACK SEAT is the SAFEST place

for children.

(cid:127) Sit as far back as possible from the air


The same attention must be given to child safety in the car as is given to adults. Children travel most safely when properly restrained, but restraints must be suitable for the size of the child. Always follow the child seat/booster cushion manufacturer´s instructions when installing these devices in your vehicle.

Make sure you are acquainted with the legal requirements for seating children in the car. Make sure that it is possible to fit a child restraint in accordance with the manufac- turer’s child seat instructions When fitting child seats in cars you must always read the instructions supplied by the manufacturer. Lockable belt tongue In fitting a child seat that is intended to be secured in position by the lap portion of the safety belt, make use of the locking function of the buckle. Locking the lap portion of the belt lessens the risk that the seat will work loose while the car is in motion. The button for the locking function is located on the back of the buckle. 1 Position the child seat in the back of the


2 To activate the locking function, move the locking button on the tongue of the belt to the position marked ”CHILD SEAT” (item 1 in the figure) in order to activate the locking function. 3 Secure the base of the child seat with

the lap portion of the safety belt in accor- dance with the installation instructions accompanying the child seat.

4 Grasp the shoulder part of the safety belt and pull it upwards to tighten the lap por- tion against the child seat.

Locking the lap belt 1 Locked 2 Unlocked

5 Check for correct locking function by

pulling on the lap portion of the belt. The belt must not unreel.



Child tether anchorage, Coupé and 5- door models. The tether strap is not a part of the child tether anchorage.

Attaching tether strap hook to anchorage, Convertible. The tether strap is not a part of the tether child anchorage.

Child tether anchorages

Child restraints with a tether strap must be anchored according to law.


Child tether anchorages are designed to withstand only those loads imposed by correctly fitted child restraints. Under no circumstances are they to be used for: (cid:127) Adult safety belts. (cid:127) Harnesses. (cid:127) Attaching other items or equipment to

the vehicle.

(cid:127) Load securing device.



Integrated booster seat (accessory)

Integrated booster seats are available as part of the rear seat backrest. This child restraint is designed for use by children who weigh between 33 and 80 lbs. (15 and 36 kg) and are between 38 and 54 inches (970 and 1370 mm) in height. A child sitting in an integrated booster seat must use the car’s regular lap and shoulder belt. Regardless of the child’s weight and age, proper contact between child and belt is vital. Always make certain that the seat is undamaged and is kept clean so that it will function properly. This child restraint system conforms to all applicable motor vehicle safety standards. Folding out 1 Press in the latches and lift and remove the car’s regular head restraint. Turn it 180° and remount it. Make certain that it is locked securely in place.

2 Lift up the booster seat’s headrest. 3 Pull out the upper part of the opener

strap and lower the seat itself. Make cer- tain that it is locked in the lowered posi- tion.

shoulder strap to tension the belt prop- erly.

(cid:127) Make certain the belt moves freely

between the retractor and the buckle.

Fasten the belt (cid:127) See that the child is seated as far back as

possible against the back support.

(cid:127) Adjust the booster seat’s head support so

that its center is at ear height.

(cid:127) To attach the belt, pull it out slowly and

insert the latch plate into the buckle. Make certain the latch plate is properly engaged in the buckle.

(cid:127) The lap portion of the belt must be posi-

tioned low on the pelvis, and the shoulder strap must be as far in on the shoulder as possible without chafing against the child’s neck or causing discomfort.

(cid:127) The belt must contact the body firmly to

provide the best protection. Pull up on the



Folding booster seat a Pull the upper part of the release strap out and fold up the seat itself. Make sure that it is locked firmly in its folded-up position.

b Press the booster seat’s headrest all the

way down.

c Press in the latches on the car’s regular head restraint. Remove it, rotate it 180° and remount it. Make certain it is locked correctly.


(cid:127) Use only the vehicle’s lap and shoul- der belt system when restraining the child in the booster seat.

(cid:127) The seat must not be modified or

changed in any way.

(cid:127) Do not leave a child alone in a car with-

out supervision.

(cid:127) The car’s regular head restraint must always be turned 180° back to its orig- inal position after the integrated booster seat is folded away.

(cid:127) Check that the belt is not twisted or

rubbing against any sharp edges.

Label in integrated booster cushion


Failure to follow all the manufacturer’s instructions on the use of this child restraint system can cause your child to strike the vehicle´s interior during a sudden stop or crash.


Airbag (Supplemental Restraint System "SRS")


To reduce risk of injury: (cid:127) Always wear your safety belt. (cid:127) Always adjust your seat so that you

are as far back as possible but still able to reach the steering wheel and controls comfortably.

(cid:127) Children 12 and under or shorter than

55 inches (140 cm) should always travel in the rear as the vehicle is equipped with an airbag on the pas- senger side.

The supplementary restraint system (SRS) comprises an airbag in the steering wheel, a front passenger airbag and side airbags in the front seats. The system supplements the protection provided by the safety belts to further enhance the safety of occupants. If a fault is detected in the SRS, the AIR BAG warning light on the main instru- ment panel will come on (see pages 56 and 24).

SRS (airbag) system with belt pretensioners 1 Electronic control module and sensor 2 Belt pretensioners (for both front safety belts) 3 Steering wheel with integral airbag 4 Recess for airbag on passenger’s side

Airbag in course of inflation (driver’s side)

When the system is triggered by impact of a frontal collision, the airbags in the steering wheel and passenger side of the dash board are inflated, after which they deflate through vents in the back of the bags. The entire process takes less than 0.1 second – literally, faster than the blink- ing of an eye. These airbags are triggered only by moder- ate to severe frontal or near-frontal colli- sions. They will not be activated by minor front-end impacts, rear-end or side impacts, or by the car rolling over. Side airbags, see page 27.



(cid:127) Never rest your hands or forearms on

the steering-wheel center padding.

(cid:127) If the AIR BAG warning light remains on after the car has been started or comes on while you are driving, have the car checked immediately by an authorized Saab dealer. The warning light could signify that the airbags may not inflate in a crash, or they could even inflate without a crash.

Operation of the airbag in a front-end collision.

Moment of impact.

Sensor detects retardation and sends a signal via the control module to a gas generator that inflates the airbag.

The inflating airbag cushions the driver.

Airbag now fully inflated.

The steering column has collapsed and the airbag starts to deflate.


(cid:127) Even if the car is equipped with an

SRS (airbag), safety belts must still always be worn by all occupants.

(cid:127) Note that because an airbag inflates and deflates extremely rapidly, it will not provide protection against a second impact occurring in the same incident. Always use your safety belt.

(cid:127) Always sit with the whole of your back in contact with the backrest of the seat, and with your seat as far back as is practical. This is to reduce the risk of injury from contact with the backrest of the seat when the airbag inflates and also because the airbag needs space in which to inflate.

(cid:127) Never attach anything to the steering wheel or passenger side of the instru- ment panel, as this could result in injury if the airbag should inflate. The same applies to anything you might have in your mouth, such as a pipe, for instance.

(cid:127) Some components of the airbag will

be hot for a short time. In some circum- stances the airbag can cause burns or abrasions to the body when the airbag inflates/deflates.



Front passenger seat


Never secure a rear-facing child seat in the right front seat of a car equipped with a passenger airbag. Inflation of the airbag in the event of an accident could seriously injure or kill a child.

The airbags are interconnected and have a common warning light, AIR BAG. The pas- senger airbag module is housed in the fascia above the glove compartment and is marked ”SRS AIR BAG”. Both airbags will be inflated in the event of a moderate to severe frontal, or near-frontal collision, even if the passenger seat is unoc- cupied.


AIR BAG warning light

(cid:127) Children 12 and under can be killed by

the airbag.

(cid:127) The back seat is the safest place for


(cid:127) Never allow a child to stand in front of

the seat or to sit on the lap of a front-seat passenger. Serious injury or death could result if the airbag is inflated in a collision.

(cid:127) Never place anything on the dash or in front of the seat as, in addition to being a hazard to passengers, this could interfere with the function of the airbag in the event of an accident. The same applies to the mounting of accessories on the dash.

(cid:127) Keep feet on the floor - never put feet up on the dash, on the seat or out of the window.

(cid:127) Do not carry anything in your lap.


(cid:127) If the airbag readiness light stays on after you start your vehicle, it means the airbag system may not be working properly.

(cid:127) The airbags in your vehicle may not inflate in a crash, or they could even inflate without a crash.

(cid:127) To help avoid injury to yourself or

others, have your vehicle serviced right away if the airbag readiness light stays on after you start your vehicle.

SRS servicing The SRS must be inspected as part of the normal service program but otherwise may be regarded as maintenance-free.

Scrapping or working on airbag and belt pretensioners


(cid:127) Under no circumstances should any

modifications be made that affect the steering wheel or the airbag’s electri- cal circuitry.

(cid:127) Before starting any welding work on the car, always disconnect the nega- tive (–) battery lead and cover the con- ductor.

(cid:127) Airbags and belt pretensioners must be deployed under controlled condi- tions before the car is scrapped or any of the system’s components are removed. Airbags or belt pretension- ers that have been deployed as a result of an accident must be replaced by new ones.

(cid:127) Airbag-system components must

never be transferred for use in another vehicle.

(cid:127) All work involving the scrapping or

replacement of airbags or belt preten- sioners must only be carried out by knowledgeable personnel.

Frequently asked questions on func- tion of the airbag Do you still need to wear a safety belt if air- bags are fitted? Yes, always! The airbag merely supple- ments the car’s normal safety system. Moreover, the airbag will only be actuated in a moderate to severe frontal, or near-frontal collision, which means, of course, that it pro- vides no protection in minor frontal colli- sions, major rear-end or side-on collisions or if the car rolls over. The safety belts help reduce the chance of the car occupants from being thrown around and injured inside the car. But they also ensure that, if a collision occurs in which the airbags are inflated, the airbag will make the optimum contact with the occupant, i.e. square on from the front. If the occupant meets the airbag in an offset position, the protection afforded will be reduced. In addition, airbags provide no protection against a secondary impact occurring in the same incident. So there is no doubt about the benefit of wearing safety belts at all times. Do not sit too close to the airbag: it needs room to inflate. The airbag inflates very quickly and power- fully in order to protect an adult person in a serious frontal collision.



How do I position the seat to leave room for the airbag to inflate? Don’t have your seat too far forward. Recline the seat back to increase the dis- tance between you and the airbag. For short drivers, special accessory pedal extensions are available through your Saab dealer. Airbags inflate extremely rapidly and with great force - to be fast enough to protect an adult in the seat.

When does the airbag inflate? The airbag will only be inflated under certain predetermined conditions in a moderate to severe frontal, or near-frontal collision, depending on such factors as the force and angle of the impact, the speed of the car on impact, and the resistance to deformation of the impacting object. The airbag can only be activated once in the same incident. Do not attempt to drive the car after an airbag has been inflated, even if it is possi- ble.

What won’t trigger the airbag? The airbag will not be activated in all front-end collisions. For instance, if the car has hit something relatively soft and yielding (e.g. a snow drift or a hedge) or a solid object at a low impact speed, the airbag will not necessarily be triggered.



How loud is the inflation? The noise of the inflation is certainly loud, but it is very short-lived and will not damage your hearing. For a short time afterwards you could experience a buzzing noise in your ears. Most people who have experienced it cannot remember the noise of the inflation at all - all they remember is the noise of the crash.

Can you still use a child seat in the front if a passenger airbag is installed? Definitely not! Children 12 and under can be injured or killed by the airbag. The BACK SEAT is the SAFEST place for children. NEVER put a child seat in the front.

Are the smoke and fumes given off when the airbag operates at all harmful? Most people who have remained in a car with little or no ventilation for several min- utes complained only of minor irritation of the throat and eyes. Avoid as far as possible getting dust on your skin as there is a risk of skin irritation. If this trouble persists, you should consult a doctor. If you suffer from asthma, the incident may bring on an attack, in which case you should follow the normal procedure advised by your doctor. It is advisable to consult a doctor afterwards.

What should I do if the AIR-BAG warning light comes on? If the warning light is on, it means that a fault has been detected in the system. The airbag cannot be relied on to operate as intended and it might even be activated erroneously. You should therefore take the car to an authorized Saab dealer as soon as possible.


When an airbag is inflated there is dust in the air. Because the dust/smoke can, in certain cases, cause irritation to the skin, the fol- lowing precautions should be taken: (cid:127) As soon as possible, wash any

exposed skin using a mild soap and water.

(cid:127) If there is irritation of the eyes, flush them liberally with clean water for at least 20 minutes.


Side airbag Side airbags are housed inside the back- rests of the front seats and are designed to protect the driver and front passenger in the event of a side impact. In a side impact, only the airbag on that side will be activated, and only then if certain pre- determined conditions are met such as the force and angle of the impact, the speed of the car on impact, and at which point on the car’s side the impact occurs. The sensors, which are fitted in the front doors, sense the rise in pressure caused by the door panel being pressed in during an impact condition. The side airbag trigger will be commanded based on the characteris- tics of this pressure rise.

Side airbag, components 1 Side airbags (SRS) 2 Sensor 3 Moisture barrier 4 Label on seat


(cid:127) This car is equipped with side airbags and no extra interior trim should be fit- ted. Failure to observe this warning could result in the side airbags not inflating as intended and thus not pro- viding the intended protection either.

(cid:127) Never place any object in the area that would be occupied by the inflated air- bag.



(cid:127) For optimum protection, sit upright in

the seat, with your safety belt correctly fastened.

(cid:127) The sensors for the side airbags are

fitted in the doors.

(cid:127) We advise against doing any work on the doors that could affect the mois- ture barrier in the door or the airbag sensors. It is essential that the mois- ture barrier (thick plastic film) in the door is not damaged in any way.

(cid:127) Improvement of the anticorrosion

treatment of the doors should only be carried out by an authorized Saab dealer. Otherwise there is a risk that the side impact sensor and the mois- ture barrier in the door could be dam- aged.

(cid:127) The side airbags will inflate only in the event of a side impact; not in the event of a front or rear-end collision or of the car’s rolling over.

(cid:127) Damage to the seat cover, or the seat seam, in the area of the side airbag must immediately be repaired by an authorized Saab dealer.

(cid:127) Do not modify the speaker installation in the front doors or install speakers other than those specifically approved by Saab.





Security Doors................................. Central locking ................. Car alarm ..........................

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Door handle

Doors Opening handle Open the door by lifting the opening handle from below. If the door is stuck (e.g. if frozen), hold the handle from above to secure a better grip.

Central locking


Leaving children or pets unattended in a locked car is dangerous. It is also danger- ous to leave children in a vehicle with the ignition key. A child or others could be badly injured or even killed. Key / Remote control The key fits all the locks on the car. The spare key without the black key grip only fits the door locks. The key supplied with the car has a code number on a black plastic tag that needs to be quoted for ordering additional keys. You should therefore make a careful note of the number. The key contains a unique electronic code for your car. When the key is inserted in the ignition, the code is checked. If it matches, the car can be started. Two keys/remote controls are supplied with the car. It is possible to have up to four at one time that are coded for your car. If one is lost, contact your authorized Saab dealer to obtain a replacement. If an additional remote or key is to be added, all of the orig- inal keys and remotes must be brought to the dealer so that the control module can ‘’learn” to recognize the new components. For this reason, we strongly advise you to take two keys with you on long journeys and to keep them separate.

Remote control 1 To lock 2 To unlock 3 To unlock trunk lid

To open trunk lid (Convertible)

The remote control contains delicate elec- tronics and should therefore not be exposed to water or handled roughly.

Locking/unlocking the car When the car is locked and unlocked with the remote control or the key (see page 35), the theft alarm is also affected. To lock by remote control (1)

once on the control: all doors

Press locked. The hazard warning lights will flash once to confirm. The trunk lid cannot be opened now from inside using the switch on the driver’s door.

To unlock by remote control (2)

once on the control: driver´s Press door is unlocked. Press a second time to unlock the rest of the doors. The hazard warning lights will flash twice to confirm.



Central locking 1 To lock 2 To unlock

Locking by key (1) Turn the key clockwise: all doors and trunk lid locked. The trunk lid cannot be opened now from inside using the switch on the driver’s door.

Unlocking by key (2) Turn the key counterclockwise once: the driver´s door unlocked. Turn the key counterclockwise twice: all doors, but not trunk lid, unlocked.

Locking / unlocking by remote control 1 To lock 2 To unlock

Electronic starting interlock (immobilizer) Each time the key is removed from the igni- tion, the electronic starting interlock is acti- vated and the car is thus immobilized, see also page 36.



Switch for operation of central locking

The central locking can also be operated from inside the car by means of the switch on the center console (except on Convertibles). (cid:127) To lock all doors: press the symbol side of

the switch once.

(cid:127) To unlock the driver´s door: press the

switch once.

(cid:127) To unlock all doors: press the switch


This switch is inoperative when the car is locked from the outside.

The interior locking buttons on each door affect only the respective door on sedan. The driver´s door lock button will lock/unlock both on the Convertible. If the car is left with the doors open, the inte- rior lighting will be switched off automati- cally after 20 minutes, to prevent a dead battery.


Having the doors locked when you are driving will reduce the likelihood of: (cid:127) Children, in particular, opening doors

and falling out of the car.

(cid:127) Intruders entering the car when it is

moving slowly or at a standstill.

(cid:127) Injury resulting from a door bursting

open in the event of an accident.

However, you must also be remembered that locked doors can hamper rescuers in the event of an accident.

Changing the battery of the remote control 1 Battery 2 Control module

Changing the remote-control battery When the battery voltage in the remote con- trol falls below a predetermined level the SID will issue the following message: REPLACE KEY BATTERY. Press the CLEAR button on the SID to acknowledge this message. You must then replace the battery without delay to avoid malfunctions. The life of the battery is 4-5 years. After changing the battery you must press the unlocking button of the remote control four times (or until the door locks cycle) while the car is within the range of the remote control in order for the control module to recognize the remote.

Battery type: Panasonic CR 2032, 3V lith- ium. Avoid putting fingerprints on the flat sides of the battery. Dispose of the old battery properly when you buy a new one. These batteries contain substances that are environmentally hazardous.



Child safety lock catch 1 Engaged 2 Disengaged

Trunk switch

Child safety locks The rear doors have child safety locks that are activated by a button next to the door latch on the end of the rear doors. Shift the button up or down according to the label on the door in question. When the child safety lock is in the locked position, the door cannot be opened from the inside, but can be opened from the out- side.

Trunk lock The trunk does not unlock when the other doors are unlocked. The trunk button on the driver’s door is inoperative when the car is locked or moving at a speed greater than 2.7 mph (4 km/h). To unlock The trunk is unlocked using:

(cid:127) The (cid:127) The trunk switch on the inside of the

button on the remote control.

driver’s door (if the car is unlocked and at a standstill).

(cid:127) The key in the trunk lock. The trunk is opened using the opening handle above the number plate. Unlocking the trunk with the remote control is confirmed by the direction indicators blinking three times.



Certain central lock-system func- tions can be reprogrammed by an authorized Saab dealer See page 231.

Unlocking the trunk lid with the key

If the car has an alarm, and it is armed (the car is locked), the alarm will sound if the trunk is unlocked with a key. However, if the trunk is opened using the remote control, the alarm will not be triggered. To lock The trunk is locked in the following ways: (cid:127) When locking all the car’s doors with the

button on the remote control.

(cid:127) With the

switch on the center con-

sole (except on Convertible models).

(cid:127) With the key in the driver’s door.



If a door or the trunk lid or hood has been left open when the car is locked, the LED on the dash will flash (three times per second) for ten seconds to indicate that something is wrong. Check to ensure that all the doors, plus trunk lid and hood, are closed properly. If the fault persists (LED flashing when renewed attempt made to activate the car alarm by remote control), lock the car using the key instead. The car alarm may not have been activated and you should get in touch with an authorized Saab dealer. Be sure everyone using the car is familiar with how both the car alarm and the locking system work. This will avoid the alarm being triggered inadvertently.

Car alarm


Leaving children or pets unattended in a locked car is dangerous. It is also danger- ous to leave children in a vehicle with the ignition key. A child or others could be badly injured or even killed.

The car alarm (anti-theft system) is acti- vated/deactivated when the car is locked/unlocked by the remote control or by the key. All the doors plus trunk lid and hood are monitored by microswitches, and win- dow-glass sensors will trigger the alarm if any glass is broken.

Remote control 1 Activate/lock 2 Deactivate/unlock 3 Deactivate trunk, sensors/unlock trunk lid

Electronic starting interlock (immobilizer), see page 36. The car alarm is armed 10 seconds after the car has been locked by the remote control. During this ten-second delay period, the doors, trunk lid and hood may still be opened without the alarm being triggered. The LED indicator on the dash will be on continuously during this period, at the end of which it will start to flash (once every third second) when the alarm arms.



Activating the car alarm The car alarm (anti-theft system) is activated/deactivated when the car is locked/unlocked by the remote control or by the key. The car alarm cannot be activated if the driver’s door is open or if the ignition switch is in position ON. If, on the other hand, one of the other doors or the trunk or hood is open or opened and not closed again during the 10-seconds delay period, it will be excluded from the alarm function. If it is then closed, a new delay period of ten seconds will start, and the door (or trunk or hood) will once again be secured by the alarm system. As usual, the LED will be on continuously during the new delay period and will start to flash every three seconds after the 10-sec- onds period has elapsed.

Window glass sensor The car-alarm (anti-theft system) incorpo- rates a sensor that monitors the window glass for the sound of breakage. The sensor is fitted inside the rear dome light (on Con- vertibles: in the front interior light). To avoid false alarms, such as the alarm being triggered by children or pets left inside the car, the sensor can be temporarily dis- abled. To disable the sensor To disable the sensor, first turn off the igni- tion and remove the key from the switch. Next, press and hold the NIGHT PANEL button until ”DOOR ALARM ONLY” appears on the SID and a chime sounds. The car alarm must now be activated within three minutes, or the glass sensor will become active again. The glass sensor will be enabled again automatically the next time the car is unlocked. The sensor can also be enabled again by repeating the procedure for dis- abling it. When the sensor has been enabled, ”FULL THEFT ALARM” will appear on the SID. If a fault is detected in the glass sensor, ”SERVICE THEFT ALARM” will appear on the SID. 9-3 Convertible: when the car is parked with the soft top down, the glass sensor will be automatically disabled.

Electronic starting interlock (immobilizer) When the key is inserted in the ignition, a signal is sent to the receiver. If the signal is verified, the engine can be started. Each time the key is removed from the igni- tion, the electronic immobilizer is activated. If a fault is detected (e.g. in the transmitter) ”KEY NOT ACCEPTED” will appear on the SID. In this case, you can still start the car if you turn the ignition key to ON and press one of the buttons on the remote control. Take the car to an authorized Saab dealer to have the system checked. The LED on the top of the dash dou- ble-flashes when the car is immobilized.

Alarm signals When the car alarm is armed, it will be trig- gered if any door, the trunk lid or hood, is opened, or if a window is broken. The alarm will also be triggered if an attempt is made to bypass or short-circuit the igni- tion switch, or to disconnect the battery. If the alarm is triggered, the following alarm signals will be set off: (cid:127) Flashing of hazard warning lights for five


(cid:127) Siren wailing for 30 seconds. The alarm signals will stop if the alarm is deactivated (car unlocked) during the alarm period.


(cid:127) It is possible to inadvertently deacti- vate the car alarm and at the same time unlock the car, if the button on the remote control is pressed by mistake when the control is still within range of the car.

(cid:127) When locking the car by remote con-

trol in extremely cold weather, it is advisable to check that the lock system has operated properly. To do so, check that the interior locking but- tons are all down. If not, unlock and relock the car again.



Panic-function In the car alarm system is a function called "Panic-function". To activate panic function: (cid:127) Push and hold one of the buttons on the

remote control for 2 seconds, or if you are sitting inside the car...

(cid:127) Push the LOCK-switch on the center con-

sole for 2 seconds (not Convertibles).

These actions will trigger the alarm (hazard warning lights and siren). To deactivate panic function: (cid:127) Push one of the buttons on the remote control, push the LOCK-switch in the center console, turn the key in one of the doors or turn the ignition to ON.

When the panic-function is activated the car will be locked/unlocked depending upon which button was pushed. When the ignition is ON the panic-function cannot be activated.



Overview of functions Locking/ activation

Hazard warning lights flash once (0.5 seconds). Horn chirps once. The LED will come on for 10 seconds. Hazard warning lights flash twice. Horn chirps twice. The LED will come on for two seconds. Hazard warning lights flash three times. Horn chirps three times. The LED will flash three times per second for 10 seconds.

Siren wails for 30 seconds. To switch off the alarm, deactivate the system in the normal way (unlocking) by unlocking the door with the key or the remote The sensor detects if any window is broken and triggers the alarm. To disable the sensor, see page 36.

Unlocking/ deactivation

Unlocking/ deactivation of trunk lid alarm

Window-glass sensor

Alarm triggered Hazard warning lights flash for 5 min.

Remote control The range of the remote control is normally

5-10 yds. (5-10 metres), although it can be sub- stantially more than this in ideal conditions. If a remote control is lost, the new one will have to be programmed from one of the remaining remote controls to match the car’s unique secu- rity code. Get in touch with an authorized Saab dealer. Your dealer will need your second remote to program a new one If another remote or key is desired (up to total of 4), all keys and remotes must be present when programming additional ones.

Battery for remote control

Car-battery voltage

The battery for the remote control will normally have a life of 4-5 years. When the battery needs changing, ”REPLACE KEY BATTERY” will appear on the SID. After fitting a new battery, press the unlock but- ton on the remote control at least four times in succession, so that the car alarm can recognize the signals from the transmitter. If the remote control has been exposed to very low temperatures, it may not function properly. If this happens, warm it in your hands for a few minutes. If the remote control is not working, it may be because the code signal has not been synchro- nized with that in the control module for the car alarm. To rectify this, press the unlock button on the remote control at least four times in quick succession. When it is recognized, the door locks will cycle. If the car-battery voltage is lost while the alarm is activated - for instance, if the battery has died - the car alarm will be deactivated. Once battery voltage is present again, the alarm will revert to its status at the time the voltage went down. If the battery is disconnected, e.g. in an attempt to break into the car, the alarm will be triggered

Alarm signals may differ between model variants for different coun- tries. Some of the car-alarm functions can be reprogrammed – con- sult your Saab dealer for further details (see page 231).

LED signal

Overview of, LED signals and SID messages Status Activation (during 10-second delay). Comes on for 10 seconds. Flashes once every third Alarm activated (after delay). second. Comes on for 2 seconds. Off. Flashes three times per sec- ond for 10 seconds. Flashes three times per sec- ond for 10 seconds. Comes on for 10 seconds.

Deactivation. Alarm not activated. Door, trunk lid or hood open or opened during delay period. Unlocking the trunk lid.

Closing of door, trunk lid or hood after delay period. Car immobilized but not locked. Car alarm not activated. Fault in a switch serving doors, hood or trunk lid.

Flashes twice at three sec- onds intervals. Flashing (instead of being on continuously) during delay period.


(cid:127) REMOTE KEY (cid:127) TRANSPONDR

Some signals may differ between model variants for different countries.

SID message SERVICE THEFT ALARM Probably a faulty sensor or siren.



REPLACE KEY BATTERY Fit a new battery in the remote con-



Have the car checked by an autho- rized Saab dealer. Fault in key transmitter or in igni- tion-switch receiver. Turn ignition switch to ON and press one of the buttons on the remote control. Start the engine. Have the car checked by an autho- rized Saab dealer.

trol. Window-glass sensor is disabled. Window-glass sensor is included in circuit. Turn the ignition key to position ON and then press the button for open- ing the trunk lid. SID displays the number of remote controls and transmitters (transponders) coded to the car.



This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) this device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired oper- ation.

Changes or modifications not expressly approved by the manu- facturer could void the user´s authority to operate the equipment.

Canada only:

This device complies with RSS-210 of Industry Canada. Opera- tion is subject to the following two conditions: (1) this device may not cause interference, and (2) this device must accept any inter- ference, including interference that may cause undesired opera- tion of the device.



Convertible General safety instruc- tions ................................ Folding the soft top ......... Raising the soft top ......... Manual raising of the soft top ................................... Fault messages in SID..... Central operation of the windows, 9-3 Convertible Trunk, 9-3 Convertible ..... Cleaning the soft top, 9-3 Convertible ..................... Interior lighting................. Manually opening the fuel filler door ........................

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