Question about 1999 Saab 9-5

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'99 9-3 SE Conv. Top Issue...

About a year ago I had my top replaced, (thanks to the friendly neighborhood meth-heads slicing it open,) and ever since the replacement my top has had issues going up and down.
It tends to move a few inches, continue making the motor sounds as if it were still moving, and eventually the "SOFT TOP FAILURE" warning shows on the info display. Releasing the soft top control and trying again will make it move a little further, and then give me the same error. Intermittently pushing the button seems to make it progress slightly better, but it still stalls after every few inches of movement.
In addition to this, my soft top lid will not drop back into place when putting the top up, but works fine at all other times.

So: is there some kind of pulley system that's not tight? Could the soft-top lid have some kind of a sensor issue? What can I check to make this thing work again?



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  • Rob Ristin Sep 15, 2008

    Awesome. I have a great local independent Saab repair place, so I'll take it in.





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The 99 9-3 uses a hydraulic top system with a single pump and different solenoids which open and close at points to operate different pistons for the top operation. From your description, it sounds like one of the many microswitches for the system is defective, bent, or broken. This is usually more the problem with these tops than other real mechanical issues. I suggest taking it to an indy saab repair shop or saab dealer. In order to test what switch is failing you need to have the Tech 2 computer to communicate with the soft top ecu when the fault occurs.
Justin Duthie
Strictly Saab
Melbourne, FL

Posted on Sep 15, 2008

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