Saab 9000, heat and automatic climate control

The automatic climate control of the 9000 was one of the most innovative solutions on the market at the time of its release. The Italians, with Lancia Thema, Alfa 164 and Fiat Croma put in the development on partner Borletti. Saab, however, got together with Alps and also brought their own ideas. The magic word of the 80 years: The sun position sensor.

Climate control in the Saab 9000
Climate control in the Saab 9000

A Saab development, which later became a small company in Vänersborg - and the crucial difference to the automatic climate control system at Lancia, Fiat and Alfa. Who had no sun sensor, which is standard today with all providers. With its help, the air conditioning in the 9k is enormously effective. It turns the 9000 in midsummer into a freezer on wheels, or into a high performance sauna in winter. However, everything stands and falls with the air conditioning compressor, which we would have arrived at the core of the story.

Unfortunately, in recent years, Orio has not had a good grasp of the growing interest in old Saabs. While the company otherwise does a great deal for the brand and helps keep our cars on the road, the classics are having a hard time. Classic parts are scrapped or sold somewhere for little money. They are partly worth gold.

Like the air conditioning compressors for the Saab 9000, which are no longer available for many models. What is incomprehensible, if you read the article to the end. In my Anna project, the first compressor fell out in spring 2016. Not repairable, replacement not available. Point. Saab Service Frankfurt improvised, a used air conditioning compressor from a battle 9000 was installed. Unfortunately, the months showed a leak and the resulting creeping loss of refrigerant. The possible solution to refill regularly was not an option for environmental reasons.

As a permanent solution was only a new part in question, but should no longer be available. However, the non-deliverable Original Sanden air conditioning compressors for the 9k appear again and again at an Internet portal. In winter 2017 I miss a chance in Italy, but in the spring I strike in Latvia.

A few days later I have the package here. Sanding virgin, no complaint. The compressor is stored, because even the 9000 cools without complaint. And as life wants, the elderly Swedish lady suddenly stops chilling in the middle of summer heat. Instead of cold air, a stream of hot summer air heats the interior further, well 3 weeks after EDU drama.

But now I am prepared! The Saab does not travel to Frankfurt this time, I'm not in the mood for 60 kilometers in the uncooled greenhouse. The workshop in the vicinity of our hangar does the swap, not without first checking the old compressor and the system for possible further damage. Within a short time everything is done, the cool box on wheels rolls again. Hopefully the topic will be off the table for the next few years.

The old compressor, with its small leak, lives on anyway. A friend has him now. His 9k has not been cooling for some time, he is grateful for any help. Because in Latvia one was sold out again after a few days.

However, the subject itself does not let me go. Because the compressor, which in Nyköping is described as no longer available, was new and not an old stock item. A quick internet search confirms this, it is available from Sanden. Customers from the USA and Canada can even order online from the manufacturer. It is unclear why Orio Sweden does not use its good, old business relationship with Sanden to serve European customers.

And that leaves me with a strange feeling. Ordering a range of compressors, distributing them over the Orio network can not be that difficult. The margins are good, the product itself is unproblematic. The demand exists. Or have you lost the Saab classic by now out of focus?

13 thoughts on "Saab 9000, heat and automatic climate control"

  • Interesting .......

    Just a little tip so, before you go the compressor when loosing refrigerant, buy a set of '0' rings for the plate where the car's pipes bracket plate join the compressor. These fail after a while and allow the refrigerant to escape.

    There are a few available on ebay UK ....

  • PS

    The comment from Daniel is interesting.

    First of all, this is a good tip for anyone in need of a new air conditioning compressor for an 9K, and secondly, it may also explain why and why the compressors are so hard to find and are not in the range of Orio or other parts distributors ...

    If company Weyra has the distribution officially (and exclusively?), No one else in D can order more compressors directly from Sanden and distribute them independently.
    Orio Germany, Skandix or whoever would have to order from Weyra ...

    It may not be that good, but it's good to know that. Thanks to Daniel.

  • That's how I understood it.

    The Latvian compressor contingent apparently went away like hot cakes. It's hard to believe that nobody in Germany wants to sell this commodity. First of all, one thinks of Orio. Then also to Skanimport and Skandix.

    All three should have a very strong self-interest that as many SAABs as many as possible spool many, many kilometers. Also an 9000. After all, there are younger SAABs that are even rarer.

    A non-drivable SAAB (too hot or whatever) wears nothing. That's stupid if you would really like to sell the wear parts for the respective car - preferably in large numbers ...

    A business model that selectively focuses on such raisins will not last long. Not at SAAB. Somebody has to make sure that the boxes are running. Otherwise, we also need no wearing parts and it's over with the raisins and the easy money earned.

    Well, as I said, it can not hurt to read here. First, it's fun, always well written, and secondly, maybe SAAB-savvy buyers and salespeople might find some useful suggestion here?

  • : )
    Unfortunately, unfortunately! 😉
    (Well, luckily the car has so far still got all the parts he needed ... puuh)

    But so, for example, I "fall" almost "in addition" even through the nice Orio (autumn) offers or - actions, etc ..

  • This is hardly surprising with your moderenen classics, which are handpicked in a hand-picked quantity 😉

  • I understand it when Orio is concerned about reproductions. Often the numbers are too small, the target audience is too. For merchandise, such as the compressors, I lack the understanding. Since decisions are made that are incomprehensible. Unfortunately at the expense of dealers and Saab-driving customers. Who may think that there are no more compressors. And in response separates from the 9k, which is not mobile without climate in the summer.

  • "... Or have you lost the Saab classics out of focus? ... "

    Well, not ALL “new” Saabs are always in focus at Orio, right? 😉

  • I hope that Orio reads here ...

    Orio is not helped by having to pull SAAB riders or garages ever widening to get parts. My baker and my cobbler do not send me to the competition either. No, they claim that I get what I need or want. Otherwise I would not be back, but stay with the competition ...

    Patrick's explanation of the economic viability of existing or not even held air compressors so far falls too short. It's about customer loyalty. If you operate and master them successfully, then gold is worth it. Not every single spare part, not every article and not every single service has to pay for itself.

    But on the contrary. It is common practice and strategy to pay some here and there when it is worth the bottom line and serves the overall package when it binds customers or even attracts new ones. This is the very smallest multiplication table for any business ...

    Tom's thoughts are more than justified and today unusually critical of Orio.

    As I said, hopefully Orio reads here with (and learns).

  • Last year, I bought a new 96 € sand spreader for a 9000er 249 over the internet. The company Weyra has the official Sanden sales in D. If necessary just ask ...

  • On my 9000 tu someone had renewed the air conditioning compressor years ago. After that probably had the previous owner (and then I) after each 1.000 km a nonsense messages overflowed error memory (with subsequent emergency operation).
    Ultimately, Autodock (HH-Lohbrügge) found a squeezed during compressor installation harness. The problem that had existed many years (between the TÜV appointments were always covered by the previous owner only just 1.000 km), was then quickly resolved.

  • Sun sensor - class, something you would need even with heating in the house.

  • The main thing is the compressors. If Orio renounces sales, then it is their business. The workshops organize themselves one way or another, or you can get the parts yourself. Now I do more and more often, because at Orio the availability has recently been very red. Says my workshop, which unfortunately has to use alternative sources.

  • In my view, Orio's approach is subordinate to economic efficiency. Parts that are rarely ordered, fall out of the assortment and release again valuable storage space. The fact that many parts that are important for the enthusiast are disposed of or sold off is accepted with approval. Even if 200 customers are looking for an air conditioning compressor, the procurement and storage is not worthwhile. Add to this the fact that many 9000 drivers still "drive their car to the end" and no longer want to spend large amounts on maintenance. Unfortunately, the 9000er has not arrived in the classic area yet. Neither the drivers, nor the parts suppliers ... and we (too few) fans are desperately looking for the parts for our well-groomed Youngtimer.

    It would be great if Orio could at least help with manufacturer contacts. Following the motto: "You need an air conditioning compressor? Ordering directly from Sanden, we have prepared the possibility of delivery for the European market ». I think this could save the storage costs for Orio and who is looking for a specific, still available, the part takes the order through a small detour in purchasing.


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