Saab 9000, heat and automatic climate control

The 9000's automatic climate control was one of the most innovative solutions on the market at the time it was released. The Italians, with Lancia Thema, Alfa 164 and Fiat Croma, relied on partner Borletti for the development. Saab, on the other hand, teamed up with Alps and also brought in their own ideas. The magic word of the 80s: the sun position sensor.

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

A Saab development that later became its own, small company in Vänersborg - and the decisive difference to the automatic air conditioning in Lancia, Fiat and Alfa. Which did not have a sun position sensor, which is standard with all providers today. With his help, the air conditioning in the 9k is tremendously effective. It transforms the 9000 into a freezer on wheels in midsummer, or into a high-performance sauna in winter. However, everything stands and falls with the air conditioning compressor, which would have brought us to the core of the story.

Unfortunately, Orio has not shown a keen sense of the growing interest in old Saabs in recent years. While the company otherwise does a lot for the brand and helps to keep our cars on the road, it is obviously difficult with the classics. Classic parts are scrapped or sold somewhere for little money. Some of them are 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, it showed a leak over the months and the resulting gradual loss of refrigerant. The possible solution of topping up regularly was not an option for environmental reasons alone.

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 is not going to Frankfurt this time, I don't feel like 60 kilometers in the uncooled greenhouse. The workshop in the vicinity of our hangar does the replacement, not without first checking the old compressor and the system for possible further damage. Everything is done within a short time, 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 also, before you blame 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.

    Firstly, this is a good tip for everyone who needs a new air conditioning compressor for a 9K, and secondly, it may also explain why the compressors are so difficult to find and cannot be found in the range of Orio or other spare 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 then 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. It'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 still got all the parts it needed so far ... phew)

    But so I “fall”, for example, quasi “additionally” through the nice Orio (autumn) offers or promotions, 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 focus on the Saab classics? … ”

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

  • I hope Orio will read along here ...

    Orio is not helped when we SAAB drivers or the workshops (have to) draw ever larger circles to get parts. My baker and my shoemaker don't send me to the competition either. No, they claim that I get what I need or want. Otherwise I wouldn't come back either, I'd 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 extra here and there if the bottom line is that it is worthwhile and serves the overall package, if it binds customers or even attracts new ones. This is the very basics of 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).

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  • Last year I bought a new original sand compressor for a 96 9000 over the Internet for 249 €. The company Weyra has the official Sanden distribution in D. In an emergency, 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 position sensor - great, something like that would also be needed for 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.

  • From my point of view, Orio's approach is subordinate to economic efficiency. Parts that are rarely ordered drop out of the range and free up valuable storage space. The fact that many parts that are important for the enthusiasts are disposed of or sold off is accepted with approval. Even if 200 customers are looking for an air conditioning compressor, it is not worth purchasing and storing. In addition, there is the fact that many 9000 drivers still “drive to the end” of their car and no longer want to invest larger amounts in maintenance. Unfortunately, the 9000 has not yet arrived in the classic area. Neither from the drivers nor from the parts suppliers ... and we (too few) fans are desperately looking for the parts for our well-kept youngtimers.

    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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