The lying down. He is back!

The enclosure of the A3 between Aschaffenburg and Hösbach. Friends from Austria call them mockingly avalanche barrier. In fact, it is a local noise protection project that does not just have friends. In the enclosure, it always comes back to fatal accidents and traffic jams. You are happy when you have them behind you. Like on this day.

The guy lying on the way to Frankfurt. It will not be that bad this time
The guy lying on the way to Frankfurt. It will not be that bad this time

My 9-3 Aero has almost left the structure behind when all the warning lights come on in the dashboard and the charismatic “ding-dong” sounds. Surprised? I expected that ...

60 kilometers before. Saab Service Frankfurt in Fechenheim. Readers on the blog may still remember the Havarie with my Saab 9-3. A multi-day “business trip” for the blog ended on the wrecker. The Saab team in Frankfurt offered to make me mobile again with a used throttle valve. I refused, preferred to wait for a new part. A few days later the delivery from Sweden arrived, the Saab repaired and I was on the way to Frankfurt.

There are moments when you have a strange feeling. You can't say why and why, it's just there. This was how I felt when I was picked up. New part installed, test drive made, patient healthy - at least in theory. I am leaving Frankfurt, driving south on the A45. The Saab runs well, the queasy feeling remains. I move it carefully, listen to the magical “ding-dong”. I suspect it will come. And so it happens. 60 kilometers later on the A3.

In contrast to the first defect, the car continues to run after the tinkling as if nothing had happened. So he doesn't break down, he doesn't call for a tow truck. But he is sick. After the throttle, the TCS gave up the ghost. A Saab innovation from 1992, first introduced in the 9k. An ingenious predecessor of the ESP that regulates traction in poor road conditions. Starting with powerful front-wheel drive vehicles was a problem until its introduction and required a sensitive foot on the accelerator. 9000 aero riders can tell you a thing or two about it.

The first generation was not switched off, only from 1996 could the traction control in 9000 by pressing a button off. Even in the 9-3 Aero, the TCS already has its authorization with the 205 PS variant. Even more, if, as in my case is a more powerful deer version. The TCS functions were added to the ESP system years later. The engineers from Trollhättan were pioneers in networking the 90ern different controllers and very far ahead.

Today it causes trouble in the 9000, which is why versions with TCS have few friends. And in the 9-3 I, too, the modules die electronic death after 20 years. The good news: it can be fixed. The Saab has to go back to Frankfurt, where the Anna project is already. Now 2 Saab are ready for repair, and a modification of the Jaguar joke is making the rounds among friends.

Why do you need 2 jaguars? Because someone is always in the workshop. And why do you need 3 Saab? Because at least two are always in the workshop. A bad assumption! When two vehicles that are around 20 years old have their illnesses, you have to go through them.

Some time later I pick up the 9000 and put the Aero in the yard. Saab Frankfurt always has a well-stocked selection of overhauled TCS modules in stock, unfortunately none of them fit my 9-3. So I have to wait and it will be a good week before the news arrives and a few more days before I make it to Frankfurt for collection. The queasy feeling doesn't come this time, I'm in the mood for the Aero and it seems to be in good shape. With a new throttle valve and TCS, it runs perfectly, puts you in a good mood, and the Frankfurters have done a good job.

At the end of the article, the question arises as to whether there are leading indicators that indicate a TCS default. I suspect yes, because an unexplained symptom has disappeared after the repair. In reverse, the automatic produced for years a slightly jerky ride. The 9 3 of a friend does the same, in Bamberg it was explained with the age of the Aisin-Borgwarner automatic. For me that sounded very plausible, especially since I was not alone with the symptoms. Well, after the TCS repair, the problem is gone. The Saab now also moves in reverse like any modern car.

What are the experiences of the readers? Has anyone observed a similar behavior? I would be interested!

8 thoughts on "The lying down. He is back!"

  • @ Tom & fami,

    Congratulations that they are both up and running again and it's great when a TCS brings advantages that you can appreciate ...

    I would be interested in burning, where for which Saab where are the limits, when and in which situation you might want to switch off the assistant?

    Quasi a kind of driving school for Saab owners, which explains the benefits, effects and limitations of each installed systems and programs.

    The fact that the systems have their limits is out of the question for the sole reason that a combustor can not be regulated arbitrarily without strangulating the engine. This makes it impossible, for example, to leave an icy parking space without spinning tires and / or sliding clutch.

    How do the programs react?

  • I bought a 9000 2.3 turbo S two years ago, deliberately with TCS. Why? Because 20 years ago I already had one, also with TCS. There were two things about the latter that particularly impressed me. First, the ingenious and enjoyable performance and second, the TCS. Driving through a mountainous landscape in winter, slush on the road and going uphill - it doesn't matter, you put your foot on the gas and the TCS does the rest. Just awesome.
    By the way, the TCS of my current 9000 started with a bit of mosquitoes. In the end, it was not a problem, because a very savvy Saab friend has overtaken it. This is possible and now enjoyment is maximum again.

  • I think it's pretty cool that the people of Frankfurt have a range of outdated TCS, as the article says.

    Even if the right one was not there, but that is good service!

    Even with my 1970 “tractor” from Gothenburg and even without ABS, ASR & Co, electronic problems outweigh mechanical ones. But it's my own fault, because it should definitely be the injector ...

    But after all, it (with its larger valves) is the perfect base to convert to three 45 Weber carburetors. On the one hand nonsense to expect this suspension even more power, but so I would get rid of the electronics. That already has its charm.

    It always turns out to be the poison of all classic and classic cars ...

  • I would advise against the ETS / TCS system - although most of the 9000s are certainly no longer with the first components ...

  • I'll put it this way: I have missed it on any 9k and models with TCS are pretty rare anyway. In my opinion, you do not need it, who refrains from excludes a possible source of error. The 9k suspension also brings the performance pretty well on the road.

  • Is then looking for a 9000 a model without TCS preferable, or can not say the flat rate?

  • Yes, that is often the case. It is good then to have several Saab's. It happens that 2 (1x even 3 Saab's were in the workshop at the same time.
    And yes, at the latest then even the biggest Saab fan will start thinking ...... ..
    But:
    First of all, there are almost always things that a predecessor simply did not do on the vehicle and unfortunately it takes some time for an older Saab to be “thoroughly repaired”.
    Or, there are repairs that an “average car” doesn't even need because they usually don't get that old, so wear and tear at a high level ...
    and then the financial: it is not cheap, but if you actually everything together, you have to admit that compared to new vehicles with then perhaps leasing or other costs, still in a very good ratio.
    The better feeling, not to mention sustainability.

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  • Oh how wonderful ... 3 Saab, 2 Jaguar. Because there is at least one or two in the workshop. You have to be able to endure that when you move old treasures.

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