You may remember the article I wrote about a year ago about the LED-bar for 2010 on 9-5. I guess the problem with a burned out LED-bar is something we 9-5 owners will experience once or more times in the lifespan of the car. The part is “NLS”(No Longer Supplied) by Orio, and as I understand they will not produce a replacement in the future.
Why the LED-bar burns out is the question many of us ask ourselves, but I haven’t got a 100% answer to that. In my opinion is it one ting we easy can do to extend the lifespan for the LED-bar; preventing moisture in the LED-bar. What I had done in addition to new gaskets is to place two small dehumidifier bags (about 10x10cm) in the luggage compartment, behind the covers for the tail-lamps. I just attach them to the bodywork with a strip of tape, and since I start doing this I haven’t noticed any moisture in the LED-bar at all.
But if you stand with there with a burned out LED-bar, what to do? The answer is pretty obvious – if you can’t buy a new one, repair your broken unit!
I would like to make a summary of those I know repair the LED-bar, the list is NOT complete so if you know about other – please let me know! There are also a few dealers that I know that have their own exchange-system, if not I’m sure they will help you to mail in your LED-bar.
Logan Diagnostic – Franklin TN, USA Have a partnership with Orio NA, they also fix 3rd brake light and tail lamps. Mail-in-for-repair. Logan Diagostic specializes in repair of GM automotive lightning products. http://ledfix.com/ledreplacements.html
eSaabparts – USA Sells the “Aaron DIY-kit”. It is just what it sounds like, a DIY-kit for those of you that will fix the LED-bar yourself. eSaabparts ships only to US, but if you go to the website you will find Aarons contact-info if you scroll to the bottom of the page – and I’ll guess he will ship worldwide. https://www.esaabparts.com/95ng-led-fix/
Henrik Blom – Sweden Developing a brand new kit. This kits will be delivered with pre-assembled cards and cables, if you never have soldered before you don’t need to worry about that. Everything is done considering making it as easy as possible, but for those of you that feels unsafe to cut out the old cards there will be possible to send in the LED-bar for repair. Henrik has also promised a extra function for the LED-bar, more info will come later when the kit is ready to be sold.
The first weekend in June (3-4th of June), the second edition of the event “Pilots Wanted” took place in Kiel, Germany. Like the first time back in 2014 it was the guys at Autohaus Lafrentz and Saabblog.net that organized this event. Some of our readers may know about Autohaus Lafrentz and I’m sure some of you think that you had heard that name before – and if you are in to the new generation 9-5, I’m sure you heard it before. The guys at Lafrentz is in my opinion specialists in the new generation 9-5, and the fact that they organizes a 9-5 meeting also tells me that they are enthusiasts. Many will also remember that they played a major part in the process with get the NG9-5 SportCombi street legal. So there is no doubt the team at Lafrentz is “a bit” more interested in Saab than the average Saab-delar, which is evident as you enter the shop… 🙂
As we all know the lightbar on the “new” 9-5 is a part that often fail, and what is more annoying then a dark lightbar? There are many theory about this issue, what cause them? Some say temperature, some say bad components or vibrations – I myself have a theory that the most common cause for failure is moisture in the lightbar. My first guess was cracks in the lightbar, since I saw many cars with “foggy” lightbars, but after some investigations and some discussions with 9-5 owners I circle in the problem to be the gasket. My thought was first that Saab had chosen a gasket that was in one piece, and that the wiring that go into the lightbar was more “closed”. To my surprise the the lightbar itself was very poorly encapsulated, and the gasket was in many different small pieces, seven in total. So when I bought my 9-5 the very first thing I did (after washing it) was to go to ANA in Trollhättan and asked for a gasket kit. From I bought it to now I have noticed “fog” in the lightbar two times, the first time was after a wash on a very warm day, the other time was after a period of heavy rain. So yesterday I had some time over, and decided to change the gasket. It’s not so much to say, if you look at the pictures you will see that there are three critical points at the lightbar. The first is the point where the wiring from the lightbar meets the cars harness in the tailgate – there is a BIG open hole, probably because of the gasket. The was I see it would it been no problem to make his hole smaller, with a small seal for the few wires. The next problem is around the two clips in the ends of the lightbar. Why not mold the plastic in one piece with the clip on top, or maybe use screws like the mounting point in the middle to make this more moisture-proof? There is room enough for a 10mm nut, and tools for fasten the nut…
So how to dissemble the lightbar? It is pretty straight forward, first you use a thin flat screwdriver to careful remove the plastic cover over the tailgate lock, then you loosen two 7mm nuts for the inside handle. A long 7mm socket are preferred here. Then you remove the clips that hold the cover to the tailgate. Use the little flat screwdriver and careful remove the clips in two steps. First the top that “locks” the clip, then the part that goes up in the tailgate. Now you remove the connector to the lightbar, and then ypu remove five 10mm nuts. Now you are at the tricky part, press together the clips in the end of the lightbar. I end up using a angled radio plier (see the red plier on the lightbar-picture), and pressed in center of the clip. I also use a plastic tool (the blue tool) to help freeing the lightbar. The best tip I can give you if this is something you want to do at your own, be patient and take it easy so you don’t break anything.
As you see are the gasket pretty deformed, and all of the – in my eyes, critical ones are not laying correct. One final step to do before assembling the lightbar again is to inspect the area around the lightbar for rust. Sadly, the lightbar has a bad fit and with that result that the lightbar squeak against the paint. At four points the paint was gone, but no rust as I could see. So I took my touch-up paint and put some new paint on, hopefully will this preventing it from rust. I also sanded the plastic at the lightbar down at the points where it had hit the paint. So now I hopefully have stopped the moisture to get inside my lightbar, but I guess this is something I have to do in a couple of years again – just to be at the sure side.
So what will this cost? The gasket kit cost about 300 SEK (~US$ 35) in Sweden. P/N of the kit is 13321835. If you use your local garage for the job I guess they will charge you a hour or so for this job.
I want share a story and some pictures with you. Since I have vented the interest for my old Saab some people had wondered what I’m up to, here is the answer…
Five years ago I bought a M04 9-5 Aero sedan (actually I got it just in time for Saab festival 2010), and thought I was going to have this car for 3 to 5 years, and by then trade it in for a newer, but a used Saab. The original plan that came to me after a year or so was to buy the new 9-3, that from rumours was going to be about M98-M09(M10 SC) 9-5 in size, and my hope was of course that Saab decided to do a 3 door variant. I was at this time not considering the new 9-5, because of its size and a preview during the winter there I didn’t like the interior – or more specific the quality of it. But the time went on, and the 9-5 was growing on me at the same time a new 9-3 getting longer away from production. At this time we have summer 2012, and at this time ANA Trollhättan had a lot of used Saabs, so one day I decided to drop by them. I was not looking for anything special, but a test drive in a 9-5 was “the mission”, since I only had tested the 2.0 TiD 160hp at this time. So after a talk with one of the salespersons, he said he had the right car for me. That was a 2011 220hp 2.0T BioPower XWD, and I took it out for a spin. As some of you guys know I have a thing for red cars, so it wasn’t bad at all that the colour was just laser red! I took it from ANA and headed down to Grästorp and back to Trollhättan before I drive through the ciry centre on the way back to ANA. I was a bit disappointed when I parked the car at ANA, for the first I thought the 220hp engine didn’t had enough power in combination with the XWD, and the standard comfort seats in textile/leather didn’t suit me at all, the seats was far to flat so my legs didn’t have the support I wanted.
So after this I change my plans a bit and start searching for a M08-> 9-3 SC – 2.8T Aero or a TurboX. 2.8T because I know the 2.0T wasn’t a alternative for me, but it was hard to find a car that meet my requirements for equipment and colour. So in spring 2014 I still drove my 9-5 Aero, and was still searching for a suitable 9-3. But during summer 2014 a friend with a 2010 9-5 Aero XWD introduced me to the 260hp software update from Hirsch, and that can I tell you – it is a HUGE difference from the standard 220hp program. Suddenly the 9-5 was the hottest candidate to a new car, and I start the search for a suitable car. But what about the car from ANA? A few weeks later from I had my test drive it was sold to a local man in Trollhättan, and every-time I saw that car later I sent it admiring glances, and from time to time took a picture… So it was decided, I was now official looking for a new 9-5 Aero, 2.0T BioPower in laser-red. Unfortunately isn’t laser-red the most common colour for 9-5, so we wrote December before a car came up for sale. This was a FWD that not have so mush extra equipment over standard, but I decided to give it a chance. Unfortunately was the seller that was a dealer with just used cars not serious at all, he didn’t pick up the phone or answer my emails. So after a short time that car was sold, so I continued my search. So after a few weeks a red Linear came up for sale, but that was not a alternative – so in March this year I found a new red 9-5, this time a Vector. But there is something that says “history repeats itself”, and that was what happen this time. Got respond on my first email, after that it was silent on mail and phone… The car was removed from the classifieds after a short while, but it is still registered to the same owner as it was – and on the used car dealers website it’s still out for sale, they even adjusted the price a few weeks ago… 😉
But at the same time there came a other red 9-5 up for sale – and this time it was “my” car, or more correct the car I test drove. OK, it was not a Aero, but it had the Hirsch software upgrade and was great equipped with a “Active” package and some extras over that as HUD, lane departure warning (LDW), Traffic Sign Reading (TSR), key-less go and Bluetooth. So after some emails with the seller (that was absolutely a serious seller) I decided to go for it. Got a friend of me in Trollhättan-area to inspect the car since I live in Norway, and to make a long story short it ended up with that I make a agreement to buy the car. So last Friday I travel to Trollhättan by plane and train to pick up the car and close the deal, and that was for sure a great feeling! The only thing what is better then a used Saab is a new Saab, and since the things are as it is a the moment we have to manage ourself with the used ones… My new Saab is a two owner Saab, ANA Trollhättan had it first as a company-car for one of their employees, and the second owner was the man I bought it from. So this one is absolute a Sab that can be called a Trollhättan-Saab! So this weekend I drove about 11-1200km in my new Saab, and the only thing that disappoint me is the “comfort”-seats. That was something I know about, and one of the most important upgrades will be to get the sport-seats that Aero have as standard fitted. On the other side was as I already mentioned the Hirsch program something that impress me, the car itself is also handling like a Saab. It feels secure and it handels very well both on minor roads and on the highway. At this moment I’m not allowed to drive it since it not registered in Norway, I have to wait for a time at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, so they can approve the car for Norwegian roads. Then I’m “allowed” to pay duty for it, and when that is OK I can go back to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration to collect my plates.
Further plans for the car is to add some Hirsch details, and the front and seats from Aero. Maybe will there be something more later, but time will show. Finally, some pictures from Trollhättan, and the way back home. As you see we stil have snow in Norway!
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