Anti-glare sunglases and LC-Displays

Our friend Arild has a nice post in his own blog about the effects of using polarized sunglasses in combination with the HUD display of his 9-5.

As I also love my sunshades with polarized glasses, I would have loved if the HUD of the new 9-5 would behave the same way as the SID of my OG 9-5. Why am I comparing those different displays? Well they are both based on the same technology, namely LCD.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I don’t have to explain what the Malus’ law is. Nonetheless and in short, if the axes of two polarizing filters are orthogonal, the polarisers are crossed and in theory no light is transmitted.

Well a LCD screen uses the Malus’ law to let more or less background light pass through and show brighter and darker spots. And if the polarizing axe of our sunshades is orthogonal to the polarizing axe of the LCD, we will only see a black screen.

Coming back to the LCD’s in Saabs and other cars. I had a Citroen C2, in that car the information and radio Display was always pitch black when I had my shades on, I had to put my head almost horizontally to see something on that display. On the Peugeot of my wife it is almost perfect. If my head is vertical I see a darker display, but at least I see something. If I incline the head to one side the display gets darker, and if i incline the head to the other side the display gets brighter. But the best result is still the SID of my OG 9-5. Full brightness with my head in vertical position and dark display putting my head in a horizontal position, but I don’t usually drive in that position 😉

And what about the HUD? It seems like the polarizing axe of the display hasn’t been well chosen. Is somebody to blame? Not really, because the inclination of the windscreen might be the reason, but it is a problem that could have been corrected during the development of the HUD.

At the end of the day, new Saab should take care of such details, and I think they will.

Saab e-AAM electric rear axle explained

The following diagram was originally produced, in Swedish, by Ny Teknik magazine. The translation was provided by a guy named Jan B (thanks a bunch!).

I’ve contacted Ny Teknik about reproducing it here but they haven’t replied as yet. I’m posting it here with full credit to them, and simply for the purpose of enabling non-Swedish speaking Saab enthusiasts (and other interested parties) in better understanding the technology.

If they kick up a fuss, this post might end up being removed, but hopefully not.

Click – and thanks again to Jan for putting it together in English.

Saab e-AAM electric rear drive

2010 and 2011 Saab VIN decoders

Here’s a bonus, for US Saab customers at least.

Following are the 2010 and 2011 Saab VIN decoders, which have been kindly supplied by Saab Cars North America. I’m not sure if these will apply completely to other markets as the models listed do seem to be quite specific, but many of the digit positions will match. It’s a start, at least.

2010 Saab vehicle VIN decoder…….


Saab 2010 VIN decoder

Saab 2011 vehicle VIN decoder…….


Saab 2011 VIN decoder

Enjoy decoding your future VIN’s and finding out all about your car!

Clarification on the Electric Saabs story

A few days ago, a story appeared on the Swedish Radio website that hinted at a possibility that Saab could be producing electric cars for consumers by the end of this year.

SR quoted Saab’s technical director, Mats Fägerhag, saying that Saab had been lagging behind in terms of this technology and wanted to be at the forefront by the end of the year.

Several news agencies read this as meaning production vehicles, however I’ve heard from Saab in the last 24 hours, suggesting (as suspected) that SR were referring to the trial program that’s being run with Innovatum, ElectroEngine, Boston Power, etc, which will see 100 test vehicles leased to various business and municipal agencies by the end of the year.

Thanks to the people at Saab for the update.

Sunday Night Quick Snippets – Electric Saabs Edition

Hey all,

It’s a long weekend here this weekend. And it’s a hot one here in Tassie.

Whilst we’ve been baking under blue skies, Melbourne – just a few hundred kilometers north of us – has had storms like you wouldn’t believe. One of our regulars, Mike900, works not far from a big BMW dealership in the city. He went down to take a look at their forecourt last night and everything there was hail damaged (10cm diameter hailstones, too).



I guess I better get this on site as I’ve got a lot of email about it.

Saab’s head of Tech Development has been talking with Swedish Radio about electric cars. Specifically, about electric Saabs. If the Googletrans is correct, then Saab could be aiming to have electric technology available by the end of the year (?!)

Must be in the forefront of electric cars

Saab has come so far with its plans to manufacture a car that runs on electricity that it will start selling electric cars in one year.

– You will see hele-electric Saabs go out to the customer in December, “said Mats Fägerhag is technical director at Saab in Trollhattan.

Car manufacturers around the world focusing really hard to get the full electric cars. At the Geneva Motor Show, many brands and other companies that showed up their electric cars they were planning to launch within a few years.

But Saab is thus at once to get the electric cars already at the end of the year, although it remains to be done:

– We are lagging behind, I have known for a long time, “says Mats Fägerhag, but we are very fast so within a year we will be in the forefront.

But the foundation has been in the electric vehicle architecture driven by Innovatum in Trollhattan Saab, but that had more fingers in the pie than previously wanted to tell you:

– The elsaaben we were all very much behind But while we were out-owned GM, we had to be careful to tell us what we should invest in because it would be in line with the company’s other strategies. Going to a different degree of electrification we believe is a necessity, but since it is the question of how to do it, “says Mats Fägerhag.

I might have to send some emails out about this. When he says they’ll go out to customers in December, does that mean they’ll be available for sale, or they’ll send a bunch out to selected customers for field trials?

It’d certainly be another rabbit out of a hat if they could go electric so quickly. There has, of course, been the True Electric joint venture, but I didn’t think that was so close to being ready for public consumption. They were planning on producing 100 cars that would be distributed to corporate and municipal lessees in Sweden (with maybe a few in the US).

It’ll be interesting to see how this turns out.


I’ve spent a good part of this evening wading through all the styling variables for the SU Forum. There are a lot of them!

Click that link and scroll down to the bottom. There you should see a drop down box with “Default Style” written there. Click the drop down and there should be an option for “SU Laser Red”.

It’s my first attempt at Forum theming, so be gentle. I know it needs a new header, but that’ll come in time.

The soft launch continues…..

Wednesday Night Snippets

Posting is slow at the moment and will continue that way for the rest of the week, most likely.

This week is one of the few crunch times I have in my day job so it’s been flat out there. And trying to kick off a forum during such a week probably wasn’t a great idea.

By the way, the Reader’s Rides section of the new forum is blazing! Thanks to all who’ve visited the forum and left suggestions, too. I’ll be getting to most of those in near-mid term but right now it’s a mix of work, work, more work, family and blog.

I will set out more instructions, do more formatting, enable avatars (!) and a few other things as time permits.


Jan-Ake Jonsson:

Saab will continue to reduce the CO2 of its small-capacity turbocharged petrol and diesel engines by ‘utilising the electrical technology available, including stop-start systems,’ he says. There will continue to be a strong focus on biofuel engines, particularly for the domestic market.

I really need to see and drive one of these electrified vehicles because I find it so hard to get excited about them ‘on paper’.

Call me simple, but I just want to have fun driving!


Call me simple – again – but I’d also really like to see something indicative of how Saab are going to use the internet now on their internet sites.

I know it’s only been a week, but the Newsroom hasn’t done anything different after-GM than what it did before-GM.

No big address or other attempt to reach out.

Maybe I need to go to bed. I just want them to do something.


Have you checked out the Saab Tech Wiki?

You’re probably familiar with a Wiki, like Wikipedia, etc. This one’s for Saab technical information, but in terms that most of us can understand.

I had a brief flick around the 9-3 section and it’s pretty good, with heaps of small repair info accompanied by clear photos and labels.

It looks like a good project. Well done to Matt and his team.


I’d like to introduce you – again – to a lovely redhead named Giulietta. This is she, looking resplendent under the lights of the Geneva show.

Now if someone would just get that hag in the dress out of the way…..



One of my recent past-times – previously reported here on SU but continuing – is to watch the evolution of Saaby work by young design student, Sven Carlsson.

The latest……

Update: Our Saab 9000 problems solved

We’ve finally solved the mystery ailment that was troubling our Saab 9000. I know a few of you were asking questions as to what the final verdict was, so here’s your answer.
The original problem was diagnosed as a faulty fuel pump, but $500 and new pump later, the car was starting but it took quite a bit of cranking before it would do so. You’d turn the key and the car would be trying to start for 7-10 seconds before actually starting.
Given that this is my wife’s car, I didn’t want her getting stranded anywhere so we took it in to Steve the mechanic tonight for another look.
Steve hooked up a pressure gauge to the fuel system, started the car and the gauge immediately went up to around 2.5 bar, which is OK. Switch the ignition off, however, and the pressure went down to zero, which is not OK.
Apparently there was some gunk (technical term) in the fuel pressure regulator that was stopping a valve from sealing properly. I’m running from memory here, but there was definitely gunk involved.
Anyway, Steve got a clamp onto one of the lines, which cleared the blockage and the gauge showed a steady 2.5bar – on or off.
Problem solved. The car now starts on the first turn and lives to fight another year.

“ZE Saab 9-3” electric car confirmed to roll out soon

The following is a Googletrans press release from Electro Engine:


A Swedish co-operative with the task of rapidly developing high-performance electric cars has been shaped. On 10 December, Energy Agency took the necessary decision to launch the project. Two demo cars have already been presented this year and these have been very well received. The new project intends to produce over 100 electric cars in 2010.

The collaborative partners are Saab Automobile AB, Electro Engineering in Sweden AB, the battery company Boston-Power Inc., Innovatum AB in Trollhättan and the Power Circle, electric power industry association. These five parties have shown that there is a unique and competitive concept rooted in reality. Based on the positive experiences of demo vehicles, which have already been seen since the summer of 2009, they have now decided to go ahead and extend the electric car project.

The project ZE Saab 9-3, which recognized the zero emission of CO2 (Zero Emission), Swedish engineering gives a boost and encourage the dissemination of knowledge in the world in one of the hottest technology shifts that are currently unfolding. From the start of the project includes a unique combination of vehicle manufacturers (Saab), driveline supplier (Electro engine) and battery manufacturers (Boston-Power), Project Coordination (Innovatum) and the demonstration and power skills (Power Circle). At the same time, the proposal to provide for a Swedish kompetensnod for electric car development.

The team reflects the mix of skills needed to quickly get the vehicles in a demo fleet and thereby ensure a Swedish-based and competitive electric car solution. The cooperating parties behind the Swedish electric car has received support from the Energy Agency of 86 million kronor. The total project cost is approximately 200 million.


And there’s some comment on this in NyTeknik today as well:

When the cars roll out from the assembly the next two years, they leased to municipalities, businesses and organizations. Half will roll in Gothenburg and Trollhättan, half in Uppsala and Stockholm.

– In addition, perhaps some ports in Boston, said Thomas Bergfjord CEO of Electro Engineering, which develops power electronics in cars……

……Saab in Trollhättan builds cars, but without engine, gearbox, exhaust and fuel tank. How much of the rest of the production, which could end up in Sweden is unclear.

The guys at Power Circle (a consortium of power providers in Sweden) are having their say about it too, calling for incentives from the government:

But if Sweden is to become a leading electric car electric car buyers nation must have some hefty carrots to nibble on to boost sales, according to Christer Asplund. An electric car is significantly more expensive than a conventional car.

He points to Norway and France, where state and municipal electric cars are taken seriously and implemented a series of incentives for electric car electric car owners and buyers – price discounts, tax rebates, and free parking, among other things.

Should the project be successful, they are predicting sales of up to 60,000 electric vehicle in Sweden by 2020. 10% of those are estimated to be Swedish, but let’s hope for more than that.

Thanks to various contributors (you know who you are)

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