Saab navigation problems

I don’t own a car with satnav. I live in a small city on an island and I own a street directory, so I’m ok. I’ve had the satnav discussion here before and now, after much deliberation and contemplation I’m quite set on the idea that factory satnav vs aftermarket satnav is a total no-brainer.
Aftermarket wins every time. It’s waaaaaaay less expensive, is easier to upgrade, and you can take it from car to car as you change your ride. Makes total sense.
If you’ve chosen integrated satnav then you’ve got the bonus of having it look very nice and blended with your interior. But the cost is rather prohibitive and it’s not just the cost of purchasing it, as Joe M let me know via email:
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Swade,
This is more than slightly annoying. I paid an additional $2,795 for my Saab’s navigation system (’07 9-5 Aero SportCombi) pushing the MSRP to almost $45K. This is one of GM’s highest priced passenger cars and by far the most expensive of all the navigation systems that GM offer (it’s the same exact Denso-sourced unit found in the Corvette, Cadillac STS, and the Cadillac XLR). The ’06 – ’08 9-3s and 9-7s share the same Delphi unit with one another and almost all other GM units.
For some reason, ALL run-of-the-mill Chevy, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Corvette et al driver gets two free disks, one on their first anniversary of ownership, the second disk on their second anniversary. Saab is not included in this complimentary upgrade program even though the ’06-’08 units are the EXACT same GM units, utilizing the exact same discs found in their lesser GM siblings’ dashes.
Is their any way to get GM to explain their alienation of some of their most discerning customers? Why do we have to shell out $200 per disc? Here are the FAQs:
https://www.gmnavdisc.com/faq-browse.do?category=SUB
Here’s the part number they want me to shell out $199.00 when my STS, Corvette, GP counterparts receive it free of charge in the mail. Click to enlarge.

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Like I said, this whole things seems to need directions of its own.
I know some people like the integrated thing and I can see why. It’s not as practical but it is a touch more premium.
If my dealer were throwing in a Navman I’d be quite happy to spend my several-thousand-dollars on some other optioins. Everybody wins and I still get to find my way home.

A look inside the Saab V6 engine

Tedjs recently took us on a brief tour of the fuel injection system on the 2.8 V6 that powers the Saab 9-3 Aero. This time, he’s giving us a closer, more in depth look as he slowly takes a bit more of this engine apart.
TedJS is a GM World Class Technician and professorial type at Tri-C – a community college in Ohio.
Many thanks, Ted. These inside looks have been fantastic.
Click to enlarge.
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The Saab version of the (GM) high feature V6 engine uses a fairly common DOHC setup with one camshaft actuating the intake valves and one actuating the exhaust valves. An advantage of a DOHC cam setup is that allows the use of a ‘Pentroof’ style combustion chamber in which the sparkplug is centrally located in the center of the combustion chamber which results in a more complete burn of the air/fuel mixture. The other advantage is that is helps to reduce the valvetrain mass (in comparison to pushrod setup) by having the camshaft essentially actuate each valve by acting right on or near the valve itself.
Saab V6
The spark plug is centrally located in-between the two intake and exhaust valves. You can see the bee-hive style variable rate valve springs as well as roller followers in contact with the camshaft that open and close the valve:
Saab V6

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EnG Saab 9-5 SE Update

As regular readers know, I bought a 1999 Saab 9-5 last month, and I’ve enjoyed driving it.
But I must say, I’ve not enjoyed fixing it.
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UPDATE: I guess that I thought that it would be understood that since I bought an 8-year-old car, I bought into a few repairs (see comments on stereo, motor mount). As I said in one of the summary paragraphs, I expect to get my hands dirty a little. I went over this car pretty well at the time of purchase, I missed a couple of things, but my lament here is about two specific things: one, dumb luck that a few parts that worked well at the time of purchase failed in the first month of use, and two, that some of these failures are due to poor designs and/or manufacturing processes.
That is, this isn’t so much a “woe is me” whining rant as it is a frustration that our favorite brand is bitten by the same bug as many other manufacturers have fallen prey to: cheaper parts and less attention to longevity for better margins and/or competitive pricing. That’s all.
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GM Tech 2: How your Saab talks to your mechanic

Tedjs, our resident tech guy, has kindly provided this insight into the modern mechanic’s Swiss Army Knife – GM’s Tech 2 (or Tech II as you’d write it if search engines didn’t exist.)
I’d like to thank Ted for taking the time and giving us this insight into the little electronic doodads that control our Saab vehicles. Hopefully this will be the first of a few articles on this.
Enjoy the journey….
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If you really want to know what your Saab is thinking about when you’re motoring around town this holiday season, hopefully Santa will have dropped the following pieces of hardware off for you:

    A GM Tech II scan tool
    A CANdi module so the Tech II can talk to the high speed network on your Saab
    And of course the Saab software program for the Tech II

GM kindly supplies our school with all this hardware. All I needed was my Saab to give the Tech II something to do. My 2007 9-3 Aero has the turbocharged V6 and six speed automatic, so that is what will be referenced here.
Tech II
Tech II
A little background before we dig in….

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Saab 900 HID Xenon lamps installation

It’s handy when the head of a car magazine is a Saab nut. Such is the case with TotalCar in Hungary. This installation guide was published recently there, and Ivan has worked hard at a translation and gained permission from TotalCar so that I can reproduce it here.
Trollhattan Saab provides no warranty to you about this process. It’s a translation only. You’re all big boys and big girls, OK?
Thanks very much to Ivan for providing an article that I’m sure will be of interest to some 900 owners out there.
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HID Xenon light installation DIY

Some blue lighting thing is coming. One light points to the sky but the other one illuminates the ground in front of the car, and I’m getting almost blind: it must be an aftermarket DIY HID xenon kit. I hate it, but really, it’s time to have one for myself.
HID Xenons
HID replacement set for H4 bulbs
Of course, I don’t need HID. The factory installed lights are perfect, especially since the mirror coating has been refurbished and the glass replaced. However, I was still interested and the set I found on Ebay- HID AKA High Intensity Discharge – was affordable, priced at 100 EUR. We can also buy them direct in Hungary nowadays, but I ordered it some time ago and just kept it on the shelf until I brought myself to tinker around with it.
HID Xenons
Electromagnet moves the light source back and forth
My Saab C900 uses H4 bulbs, so I have chosen a bi-xenon set for replacing them. “Bi” means that the low beam and the high beam are both xenon. It’s a little bit deceptive because even thought it is descrived as dual light, there is only one light source and a mechanism moves it.

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