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SID Unit Pixels Issues & Repair

[Saab 95]

SID Unit Pixel problems are common on all Saabs that have the SID units. The problem is a circuit board issue within sid unit which causes the pixels to fail and only be halfway readable. There are numerous ways to attempt to repair the units but in most cases it will not work.
Sid Removal: To Remove the SID unit simply remove the radio and push the SID unit out from behind. Install in reverse order. New replacement units must be programmed by Saab or a technician with a Tech 2 before the new unit will function
correctly.
Sid Repair:

Sid Unit Repair click here!

Thanks to Luca from Italy for contributing to this FAQ!

I did so on my SID 2 of which hardly half of the pixels had become visible: before inserting the foam I applied medium pressure on the white flexible PCB with a ball pen, between a contact and the other, and on each of them, very carefully, exactly where they touch the circuits (about 2 mm
x 130 mm). I used a cropped part of the foam from an old mouse pad back, which I took off the hard plastic upper part from. It worked perfectly and now 100% of the pixels are visible.

Something to watch for after the repair!

Thanks to Robert Hickey for contributing to this FAQ!

I had the pixels on my SID2 (for my 2001 Saab 9-3) repaired. The company did a good job. But when I went to refit the SID2 it did not "light up" and would not save the clock setting (when you started the car again the clock went back to 00:00). If you stared at the SID you could see all the display information, but not lit up. Easy fix in the end, but not documented as far as I could see. Fuse 34 (10 amp) inside the fusebox had blown. The manual does not say that fuse 34 has anything to do with the SID or SID2.

Thanks to John Williams for contributing to this FAQ!

I purchased a do it yourself fix on ebay for around $8.95, followed the instructions using an eraser to reconnect the contacts on the white tape
then left approx 1/8 inch piece of double sided foam tape over the contacts and closed it up. Everyone of the pixels are visible now. Incredible

Saab Information Display (SID) A step by step guide to fixing the missing pixel problem on SID units to restore pixels.

Includes a step by step guide to fixing the missing pixel problem on Saab Information Display (SID) units, SID Units Guide, A guide to resetting the "TIME FOR SERVICE" SID message on the Saab 900 (NG). Locate your Saab's Model Identification Plates, for VINs, Paint codes, Trim codes, Engine numbers and more.

Over time, the Saab's SID (Saab Information Display) tends to lose its pixels and provide you with a hard-to-read. Having your SID repaired in the early stages of its degeneration can usually put a halt to the "radio guessing." Common failure on the SID is pixels fading and becoming unreadable
on the LCD panel. The problem can be temperature related, but eventually the LCD will fail completely. Usually it is the pixels that disappear and the rest of the unit is fine. It is an expensive replacement for the sake of a few pixels. The process is simple and will only take about an hour but it will save you 300.00 dollars in repairs or over 600.00 for a new Saab Information

Display (SID). There are companies on the internet and eBay charging $99.99-S299.00 to repair your Saab Information Display (SID) and you have to ship it to them and this is the same procedure they do to the SID units and you can get the instructions on here. This repair is so easy; anyone can do it, you don't have to be technically minded. Requires only 1030 minutes of your time to perform and the results are truly outstanding in most cases and unlike other cheaper repairs, you don't need to take your unit to Saab to have it reprogrammed when you put it back in the car. The only tool you need is a screwdriver! There is no soldering or electronics knowledge required, in fact, no technical knowledge at all. Just the ability to read plain English and follow easy instructions complete with large crystal clear photographs to show you how to do it step by step.

This common problem, for model years 1994 to 2003, is due to a connection between the electronics printed circuit board and the flexible printed circuit film (polyamide) leading to the LCD display. The connection is done using conductive epoxy and can go intermittent or open due to climate and/or vibration issues. Saab knows about the problems with the SID and has, at least in Sweden, reduced the price of SID units and extended its goodwill. This is a permanent repair not just a short term fix in most cases. I have physically carried out this repair my own Saab vehicles and can confirm that this is the only fix available that does not require the replacement of electronic parts. This method fixes all the missing dots, dashes numbers and letters on your SID computer display and climate control / air condition display. SID units which have been previously tampered with, but they cannot be guaranteed. Units which have cracked screens cannot be repaired. Programming will not be necessary as your original unit will be reinstalled in your vehicle. Since you are not replacing your SID you do not need to reprogram the display. NOTE: IF YOU DAMAGED THE RIBBON CABLE YOUR UNIT WILL BE UNUSABLE!

Replacement Saab Information Display (SID) sells for $300-$600+ US Dollars depending on your location and Saab vehicle model. If you choose to purchase a used SID from either eBay or a junkyard it might have also missing pixels, and you'll have a hard time getting it programmed to match your car and if you don't program it you'll have a harder time selling your car. However, replacement of the unit is the only complete solution in some cases. Some new replacement units must be programmed by Saab or a technician with a Tech 2 before the new unit will function correctly.

You will need some medium density foam this is to increase the pressure on the joint between the flexible to main PCB joint. It will also be necessary to put foam on the opposite side of the main PCB to keep the main board flat when the unit is put back together. I found it took a
few hours for all my display to come back but my display was in very poor state. On the photos the foam I have used is grey and was sticky
on one side this makes it easier to reassemble.

Introduction
5 Button SID (SIU 3) from 900 Model Years 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998
3 Button SID (SIU 2) from 900 Model Years 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998

A common complaint with the SID units is "missing pixels". Replacement units are very expensive, so here is one solution to repairing the unit yourself.

REMOVAL INSTRUCTIONS:

USE 2 FLAT HEAD SCREWDRIVERS WRAPPED IN TAPE TO PREVENT DAMAGE TO YOUR DASH. GENTLY LEVER BOTH SIDES OF THE SID WITH THE SCREWDRIVERS ALL THE WAY OUT. DISCONNECT THE UNION PLUG FROM THE SID AND THAT'S IT. PLEASE NOTE ON SOME MODELS
HORN AND RADIO MAY NOT WORK TILL SID IS RE-INSTALLED.

Fixing the missing pixel problem
This SID 2 unit showed early signs of failing. The SID was first removed from the dashboard. It was easier to
remove the stereo head unit first, since this then offered a ledge from which to pull the SID unit forward. The
SID unit itself is clipped into place rather than locked, unlike the head unit.
Undo the two screws securing the rear and front casings. One is shown below.
Remove this multi plug surround/ retaining piece from the rear casing by a gentle twist to free it from its sliding.
Depress these retaining lugs - there are another two on the bottom side - and withdraw the front shroud.
Remove three bulbs, as indicated, to facilitate access to the display matrix, and the multi-wiring. The display is secured by two short screws; the location of one is shown here.

Here is an area that may cause the problem. The multi-wires are glued to the circuit board, and over time, the connection may become poor, resulting in pixel failure. Spray any and all connections you with the contact cleaner (non-residue/quick drying/plastic safe. Apply some penetrating contact cleaner (Radio Shack contact cleaner for example), and leave for a little while. Wiping up excess fluid and then run a felt tip pen
with a little pressure over the top. You might also quickly dry the connections with compressed air (be sure to hold can upright to prevent liquid from being expelled). Spray all holes and connectors and the connectors that plug back into the dash board. I also sprayed the actual connectors in the dash as well. Here is an area that may cause the problem. The multi-wires are glued to the circuit board, and over time, the connection may become poor, resulting in pixel failure. Spray any and all connections you with the contact cleaner (non-residue/quick drying/plastic safe. Apply some penetrating contact cleaner (Radio Shack contact cleaner for example), and leave for a little while. Wiping up excess fluid and then run a felt tip pen with a little pressure over the top. You might also quickly dry the connections with compressed air (be sure to hold can upright to prevent liquid from being expelled). Spray all holes and connectors and the connectors that plug back into the dash board. I also sprayed the actual connectors in the dash as well.

Here you can see a strip of double sided sticky fixing foam, cut to shape, and in place. When the matrix is returned back in place, the foam will provided more pressure to the connection to ensure good contact. Similarly, a second piece is cut, fitted and placed as indicated below. You will need some medium density foam this is to increase the pressure on the joint between the flexible to main PCB joint. It will also be necessary to put foam on the opposite side of the main PCB to keep the main board flat when the unit is put back together. I found it took a few hours for all my display to come back but my display was in very poor state. On the photos the foam I have used is grey and was sticky on one side this makes it easier to reassemble.

You will need some medium density foam this is to increase the pressure on the joint between the flexible to main PCB joint. It will also be necessary to put foam on the opposite side of the main PCB to keep the main board flat when the unit is put back together. I found it took a few hours for all my display to come back but my display was in very poor state. On the photos the foam I have used is grey and was sticky on one side
this makes it easier to reassemble.

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1. Gently but firmly insert a small flathead screw driver with the tip covered in masking or duct tape in between the dashboard and the grey plastic SID housing. Pry the right edge of the SID away from the dash (the woodgrain surface). With a little force, the edge should "pop" right out.
2. Open the beverage holder. Using your right hand, reach into the beverage holder cavity and pull the right edge of the SID out from the dash. With your left hand on the left side of the SID, perform the same prying maneuver you did on the right side.
3. Now that the SID is fully detached from the dash, gently pull it out. It should slide right out. The SID is attached to the dash by a bundle of wires terminating in a plug. To detach the plug from the SID you will have to push the pin back that holds the plug in place and pull the plug out of the SID. Once it's unplugged, it's ready to mail!

Gently but firmly insert a small flathead screw driver with the tip covered in masking or duct tape in between the dashboard and the grey plastic SID housing. Pry the right edge of the SID away from the dash (the wood grain surface). With a little force, the edge should "pop" right out. If it sticks, do not try and force it. Try the left edge of the SID at the top, bottom, and middle of the grey plastic housing. If it still won't come out, please give us a call so we can help you troubleshoot.

2. Insert a finger into the gap you have created between the right side of the SID and the dash. Using your other hand, perform the same prying maneuver on the left side as you did on the right side.
3. Unplug the SID from the dash by pushing in the latch on the plug in toward the center of the plug, lifting the latch side out first, and then rolling the rest of the plug out to dislodge the hook holding the other side of the plug in.

The Unit
2. Remove the 4 fixing screws from the base of the unit
3. Use a small electrical screw driver to release the 4 plastic tabs, one on each corner and slide the black plastic back off the unit.
4. Unscrew the display section of the unit, being careful not to damage the white flexible PCB between the display unit and the main PCB.

NOTE: The top display unit is plugged in the main board, so you have to lift the display of the board without bending it. Spray any and all connections with the contact cleaner (non-residue/quick drying/plastic safe. Apply some penetrating contact cleaner (Radio Shack contact cleaner for example), and leave for a little while. Wiping up excess fluid and then run a felt tip pen with a little pressure over the top. Better way is to quickly dry the connections with compressed air (be sure to hold can upright to prevent liquid from being expelled). Spray all holes and connectors and the connectors that plug back into the dash board. I also sprayed the actual connectors in the dash as well.

5. Place foam over flexible PCB and screw display section back on top. This will increase the pressure on the joint between the display PCB and the main PCB.
6. Slide the black plastic onto the unit, being careful to get the main PCB board in its runners you will find that you have to put a piece of foam on the top side of the PCB board to keep it flat. You will also find that you have to use a screwdriver to push the foam under the edge of the back whilst
putting the unit back together.

Introduction
The Saab 900 (NG), 9-3, and 9-5 all have Saab's SID (Saab Information Display) units. These are the On-Board Computers which display various information, from your Fuel Economy and Miles of Petrol left in your fuel tank, to the Radio Station you're listening to. Note: If you transfer an SID unit from a hard top into a convertible, the SID will need to be TECH3 reprogrammed so that convertible-related messages are displayed (e.g. CHECK LATCHES, and the beep when putting the hood up/down is complete)

NG 900 SID 1
This is a very basic unit, with the following functions:
Analogue Clock
Outside Temperature
Light Sensor
If you are looking to replace your current SID 1 unit, you can only replace it with another SID 1 - you cannot upgrade to an SID 2 or 3 units as they require sensors which will not be fitted to your car.

NG 900 SID 2
This is a significant upgrade from the SID 1 unit, with the
following functions:
Analogue Clock
Light Sensor
Radio/Tape/CD Information Display
Outside Temperature
Fuel Economy
Miles To Empty (how far you can drive with the remaining petrol at your current consumption)
Diagnostic Messages
Black Panel button

You can identify the SID 2 unit as it has 3 large buttons on the front; Info, Clear and Black Panel. Should you wish to upgrade your SID 2 unit to the SID 3 unit, this is a straight swap, as all of the required sensors are already in place.

NG 900 SID 3
This is a further upgrade from the SID 2 unit, with the following functions:
Analogue Clock
Radio/Tape/CD Information Display
Outside Temperature
Fuel Economy
Miles To Empty (how far you can drive with the remaining petrol at your current consumption)
Diagnostic Messages
Advanced Trip Computer
Black Panel button
A guide to resetting the "TIME FOR SERVICE" SID message on the Saab 900 (NG)

Introduction
SID 2 and SID 3 units will display "TIME FOR SERVICE" when a service is due within 600 miles. This message is displayed once the car has traveled a certain number of miles since the last service. On vehicles from 1995, the system also takes into account the number of days since the last service. If 365 days have passed since the last service, and the message has not been triggered by the odometer, "TIME FOR SERVICE" will also be displayed.

Resetting the TIME FOR SERVICE message
This message can be reset easily if required, with the odometer monitor and day counter (if applicable) being reset. You may wish to do this if it has not been done by the garage carrying out the service, or if you are performing the service yourself.

To reset the TIME FOR SERVICE memory:
Press CLEAR once to remove any messages which may be on the screen.
Hold down the CLEAR button on the SID unit.
After 4 seconds, the unit will beep and "CLEAR" will be displayed.
After 8 seconds, the unit will beep again and "SERVICE" will be displayed.
Release the CLEAR button to complete the reset.

SID Panel Repair behind Press in plug retention clip as shown, and lift plug at a right angle Pull cable plug to 90 degrees and remove There are 4 Torx8 screws to be removed to gain access to the SID internals. There are now 4 press tabs to be released around the units fascia, carefully push these down using a small flat blade screwdriver, at the same time applying pressure to remove the units back housing The housing should pull cleanly off easily, if its tough, check all press tabs are released! Now you will need to very carefully separate the LCD panel from the main PCB, there is a plug on one corner, remove carefully so not to suddenly pull apart and damage ribbon cable! Now carefully lay the 2 parts apart on some anti static foam/mat, this will reveal the ribbon cable, the most common cause of SID failures. Now once you've gone across all contacts, carefully reassemble the unit, on re-assembly I also fitted a piece of card between the LCD panel/ribbon contacts and main PCB. Also ensure the PCB slides into the guides of the back cover.

My 1995 900S SID display also had severe pixel issues. I first attempted to repair the display by adding foam and other materials to increase the pressure and thus electrical contact between the ribbon cable and the LCD display but it did not resolve the issue. The problem is that the silver traces on the ribbon cable become brittle over time and flake off. No amount of pressure will correct the problem. I then purchased a new replacement ribbon cable from pixelfix.net and I have had a perfect SID display for the past 1.5 years. There are some videos on the web that show the process in detail. The task requires great care and precision. You have to thoroughly clean the contacts on the LCD display and circuit board and ensure firm contact when reassembled. The price for the ribbon cable was about $30-$40 and was the best money I ever spent on my Saab.

Pricing for SID INFORMATION DISPLAY UNITS (dash & related)
Pricing for SID INFORMATION DISPLAY UNITS (electrical components)

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