1999 9-3 convertible top not working

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Thread: 1999 9-3 convertible top not working

  1. #1

    1999 9-3 convertible top not working

    Hello everyone,
    I have a 1999 Saab 9-3 convertible that I have owned for 4 years. It has been sitting in my garage for over a year and I have decided due to gas prices to get it running. It has 172000 miles and is still in great running condtion. However, I am unable to get the top to work. I can hear the top motor working, the back window lifts about a 1/2" then I get "soft top failure" on the SID and it stops. We got to the top motor and the oil level was low. I added GM top oil (from the dealer) and brought it about 1" above the top line. I tried it a few more times and it's still not working. Here are my questions:

    1) Should I cycle through the opening process several times to get the oil moving or would it work immediately after adding oil?

    2) What else can I do myself (due to mileage, don't want to spend a ton of money at the dealer) $97/hr labor!!!!!

    3) Should I just buy a new top motor and install myself? (found a used one for $200)

    I am a woman, but quite mechanically inclined. I can take things apart and put them back together fairly easily. However, the whole top motor compartment looks quite intimidating. Would I be crazy to take it on myself??

    4) Is it at all possible to manually lower and raise the top on a daily basis?? (if I can't get the top to work at all, it's for sale!)

    Thank you in advance for your help. I absolutely love my car, but cannot afford to put tons of money into it. I have been searching forums for a while now, but have not found any that mention the back window starting to go.

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  3. #2

    Re: 1999 9-3 convertible top not working

    Hi it could be the motor propeller thanks damaged and not forcing the fluid around. Be careful as the oil level should be checked with the hood down as the oil is in the pump when down but in the cylinders when up. U can manually raise the roof but not lower. If it worked before then I would suspect a stuck micro switch or a stuck catch somewhere.

  4. #3

    Re: 1999 9-3 convertible top not working

    Thanks for the advice. Would you believe I got it working today??? I tried to cycle through opening several more times. When the back window opened enough, I gave it a push manually and the whole top went down correctly. I have since opened and closed it several times and it doesn't skip a beat! Went directly to motor vehicle and got my beloved Saab back on the road! Any idea as to what that problem may have been??

  5. #4

    Re: 1999 9-3 convertible top not working

    Like I said it was either a stuck micro switch, catch or poss an airlock in the fluid. Just proves that sometimes a knock or brute force can be the answer. If you can find someone with a tech2 machine the fault code maybe stored in the ecu. But I wouldn't waste your money until it happens again. Hope you have some more enjoyment in your ragtop. If it ain't raining the roof should be down. Do the windows fit very snug on the roof and let no water in even heavy rain? I did a complete readjust so know all the right nuts and bolts..

  6. #5

    Re: 1999 9-3 convertible top not working

    Everything fits snug, no leaks at all. Now, I have to tackle the broken driver side seat belt! It has been stuck since about 2 weeks after we bought it. I have a newer used one to replace it with. Looks like it's quite a job any suggestions?

  7. #6

    Re: 1999 9-3 convertible top not working

    Fairly easy just try not to break anything getting the rear panel off. Take the rear seat squab off to start with then all the bolts and clips should be visible.

  8. #7

    Re: 1999 9-3 convertible top not working

    I'm having the same problem with my 1999 9.3 top. It used to give me the roof failure and the ping noise, now there is no sound. I don't hear the motor moving either. I opened up the back and am checking the motor now. The fluid is real low, so I am going to add some. The back roof latches won't open and let the roof lock. Is this all related. Also, do you think the relay switches are out?
    Please let me know what would be the next step to check.

  9. #8

    Re: 1999 9-3 convertible top not working

    I have the same problem with mine...I unlatch the top and then press the button to put the top down, I don't hear the motor running and my hydraulic fluid is low. Was wondering if anyone had solved/ knew exactly what the problem is? Would greatly appreciate any advice anyone has to offer. Thank you!

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