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Elated Technician
Elated Technician, ASE Advanced Master Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 486
Experience:  16 yrs exp, Auto/Diesel Associates degree, ASE Master w/ Advanced cert, Saab Master and BMW level 4
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1997 saab 900: convertible up manually once..back down..motors

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The convertible top on a 1997 Saab 900s has stopped working (going up or down) after putting it up manually once. The top will not go back down. I hear the motors running but get a message indicating that the latches are not set. This is not the case. The switch, fuse and motors are OK. I researched somewhat adn my guess is that something needs to be reset. Seems like there should be a procedure for this.

Once you have manually operated the top you have to reset the tonneau motor. First you have to push the red lever in behind the rear seat- you most likely had to pull this out for manual mode. Next you need to remove the passenger side trunk panel and push the motor back into position. The motor is near all the gearing on the passenger side trunk area and the body and presses in towards the center of the vehicle.

The check latchs message could be coming on because manual mode doesn't allow the rear latchs to engage and will chime the warning.

Please note- there is a very expensive motor and gear assembly that fails on these cars. An update is available that may save the motor assembly, but generally they don't work.


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Elated Technician's Post: Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX the top! BUT the tonneau cover does not lock. I think this may have been the initial problem (it is a relatives car).
The top will not go up and the code is now check soft top. The trunk is clear so it seems to be the issue with the latches.

There are a number of items that can cause the "check soft top" message and the top not to work. It will need to go to a shop that can read the fault codes and signals that are missing for the top to work properly. You can expect 1 hour diagnostic time for a saab specialist, and I only recommend a saab specialist for this top issue.


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