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Angry Saab Story

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There must be a conspiracy by the car makers to get customers back to the dealer.


Here’s the story: We had a 2004 Saab 9.3 last week with a problem with the wipers; most of the time they would not shut off. We diagnosed a failed wiper switch. The first problem we encountered was that the wiper switch, headlight switch, air bag clock spring, signal switch and key security module are all incorporated within one module that sits just below the steering wheel in the steering column. The labor to R&R is not too bad.


I called the dealer and they had the part in stock ($647.00). When the part arrived we installed it and found that the ignition key would not turn. We plugged the old part in and all ok. We called the dealer and he said that it not only needs to be programmed, you need to first access the security ID from Saab to remove the old part and then get the security ID to add the new part. AND, after that you need to go thru a re-learn process to properly get all the modules to work together.


I WANTED TO KILL SOMEONE! The car had to go back to the dealer.


If this is what the industry is coming too, we definitely need to support the Right to Repair Act. How can a car maker get away with creating a legal monopoly?


I'm seeing this more and more everyday... I totally hate it. Got one now, 07 PT Cruiser with only one code p1745 .. line pressure to high too long... according to what I can find out about the code is that it's not a fault code but merely a way to tell you that the transmission or components have been changed and that it needs recalibrated... which of course is why the tranny shop brought to me... they installed a trans and couldn't get it to shift... Good Ol' Gonz can get it working.... ah, NOT.. dealer scanner with the correct updates is the only way... Oh, I found a guy with a star scanner he bought off of EBay... it read the code just like my scanner would... but apparently it has the most up to date software in it.... but not the right updates...


So, we can carry this little problem even further.... how about letting the independent market have access to the equipment ... AT A FAIR PRICE... and further more... all the software that goes with it. And... for Pete Sake... inform us when your changing software, scanners, and procedures...

You know I really don't need any help in looking stupid.... but having to explain to a regular customer that I can't service the jobs I used to do.... puts me out of business. .... .... Just like Joe I'M MAD AS HELL! ! Right to Repair... absolutely

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You’re right, I am mad as hell. And why is it that a certain automotive “organization” says that we don’t need a Right to Repair Act. I’m not saying that an act of law is the total answer, but to say that the car makers are in total compliant and not attempting to create a monopoly is false.


The entire aftermarket needs to be on the same page with this one.


Your preachin' to the choir Joe, been saying the same thing since the late 80's. Every since the very first time I couldn't check a Ford properly without "the scanner"

Not that we need more laws, but, tell me how else you are going to be able to keep the big boys from keeping all the toys...??? I don't think it would do any good for every independent shop owner to march through down town Detroit or D.C. with a big wrench in thier hands and stand on the steps of thier doors demanding results.

We need several voices in the right places.... I still think this IS a great first step.

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  • 1 year later...

Theres nothing you can really do, outside of maybe getting your hands on the source code. The hardware is easy to reverse engineer, its dealing with the security software. BTW you are correct. There are 2 reaons however for these newer security measures. The first one is to prevent parts theft, the second is to lock in a exsclusive on repairs. Mostly it is part of a well intentioned anti theft program. However they do need to make available to us as a group, the tools to make these repairs.

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I think it was in the seventies, when the goverment was putting pressure on the car companies for emissions, fuel mileage, safety and other things that would require complex technologies that in response Lee Iacocca said something like "We might as well weld the hood closed on these cars because no one going to be able to work on them in their driveway" At a dealer "open house for it's wholesale parts accounts" i went to about ten years ago i was talking off the record with a factory rep. The "open house" was really a head count of to see who that dealers service competition was. The rep went on to talk about cars that would e-mail dealers/owners about needed car repairs/services and incorrect repair procedures being done by others,etc. He even talked about cars now on the road in Detroit that someday will drive themselves to the dealer for service. Even if we get the Right to repair i feel that we may be running out of customers (middle class) that can afford the repairs and $100.00 plus and hour plus crazy electronic parts prices. I am seeing more a more car's with check engine lights,,abs lights,srs lights on that the customer does not "care about" due to the expense. That being said as part of my full service i do what ever it takes to get the car fixed even if i have to drop off/pick up the car at the dealer. I get referrals from happy customers and dealer service advisors because they know i will get the job done.



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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      Got your attention? Good. The truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect technician pay plan. There are countless ways to create any pay plan. I’ve heard all the claims and opinions, and to be honest, it’s getting a little frustrating. Claims that an hourly paid pay plan cannot motivate. That flat rate is the only way to truly get the most production from your technicians. And then there’s the hybrid performance-based pay plan that many claim is the best.
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