Piston Slap: The Saab SID, the Dead CD Stereo!

Seth writes:
Sajeev (and your evil twin)
OK, you asked for it so here goes: I have an 2005 saab 9-3 5-speed convertible that is having issues.
I use it as a summer car. It is my third saab so I am use to some weird stuff. Last year, I parked it for the winter and everything worked. I lost my garage space for the winter so I had it under a car cover. When spring came my SID (Saab Information Display) did not work. I know the SIDs in previous generations were an issue but not on this model. As a bonus, my CD player also died, but the radio still worked even without its display.
So I get the SID replaced — really the only reason was so I could see radio the current station — by an independent Saab mechanic, but now the radio does not work. The indie said the amp is bad. The Saab amp setup (I have a 7-speaker, 150W ARC sound system, I think) is fiber optic and a PITA. He checked the fuses and said they are fine. It seems odd the radio does not work the minute the new SID is in. I can replace the amp, but it’s a 4-hour drive one way to do so and I would prefer not to kill a day to find out it was something simple.
I checked the board but it seems I have the one in a million issue. Got any ideas? And no Panther advice, please.
I will have garage space from now on and I do not mind getting the amp fixed. I love the car but a radio and a working SID would be nice.
Sajeev answers:
This thread suggests you check the amp and wiring for water damage. Not a bad idea, and there’s also a conversion harness for eliminating OnStar if your old connector is damaged by liquid.
I suspect your Saab indie mechanic is right: the amp’s internal guts are indeed dead and you gotta replace it. If you doubt him, get a shop manual and follow the diagnostic yourself. Sometimes a book, a multi-meter and a lot of spare time is worth it. But I’d probably stick with your trusty Saab mechanic’s advice.
Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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