DIY Instructions

Home | Contact Us



Saab 9³ 2003+ Aux-in Cable DIY Installation Instructions


These instructions are intended to be used by a person with moderate skill. More involved than changing a wiper blade, but less than installing a subwoofer. If you would like to have your dealer install this, please visit us on the web at for dealer installation instructions.

 !Please read all instructions prior to actually diving in!

Standard disclaimers: While Saabs in general are put together very intelligently, with parts that are meant to come apart logically & easily, please use your own judgment in how much force to apply. If you feel as you’re going to break a clip, stop, reread the instructions, perhaps interpret them differently, then try again. If that still doesn’t work, ask for help. Lastly, ask your dealer to do it. Etadyne Industries LLC or Nova Technology Inc. will not be held liable for turning your warranted car into a big paperweight.
    Also, these steps are performed on a left-hand drive vehicle.  It is expected that all these steps are the same for right-hand drive vehicles.  If not, please let us know!

Tools you’ll need to complete this installation:


Butter knife, or other non-pointy, thin, stiff metal (or plastic) object.

            Etadyne recommends using the Removal Tool from Saab, part# 8293474

bulletThe Torx (star-shaped) screwdriver from your trunk’s toolkit.
bulletSmall towel
bulletAux-in Cable
bulletA test source (laptop, MP3 player, crusty old Walkman, etc)


Step 0: Quick notes.
-These instructions are for a 2003 US Arc with single CD player & automatic climate control.

    -The only difference between manual & automatic climate control is that manual has 1 plug in the back instead of 2 for the automatic.  Faceplate removal & re-installation is exactly the same.

     -The only difference between a single CD & 6-CD changer is...nothing.  Removal & re-installation is exactly the same, and it does not have any different connection method.  The Aux-in plug used for this installation is still available.

Step 1: Enable “Aux-In” as a source for your stereo, if you haven’t already.
Your dealer must do this because they have a special tool called a “Tech II” designed to make configuration changes to your vehicle. You will know this is working, because if you hit the “SRC” button on your steering wheel, it will cycle through your sources: FM, CD, Trunk CD (if equipped), Aux, then back to FM, etc) The SID should look like this when on Aux:

Step 2: Prepare a work area.
    Activate the parking brake & put the vehicle in Drive. You can do this by turning the ignition to the “On” position, pressing on the brake pedal, shifting into Drive, pulling the parking brake lever, releasing the brake pedal slowly, and turning the key to "Off".  Also turn the radio off & eject all CDs (if you don't, while the unit is out you may hit the eject button causing them to be ejected unintentionally).

     This allows you to pull the radio out of the center stack without hitting the gear shift. We do not have access to a Manual vehicle, but the procedure may be similar. Place the towel in between the gear shift & the ashtray, as this is where the radio, or Electronic Head Unit (EHU) will rest while being worked on. Also note: while disconnecting the vehicle battery is not needed since no power circuits are being worked on, the stereo should not be on.

Step 3: Remove & unplug HVAC faceplate.
    Insert the butter knife in between the far edges & grained soft plastic trim about 4mm & using a prying motion, gently pry edge away & forward towards you. Repeat for the other side. While prying, slide the knife from top to bottom until the catch is found. If you are successful, the faceplate will quietly pop out with a minimum of fuss.  The picture below is for the automatic climate controls, but manual controls are removed exactly the same.


Pull the unit towards you, stretching the 2 cables that attach it. Pull the maroon clips that hold the connectors outwards. They will extend 10mm, and take a little bit of force. Once extended they will automatically unplug themselves from the HVAC unit. Place the unit someplace safe for now. NOTE: Manual climate control will only have 1 cable.  This does not affect removal.


Step 4: Remove EHU.
    There are 2 clips holding the EHU in. They are thin metal, so too much forcing will deform them. Staring on one side, gently push forward edge of the clip inwards so it touches the metal. Repeat on other side. Then pull the CD player out. This is a coordinated effort of pulling the CD Player & keeping both clips inwards.

Eventually you will work the CD player loose. The EHU is attached to it, on top. Gently slide it towards you. Take note of the rails it slides on so you can put it back. Continue to slide it out until it’s free. Angle it down so the face sits on the towel you placed in Step 1.


Caution! Take care not to damage the orange fibre-optic cables by bending them too much. They are very sensitive to bends, and are made of glass, not flexible wire.

Step 5: Remove center console side trim screw.
    There are 2 panels you should take off in order to properly route & secure the cable.  First, on the right-hand side, locate the trim attachment screw. It is a cap with a hinge. You will have to move the seat full rear to allow access to screw.  Carefully pry the cap off to expose the screw head. Then remove the screw with the Torx screwdriver & place it somewhere safe.

Step 6: Remove two right side center console side trim panels.
Remove the forward panel by sliding it down slightly to come out from under the curved trim. Then, slide it rearwards. Using a combination of these movements, and keeping in mind the attachment points, slide the panel free & place somewhere safe.  The picture below shows the 3 attachment points.

For the rearward panel, move the seat full forward, release the 2 attachment points in the rear of the panel, & slide it backwards. Move the seat full rearward again.  You are now ready to route & connect the cables!

Step 7: Route Aux-in cable through armrest, install miniplug jack.
    Thread small rectangular black plug through the hole in the armrest.  Pull cord all the way through until miniplug is at the hole. Insert miniplug into hole.

Once it’s through, assemble the shroud (extra black hollow plug) to the black plug. It will only go on 1 way.  It will "click" when assembled correctly, & will not slide off.

Step 8: Route cable & plug into EHU.
    Route the cable along the floor progressing forwards towards the center stack. Then continue routing the cable up the center stack to come out the space the EHU occupied.

Connect the plug to the back of the EHU. It will only go in 1 place 1 way.  It will "click" when installed correctly, & will not pull out.

Step 9: Test your installation.
    Connect a source to the Aux-in Cable using an accessory cord (it will click twice while being inserted), and test the operation. Remember to switch the stereo on & to the Aux source.  Verify sound is coming out of left & right speakers by using the Balance control.

Step 10: Secure cable.
    Using included cable ties, secure the cable in a couple places so it does not wander, or rattle against the plastic trim pieces. Also remember to use the scissors to cut the excess length from the zipties.

CAUTION! Pay special attention to ensure cable will not interfere with operation of parking brake. If you choose to test the parking brake to see how it hits the cable, remember your car may roll as it is in Drive!

Step 11: Reassemble vehicle.
    This is pretty straightforward. First, while holding on to the 2 HVAC cords with one hand so they don’t disappear, use your other hand to slide the EHU back into the center stack. The bottom of the CD player should be right on top of the ashtray. It will get slightly harder to push the EHU in. This is due to tension form the 2 side clips. As long as the fibre-optic cable & other wires are not kinked, it is okay to continue pushing in until the clips snap & the unit’s front is flush with the sides & front edge of the ashtray.

Plug the HVAC in using the 2 cables you have in 1 hand. Extend maroon clip & place on the HVAC side. Push the maroon clip in. It will cam itself into place. Repeat for other side. Slide unit into center stack. It will slide in & snap quietly into place.  This illustration show the connectors properly connected.  Remember manual climate control will only have 1 plug.

Reinstall the plastic trim pieces. The rear one has 2 attachment points in the rear of the panel.  The pin goes in the slot, and the tab sits on the metal flat.  Line the forward hole up with the screw hole.  Like so:

The forward one has a guide leg to help you. Once the leg is engaged, and the top edge of the trim us under the top black fixed trim, slide forward until the screw holes match up.

After both pieces are in, align both panels with the screw hole, install the screw & snap the cover closed.

Step 12: Clean up.
    Remember your car is currently in Drive with the handbrake pulled. Turn key to "On", press brake pedal, shift into Park & pull key from ignition. Start car as normal (turn stereo on if necessary) & test the whole installation once again. Congratulations, you’re done!

Back to Documentation

Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to
Copyright © 2014 Etadyne Industries LLC. All rights reserved.
This website & the contents advertised are independently developed products and are not affiliated in any way to Saab Automobile AB.
Last modified: 07/03/14.