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  1. #1
    Saab Enthusiast
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    13 Jun 2019
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    Saab(s)
    1999 9-5 wagon
    Thumbs Up:   2

    "W" button by gear shift

    1999 9-5 wagon

    My car has the "W" button by the gear shift. I have read in the manual how it works but havent tested it out yet. The question that I have is "should there be a light on the dash that would indicate if it in the "winter driving" mode?"

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  2. #2
    Saab Fan
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    24 Oct 2019
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    Collierville TN
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    Saab(s)
    2007 Saab 9-5 Aero Sportcombi
    Thumbs Up:   1
    Quote Originally Posted by BeardedFool View Post
    1999 9-5 wagon

    My car has the "W" button by the gear shift. I have read in the manual how it works but havent tested it out yet. The question that I have is "should there be a light on the dash that would indicate if it in the "winter driving" mode?"
    I cannot attest that a light will illuminate, but I know for certain that using the W button shortens the lifespan of the transmission. Maybe in an extreme snowy white out condition i'd use it, but otherwise just modulate your driving foot per the weather conditions. If there was a way to disable the button easily-I'd do it, especially if someone else is driving the car and leaves it in W for prolonged periods.

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  3. #3
    Saab Enthusiast
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    1999 9-5 wagon
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    Thanks for the reply. I have read alot of forums and some people love the feature. I tested it out on wet pavement the other day but couldnt see any difference in starting gear or loss of traction. Maybe it doesnt work on my car for some reason or maybe the button itself is faulty which is why I am curious about some form of indicator which it doesnt look like there is one. This vehicle will be my daughters first car when she turns 16 in about 9-10 months. In the meantime, I'm trying to work out all of the kinks and making sure it drives well so that I can educate her on her car.

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  4. #4
    Saab Nut
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    10 Apr 2017
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    Denham, England
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    Saab(s)
    2011 2.0 9-5 Aero
    Thumbs Up:   59
    You might like to download WIS and check the description and operating information in there.

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  5. #5
    Frank
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    Information from the WIS shows there should be a WINTER light on the main instrument unit. I used to have a 2001 9-5 with this button but think I only used it a few times and couldn't notice a big difference. But may be helpful when you get stuck.

    Name:  saab_9-5_winter_mode.jpg
Views: 99
Size:  93.2 KB

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  6. #6
    Saab Enthusiast
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    13 Jun 2019
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    1999 9-5 wagon
    Thumbs Up:   2
    I do have WIS downloaded. I just had not looked into that as I rarely use that computer since I can use my phone for most stuff. The manual that I have downloaded is for a 2000 9-5 as I could not find one specificly for 1999 and all it said was that it works in 3rd and "D" but not in 1st or 2nd. I have not seen any "winter" light on my instrument panel at start-up and dont see one when I push the W button. There is no divverence in the button itself such as it lighting up differently or even sitting in a different position (maybe stays down after pushing button or stucking out as the hazards light button does). I was just trying to figure out if maybe the tires need to be already slipping, or maybe have to engage it in park or perhaps before starting the engine. There is little to no data online other than it causing the car to start from a stop in 3rd gear and in my limited testing, I notice no difference between normal operation or after I press the button.

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  7. #7
    Saab Fan
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    24 Oct 2019
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    2007 Saab 9-5 Aero Sportcombi
    Thumbs Up:   1
    Quote Originally Posted by BeardedFool View Post
    I do have WIS downloaded. I just had not looked into that as I rarely use that computer since I can use my phone for most stuff. The manual that I have downloaded is for a 2000 9-5 as I could not find one specificly for 1999 and all it said was that it works in 3rd and "D" but not in 1st or 2nd. I have not seen any "winter" light on my instrument panel at start-up and dont see one when I push the W button. There is no divverence in the button itself such as it lighting up differently or even sitting in a different position (maybe stays down after pushing button or stucking out as the hazards light button does). I was just trying to figure out if maybe the tires need to be already slipping, or maybe have to engage it in park or perhaps before starting the engine. There is little to no data online other than it causing the car to start from a stop in 3rd gear and in my limited testing, I notice no difference between normal operation or after I press the button.

    i would assume if you notice no difference, it's not actually working at all, or one of the reasons that Frank listed that disables it is prematurely (or not) disabling the feature.

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  8. #8
    Saab Fan
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    22 Apr 2019
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    Upstate New York
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    Saab(s)
    2006 9-5 wagon
    Thumbs Up:   0
    I have a 99’ 9-5 V6, it has the “W” button, I used it once to see what it was all about, best way to explain it, feels like your slipping the clutch on a manual trans, I haven’t used it since nor will I ever use it, I have good snow tires.

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  9. #9
    mdb99@bellsouth.net
    Oh! I Get It Now Mike Brennan's Avatar
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    21 Aug 2010
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    01 95 Aero and Wagon, 09 93 Combi and an 08 95 Combi
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    It changes your 1st gear to 3rd to prevent your wheels from spinning on ice or snow.

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  10. #10
    Saab Enthusiast
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    13 Nov 2018
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    Connecticut
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    Saab(s)
    2002 9-5 arc
    Thumbs Up:   2
    I was stuck on ice pushed W on my 03 95 v6 and it rolled right out!! No gas pedal needed.
    About a year ago I had an 02 95 v6 crazy snow storm hopped on the highway about 6, 7 inches of snow pressed W and I was the only one driving and not slipping or getting stuck drove like a champ!!

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