SAAB equals uniqueness. Quirkiness. Being different.
For us SAAB fans, the cars themselves are obviously very distinctive, but wouldn’t it be great if they could be made even more individual and to get more under the skin of the car? Would it for example be possible to personalize the display message on the dashboard?
Well… yes! Actually, much more is possible with the “extended SAAB Information Display” a nifty module that fits into the OBD connector of the MY07 and newer 9-3’s.
Having your car to welcome you with a different message is something I had high on my own wish list, especially after I had seen a similar feature in the 9-3 TurboX. The eSID however goes further and allows you to program essentially any welcome text, and more.
A deep SAAB connection
eSID creator Henrik G was raised in a real SAAB family. Grandpa owned a 900 MY81 and a SAAB two-stroke with a “rally-engine”. Unfortunately for Henrik his father crashed the latter so he never got to drive it himself. He did experience the MY88 9000 though that his dad bought brand new and lived for an impressive 470,000 km (with a more or less unaltered engine and powertrain) before it was sold off.
Henrik’s own SAAB Turbo arrived in 2004. A 900 T8 Special which he has kept in mint condition ever since. Sometime later he started a renovation project: a MY85 900 Aero with a T16 engine. This project is still ongoing and got some further competition in 2011 when he bought another 900 Aero. This time a MY88 yet in nearly perfect state (despite the fact that it had been a test car and the engine had gone some 80,000 km in the SAAB emission labs and another 42,000 km on the road)! It still is in amazing shape, with for example the bolts that hold the tow bar still having their original chrome details.
The road to eSID
Several smaller projects paved the way for eSID: already in 2005, Henrik designed and sold the so-called “TurboDisplay”, a small unit for the 900 that could display the turbo pressure. Some years later he built what could be called the predecessor to eSID: the “SaabCANDisplay”, which featured torque, acceleration, fuel consumption and more. This was a one-off specially built for Henrik’s own 9-3 MY04, but a real inspiration for the first version of the “extended SAAB Information Display”.
One of the things I personally always have found annoying in the 9-3 is the fact that the turning signal is fully manual, i.e. you have to hold the handle for as long as the signal is needed. In more recent SAAB’s (e.g. the 9-5NG and the 9-4X) a gentle push on the handle actually automatically triggers three blinks. eSID provides this arguably essential functionality now also to the 9-3!
Besides the blinkers function and the personalisation of the welcome text, the latest version of eSID provides many more essential features that can greatly enhance the driving experience, including:
- Programmable wiper interval
- Tyre pressure (for cars with TPMS installed)
- Fuel consumption (current, average, total)
- Turbo pressure
- Ethanol blend (for BioPower engines)
- Gearbox oil temperature
- XWD oil and clutch temperatures
- Drive time
- Acceleration (tempting to not use this as a game while driving!)
- Auto fog light
A full list of features, configuration manuals, videos and ordering instructions can be found on Henrik’s site: www.esid.se
I bought eSID v1 in the Spring of this year and I can only say that I’m really happy with it. If anything, “Ready for takeoff, Michel” puts a smile on my face every time I start the engine!