How to Fix a Leaking SAAB Convertible

Saab 9-3 Anniversary convertible 2001-2002

Saab 9-3 Anniversary convertible 2001-2002







Hi everybody !


Here is a real problem! I don’t know why this is happening to Saabs but it certainly IS! The years that appear to be the most affected are 1998 to 2004. At first, I thought it was just that these cars were just getting older and—crap happens! However the number of leaking Saabs from those years is way greater than any other car manufacturer. Don’t worry if you have one though because the “fix” is real easy and inexpensive.


Here is a letter that I found on a forum that I thought might be of interest!


How I fixed my leaking convertible Saab 9-3 and 900


I have a couple of older convertible Saabs, a 9-3 and a 900 and they were both leaking through the tops. Before Saab went down I had spoken to a Saab tech in Europe about my problems with leaking. Although he couldn’t explain why they were leaking, he did tell me the Official Saab fix.


Apparently Saab had discovered a UK company called Renovo that made good stuff. Saab tested the cleaner and water-proofer and Officially adopted Renovo as their only recommended convertible top care products. That’s what the guy said.


Whatever —I tried the stuff and both tops instantly stopped leaking. I never saw fabric bead water like that and it lasts longer than the stuff I was using. I got it from some guys in Canada called Convertible Top Renew. Worked for me is all I know. Now I’m going to try it on my mom’s leaker. Good luck.   –Gabby Watkins/ San Antonio


So—let’s get started! First of all, let me say that Saab puts a very good top on their cars. It is an acrylic/polyester weave with a polymer inner layer and a liner. The fabric is as good as it gets and, if properly maintained, it is nearly bulletproof and will last for 30 years or more!


Step One

  • Brush off any obvious dirt and wet the top with a hose.
  • Get a good scrub brush (test it first on the back of your hand. If it raises a welt, don`t use it because it will damage your top) and a pail of hot water ready.
  • Use your brush to lightly `scrub in a good quality and safe cleaner. Saab recommends Renovo water-based Soft Top Canvas Cleaner. DO NOT USE dish or laundry detergent as they can damage the fabric. Now, let this sit for about 20 minutes
  • Grab your scrub brush again and really scrub that top thoroughly with hot water. You won`t believe the disgusting crap that comes out when using a good cleaner that is made for this job specifically! Now rinse it off well with a hose and let dry completely.


Step Two  

  • Your top is now clean as a whistle but it has no water-proofing left in it so you have to replace it in this step.
  • We don`t recommend sprays as they are messy and waste a lot! Also, most of them contain chemicals that do not belong in your top! The SAAB recommended water-proofer is Renovo Cloth Top Ultra Proofer. This is the best there is and it is safe for your top because it is water based.
  • Anyway, just pour it in a small pail and easily brush it on with a good, new, 3 inch paint brush and let dry.
  • Apply a second coat to completely seal and water-proof your fabric and let dry again.


Tadaaah ! You are now locked and loaded my friends! That top will be so water-proof that the water will bead off like water off the proverbial ducks back! You will also be protected against stains, mould, mildew and UV rays. Man, what a simple procedure when you use the right stuff! This procedure should be done approximately every six months. Now that you know this, that Saab will never leak again!!


The products that we use are SAAB Recommended! Use the Renovo products here, and you’re good for a couple or three decades. The kits are an especially good solution because they contain everything you need to follow the drill above. Kit A has Renovo Plastic Polish, too, so you can keep your plastic rear view window as transparent as the day it was born! You can read all about that, here. Check it out and stay tuned for more great canvas tips from—


—Soft Top Bobby