What is BT Changer?

We have developed a unique Bluetooth module that can modernize the audio system of Saab cars. The device needs to be connected to the car’s cables, establishing a wireless audio connection through CAN-BUS, with audio systems that originally do not have this feature. With this module, you can listen to music, podcasts, online radio from mobile devices while retaining the original comfort functions of the vehicle (such as volume control from the steering wheel or track selection). Moreover, it introduces new functions that were not previously available. During use, the information display (SID) or the head unit display can show the metadata of the music tracks, such as artist name, album, and track title. These displayed information can be individually configured, and custom text can also be displayed.

How does it work?

Depending on the type of BT Changer, it operates in three ways:

  • For OG 9-3/9-5 models, it connects to the factory head unit’s CD Changer line and communicates with the system via CAN, simulating a CD changer. This provides access to various CD changer functions, and through the I-BUS system, certain new functions may also appear. Unfortunately, the factory CD changer function is lost, but it can be installed in models originally without a CD changer.
  • For 2006 and later NG 9-3/OG 9-5 models, the BT Changer simulates the operation of the factory Satellite radio. Alongside AM and FM channels, XM radio appears, allowing connection from a mobile device. The head unit’s other functions (e.g., CD, AUX) remain unchanged. If the car had XM radio installed, it must be disconnected as the two cannot function together.
  • For 2003-2005 9-3 models, the Bluetooth expansion utilizes the audio system’s direct analog line input (AUX). We have developed a unique Bluetooth expansion with minimal external intervention. The BT Changer module needs to be connected to the car using a special cable. The AUX anf Bluetooth cannot function together. (If not previously available, the EHU audio input must be activated with TEC2)

Does it work as a hands-free kit?

Currently, the BT Changer is solely an audio receiver. During phone calls, the music fades, and after the call, it resumes, so it cannot be used as a traditional hands-free kit. The hardware supports two-way communication, so in Bluetooth mode, it could potentially function as a hands-free kit, requiring wiring or possibly installing a microphone later on. This feature is not active yet. However, the BT Changer can operate simultaneously with the Saab’s factory hands-free kit or aftermarket hands-free systems (e.g., Parrot).

How and what needs to be configured?

The BT Changer is a universal module. Besides the device’s version number, the settings determine which Saab models it can be used with. The same module can be used in different Saab models with different configurations. Configuration is done via a Wi-Fi connection. This method is used to set up the head unit, SID type, and also for updates. In Wi-Fi mode, only settings can be configured.

How to install it?

Installation can be done at home with the provided cable bundle. In some models, soldering may be required, connecting to the cable bundle behind the head unit.

Currently available with 4 types of connectors:

  • CD changer connector: Generally compatible with all OG 9-3 models, as the CD changer cable bundle is installed in the car (even if there is no CD changer). The connector is located in the trunk on the left side, behind the trim. For OG 9-5 models, this connector is only available in models equipped with a CD changer.
  • Trunk cable bundle: For OG 9-5 models without a CD changer, two connectors are found in the trunk on the left side, under the trim. The BT Changer cable bundle can be connected to these two connectors. In the 1998 OG 9-3 and 9-5 models, these connectors are located on the left side, at the base of the A-pillar.
  • XM cable bundle: This bundle is only usable for 2006 and later 9-3 and 9-5 models. The satellite radio module was made for the US/CA market, so the wiring is not present in most Saab models. The BT Changer module can be connected to the system with a special connector. The installation is plug and play; you just need to connect the BT Changer cable bundle between the head unit and the factory cables.
  • NG 9-3 cable bundle: Exclusively for NG 9-3 models between 2003-2006. The cable bundle needs to be connected to the central control unit (ICM) and the amplifier/radio module (EHU).

Which car types can it be used for?

The BT Changer is compatible with almost all GM Saab models from 1998 to 2010, except for the NG 9-5.

Why is this better than a head unit replacement?

Experience shows that premium vehicles like Saabs were originally equipped with high-quality audio systems (e.g., Harman Kardon, Bose, etc.). However, these older audio systems often lack the now essential Bluetooth connection. Those Saabs that did have this feature did not support music playback.

Replacing the head unit just for this feature is unnecessary and comes with several disadvantages. Installing an aftermarket head unit is cumbersome, it cannot connect to the quality Saab factory amplifier, resulting in significantly poorer sound quality. Controlling from the steering wheel is either difficult or impossible. For some models, the service intervals are tied to data from the factory head unit, so replacing it means losing this function. In certain Saabs, the factory audio system cannot be replaced at all. Perhaps most importantly, it disrupts the beautiful dashboard design with a non-standard audio system.

The BT Changer module eliminates these issues. It can be installed at home and is much cheaper than replacing the head unit with a quality new one.


The BT Changer is a hobby project of two Hungarian Saab enthusiasts. Development is ongoing, and our goal is to tailor the device’s functions even more to the users’ needs. We welcome all feedback regarding its operation. We will respond as quickly as possible, and you can find answers to many recurring questions in the FAQ. In the future, we plan to develop the hands-free function and compatibility with other brands as well.

Shopping Basket