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  1. #1
    Saab Fan Cosmo's Avatar
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    08 Jul 2013
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    2003 9-3 SE Convertible
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    Red face Headlight Relay 4109070 Malfunction

    I recently purchased a 2003 9-3 SE and within a week, I got the dreaded "Headlamp Failure" message on the SID. My left-side high beam light was inop, and the high beam indicator on the dash would not work. I searched every forum I could find and found a remair method which worked for me. I have not seen that topic posted here, so I thought I'd add it.

    First, you remove the large orange relay module (part# 4109070) in the relay/fuse tray under the hood (near the brake master cylinder). Just wiggle it back and forth while pulling up, and it will come out. For the repair, you'll need a small, hobby-sized soldering iron (not a large, pistol-sized soldering gun) with a small, conical soldering tip.

    Remove the orange cap from the relay (it's not glued on, but you'll need a couple of small flat-tipped screwdrivers (or in my case, a screwdriver and two small paring knives), It will take a bit of fiddling, but the orange cap will come off, exposing the circuit board inside. The failure happens at the solder joints where the connector base attaches to the circuit board. There are (I believe) 8 separate connections. One or more of these soldered connections breaks (sometimes you cannot even see the break with a magnifying glass) and must be repaired.

    Heat the soldering iron and simply hold the tip down on each solder joint for about 5-6 seconds, just long enough to remelt the solder. Remove the soldering iron and allow the solder to harden (about 15 seconds) before moving to the next solder joint. Once you have completed all 8 joints, allow the part to cool completely.

    TIP.....before you put the orange cap back on, pop the relay back into the car and see if it works. If it does not work, you will need to redo the procedure, but add a bit of solder to each connection. BUT BE CAREFUL! Apply too much solder and you'll fuse adjacent leads and have to spend a lot of time cleaning the excess solder out (otherwise the excess solder will create a short between two or more leads). Once you've verified that the part works again, pop the orange cap back on, reinstall in the car and enjoy your FREE headlamp repair! I actually felt a significant amount of pride in completing this delicate repair.

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    Last edited by Cosmo; 11 July 2013 at 19:31. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    Thanks for the great write-up and welcome to the site. Some pictures were posted in another thread so I think both threads will help others to fix this problem as it seems common on both the 9-3 and 9-5.

    http://saabworld.net/f15/orange-relay-breakdown-24518/


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  3. #3
    Saab Fan Cosmo's Avatar
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    Thank you, Frank. I thought I had seen it on this forum before....just couldn't remember where. One other tip that I neglected to mention in my original post is this - before you take the relay apart, you should check continuity with a multimeter. Remove the module and take it to a well lit work bench. The designation for each pin is engraved (embossed?) on the bottom of the module next to each pin. The ones you need to check are:

    Pin 56A - common for high beams
    Pin 56AR - lead for right-side high beam
    Pin 56AL - lead for left-side high beam

    Pin 56B - common for low beams
    Pin 56BR - lead for left-side low beam
    Pin 56BL - lead for right-side low beam

    There should be continuity betweem 56A and each of 56AR and 56AL. Similarly, there should be continuity between 56B and each of 56BR and 56BL. In my case, my left side high beam did not work, and sure enough, there was no continuity between 56A and 56AL. Viola!!

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  4. #4
    Marty Jackson
    Saab Addict Finding41's Avatar
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    17 May 2013
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    Sadly a Volvo XC90
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    Timely. My L side High beam just went out. SID said nothing but the indicator on the dash doesn't come on at all.
    Changed the bulb... Nope. Checked for power at the plug... None. Next plug... None.
    Checked under the fuse... Yea power!
    You just save me running a new wire and scratching my head for a week! Thank You!

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  5. #5
    Marty Jackson
    Saab Addict Finding41's Avatar
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    Sadly a Volvo XC90
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    I took my orange light relay apart and re-soldered the tabs. It was easy to stick a small flat screw driver on opposing sides and pop it apart. The soldering took all of 10 min to do. I added a tiny amount of solder to each tab too.
    Lights work fine now!
    One thing about the SID message. It didn't appear until I put the fixed relay in. (I had the L headlight and marker light out of the car already to remove broken glass form inside... I guess the light would have come on if a bulb burns out.)
    Thanks Cosmo!

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  6. #6
    Bruce Richardson
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    1998 900 SE Turbo
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    Pelican Parts has this relay for 30 bucks, I took mine apart but couldn't find any loose pins or bad solder joints, just got a new one.

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  7. #7
    Saab Fan Cosmo's Avatar
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    2003 9-3 SE Convertible
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finding41 View Post
    I took my orange light relay apart and re-soldered the tabs. It was easy to stick a small flat screw driver on opposing sides and pop it apart. The soldering took all of 10 min to do. I added a tiny amount of solder to each tab too.
    Lights work fine now!
    One thing about the SID message. It didn't appear until I put the fixed relay in. (I had the L headlight and marker light out of the car already to remove broken glass form inside... I guess the light would have come on if a bulb burns out.)
    Thanks Cosmo!
    Glad I could help, Finding!!

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    " 'Xcuse me while I whip this out!"
    - Sheriff Bart (_____________]]]]~~~~~

  8. #8

    Join Date
    31 Dec 2013
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    Saab 9-5 2.3t Vector -02
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    Had the same problem, left high beam dead and no indication in the dash.
    Did the soldering, pretty hard to get it to melt, added new solder to the worst one, and then put it back.

    Works like a charm, thanks alot!

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  9. #9

    Join Date
    01 Jul 2013
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    94 model 900
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    Wow! My daughter's SAAB 900S 1994 just happen to experience this fault just this week! Normal beams work OK but when you flick the high beams, the SID shows "Headlight Failure" and the left low beam goes out with only the parkers on. Right high beam works OK. When you release the high beam switch, left & right low beams come on/stay on and everything looks normal.

    Thanks for the info Cosmo as this was racking my brain.

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  10. #10
    Saab Fan dj.si's Avatar
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    2002 9-3 SE 2.0T Coupe
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    Just wanted to add my thanks for the advice in this post!

    I recently noticed that the left side high beam wasn't working on my 9-3, accompanied by the SID showing "Headlight failure". Of course I tried changing the bulb and checking the fuse, to no avail. A subsequent Google search brought up this thread, so I took out the relay and checked continuity on all 8 pins with a multimeter. I discovered that the pin on the far right (as highlighted in the image in wulf's post) had a bad connection, and so did pin 2 (counting from the left). Re-soldering them with a dab of fresh solder took barely 10 minutes, and so far everything's working fine again

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