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  1. #1
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Jul 2011
    Location
    Ansbach, Germany
    Posts
    1,524
    Saab(s)
    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
    Thumbs Up:   2

    Hello and 9-5 woes

    Well, I hate to be one of those guys that drops in only when he has a problem on his car, but today it's one of those days...

    My 9-5 has been doing family bus duty, with my wife driving it pretty much every week day, and then me driving it during the weekends. The car has been very reliable, with just regular oil changes and wear and tear stuff, until now.

    This last Tuesday the car went into transmission limp mode, I got my trusty OBD reader and got a code that basically said my Neutral Safety Switch is bad. So I ordered a new one, and erased code from ECU. The car drove normally after that.

    Today I had to go somewhere at night, and as soon as I got in the car I saw FRONT LIGHT FAILURE on the SID. My front left low beam bulb was burnt. I drove to a gas station, bought a new H7 bulb, installed it and drove off. I took care of the errands then started driving towards home.

    I was on the Autobahn going close to 200 km/h at 11 pm and my low beam lights rapidly flickered bright/low a few times then just went off. No low beams! I tried high beams but I had nothing. No lights, going 200 km/h. NOT GOOD! Getting on the brakes I saw red behind me (brake lights work). I turned on my fog lights, slowed down to 90 km/h, and followed a semi truck for a few km until the next rest area. At the rest area I pulled off the highway, ad did some trouble shooting. I found no fuses burnt, no smell of electrical burning, nothing on the engine compartment fuse box was hot to the touch. I was on the Autobahn and I know the Polizei gives heavy fines for people who drive unsafe cars on purpose on the highway, but I was 3 km away from the nearest exit that would take me home, so I decided to go for it. With only city lights and fog lights on, I got on the pitch black highway, kept my speed low, and found a semi truck, followed it until I saw the next exit and felt happy that the Polizei didn't see me When I got off the Autobahn things got interesting...

    The drive from the exit to home was a good 15 km drive. I am driving along with minimal lighting, going 50 km/h and using four way flashers, when all of a sudden ALL MY LIGHTS (all of them inside and outside the car) start going from dim to bright. The dashboard lights got day-time bright, then I had a bevy of warning lights on the dash: the triangle of death, the little gear of death, CEL, et-fucking-cetera. The car went into limp mode. I pulled off onto the shoulder, turned off the car for a few minutes, and just sat there with four way flashers on. I checked under the hood for any smells of electrical burns but nothing. After a few minutes I started the car, and it was back to "normal", this being just my low and high beams not working. Continuing my drive the whole bright/dim and the whole dash circus and limp mode happened again. As that happened I lost control of all my lights but the brake lights. Turn signals? No go. Four way flashers? Inop. I kept driving, inching closer to home in the darkness. On the way home the car went into and out of the whole set of failures. At one point I had everything but low/high beams, at another time I had nothing but brake lights. I made it home, parked the car, glad to not have had an electrical fire, and to be home and off the streets

    The only thing I can think of that might be related to this is my DIY repair of the headlight relay I did a while back (see here: http://saabworld.net/f9/left-headlig...583/#post57687). But then I have to wonder, would a total failure of the relay that controls the headlights make the entire light system of the car go haywire? Is there a central brain in the car, other than the ECU, that controls the lights? Would someone with a Tech 2 be able to diagnostic this type of debilitating electric failure?

    What sucks is that I really won't be able to do nothing to the car for two weeks. Tomorrow we are flying to Korea until the 16th, for Korean Thanksgiving, and when I return I'll be able to work on the 9-5. Until then I have time to do some internet troubleshooting and consultation with you guys to see if anyone has seen similar failures on these cars, and how to fix this.

    What sucks is that this car has been relaible to us, with the only major repair so far being a wheel bearing and the ABS pump controller refurbishment. Now I have what seems to be major electrical problems that is severely debilitating the car. It's getting to the point now where we are thinking of just fixing the car, then cutting our loses and selling it. We will need to sell it soon anyway, as I leave for the USA in February, but I was hoping on keeping the car until January. If I am forced to sell the 9-5 now I will still need to buy another car so that my wife has a daily driver. It sucks seeing such a good car go like this, but it's a near 15 year old car, full of complex electronics, so it's not surprising that some of it will fail. That's the future of cars of today! Makes me long for a full analog car, with minimal to no electronics: if it breaks, you fix it, you don't sit there scratching your head.

    On a different not, I am moving from Germany to Virginia in February 2015. I will be headed to Fort Eustis, VA, where I will be a aviation maintenance instructor at the US Army aviation maintenance school. I'm looking forward to being back in the US, the land of air conditioners!

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    Now: '00 Saab 9-5 Aero Combi - '89 Peugeot 205 CTI - '91 Peugeot 309 GTI
    Gone: '87 Saab 900i - '95 Saab 900 SE Turbo

  2. #2
    Saab Enthusiast pisani01's Avatar
    Join Date
    28 Jul 2014
    Location
    taylorsville,nc
    Posts
    62
    Saab(s)
    01 saab aero
    Thumbs Up:   0
    is there any ground wires that are loose someplace?

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  3. #3
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Jul 2011
    Location
    Ansbach, Germany
    Posts
    1,524
    Saab(s)
    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
    Thumbs Up:   2
    Well, I hope it's something as simple as a loose ground. Right now I am in Korea, I just hope that when I return home I'll be able to at least do the 4 5minute drive to my preferred Saab shop so they can take a good look at it with the scanner.

    0 Not allowed!
    Now: '00 Saab 9-5 Aero Combi - '89 Peugeot 205 CTI - '91 Peugeot 309 GTI
    Gone: '87 Saab 900i - '95 Saab 900 SE Turbo

  4. #4
    Saab Enthusiast pisani01's Avatar
    Join Date
    28 Jul 2014
    Location
    taylorsville,nc
    Posts
    62
    Saab(s)
    01 saab aero
    Thumbs Up:   0
    Well good luck. You are in the Military ? Am a Vet myself . Anyway these cars seem to be a bit finicky but fun to drive .I am digging into a car that has had two other owners amd it is a learning prosses for me. Did VW bugs and a few fiats 70s models.If there is anything I find out to help you sure will let you know have a nice time.

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  5. #5
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
    Join Date
    30 Jul 2010
    Location
    USA - Netherlands
    Posts
    7,816
    Saab(s)
    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
    Thumbs Up:   117
    Did you find out what the problem was and is it back on the road?

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  6. #6
    Marty Jackson
    Saab Addict Finding41's Avatar
    Join Date
    17 May 2013
    Location
    London Ont. Canada
    Posts
    640
    Saab(s)
    Sadly a Volvo XC90
    Thumbs Up:   1
    It's your alternator.
    My 03 Aero did the same crazy light thing with the triangle and gear of death too. I got an aftermarket 140 amp alternator for $120 mailed to me from a guy in Toronto.
    I wish we could drive 200 km/h legally here.
    After 50 km/h over the limit they take your car!

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    finding41
    Marty Jackson
    www.northchannelcharters.com

  7. #7
    Ron Fredey
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
    07 Jun 2012
    Location
    Pembroke MA
    Posts
    16
    Saab(s)
    2000 9-5 3.0
    Thumbs Up:   0
    Hello. Did you ever find out the problem? I'm having similar symptoms. Front and rear light out messages on the SID as well as a service security soon message. Both headlights are out. Getting the triangle of death, little gear of death, TCS ABS and brakes lamps on dash coming on. Car takes off okay in gear when first started and then after slight acceleration the ABS TCS Triangle lights come on followed a second later by the little gear of death and then no acceleration from the transmission. No codes being stored. It seems to me there may be a short somewhere but was wondering what you found out.

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  8. #8
    Ron Fredey
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
    07 Jun 2012
    Location
    Pembroke MA
    Posts
    16
    Saab(s)
    2000 9-5 3.0
    Thumbs Up:   0
    Replaced my alternator (charging 20V at battery) and my problems were solved.

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