Melted Connector on Tail Light Assembly--Help! [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Melted Connector on Tail Light Assembly--Help!


sunrisew
28th February 2011, 05:49 PM
I have a 2007 93 SS Aero.

My SID alert came up, telling me my left tail light was out. I went to change the bulb, only to discover that the wire connector to the tail light assembly was melted. One of the four wires--#2, the brown one--had its insulation melted about a centimeter back from the connector. As I disconnected the wiring connector from the connector receptacle the corresponding #2 blade broke away from the assembly. So, I presume that I need to replace both the assembly with it connector receptacle, and the wiring connector.

My questions are:

1) Is it okay to splice a new connector (one I would get from salvage) onto the existing wiring?

2) What would have caused this in the first place?

Also, Kragen/O'Kelly auto parts insists the bulb for this assembly is a double-filament (with two electric contact knobs on the bottom). However, the bulbs that were in the assembly are single filament 7506 bulbs. I checked the right-hand side, and there the bulbs were French made with no number code, though they looked exactly like the 7506 bulbs on the left-hand problem side. I don't think this could be a bulb replacement issue (I am the second owner), but I'm not sure. Can anyone confirm that the 7506 is the correct bulb?

sunrisew
28th February 2011, 07:15 PM
Okay, I DID search this site, but I searched the technical bulletins and not the forums by mistake. Sorry, it has been a while since I have been online here. Anyway, I found a posting from a couple of years ago that says this is a fairly common problem. There were even links to where you could buy the parts online, but the links had expired. So, I went to that site and found the parts and placed an order. Here are the updated links:

http://www.saabusaparts.com/product_info.php?products_id=1009
http://www.saabusaparts.com/product_info.php?products_id=1008

For reference, the SAAB part number for the left rear outer tail lamp circuit board is 12788634. For the right it is 12788637. If your connector (the wiring part) melts to the circuit board (the part that holds the bulbs), you need to also replace the wiring connector, for that you get part 12789433.12790414(4). It's a new plastic connector you must splice onto the existing wiring.

My dealer in Los Angeles wanted $90 for these parts and needed 3-days to get them. The site linked above sold them for $54, including ground shipping from the east coast.

I hope this doesn't happen again. If anyone has any tips on how to reduce the likelihood of it happening, I'd love to hear them. Perhaps the DRL are a factor? I just returned from a long trip where the car was on for 12 hours straight (with DRLs on). Maybe that long shift was what melted the connection. Any thoughts? So far the right side looks okay.

Nocturne
28th February 2011, 07:30 PM
Okay, I DID search this site, but I searched the technical bulletins and not the forums by mistake. Sorry, it has been a while since I have been online here. Anyway, I found a posting from a couple of years ago that says this is a fairly common problem. There were even links to where you could buy the parts online, but the links had expired. So, I went to that site and found the parts and placed an order. Here are the updated links:

http://www.saabusaparts.com/product_info.php?products_id=1009
http://www.saabusaparts.com/product_info.php?products_id=1008

For reference, the SAAB part number for the left rear outer tail lamp circuit board is 12788634. For the right it is 12788637. If your connector (the wiring part) melts to the circuit board (the part that holds the bulbs), you need to also replace the wiring connector, for that you get part 12789433.12790414(4). It's a new plastic connector you must splice onto the existing wiring.

My dealer in Los Angeles wanted $90 for these parts and needed 3-days to get them. The site linked above sold them for $54, including ground shipping from the east coast.

I hope this doesn't happen again. If anyone has any tips on how to reduce the likelihood of it happening, I'd love to hear them. Perhaps the DRL are a factor? I just returned from a long trip where the car was on for 12 hours straight (with DRLs on). Maybe that long shift was what melted the connection. Any thoughts? So far the right side looks okay.I guess it could be a possibility. Hmmmmm, I wonder if we replaced the standard filament bulbs with high output LED's we wouldn't have these problems...

sunrisew
28th February 2011, 07:38 PM
I guess it could be a possibility. Hmmmmm, I wonder if we replaced the standard filament bulbs with high output LED's we wouldn't have these problems...

That sounds like a great idea in theory. But are there H-O LED bulbs that would fit these sockets and the spaces in the lens?

Nocturne
28th February 2011, 08:05 PM
That sounds like a great idea in theory. But are there H-O LED bulbs that would fit these sockets and the spaces in the lens?
I'm not sure how much light output they produce now, but in my Eagle Talon I have LED bulbs in place of the standard bulb for the turn signals. Mind you, the lights that are in there are a crystal, almost amethyst colour.

I know here in Ontario (Toronto) Canadian Tire has various colored LED bulbs that fit the standard socket. White, Amber, Red.

Most likely an aftermarket shop that does modifications (think "fast and furious" would have, or be able to order the LED bulbs.

They are a cluster of multiple LED's in one housing, similar size to a standard bulb, same connector and everything. It just has (the ones I have) 8 LED's in a circle and one LED in the centre of the cluster. They are a very old series though, they aren't bright at all.

At night they're okay
http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k156/kobie2/My%20Talon/DSCF1485.jpg

During the day in sunlight, you can't see them.
http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k156/kobie2/My%20Talon/DSCF1468.jpg

cjhutch
1st March 2011, 12:22 AM
I had the same thing happen to me. I just replaced the entire unit including the board and wiring. I'm not good with electrics so I had the dealer do it. After it was all said and done I think it cost me around $250 to get it fixed.

Nocturne
1st March 2011, 01:45 AM
I'm going to look for the LED bulbs.

Nocturne
1st March 2011, 11:37 AM
I'm going to look for the LED bulbs.

Found a whole bunch of them....

http://www.yourhotcar.com/product/list/2004/Saab/9-3/Bulbs_&_HID/LED_Tail_&_Brake_Lights/

sunrisew
2nd March 2011, 02:01 PM
I see a ton of options. It looks like we need the 1156 lights to replace the 7506 incandescent ones, but all the websites I found were rather crappy. In order to do this I want a bulb that puts out around the same amount of light while using less energy and generating less heat, as the point is to avoid the repeat of the melting issue. Does anyone know of a chart that would have this information and point me to the right light?

Nocturne
11th March 2011, 05:46 PM
I see a ton of options. It looks like we need the 1156 lights to replace the 7506 incandescent ones, but all the websites I found were rather crappy. In order to do this I want a bulb that puts out around the same amount of light while using less energy and generating less heat, as the point is to avoid the repeat of the melting issue. Does anyone know of a chart that would have this information and point me to the right light?Hmmm, I guess not many LED experts yet...

JonV
11th March 2011, 06:25 PM
Go here www.superbrightleds.com and depending on what bulbs you replace you may have to get filterpacks (resistor packs) to avoid strobing. A search will turn up several LED threads. They are some naysers that actually think the wiring will start a fire.... hooey!

roommen1
22nd September 2012, 03:42 PM
I had the same problem today on my 2011 9-3. Only the black wire had some corrosion and I see some evidence of burn on the plate where the connector connects to the plate. I am wondering if I'll need to replace the plate itself. I can probably do all this for less than $100.

How did the splicing work?

dzlsabe
23rd September 2012, 03:51 PM
Ive been bypassing the melted connector by taking four wires, black, brown, blue and purple, sliding them under the socket grids, then soldering there and also into the harness. The new sockets are hard to find and this fix takes no more than fifteen minutes a side. Ive got 'em on Ebay.

roommen1
23rd September 2012, 05:32 PM
Any chance you could show a picture of what this final solution looks like?

Silver0393
23rd September 2012, 05:45 PM
Mine did the same thing, I dont understand why this would happen. You would think that SAAB would have made it strong enough to out last the car. I bought a new bulb holder and connector with wiring from a seller on eBay.

http://i1214.photobucket.com/albums/cc497/Jweber81990/077e67dd.jpg?t=1336086691

roommen1
23rd September 2012, 06:00 PM
What causes the ground to corrode and burn out like that in the first place? If I replace the connector and socket plate, how do I prevent it in the future?

wtffchase1
10th October 2012, 11:43 PM
I actually stripped the wires and soldiered them to the circuit board. Worked like a charm!!! I wrapped the bare wire around each circuit so it wouldn't come off. I did this because I could not find the part about 6 months ago. You just have to make sure you connect the wires to the right light, blinker and tail lamp. Hope this helps!!

SAABalingus
11th October 2012, 01:26 AM
What causes the ground to corrode and burn out like that in the first place? If I replace the connector and socket plate, how do I prevent it in the future?

Use some dielectric grease, or some liquid electric tape on the bare connections.

BobWeir
19th December 2012, 02:05 PM
Would someone explain [show] where the 4 wires would be solderd to the bulb holder.

Fajardo801
19th December 2012, 09:52 PM
Back side of that. Where the original plug went in

BobWeir
20th December 2012, 01:06 PM
I thought the wires were soldered onto the bulb side. On mine, the male spade connector on plug side for black wire is completely burned off so there's nothing to solder onto.

Is it possible to drill into previous location of spade connector, and solder wire into circuit board?

Thanks
Bob

BobWeir
29th December 2012, 07:33 PM
As "luck" would have it, my part orders with both my local Saab dealer and SaabPartsUSA came in the same week. The part bulb holder from the dealer was cheeper because of no shipping charge.

Because both the bulb holder and the plug for wire harness were melted for the black wire I ordered all the parts. The plug assembly requires the plug, a slide contact holder and 4 wire connectors. Easy to assemble with no soldering required. However, a small needle nose plyer is required for crimping. I dissembled the burnt connector to understand the metal connectors for each wire.

All still use the OEM part numbers and none appear any different to rectify the problem of the black wire melting.

Has anyone detected a cause and fix for the melting wire?

Part #'s for 2004 9-3 Sedan [Some part #'s may be different for other models]
Wire harness female connector: S12789433 $4.20
Locking tab for connector: S12789185 $2.15
4 Cable terminators: S12790414 $5.00
Bulb holder
Left [driver] side S12788634 $27.68 [post bankruptcy]
Right [pass] side S12788637 $48.27 [pre bankruptcy]

My only justifications for the lower price difference of left vs right is volume discount for DIYer or Saab's bankruptcy.

Yes, I do have an extra left side bulb holder, but I'm going to keep it until I sell the Saab soon. I'll post in parts 4 sale forum.

Kurtisl8
29th December 2012, 09:21 PM
Yea, my right rear tail light circuit board blew last month. I ordered it from the dealer on Nov 13th, finally came in yesterday. That's one helluva back order!

BobWeir
30th December 2012, 10:31 AM
I also ordered the bulb holder in Nov. Saab parts man said a new company has taken over distribution of existing inventory of Saab parts. However, they don't know of any continuing mfg. of parts.

juventuz
16th April 2013, 12:06 PM
I know I'm bringing up an older thread, but I had the same issue. My right side outer tail lamp circuit board had the melting issue in January.

I ordered the part from saabpartsusa.com on January 22nd. It's now April 16th and I'm still waiting for the part. I've contacted them a few times already, apparently they haven't received the parts in yet. It would have been nice to list it as backordered when I placed the order. I had to pay for the part before they would order it for me.

Does anyone know of another place to try?

sunrisew
16th April 2013, 02:03 PM
Try salvage yards. The new part is in no way improved over the original, from what I understand, so there is always a danger of this. When you replace it, you might want to consider switching to LED taillight bulbs--they are considerably more expensive, but they put off almost no heat, so they don't cause the melting. Just make sure you get one that puts out as much light as needed. Good luck.

Gs04aero
16th April 2013, 02:08 PM
I know I'm bringing up an older thread, but I had the same issue. My right side outer tail lamp circuit board had the melting issue in January.

I ordered the part from saabpartsusa.com on January 22nd. It's now April 16th and I'm still waiting for the part. I've contacted them a few times already, apparently they haven't received the parts in yet. It would have been nice to list it as backordered when I placed the order. I had to pay for the part before they would order it for me.

Does anyone know of another place to try?

Well you might be SOL right now. Saabsite is backordered. Eeuroparts is backordered. Genuine and PFS don't carry those parts. Saabusa doesn't have anything listed so they might have one. Call them up before ordering to make sure they have one. Cancel where ever you bought it from and demand a refund. Clearly they aren't getting the part.... Other than the link, I think you're best bet is probably a yard.

http://www.saabusaparts.com/product_info.php?products_id=867

You don't need LED's really. You just need the correct bulbs. I noticed people said they had dual filament bulbs in the car. Well they are supposed to be single filament. That dual filament is going to put off a lot more heat because it's not being used correctly. It's either being dimmed from the high brightness which will create heat or it's being overpowered at braking which will give more heat. Either way, not the issue at the moment since the task at hand is finding the part, but make sure you put the correct bulb in the car...

Saabohème
16th April 2013, 03:16 PM
I know I'm bringing up an older thread, but I had the same issue. My right side outer tail lamp circuit board had the melting issue in January.

I ordered the part from saabpartsusa.com on January 22nd. It's now April 16th and I'm still waiting for the part. . .

Does anyone know of another place to try?

SaabPartsOnline (http://www.saabpartsonline.com/index.php?mod=parts&cmd=d):
On this site you must enter the part number in the advanced search function.
Part #: 12-788-637 (Passenger side)
List Price: $28.23
Our Price: $17.07

Part #: 12-788-634 (Driver's Side)
List Price: $35.00
Our Price: $21.84

WorldPartsExpress (http://www.worldpartsexpress.com/parts/index.cfm?make=Saab&year=&searchText=12788637&action=oePartSearch&siteid=214078):

12788637 - Socket plate 2003-07, OUTER Right
PARTS: Part included with tail lamp assembly.
MSRP $28.23
Online Price $19.69

Driver's side not available here

SaabPartsCheap (http://www.saabpartscheap.com/):

BULB SOCKET RH
Make: Saab | Part#: 12788637
List Price: $28.23
Your Price: $21.66

BULB SOCKET LH
Make: Saab | Part#: 12788634
List Price: $35.00
Your Price: $27.72

BobWeir
16th April 2013, 04:27 PM
juventuz

I'll sell you my extra if it's the same side. Unfortunately, due to recent storm damage it will take me a few days to id and verify correct side.

As previously mentioned, check with ALL salvage aka JUNK yards. If your wires are burnt [as mine were] You might have to buy the entire rear tail light harness, but at least you'll have new wiring. Apparently the issue is the wrong [double] vs correct [single] filament bulb. Something makes me think the Manual's or online bulb charts are incorrect.

This bulb & harness issue really should be address by the forum in a sticky.

Saabohème
16th April 2013, 05:01 PM
juventuz

I'll sell you my extra if it's the same side. Unfortunately, due to recent storm damage it will take me a few days to id and verify correct side.

As previously mentioned, check with ALL salvage aka JUNK yards. If your wires are burnt [as mine were] You might have to buy the entire rear tail light harness, but at least you'll have new wiring. Apparently the issue is the wrong [double] vs correct [single] filament bulb. Something makes me think the Manual's or online bulb charts are incorrect.

This bulb & harness issue really should be address by the forum in a sticky.
The correct bulb, Saab Part No. 12767403, is a type 12088, PR21W, single filament red tinted bulb, fitting into a BAW15s base/socket.

http://www.donsbulbs.com/bulbs/g623/b/baw15s.gif

Bulb base diagrams and explanations courtesy of Donsbulbs.com.

It is available individually, IN RED, for $6.15 at eeuroparts.com. (Mfg. Flosser).
It is available individually, IN RED, for $6.55 at RMEuropean.com. (Mfg. Philips).
It is available individually, IN RED, for $6.55 at importecautoparts.com. (Mfg. Philips).
It is available individually, IN RED, for $6.56 at koperformance.com. (Mfg. Philips).
It is available individually, IN RED, for $7.37 at eaceuroparts.com. (Mfg. Philips).
$20.00 for a pair, IN RED, at Candlepower.com. (Mfg. Philips).

juventuz
17th April 2013, 12:38 PM
Wow, thanks for the help everyone. I was told by another forum member that he checked with a local place, in the UK, and they were told that the parts were in stock in Sweden. I then emailed saabpartsusa asking them about the parts. That was late yesterday morning and I have yet to hear back from them.

I'm going to give them until later this afternoon and if they don't respond I'm going to email them to cancel my order. In the email I received after first inquiring about my order they told me I had to pay in full to order a backordered part and it was non-refundable. I would hope they would change their mind since it's been a good 3 months now that I have not received the part.

juventuz
17th April 2013, 12:40 PM
juventuz

I'll sell you my extra if it's the same side. Unfortunately, due to recent storm damage it will take me a few days to id and verify correct side.

Thanks, please let me know if you have an extra one. It's for the right side, the passenger side.

As previously mentioned, check with ALL salvage aka JUNK yards. If your wires are burnt [as mine were] You might have to buy the entire rear tail light harness, but at least you'll have new wiring. Apparently the issue is the wrong [double] vs correct [single] filament bulb. Something makes me think the Manual's or online bulb charts are incorrect.

This bulb & harness issue really should be address by the forum in a sticky.

I literally called all salvage yards within a two hour radius and nobody had the parts.

I did order the harness and the circuit board, I figured it'd be better to replace both of them at the same time.

juventuz
17th April 2013, 12:45 PM
SaabPartsOnline (http://www.saabpartsonline.com/index.php?mod=parts&cmd=d):
On this site you must enter the part number in the advanced search function.
Part #: 12-788-637 (Passenger side)
List Price: $28.23
Our Price: $17.07

Part #: 12-788-634 (Driver's Side)
List Price: $35.00
Our Price: $21.84

WorldPartsExpress (http://www.worldpartsexpress.com/parts/index.cfm?make=Saab&year=&searchText=12788637&action=oePartSearch&siteid=214078):

12788637 - Socket plate 2003-07, OUTER Right
PARTS: Part included with tail lamp assembly.
MSRP $28.23
Online Price $19.69

Driver's side not available here

SaabPartsCheap (http://www.saabpartscheap.com/):

BULB SOCKET RH
Make: Saab | Part#: 12788637
List Price: $28.23
Your Price: $21.66

BULB SOCKET LH
Make: Saab | Part#: 12788634
List Price: $35.00
Your Price: $27.72

Thank you for your help. I've contacted them to make sure they have it in stock.

KillroyPete
18th April 2013, 02:04 AM
sunrisew wrote: ...only to discover that the wire connector to the tail light assembly was melted. One of the four wires--#2, the brown one--had its insulation melted about a centimeter back from the connector.

Unless a photo of the burned-out out area says otherwise, I'll say that this type of meltdown is caused by a "choke point" in the circuit, = somewhere the wire/solder/connector is smaller that it should be, and the heat is coming from there. Not the bulb itself. If the bulb was too hot, the socket would have melted, not 1 cm behind.
Typical damaged wire that got too hot. Unless you look at ALL the wires everywhere in a car, it's hard to spot.:cry:

MinnYooper
5th May 2013, 12:03 PM
Seems everyone's out of stock and there's a backorder of 159 of them from Saab, with no notice of when they'll have available. I screwed a screw into the face of the socket/circuit board, screwed down one end of a piece of wire, clipped the black/ground wire (if one looks closely, notice this is the lead that's burned/corroded), and connected the new wire to the old black...back up and running!

n9-3
5th May 2013, 12:25 PM
I fixed this issue on a friend's 9-3 2.0t a few months ago. I basically bypassed the connector (which was melted) and soldered 4 wires to the taillight circuit assembly in various locations. (as some of you have done/ mentioned here)

I took a little effort to follow the circuits and ID them to know which wires went where.

I found that since the circuit is galvanized you need to file down the metal to get the solder to stick. It was freezing cold that day so I soldered 4 wires to the assembly while in the house and then used quick crimp connectors to join it up to the wiring coming off the chassis of the car (after cutting off the male connector). Works well. I'll try and get a picture next time I see her!

But "if the Screw fits", looks like you got it under control!

MinnYooper
5th May 2013, 01:11 PM
yeah, I was resigned to thinking I'd have to solder as well, until noticing the large metal areas...was much easier to attach this way rather than monkeying with solder (took about 15 mins total). Of course, if more wires than the one are burned out, it might be tough to find space for 4 screws!

Jcoe78
2nd August 2013, 01:29 PM
sooooo... my tail light circuit board is burnt and the black wire was fried.... same problem everyone else is having. Problem is - I thought I recalled the order of the wires correctly, but it's not working. (i know - i should have taken a picture) anyway - can anyone give me the correct order on the drivers side?

james