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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!
Since buying my 2001 95 wagon, I havent ever had the cabin fans work. It has been pretty temperate by me so I hadn't gotten around to finally tackling it until this week. I ran the ACC calibration and came up with 08/14 codes- read a TON on this forum and wound up fixing both of those. The problem is- since the start, any time the ACC is run, even when it was just through the defrost- it makes the most insane noises....Im not even sure how to describe them because there are multiple. One noise is like a grinding sound that vibrates the entire front part of the car, so much so that I can feel it on the pedals. The second is like a weird moan/whine that lasts for at least 30 seconds after you turn the system off. Like I said, both ACC codes are fixed and it comes up with no codes now. Here is where it gets very weird-- I replaced the cabin fan blower motor, and it got WORSE, so much so that I wound up just putting back in the old one. Today I will be trying to grease it and changing the cabin filters, but judging by the noise this seems to be far more involved than just a bit of grease and a new filter. At a bit of a loss because I can't seem to come across this problem anywhere. I keep seeing people posting about what sounds like a card in bike spokes, and that is most certainly not what I am hearing. It is a really intense grinding, that like I said- vibrates the entire car basically. I highly doubt its a leaf. ha! anyways. any help or ideas or troubleshooting would be greatly appreciated - the oncoming season is quickly approaching!!


thanks!!
 

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First of all, turn the A/C off to eliminate that source of noise. A/C is engaged in defrost, so try floor and hit ECON. "Shaking the car" is something that a bad A/C compressor might do more plausibly than a blower fan.

When my mechanic swapped out the blower motor in my 9-5, he mentioned that you have to get the motor positioned right or it will rub and make awful noises. That might be what's happening for you. You can always run the fan out of the car using jumper leads to see if the motor itself is noisy.

You might want to download WIS/EPC, look in the Tech II forum for the WIS/EPC for Windows 10 thread.

WISonline has blower removal/installation instructions:

However the online version does not include this service bulletin that the downloaded WIS does; look at Symptom I:

275540


,
 

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Yes.

If you've eliminated the compressor, which will grumble if low on refrigerant, its pulley/clutch, and the fan, it'll be the speed controller depicted in EdT's post. For my 2004 the Saab Tech Bulletin stated the symptom was a low moaning sound at fan speeds 4 to 7 inclusive (i.e. not at full speed). I'm sure thats not the only failure mode. I changed mine and all is well. I don't know how the sound is actually generated from an electronic component but as the above extract says, it could get a lot louder than mine was (I could easily drown it with the audio).

Location - above and to the right of the driver's right toes. Some remove the driver's seat for easier access although I am skinny and lay on my back in the footwell, half of me outside on a platform built level with the door sill. Don't put any pressure on the seat's side shroud, as the front fastening might break, so you'll have to take the seat out anyway and repair with a metal bracket or similar.

Networking cables Electrical wiring Cable Electrical connector Electronics


Replacing the whole thing with the loom is unnecessary and awkward as it snakes out through the bulkhead, across the fan intake and back inside on the other side, as you will have seen when you did the fan. I just cut the five wires and spliced the replacement on using block connectors, in the footwell. I wasn't going to try soldering in that position.

If you get a used unit, note that later cars have a different loom with less connectors. I'd advise getting one of these anyway, as the controller is operationally identical as are the wire colours, and splicing it. Reason - you want a newer one as an improved version was used later on.

In Europe the later cars (2006 on I think) had the controller on the opposite side from original. After you remove the under-cover with the courtesy light in it, the controller is visible behind a thin transparent cover. Although the controller has four screw holes, its only attached using two. They're 6 mm heads.

Disconnect the battery - there's still live stuff down there when the car's switched off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
hmmm thats good to know- perhaps the motor is just positioned poorly from my fucking with it so many times at this point. I've ruled out the A/C compressor simply because the noises remain with the heat on full blast. I guess i haven't tried econ though... I will give it a whirl and see what happens. Would the A/c compressor be the the thing making that really odd moaning/whining noise? the grinding makes sense, a loose or bad bearing would cause that. but the moan?? thanks so much for the reply and the link! i will absolutely be downloading that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I will report back with some findings. I am almost certain this has got to be the problem- mostly because even before I was messing with the fan and its position it was making the noise. thanks guys!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
not even sure if this is good news or bad news is, but the noise is gone completely when on ECON
 

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hmmm thats good to know- perhaps the motor is just positioned poorly from my fucking with it so many times at this point. I've ruled out the A/C compressor simply because the noises remain with the heat on full blast. I guess i haven't tried econ though... I will give it a whirl and see what happens. Would the A/c compressor be the the thing making that really odd moaning/whining noise? the grinding makes sense, a loose or bad bearing would cause that. but the moan?? thanks so much for the reply and the link! i will absolutely be downloading that.
In AUTO mode, compressor will run unless it gets down towards freezing outside. That dehumidifies the air. I find it a waste, mostly, in my climate.

not even sure if this is good news or bad news is, but the noise is gone completely when on ECON
Well, it could be a low charge. The system is tricky to fill. Ideally, you would find someone to evacuate the system and fill it by weight. Unideally, I guess you could try adding some R-134a and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yeah totally- Im in Chicago, so a similar boat for sure. we dont get humid for more than a few weeks out of every year. So this means the compressor is shot I take it, because at the start of the summer I got it recharged- but obviously have not been using it at all- so I cant imagine its low on refrigerant. thanks so much for all of your help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In AUTO mode, compressor will run unless it gets down towards freezing outside. That dehumidifies the air. I find it a waste, mostly, in my climate.



Well, it could be a low charge. The system is tricky to fill. Ideally, you would find someone to evacuate the system and fill it by weight. Unideally, I guess you could try adding some R-134a and see what happens.
unless of course they just did a shotty job filling it...i did just go to a jiffy lube chain to get it done.
 

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unless of course they just did a shotty job filling it...i did just go to a jiffy lube chain to get it done.
You could ask them how they filled it.

A properly licenced shop would have a pretty automated system where you punch in the right numbers and it does it all for you. Of course it's possible for Jiffy Lube to screw up that, too. If they just got a department store can of refrigerant and topped it up, well.... You could always ask them to show you how they do the job.
 

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The left and right hand drive cars had the HVAC unit design mirrored. The cabin filter has to come out in the passenger footwell, no space with the pedals in the way, and fan controller was located on the opposite side because its smaller and can be got at near the pedals. Thats up to 2005 model year. I think a few changes happened to the HVAC unit from 2006 but doesn't affect you. So I think your speed controller will be visible above/ahead of the gas pedal, once you remove the trim panel with the light in it.

I've ruled out the A/C compressor simply because the noises remain with the heat on full blast
It still runs even if full heat selected, unless you select ECON. Its a variable displacement pump i.e. output doesn't depend on engine rpm, but on demand. I think its a swashplate system whereby the stroke of the pistons can be varied.

I agree with EdT, selecting ECON will shut down the compressor noise of course. Mine is doing this at the moment (mobile aircon guy coming on Monday). Its low on refrigerant.

If the system has a leak, which could be at unions anywhere or due to impact damage to the condenser, the system can leak. Its generally accepted that NOT running the system damages the various seals by drying them out. The refrigerant (a) refrigerates, (b) lubricates the compressor and (c) keeps the seals supple. Aircon systems should be left on all year round. Fuel consumption penalty is negligible, and the compressor won't be expending much effort in cold weather, but will be circulating the refrigerant with all the benefits that brings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the info doug, I had tried the econ mode and all of the noises are gone entirely. No noise is made when the ACC is run on ECON. I am currently going through the motions to determine if Jiffy Lube (a chain) just did a shotty job filling the system or if the system needs to be replaced. thanks for all of both of your guys help! I think I will try to get it checked before I get it drained and filled by weight.
 

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Well that rules out the moaning fan controller I guess. Even if the climate control is on, but compressor off (ECON mode), the controller is still operating.
 

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Thing to do is get it degassed / re-gassed at a legit specialist indie air con place. They'll measure the weight of refrigerant that comes out. A couple of days ago we got 325 g out of my 825 g system. The guy/girl will look for leaks with a UV light, assuming fluorescent die was put in at the last re-gas. This'll show what parts to replace, and it may just be rubber seals. If not, he'll pressure test the system (typically 45 minutes under vacuum) and if relatively gas-tight, fill it up with die added. When it next goes bad he'll find the die with the UV light.

Mine needs a re-gas annually, but the guy couldn't find any leak evidence, so its a mystery especially as it passed the 45 minute vacuum test. The compressor is quiet again and we got 3.5˚C air out the centre ducts which is better than spec.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thank you so much doug this is a life saver, I will definitely be taking it in before winter as I will for sure need to have the defogger working, and if i am not mistaken and understand EdT correctly, it needs the compressor for the humidity. Best!
 
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