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Discussion Starter #1
I just got a 91 900 turbo convertible, which is in beautiful condition inside and out. The headlights are always on when the car is on, regardless of which way the switch is turned. I'm not all too sure what the symbols mean on it anyway, as no manual came with the car. Also if I hit a large enough bump at speed a terrible noise of sorts comes from the car, once hitting the throttle fixed it, the next I had to cut the engine and turn it back on. It's sort of a whirring, noise, constant. Other than this the car is impeccable, and I may be hooked for life. I would ask the previous owner these questions, but he took my money and went straight to Mexico. Thanks, koeyjay
 

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Headlights and what-not

Headlight switch:

1st icon (leftmost): all lights off.
2nd icon (center): "running lights" on - side markers, rear red lights.
3rd icon (rightmost): running lights + headlights on.

I leave mine in the rightmost position all the time - lights on during the day. My 89 Saab 900 allows me to turn its lights off; as far as I know yours should as well. Likely a bad switch.

Does the whirring noise change in pitch as the car accelerates / decelerates? I'd start by checking around the CV joints (driveshaft to front wheels), and feeling the rubber "booties" in the area to see if they are torn or loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks! thats what the lights should be doing, but its nice that the saabs lights go out with the key off, a feature that other cars I've owned could of used.

As for the sound, it's a constant hum/whine, sounds like it could be electrical rather than mechanical even, like theres a weedwacker turned on or something. The bump I hit was uneven road construction doing about 140 km/h or so. It has to be hit pretty hard, or it will never do it.

I also found a stock car alarm under the back seat that doesn't work. Here in Vancouver though, if you lock your car, you can be sure it will be gutted eventually, so that doesn't matter to me. hah
 

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Since you're in Canada I would guess that you've got DRL's (Daytime Running Lights) enabled. That would mean that even if the headlamp switch was on position 1 the dipped headlights would still be on if the engine was. There is a fuse for them you can pull if you want to disable them - personally I just leave my headlamp switch in position 3 all the time, so DRL's on. Position 2 on mine is parking lights only, and will stay on even if the engine is off.

Don't know what the noise is. Does it happen while stationary? More when turning right, left or going straight? Could it be air escaping from a vacuum line? (This can sound just like a dog whining). Wheel bearing? (Rumbling noise). Cabin fan catching housing with blades? (once memorably desribed as a howling cow).

Welcome to Saab Central :cool:
 

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On my 1985 900, the little side lamps under the indicators and the tail lights were on permanently even with switch in position 1. Position 2 gave me side lights in the headlamps and Position 3 full headlights.

My 1990 900 T16S was Position 1 nothing, Position 2 sidelights, Position 3 headlights.

On both Position 2 would leave parking lights on with engine off.

A howling cow! I couldn't have described it better. I had this problem for about 6 weeks and then it just stopped so I never found out the cause. Is it likely to re-occur d'ya think?

I have started getting a bit of a rumble from the back passenger side wheel. Is it defo the bearing? Any tips on fixing this?

Thanks
 

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What's this? A thread with 3 (count 'em) first posts!! Welcome to all! (This must be some sort of record.)


As far as the lights are concerned, I think Jezz is right, but if you want to replace the switch, it's wayyy easy. Wait for one to come up on ebay. The old one just pulls out. Swap 'em and see.

About the 'howling cow', I have no idea. It's just funny to say.:lol:
 

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Find out all about the howling cow and other amusing noises here:
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23672

I think the DRL for later cars is a relay, not a fuse.

I don't really see the point of keeping your car's headlamps on all day - they dazzling and distracting to other driver's. If visibility and light level is good, then you don't need headlamps. Side lamps for when visibility or light level's low and you need low-level lamps not to see where you're going but so that other vehicles can see you. Full lamps for when you need to see where you're going. Rant over ;)

All 900s c.pre-MY87 have daytime running lamps as standard, in the form of the small lamp at the bottom of the side clusters. I think that DRLs are a legal requirement for cars registered in Sweden.

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Matthew said:
I don't really see the point of keeping your car's headlamps on all day - they dazzling and distracting to other driver's. If visibility and light level is good, then you don't need headlamps. Side lamps for when visibility or light level's low and you need low-level lamps not to see where you're going but so that other vehicles can see you. Full lamps for when you need to see where you're going. Rant over ;)
Have you ever met a dark coloured car coming westwards around a bend on a clear morning with the sun low and in your eyes. You won't see it for a bit. If it has its headlamps on, you'll see it much sooner. That's the reason for the Scandanavia / Canada {both far north} requirement. Ireland has started suggesting DRLs these days. It's not law as yet though...

All 900s c.pre-MY87 have daytime running lamps as standard, in the form of the small lamp at the bottom of the side clusters. I think that DRLs are a legal requirement for cars registered in Sweden.
Essentially that. You'll note that your DRLs are the 21W filaments in the sidlight bulbs.
 

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I don't like the DRL idea. When I am passing on a 2-lane road it makes it more difficult to judge the distance of the other car. Plus, it means nobody can notice you flashing the highbeams.

To disable the DRL lights on your 900, simply open the hood. Go to the left side of the car near the driver's door. You will see the fusebox. Note the position closest to where you sit in the car - this should be a letter "F" (perhaps something else) and underneath it says "DAY RUNNING LIGHT - CANADA". Then undo 2 thumbscrews holding the cover on. Remove the relay under the text on the cover. Put back the cover. Now you're headlights will function in this fashion:

0 - No lights, high-beam flasher operative.
=0 0= - Parking lights (taillamps, side markers) operative, high-beam flasher operative.
=O - Headlamps operative (all lights on), high-beam switch changes to toggle mode (ie from dipped lights to high-beam).

Now when you are in Headlights position, all lights turn off with the ignition key.

However, a test done by Car&Driver in 1994 found that leaving your headlamps on will produce a small amount of light in the 904-nanometre spectrum. 904 nm of course is the infrared wavelength used in traffic LIDAR guns, and they found leaving the headlamps on would reduce the targeting range of the car to the gun. However I am told modern lidar's aren't highly effected by the lights, except you might irritate the officer's eyes to the point he'll aim at someone else :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nice! I'm going to go out and take out that fuse right away. It's kinda hard to slip off a side street and kill the lights when a cop flips around because you aren't wearing a seatbelt. haha.

One problem with DRL in Canada is that the taillights aren't on most cars but the headlights are. This means at night there's always drivers flying around with absolutely no tail lights on at all which makes them difficult to see. I'm not sure why DRL leave the taillights off anyway. Either way I prefer to choose whether the lights are on or not.
 

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you can remove the DRL relay so you don't have to put up with them. my relay is missing so i just use the headlights. andhey i live in vancouver too, well across the bridge in north vancouver, where abouts are you?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
i live right across the bridge just off mcgill street. and taking that relay off did the trick too. my buddy said he saw a blue saab the other day, could of been you because there aren't that many around.
 

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oh yeah, yeah prob was me as mine is the only medium blue saab i have ever seen. was it medium blue? mine it a 3door hatch turbo. i will post a pic of it later.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
he just said it was blue, and he said it was a 3 door too. mines red with a black top if you see it moving around
 

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cdaly said:
Have you ever met a dark coloured car coming westwards around a bend on a clear morning with the sun low and in your eyes. You won't see it for a bit. If it has its headlamps on, you'll see it much sooner.
I can't see a pair of car headlamps standing out against the blinding light of the sun!

I have to say though that the particular driving situation you describe is one I detest and dread, due to being unable to clearly see the forward path and oncoming traffic. Add in a scratched windscreen :roll:... anything that reduces risk has to be good.

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What convinced me of DRL's was driving on a bright summer's day here in Suffolk, and then passing through a small wood where the trees met overhead. It was still good visibility but tinged green in the shade. I came up to a T junction in the forest, checked right left right and edged forward. Suddenly a glint caught my eye and I braked, and the next second a car emerged from a pool of shadow - I hadn't seen it until the dappled sunlight flashed off the grille. The next car along was a Volvo, and I saw him from miles away because he had DRL's on. I keep them on all year now.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Going back to that sound issue, it happened this morning just taking a right turn. It's a LOUD humming sound coming from behind the glove box somewhere. Now I'm thinking it could be the fan or heater assembly. I cut the engine to stop it. Anyone have an idea? I had the heater blasting this morning at the time.
 

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The heater fan is where you describe. Sounds like you've found the problem. Remove the speaker grill and look for yourself.
 

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The demented mooing is not the fan blades hitting their housing (it's a squirrel cage, anyway, so no separate blades). It's the armature shaft grinding against its bearings (usually the top one), due to dried-up and cruddy grease.This problem will get much worse in cold weather, to the point where the fan's fuse will blow every time it's switched on.

The only solution is replacing the fan motor (save the old squirrel cage--you won't get a new one with the motor). I disassembled, cleaned and regreased a fan motor a couple of years ago, but this only bought me a year before the problem reappeared:evil:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the help guys. Doesn't sound too difficult a job (for my bro to do) and i'll take a look at it tomorrow. Hopefully that fixes it all up.
 
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