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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow stay at homers,
I've taken this time to try and knock off items on my wife's 9-5 list. My HVAC is giving me a heck of a time. This is a 2006 9-5 sportcombi with the dial controlled dual zone climate control

The car delivers air, but never a lot of cold air nor hot air. After long enough, you're comfortable enough in the car, but it used to be you'd be uncomfortable in full hot or full cold. Now, you're wanting for more.

The blower motor changes pitch/speed as you select from one of the 7 or 8 different speeds on the speed dial. I purchased a new blower motor resistor thinking this may be the issue, but when I went to change it, i discovered the cabin filter was totaly filled with debris. I hoped by changing the filter, I'd solve the airflow problem. No go though.

Can someone point me in the right direction? it sounds like there's a lot of air moving, but I can't find where it's moving to. On Max speed, there's a groaning from the driver's side dashboard. Any idea why this is? It seems like there's a good flow of air our the footwell, and rear passenger vents, but the up front is really lacking.
Do you think this is clogged ducting? Does this sound like a bad blower motor? maybe the impellers are filled with debris too? Is there a door specific to the driver's side that may be non-functioning? I guess I'm hoping someone has had this exact situation before and knows what's going on.

Thanks in advance!
 

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First recalibrate ACC: push auto and recirc buttons at same time (with engine running).
If this will not help, you have bad air drum stepper motor or -flap.
 

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Yes.

If you remove the side panels, you can see the motors, cranks, pushrods etc. You can watch them move (or not) in response to ACC panel inputs. Engine should be running for this.

It does sound like a flap/door issue, but the other source of a low, dull, distant "moan" is the fan controller module. There was a service bulletin to replace it, the symptom in the WIS being a strange "moan' or "hum" at fan speeds 4 to 7 inclusive. Speeds to 3, and 8, were quiet. Its nothing physical, its the electronic component. With this defect, fan speed and other functions were not affected. However if you think the airflow is being blocked somewhere, this is academic.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Mimmi, Hi Doug,
Doug, that sounds like the exact issue for the noise. There are definite steps in the fan speed, but that noise seems to only start at about halfway through the speed selection. I had bought that fan controller module so looks like I'll stick that in there.
Although it may actually be two issues. I'll look at the flap door motors to see what's going on.
Mimmi,
I'll also try the reset. This system has no digital readout. Does pressing both buttons also run a diagnosis? Where would I get this info? would a OBD2 scanner show the error code if there's any?

Thanks!!
 

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Did you get a new fan controller or used? Either way, although the cable loom is different from about 2006 on, the lump on the end, and the wiring colours, are identical so one method is to transplant the new lump onto the old loom, removing the need to extract the loom. The end of it has to go through the bulkhead to reach the fan motor, and thats a whole new chunk of work to get access from the scuttle area. If you do the transplant, give yourself as much cable to play with as you can, and disconnect the battery. there's stuff still live down there.

20180802_132202.jpg


I wasn't going to try soldering whilst lying on my back in the footwell, hence the method shown
 

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But yes it could still be a jammed flap, as the fan controller thing doesn't affect its actual operation. All fan speeds are still available with this defect, its just an irritating noise.

Its possible to get the air flow, as in many cars I guess, to make odd sounds if all the vents are shut, and a jammed flap/door could do the same.

Unfortunately, the moaning fan speed controller doesn't generate a fault on the ACC diagnostic self check.

And while you're down there, check the drain pipes out of the filter compartment, one each side, exiting under each front seat. Yours being a 2006 should have the enlarged pipe fitting at the top end - the earlier ones used to block up. If you still get twin pools of condensate under the car after a session with the air con running, they're not blocked!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Did the reset on the ACC, no change. But it seems that there's a noticeable difference in airflow from the left and center stacks vs the passenger and rear seat vents. I think all signs point to the blend door/step motor. I pulled the side dash panels hoping I could see past the fuse box but no luck> I'll try again today when i can pull the foot well covers off. I looked online and it appears my VIN puts the car after the small shaft-to long shaft conversion on the step motor for this repair.
I'm hoping it's obvious when I look in there.
I like your idea to splice the wires together for the FCM. I think I have a lot of butt joints in my electrical box which should allow me to do the same thing as you and I can avoid removing the wipers and cowl. Thanks!!!
 

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"I looked online and it appears my VIN puts the car after the small shaft-to long shaft conversion"

Where did you do this, out of curiosity?

You mentioned the stepper motor shafts - reminds me - there was an issue early on with the cog migrating along the motor spindle and disengaging from the cam it was supposed to rotate. Some motors are encased in a capsule with an external plastic drive shaft. To eliminate this you'd need to take the motor off and command it to move via the ACC panel. I would think by 2006 they'd have sorted this out though. There were different types of motor.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
went to saab sis online, body, auto climate control, acc, tech data, and there's the TSB

272287
1585770139377.png
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Today's update: Found a stepper motor that is working on the driver's footwell. I could see the operation of the motor as it spun a disc around. This disc has two wedges in it that were open, and it would spin to open one, which would blow air on my face cause I was looking through the footwell vent, then the other looked like it closed everything when I selected defrost, and the last, which I think was front vents, placed the other hole over a white plastic piece located at the bottom of the disc. I can't visualize the innards of the unit, but it appeared that all the rods and stepper motors were functioning.
I plan to swap out the Fan Control Module tomorrow and see if that cures the groan, and hopefully the speed of the fan will increase! I could see the fan move and change speed when recycle was on, which I assume is the same blower motor as for fresh air.
 

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Yes it is the same blower motor. It achieves recirc by closing a clamshell, each about 5 “ across, one at each end of the fan chamber. Outside air is thereby excluded and it circulates inside air.
 

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My 02 groans in the same manner, and only when going into recirculation mode. If your recirc servo motor arm is broken, it won't throw an ACC code.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi Doug, Hi enthusiast95,
I've done the fan control module change over using butt-crimp connectors, which is much easier than pulling the whole car apart. The groan is now gone, but there is still a noticeable difference between the air coming from the driver's vents and the passenger vents. I'm going to investigate further, and have to re-read the 2carpros link you sent.
But while I'm under the dash I observed both recycle doors open and close. I think those are fine.

Thanks and I'll update once I identify what's going on.
 

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I look forward to your updates. In case mine ever goes wrong in the same way. Pleased you got rid of the groan!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ha! New news! I buttoned everything up with a shoulder shrug. I definitely notice a difference in airflow from the left and center vents, compared to the passenger and rear vents but since my wife drives the car most, I figured I may be making a big deal about the normal operation. (Do you 9-5 owners see the same or better airflow from your vents vs passenger vents?)

Well, I figured I'd see how the A/C is working so started the car up and put the A/C on. Warmish air from the left and center, and perhaps slightly colder on the passenger. I wonder how the heat's working? So let the car get to operating temp and put it to max heat. Warmish from the left and center, hotter from the passenger.
Back to A/C now and get my IR thermometer. Pass vents are kicking out 47 degree air while center and left are 67 degrees on max cool. This leads me to believe that the Driver's side blend door isn't functioning properly, which may also be taking the airflow with it. Now to figure this out....

I'm trying to use the link you sent, and WIS online to determine where the step motor is for the driver's side. So far I can see 1 step motor in the driver's footwell, and two in the passenger. The driver's seems to control where the flow of air goes so my suspicion is I've missed a stepping motor. Does anyone know if this is in fact the case? Am I missing a stepping motor completely?
 

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About the temp imbalance in a/c - I read on here that if the refrigerant is low, when it gets into the evaporator it cools it asymmetrically so one side gets cooler than the other > one side of the car gets cooler air. (Note the refrigerant is done by weight not pressure so those aerosol cans aren't appropriate).

Based on this revelation I put 4 cheap Chinese digitals in a row on the instrument cluster with their probes stuck into each vent and the difference was substantial, and variations frequent as the system self-regulated to its heart's content. Sometimes an outer would go hot whilst centres were coolish, then cool down again.

I had it re-gassed and there was far less variation between vents. Also I find the centre vents get cooler than the outers but thats because the outers have 18" of duct to travel though, and also because the centre vents come off the top centre of the HVAC box and the side vents come off further forward.

Generally the 9-5 system is rubbish compared to the '98 - '03 9-3. And the 9000 is brutally efficient in comparison. One design feature I never understood id that when full cold is selected, the incoming air doesn't go through the heater matrix obviously. However it does flow up the face of the matrix, so some heat exchange takes place.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ahhhh, the luxury of not going anywhere. I finally took off the driver's side stepper motor. I was hoping to see something broken, but nothing. Just a white actuator arm.
On a side note, there's a bracket I removed that looks to be attached to the steering column. It seems that if you were in a large enough crash to compress the column, that this bracket would then apply the brakes to the car. Is that a Saab thing, or do others have this? Neat.

Ok, back to the HVAC. What tests do I perform once the stepper is out? Should I plug it in and ask for temp changes and observe the motor? Should I disassemble the box more or should i do like Doug, and get the system recharged?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So a further update. I pulled the stepper motor, and manually moved the driver's side blend door. Door moves smoothly and stops fine. The arm itself is also fine. The motor moves in both directions without any odd noises.
I then reinstalled everything and tested out my new anemometer. It's cheap, but measures air speed and temp. The air speed is highest on the passenger side center vent, nearly 14 knots! The driver's outside is 9 and the center is 11. So I wasn't imagining the difference, but it's not as bad as it seems.
But the temp function was the most enlightening. On heat, all the front and rear vents seem to be the same, but on max A/C, it's like 70 degrees farenheit, which is close to ambient. Which triggered my memory.
Last summer I replaced the clutch on the compressor. The outer plate had broken it's rivets. The replacement seemed to solve the lack of A/C and I hoped that the damage was from fatigue. But I realize that the rivets are designed to be the weak point, and they should fail to allow the serpentine belt to continue operating and drive the car.
So I think the Compressor itself has been failing, or failed and/or the refrigerant has leaked. So I think I'm going to ask my local mechanic to check the A/C pressures and likely replace the compressor. Hopefully this does it!
 

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Ha! New news! I buttoned everything up with a shoulder shrug. I definitely notice a difference in airflow from the left and center vents, compared to the passenger and rear vents but since my wife drives the car most, I figured I may be making a big deal about the normal operation. (Do you 9-5 owners see the same or better airflow from your vents vs passenger vents?)
Both of my 9-5s had weak airflow coming out of the rear vents, which ended up being the same simple to fix problem in both cars. If you take off the glove compartment and change the airflow settings, you'll see the air distribution arm move. There should be a metal rod connected to the end of the arm, which controls the airflow to the rear. The rod had come disconnected on both cars, and I've also seen it disconnected on cars at junkyards, so something causes it to come unsnapped from the little bushing it fits into. After snapping it back in, full airflow was restored to the rear. That shouldn't affect the front passenger's side, though, so you may have another problem.
 
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