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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

I have a 2004 9-5 Aero w/Xenon headlamps and today I saw a Xenon Fault indicator warning lamp on my dash come on (Page 58 of the Owners manual). When I investigated, I noticed when I turn on the car the lights do their normal leveling routine where they drop and level out. BUT now both lamps slowly drop to a new lower position and the Fault Indicator comes on. Both low and high beams work at their normal intensity even with the Fault indicator.

Does anyone know the fix for this problem?
Has anyone run into this problem before?
Is there a central control module for leveling the headlamps or are they self contained in the headlamp?


I was planning a trip but now I may have to cancel. I could use some help here.
 

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There could be a few causes but the most common one would be corrosion at the connection between the front leveling sensor and the cable leading from it. Especially since you're from New York there's probably a lot of salt induced corrosion. This happened to me and I changed out the sensor and the cable. A couple of the cable's connecting pins had rotted out and there was green corrosion all around. I bought the car from a friend who lives near Buffalo, NY.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Leveling Sensor vs Controller

There could be a few causes but the most common one would be corrosion at the connection between the front leveling sensor and the cable leading from it. Especially since you're from New York there's probably a lot of salt induced corrosion. This happened to me and I changed out the sensor and the cable. A couple of the cable's connecting pins had rotted out and there was green corrosion all around. I bought the car from a friend who lives near Buffalo, NY.
Thanks Mike J.
I've seen a couple of threads that talk about a 'controller'. Is this the same as the level sensor you mentioned and is there only one for both headlamps? Could you tell me where they are located?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Found the Sensors but not the problem...yet

I did a little searching on the web and found this article on the automatic headlamp leveling system.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/12684710/Xenon-Headlamp-Levelling-description-for-Saab-95

It describes the sensors (Qty:2), their locations and how they work in conjunction with the headlamp/AHL control modules. It unfortunately it doesn't explain where these control modules are. I'm assuming their in the lamp housing as there is one module per lamp.

I did a cursory check of the sensor and they appear fine but couldn't check the connections. I'll do that next as I've just returned from a long trip through a snow storm--I'm hoping it's corroded contacts like Mike J suggested.
 

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The control unit is mounted to the bottom of each headlamp housing. Removal of the housing is the only access to it. Since its affecting both lights, I doubt its that. I would check as per Mike Js suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Still not working

Thanks MT.Aero. I was leaning toward the sensors also. Unfortunately, the connections appear okay...clean and no corrosion. Do you know of anyway to check whether the sensor is good. They appear to be sealed units. Perhaps a resistance check ?

I hate the idea of bringing the car in but I'm running out of ideas.
 

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I understand your reluctance to take your car into a shop, but I think what you need to do is go to a dealer or Saab repair shop that has a Tech II scanner. They can pinpoint the problem and tell you which of the two level sensors is bad, if the sensor is the problem, or any other cause. Good luck. Last winter when my lights weren't leveling I could still drive around o.k. at night because the snow reflected the lights pretty well:)
 

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I am having the exact same issues, did you have any luck getting this resolved? I just put in 2 new HID's
The fault light is not related to the bulbs, changing the xenon lamp will eliminate flickering or if the colour has changed with time, dull lights, ... but it won't bring the fault ligh on, even if one is burnt!
 

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I needed to replace my hid's anyway. Now i need to figure out the indicator light, it goes on and off, and the hid's go up and down when it does that. there is no flickering though.
 

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I've had the same issue with my 9-5.

Start by checking both sensors, one is in the front attached to the passenger side shock at the bottom. Remove the RH side wheel and you will be able to access the sensor easy. Check for corrosion in the connector and on the sensor, clean it out with a connector cleaner, apply electric grease to avoid getting new corrosion inside. Test it out and check if the fault goes away. There is no need to connect to a Tech II to remove the fault as it will go away on it's own if that resolved the problem.

If you still have the fault, check the rear sensor. It's located on the rear axle. Jack the car up in the back, if you slide underneath you will see the sensor, it's located in the middle of the car. Do the same then with the front sensor.

If the fault is still present, get someone with a Tech II to pull the fault code(s). This will not work with an OBD scanner.

There are 3 codes for the Xenons:

DTC b3410: For the front sensor

DTC b3420: For the rear sensor

DTC b3435 : Short in the cable leading the the level control motor

If you have both of the first 2 codes, it's not looking good as both sensors are rarely defect. I personally had both codes. Changed the 2 sensors + the front cable going from the front sensor to the engine bay. The rear cable has no part number. You can't change it, you need to create a new wiring harness!!

After changing all the parts, I still had the fault. Tech II recalibration did not change a thing. I ended up returning all the parts to the dealer.

I manually bring the lights up to the highest position, the car defaults them to the lowest position, but since I bring them up they sit at a reasonable height and I can see the road fine (there about at the height they would be without the fault).

If you do all this and still have a fault, it's probably your AHL modules. They are located underneath the headlight assembly. I personally abandoned the troubleshooting at that point because the units are 220$ CAN each (plus the cost of both sensors and cable...) and anyway the auto leveling is cool, but useless if you're always alone with no cargo... Just bring your lights up manually and if the dash warning light bugs you, pull it out ;)!!
 

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I've had the same issue with my 9-5.

Start by checking both sensors, one is in the front attached to the passenger side shock at the bottom. Remove the RH side wheel and you will be able to access the sensor easy. Check for corrosion in the connector and on the sensor, clean it out with a connector cleaner, apply electric grease to avoid getting new corrosion inside. Test it out and check if the fault goes away. There is no need to connect to a Tech II to remove the fault as it will go away on it's own if that resolved the problem.

If you still have the fault, check the rear sensor. It's located on the rear axle. Jack the car up in the back, if you slide underneath you will see the sensor, it's located in the middle of the car. Do the same then with the front sensor.

If the fault is still present, get someone with a Tech II to pull the fault code(s). This will not work with an OBD scanner.

There are 3 codes for the Xenons:

DTC b3410: For the front sensor

DTC b3420: For the rear sensor

DTC b3435 : Short in the cable leading the the level control motor

If you have both of the first 2 codes, it's not looking good as both sensors are rarely defect. I personally had both codes. Changed the 2 sensors + the front cable going from the front sensor to the engine bay. The rear cable has no part number. You can't change it, you need to create a new wiring harness!!

After changing all the parts, I still had the fault. Tech II recalibration did not change a thing. I ended up returning all the parts to the dealer.

I manually bring the lights up to the highest position, the car defaults them to the lowest position, but since I bring them up they sit at a reasonable height and I can see the road fine (there about at the height they would be without the fault).

If you do all this and still have a fault, it's probably your AHL modules. They are located underneath the headlight assembly. I personally abandoned the troubleshooting at that point because the units are 220$ CAN each (plus the cost of both sensors and cable...) and anyway the auto leveling is cool, but useless if you're always alone with no cargo... Just bring your lights up manually and if the dash warning light bugs you, pull it out ;)!!
Thanks very much for the advice, ( I might have more questions :) )
 

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Oh, I forgot. If you want to check to see if the sensor is sending a signal to the module this is what you need to check (good luck lol):

The sensors convert the position of the front and rear axle and sends a 200 Hz pulse with modulated voltage (0-12 volts depending on the position of the car) to pin 6 of the AHL module. In other words, check if pin 6 of the AHL is getting some voltage while car is supplied with power. Try moving the car up and down to see if the voltage varies
 

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The fault light is not related to the bulbs, changing the xenon lamp will eliminate flickering or if the colour has changed with time, dull lights, ... but it won't bring the fault ligh on, even if one is burnt!
On my '03 Arc, one of my bulbs went out and that caused the fault indicator to come on. Everything else works fine, just one light is out.
 

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On my '03 Arc, one of my bulbs went out and that caused the fault indicator to come on. Everything else works fine, just one light is out.

It shouldn't. There is 3 situations were the light will come on.

1. When you turn the car on the motors are checked for any malfunctions, If there is one, they tilt the lights to the lowest position and the fault light comes on.

2. If the sensors are not working correctly (no voltage sent to pin 6 of AHL module), AHL module grounds pin 5 therefore turning the fault light on.

3. If there is a short or brake in the cable to the level control motor.

My friend has an 2006 9-3 with Xenons, I just pulled one light out and there is no fault in the main instrument. I can't really test it out with mine as the fault light is always on lol
 

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It shouldn't. There is 3 situations were the light will come on.

1. When you turn the car on the motors are checked for any malfunctions, If there is one, they tilt the lights to the lowest position and the fault light comes on.

2. If the sensors are not working correctly (no voltage sent to pin 6 of AHL module), AHL module grounds pin 5 therefore turning the fault light on.

3. If there is a short or brake in the cable to the level control motor.

My friend has an 2006 9-3 with Xenons, I just pulled one light out and there is no fault in the main instrument. I can't really test it out with mine as the fault light is always on lol
Ok, I'll have a closer look at it then. Thanks.
Mine went to this with no fault light:


And then to this, and the fault light came on. I haven't had it fixed yet, so it's still on

The one working light is very dim.
 

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As I said, bulbs shouldn't turn on the fault light in the main instrument... But I could be wrong or it might be different for different models...

When your Xenon bulb turns to pink like that, you need to change the bulb... Don't look any further! The other bulb doesn't look that dim, or maybe it's just an illusion...
 

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As I said, bulbs shouldn't turn on the fault light in the main instrument... But I could be wrong or it might be different for different models...

When your Xenon bulb turns to pink like that, you need to change the bulb... Don't look any further! The other bulb doesn't look that dim, or maybe it's just an illusion...
Ok, thanks. I think I'll take it in this week to have it replaced. Yeah, the other one is pretty dim, it used to be more blue than that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I am having the exact same issues, did you have any luck getting this resolved? I just put in 2 new HID's
I think I found my problem. It appears my front sensor is malfunctioning.

The article I found on the Level sensors and controllers http://www.scribd.com/doc/12684710/X...on-for-Saab-95 states you can test pin 6 voltage and frequency. Unfortunately the article doesn't give a schematic of the pin configuration nor do I didn't have a way of accessing the pins while the connector is still attached to the sensor so I did the following.

First I checked my fuses which were in order. Next, with the ignition on and engine off so I can hear, I disconnected the linkage which connects the sensor to the lower control arm and gently moved the sensor arm up and down. When I did this to the rear sensor I could hear the headlights moving up and down. This told me the rear sensor was working. When I did the same thing to the front sensor, nothing happened. At this point the fault is either the sensor or the wiring is bad. The next thing I did was to see if I had power to the connector. This is tricky since the connector is not easy to get off so if you try it be careful. I connected a volt meter and found a signal on one of the terminals. This told me the wiring harness was 'probably' okay leaving the front sensor being the cause of the fault. I suppose it could be a headlamp malfunctioning but since they pan up and down when I first turn on the ignition, I'm assuming they are in working order. I forgot to mention that I checked the condition of the sensor and connector and found no corrosion.

I haven’t changed the sensor yet ~ instead I’ve adjusted the headlamps to bring so they’re at their correct height. I’m getting close to inspection time so I’ll be ordering the sensor soon.

Hope this helps.
 

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I think I found my problem. It appears my front sensor is malfunctioning.

The article I found on the Level sensors and controllers http://www.scribd.com/doc/12684710/X...on-for-Saab-95 states you can test pin 6 voltage and frequency. Unfortunately the article doesn't give a schematic of the pin configuration nor do I didn't have a way of accessing the pins while the connector is still attached to the sensor so I did the following.

First I checked my fuses which were in order. Next, with the ignition on and engine off so I can hear, I disconnected the linkage which connects the sensor to the lower control arm and gently moved the sensor arm up and down. When I did this to the rear sensor I could hear the headlights moving up and down. This told me the rear sensor was working. When I did the same thing to the front sensor, nothing happened. At this point the fault is either the sensor or the wiring is bad. The next thing I did was to see if I had power to the connector. This is tricky since the connector is not easy to get off so if you try it be careful. I connected a volt meter and found a signal on one of the terminals. This told me the wiring harness was 'probably' okay leaving the front sensor being the cause of the fault. I suppose it could be a headlamp malfunctioning but since they pan up and down when I first turn on the ignition, I'm assuming they are in working order. I forgot to mention that I checked the condition of the sensor and connector and found no corrosion.

I haven’t changed the sensor yet ~ instead I’ve adjusted the headlamps to bring so they’re at their correct height. I’m getting close to inspection time so I’ll be ordering the sensor soon.

Hope this helps.

Great analysis and write-up, Thanks!
 
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