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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Saab 9-3 arc 2003
I replaced the ballast and bulbs as they stopped working, now when I start the headlights micro flicker, if you really look at it then after 1/2 mins they turn on and off.
The auto leveling function works fine.
Do you know what could be the problem, I have good skills and a multimeter, what should I check, I can’t drive it as it is flickering
Also it seems that when I rev the engine higher the flickering intensifies

thanks
 

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What brand of bulbs and ballasts are you using?

The only reliable bulbs are by the major OEM suppliers like Philips and Osram. I assume the ballasts in the 9-3 are a similar deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No they are aftermarket, but had good reviews by top brands luxury car owners, so we’re the bulbs, is it possible electrical power isn’t continual at the ballast?
 

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I would not trust any reviews.

What was the problem with your OEM bulbs and ballasts? Plug them back in and see if they work.

You can also try plugging the aftermarket bulbs into the OEM bulb and vice-versa.

I very much doubt that the problem is electrical power at the ballast.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I purchased the car a couple weeks ago and I’ve been fixing it, the headlights didn’t work at all so I purchased a pair of bulbs for 10$, they worked with the original ballast then the ballast stopped working, I know this because when I opened up the ballast to check it, it was burned, I’m not sure what the burned part is, but I bought other ballasts because of this, they start fine but after a while they flicker, the oem bulbs were burned
 

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Unfortunately there is no easy way I know of to test either the bulb or the ballast. I am not that familiar with the NG9-3 system which I believe uses D2S bulbs, not the D1S used by my 9-5.

The bulbs from the reputable suppliers are going to be more than $10.

I suppose the quickest way to test is to get some OEM-type bulbs, 4000K. Stock. With a bit of luck, the ballasts you purchased are workable, and the bulbs will light, at least for a while. (I don't know whether the ballasts are good and will last, or might die quickly.)

You may be able to find D2S bulbs cheap in a junkyard. I assume that if it's a reputable brand, it's probably good. If there are 9-3s with HID bulbs, get the ballasts.

The long and short of it is that quality D2S bulbs are expensive, and cheap aftermarket bulbs probably are no good. For ballasts, I would always go with the OEM units. (In the case of the 9-5, the levelling and high/low beam shutter is controlled by the module. I assume the 9-3 is different, and the ballast only provides the power for the bulb.)

Those with experience with the 9-3 HID system can probably tell you more.
 

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You ruined original ballasts with crappy bulbs.
Now crappy bulbs ruined aftermarket ballasts also.
You need to buy original ballasts (Hella/Bosch) and Philips or Osram D2S bulbs.
Headlight leveling is separate system and it will work even W/O headlamps.
 

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Before you go messing with anything else, replace your ECU per your other thread with P0606. That might be the issue and not a headlight component.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks I am looking to get my ecu updated or reprogrammed before proceeding with other issues, such as headlights, wiper speeds and headlights washers
 

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When you say ballasts were replaced which exact part did you replace the metal box type component (ignitor)that attaches to lamp or the actual ballast mounted under the head lamp housing?

Just making sure which parts you replaced.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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you removed the bumper cover then the headlamps then changed the ballasts underneath them..
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes I know how to change them, but know I believe it’s more of an ecu problem I’ll drive my car 10 miles or gas it hard and I get, p0606(control module) then as I’m driving I’m a able to clear the code and it’s smooth as new for a bit, also is there a way I can find people seat me with a tech 2 I am looking to buy a new ecu and maybe use my laptop to flash it using t8can flasher
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Doesn’t the ecu send a signal out to close all other parts using the battery to divert all power to the starter, such as lights and radio dimming for a second, what if the ecu is messing up with the headlight, etc sending wrong signals, also stability/traction control failure is always present but has no effect on the performance of the car, and I can’t turn it off either?
 
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