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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I have a 1998 Saab 900S, which i recently bought used at 110,000 miles. The place i bought it from, when i asked, said that the headlight wiper motors always burn out on saabs, and that it's no big deal. I, however, think of these little wipers to be a trademark nordic car feature, and I would like them to work. They both rest in the horizontal position, and they do not move or work at all. The fuse is fine, I checked. I suppose it's possible that the motors burned out like they said, but I heard elsewhere that these things last forever, and it seems odd that they would both be burned out.

What are things i can do to both test and rectify this problem?

Thanks for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is it common for the gears to get mangled up like that? How easy is it to repair? I'm trying to look for some sort of online tutorial.
 

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There are a couple of other failure points too... the switch inside the unit which is responsible for parking the wipers is sketchy... if it gets contaminated with dirt, grease, or corrosion it will break the circuit at the wrong time and the wipers will park incorrectly. There is also a PTC thermistor in series with the motor which protects the motor in case it stalls, but sometimes it is a bit too effective and does not allow enough current to the motor under normal conditions. This is exacerbated by an old motor, where windings may be shorted or dust has built up from the brushes... both of which will increase the current draw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So, if I clean out the motors as much as I can, per that tutorial, they should work again? I'm confused as to why they would fail in the first place. I'm hesitant about doing any sort of disassembly with the car, I don't do it very often.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alright, that seems fairly harmless.

Is there a way, before opening up the assembly, that i can test that the problem is indeed that the motor seized up, rather than if it's a wiring problem in the car?
 

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Seconded. The link earthworm provided is the only link I've seen that addresses the idea of retaining and repairing the headlight wiper function. I salute you for trying to retain them.

When in doubt, or if there ever be any doubt, peruse any and all past posts on the subject via the Search function. Use just the basic key words. Believe me, there is no question that has not been asked or addressed here before. This forum wasn't born yesterday....:cheesy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, alright, if you say so :p

I won't justify spending a third of the money i paid for the car on new headlight wiper assemblies, so if what I manage to complete using this tutorial doesn't work, then they can just be tasteful ornaments to the car.

Hopefully they'll work though! The tutorial describes his downed wiper as moving a little but, and locked in an odd position. Neither of mine move at all, so i'm worried its a deeper problem. Only one way to find out...

Thanks everyone, and yes I did try the search function, but I guess i can't use it very efficiently yet! In time, I suppose :p

Thanks
 

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Here's a writeup I did on another site last year:

I used Michel's instructions from his site:

http://pages.infinit.net/mlbriand/saab/headlightwiper/headlightwiper.html

The problem began with both wipers not working at all. After I opened the first one up (the hardest part of the project) I probed the motor with +6 VDC (I didn't want to burn something up with 12 volts) from my battery charger - and the motor ran. When I connected voltage to the black and red leads at the connector, I got nothing. I removed everything except the motor. I found that the contacts that the small white gear opens and closes appeared to be contaminated with grease. I used a small piece of paper towel to clean the contacts. Then the motor ran with voltage applied to the connector. If the square piece of metal falls out, replace it between the top contact and the motor. If you look at this piece closely you will see that it's not just a piece of metal, but a resistor of sorts. It measures 19 ohms and the motor will not park without it. The only thing that I couldn't do was test the wipers by my self once they were back in the car. I had to have my son watch them operate and park while I held the washer switch. It took me about an hour to fix the first wiper and 1/2 hour to do the second... Ron
 

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Or, alternatively, do you know how to turn them on? :cheesy:

I've run across a few who think they work like windshield wipers (to clear the raindrops and are always either on INT, LO or HI) and are slaved to the w-w's but it's a one time operation for the headlight wipers (i.e. press the washer button and they do a wash/wipe timed sequence).
Once one realizes their true function, they become less "ridiculous."

---> As much as I harp on newbies who post countless inquiries that have been covered before, ad infinitum, I've come to the realization that the forum search is a crap shoot in terms of finding what you need. It is hard to use and sometimes ineffectual. What you do normally end up with is wading through pages and pages of old posts that often bear little relevance to what you seek; it is at best a word highlighter with all your keywords in bold and orange.
 
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