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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All the windows in my 96 9000cse 2.3t have started misting up for no apparent reason. Has happened for the last six months but I am now really fed up with it and started investigating. Putting the ACC fan on full does not clear it very effectively. Also I do seem to be able to get very cold air on hot days.

The heater works. There are no wet carpets and I am not short of coolant.

It may be that the ACC needs re-gassing as it has never been done but I also suspect a stuck recirculation flap - because when I activate the button nothing appears to happen - I would have expected some difference in air flow or motor noise.

To investigate I have removed the aquarium plastic cover and rubber trim. I have removed the pollen filter cover and removed the filter but cannot see the recirculation flap.

Am I looking in the right place ? Can somebody describe what it looks like, where to find it and how it should be positioned when the recirculation option is not selected and when it is?

thanks in advance.
 

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Common problem. However, looking directly into the pollen filter slot, with filter removed, the flap should be blocking the view, if I recall correctly. Certainly you should be able to see that flap moving if an assistant toggles the recirc switch while you look into the slot. If you cannot see the flap move up and down then the motor has failed. Tricky little replacement job as one screw head bolt is hidden from view behind the motor and very hard to get in and out.

The other common cause is blocked AC or aquarium drains (hence the disparaging sobriquet SAAB owners have given to the cover).

Testing the drains is easy, pour water into the cabin air filter slot, filter removed. It should flow out immediately from a small rubber flap valve at the front lower corner, towards the center, of the AC evaporator box and then immediately onto the ground through two more drains.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for this.

To clarify, when you say 'blocking the view', do you mean from the cabin side of the filter box towards the cabin?

Also is it a rubber flap and positioned on the cabin side of the filter box?

When feeding fresh air as opposed to in recirculation mode, which way does the flap point?
 

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Rubber sealed metal flap if I recall correctly. In the cabin vent position it should be flat against the firewall. In the recirc position it rises to block the incoming outside air. The heater fan then draws air from just behind the airbag.
 

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The other common cause is blocked AC or aquarium drains (hence the disparaging sobriquet SAAB owners have given to the cover).
At New Product school in 1986, the instructors called it the aquarium, but didn't know where the term originated. They heard it from their instructors in Sweden.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Still struggling here - but thanks for trying to help me.

I have taked the aquarium cover off (again).
I have taken the cabin air filter box cover off as well.
I have extracted the CA filter.
When I look into the box from above I can just see the edge of a foam covered flap protruding from the cabin side of the box. It is in a horizontal position and does not move either manually or via the recirculation button.

Is this what I am looking for or is it the black rubber piece positioned behind the metal cabin filter box (not within it) but level with the top of it, which is also in the vertical position?
 

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It's the flap and if it isn't moving then there is your misting problem.

Great story Jim, nice to hear the SAAB engineers have a sense of humour. That area of the car was designed by the Italian Giugiaro as it is exactly the same on the FIAT group cars, with the same water issues.
 

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I have heard that a common (and easily fixed) cause of excessive condensation on the inside of the windows is due to plugged weep/drain holes on the doors.

Story goes; that if you briskly wave an open door back and forth - and hear sloshing... there is water in the doors.

I've never seen it, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to try - unless your neighbors see you whipping your car doors around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It is not the doors. The car is bone dry inside and there is no liquid in the aquarium or excessive debris.

The fact that it only happens when I have been driving for a while and is worse when I have passengers indicates a recirculation issue.
I read that when the car is in fresh air mode, you should be able to detect air being expelled via the outer rear hatch vents (on the pillars) but I cannot feel anything - this also points to the recirculation flap.

If it is the foam covered flap I mentioned, it appears to be stuck in a horizontal position - assuming this is recirculation mode (can somebody confirm) - then that will hopefully be the problem.

I am asking for confirmation, because if it is stuck in fresh air mode, the fault may be something else.
 

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Nope, stuck in the horizontal position is a failed recirculating door motor. It might even show up on the ACC self test diagnostic test if the motor has actually failed. Sometimes the failure is intermittent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
"It might even show up on the ACC self test diagnostic test if the motor has actually failed."

I forgot to mention I did the self test and it comes up clean ie. '0'.

Guess I am going to have to find out how much to get the motor replaced.

Thanks for your help guys.
 

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Do a search on ebay.uk for Saab 9000 Stepper. That will produce a listing for the part that you need to replace from m5_saabcentre for 19 pounds. You can do the install yourself if you are willing to pull the dashtop and some ducting.

I sell 9000 parts on this side of the pond and just pulled on of these.

Good luck
 

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"It might even show up on the ACC self test diagnostic test if the motor has actually failed."

I forgot to mention I did the self test and it comes up clean ie. '0'.

Guess I am going to have to find out how much to get the motor replaced.

Thanks for your help guys.
A flaw in the diagnostics. If the motor gets power then the diagnostic shows no errors even if it won't move. If the motor were to be shorted internally then a fault would show up in the test. However, the failure mode is usually that the motor sticks with the recirc flap closed. It still powers up and tries to move the flap but is unable to do so.

Sometimes you can help it move. If you can and then pull the connector with the motor stuck at the flap open position then the cabin ventilation will work fine until you can fix it.
 

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No you are correct

I had a brain cramp on this one. Bosch 0 390 721 005 is the right part.

As it happens I have one sitting in front me, just tested it and it works fine. Came from a 97 CSE. If you are not in big hurry (I am not sure how long it takes to mail to the UK from the US), I can sell you this one with a shipped price of about 2/3 of the price of that ebay listing. Send and email or PM if interested
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the offer Bmacb - will consider it.

Spoke to the local Saab Specialist last night (he is a nice guy - helped me out in a jam before) on the phone and he warned me it could be something else. His initial thought was the heater - but there is no sickly smell and the coolant levels are fine - so we ruled that ought. He said it could also be the A/C servo motor, which left me a little puzzled.

Problem is he charges £60 an hour to diagnose things and no longer carries 9000 spares - he recently dumped them all! So if I take it in to him - I will have to source whatever parts I need myself, which is a bit messy.
 

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He's talking about the two motors behind the airbag/glovebox. These are the AC servos. If they fail you will get a fault code or two, they are separate motors but close together.

If the temperature flap motor fails you get incoming air that won't change temperature. If the distribution drum motor fails the air comes in at one set of vents and won't change.

The only failure that matches your symptoms is the recirc door. Get a friend to toggle the recirc function on and off and watch that flap for movement. If it doesn't move that motor has failed.
 

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Your local Saab specialist is referring to the same part I first pointed you to (mistakenly - I think) - Saab 9000 Heater Exchange Stepper Motor.

As SuperAero points out it is easy to test that part yourself. Adjust the temperature on your ACC unit to High. Do you get heat? Now set it to LO. Do you get cool air? If so you have confirmed that one of the two motors on that part is working. Second using the ACC unit set the air output to defrost. Air out of the defroster vents? Then set air output to the footwell. Air down low? This confirms that the other motor on the part is working.

The recirc motor (on a LHD car) is in the aquarium area, to the left and behind the evaporator. It is held in place by two 10mm bolts. It helps to left the evaporator a bit to get to the more inaccessible of the two.
 

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I thought there might be three bolts. Even if so, there is just the one that is difficult to access. It is invisible without using a mirror it seems to me.
 
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