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Discussion Starter #1
I'm right on the verge of swapping over to H7 headlights-- got a pair coming soon- but before I do that, it occurred to me to ask this--my current clean lens headlights project about 15 ft. as measured by backing up from my white garage door at night. My car actually throws a shadow on the road ahead when another car comes up behind me at night. Yet I've seen examples showing very bright headlights and I can't imagine what I have is what SAAB intended. I know what these lamps look like when they are failing, flickering etc. My lamps are recent as is 1 ballast. So here's my question-- are ballasts pass/fail--(work or don't work) --or do they slowly degrade, in which case maybe all I need are new ballasts? The nearest place I can get the current lights diagnosed is a Cadillac dealer in Jacksonville, 3 hours away and $$$. None of the Indies I've called want to touch these headlights except to change lamps.
Thanks to the ever helpful Forum.
 

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What year is your 9-5? Do you have the Xenon fault indicator illuminated? Below is what the symbol looks like on the 2006+ gauge cluster, although I think the older style uses the same symbol.

270109
 

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What year is your 9-5? Do you have the Xenon fault indicator illuminated? Below is what the symbol looks like on the 2006+ gauge cluster, although I think the older style uses the same symbol.

View attachment 270109
My '05 has the same fault indicator, just at a different location on the dash.
 

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When you first start the car, do you see the headlight beam drop downwards?

Have you confirmed the presence of level sensors on the car? It's easiest to see on the front right hand control arm, do a search for saab 9-5 headlight level sensor for lots of pictures.

If you have the level sensors, then you'd need a Tech II to figure out what was happening.

If you don't have the level sensors, the car was probably never HID equipped, so the headlights go to their "safe" dropped position, and at the same time there's no wiring from the headlights to light the levelling warning lamp.

Nice bright clear HID lamps are worth money, presuming they're not broken internally.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, I have level sensors. When I first start the car, the headlights raise up, then drop down to what I thought was the normal level. But from what you and Mimmi point out, I think they are going to the protective 'downward dog' position but not lighting the dash fault light. A bit ago, my Indie removed the rear center link to install an evaporative purge valve--wonder if something got loosened then. In any case, the front and rear sensors are not painfully expensive and look easy to install. I think I'll check the connections and if that's not fruitful, just replace the sensors, which would be cheaper than a 6 hr. possibly overnight round trip to my nearest Tech II. And if that doesn't work-- well, road trip.
Thanks for the help and I'll post my findings later.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Check if you have broken or loosen rod between sensor and lower arm.
Thanks, I will. Planning to put it up on ramps as soon as the rain stops. I really suspect something happened during the recent evap purge valve operation and it could be a very simple fix.
Thanks, Mimmi
 

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Xenons last me about 3 years in the UK. About 6 months of lights on for 2 hours a day. They start to dim and then occasionally flicker. By the time they flicker, they are quite dim. By flickering I mean you are not sure if a headlight did it or something else, very intermittent. Once they get to the really flickery stage and there is no doubt the bulbs are failing, then there isn't much light compared to a new set. Also the plastic lenses corrode and need a polish and then coating or filming. Nowhere near as bad as Ford that go yellow, but noticeable.

With new bulbs and clear lenses, you should take the paint off the garage door at 15ft :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Xenons last me about 3 years in the UK. About 6 months of lights on for 2 hours a day. They start to dim and then occasionally flicker. By the time they flicker, they are quite dim. By flickering I mean you are not sure if a headlight did it or something else, very intermittent. Once they get to the really flickery stage and there is no doubt the bulbs are failing, then there isn't much light compared to a new set. Also the plastic lenses corrode and need a polish and then coating or filming. Nowhere near as bad as Ford that go yellow, but noticeable.

With new bulbs and clear lenses, you should take the paint off the garage door at 15ft :cool:
Well, solved at long last. Apparently the PO forced the lamps into the prongs that hold the lamps, thus bending said prongs back into the holders. The lamps were never correctly installed pre-me. Now correctly installed and Excellent Illumination!
Thanks!
 
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