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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2003 Saab 9-3 Linear 36,000 miles.

Shortly after the expiration of the warranty, the windshield wipers stopped working correctly:
-Washer fluid would not dispense
-Mist mode and intermittent mode would not function
-Normal and High speed would work, but wipers would stop at any position when the stalk was moved to the OFF position - wipers would not park at bottom of windshield

Several possibilities: fuses (all okay), relays, washer pump motor or wiper motor. Wiper motor seemed the most likely talking to mechanics and reading the forums.

Ordered a new wiper motor through local supply store and received Cardone A1431956 wiper motor - rebuilt Saab motor - $90. However, when attempting to replace it became obvious that this is not the right motor for the Saab 2003 or later vehicles. This same part is listed on internet sites for the 2003 Saab. Tried ordering for a Saab 2004 9-3 but no wiper motors were either listed or available. Returned the motor.

Called the dealer... purchased a new wiper motor and assembly for $263.00. Removed the old assembly and replaced with the new one, and the wipers work perfectly including the windshield washer.

Replacement:
-disconnect battery
-remove wiper arms: remove plastic cover and loosen the 13mm nut attaching the arm. Arm should come free - if tight use some WD-40 or similar and move gently back and forth to loosen.
-remove plastic cover over the wiper assembly: remove rubber trim. remove 2 plastic molding clips (these may break - replacements are cheap) Gently remove the cover noting the underside clips and that the cover tucks under the molding at each side of the windshield.
-disconnect the wiring harness: use small flat screwdriver to slide the holder to allow the harness to be disconnected.
(You may want to test the new part by connecting it to the wiring harness and reconnecting the battery to see if the wipers/washer function normally. (Leave room for the assembly to move and not get damaged.) If it does work proceed. If not, you technically have not installed the part and may be able to return it.)
-assuming you have the new assembly it should be rather apparent as to the 4 bolts (10mm - if I remember correctly) that need to be removed to allow the assembly to be removed.
-Place the new assembly into position and tighten the 4 bolts and connect the wiring harness. Check that all works properly with the battery connected.
-Replace the plastic cover. Make sure the underside clips engage and replace plastic clips and trim.
-Again make sure all works. ENGAGE THE WIPERS AND ALLOW THE MOTOR/WIPER ASSEMBLY TO STOP/PARK ON ITS OWN. With the assembly and motor having cycled, this would be the normal position for the wiper to park at the bottom of the windshield when it has cycled and turned off.
-When you are certain the assembly is in the park position, replace the wiper arms with the wiper at the bottom of the windshield. Use a small amount of blue lock-tite if you like and replace the 13mm nuts and plastic cover of the wiper arm.

Hope this has helped.

Please contact a qualified mechanic or your dealer if there is any doubt about your performing a repair.
 

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Great write up and thank you.

Just ashame that the nintey dollar motor did fix the problem.
At least it is all repaired and working again.
 

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mk03 said:
2003 Saab 9-3 Linear 36,000 miles.

Shortly after the expiration of the warranty, the windshield wipers stopped working correctly:
-Washer fluid would not dispense
-Mist mode and intermittent mode would not function
-Normal and High speed would work, but wipers would stop at any position when the stalk was moved to the OFF position - wipers would not park at bottom of windshield

.
I have the same problem EXACTLY!
Funny thing is, I took it to the dealer I bought it from, they said to take it to SAAB , I asked why, they then said , we are unable to fix it here, and They still did not tell me what the problem is.

All my fuses are okay, tested the relay, its working properly.

So you are telling me your problemw as fixed by changing a wiper motor. hmmmm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes - corrected by switching the motor and the whole assembly. It all came as one assembly/part with the motor attached. Rather easy, but the part was only available from Saab. It has been two months since the fix and no problems since. Let mw know if you need more info. mk
 

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my whipers do this randomly, usually when i haven't used them in awhile. they work fine on medium/high, but on low (auto) and when i try to press it once, sometimes they don't even move. and if they do move, the moment i let it go, it stops.. doesn't go back to the normal spot.

it almost always starts working fine after 5 or so minutes, though.
 

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mk03 said:
Yes - corrected by switching the motor and the whole assembly. It all came as one assembly/part with the motor attached. Rather easy, but the part was only available from Saab. It has been two months since the fix and no problems since. Let mw know if you need more info. mk
but how does the motor affect the washer fluid function? makes no sense to me.

please elaborate :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I do not know why replacing the wiper motor causes the washer to resume working. I assume that there is fault in the circuit with the bad wiper motor, and the washer mechanism does not recognize that the wiper motor is trying to work. I was also puzzled by this.

It would seem if the wiper motor works in normal/high mode it would work in intermittent. The mist mode worked, but I had to hold the switch for it to complete a cycle and release the switch when the wipers were at the bottom of the windshield, otherwise the wipers would stop where they were on the windshield. Maybe the motor is not faulty but rather the circuit that is immediately attached to the motor is faulty.

I also considered that there was a problem with the stalk/switch on the steering column...
Dealer offered to do diagnostics for $110 USD on top of parts/labor.

I took a chance after talking to a parts/service person at a Saab dealership (I called several to find someone willing to talk).

I live in upstate New York (snow, salt, road grime) and it was crucial to have this working prior to the winter. Otherwise, I would have lived with this for a while and used a lot of Rain-X.

I wish I had more specific diagnostic information for you, but I hope that this helps. Let me know if I can be of further help.
 

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I have the exact Very Common wiper issue. I am going to probably going to buy a new one, but will disassemble and figure out what goes wrong with them and do a write up on how to fix it. My guess is a bad diode or something
 

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The cause for the fault is a malfunction of the endposition switch in the wipermotor.

Without the returnsignal of the endposition the whole wiping/washing proces will not work correctly.
 

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The cause for the fault is a malfunction of the endposition switch in the wipermotor.

Without the returnsignal of the endposition the whole wiping/washing proces will not work correctly.

Based on this, does that mean a new wiper motor is required?

I drove my car in the rain for first time last night. Rain sensor doesn't work. Wipers work but stop on the shield instead of returning to bottom. And when I tested the washer, nothing happened. No noise either. (I added fluid a couple of days ago, so I know that's not the issue.)

Should I go straight for the new motor fix, or try something else first?

Glad I caught this before winter hits.
 

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but how does the motor affect the washer fluid function? makes no sense to me.

please elaborate :)
So the problem with the OP's wiper motor was actually the park switch. The park switch is integral to the wiper motor transmission (wiper motor, trans, some linkage are all components of the "wiper motor") The park switch went bad.

So, knowing that the park switch is bad means that the car cannot tell at what location the wipers are at. So because of this the car will not operate any function that would require it to know what position the wipers are at, i.e. intermittent, spray, and park functionality. But it will work ok in low/high - just not be able to park itself correctly when u turn it off.

The only reason I know this or care to tell about it is that is such a crap that a built in switch that maybe cost $1 means we gotta replace the whole assembly thats $250+. Mines bad, has been for a couple years now and honestly doesn't bother me.... too much. I've looked at the trans before and it's non-servicable, but I still want to drill the rivets out and explore (or someone else could open up their bad one for some tinkerin). Also - I do believe its a physical switch, u can hear a click and theres not enough leads running to it to qualify using a hall effect (which they probably should have done). The swtich is supplied a 12v rail and it simplies pulls it down every time the wipers are in park.

sorry if all this is too much, my head hurts.... too much fun last night!
 

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I'm going to try ordering Cardone part 43-2904 (wiper motor) for my 2005 Arc, which is about $100 less than the dealer wants to charge for an original part.

Any tips on getting the windshield wipers arms off? I had a look at them this morning and it looks like a special tool may be required to fit into the little notch.

It is a bummer that the whole thing needs to be replaced because of one faulty switch.
 

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http://www.car-part.com/ is a good place to look for parts. I have a 2003 9-3 with the classic wipers problem and I just picked up a replacement wiper motor from a LKQ location in Hustisford, WI, 30 minutes from home, for $45. Came off another 2003 9-3 with 59,000 miles on it. I'm rather happy about that.
 

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Just to follow up (for reference for future generations). I went with the new GM part as recommended by my indy Saab mechanic. He and I were both a little surprised to find that when you order a new windshield wiper motor you get the arms and everything. Here's the old one (I kept it): http://picasaweb.google.com/tomabray/Oct3_2009?authkey=Gv1sRgCPTMp53ZztyyBQ#5388510903560371074

(By the way if anyone wants it, pm me.)

It was about $250 CAN for the new one. Now my rain sensor works, the wipers park properly and my windshield washer squirts (on window and headlights). I'm happy.
 

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I should have mentioned ... I did get in touch with GM Canada. After hemming and haaing they decided not to pay for it, but they did supposedly put two vouchers in the mail for free oil changes at the dealer.
 

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Just to follow up (for reference for future generations). I went with the new GM part as recommended by my indy Saab mechanic. He and I were both a little surprised to find that when you order a new windshield wiper motor you get the arms and everything. Here's the old one (I kept it): http://picasaweb.google.com/tomabray/Oct3_2009?authkey=Gv1sRgCPTMp53ZztyyBQ#5388510903560371074

(By the way if anyone wants it, pm me.)

It was about $250 CAN for the new one. Now my rain sensor works, the wipers park properly and my windshield washer squirts (on window and headlights). I'm happy.
Exactly, the motor and the whole "transmission". I haven't done my replacement yet, but I have the same part waiting. I got it from a boneyard called LKQ, which I found through car-parts.com. I paid $45 US instead of 250, I'm even happier!
 

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Passanger side wiper doesn't reach full travel.

Sounds like everyone here had a different problem than mine. My issue is that the passenger wiper only goes half-way up. It also appears as if the axis of rotation buckles mid-wipe. From what I've seen the fix for any wiper problem is get a new assembly. Has anyone else had my issue?

Thanks
 

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to me it sounds like the nut that holds the wiper arm may have come loose. I've seen it happen in other cars, not the saab but it would be a cheap and easy thing to check. Also, lift the plastic that covers everything and make sure everything is snug and where it should be. After all that I might consider getting new parts, but honestly in all my time here I don't think i've seen a problem like this on the newer 9-3's. Good luck!

Sounds like everyone here had a different problem than mine. My issue is that the passenger wiper only goes half-way up. It also appears as if the axis of rotation buckles mid-wipe. From what I've seen the fix for any wiper problem is get a new assembly. Has anyone else had my issue?

Thanks
 
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