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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
CHECK THE ALBUM SECTION OF THE SITE FOR PHOTOS OF THIS REPAIR, check "08 faullt"

This appears to be a common problem but it may be easily and cheaply fixed, or it could be mega expensive. I've had the problem on my 95 which I've just fixed and it was, fortunately, the cheap fix. The following may help if you suffer the same.

First of all check it's not the simple solution of keeping one of the pasenger side front vents open, if they're both closed it sometimes causes hot air at the back (something to do with air pressure). If that's not the solution run a diagnostic on the ACC.

To do this run the engine and then press "Auto" and "off" together. The system self checks. A number will appear on the left hand side of the ACC display, this indicates the number of faults with the system, if it's one or more, a second number will appear on the right hand side indicating the fault code. "08" is the one for this particular problem. Now ignore anything you may have read about what this number means, the only way to find out is to have a look. It will take you half an hour and requires a screwdriver and 8mm socket.

You need to remove the glove box. Remove the four screws that are at the front edge of the panel just below the glove box (this panel has the footwell light in it) Carefully pull out the panel and disconnect the footwell light from it.

Now you can see the screws that are at the bottom of the front edge of the glove box itself. Remove these screws. Now open the glove box and remove the 3 screws at the top edge of the inside of the box. A torch may help. Carefully pull out the box BUT it is still connected so do not just yank out! As you withdraw the box look on the right hand side and disconnect the glove box light and the cooling hose (this just pulls off) Remove the box.

Now the interesting bit! With the box out look to the right behind the dash, you will see a mass of black plastic bits, but don't panic.

Locate the item that looks like an upside down funnel, it has 2 white wires running to it and I promise it is very obvious. This directs air into the footwell, thru the chute in the first item you removed.

Now there are 2 other electrical connections close to this funnel, one is above it and the other is to the right of it. Again they are very obvious. We want the one to the right. This is it!

This connector is to the motor ("stepper" motor) that controls the problem area. Remove the connection, it just carefully springs out, no tools needed. Now remove the motor itself using a 8mm socket. It is secured with 2 bolts, one at 12.00 o'clock and the other at 4.00 o'clock. It may be under some tension so carefully ease it out and away. You will now probably see exactly what your problem is.

Behind this motor is a white plastic lever, sitting over a yellow plastic shaft and with the operating rod at the other end. If you are lucky and The Gods are smiling on you this white lever will be broken, usually at the yellow shaft. Take time out to celebrate as you have the cheap and easy repair.

If the white lever is intact the problem is either the yellow shaft being broken or the motor has failed. Hope it's the motor. In any event check the shaft by turning it and feel for any problems, if its broken it will be obvious. Sometimes the motor fails as the metal shaft coming out of it disengages from its innards, open up the motor to check. If all the other bits are intact you may need to try a replacement motor, although I would first reassembe and try again as sometimes that corrects problem electrics.

Assuming its a broken white lever the replacement is part no 5334701 (£15.11 + vat). To fit it you need to remove the funnel as you will need to reach behind to the yellow shaft to hold that as you push the new lever in place. The funnel is held on with 3x 8mm bolts, one at 12.00 o'clock, one at 4.00 and one at 9.00. They are fiddly to locate but easy to remove. Remove the white electrical connector from the funnel, it just springs out but be careful as the other end is a metal probe so you need to gently pull it out of the funnel.

You can now reach behind and check the yellow shaft, hoping all is well. Remove the connecting rod from the old lever, noting the way it fits BEFORE you remove it (take a photo with your mobile) You will need to swap the very small white plastic connector onto the new lever or get a new one when you get the lever. Hold the yellow shaft from behind and push the new lever onto the shaft. The lever has 2 cut-outs that match with 2 pins on the shaft. Push on until it clicks in place.

Connect the rod, it just pushes onto the small connector and now refit the motor. BE CAREFUL. The motor's shaft locates into the yellow shaft in a particular way, you cannot just force the shaft in.

I gently offered the shaft in whilst moving the yellow shaft with the rod until I felt the 2 locate properly, it's not difficult but don't rush it. Gently push the motor in and rebolt. The pressure from the bolts will finally locate the motor. Reconect the electrics. Now test.

Switch on and run the ACC. Press "Auto" and "Off" together to reset the system. Then watch the rod as you adjust the passenger side temperature. You should see the rod movng as you adjust the temp from hot to cold, and of course the air from the rear vents should now be fully variable. If it does, problem solved. Reconnect everything.

That is the cheap and easy repair. If however the yellow shaft is broken you may need to purchase the full repair kit shown in the Album photos, which does include a new lever anyway.

Hope all this is of help.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi

According to my info code 14 is a loose air distributiion flap, code 8 being a problem with the air mixing flap. It sounds like they are two different flaps.

It's only a guess but could it be a problem with the flap that on the passenger side of the transmission tunnel (yes, I know it's not really a transmission tunnel). If you pull down the carpet just in front of that bulbous cover in the passenger footwell, you can see two connecting rods, one is for code 8, could the other be for code 14??. From memory you can easily remove the plastic covers to have a look.

Just a guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Last post was a guess and I think wrong!!

Go here - www.platonoff.com - and look for the Saab DIY guides. There's a fantastic section on air distribution faults, although it doesn't show your fault code it does show fixes for the air distribution motor and if nothing else you now know where the motor is.

Remember that this guide is for LHD so we will need to remove the drivers side fixtures not the glove box (those Colonials!).
 

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I had this problem with my MY 2000 car;we;ve also got a 56 plate 9-5 and it developed the same fault;I got it seen under warranty and was told that a flap was sticking;Is this likely?It seems odd Saab haven't cured this fault after all the years they've been making this car
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes Spot on!

The stepper motor is the large plastic round component, to the right of the picture with "yellow" wires running to it.

Remove this and you will see the white plastic lever and the output of the yellow shaft behind it. A metal rod is connected to the lever and I think you can just see this rod in the picture. The rod runs down to the side of the transmission tunnel (Yes, I know its not really a transmission tunnel before you respond!!)
 

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I've got a similar problem - hot air (and I mean HOT!!) through the passenger side only (driver's side is fine)... error code 8 (and 18 ???) so went in about as per the first post (excellent instructions by the way)..

However my plastic shaft & lever are NOT broken... so does that mean that the stepper motor has given up? I can manually change the temperature by rotating the shaft/lever and now have cool air (which is better at the moment)... but I'm reluctant to rush out and buy a new motor without further tests... anyone any ideas about that??? (it appears to rotate ok, certainly not seized)

The code 18 appears to suggest a problem with the "heat exchanger soleniod" - but I've no idea where this is or how to test it???

Any clues, comments etc would be welcome :)
 

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I've got a similar problem - hot air (and I mean HOT!!) through the passenger side only (driver's side is fine)... error code 8 (and 18 ???) so went in about as per the first post (excellent instructions by the way)..

However my plastic shaft & lever are NOT broken... so does that mean that the stepper motor has given up? I can manually change the temperature by rotating the shaft/lever and now have cool air (which is better at the moment)... but I'm reluctant to rush out and buy a new motor without further tests... anyone any ideas about that??? (it appears to rotate ok, certainly not seized)

The code 18 appears to suggest a problem with the "heat exchanger soleniod" - but I've no idea where this is or how to test it???

Any clues, comments etc would be welcome :)[/b]
Excellent instructions - made better by fnding a broken white lever which I'll order tomorrow. It looks to me that it might be possible to refit the white lever by supporting the inner end of the lug that the white lever connects to with a small electrical screwdriver - will investigate more when the white lever arrives!
 

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You can now reach behind and check the yellow shaft, hoping all is well. Remove the connecting rod from the old lever, noting the way it fits BEFORE you remove it (take a photo with your mobile) You will need to swap the very small white plastic connector onto the new lever or get a new one when you get the lever. Hold the yellow shaft from behind and push the new lever onto the shaft. The lever has 2 cut-outs that match with 2 pins on the shaft. Push on until it clicks in place.[/b]
Got the new lever yesterday courtesy of Turners Hill Garage. So does the metal rod with what looks like a nylon ball joint just prise out of the white lever, I can't quite see and I don't want to damage the joint by pulling too hard!
 

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Hi

Yes, the metal rod just pulls out of the white lever, no trick or pressure required.[/b]
Well, all done but I have a nasty feeling it hasn't fixed the problem. The stepper motor now moves the white lever as it should but I think (from a short test) that I am still getting warm air out the rear vents. I'm not sure how long the yellow shaft is, but it seems by feel that there's only an inch or so beyond the front face where the white lever fits. If it should attach to the part I can feel beyond that, I still have some sort of problem. :( . The good news is that it isn't throwing up any error codes.
 

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Well, all done but I have a nasty feeling it hasn't fixed the problem. The stepper motor now moves the white lever as it should but I think (from a short test) that I am still getting warm air out the rear vents. I'm not sure how long the yellow shaft is, but it seems by feel that there's only an inch or so beyond the front face where the white lever fits. If it should attach to the part I can feel beyond that, I still have some sort of problem. :( . The good news is that it isn't throwing up any error codes.[/b]
I'm pleased to say that having taken the car out for a proper drive, the problem seem sto be completely fixed - nice cool air from the rear vents :thumbsup: ! Wish I'd done this a year ago. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #16
UPDATE


See my more recent post for news on fixing the broken shaft as well. It's not expensive using the new repair part.
My new post also links to a series of photos showing the total repair.
 

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Hi there great post - I have a slightly different situation. I don't get any error codes, when I do the test it shows a 0. I have had the system re-charged (by Kwik Fit) and it worked for a really short amount of time (the journey home and then a few days later too). I can hear the compressor click on and if I press the econ button the revs dip and then pick up. So it looks as if the compressor is engaging.

Despite all of this, I don't get any cold air at all. It is as if I am just blowing air from outside which is sometimes cool, other times it feels as if the heater is on slightly - but that might just be my paranoia. Any help would really be appreciated. I am putting the car in for service at an indie in a couple of weeks (tend to use Carlssons Saab in Leatherhead who did an engine replacement for me 4 years ago and all has been great on that side) - it would be fantastic to have isolated the air con problem to a specific issue before going to them as investigation can cost the money. Thought it could be the temp sensor in the cabin (near the climate control panel) - I have check this and the little fan internally spins, but, is it worth replacing this as a starter? Any way to check if it is working.

Fantastic forum and useful topic - thanks in advance for any additional help.
 

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In these circ/s I always recommend finding a local mobile aircon guy. They specialise in car systems all day long, and can source official parts if necessary.

Might be worth adding that if a system has lost its chill then it's my understanding that there's little point in re-gassing it, since one's addressing symptom and not cause, which is how the gas leaked in the first place.
 

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'Might be worth adding that if a system has lost its chill then it's my understanding that there's little point in re-gassing it'

Not necessarily true. It all rather depends on the rate of loss. If you lose a full charge in a short time, then repair is necessary, but all systems lose refrigerant over a period of time, and if you have, say, a slightly dodgy seal, it is possible to put off repairing it for some time - if you're lucky. My wife's old Mazda MX-3 needed an aircon top-up every spring, and that would keep it going till the next spring, every year for five years.



BOF
 

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My wife's old Mazda MX-3 needed an aircon top-up every spring, and that would keep it going till the next spring, every year for five years.[/b]
Fair enough, if the cost and hassle of topping it up every year for five years was less than the cost and hassle of having it fixed once!
 
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