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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Puzzling, I have now had this happen twice with my Saab 9-3 2003 (new), where I suddenly have all the above faults, so cant open boot, lose cruise all together, and get Stability control failure errors, and when this happens all rear lights are lost including brakes, taillights and turning signals, front still work. On both occasions it has happened after leaving car out in sun, ie fairly hot. First occasion I got home and wondered if it was a rear left wiring loom failure, pulled it apart and all wires appeared fine in the critical entry to boot location. The fault appeared suddenly to rectify itself around 2h after it started. On second occasion, today, the same problem appeared when car was in sun, and while driving home suddenly all corrected itself. On this occasion cruise did not come back until I stopped and restarted the car.
I have checked for errors codes in ECU, as I wondered if this was an ECU heat related problem, but ECU reports no faults and reads normally in Trionic Canflasher.

Has anyone any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
OK Guys, have more info, but still no solution. I do see that similar problems have been described (eg 2004 Saab 93 rear electrics total failure and Boot & rear indicators not working with a twist) but with no clear solutions.

Anyhow, on advice I put a new battery in, cleaned all the terminals, checked all the relevant fuses and earths, and checked the rear boot wiring harness, pulled apart, all wires OK.

I also have had the same problem return once again after leaving the car in the sun for a time, once again settling by itself over about 10 mins.

Then I took it to my local Saab man, who said he had never seen such a weird problem in his 30-40 years looking after Saabs. He put the Tech2 on and it came up with a Brake Light Switch failure and a rear licence plate failure. He thinks the Brake switch might be the problem and is going to replace it.

But any further thoughts from all you bright people?

Thanks
 

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Puzzling, I have now had this happen twice with my Saab 9-3 2003 (new), where I suddenly have all the above faults, so cant open boot, lose cruise all together, and get Stability control failure errors, and when this happens all rear lights are lost including brakes, taillights and turning signals, front still work. On both occasions it has happened after leaving car out in sun, ie fairly hot. First occasion I got home and wondered if it was a rear left wiring loom failure, pulled it apart and all wires appeared fine in the critical entry to boot location. The fault appeared suddenly to rectify itself around 2h after it started. On second occasion, today, the same problem appeared when car was in sun, and while driving home suddenly all corrected itself. On this occasion cruise did not come back until I stopped and restarted the car.
I have checked for errors codes in ECU, as I wondered if this was an ECU heat related problem, but ECU reports no faults and reads normally in Trionic Canflasher.

Has anyone any thoughts?
Yeah, sell the car before it puts you in the crazy house, Just sold my 2009 7x 4.21 Mine always was showing crazy things and then coming back, One time i was quite a distance from my house, and headlights went out, Shut it down and went to start and no start, Called tow truck to take to my mechanic, when it got there the car started and headlight were working, When that car was ok it was a real sweet ride, same with my anti lock brakes had them fixed twice, Sometime i think that my mechanic was doing a number on me, I think that the designer of the Saabs was an Idiot. I was so glad to get rid of it, Lot's of problems selling it for a decent price, Most places offered 2,000, 1,500. I wound up selling it to AlGO they are on facebook all the time, I wound up getting a good price for it, $7,000. Great company ALGO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Problem solved! It was the REC (Rear Electrical Centre).

In case it helps others, I’ll go through my process. I first tried cleaning the two rear earths for the REC, no improvement, then checked the part of the loom that comes up in forums as being of most concern, the one tracking through to the left hand boot hinge, which moves every time you open the boot. I pulled off all the covering (take care, I cut a wire doing so and had to resolder it), but the wiring loom itself appeared fine.

I then had my Saab dealer have a look with Tech2, which flagged lots of errors, and despite 40 years in Saabs they had not seen a similar problem, but they thought the cause was the brake light switch (under the. Brake pedal). Due to Covid they could not fix it for a month, so I looked further myself.

I continued to notice that the problem recurred only in hot weather, so I tried just exposing the boot to heat, leaving the rest of the car under the shade, and sure enough this caused the problem again, identical every time. This seemed to implicate something in the boot and not the brake switch as cause, so I focused on the REC. I pulled all the leads off (easy to do, look up the WIS) and checked all the pins and contacts and cleaned them with electrical cleaner spray. I did the same with all fuses, and cleaned all the fuse contacts with a light sandpaper. I noticed especially the two 40A fuses were especially dirty, possibly the cause of the problem.

Ever since the car has been perfect. I have had it in the sun several times, exposure which would have reliably caused the problem previously, and its been perfect every time. I know its still early days, but impression is that simply a good clean of the REC CONTACTS AND FUSES will resolve some weird electrical issues in Saaab 9-3s. May not need to replace the REC!

I will post back if I have any more trouble, but hopefully my experience will help others
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK another update well down the line, and approx 6m later it has been perfect with no problems. However, I also had some front electrical problems, loss of key fob distance and slight flickering of the dash, nothing serious but it flagged to me that contacts elsewhere may be dirty. So I did the same as above with the under-bonnet electrical centre, on the left side between battery and fender. Crucially I cleaned the battery earths. These are so important as the early Saab 9-3 was made with just one battery earth, and once these were all clean the minor problems were fixed - key fob range back from 1m to about 30m, dash lights perfect. I suspect this front EC was also contributing to the REC issues, so to all with any funny Electrical’s, clean these critical earths and ECs - not hard to do and IMHO, should be part of routine maintenance on any Saab 9-3 over 10y old
 
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