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Old 04-30-2011, 02:20 PM   #1
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convertible top stopped working, relays click

OK, so I got a new battery and the car fires right up.

Today was gorgeous so I wanted to drive this darn vert!

But alas, the top won't work. (yes, I drove it anyways with all the windows down and pretended the to was down too)
  • It worked fine when I put it away for winter
  • the relays "click" but...
  • ...the pump/motor is not running
  • Yes I have the parking brake on, the relays only click with the parking brake on, so that saefty function seems to work OK
  • I pulled the back seat and:
    • there is fluid in the lines and reservoir
    • I used a circuit tester on the back of the relays under the seat.
    • The tester lit for both relays when I operate the roof switch and they click loudly
    • Although there is power at the relays, not sure what wires are what, if I was getting power IN or OUT of them
    • I tested for power at the plastic connector where the roof motor connects to the wiring harness and I got nothin'
So - what next?
bad relay(s)?

wiring?

anyone?

bueler?
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Old 04-30-2011, 02:52 PM   #2
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The power wires on the relay ought to be larger gauge to the point you can distinguish them; however, a relay won't burn out just sitting.

I would see if you can chase a ground for the motor, if you've got no ground you won't get good power flow to it. Sounds like this likely isn't the problem but grounds cause all kinds of strange things to happen.

I had trouble with my sunroof doing this, and it turned out to be the switch (there is some kind of overload circuit built in to prevent the sunroof / top from operating if there is too much load, and mine was sucking up all the voltage).
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Old 04-30-2011, 02:59 PM   #3
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Dumb question, but would the relays click if the fuse was blown? I go through a half dozen fuses a year and I don't remember if the relays click when it needs a one... but the fuse is always the first thing I check.

It might be different in your 90, but my 88 uses the VW style fuses (25 amp) on top of the passenger side of the engine bay:



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Old 05-02-2011, 05:29 AM   #4
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Oh sweet!

I totally thought to check fuses and engine bay relays also, but I was looking in the fuse panel/box and none of them said anything about the convertible top!

So this black capsule thing is the fuse for the top? I'll look into that, THANKS!!!!
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:15 AM   #5
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Do you hear any motor noise at all? Or just....

Nothing?

Also, stupid comment, but I found myself missing it when I first got our convertible years ago: Make sure the handbrake is pulled. There is a safety cut-out switch that will prevent the top motor from working if the parking brake is not engaged.

Edit: You said the relays are clicking. If they're clicking, they're not burned out. Check to make sure you have enough hydraulic fluid. (You say there's fluid, but how old, and does it need to be changed?)

Pull one of the motors to the pumps, and see if you can run them on just a car battery -- are they any good anymore?

(Though in the garage, my 'vert's top is down and ready to go: I'll be taking it to a business meeting in Baltimore tomorrow. Supposed to be gorgeous...)
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:23 AM   #6
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I already posted this above, but the motor does not run and there is fluid,
The relays only click when the parking brake is applied, which says to me that the cutout switch works fine
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:25 AM   #7
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yeah, I saw that after the fact. Check my most recent edits.

Just sounds like there's not enough power getting to the batteries, or perhaps something binding up the top to prevent movement. I've noticed my top's motors are really starting to struggle with age...
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:39 AM   #8
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from the saabsite:

Quote:
It is fairly common to see issues with the convertible top not working because of a blown fuse. The fuse is located under the hood just to the right of the fresh air intake. There will be a little black fuse holder that will hold the fuse. On cars prior to 1990 the fuse holder will need to be twisted to get it apart. On cars later than 1991 a different fuse holder was used and houses a glass fuse.

NOTE: Another issue that exist is that the convertible top relay will fail. When this fails you will find that you will hear a clicking noise from under the rear seat. Replacement of the convertible top relay is the cure.
So as suggested by jjorgensen52 I will check the fuse...

The info is this thread about the clicking conflicts with what it says on thesaabsite... Since the fuse is cheaper I will start there first
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:10 AM   #9
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OK so that "vw style/torpedo fuse"... probably the culprit.

I opened up the black housing and this tiny blue plastic thing falls out, with shards of metal that looks corroded. The fuse was clearly damaged and in pieces...

So, off to the store to try and find a new one. I bet that solves it!

Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction!
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:16 AM   #10
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awesome! I jumped the two halves of the fuse holder with a wire and the top works.
So I grabbed some new fuses, installed and it's all good!

Thanks jk88, I totally would not have known to look away from ALL THE REST OF THE FUSES for this one !!!
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:57 PM   #11
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Glad to help. Congrats on an easy fix.
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:02 AM   #12
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Unhappy Convertible top work

Can somebody tell me where the fluid is located for the convertible top on 91 saab 900s..My top quite working, not sure why,,,help
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:12 PM   #13
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Under the back seat. Lift straight up on the seat bottom, it comes right out.


BTW, welcome to the forums.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:02 AM   #14
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fluid for top, relay switches

I lifted up the back seat found the relays switches and not clicking, do I replace both? Where do I buy them from? I looked for the fluid under the back seat and didn't see where it is.. does anyone have a picture of where it is? I have 91 saab 900s conv. thanks
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:21 AM   #15
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Did you already check the fuse?

The fluid is in a big reservoir on the passenger side of the car. It's kind of hard to miss with the lower portion of the back seat removed.

If the piston rams have allowed the fluid to leak out, there is usually an oily spot on the ground in front of the rear tires. There is a floor drain right there. Also, with the top open, you can shine a flashlight down in the piston well and see if the rams themselves are oily, or there is oil pooled at the bottom.

If there is fluid in the reservoir and the fuse is good, then try the relay. It's about $70 from eEuro and I think you only need one. The relay is mounted underneath the metal seat support, right next to the reservoir.
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:07 AM   #16
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All of the above is awesome info, guys- thanks. Here's my question- what fluid do I use in the resevoir? I see it is clear and am thinking hydraulic pump fluid will do the trick and save me a few $$ over the stuff from my local dealer. The top is very slow to raise- lowers fine- and the fluid level looks a little low so I am hopeful all it needs is a top-off...
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:51 AM   #17
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what I meant to say was hydraulic floor jack fluid...
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:48 PM   #18
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I know www.epartsland.com sells plenty of hard to come by stuff. They probably have the top relays if needed.
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:54 PM   #19
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Indeed. Here ya go.
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:50 AM   #20
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I lifted the back seat out and there were the relays on the drivers side. I didn't see the reservoir for the fluid, Under the seat on the pass side is a long metal thing (i'm thinking the motor for the top) the reservoir must be under the metal sheet that holds up the seat...Is it a clear container that holds the fluid....I'm confused...HELP
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