Removing/replacing/repairing the Saab 9000 headlamp wiper motors


This procedure was carried out on a 1996 Saab 9000 Aero. I expect there will be no differences between this and other CS-bodied 9000s, and probably later CDs with the CS-style front end. This procedure may not apply to pre-'91 hatchbacks or pre-'95 CDs without the CS-style front. The earlier models have a different wiper motor and the mounting details of these and the headlamps are different.


The Saab 9000 is equipped with headlamp wash/wipe. The headlamp wipers on my 1996 9000 Aero had for some time been parking erratically. The final straw came one evening when I switched on the ignition, the windscreen washer pump started running and wouldn't stop until I switched off the ignition. Pulling various fuses isolated the problem to the headlamp wipers (the windscreen washer pump stopped running when the headlamp wiper fuse was removed). I removed both wiper motors to investigate and in the process, found that the right-hand headlamp wiper motor was the culprit.

Time required

Once you've fetched the tools, expect to spend 5-10 minutes to remove each motor. Refitting them should take around the same length of time.
How long the repair job in between takes will depend on the fault(s) discovered.

Tools required

  • 8mm


  1. Remove the headlamp as described here.

  2. Disconnect the connector on the headlamp wiper harness, then remove the two 10mm bolts securing it to the body and remove it.

  3. Take the wiper motor(s) away for examination. Here is how I examined mine and what I found (and how I fixed it).

  4. While I was at it, I serviced the wiper arms.

  5. Refit the wiper motor and reconnect the wiring harness.

  6. Refit the headlamp.

  7. Turn on the ignition and operate the wash/wipe system to return the wiper spindles to their parked position.

  8. Refit the wiper arm(s). Since there is some backlash in the mechanism, I had to alternately operate the wipers and re-position the arms several times before they parked satisfactorily (just at the bottom of the headlamps).