SAAB DIY

How to upgrade those older SAAB headlights?

If your Saab doesn’t have LED or (Bi)Xenon headlights, changing just the bulb is a great DIY upgrade for better and brighter light from your Saab’s existing headlights. The simplest way is to replace your existing halogen bulbs with some modern, more advanced halogen bulbs that have higher efficiency, as we say, these PIAA 17655 H7 Xtreme White Plus High Performance Halogen Bulb. A package of two bulbs costs some 70 dollars. 

A little more complicated solution is the replacement of halogen bulbs with new LED bulbs. Due to the additional ballasts, the problem is that these bulbs are larger and require more space in the engien bay.

Ballast is still used in bulbs and tube lights to avoid current rise in the lights. Metal halide, mercury vapor, and HID are also the prime examples of lights using ballasts. In the video you can see that one owner of the Saab 9-3 vehicle replaced his H7 halogen bulbs with new LED bulbs. The Headlight hub H7 is the same and there is no problem, the problem can be the sealing of the whole headlight:

It is interesting that this solution is even cheaper, that is, low beam LED bulbs can be purchased for only $ 20. According to the producer,these LED headlight adopts super bright COB High Power LED with high, increasing 50% condenser performance,light concentrated stronger output, Each Bulb and long lifespan up to 50000hrs.

First, we need to understand that an led light bulb is not a light bulb. LED is a Light Emitting Diode. The Diode is generally a digital check shutoff which enables current to flow only in one direction. An LED is a Diode emits light when existing circulations via it. A typical light bulb has an element to brighten when present circulations via it. This element develops resistance in the circuit. The resistance could inform the computer that there’s a bulb in the circuit. However, there’s no resistance in an Led, this will certainly cause a can-bus equipped system to give you a light out a mistake or hyper blinking.

In this case, We also have a flicker, but They flicker until the car is locked then stop. For some, this is not a problem, Really not a huge deal in his opinion but some people care.

Addition to the basic headlights, you can also improve the fog lamps. In next video Saab owner replaced halogen fog lights with LED lights:

If you have an older Saab, upgrading the headlight bulbs makes a great cost effective upgrade. With not much difficulty and a little care, you can do it yourself in less than an hour.

However, maybe not do this upgrade

This is the opinion of the Secretary of the Israeli Saab Club Automotive engineer Oren Kipnis: “Oh… don’t do it ! These LED replacement units will never emit the correct light pattern, as they don’t have the same focal length as the original Halogen lamp. In the end, one will dazzle the oncoming traffic.

The European standard defines a lightning unit as a whole component. It is illegal to replace a bulb with one of a different kind. Such conversion will lead to a failure of the annual inspection, and possibly one can be stopped by the highway patrol in many countries.

It is worth to replace the Halogen bulbs with bulbs made by a well known manufacturer.”


4 Comments

  • Oh… don’t do it !
    These LED replacement units will never emit the correct light pattern, as they don’t have the same focal length as the original Halogen lamp. In the end, one will dazzle the oncoming traffic.
    The European standard defines a lightning unit as a whole component. It is illegal to replace a bulb with one of a different kind. Such conversion will lead to a failure of the annual inspection, and possibly one can be stopped by the highway patrol in many countries.
    It is worth to replace the Halogen bulbs with bulbs made by a well known manufacturer.

    Oren Kipnis,
    Automotive engineer,
    Israel SAAB Club – Secretary

  • A reminder to all those in countries w/ LHD 9-3 & viggen models like USA , europe . A great hack is to buy and fit the electric aiming headlights fr UK or Austrailia then you can wire up this nice switch in a formerly blank spot on the dash and have easily aimed headlights !
    Another advantage is the much better beam pattern esp if you fit the UK glass lens on the left front (LHD) divers side. Please aim them carefully so they do not dazzle oncoming traffic . they work splendidly ! Highly recomended !
    a totally useless glare guard that is fitted inside your OG 9-3 and viggen headlights !

    If you take your headlights off and take them apart , you can remove this and have a instant improvement in your lights ! and it’s free !

    No it will not bother oncoming cars , I did one light first and checked .
    best option for the OG is actually to get the English UK lights as you know with the OG bulbs they have glass lenses which you can switch quite easily so you put the UK lens on the left and get a much better beam pattern!
    Actually I fit the entire UK light assembly because the UK lights adjust electrically up and down with a trick wonderful OEM switch which you can place in a blank spot in the dash! for some reason the USA, American Market cars we’re manual adjust only I I think due to our horrible Department of Transportation rules
    There are scads of Saab broken up sold for parts in the UK and you can get Parts shipped quite cheaply to the United States with parcelforce in UK
    Next, for killer lights to put any hid, LED or projector beam to shame fit 100-160 H-4 off-road use only rally bulbs with heavy duty relays wired direct from the battery
    You will then have OMG lights!

  • thje PIAA 17655 H7 Xtreme White Plus High Performance Halogen Bulb. A package of two bulbs costs some 70 dollars.
    bulbs suggested above are NOT very bright as they have the same wattage as stock bulbs ! we fit 100/160 watt H-4 bulbs off road legal only rallye bulbs you must install them w/ heavy duty relays !
    aim them carefully so as to not dazzle oncoming traffic ! use only low beams when cars are coming at you !

  • don’t be such a legalistic stick in the mud ! just aim your lights carefully and they work fine ! we expect more courage fr an Isreali ! you face death from rockets etc every day ! you need to see suspicious packages in the road at night ! IED’s!

Comments are closed.