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  1. #1
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
    08 Jul 2013
    2002 9-5 2.3L Linear Turbo
    Thumbs Up:   0

    Question Alternator at 0% after changing to aftermarket head unit

    I desperately need your help!

    On Thursday night, I changed out my factory AS3 head unit in my 2002 Saab 9-5 Linear for an aftermarket JVC CD Receiver. After hooking everything up, I was sitting in the car playing with the new head unit and had the engine running so as to not deplete the battery (or so I thought). Then, about 20 minutes in, the engine slowed down and quit. All electrical items were still on, the engine just stopped. I tried to restart it, and it wouldn't go.

    I waited until the next morning, and it still wouldn't start. Called a buddy with a Silverado and with jumper cables was able to get my car started. I left it running for a while for fear of turning it off, and it stayed on for 30 minutes until I turned it off. So, over the next 18 hours, I successfully started the Saab a number of times, but also had three instances of it not starting.

    Dismayed, I hooked the battery up to a charger. The charger began counting up from a 6% charge. I let it get to 100% (4+ Hours), then tried to start it again. Wouldn't start...initially. After a number of failed tries, including trying to jump it off my Chrysler Aspen, the engine started again. I left it running for a number of minutes (~10) during which time I used the charger to check the Voltage: 13.1-13.3V, and the Alternator %: 0%!!! CRAP!

    I'm guessing this means my Alternator is shot. But I'm curious as to why the symptom only showed up after I changes head units? Are the two related? Is there a fuse problem? A grounding problem on the stereo (I grounded through the METRA harness and the stereo works fine)?

    As another point of curiosity, this vehicle has only been mine for 10 days... If the alternator is blown, is it possible that it has been for a while, and only showed up when I drained the battery while installing the head unit in the dark? If so, I'll go back to the dealership with a complaint about what they sold me.

    HELP INTERNET! You're my only HOPE!

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  2. #2
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
    Join Date
    30 Jul 2010
    USA - Netherlands
    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
    Thumbs Up:   123
    Unless something was seriously messed up with the installation of the head unit, it seems these two are unrelated. I would go back to the dealership and ask if they test the charging system and see what the exact problem is.

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  3. #3
    Saab Enthusiast
    Join Date
    01 Aug 2010
    06' 9-5 Sportcombi, 06' Sport Sedan
    Thumbs Up:   6
    Unhook that head unit until you get everything straighten out. Which it might be shortening out your alternator. Then recheck everything.

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