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  1. #1
    Saab Enthusiast
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    2000 9-5 Aero Wagon, 2006 Saab 9-3 SportCombi Aero
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    Alternator out?

    OK. 6 months ago I purchased my first Saab, a 2000 9-5 Aero wagon. I'm familiar with 65-2005 VW/Porsche/Audi and older British stuff like Sunbeam and Hillman but I'm new to Saabs. I've read a bit on the site, but nothing replaces hands on experience so, I have a question for those who have BTDT.

    About 3 months ago I replaced the battery because, occasionally, I'd go to start up the car and the battery would be dead. I put this off to something funky going on with the stereo system because A) I might not have been turning it off properly or B) it's a weird system that turns itself on when I'm not in the car and to rectify that I'd need to find someone who has some obscure Swedish computer interface to reset something in a town that's primary transportation is dually Ford trucks.

    After the new battery, all seemed well. For a few weeks, after shutting off the car, I'd wait the requisite few minutes to be sure the stereo didn't turn itself back on (and if it did, I'd shut it down).

    A few weeks ago while returning loaned heaters to friends because I thought I had repaired my broke down, non-Saab, furnace, all the lights flickered on the dash, all power was gone, engine off, etc.

    I towed the car home and put it on a charger. The next day I checked the battery and it was showing 12V. I started the car and checked the battery again, with the car running. and it showed 12V again. I assume that is should be 13.5+ so, again I assume, it's got to be the alternator. So, since I'm not in a situation to be able to crawl under and do a R&R, I leave it at that. Have to wait for better weather I guess.

    On a lark I thought I'd go start it up the next day to check it again. Only 1V at the battery. It's a new battery so it shouldn't have drained completely overnight, right? Since I haven't done an alternator on a Saab before I'm not sure about how exposed the connections are and I was driving through some pretty tough snow. Is it possible that snow could have knocked the connection to the alternator loose and I'm losing power and not getting a charge through a semi-connected alternator? Just throwing that out there because it looks like it'll be a few weeks before I'm able to really get under there and tear into stuff.

    Anyone with a similar situation and solution?

    Thanks in advance for any guidance.

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  2. #2
    Bruno
    Saab Addict swisssaabist's Avatar
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    9-5 ARC Wagon 2002 2 t auto engine B205E
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    Could be very interesting if you take the voltage of your alternator must be around 15 v for me if a new battery died so fast this a trail to follow (could be precisely the alternator regulator ) let me know about after testing that !!
    did you have changing some bulbs before this happened ? specially on the tail area ?

    later when you have been fixing that issue spray an electrical protection spray on the connections

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    Last edited by swisssaabist; 09 February 2017 at 14:01.

  3. #3
    Saab Enthusiast
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    2000 9-5 Aero Wagon, 2006 Saab 9-3 SportCombi Aero
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    Thanks for the reply.
    I was thinking of trying to remove the voltage regulator off of my parts car and swapping it onto the alternator in my driver but after reading other's results it may be just as frustrating as pulling and replacing. When the weather clears I'm going to lift it up and check the connections to verify that they are solid.
    As far as the light go I have only changed out the headlight bulbs to standard. The previous owner installed one of those cobbled together HID kits. In all my previous cars, when I installed those I ran separate relays to each of the bulbs but that isn't the case here. Regarding rear lamps, I haven't changed any of those. Of course, I need to change out the third brae light as it's giving me messages. Is there a common problem with the rear lights that cause the battery to drain? I do know that in my Audi, if the brake light goes out you can start the car but you can't get the transmission to engage. That's a fun safety feature to discover when you're out in the remote wilderness... :-)

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  4. #4
    Bruno
    Saab Addict swisssaabist's Avatar
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    I've heard issues with certain tail lights on Saabs not precisely what about ,maybe with a two filaments bulbs for example . do you have found some burning fuses ? and the flickering dash is the common symptom of a dead battery ( i have this one on a small ford recently no noise flickering dash lights ->battery empty this is really frightening when you remember old cars when you have low power but cranking anymore you know what you got ....thinking only one thing your car is under possession ;-) )
    did you have randomly alternator light when driving ?
    or at start ?(much longer than normal )
    anyway be sure your bulbs on tail brakes light are the recommended one by Saab. did you have some repairs under the hood before it happened ?
    (thinking about ground cables disconnected )do let a spare key inside your car ? and some maybe useful infos here

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    Last edited by swisssaabist; 09 February 2017 at 23:00.

  5. #5
    Saab Enthusiast
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    OK, thank you. I'll check out the tail lights while conducting the investigation. ( Years ago I had a Fiat Spyder that had the whole electrical system go funky because a light bulb filament broke and was shorting to ground. It was very strange.) Thanks again for the tips and link!

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  6. #6
    Bruno
    Saab Addict swisssaabist's Avatar
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    but with Fiat cars you've searching troubles ;-))

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  7. #7
    Saab Enthusiast
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    Ha, yeah, that's true. In the old sports cars the solutions were typically more quaint. They had less electrical in the whole car than the Saab has for the mirrors. And you didn't need an engineering degree and 8 years with NASA to change an alternator. :-) In my case, up until I bought the Saab, I thought my old Audi wagon was complicated. Now it's like comparing a covered wagon with the space shuttle. Gone are the days of tuning dual Webers by ear.

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  8. #8
    Saab Enthusiast Kazamario's Avatar
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    2006 Saab 9-5, 2004 Saab 9-5 Aero; 2002 9-3 HOT Hatch
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    @bryang

    Here's a few links, I don't know exactly what the problem is, but something is draining your battery, if I'm understanding your post correctly.

    http://saabworld.net/showthread.php?t=25079
    http://www.saablink.net/forum/genera...tion/27543.htm
    http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=239019

    HTH,

    -M

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  9. #9
    Saab Enthusiast
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    Thank you for the links. Some very scary reading in there. :-) It looks like I'm going to be learning a lot more about electronics whether I want to or not. :-)

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  10. #10
    Bruno
    Saab Addict swisssaabist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bryang View Post
    Thank you for the links. Some very scary reading in there. :-) It looks like I'm going to be learning a lot more about electronics whether I want to or not. :-)
    after reading the first link posted by Kazamario it could describe your issue with radio and drain battery let me know if it's like yours ...

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