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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I have an '03 SAAB 9-5 ARC wagon with a 3.0 that has been in my family for about 15 years. It has suddenly developed many electric issues.
It's misfiring most of the time
The ac runs the diagnostic cycle constantly
And now the interior lights blink when you open a door. It looks like they are flashing a code.
Probably a few more items.

Could it be the DICE?
I've replaced most ignition and fuel items chasing the misfiring. Fuel pump is next since it shows low psi and it has been over 100k since the last one, but I don't think it has anything to do with the other issues.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
 

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I’d start with a battery load test at your local parts store. These cars are sensitive to low voltage and can show all kinds of odd issues if your electrical system is malnourished...
Good luck
 

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yea, the electrical systems in these cars do really weird things when the battery starts to go bad. that would be my first stop.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's fairly new, but I'll have it tested and check the grounds points under it while it's out. It does turn over quickly and the lights are bright when it's running.
 

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What ignition parts you changed and to what?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What ignition parts you changed and to what?
Plugs ngk, and I swapped out a coil pack cassette with a spare I knew was good. The plugs weren't bad and no change with the spare cassette. The cps is about a year old or less. The o2 sensors are a few months old. It will run fine intermittently. Under boost it stumbles. The blinking interior lights seems to be a clue, but I haven't seen any similar issues posted.
The occasional misfire code isn't always the same cylinder.

I did a ton of work on this old car at the end of last summer and it was doing great. Rebuilt the heads which stopped oil leaks and burning. All new gates timing kit. New cam and crank seals. That crank bolt was unreal to get loose! New starter, which was a major pain to change. The alternator is original, but it seems to still be working okay. New turbo at the same time as the rebuilt heads. Both axles and wheel bearing hubs new. I felt good about sending my son off to college with it.
 

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There are no known blink codes of DICE.
Do you have LED bulbs inside the car, they start to flicker before they die.
Does it happen to all bulbs at the same (just to exclude a single bulb)?
Does it happen at any door you open (just to exclude the door switch)? I think I had the same problem with flickering interior lights which stopped by cleaning with electronic cleaner / re tightening the door switch (which is located at the B column below the lock (not at the A column like in the older 9000).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's good to know.
I'll check the other doors. I was on the driver's door and it stopped when I started the car. They also go out normally when I closed the door. All the interior lights blink. No apparent battery drain.

I should get a video clip. It's bizarre. Looks like a tesla easter egg.

The ac goes through its diagnostic cycle everytime I turn the key to on.
 

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There are no known blink codes of DICE.
maybe this should be corrected: DICE will shut off the interior lights when there is an overload. But I have never tested this and from description it should only be reset if you turn ignition off and on. Therefore I would assume it does not result in constant flickering.
To exclude the doors switches you could also simply put the switch from automatic to always on position.
As the interior lights are connected to different grounding points most probably they are not cause to the flickering.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Did some more work on it this afternoon. New fuel pump installed. No difference. Pulled every fuse inside and under the hood. Found 1 blown inside. It was the limp home solenoid. Not sure what that does, but a new fuse didn't help. Cleaned the contacts of every fuse under the hood.

Here's a video clip of the Blinking lights.
 

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did you checked two grounding points next to the battery?
Do you have a tech 2 available to read the error codes or find someone who can do that?
lamps blink in both positions of switch?

fuse for limp home is also connected to preparation plug for mobile phone or onstar. Is something like this installed? plug should be found on passenger side somewhere near/below radio.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'll take the battery out tomorrow so I can have it checked, but I'm sure it's good. The car cranks quickly. When it's out I'll check the grounds.

The onstar died long ago and that fuse maybe why. I figured it was due to mobile phone a switching to digital, but also never had a subscription.

The way the lights are blinking it sure seems like a code. There is a definite pattern of blinking and a pause then more blinking. It starts as soon as I unlock the door and it stops when I lock it. They blink in either the on or the auto position on the overhead switch.

I have a bluedriver not a tech 2 and the only codes that show up are cylinder 1 misfire or cylinder 4 misfire.
 

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It starts as soon as I unlock the door and it stops when I lock it. They blink in either the on or the auto position on the overhead switch.
Do you unlock the door with your key or remote fob? Maybe it is some kind of alarm which is triggered when you open the door lock with the key when alarm system is still active? could be related to AC testing everytime: maybe all controllers are not shut down properly or are activated with some voltage missing? AC normally perform error check only once when you disconnect the battery. If it does that all the time it might be a hint that in looses battery voltage during shutoff.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I fixed the misfire issue and figured anyone searching with the same problem might be interested in the solution. It ended up being the front ignition cassette. The error code said it was the back one, but I swapped a cassette I knew was good and it fixed the misfire. That was my 1st cassette failure in 191k miles.

Now to figure out the strange interior blinking lights issue.
 

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Have the alternators charging voltage and amperage checked.
 

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Had the exact problem with my 2003 95 estate, swapping Dice fixed it. I suspect that it started just after I had used a battery pack to start the car, have since been told if you're not careful jump starting, if it's not done properly, can affect the dice.
 

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Hi, I have an '03 SAAB 9-5 ARC wagon with a 3.0 that has been in my family for about 15 years. It has suddenly developed many electric issues.
It's misfiring most of the time
The ac runs the diagnostic cycle constantly
And now the interior lights blink when you open a door. It looks like they are flashing a code.
Probably a few more items.

Could it be the DICE?
I've replaced most ignition and fuel items chasing the misfiring. Fuel pump is next since it shows low psi and it has been over 100k since the last one, but I don't think it has anything to do with the other issues.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Hi Austin,

I have a service record from the previous owner where the dealership cleaned all the electrical contacts at the ECU to resolve some issue with the climate control. I guess this is somewhat common on these cars as they age to need to clean electrical connections. If you get around to swapping the ECU for diagnosis, you might try cleaning those contacts first. Your actual ECU could be okay.

Good luck, man!
I'm currently dealing with a failed manual trans linkage... old cars are so much fun, eh!?
 
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