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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Working on my MIL's 2001 SAAB 9-5 [Outback- oops had Subaru on the brain] Wagon 2.3 l with 144K miles (purchased used a few months back - so no history). :(

I am only in town (Raleigh-Durham, NC) till Sat . I hope to resolve this ASAP. :eek:

Do not have Service Manual, but will order digital (PDF) one if needed.

Known history since purchase:

A Battery Cable was replaced by a local shop (not sure which Battery Cable). Upon pick up of vehicle, shop told MIL:
"If issue persists, then will need Alternator"​
:roll:

Vehicle needed a 'jump' several times since the above Battery Cable replacement and finally died and had to be towed back home.

Alternator removed and taken to AZ. Checked out OK, Pulley seems OK also - but not very 'free spinning' (goes around a few revolutions, but not 'free' spinning). Alternator and Serpentine Belt were really soaked in gummy oil (leak appears to be seal leak or valve cover gasket etc.). See related post: http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=637537

I will clean Alternator with CRC's Electra-Motive Electric Parts Cleaner and a fresh parts cleaning brush, then allow to dry out overnight. Also cleaning area around Serpentine Belt (hopefully to reveal where oil leak is.

Serpentine Belt, Tensioner Pulley & Idler Pulley ordered.

Questions:

1) Since I disconnected Battery to remove Alternator, what will I need to do to reset anything? OK, yeah the clock, but is there a security or some other type of reset or reestablish needed? Will I need a special device or tool?

2) Are there any common failure points of the charge system? (i.e. specific cable or connection) I will ohm out the cables anyway and check for loose connections or broken grounds.


TIA,

Harold
 

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What exactly is the issue you're having? Does it not start after sitting for a few hours, is the engine cutting out while running and then needing a jump, or can you not start after driving for a while, stopping, and then restarting?

Do you know why the shop thought the battery cable was at fault?

Maybe check the battery and/or test for a parasitic drain (depending on the issue you're having).

To answer your questions, no, you will not need to reset anything to get the car going again.

As suggested, checking grounds is a good idea. You'll have to search the boards to get all the info. You can also the interactive workshop manual (called WIS), which is a PC software program, here: http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=622081
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
1) What exactly is the issue you're having?
2)Does it not start after sitting for a few hours, is the engine cutting out while running and then needing a jump, or can you not start after driving for a while, stopping, and then restarting?

3) Do you know why the shop thought the battery cable was at fault?

4) Maybe check the battery and/or test for a parasitic drain (depending on the issue you're having).

5) To answer your questions, no, you will not need to reset anything to get the car going again.

6) As suggested, checking grounds is a good idea. You'll have to search the boards to get all the info. You can also the interactive workshop manual (called WIS), which is a PC software program, here: http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=622081
Wow, Thanks!

MIL = Mother in law
FIL = Father in law

1) The car is dead electrically upon my arrival. Sitting 5-6 weeks. MIL & FIL said shop replaced battery cable (found new positive cable installed...more on this later). Also shop told MIL & FIL if condition persists then the Alternator would need to be replaced (see original post). MIL & FIL both stated the car had to be jumped before and after the positive battery cable was replaced. Also had other "numerous issues"- they just do not recall all that was "recommended" & could not locate the estimates given by local shop.

2) I've asked both in-laws several different times and switched up the questions to see if I would get a different answer or jog their memory. MIL & FIL both believed the "issue" was Alternator, cause shop recommended it (well, that is IF issue continued...). Basic answer is "it don't work". (FIL is early stage Alzheimers & MIL is cognitive but in failing health, but FIL did most of the shop interaction). :eek:)

3) No, but there is a new cable installed.Fifteen year old used car...Not uncommon. Possibly FIL balked at a > $500 alternator replacement or "more diagnoses" costs. Limited income, so I do not blame him.

4) Battery was DOA at ~5v. Got warranty replacement on battery after original post earlier today. I have been checking for Good grounds points today (in-between rain); found a few possible loose connections- plan on using CRC Electra-Cleaner on them and reassemble in morning with Dielectric Grease.

5) OK. Just wondering about the SID initialization since it is mentioned elsewhere.

6) I suspected this, and started checking what I could see. I really appreciate the link. Wow, I've been online looking for something just like this! Will definitely check out. :)

Again - Thanks!
 

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It's great that you're helping out your in laws and I think you're definitely on the right track (especially since you don't have anything to go on besides second hand information).

Let us know how you get on, and hopefully it's just a bad ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's great that you're helping out your in laws and I think you're definitely on the right track (especially since you don't have anything to go on besides second hand information).

Let us know how you get on, and hopefully it's just a bad ground.
So far I found two ground points that were nothing to unscrew (snug but not anywhere tight- possibly sloppy mechanics who changed the positive battery cable :x ), plus the 60 AMP fuse block has a loose socket that will "break" contact when I apply forward pressure on it towards the front of vehicle (fuse closest to firewall-no damage apparent to fuse receptacle contacts-will clean the fuses and contacts up, might see if a zip tie around block will keep it tight and keep it from "breaking" contact) and possibly the negative battery cable is somewhat stiff but ohmed out about 2 ohms or less. Will see if the negative batter cable is in stock locally in the morning.

I will post follow up in afternoon tomorrow.

Thanks for the support!

Harold
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was able to get the Service history (from when the in-laws took in the car to the local SAAB dealer) yesterday afternoon. I found out they also took it in to the used car dealer that they bought it from, but FIL ignored my request to stop by and inquire what it was taken in for then.
:confused:

The SAAB dealer report has:
First visit:
Sunroof stuck open (might be low battery related)
Check message light on dash panel
Check Engine Light is on
Replaced two tail lamp bulbs (parts 2 bulbs)
Diagnostic time (added antifreeze)

Second visit:
Ck alternator (parts Positive battery cable)
Program new key (parts cover key & Transmit Antitheft component due to known issue of old/weak battery in the part)

There was also a mention, after we left the SAAB dealer, that some sort of "control unit" might need to be replaced, but it was not on the service history from the dealer.

This all seems to indicate a pattern of bad wires, bad battery, some other ground-connection OR a control unit. Possibly the regulator?

The repair and further diagnoses is currently on hold till the Timing Chain Tensioner Seal & O-ring arrive from eEuroparts.
:(


Harold
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Voltage Regulator - Preliminary research

OK, Just in case it turns out to be the Voltage Regulator...

How do I determine the Chassis #?
:confused:

NAPA & O'reilly both list two possibilities:
(these are from NAPA)

Voltage Regulator
PART # :
ECH VR581
PRODUCT LINE :
Echlin Ignition
IMPORTANT INFO :
To Chassis # 13054631

Voltage Regulator
PART # :
ECH VR1092
PRODUCT LINE :
Echlin Ignition
IMPORTANT INFO :
From Chassis # 13054632
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
chassis number is like the last eight digits of the VIN...
;ol;

Ahhh, Duh. I glanced over the To & From.

This would be the part for this wagon's VIN:
https://www.eeuroparts.com/Parts/8681/Voltage-Regulator-140-amp-5470612/
Since the Alternator checked out OK from AZ, I probably would not need this- but the issue was intermittant from what I gather.

Anyone had a bad experience with the Bosch Votage Regulator (I'm now digging in my own pockets to pay for the repairs of the in-laws wagon).
Much cheaper than the $300 NAPA & O'reilly want.

Thanks! :lol:

Harold
 

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There was also a mention, after we left the SAAB dealer, that some sort of "control unit" might need to be replaced, but it was not on the service history from the dealer.
So did not say what 'control' they are talking about. Only two things come to my mind; 1) the TWICE (Theft Warning Integrated Central Electronics), which interfaces with the key and ignition system. Maybe key needs to be reprogrammed again? or 2) the ECU.

When you say the car is electrically dead, do you meant that nothing happens when you turn the ignition key? Or do you see dashboard lights go on and headlights, but no crank?

On the ground points, did you check the one on the thermostat housing? Sometimes it gets dirty and can cause your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
1) So did not say what 'control' they are talking about. Only two things come to my mind; 1) the TWICE (Theft Warning Integrated Central Electronics), which interfaces with the key and ignition system. Maybe key needs to be reprogrammed again? or 2) the ECU.

2) When you say the car is electrically dead, do you meant that nothing happens when you turn the ignition key? Or do you see dashboard lights go on and headlights, but no crank?

3) On the ground points, did you check the one on the thermostat housing? Sometimes it gets dirty and can cause your problem.
Gidner

1)The owner (in-laws) purchased a Key Fob (Transmit Antitheft = SAAB p# 52-65-335) and had a key programmed on the next to last visit to dealer and had Alternator checked. Two days later the wagon was at dealer to "program alarm system off" since it was going off all the time (not sure why alarm was always going off, possibly set too sensitive or could be related to low battery/poor charging concerns (I have a Key Fob for my Nissan that will set off the alarm when in my pocket). Since mid October it died on them again (I think the week before T-Giving). They typically only drive it once or twice a week, but also not used for a week or so at a time.

Is the TWICE the anti theft component in the Drivers side front wheel wheel?

I looked for ECU & ECM on NAPA & O'reilly, NAPA had a Computer Control Relay (an actual Relay, not a ECU or ECM) , O'reilly shows a no match to any search string.

eEuroparts has several "T7 ECU Upgrade (Stage 1-3)". One of these is what I gather the ECU would be for the wagon.
https://www.eeuroparts.com/Parts/52929/T7-ECU-Upgrade-Stage-1-101K10086/


2) When I arrived (just visiting in-laws for the week) the battery was dead, so I did not experience anything. FIL & MIL said the car was problematic with intermittent issues (seemed to be electrical based on their reports) since they bought it used a year or so ago. From what I gather it would start as long as battery was charged enough- they may have jump started it several times. The wagon has left them stranded 6-7 times in last year. Upon my arrival, Alternator was pulled and checked out at AZ (awaiting Timing Chain Tensioner Seal & O-ring before putting it back together). Battery was at 4v-5v & had it warrantied. Also some ground points (near headlamps & Maxi-Fuses) were not nearly as snug as I would have tightened them (Dealer had just put on a new positive battery cable in mid October) & the Maxi-Fuse closes to firewall would 'break' connection when wiggled (fuses good & sockets are patent) - so that might be at least a portion of the issues.

3) I checked some obvious ground locations. I also looked at the WIS to see ground points; maybe I missed this one, so I will go look for this one also. ;ol;

Thanks for your input!!

Harold
 

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QUOTE=techman_hou;5647633]Gidner

1)The owner (in-laws) purchased a Key Fob (Transmit Antitheft = SAAB p# 52-65-335) and had a key programmed on the next to last visit to dealer and had Alternator checked. Two days later the wagon was at dealer to "program alarm system off" since it was going off all the time (not sure why alarm was always going off, possibly set too sensitive or could be related to low battery/poor charging concerns (I have a Key Fob for my Nissan that will set off the alarm when in my pocket). Since mid October it died on them again (I think the week before T-Giving). They typically only drive it once or twice a week, but also not used for a week or so at a time.

Yes, the alarm will start to go off randomly and when you least expect it if the battery have given-up. The battery is located in the front wheel well, driver's side, behind a small panel door.

Is the TWICE the anti theft component in the Drivers side front wheel wheel? No, it is located under the driver's seat.

I looked for ECU & ECM on NAPA & O'reilly, NAPA had a Computer Control Relay (an actual Relay, not a ECU or ECM) , O'reilly shows a no match to any search string.

eEuroparts has several "T7 ECU Upgrade (Stage 1-3)". One of these is what I gather the ECU would be for the wagon.
https://www.eeuroparts.com/Parts/52929/T7-ECU-Upgrade-Stage-1-101K10086/
That is ECU upgrade if your tuning your car and upgrading your turbo.

2) When I arrived (just visiting in-laws for the week) the battery was dead, so I did not experience anything. FIL & MIL said the car was problematic with intermittent issues (seemed to be electrical based on their reports) since they bought it used a year or so ago. From what I gather it would start as long as battery was charged enough- they may have jump started it several times. The wagon has left them stranded 6-7 times in last year. Upon my arrival, Alternator was pulled and checked out at AZ (awaiting Timing Chain Tensioner Seal & O-ring before putting it back together). Battery was at 4v-5v & had it warrantied. Also some ground points (near headlamps & Maxi-Fuses) were not nearly as snug as I would have tightened them (Dealer had just put on a new positive battery cable in mid October) & the Maxi-Fuse closes to firewall would 'break' connection when wiggled (fuses good & sockets are patent) - so that might be at least a portion of the issues.

Understood, but does the dashboard light-up when you turn key or is it completely dead? Do you hear any clicks or noise from engine bay? Those maxi fuses sounds suspect if they disconnect when touching them.

3) I checked some obvious ground locations. I also looked at the WIS to see ground points; maybe I missed this one, so I will go look for this one also. ;ol;

Thanks for your input!!

Harold[/QUOTE]
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Gidner,

The alarm module battery may have been the reason for the random cycling of the alarm siren. Saw a video on that, just was not sure if it was the same device as the TWICE. So thanks for the clarification on the TWICE.

I will seek more on ECU once I get it all back together. Hopefully I will not need to know more.

Not sure what happens when key is turned. Battery was completely dead (4v-5v) when I arrived & have not reinstalled it yet since Alternator is not in place. In-laws said the alternator was already checked out by SAAB dealer & was likely the cause of intermittent issues, so I removed it right away to double check at AZ. Took a while to get all the oily mess cleaned up yesterday and I have been reassembling ground connection points that I cleaned earlier. Otherwise I am awaiting the parts I ordered Next Day on Tuesday and had to call them Wednesday...but might not be here till after I leave Saturday. :eek:

The Thermostat housing has an odd appearing Wire segment coming off a larger bundle. To me it looks suspect since I can see some bare wire also at a "union". I will upload some pics in my next post. :confused:

Thanks for your assistance and input!!

Harold
 

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I will seek more on ECU once I get it all back together. Hopefully I will not need to know more.

Not sure what happens when key is turned. Battery was completely dead (4v-5v) when I arrived & have not reinstalled it yet since Alternator is not in place. In-laws said the alternator was already checked out by SAAB dealer & was likely the cause of intermittent issues, so I removed it right away to double check at AZ. Took a while to get all the oily mess cleaned up yesterday and I have been reassembling ground connection points that I cleaned earlier. Otherwise I am awaiting the parts I ordered Next Day on Tuesday and had to call them Wednesday...but might not be here till after I leave Saturday. :eek:

The Thermostat housing has an odd appearing Wire segment coming off a larger bundle. To me it looks suspect since I can see some bare wire also at a "union". I will upload some pics in my next post. :confused:

/QUOTE]

I looked at Rock Auto and Parts Geek, but they did not have any ECU's either (Rock Auto was out of stock, I think). So I don't know if you have to go through a dealer for those. Never had buy one (know on wood) myself, so don't know. Also don't know if you can use the Stage 3 Tune ECU in combination with a standard turbo, which I assume is what you have. But maybe that is possible, I'm not just smart enough to know.

I understand now what you mean and that you don't know what happens when you turn the key. But since you now have a fully loaded battery, I think you could at least turn the key in the ignition ...don't turn to start since the belt is off!! ..just to see if you get lights on the dash, radio, etc. Would be interesting if it is completely dead (no lights on dash) or if it is somewhat alive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I understand now what you mean and that you don't know what happens when you turn the key. But since you now have a fully loaded battery, I think you could at least turn the key in the ignition ...don't turn to start since the belt is off!! ..just to see if you get lights on the dash, radio, etc. Would be interesting if it is completely dead (no lights on dash) or if it is somewhat alive.
I agree, it would be good to know. I would think the lights, dash and radio etc would work with key in Accessory mode. The in-laws said it did start most of the time, unless or until battery was drained. I am working towards getting the battery back in, well I thought I was until I found the odd looking ground wire on the Thermostat Housing...Need to upload pics of that wire...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thermostat Housing Ground point pics

The Thermostat Ground pics.

This one is a view from the firewall of the ground point on thermostat:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4cC7vpVjuLvZW9wZkFydDVOelk/view?usp=sharing

This one from the radiator/drivers side sort of shows the odd bulge with a 90 degree turn and some exposed wire on the same wire segment attached to Thermostat Housing Ground point It appears to go into radiator hose (notice the rough looking "tip" just left of the blue connector - that roughness is exposed wire where it takes a sharp 90 degree turn):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4cC7vpVjuLvSFY4ZzBlcWgtU2s/view?usp=sharing

This one again (a contorted view) from firewall side looking up from where the wire comes off the Thermostat Housing. Notice the small curved wire- the top of it is the 90 degree joint/junction where it meets the second image:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4cC7vpVjuLvMDdVNDhqUG1QZnM/view?usp=sharing

This wire seems oddly suspect to me. I am wondering if is normal. It could be a past attempted repair joint that has somewhat failed or a rub point that exposed raw wire & somehow got bent sharply around intake.



TIA!

Harold
 

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There is supposed to be a ground wire connected to the thermostat housing, but the routing of hoses and wires around that area is fairly complicated. If a hose was replaced, or the thermostat was replaced and the cover taken off and the wire disconnected, it's entirely possible that something was routed incorrectly.

The Bosch voltage regulator you linked to earlier is usually what goes wrong with the alternator since it contains the brushes. It should also be the exact part that came in your alternator from the factory, and the same part that Saab repackages for many times the price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
MAXI-Fuse holder pics & hack solution

Here are pics of the MAXI-Fuse holder.

I tried the fuses in different fuse holder sockets (switched them up) and only had the continuity loss in the rear fuse spot (closest to firewall) when any part of the Fuse Holder block was flexed. I cleaned the Fuse Holder block and fuses with CRC's Eletra-Motive cleaner and still had the same exact issue in the rear fuse position.

MAXI-Fuse Holder location:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4cC7vpVjuLvTk9OZzhMUk1vUTQ/view?usp=sharing

This pic shows the MAXI-Fuse holder with out the rear fuse (the only one that was suspect; all others were equally "clean" & patent), No apparent melting or other visible damage from top. I did note that the right side contacts of this fuse slot (part of the main block) were somewhat open or separated greater than the others:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4cC7vpVjuLvR3pmWjdQMG14clE/view?usp=sharing

This pic shows the MAXI-Fuse holder facing firewall. Notice the rear fuse (closest to firewall) is a separate piece of main holder and raised up slightly. When this last fuse holder is flexed or if the fuse holder is not completely seated in main fuse block, the continuity drops only on this rear slot. The flex is due to it being a two piece fuse holder. The right side contacts spread open rather easily, but he fuse does make contact when inserted:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4cC7vpVjuLvUU9vVGNhTTF6SHc/view?usp=sharing

After some deliberation (I was not about to pull that wire harness out!!) :eek: Sorry, there will not be any pics from the bottom. :) I came up with a hack "repair" solution that 'maintained' continuity:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4cC7vpVjuLvRzU3eUgtbmdUbVE/view?usp=sharing :cheesy:

Not sure if this was real issue causin what presented as a "Charging Issue", but it could be if for some reason the vehicle motion affected the holder. I just was not able to see the bottom side, nor was I about to unravel to find the other end, so I have no idea if the internal contact & wire are a good crimp.

I believe the abilty for that particular Fuse Holder, being a two-peice unit, was the reason for loss of continuity, just too much flex which would allow the Fuse to lose contact. This may or not happen, but the MAXI-Fuse Block is under strain when attached to the main Fuse Block That strain would easily be enough to cause an intermittant loss of continuity such as when going over bumpy roads.

TIA

Harold
 
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