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My '95 convertible would not start last night, battery was drained, not completely dead but not enough juice to crank her over, the only think I noticed was that my buddy had left the glove box open over night. The next day with a jump I got her started and purring.. but could only drive her for about 15 min, then again this morning.. no start...

Just a few things about the car

1) I live at about 9000ft (2700m) above sea level in the mountains so the car is subject to cold temps and shifts in temp in the spring
2) replaced the battery this winter
3) I drive very little, and if I do its maybe once a week for 10 or 15 min

Any ideas to what may be wrong or draining my battery?

I would guess the alternator.. but I wanted to see if there were any stealth drains on the bat..

If I do have to replace the alternator how much would it cost and how hard is it to do on my own?


Thanks...
 

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3) I drive very little said:
That may be the reaon. The battery isn't charged enough and jump starting it doesn't do so either.; it just gives the battery enough juice to start. You need to put the battery on a battery charger on slow charge over night.

The battery's output is decreased dramatically by cold weather. So if the battery's charge is low due to lack of use, then that's an added drain on the battery.

It may also be another issue like an alternator but usually the battery light would light up in the dash. I think :confused: I'm not sure with the SAAB because I never dealt with this issue with my SAAB.

On my previous cars the battery light would come on and stay on. That happened to me 3 times with 3 cars :nono;. It gives you enough warning to do something about it though.

Good luck

Check the battery charge first. And the same mechanic could test your charging system as well. A brand new battery could malfunction as well.
 

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If the alternator brushes are worn down too far, the unit will stop charging.. Thus a alternator service should be performed; the brushes/voltage are good for 100 to 150K miles -usually.They are available , part number is 47 37 151..
Bosch(aftermarket) also has them..
An excellent "how to" on the alternator -
http://www.geocities.com/ng900set/Alt_repl/alt_repl1.html?20062
Short trips are very hard on the car and its systems.. An electric car would be better in this case..
 

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If you're removing the alternator, I suggest taking it out from beneath rather than up through the engine bay. You'll have to disconnect the intermediate exhaust pipe from the cat and push the cat to the side, but you don't have to remove the alternator bracket or anything else.
 

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Make sure your trunk is closed. If your buddy hit the wrong button on the key fob, the trunk will raise enough to turn on the light, but not enough to either see, or trigger an open trunk warning.

If this doesn't work, try this: jump the car and drive for a while. Set the analog clock to noon when you are done. Assuming that the car does not start the next morning, you'll know how long the batery lasted before the car went into hibernation.

Good luck!
 

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An experiment :

As we all know, the courtsey lite stays one for a very short time after lock-up.
Deliberately leave the glove-box door open and walk away.
Return after 20 seconds to see if that light does not automatically extingush.
Even if it does not; this should NOT kill the battery, after 8 hours , not a good, fully charged battery..
When, if ever ,is Saab/GM going to wise up?? Saab cannot survive as just another run-of-the-mill automobile.

Saab should have a full compliment of guages, much as other high mileage vehicles do (the big rigs)..
 
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