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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

A strange occurrence on the drive to work today: I was about 15 miles into my 50-mile commute, when I received a warning chime, exclamation point, and the ABS light came on. Shortly after that, an alert on the radio panel told me about "brake-light failure."

Soon after this, I noticed some strange things: the car's acceleration started to bog down if I gave it significant gas in 5th gear (at about 2700 rpm/60 mph). At the same time, the cruise control shut itself off entirely. Moreover, if I depressed the rearward-facing fog/visibility lights, the engine felt very strained, as if merely turning on that lamp was depriving the car of needed electrical power.

I turned around, drove back home, and borrowed my girlfriend's car to get to work, and when I get home this afternoon, will begin trying to determine the culprit. But what are some likely suspects? I did replace the alternator 4 1/2 years ago (using a rebuilt one). The serpentine belt and idler pulley are fine, and while this doesn't necessarily mean much, the battery is less than 3 months old.

Any pointers on where I should look?

best,
David
 

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The first thing that I would do is to check the voltage at the battery with a voltmeter to make sure that the alternator is chanrging the battery. You should see +13.5 to +14.5 VDC if the alternator is charging.

Unfortunately, the ABS alarm can't be cleared by disconnecting the battery. A dealer will need to do that. On the '99 and later cars, the ABS alarm will reset automatically when the system is repaired.

You might also check your brake fluid; if it's low, that might have caused the ABS alarm... Ron
 

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1995 NG900 2.3L
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Check vehicle's ground/earth locations. This was a big problem with mine where I had a very bad, almost nonexistent ground location in the rear hatch area that caused all sorts of gremlins; Rear light failures, ABS light was lit along with the "!" on the dash and the rear wiper would move very slowly and usually freeze in the down position among other symptoms.

The 9-3 and NG900 are notorious for leaking in the rear end either on account of the taillight assemblies or other leak-prone areas. Mine (ground) had rotted away at some point because of the moisture.
 

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1995 NG900 2.3L
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There's one in the left rear hatch (driver's side). There's another under the A pillar, driver's side as well (IIRC). Those are the ones I know of.

I'm sure other more experienced SAAB veterans will weigh in.

-OUT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi All,

I've done a rudimentary check of the alternator-output and the battery. The battery is at 12.46v static, and when running, voltage at the posts is 14.5 or so. Brake fluid is fine. I have *not* checked the hatch-area ground points; I'll do that in the morning.

The ABS warning light is no longer coming on, now that I've come back home after a day at work. (The car's been sitting at home all day.) But perhaps a ground failure would allow this problem to be intermittent.

It starts up just fine, but I do still get a "brake-light failure" warning, and if I depress the brake pedal with the car running, it will bog down to almost a stall.

I'm as puzzled as can be. I removed the brake-light modules; the bulbs themselves *look* fine (I could be missing something, of course). But geez--even if one was blown, I don't think engine bogging would result. Does anyone see a relation between a brakelight failure warning, and engine bogging with the brake pedal depressed?

best,
David
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Electrical gremlins: SOLVED

Hi All,

Just an update, after having located the problem. It turned out that the ground stud (on the floor, near the left rear tail-lamp) was completely broken off of the body. I relocated the ground wire cluster to a nearby stud, after Dremeling the surface around that stud to provide a bare-metal contact. All is well now.

Thanks everyone.

-David
 

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Hi All,

Just an update, after having located the problem. It turned out that the ground stud (on the floor, near the left rear tail-lamp) was completely broken off of the body. I relocated the ground wire cluster to a nearby stud, after Dremeling the surface around that stud to provide a bare-metal contact. All is well now.

Thanks everyone.

-David
Amazing the trouble one stupid ground can cause...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah--I still don't get the engine bogging. I did read on one thread that the turbo is cut when the brakes are applied. I've never heard that--and still don't know if it's true--but perhaps that somehow explains my engine bogging....

??
 
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