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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hola,

I was driving today on an hour journey. 15 minutes into it my engine died, dashlights and power steering all went out. I coasted to the side of the street and the car started right back up again and this problem did not reoccur. A few days ago the CEL came on but reset itself before i could get a code from it the next day. I have had noticed no misfiring or anything. THis is the first time anything like this ever happened. This is on a 2001 9-3 with nearly 70k miles, original DI and upgraded software.

Could this be the DI? Seems odd that it fired back up right away. I still had full braking power, and all dash lights were out except climate control. I am stumped, a bit broke, and nervous about paying for towing!:evil:

thanks!
 

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Hmmm

Let me preface my response with a caveat that I know next to nothing about 9-3 mechanicals.

However, I recently had similar experiences with my '92 Buick Roadmaster. It turned out to be a faulty ignition module, though we also suspected the ignition coil. Stupid electrical gremlins, though, can be a pain to trace. It took me about 4 months to figure out what was going on because the problem was extremely intermittent.

I would start by popping the hood and checking for loose wiring connections, in particular your distributor and spark plug wires. Yes, I would assume you would notice some misfiring, but you never know.

Good luck!
 

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One good thing about turbo saabs is no distributor or plug wires!;) It doesn't sound like the DI to me, though. The DI should in no way cause dash lights to go out. It sounds as if you might have a loose connection or failing battery...or something else causing a short or ecessive battery drain a la the starter motor. A CEL shouldn't go out on it's own that quick, either, unless the battery cable were to be disconnected.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Woes

The CEL going back out can be easily explained. I was using my car a lot that day. I restarted the car at least 10 times that day. As for the dashlights going out, this has happened before, but differently. The radio lights would go out because the connection behind the faceplate on the circuitboard was bad, I am woking on getting a new one at the moment if the guy from saabradio sends the part. The fasten seatbelt light has also been jittery, but i just pulled the dash off and fiddled with it and havent had any problems for a couple months now.

I have posted before about how the headlights and interior lights dimming a bit while operating power functions in the car, and someone said it might have been the doohickey which plugs into the back of the alternator which regualtes the voltage... which i have to remove the exhaust to get to. The only problems really i have had from that is a few headlights blown every few months.. which i can live with.

I havent had any problems with the battery, it seems stong and has always started the car immediately.

If this is in any way related to voltage regulation.. why would the engine die?

I just am broke at the moment, so anyone who knows anything about this who has a tip for me please help =P. A trip to the ungodly expensive Saab dealer isnt an option for a couple months. Although they probably have the diagnostic specialty tools which no one else has to detect the problem!
 

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If the problem is battery/charging system related, no special equipment is needed other than a battery load tester and a multimeter. I know of battery stores who will test and can replace worn items, but they replace $100 plus alternators, not the $30 brushes.. I doubt if any will tackle the 900 dynamo location...

A good battery will have at least 12.3 (from memory)before starting, 11 during start up, and 13.5 to 14.5 during charging.

Batteries are good for 3 to 4 years, sometimes more or less, alternator brushes are good for 100K and more.
Battery cables and connections need to be serviced annually,IMO.
Hopefully some one will chime in with more accurate figures..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
battery?

Hmm.. how does the battery have much to do with this problem? From my understanding a battery just starts the car and the alternator takes over from there. How could a bad battery cause the engine and some interior lights to fail while driving the car at 70mph? Or does the battery run the electronics and the alternator charge it while its doing that? I guess if that were the case it could make sense...Battery pukes out, some systems fail including ignition?
 

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Squoosh! said:
Hmm.. how does the battery have much to do with this problem? From my understanding a battery just starts the car and the alternator takes over from there. How could a bad battery cause the engine and some interior lights to fail while driving the car at 70mph? Or does the battery run the electronics and the alternator charge it while its doing that? I guess if that were the case it could make sense...Battery pukes out, some systems fail including ignition?
If a failed battery can cause a car not to run, how is pop starting explained? I would like more info too.
 

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Squoosh! said:
Hmm.. how does the battery have much to do with this problem? From my understanding a battery just starts the car and the alternator takes over from there. How could a bad battery cause the engine and some interior lights to fail while driving the car at 70mph? Or does the battery run the electronics and the alternator charge it while its doing that? I guess if that were the case it could make sense...Battery pukes out, some systems fail including ignition?
Getting a bit confused here... the alternator and battery are both online, so to speak, when the engine is running.

The power comes from the highest voltage source. When the engine is on, that is the 14-V regulator at the alternator. The battery and alternator w. the voltage regulator are connected to the same ground at the negative reminals, and the same battery cable at the positive terminals. The power put out by the alternator that is NOT consumed by the car including all the lights, electronics, fans etc. is used to charge the battery while driving.

When the engine is off, there is no power from the alternator. The battery becomes the source of power for lights, electronics, stereo, ignition, and for a few seconds for the starter. Once the car starts, the alternator takes over again.

The voltage regulator is 14V, but depending on where and when you measure the voltage when the car is running, it could be a bit lower (13.5-14V)

The battery in nominally 12V, but the battery voltage can measure from 11.5-13V depending on load and level of charge at the time, less when very cold or cranking the engine.
 

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Squoosh! said:
So a bad batter could cause the interior lights to go out and engine to cut at 70mph?
Not as far as I know. When the engine is running, the power comes from the alternator, IF the alternator is working.
 
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