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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1999 saab 9-5 with 168xxx miles. Just note there is a used alternator in the car from a junked saab. I installed the alternator (what a F%&&*). Car ran fine, until the other day 6 months down the road. Im driving and all the warning lights go on. I stop turn the car off and it will not start again, kinda like the battery is dead. Got a jump, all lights turns right over. Turn it off, starts right up. Few days later it happens again, gearbox light with fault code car is in LIMPHOME mode. Got home turned the car off, started right up. Left again to get a radiator flush, car dies on the way home and stalls out while driving. Battery completely dead. Jumped start right up (limphome mode) Got home turned the key to on position for about 3min and the car would not start. Car runs ok without the battery hooked up, the alternator wires are secure, battery wires secure. Moved the batter ground. Anyways, please let me know what you guys think and I really like some help. Tomorrow i will be using a meter to test voltage. thx in advance.
 

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How old is the battery? A battery that can't hold a charge is a pretty common thing, especially if the battery is >5 years old. The fact jumping the car made it work for a few days leads me to believe that the alternator is working fine. I bet you've got some dead cells in the battery. Probably time to buy a new one.

An easy way to diagnose this is to buy/borrow a multimeter and test the voltage across the battery terminals. It should be above 12V when everything is off (and the car's been resting for a couple of hours). If its not then you've got a bad battery. When the car is running it should be around 14-14.5V (I believe, feel free to correct me). If its not sounds like you could have an alternator issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Brand new CPS and Brand new Battery. Ill post the results soon from the test and see what you guys come up with. The codes that were there was for solenoid A in tranny (electrical) thats about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Test

I did the test just now. 11.9v sitting overnight. Started up, 12.6v charging. Replacing this alternator is no joke. There must be something else, maybe a grounding issue.
 

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The CPS is brand new. There is no crank issue, just the battery dying in mid drive.
I just reread your OP - so this is a used alternator from a junker, correct? If so - looks like the alternator is bad. Yes, they are expensive, and yes they are a ***** to replace. But then - problem solved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I hate to ask - but you did hook up everything with the alternator correctly, right?
Yes everything is hooked up just fine, it ran good for a while now. It sat for a few months, battery died. Drove for a few months now the batter wont stay charged. But, the car will run just fine without the battery hooked up. Is it that the alt. is giving enough power to keep the car alive but not enough to charge the battery?
 

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Yea thats what it sounds like. Most Auto parts stores can do alternator testing, I'm not sure if that requires it to be out of the car though.

One thing you might want to do, just to rule it out, is to replace the serp belt in case its stretched and slipping. They're cheap and its worth it just to rule it out. Just make sure you put the correct one on. You should also make sure the tensioner is actually tensioning the belt as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yea thats what it sounds like. Most Auto parts stores can do alternator testing, I'm not sure if that requires it to be out of the car though.

One thing you might want to do, just to rule it out, is to replace the serp belt in case its stretched and slipping. They're cheap and its worth it just to rule it out. Just make sure you put the correct one on. You should also make sure the tensioner is actually tensioning the belt as well.
Im going to try that this weekend and let you guys know how it goes, the belt is looking a little old.
 

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Definitely sounds like the alternator. Should be right up around 14 volts when running. Try replacing belt, if that doesn't help you're gonna need a new alternator.
 

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DON'T run the car off the alternator without the battery hooked up!!!!!!!!! You have a good chance of cooking your electronics and if you think an alterntor is expensive to install............
 
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