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This might come as common knowledge around here, but I'm going to list my tale here as I think it's very important. I have a Saab 9-3 07 Aero I've owned for two years. I've changed the coils on it a couple different times. First set were definitely bad I got with the car and it worked fine for awhile, but suffered slight hesitation especially when cold, hiccups while accelerating, slightly sluggish acceleration (sometimes), 'hic' sounds while it was cold, and it never felt quite as good as when I got it. I had to change the battery the first winter I had it, roughly four months after buying it. I bought a 730cc battery to replace the 738. While the 8 amps don't sound like a lot, it turned out to be noticeable in the winter, but it still worked fine. The cars crank hard anyway.

Come summer everything worked even though it felt never quite as good, I figured 'whatever I guess I messed something up or a vacuum hose cracked' that I never could find. I changed the plugs about three different times, with three different sets of plugs, four if you include regapping one set. Stocks, .1mm iridiums, and the .08 iridiums I currently have in my car with my tune I got from vermont tuning. Despite the definite increase in acceleration and responsiveness I still had the problems mentioned earlier. Come summer I had weird issues start to manifest themselves. Occasionally I'd get the 'steering wheel malfunction, pull over and stop', then the key would become unpaired and would have to insert it a couple times in the ignition to get it to pair so the remote would work again.

Year later it happened again this summer and it only happens when it goes from really cold to really hot. I took the battery in last year to warranty it and they said there was nothing wrong with it, of course you get the alternator talk, despite the fact my alternator is putting out around 14.1-14.3 on average depending on what is on. Today I took it in again as I was having weird issues hoping whatever was happening would be detectable and was told it was very slightly bulging and was at 60% charge despite it just coming off the vehicle. I got the warranty it, they told me my alternator was fine as well.

Anyway, I opted for a AGM 760cc battery this time around and what a huge difference it makes. The battery was bad, but even with a new battery (I bought one to trial from a local store last year and it was about as good as the new bad battery) it was never really better then the battery that originally came with a car. This is a huge difference. Not only are the error messages gone, but acceleration is much, much, much smother, so much so that it makes me go 'weee' when I accelerate. I don't have any real hard data so this is very tough to quantify, but it has made a huge difference in the feel of the car. I've never seen a car so dependent upon a good battery.

If you're having sporadic issues with your car or it doesn't feel quite right I'd highly suggest getting a better then standard battery. Even with a new battery that 'worked', it wasn't nearly as good as this. This very much manifested itself as 'bad coils', 'bad plugs', I cleaned the throttle body (which wasn't very dirty, but still helped a bit), I bought/cleaned a new MAF, I bought a new MAP, I cleaned my injectors... There are a lot of things I've done to make it better, but it turned out simply to be a battery that wasn't quite good enough (two if you include the one I trialed).

Based on the sort of experience I got off of this, I suspect there may be a buildup of deposits in the engine and this may have put extra wear on my coils/plugs, so the impact of this might not even be over for me. Don't skimp on a good battery.

For reference these are the two batteries, the bad one and the new one I have in the car now:



Thread where I was trying to figure this out: https://www.saabcentral.com/threads/excessive-timing-advance.727326
 

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Very interesting. I wonder what the resting voltage (car off) was on your old battery. Do you have a multi-meter? I wonder what the reading is on you new battery.
 
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