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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings - so, Part 1 of "no start Viggen" (it's a 1999) I posted in another thread (zero start, no dash lights, no turnover, nothing) and folks thought a dead battery and/or the charging system could be the culprit.

I took the battery in, and it was only 25% charged they said; so they fully charged it. I put the battery back in, crossing my fingers that it was as simple as that. When I got in the car, the interior lights were on - good sign. However, as soon as I turned the key, I saw dash lights for a moment, but then everything went dark: no interior lights, no turnover, nothing.

I moved around the battery terminals to make sure they were hooked up OK, then tried it again. And - the same thing happened (twice): got in, the interior lights were on, but as soon as I turned the key to "On" everything went out.

A short? Starter?

??

Many thanks!
 

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Greetings - so, Part 1 of "no start Viggen" (it's a 1999) I posted in another thread (zero start, no dash lights, no turnover, nothing) and folks thought a dead battery and/or the charging system could be the culprit.

I took the battery in, and it was only 25% charged they said; so they fully charged it. I put the battery back in, crossing my fingers that it was as simple as that. When I got in the car, the interior lights were on - good sign. However, as soon as I turned the key, I saw dash lights for a moment, but then everything went dark: no interior lights, no turnover, nothing.

I moved around the battery terminals to make sure they were hooked up OK, then tried it again. And - the same thing happened (twice): got in, the interior lights were on, but as soon as I turned the key to "On" everything went out.

A short? Starter?

??

Many thanks!
Do the full battery/charging system service. This includes inspecting all of the grounds. Doing a load test on the battery, doing a loaded output test on the alternator, checking the drive belt - everything...
Next, we check the starter and its circuit.
A few links on this procedure....at least I hope these are all relevant
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=167133
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1734227&posted=1#post1734227
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=122836
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do the full battery/charging system service. This includes inspecting all of the grounds. Doing a load test on the battery, doing a loaded output test on the alternator, checking the drive belt - everything...
Next, we check the starter and its circuit.
A few links on this procedure....at least I hope these are all relevant
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=167133
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1734227&posted=1#post1734227
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=122836

OK, will do. One link is for relays; I can check those out - the second link is my thread (!) :D; and the third link has DIC and other things to check

many thanks - will do the charging system/shorts as best as I can - can get at it tomorrow; gettin' dark - :)
 

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If your battery is fully charged (is it?) and you still get a 'no start' I would not bother with the charging system just yet. Grounds maybe, but I'd start with the battery. Have you tried jump starting with another car? That would isolate the battery....if it starts.

If it's not the battery then I think you have a bad connection somewhere from the battery to the electrical system. You could try wiggling your battery cables while a door is open to see if the power comes back up.

If that doesn't help I'd check the ground from the battery....run a jumper from the battery ground directly to engine block. Interior lights on?

Also check the fuse in the positive battery block (no sure if that's what it's called bu there is a small black box that the positive cable runs into that contains a big blade fuse.

After that...I'm at a loss, but for some reason I still think it's your battery....

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If your battery is fully charged (is it?) and you still get a 'no start' I would not bother with the charging system just yet. Grounds maybe, but I'd start with the battery. Have you tried jump starting with another car? That would isolate the battery....if it starts.


When I took the battery to a car parts store, they said it was down to 25% - and so then charged it for about 20-25 min. to what they said was a good battery and a full charge. Maybe that's not long enough for a full charge?

I haven't tried jump starting- will do in the a.m. - if it doesn't start with a jump, hmm, that would indicate....?

Great - I'll check those connections and fuse you mentioned, and other leads

many thanks! -
 

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Use one jumper cable from the batterys negative terminal to a bare spot on the engine. That should eliminate any bad grounds. If it starts, then start checking each ground cable for resistance. You can do the same with the positive side of the battery to the starter, but the car will need to be jacked up and secured with jack stands... Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No Start Viggen, Part 2

If your battery is fully charged (is it?) and you still get a 'no start' I would not bother with the charging system just yet. Grounds maybe, but I'd start with the battery. Have you tried jump starting with another car? That would isolate the battery....if it starts.

If it's not the battery then I think you have a bad connection somewhere from the battery to the electrical system. You could try wiggling your battery cables while a door is open to see if the power comes back up.

If that doesn't help I'd check the ground from the battery....run a jumper from the battery ground directly to engine block. Interior lights on?

Also check the fuse in the positive battery block (no sure if that's what it's called bu there is a small black box that the positive cable runs into that contains a big blade fuse.

After that...I'm at a loss, but for some reason I still think it's your battery....

Best of luck!
OK: tried to jump it: no dash instrument lights, no turnover, nothing

ran jumper cable from battery ground to engine block: got good spark on engine block when attaching; got interior lights; turned ignition to "on" and got dash instrument lights; turned ignition to "start" and everything went out - dash lights, interior lights, no turnover, no sound.

with jumper cable still attached to battery ground, I fiddled with positive end of battery terminals; after I did that, I got interior lights, turned ignition to "on" and got dash lights; turned ignition to ""start" and everything went out: dash lights, no sound, no turnover

so, does this mean a short in the positive terminal cables? or??

Thanks!

newripper
 

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It sounds more like an open, or high resistance connection. If you had an open, you would see nothing (like a light bulb with an open filament). With a short, you would (or should) blow a fuse... Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It sounds more like an open, or high resistance connection. If you had an open, you would see nothing (like a light bulb with an open filament). With a short, you would (or should) blow a fuse... Ron
Ok, good - so how would I trace, and fix, an open connection?

thanks!

newripper
 

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You can locate an open using a test jumper lead; replacing the defective lead is not easy, usually involves removing that harness, cutting the protective wrap and pulling out the old wire,etc.
Seldom, if ever,is the complete wire bad, its usually the ends/connections. And its likely that the red lead to the battery is badly corroded, which you may not visually detect, but this can be measured using your Ohm-meter..
At one time, years ago, there must have been some serious corrosion on the battery terminals..Cleaning the results of this corrosion is the first step in the battery/charging system service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You can locate an open using a test jumper lead; replacing the defective lead is not easy, usually involves removing that harness, cutting the protective wrap and pulling out the old wire,etc.
Seldom, if ever,is the complete wire bad, its usually the ends/connections. And its likely that the red lead to the battery is badly corroded, which you may not visually detect, but this can be measured using your Ohm-meter..
At one time, years ago, there must have been some serious corrosion on the battery terminals..Cleaning the results of this corrosion is the first step in the battery/charging system service.
great - thanks - i can probably check the end of the red lead to the battery to see if it's corroded (take off the terminal, brush the wires, reconnect?), but if it's not that, then replacing the defective lead, removing the harness, etc. is a little beyond my (limited) mechanical reach, so I may have to resort to my local saab mechanic for that one
 

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As I said in my previous post, an open can be tested by using one jumper cable between two points. Negative battery terminal to engine ground, positive battery terminal to starter terminal, starter terminal to alternator terminal. However, if you have a faulty ignition switch (an open within the switch), using a jumper cable is out of the question because of its size... Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As I said in my previous post, an open can be tested by using one jumper cable between two points. Negative battery terminal to engine ground, positive battery terminal to starter terminal, starter terminal to alternator terminal. However, if you have a faulty ignition switch (an open within the switch), using a jumper cable is out of the question because of its size... Ron
got it - will give it a go - many thanks again-
 

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When you tried jump starting from another car did you attach the negative jumper to the engine, to the battery or the chassis?

It's odd that whenever you play with EITHER battery cable you have an effect yet the jumping did nothing. Since the chassis is grounded through the engine block I don't know why, but I'm thinking isolate that ground by running a negative jumper from the battery to the chassis...find an unpainted area or ground connection.

If it's not that, did you check the connections and fuse in the black box near the battery?

If not that, then my guess would be as someone has already suggested, the ignition switch?

If the source (the battery) and it's connections (at least the path to interior lights and such) all check out then next in that path would be the ignition switch. Dirty/worn contact perhaps?? Allows enough power to get through for low amperage such as the lights but not enough for the starter which probably arcs to break the connection. Still, I would have thought that returning the switch to neutral would 'reset' it.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
When you tried jump starting from another car did you attach the negative jumper to the engine, to the battery or the chassis?

It's odd that whenever you play with EITHER battery cable you have an effect yet the jumping did nothing. Since the chassis is grounded through the engine block I don't know why, but I'm thinking isolate that ground by running a negative jumper from the battery to the chassis...find an unpainted area or ground connection.

If it's not that, did you check the connections and fuse in the black box near the battery?

If not that, then my guess would be as someone has already suggested, the ignition switch?

If the source (the battery) and it's connections (at least the path to interior lights and such) all check out then next in that path would be the ignition switch. Dirty/worn contact perhaps?? Allows enough power to get through for low amperage such as the lights but not enough for the starter which probably arcs to break the connection. Still, I would have thought that returning the switch to neutral would 'reset' it.....
OK - this is weird: per your suggestion, I hooked a jumper cable from the negative battery post to the chassis. I had a bit of a hard time finding an unpainted section under the Vig's hood, but I did; or least thought I did, but I couldn't get the interior lights to come on (my test of if i'm getting power or not)

So I wanted to get that interior light back on, so I put the negative battery terminal clamp back on, and tightened it good (as I had every time before)

Got in, interior light was on, turned it to "on" and got dash instrumentation lights, turned it to "start" and it fired up!

I turned it off and on three times. Started up every time.

Hmm - so I drove it around the block, then turned it off. Started right back up.

So I decided to "experiment:" because it seemed wiggling the battery terminal cables was making a difference. I started with just wiggling the negative. Started up. I then wiggled the positive. Started up. I did that procedure twice and it started up both times.

???? Obviously it'd be good to try to trace this, to more definitively determine what the hell happened! Suggestions?

Thanks!

newripper
 
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