Question about Saab 9 3
I was having the same problem with my 2004 9-3. I assumed the starter was bad and replaced it. I then charged the battery and found it wouldn't fully charge. After charging for several hours when I removed the charger I only showed 11 volts at battery posts. The new battery tested 12.8 volts and the car started well. With the car idling I tested and showed 14.6 volts at the battery post which confirmed my alternator was charging.
I do believe I replaced the starter in error and that it was just a bad battery. When my battery was failing I had dim headlights and flashing displays that you described and the clicking noises also. When I put jumper cables on my saab and let the bad battery charge for several minutes the car would start right up and the headlights would brighten up and even though the battery was bad the idle voltage at the battery posts was increased to 14.6 volts coming from the alternator.
Remember to remove the jumper cables quickly once the car starts to avoid possible electrical problems.
I have had bad starters in other vehicles that would draw a huge load on the battery and jump starting them would sometimes give enough voltage to turn the engine over and start it.
Bench tests aren't always correct because the components aren't under a true load. I had a brand new alternator fresh out of the box last year that was bad and wouldn't put out good voltage even though it bench tested perfect. Go figure.
Check your battery voltage with the engine off. It should read over 12 volts if its charged.
Posted on Oct 27, 2010
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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