Question about 1999 Saab 9-5

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I was driving my 1999 Saab 9-5 today, it was raining, right after going through a puddle, my power steering stopped working, the battery light came on, so I pulled into a gas station, turned the engine off, when I tried restarting it, the battery was completely dead. I had someone jump it, and was barely able to make it home. Every time I came close to a stop, it felt as though the battery was going to die, and the power steering still was not working. Did I do something going through that puddle and pothole? Or do I need a new battery? Help?!

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LOL, nooooooo. You didn't hurt anything. In fact, you identified a problem by going through that puddle. You need a new serpentine belt and/or tensioner pulley. It sounds like the spring in your tensioner pulley may be worn, and not pulling your serpentine belt tight enough. Now, THAT being said, there MAY be yet another issue going on. While I don't doubt for a minute that you need 1) a new serp. belt, 2) a new tensioner pulley, and 3) a can of belt dressing, you may also want to check (while the old serp belt is off during the changing) that all your pulleys are spinning freely. Especially your AC compressor pulley. If your AC is low on refridgerant, it can lock up the pulley. The serp belt drives your power steering pump, your alternator, your AC pump, water pump, etc. If one pulley siezes up, the tensioner is weak, and the belt gets wet, NOTHING will turn. Hence the dead battery (alternator not turning), no power steering (pump not turning), and more importantly no coolant circulation (water pump not turning), which can cause serious overheating problems.

Posted on Nov 18, 2010

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