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1994 900s saab

Sometimes will start, then wont. replaced starter--that wasbt the problem. battery tested that wasnt the problem. could it be the ignition switch

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  • Al Klein
    Al Klein May 11, 2010

    It depends. Does the engine turn over and not catch, or does it not turn over?



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You could have a high resistance issue.
Corrosion around the battery terminals and corroded fusable link could be your problem. A loose terminal clamp could be a problem as well. Testing the battery and having a decent charge, might pass, but if you have corrosion, then the "decent charge" will not get to the charger, or maybe only slightly. This corrosion will cause the engine to turn over slowly aswell.
Also check that you have spark going in to your Cylinders, aswell as fuel. An easy way to check if fuel is pumping is by turning the car to run and listening for the fuel pump "whine". Or you could find your fuel test port over the engine, it is a rail with a port with a green cap, depress it with a pen and you will get a squirt of fuel. Becareful and wear nitrile gloves.

Posted on Jul 22, 2009


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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.

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Check your battery voltage with the engine off. It should read over 12 volts if its charged.

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Thought you might find this interesting to help you understand ignition systems:
Steve (Melbourne, Australia)

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