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Old 08-13-2013, 03:05 PM   #1
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All kinds of odd behavior

First of all, thank you for taking the time to read this, and hopefully you've got some insight into what's going on.

I drove to work today, no problems, no dumby lights on the dash on or anything, just a regular Tuesday morning.
Go out to lunch, again, no issues.
Got out of work, started it up, a little slow to start, an extra crank or two, "odd" I thought.
About a quarter mile down the street, 'ding', suddenly my e-brake light, ABS light, and TCS light all come on. Now my heart rate is starting to accelerate, "what's going on here".
My light turns green and I accelerate, car is behaving normally, 'ding' now my air bag light is on.
About another quarter mile down the road, 'ding', I look down, now my check engine and gear box lights are on. Panic is setting in, I don't know what to do and I start looking for a parking lot. Suddenly my a/c shuts off, then turns back on and the radio shuts off, then the radio turns on and the a/c shuts off. So I shut both of those off as I pull into a parking lot.
I sit for a minute, let it idle, sounds fine. So I shut it off.
I wait a minute.
Here's the test...
Turn the key...
'wub wub' silence. Two turn overs was all I got.
Explicit language.
Start calling and texting everyone I know near by, and I locate some jumper cables. I get a jump and it fires right up first try, no problems. Let it run with the cables connected for a little bit and everything seems to be in order.
I get in the car and the check engine and gear box lights are still on, but the rest are off.
As soon as I put it in gear to drive away all the other dash lights come on, engine, gear box, abs, airbag, tcs, and ebrake.
I'm driving down the road, sounds normal, accelerates normal, no weird noises, no funny smells, no plume of smoke behind me. But I don't have my a/c or radio on. I drive for a ways, planning to stop at an auto parts store to have my battery checked, but it's a little ways down the road. At the traffic light before the advanced auto parts, I try my a/c. Same thing happens as before, it starts alternating back and forth between the radio and a/c. Not good, so I shut them off.
My light goes green and I start to pull away, suddenly I've got very low acceleration, I think it was in 'limp' mode or whatever, but it was accelerating alarmingly slow. I didn't give it full throttle, but I was a good 50+% just to accelerate slower than everyone else around me.
I pull into advanced auto parts, and I leave it running.
After a minute or two I get the guy to come out, we shut my car off and test the battery, test comes back "good", next we test the alternator, test comes back "normal". Then he checks the check engine light, at this point just the check engine and gear box lights are on, I forget the code he gave me, I think it was P0586, or P0856, or P0658, something like that, and the code it read was "low voltage". Did a few start up and shut downs and everything started up and ran fine. I could even use the radio and a/c at the same time while sitting still.
I drove home, check engine and gear box light still on.
I don't know what to do now.
I called my awesome Saab mechanic that lives 1,500 miles away, explained the story to him, and he said it sounds like an ignition switch, and that I should also check the little red wire attached to the positive battery terminal. My father (who used to be a mechanic back in the 70's) said it sounds like a voltage regulator.
I checked the little red secondary wire, rock solid, I checked both battery cables again, rigid.
The only place down here in Florida that's nearby that I've found (and trust) to work on my car is a Cadillac dealership that used to sell Saabs before the bankruptcy. They're known for high costs, so they're a last ditch hope.

Suggestions, advice, help, encouragement, all are appreciated.

Thank you.
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:37 PM   #2
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I had similar issues in my NG a while back. It was the alternator.
Most car related systems require at least 11 volts to work properly. Once voltage drops below that, all bets are off as to whether something will work correctly or at all.

So it definitely sound electrical related. Alternator, grounds, ignition switch as suggested.
I've not heard of an ignition switch issue in the later 9-5s like there was in the NG900/OG9-3 but I'd imagine they use the same part.

If the battery passed and the alternator passed, the grounds and battery terminals would be my first start followed by the ignition switch.
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:51 PM   #3
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I'll be taking it to a dealership (gulp) tomorrow and seeing what they can do with it. I haven't found a mechanic around me that I like/trust.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:33 PM   #4
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Not sure how good or up to date this is, but maybe it will be of some help...
Saabnet.com Service Listings
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:50 PM   #5
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Helpful link, but there's nothing close by me.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:36 PM   #6
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It's definitely an alternator issue. I had two customers do the same thing.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:30 AM   #7
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It seems to be driving around fine today, all accessories work, driving sounds and acts normal. But I've still got the check engine light and check gear box light. I'm bringing it to a dealership in a little bit for a proper diagnosis.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:54 AM   #8
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Drove it to the dealership, not even 5 minutes down the road I hear a 'ding' and all the gauge lights start turning on, abs, ebrake, tcs, and the check engine and check gear box that had been on since yesterday. A little bit down the road the airbag light comes on too. After another 5 minutes they all shut off. 5 minutes later they're all back on again. I'm rubbing my steering wheel saying, "come on baby, you're almost to the dealership."
I'm at the traffic light about to turn left into the dealership, it's a left yield on green, so I'm inching up, waiting for a clearing, as I'm inching I notice I can lift my foot off the pedal without the car wanting to go forward as much. Crap, I'm in limp mode.
So I wait for the light to turn yellow and all oncoming is slowing down, and I punch it. I had that thing floored and I was crossing the intersection slower than a prius driven by some hippie trying to hypermile.
I pull into the service bay, a guy comes over to do the initial vehicle inspection and write down the mileage, he does that while I go get the saab tech. I come back and the guy had shut my car off. I said, "you're probably not gonna get that started." Sure enough, they turn the key and all you get is just a bunch of rapid clicks.
So they've got the car now, and they'll give me a call and tell me what the problem is. Or they'll just go ahead and do the work and call me when it's ready, either way, I don't really care, it's gotta get fixed.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:14 PM   #9
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i think may be a ground isue.lets see what they say
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