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Old 06-28-2014, 05:32 PM   #1
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all lights flicker at idle when engine is warm

So my 9-5 turbo has an issue.
Drive at night, stop at a light, and the dash and headlights dim and brighten. So this has been going on for some time. Things done, the starter cable is good, clean, tight. Same for battery main cable to fuse box under hood. Alt reads 14.4 when anything above an idle, and stays steady unless engine stumbles. And the engine stumbles when hot. Sometimes you think it may stall, but it doesn't. I cleaned the TB unit well, and checked all the vacuum stuff. Also recently installed pcv upgrade #6 so I have been getting pretty close with the engine compartment. Haven't found any red flags. I pulled the ground cable off the body under the hood, checked for corrosion, everything clean and tight. When idle drops voltage runs 13.6/8 to 14.4 and it bobs around. smooth idle, smooth voltage. Now the big question??? Voltage causing the stumble or stumble causing the voltage swing? Even at 13.6 the lights shouldn't be dimming noticeably right? This car is weird,. any ideas? Thought about swapping the volt regulator but not really sure thats the issue??
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:20 PM   #2
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voltage regualtor by thoughts also.
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Old 06-29-2014, 05:45 AM   #3
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Certainly sounds like the alternator is failing to provide adequate amperage so at idle, the battery is taking most of the power load.

Could be a simple as needing a fresh set of brushes .
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:46 AM   #4
 
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Certainly sounds like the alternator is failing to provide adequate amperage so at idle, the battery is taking most of the power load.

Could be a simple as needing a fresh set of brushes .
If it's the alternator and it's been with the car a while, I would be more keen to change the whole unit oppose to just replacing the brushes.

In many cases it could simply need a new set of brushes but also could be the diodes and If that's the case new brushes won't solve the issue.

Not sure about the alternator compatible to this car but in general they are cheap and maybe replace the whole unit and also getting a warranty for the next 3 years (napa) will also buy some insurance in case the reman unit fails again.

Just a thought...
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Old 06-29-2014, 10:18 AM   #5
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I wasn't sure about just changing the regulator, looks like it has brushes on it. I have had the car a year or more now, no clue how old the alternator is. Seems to keep battery charged ok but I see what you are saying about amperage at idle. I may just look into a new one and not have to keep fooling with it. This car has been like whack-a-mole, every time I fix something, something else pops up. Its a nice car if you can stand to deal with it.
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Old 06-29-2014, 02:34 PM   #6
 
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I wasn't sure about just changing the regulator, looks like it has brushes on it. I have had the car a year or more now, no clue how old the alternator is. Seems to keep battery charged ok but I see what you are saying about amperage at idle. I may just look into a new one and not have to keep fooling with it. This car has been like whack-a-mole, every time I fix something, something else pops up. Its a nice car if you can stand to deal with it.
Well it is a Saab, compounded with the GM variable leaves room for lots of headache.

Can't speak for these newer generation cars as I am not keen on them but from the view point of an ole time Saab aficionado ( reserved to classics only) it is simple logic.

You either get the brand and it's quirks, and Learn to love and live with them or you don't..


Good luck with your ride, hope things start to level out on the repairs for ya.
Never seen it inbetween.
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Old 06-29-2014, 02:35 PM   #7
 
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Well it is a Saab, compounded with the GM variable leaves room for lots of headache.

Can't speak for these newer generation cars as I am not keen on them but from the view point of an ole time Saab aficionado ( reserved to classics only) it is simple logic.

You either get the brand and it's quirks, and Learn to love and live with them or you don't..


Good luck with your ride, hope things start to level out on the repairs for ya.
Never seen it inbetween.

Don't arbitrarily change the alternator until you confirmed you don't have a short to ground or a faulty connection somewhere.
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:12 AM   #8
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I will look things over well before I go swapping anything. I don't like changing parts just to try it. Rather find the problem or at least try to rule out anything else first before spending a lot of time and money.
As for these cars, I like to drive it, but I don't really care to own it. I won't say I'll never have another one but I won't run right out to find one right away either. The car is great, the electrics are a joke. Constant issues. I think I will be selling this ride very soon. I like it, but don't want to work on it all the time. Seems you can't get ahead of it. Always little stuff but its never straight forward. Thanks to folks here I get through it!
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