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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Car: 1991 Saab 900SE

I was driving along last night and noticed my battery light came on in the dash and my lights were dimmer than usual. My dash lights were flickering when I signaled. The clock on the radio went off and on a couple of times. About 10 minutes later, everything died and I had to pull over. My lights worked and when I attempted to start it again, it cranked (slowly) but never started. After a minute, no crank. I put my fog lights on, they were medium brightness. As soon as I tried to start it, all lights went dark. Long story short, AAA came and hooked up a charger. The car started right up. As soon as he took the charger off the terminals, everything died but fog lights worked still. So my Saab went on the flatbed home. Should I try a new battery or is this an alternator issue?

Also, what is the best battery for this and does this take 26 or 26R?

Thanks !!!
 

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Do you have a voltmeter? If the battery voltage is low (10 volts or less) the plates are likely deteriorating and the battery is toast. It's more likely your alternator is no good anymore since the car won't stay running after a jump. You should get ~14 volts on the battery terminals if the alternator is functioning properly (if the car would stay running). Check for bad wiring and grounds as well.
 

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Sounds like the alternator but it could also be the ground wire (or other wires) on the alternator is no longer connected, which will cause the battery to slowly drain. I did this when I replaced my alternator bushings, reconnected the wire and off we went.
 

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Voltmeter will tell. Should be getting around 12.5 on the battery alone, car off, and around 13 I think when the car is idling. Happened to me recently. Replaced the voltage regulator as the brushes on mine were short. Also gave me the chance to clean up the ground wire (sanded the fastener and bolts clean). Don't forget to check your alternator mount bushings too. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update: The brushes were worn on the voltage regulator, swapped the regulator and all is well now. Now I have a new battery and voltage regulator. The belts were also replaced and now I hear a nice second whine I never heard before, so the belts must have been super worn. So the turbo whine and the alternator belt, sounds even sweeter now.
 

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THIS IS FOR EVERYONE, NOT ONLY THIS PERSON

GET YOURSELF A $15 150amp BATTERY LOAD TESTER.

i AM ABLE TO PROPERLY TEST A BATTERY BY CHARGING IT FOR 6-12 HOURS,


connect the tester (no load) - should be 12.7-13.5 volts more is newer

placing a load across it for 10 seconds. Good battery at end of 10 seconds is 12-13 volts

bad battery is 8-11 volts


do nothing for 6 hours

measure again no load and voltage after 10 seconds
this tests wether the battery can hold a charge.

cheap and works every time. test on a good car battery to understand what good numbers are, and bad numbers are for
comparison


it is a cheap, simple tool which tells you the truth about your battery.
 
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