Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2004 23:26:47 -0200
From: "Mike P in Brazil" <>
Subject: Re: This week's Saab puzzler

"Kenneth S." <> wrote in message > THE CAR: a 1996 900SE, with 88,000 miles. > > THE PROBLEM: after three years of starting reliably, including after a > week left at an airport, during which time there was a foot of snow, in > the current East Coast cold spell, the car refuses to start. My > diagnosis: the battery needs to be replaced. After all, I've owned the > car for three years, and the battery is the one that was in it when I > bought the car. It's a Saab battery -- is it conceivable that it is the > ORIGINAL battery? So I get a jump-start from my neighbor, and drive > into work. The car then spends the day in an underground garage, but > won't start in the evening. Get another jump-start from one of my > colleagues, and then drive home. > > THE MYSTERY: While driving home, the car -- which is an automatic -- > won't change up into the appropriate gear. At about 50 mph it's running > at 4,000 RPM, and when it finally does change up, it does so with a > major jerk. I'm dismayed, thinking that not only do I need a new > battery, but some kind of (possibly very expensive) unrelated > transmission problem has developed. So, today (Saturday), I get another > jump start from my neighbor, drive to the local NTB, and have them > install a new battery. I anticipate that, when the car will start > reliably, I'll address the transmission problem. But, when I pick up > the car, the transmission problem HAS DISAPPEARED! The car runs > smoothly, and shifts appropriately. > > THE QUESTION; Why? Why would having a bad battery affect the > transmission, and why would putting in a new battery fix the problem? > Is this something that's peculiar to Saabs? Not sure, but it sounds like the low battery had caused the electronics in the engine management and gearbox to drop into fail-safe mode. Once you put a new battery on it, and it had enough charge to "learn" how to work again it works fine. Mike

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