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Saab 93 1999

My wife recently purchased a Saab 9-3 1999 /w 2k+ miles on it as a beater to get us through a few years until we purchased a more reliable car. We’ve had to put a little money into for maintenance, which is to be expected. The one issue I have now, is that it will all of a sudden drain the battery. It always does this at the worst times, like when she’s at work. Meaning I have to load up the kid and drive to her work, which is over a 45 minute drive, to jump it. One thing right off the bat that I noticed, is the radio will not turn off when you turn the car off. Not that big of an issue because we don’t have an issue remembering to turn it off before exiting the vehicle. The other, and I haven’t noticed this, but my wife thinks it to be the culprit, is that the auto shut off the headlights intermittently works. I drive a car that doesn’t have this auto shutoff, so I’m in the practice of turning the lights off, and only using them at night. She on the other hand has had several vehicles in the past that have had this, and usually will leave them on as day running lights, and will forget to turn them off any time she leaves the vehicle. If this is the case, what could be causing this, and even if it is not, how do I at least fix the radio issue? Also, on the radio, you can use the knob to turn it on/off, but any other button the dash, will shut the radio off. So to control volume or surf stations, you have to use the controls on the steering wheel.

To my point, there’s something electrically wrong with the car. I don’t want to dump a bunch of money into it, but would like to make it last as long as possible, and avoid the dreaded, “my car won’t start” phone calls.

Sorry. That meant to say 200k+ miles.

Well your theory on the head lights maybe right, in which case you will have to have the wife learn to manually turn them off. The radio on those old Saabs is able to be turned on when the car is not key’ed on if I remember correctly (like VWs)… So that maybe normal. You may have to get a multi meter on it and see if how much current it is drawing while off. If all else fails, buy a jump box and leave it in the car so she can jump herself. :slight_smile:

Until you get it fixed I’d put a manual battery disconnect switch on the battery, she’ll need to switch it off every time she parks at work, and then on when she wants to leave.

+1 on Texases comment
As a stop gap, you can buy simple battery disconnect switches that basically have a battery clamp on one side and a terminal on the other. You put them between your battery and what normally clamps on the battery.
It installs in minutes.
All she’d have to do is open the hood, turn a switch, close the hood and start the car.

If she’s like my wife, she’ll hate it but will likely hate walking more.