I have a 2005 Saab 9-3 with ~210,000 miles. Over the weekend, I attempted to fix my blower motor by replacing its resistor. I disconnected the battery (- then +) and got the resistor out. This is when I learned that the wires were actually melted into the plastic cable connector hub that they share. I managed to get them out and said "screw it, I'll finish this crap later". I knew I had to get some electrical tape to go on the ends of the wires, but I didn't have any and didn't trust myself to drive at that point (Saturday afternoon...) - so I left the wires just sitting there and forgot about the tape completely.

Drove about 30 minutes to & from work. Drove another 10 minutes an hour after I got home, and then as I was driving the TCS & STM failed and a few seconds later the whole thing shut down at a red light - engine, lights, everything. I definitely should've just pulled over when I got it started again, but I kept going and 30 seconds later, going up a hill, it died again... Anyway, I realize it was a boneheaded move to forget about those wires that were just dangling there completely exposed, but could that actually cause the whole thing to shut down? Or would that just blow a fuse and I've got a bigger issue? Need to know before I chance a drive to work today... AAA guy said the battery looked fine and he concluded it was the wires, but it's always best to get a second opinion to avoid causing a 20-car pileup. Oh and my inspection sticker expired months ago, so if it does fail me, I'm risking issues with that.


Left it idling in the driveway for 45 minutes this morning before getting in and driving to work. Figured it'd shut down while sitting in place if it still had a problem. Drove it 50 feet and it lost power going down a hill. Good thing brakes still work when that happens! But what's going on with this thing? Are there any easy things to look for that I could do in my driveway? Why would driving it such a short distance kill it? I disconnected the battery and reconnected it, then reversed up the hill and parked it. Then I pulled the parking brake, put it in neutral, and put some strain on the engine (3-4k) for 4 or 5 minutes with periodic rests, but it never shut down again.

  • We can't advise you regarding legal issues with your inspection sticker; the rest of this question is fair game though
    – Zaid
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 13:21
  • Understood, it just kinda "spices up" the whole situation...
    – tylerl
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 13:34

2 Answers 2


Was it this thing you replaced? It's the Control unit, ventilation fan, ACC (220b).

Control unit, ventilation fan, ACC (220b)

It's fed by fuse 23 in the dashboard fuse box (IPEC), which doesn't seem to do much else. If those wires were shorting out, you would blow fuse 23; no smoke, no fire, unless something else was badly wrong. I'm afraid your loss-of-power problem has another cause. But rule this out, of course, and insulate those ends.

  • It might be the equivalent of what I was trying to replace in my car, but it has MCC. I didn't actually replace anything - this issue with the wires happened and then I gave up on the car. Bought another Saab (this time with a functional ACC...) and the old one's going to the junk yard for $125 in my pocket. :(
    – tylerl
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 14:11

sounds like those wires are causing the shutdown problems. Could be there is some direct connection or if things are melted possibly a short between 2 circuits. If it is simply shorting out then it could potentially cause the car to stall due to the power drain but that by itself is unlikely without also causing lots of smoke and burnt electronics smell.

Either which way cap and tape up those wires.

  • Yeah they were melted and fused together but I think they were also being separated by the plastic housing before I ripped them out of there and separated them. But there was no smoke/fire or burnt electronics smell... Is it still probably the wires touching that caused it?
    – tylerl
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 13:29
  • See update... It happened again :(
    – tylerl
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 15:01
  • @tylerl do you have some pics? it looks like you will be tracing some shorts possibly quite a few especially if all the insulation is melted together in a few conduits. Get yourself a tone generator and a probe to see where wires go and be careful you have a good chance of having the car catch fire.
    – Cc Dd
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 23:49

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