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9-3 Sedan, Cabrio ('04+)/Combi & 9-3X Workshop 9-3 SportSedan, Convertible ('04+)/Combi & 9-3X , 2003 - 2012 Technical Forum

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  #1  
Old 17th December 2008
ShotWithAnSLR ShotWithAnSLR is offline
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Default Epic Fail via Puddle, Help!

2003 9-3 SS

First, I would like to declare myself an idiot. After heavy rains I drove through a puddle I "thought" wasn't that deep. I got through it fine, drove about 10 miles shut the car off for about 30 minutes, got back into the car and drove 10 miles, back through the same puddle (double stupidity) about another 5,000 feet and parked the car for 3 hours. When I went to start the car I had power, an SID message stating "Traction Control Failure" and "Stability Control Failure" my gas indicator showed zero (when i parked the car it read 3/4 full, there was no gasoline on the ground) and the engine did nothing, no noise from the starter, all I could hear was the auto leveling headlight check and a relay clicking by my left knee. I tried putting the car into and out of gear (automatic), tried restarting and same thing, I disconnected the battery, reconnected the battery and same thing. Had towed to a mechanic (not a dealership) where they tested the starter, charging system, fuses, check engine for hydro-lock, battery and found nothing. Before I drag this to a dealership I thought I might try to save myself the $120/hr. and figure this out myself with the help of some of you. Does this ring a bell to any, or are there any good suggestions (outside of rolling into a lake)? Thank you.
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  #2  
Old 17th December 2008
osuRxbiker osuRxbiker is offline
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Minus the water, I had a similar thing happen to my car one morning last winter. Traction control Failure, Stability control failure, ABS failure, no gas guage. Also, the speedometer wasn't working. I drove to work (3 miles). When I got there I shut the car off and turned it back on. Everything powered up just fine. I have not had any problems like that since then.

~Joe
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  #3  
Old 17th December 2008
ShotWithAnSLR ShotWithAnSLR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osuRxbiker
Minus the water, I had a similar thing happen to my car one morning last winter. Traction control Failure, Stability control failure, ABS failure, no gas guage. Also, the speedometer wasn't working. I drove to work (3 miles). When I got there I shut the car off and turned it back on. Everything powered up just fine. I have not had any problems like that since then.

~Joe
I wish my issue was that simple, my car won't even start! My own doing I suppose...
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  #4  
Old 17th December 2008
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So the starter motor wont crank over at all?

When ever I've reset the ECU I've disconnected the battery overnight, sorry I cant be much help but it doesn't sound like you got water in your engine.

I think its definitely an electronic problem if the starter isn't cranking, is it an automatic or manual if you can get it to accessories and its manual I would try and push start it.

goodluck!
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  #5  
Old 17th December 2008
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Diggs Diggs is offline
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So, no water in the air filter? That would rule out hydrolock.
Sounds like you got some water somewhere. I'd let it dry for a few days and try again.
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  #6  
Old 17th December 2008
ShotWithAnSLR ShotWithAnSLR is offline
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There was water in the air filter, but no sign of it anywhere past the filter. It has been sitting since Friday, unfortunately it has been damp and snowy/rainy here since Sunday.
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  #7  
Old 17th December 2008
ShotWithAnSLR ShotWithAnSLR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapCom
So the starter motor wont crank over at all?

When ever I've reset the ECU I've disconnected the battery overnight, sorry I cant be much help but it doesn't sound like you got water in your engine.

I think its definitely an electronic problem if the starter isn't cranking, is it an automatic or manual if you can get it to accessories and its manual I would try and push start it.

goodluck!
I asked the mechanic to try the overnight disconnect, we will see...
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  #8  
Old 17th December 2008
AKS AKS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShotWithAnSLR
There was water in the air filter, but no sign of it anywhere past the filter. It has been sitting since Friday, unfortunately it has been damp and snowy/rainy here since Sunday.
do you have an stock air box or air intake?

How in the world did water get all the way up there, if you had a cold air intake I would understand but that's strange.......
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  #9  
Old 17th December 2008
ShotWithAnSLR ShotWithAnSLR is offline
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Yes it is stock, no aftermarket parts anywhere on the car. No modification to the suspension so stock height as well. The puddle that I estimated to be roughly 3" in depth was probably closer to 8". This might be a reach but is it possible that the fuel sending unit was damaged? I am not sure of its location, but maybe that would explain why the fuel gauge reads zero and why the engine wont start? The mechanic feels it is an electronic safety feature that has crippled the car, but I wouldn't know where to start, I have been browsing through the WIS but I have extremely limited knowledge of any type of automotive/electronic system.
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  #10  
Old 17th December 2008
JonV JonV is offline
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Wow, I don't know how the Negative terminal disconnect got to be overnight

10-20 Minutes at most should give you a full systems reboot.
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  #11  
Old 17th December 2008
AKS AKS is offline
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I just hope that you didn't hydrolock your ride. Let's just hope it's something electric. I'm sure your mechanic will figure it out and have it fixed for you.
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  #12  
Old 17th December 2008
ShotWithAnSLR ShotWithAnSLR is offline
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certainly a lesson learned in making assumptions.... don't make them.
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  #13  
Old 17th December 2008
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jlrdrony jlrdrony is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diggs
So, no water in the air filter? That would rule out hydrolock.
Sounds like you got some water somewhere. I'd let it dry for a few days and try again.
I am agreed with you.

-check the hydo-unit ABS/also, control unit engine connectors for waterproof. see is there is water in or terminals darked by water short circuit or dielectric resistance.

good luck

Last edited by jlrdrony; 17th December 2008 at 06:59 PM.
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  #14  
Old 17th December 2008
ShotWithAnSLR ShotWithAnSLR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlrdrony
I am agreed with you.

-check the hydo-unit ASB/also, control unit engine connectors for waterproof. see is there is water in or terminals darked by water short circuit or dielectric resistance.

good luck
Is this a silver block with two black caps located between the battery and engine block towards the back of the engine bay? if so I believe there was water on top of this but I attributed it to splashing back from driving through the puddle.... when I get home I will post an image from the WIS of what I am referencing for comparison. If we can confirm this to be the issue what further steps would need to be taken, or should we hold off on getting into this more until confirmation has taken place?

-I appreciate all the help that everyone has been so far, and I appreciate even more that I have not been "flamed" or "bashed". I suppose this might be one of the differences between owning a VW (vwvortex) and owning a Saab!
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  #15  
Old 17th December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShotWithAnSLR
I asked the mechanic to try the overnight disconnect, we will see...
So can the starter crank the engine over?
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  #16  
Old 17th December 2008
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I went through a lake, errr puddle, deeper than that. There was muddy water on the inside of the TOP of my airbox. Luckily nothing bad happened to the car, but I changed the oil regardless. You won't get any flames from me.
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  #17  
Old 17th December 2008
ShotWithAnSLR ShotWithAnSLR is offline
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The starter doesn't make any noise and the engine has not even begun to turn. When I move the key from "on" to "start" there is no difference in function under the hood. The starter was tested by the mechanic and said to be in good working order, I am not sure that the electric signal is even making it that far, is there a wiring harness that may have been damaged or unplugged?
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  #18  
Old 17th December 2008
ShotWithAnSLR ShotWithAnSLR is offline
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is this the ABS unit that was referenced?




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  #19  
Old 17th December 2008
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I really think your car needs to sit and dry out for a while. Change the oil and plugs while your at it. I hate electrical problems but our cars love em.
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  #20  
Old 17th December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShotWithAnSLR
The starter doesn't make any noise and the engine has not even begun to turn. When I move the key from "on" to "start" there is no difference in function under the hood. The starter was tested by the mechanic and said to be in good working order, I am not sure that the electric signal is even making it that far, is there a wiring harness that may have been damaged or unplugged?
that is why I say go to the dealer workshop, they well know how to unplug connectors.
right now, another problem added, wiring harness.

what I mean, in electronic short circuit due to water contact between terminal not produces flames, very low electrical load.

if a mechanic test the terminals with a tester............... the wiring harness may be damaged. only very professional staff can do it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShotWithAnSLR
is this the ABS unit that was referenced?




yes this is the connector that i have mentioned above control unit hydro/abs.

Last edited by jlrdrony; 17th December 2008 at 06:55 PM.
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