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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A week ago I bought a 2002 SE convertible auto with 170k miles and have been going through it to see what needs fixing. A couple things that need to be fixed is the "soft top failure" on the SID and wobbly steering when driving.

For the top, I checked the reservoir and it was low so I added some lucas stop-leak up to the max line. With the key in the on position I then tried to open the top via the switch several times, but still didn't work. I gave up for the day as it was getting dark.

Anyways, I decided to go on a drive to see if the steering wobble went away after swapping the wheels front and rear wheels and it did! Was feeling great about the car as I thought it was a bad axle/cv joint from the grease I saw in that area. I drove around for about 15 minutes and pulled into my drive way. With the car still running and in park I decided to try the soft top again. As soon as I hit the "roof" switch the car just shut off. Not sure if it has anything to do with it, but I may have nudged the key in the ignition as I reached for the switch. Or is it just a coincidence that something like the fuel pump failed?

Problem: I tried to start the car again multiple times, but it just cranks. Tried it about 30 minutes later and still the same. Will try again tomorrow. Any ideas?


Other Info

-Battery: tested at 12.5v with the car off

-CEL: P0300 has been pending since I've had it, but car always started

-CPS: the tach needle moves when its cranking so I'm assuming the crank position sensor is good?

-DI Cassette: came with a Huco brand part #134063 and doesn't have the SEM sticker

-Fuel pump: possibility?

-SID: messages show "Service Theft Alarm" and "Time for Service"

-Spark plugs: replaced yesterday with copper NGK 6779 (BCPR6ES-11) gapped to spec
 

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1) Lucas stopleak is a BAD idea. Drain it all out and replace with either CHF or Dexron 3 PAS fluid. I added Lucas to mine when it had a pinhole leak. The thicker fluid ripped the line clean open and emptied the entire reservoir in one roof operation.

450 pounds spent later I have a complete new set of aftermarket hydraulic lines fitted....

2) Possible bad switch, it does happen..

3) these cars have a known issue with the connection to the fuelpump relay from the ECU.It causes failures to start because the relay just doesnt engage. Well worth trying bridging the switched contacts on the fuel pump relay (under the dashboard) and then trying to start
 

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Discussion Starter #3
1) Lucas stopleak is a BAD idea. Drain it all out and replace with either CHF or Dexron 3 PAS fluid. I added Lucas to mine when it had a pinhole leak. The thicker fluid ripped the line clean open and emptied the entire reservoir in one roof operation.

450 pounds spent later I have a complete new set of aftermarket hydraulic lines fitted....

2) Possible bad switch, it does happen..

3) these cars have a known issue with the connection to the fuelpump relay from the ECU.It causes failures to start because the relay just doesnt engage. Well worth trying bridging the switched contacts on the fuel pump relay (under the dashboard) and then trying to start

-Thanks for the Lucas tip. Is there an easier way to drain it or just from the reservoir?

-Would a bad switch just go bad without any warning signs?

-I removed the rear bottom seat cushion and car hear/feel the fuel pump prime when I turn the key. Would this rule out the relay?
 

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I'd agree Carpe about the Stop Leak - I don't think it's a good idea. That said, this forum and others are littered with folks that have had positive results so I'm not sure how worried I'd be. The top is *supposed* to have a CHF fluid in it, but people have used power steering fluid, jack oil, ATF, and stop leak. I wouldn't do any of those things, but none of them are on fire, so.... :)

I seem to recall an issue with Saabs - maybe NG900s - where the detent in the ignition switch failed and people were accidentally turning their cars off using the roof or the windows. Not a lot of people, like three people. I doubt that's what's going om here. I would be doing the standard checks - make sure you have fuel pressure, power at the fuel pump, spark from the DIC. Go through the expected diagnostics.. I wouldn't jump to any specific conclusion until you have.

I've never heard of or experienced a problem with the fuel pump relay, but that's easy enough to check - definitely worth putting on the list. You can also run a jumper from the battery to the fuel pump fuse (driver's door jamb) and power the pump directly... if the car starts, you've skipped ahead. :)


P0300 suggests the DIC has a problem, which would also cause a no start. Driving around with a P0300 on a car isn't a great idea. Especially not a turbo car IMHO. Misfires with high effective compression ratios can get ugly fast.

The fuel pump prime probably means the relay is fine but isn't 100% for certain. Try the fuse jumper to rule out the relay. But, seriously, I've been with Saabs for nearly 30 years and fuel pump relay is like the 237th thing I'd check for a no start. Bosch relays tend to be reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'd agree Carpe about the Stop Leak - I don't think it's a good idea. That said, this forum and others are littered with folks that have had positive results so I'm not sure how worried I'd be. The top is *supposed* to have a CHF fluid in it, but people have used power steering fluid, jack oil, ATF, and stop leak. I wouldn't do any of those things, but none of them are on fire, so.... :)

I seem to recall an issue with Saabs - maybe NG900s - where the detent in the ignition switch failed and people were accidentally turning their cars off using the roof or the windows. Not a lot of people, like three people. I doubt that's what's going om here. I would be doing the standard checks - make sure you have fuel pressure, power at the fuel pump, spark from the DIC. Go through the expected diagnostics.. I wouldn't jump to any specific conclusion until you have.

I've never heard of or experienced a problem with the fuel pump relay, but that's easy enough to check - definitely worth putting on the list. You can also run a jumper from the battery to the fuel pump fuse (driver's door jamb) and power the pump directly... if the car starts, you've skipped ahead. :)


P0300 suggests the DIC has a problem, which would also cause a no start. Driving around with a P0300 on a car isn't a great idea. Especially not a turbo car IMHO. Misfires with high effective compression ratios can get ugly fast.

The fuel pump prime probably means the relay is fine but isn't 100% for certain. Try the fuse jumper to rule out the relay. But, seriously, I've been with Saabs for nearly 30 years and fuel pump relay is like the 237th thing I'd check for a no start. Bosch relays tend to be reliable.

So tried to start it this morning and still didn't fire up. Since I tried operating the soft top several times without the car running figure maybe I drained the battery a bit too much. I slapped on my battery tender and left it until full charge and it started right up. Battery definitely looks old, but it seemed like the alternator was doing its job voltage wise at least. I've only driven it a few minutes a day, which may have contributed to it being weak. I'll try hitting the soft top switch again to see what happens to the voltage.


Appreciate your tips though as I will still look into them in case this a fluke and to sort out the other issues.


Another thing I noticed was the the RPMs seem to drop from 900 to 600 when I shift from Drive to Park. Is this normal or is this an indication of some kind of vacuum leak?
 

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In my experience, killing the battery by just operating the top is a pretty good indication of a battery that needs to be replaced. The car dying because of it though...yea that's weird
 

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Idle should be stable at 800-900. It could be that you do have a vacuum leak and possibly the load of operating the top was enough to kill it entirely? It's a stretch. I'd agree with Hunterstein that battery is likely marginal - probably worth testing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yea I might need to take the battery for a load test but yes definitely weird it would shut off the car.

Sorry meant to say the idle bounced down briefly to 600 and back up to 900 when I moved the shifter from drive to park.

Will look into a few things and report back.
 

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Idle in drive should be the same as idle in park, plus or minus 100rpm or so. Trionic 7 has very good idle control, and it's directly connected to the transmission control module so it knows what gear it's in, and whether it needs to adjust idle to compensate. The car should definitely not be trying to idle at 600rpm.
 
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