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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all - turning to you all for some ideas, because I'm out of them. It's a long one, but a good one; I'm chasing something, but IDK what - here's the blow-by-blow:

Turbo failed on my '02 9-5 Aero...had it replaced, along with oil intake line, flex pipe, catalytic converter and some various plumbing to make the whole thing go back together. Total time off the road = 5 weeks.

Everything ran great after I picked it up; drove it home at hiway speed, no problem. Took it out to run a few errands later that night, no problem. Took it out to run some errands and get breakfast the next morning; no problem. Took it out for lunch a few hours later - got 500 feed down the road, hit the gas to pull onto the main drag here, and...nuthin.' Just quit. Pulled it off the the side of the road, tried to refire the engine, cranking...cranking...maybe a little rumble like it's going to turn over, but still nothing...cranking...eventually I call AAA, have it towed back to the shop. Mechanic can't find anything wrong with it: he's driven it around town, taken it home for lunch, even taken the car on parts runs for other jobs. No issues - even after letting it idle for 30 minutes. I go back to pick the car up, get it on the hiway and within 10 miles the car loses power - regains its footing/throttle, then fails again...and I coast it to the side of the road.

Here's what happens when the engine fails:
- all electrical continues to work - nothing dims, nothing goes out; just the engine seems to power off.
- all engine function ceases; but if I step on the gas to try to get it to refire, the boost gauge moves in tandem with my pressing the accelerator, as it seems to register that I'm calling for more boost (the needle doesn't jump or bounce).
- this time, I cranked the car intermittently for about 5 minutes - and this time it fired, and I was able to get it home.
- there is no shudder, misfire, or odd noise when this happens - it just loses power under my foot.

Some other observations:
- the car seems to be unsure of gearing...that is, hiway cruising speed seemed to be a little low in RPMs, and was downshifting from time to time a little oddly.
- There has never been, through any part of this series of events, a CEL or code in the engine; I have verified this 3x with an OBDII.
- I popped the hood this morning just to see if I could notice anything in particular that might be out of place...all fuses are intact the oil level is full, there are no warning lights when driving; more importantly, the Crankshaft Position Sensor was replaced less than a year ago, which I know many would point to CPS as culprit. Only thing I did notice was that one or 2 of the DIC's torx screws were only finger tight. Hmm...It is a replacement DI, from eEuro, but is less than a year old.
- Also new MAF within last 6 months, as well as water pump, thermostat, serp belt; alternator is less than 2 years old.
- I jiggled the key in the ignition to see if it was something in the ignition, no effect.
- I can rule out the fuel pump, put a voltage meter on it and it's putting out voltage like a champ.

It's like suddenly, intermittently, there just isn't a spark. Which leads me to think it' GOTTA be electrical (relay, DIC, sensor, need the ecu flashed, something) - but maybe it isn't.
Ideas/suggestions? I may have a trophy made to send to whoever might have the fix for this one...
Thanks in advance all -
JP
 

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Sorry to hear of your trouble. Hang in there. A long shot would be check the earth / ground cables and wires. Perhaps one is wriggly not connected exactly?
I don't know where they are - perhaps alternator to inside fender or manifold ... my friend had an intermittant problem like this and it was an earth not connecting after work had been done on vehicle a few weeks before. I read that some are thin wires as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Had a thought about that - which was why I was jiggling the key, IIRC isn't there a ground strap there too? Thought it might have been having some fun at my expense...but still curious as to why everything else still operates like the car is 100% but for the engine. The headlights don't even dim.
 

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A couple of thoughts:

The DIC has died, coincidence but not something that can't be ruled out. If it's the ProParts part I'd really suspect it.

You have a loose hose or a failure somewhere in the pressurized part of the turbo system. More directly related to what was done with the car

  • the output of the turbo to the intercooler
  • output of the intercooler to the charge air hose
  • charge air hose to the top of the throttle body
  • blown turbo bypass valve (connected to the charge air hose and that big aluminum tube across the front of the engine)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The plot thickens, unclemiltie...wouldn't any of those options mean a guaranteed failure at some point as opposed to what seems like a random set of circumstances?

I like where you're going with the bypass valve - difficult to fix?
 

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DIC has died is probably an overstatement. DIC is failing is probably more like it. If you had OpenSID or a Tech 2 you could read misfires and see if that is the case.

A boost leak can show up only on high boost, but I'd look at the bypass valve. The car will run/idle with the charge air hose disconnected (poorly) but once you start to use the throttle you 're going to start to stall since there isn't enough air.
 

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I wouldn't be so quick to rule out the CPS. I had a new one fail in only a few weeks from fitment. Yes it was a cheap one, but even so, new parts can fail...

Regards,
John.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Cool, so I have some food for thought here...couple of follow up questions to your suggestions, I'm feeling a little better about this:
- the CPS: agree with you JohnLear that new stuff can fail, but surprised that a CPS that's toast isn't showing the usual signs of such...unless the usual signs aren't that usual?
- abbaby's point about grounding = well taken...much reviewing with a flashlight to be done.
- 2 big questions on unclemiltie's thoughts:
1. turbo bypass valve is a no-brainer, I think, to swap in; is that prone to intermittently fail, however?
2. As for the DIC - there is some funk built up in the well where the DIC rests over the plugs; seems some oil has leaked in from somewhere, but not sure that it's affecting plug performance as it's not in contact. Here's a pic - agree that maybe failing is a coincidence, but when it rains it pours, right?


Oh sweet - it's upside down. Sorry.

All thoughts welcome - good stuff all around so far, thanks!
 

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Try a new DIC. If it's the original, then you have a DIC that is 12-13 years old.. They usually start to fail before then. Also, the fuel pump does not put out voltage. Just because you are getting the voltage on the fuel pump's terminals doesn't mean all is well. You would have to check the fuel pressure to make sure. Some fuel pumps don't fail completely, but become weak, and stop putting out the required pressure.
 

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just for s and Giggles, take a look at your Maf and make sure its installed in the proper orientation...that is with the arrow pointing towards the cobra pipe leading to the turbo.

As for the ground straps, there is one on your thermostat housing that you want to make sure is tight as it causes all weird sort of things to happen, one from chassis to transmission on driver side and also check positive cable from battery to alternator as the cable sometimes corrodes inside the wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
TankTak - I actually ran into that issue! Solved it via another thread...was installed backwards (arrows to passenger side) and was getting CEL and weird performance. Switched it around and all was well.

Will check the ground straps in the daylight tomorrow.

Ouimetnick - the DIC is an eEuro replacement, the original sailed a long time ago...as for fuel pump, that was replaced about 6 mos ago; pressure at last test (this past weekend) was a-ok. I think you're on to something with the DIC. Might just be compounding the problem.

Let's see what daylight brings...thanks all
 

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"abbaby's point about grounding = well taken...much reviewing with a flashlight to be done"
I hadn't registered that the electrics were actually okay - I think Uncle Miltie's pressure and boost idea is good. Is the fuel running very rich so stalling the vehicle?
 

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If the DIC isn't a genuine Saab DIC, you can have issues. People who bought the 3rd party ones to save a little money usually have a bad experience with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
abbaby, agreed - though it's worth a look anyway, grounding out does weird stuff. Had my backup warning sensor scream at me for an hour's ride home because the wire was grounding against the rear decklid hinge. Turned up the radio as loud as I could.

As for your question re: rich, I'm not really sure it's able to make up its mind on rich/lean. All I can describe it as is doing 65 mph on the turnpike, seems like really low rpm in one gear too high, and barely any boost being called for - then it drops power. If I press the gas, no boost problems; but doesn't save the car from cutting out, either.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
well now this made things interesting...no ground issues after checking some things over today, but did pull the rubber boot off the harness that connects to the boost pressure control valve, for no reason in particular; low and behold:


SO - is it possible that this broken wire jacket could be causing a short/issues?
AND - where does this harness run?

Thanks in advance guys
 

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THE wire is still connected. The insulation is just broken .
 

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Discussion Starter #17
figured it couldn't have been that easy.
FWIW, the car is now randomly deciding which times it's going to start and which times it's not. Too many variables, and now I'm starting to think I'm having a variety of issues come to pass all at once.
Off to another shop tomorrow - can't wait to see how this one ends...

Thanks for the suggestions and help, everybody; at least I'll have a lot to talk about when the guys there ask me what's up.
 

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For giggles, have you tested the CPS ( by means of measuring resistance over the connector pins: should be no more than 950 ohms over pins 1&2 and infinity over pins 1&3 and 2&3). Just because you changed it a year ago, it does not mean it is still good (as also suggested by others). I recently changed mine after less than a year worth of usage). Aftermarket quality is hit and miss it seems. My CPS also just died without the classical warning signs.
 
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