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Discussion Starter #1
I posted a while ago about a problem i had. my car would stall while idling some times. i thought it might be the spark plugs, so i changed those. unfortunately the problem happened again, then got worse as one time when it happened i could not start the car again, and when i did get it running, it wouldn't idle.

I then thought it must be the DI, having heard so many horror stories, and my car having over 80K miles on it. I replaced that, but yesterday the same thing happened again, only this time, in addition to being very hard to start, and not being able to idle, while i was pulling onto the highway (the symtoms occured at a rest stop) the car began to lurch quite badly, and it definatly felt like the engine was misfiring. shortly after the Check Engine Light came on.

I figured it wasn't the spark that was causing the problem, so it was probably the fuel (maybe dirty injectors?). so i went to the closest gas station that was open and poured in a bottle of STP fuel injector cleaner (the only kind they had... i'm not sure how good it is).

i drove it home like that, and it seemed to be running fine. when i got home i took her out for a little spin just to keep the gas moving, and before i got back the CEL had gone away, so i didn't even get to check which fault had occured, but i assume it was at least one cylinder misfire. my only worry is that the car seems to run great until it experiences these problems, so i'm not sure if i've fixed it, or if it's just gone into hiding again.

can anyone confirm my diagnosis? any suggestions? i'm thinking of replacing the fuel filter, and the thought of replacing the injectors has crossed my mind.
 

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From my experience with the DI failure, the car will balk at full or high throttle, then the CEL will blink and the car will stall out. Shortly later when the DI cools you can start it and limp it home from there. I haven't heard of the DI showing its failing symptoms and not actually failing within a hundred miles. When it goes, it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
no, i have a completely new DI in the car right now, i bought it from thesaabsite.

i'm wondering if my theory about the problem being somewhere in the fuel line is valid.
 

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I had the same problems with my 97 900SE about a year ago. It hasn't done it since so i guess I fixed it (knock on wood). I changed out the DI, did it again, then the plugs, it did it again, then the fuel filter and air filter, did it again, ran injector cleaner, did it again. The last thing I did was to change the ELCD Purge Valve (about $62) at eeuroparts.com. It hasn't done it since. I would change that out, it's easy to change yourself, despite the tight working area, which gets irritating, but I would change that out next.
 

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What about a vacuum leak? That would produce similar symptoms, the hose material is really cheap and they usually need replacing sooner or later anyway. There are four main ones at 4mm (5/32"), plus a few of other sizes. There's one larger one from the purge valve to the throttle body that got a huge crack in it recently and gave me stalls like you describe. Replacing it (9/32" but mine had a plastic liner, so I spliced it), plus a WD-40 enema in each end of the purge valve to clean it, took care of the issue beautifully.

I guess it could be something in the fuel line too-- but start with the vac hoses if you haven't already-- they're much easier.

Good luck, and let us know what it was when you find out?

T
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i have an MBC+A, so i've already replaced the vac line from the throttle body to the IAC, is this one of the lines you are talking about? could you specify further? (possibly with pics :D )

and jeremy, where is the ELCD purge valve? and just for the heck of it, what does it do?
 

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the ELCD purge valve controls the flow of air into the charcoal canister. It's on the passenger side above the wheel well housed in a collar brace. Took me some time to locate it, it has a hose coming out of each end and a wiring harness above the hose facing the front of the car.
 

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I surely hope that by now, the fuel filter has been changed ! This is a service item for any motor vehicle on this planet and it must be changed at 60 to 120K miles...

Yes ! They can and do go up to 120K, but how much more, nobody knows .
I recall about 50K on the '67 Pontiac and about the same on the Saab before both were 100% clogged.. these were smaller filters and the gas was more dirty back then.

More strongly, I suspect a worn out fuel pump. These are available at Napa for, as I recall, less than one hundred dollars...
Measure the pressure and compare this to the new pressure figure which may not be found anywhere !....
The "STP fuel injector cleaner" is a waste of money as is all of them..
I doubt if the injectors ever need cleaning, unless the car sits and sits...
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
update:

happened again.

suspiciously it happened after filling up at the same gas station i had previously filled up at.

however this time i got a chance to bring it over to autozone quickly. I got three check engine codes. 1) multiple cylinder misfire 2) some sort of manufacturing code having to do with O2 sensor or something (don't really remember) and 3) rich fuel mixture.

so i'm kinda lost... the rich fuel CEL suggests a vaccum leak or something not relating to fuel (since fuel seems to be flowing through the engine), but the fact that it happened directly after a fill-up, especially at the same gas station suggests dirty gas? or at least some sort of fuel problem...

any more help for a lost soul?

edit: i checked the hoses to/from the purge valve, no cracks. i also checked around the throttle body for hoses with cracks, but couldn't find any (however i couldn't look very carefully because the engine was still very hot). my air filter also appears to be a little dirty... but i wouldn't expect a dirty filter to cause this kind of intermitent trouble.

are there any places i could find how to check my fuel filter?
 

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Same thing was happening to me, after filling up the tank, not everytime I filled the tank, but everytime was after filling the tank. Do you top off the tank? I was doing that until I was told how stupid that was by my GF's father, haven't done it since (and changed the ELCD Purge Valve) and it hasn't done it since.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
i'm not 100% sure what you mean by "top off". I continue filling until it clicks shut, then try to fill again, and if it shuts off quickly again then i stop (because sometimes it will stop filling if too much gas flows in at once. is this weird?)

but thanks a lot for your help, hopefully it's the same problem. i'll order the valve tonight anyway and get it in the car as soon as possible.
 

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Seeing how the fuel filter is less than $10 from eeuroparts.com, I doubt its even worth, if even possible, to test the fuel filter itself.

One suggestion, try another gas station next time.

I'd try removing the purge valve first and giving it a shot of WD-40 in hopes of freeing it up, if in fact it's clogged or not openning. Do you detect a ticking from it when idling once warmed up? I'm not sure, but generic OBDII codes seem to show that this component should throw a CEL if its not functioning appropriately (P0443-P0445).

I wonder if the manufacturer's code you got has something to do with it?

For the misfire code, I'm curious, do you have the DI boots loading up with dielectric grease like they should be?

And a little FYI, if the check engine light is on, and then turns off prior to reading code, the ECU should still have the code stored away, my guess would be that the misfire code is the original one that you had. When you had the codes read did you have them reset? If not, then you can disconnect the battery for a bit of time 1-3 hrs perhaps to clear the memory (make sure you have your radio code first). Then start with a clean slate.
 

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Topping off the tank is continuing to put gas in after the pump shuts off automatically. I've been told that doing this can cause a sort of vapor lock because is too full to allow vapors to escape. What your car and you are doing is extremely close to what my car and I were doing last summer. Change out the ELCD purge valve and when at the pump stop once the pump clicks off, that should do the trick, at least for me it did. good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
slaab:

i have no intention of going back to that gas station again... ever.

i thought i had plenty of grease on that sucker, but i'll go pick some more up anyway.

there also is a ticking coming from that area after being warmed up, but i always thought that it was the lifters or something

the misfire code came up because the car DID misfire, but since then all of the CEL's have cleared themselves (they just came on after the incident, and i ready them quicklky before they cleared)

oh, and i wasn't suggesting "testing" the filter, so much as requesting information on where it is, and how i would go about changing it.
 

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I can understand why you don't want to go that gas station again, but it isn't the gas, I tried that with mine too, it's the car not where you get the gas.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
yeah, but i'm a supersticious person. 2 in a row means they lost a customer unless i really need the gas ;)
 
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