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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys...

My car is a '99 9-3 2.0 turbo (T5, Red DI car), 130k miles

The other day, after trying to start my car back up at the supermarket, it cranked, almost started, stumbled, and then refused to restart. It willjust perpetually crank.

-I tried a spare DI cassette I had (albeit a black on - but I did test black one on my car when I got it and it ran). No dice w/ the backup DI. I then borrowed someone's spare black DI, in case my spare black DI somehow went bad. Also no dice. The current red DI in the car is the car's 3rd. One died at 60k, and the next one died at 90k. Car now has 130k.

-I don't think I heard the fuel pump prime, however, I only made it a point to listen for this after I had already cranked it a lot. I'm not sure if it would prime every single time. I pried the plastic cover off that hole under the rear seat. After a lot of cranking, I smelled fuel from there. Not sure if this means the pump is working, or if it always smells like fuel there. I'll smell it tomorrow morning before I try to crank it and see what it normally smells like. Also, banging on fuel tank while cranking had no effect.

Battery is new and obviously fine since it cranks forever. I'm actually impressed that the battery hasn't gotten weak after all the cranking I've been doing.

Any other possibilities it could be, or any simple driveway diagnosis I could try before I resort to having it towed to my mechanic?

Thanks guys!!
 

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Hi guys...

My car is a '99 9-3 2.0 turbo (T5, Red DI car), 130k miles

The other day, after trying to start my car back up at the supermarket, it cranked, almost started, stumbled, and then refused to restart. It willjust perpetually crank.

-I tried a spare DI cassette I had (albeit a black on - but I did test black one on my car when I got it and it ran). No dice w/ the backup DI. I then borrowed someone's spare black DI, in case my spare black DI somehow went bad. Also no dice. The current red DI in the car is the car's 3rd. One died at 60k, and the next one died at 90k. Car now has 130k.

-I don't think I heard the fuel pump prime, however, I only made it a point to listen for this after I had already cranked it a lot. I'm not sure if it would prime every single time. I pried the plastic cover off that hole under the rear seat. After a lot of cranking, I smelled fuel from there. Not sure if this means the pump is working, or if it always smells like fuel there. I'll smell it tomorrow morning before I try to crank it and see what it normally smells like. Also, banging on fuel tank while cranking had no effect.

Battery is new and obviously fine since it cranks forever. I'm actually impressed that the battery hasn't gotten weak after all the cranking I've been doing.

Any other possibilities it could be, or any simple driveway diagnosis I could try before I resort to having it towed to my mechanic?

Thanks guys!!
Cranking and Turning over are the same thing. I'm assuming the engine is turning over but just isn't starting.

From what I understand the most likely culprits are the Crankshaft Position sensor, Fuel pump, and the DI cassette.

Since you've basically checked out the DI cassette, that can be crossed off. The fuel pump should prime every time the key is inserted and turned to the on position. If it no longer does so, chances are that is your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Simple thing first... check your fuel pump fuse, #32 I think.
Sorry, forgot to mention I checked that too. Replaced it with one of the spare 15A fuses provided on the fuse board, still no go. Thanks though!!

And Gunnar, thanks for the tips...and yea, I meant to say it cranks but does not start.
 

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One test, besides the 860-ohm resistance test for the CPS, is to watch the tach while cranking, If it moves up a little, the CPS is good. If it doesn't move, suspect the CPS and check the resistance. FWIW, CPS's seem to fail when hot, not cold... Ron
 

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Have you pulled the DIC with sparkplugs, grounded the sparkplugs and observed spark? In the words of one of my relatives (a Honda mechanic for close to 30 years); "She got far, she got gas... she's bound to run".
 

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When troubleshooting anything you have to eliminate all of the obvious things and start isolating each system. You need 3 things for the car to run
  1. Fuel
  2. Air
  3. Spark

The CPS usually presents as an issue after the car is warmed up. It can eventually fail 100% but "usually" gives you a few warning shots after it's warmed up. The fact that it started, sputtered and died tells me that it had spark but was lacking one of the other two components needed to start. A little gasoline squirted into the intake will tell you if you're getting spark as well. My guess at this point would be the fuel pump. Pull your back seat out and pull the access plug, take a piece of 2x4 and tap AROUND the fuel pump while someone turns the car over. My guess is you'll get it to come on temporarily but it will at least point you in the right direction.
 

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My money is on the CPS, my '01 93 Aero was a bit slow firing up the other week when out shopping, several times it needed to be cranked longer than normal but ran fine once started. The next day I went out and it refused to start from cold, just cranked and cranked, I borrowed a DIC and that didn't help, I could hear the fuel pump priming so knew that was OK, I changed the CPS and it fired up instantly.
So it gave me a few warnings but luckily died altogether once I'd got home.
 

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Starting and immediately dying is typical of a fuel problem. The engine catches, or tries to, until the pressure in the fuel rail is gone. Then that's all she wrote.

I would bet on the fuel pump being bad. After having been off, turn it on to see if you hear it prime. If it doesn't, that's your problem.

John
 

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When troubleshooting anything you have to eliminate all of the obvious things and start isolating each system. You need 3 things for the car to run
  1. Fuel
  2. Air
  3. Spark
You also need compression. My 99 9-3 would never start but it had all of the above - and 120 - 130 psi compression numbers. No go :lol:

That said I'd be surprised to see that fail like that immediately. Mine had a bad headgasket that was poorly replaced.
 

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One test, besides the 860-ohm resistance test for the CPS, is to watch the tach while cranking, If it moves up a little, the CPS is good. If it doesn't move, suspect the CPS and check the resistance.
Brilliant! Thanks!

(Hoping this test is valid on a 2001 9-3)
 

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go to fuse 32 with a voltmeter. The fuses have test spots near the outside corners. ground your vm on the restraining rod controlling the driver's side door. with pos probe, note that you have voltage at fuse#4. put the pos probe on fuse 32 and turn the ignition key to start. while the engine is cranking,do you have voltage at 32? Yes? then your cps and fuel pump relay are apparently ok.
put a short jumper wire between fuse 4 and fuse 32. Is the fuel pump running? Yes? the fuel pump is apparently good.turn the key to start. no start? the ignition system may be defective
after the test remove the jumper-that's important
 

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i'm gonna stick my neck and say cps has gone.

fuel pump primes everytime, but if your already at pressure you won't hear much if anything

seen similar problem with another brand of car.

we got everything, fuel pump cranking, good batt, good spark as coil was testing on another car but nothing till we changed out the cps.
 

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The fuel pump is going to run all the time; the fuel pressure is regulated by the FPR and the overflow fuel goes back to the tank. So if the fuel pump is not running, spray some starter fluid into the throttle body and see if the engine starts for a few seconds... Ron
 

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The fuel pump is going to run all the time; the fuel pressure is regulated by the FPR and the overflow fuel goes back to the tank. So if the fuel pump is not running, spray some starter fluid into the throttle body and see if the engine starts for a few seconds... Ron
ron- the fuel pump will not run all the time. Except for priming, the pump will run only when the crankshaft is rotating. the cps generates a signal from the rotation of the crankshaft.when the ecu receives that signal it grounds a terminal on the fuel pump relay and then power goes to fuse 32. when the engine stops running for any reason, the ecu breaks the ground from the fuel pump relay and the fuel pump stops pumping.
 

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Then pull the DIC and plugs, put the plugs back in the DIC, ground the plug treads and check for spark by cranking the engine. If it has spark, fuel is missing; if fuel is present, spark is missing. If both are missing, compression is missing... Ron
 

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Then pull the DIC and plugs, put the plugs back in the DIC, ground the plug treads and check for spark by cranking the engine. If it has spark, fuel is missing; if fuel is present, spark is missing. If both are missing, compression is missing... Ron
Don't you mean, "...if both are present...?"
 

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Thanks all (including original thread poster).

Just finished this job tonight... Car had two "failure to restart when hot" events about a month apart. And it had a few occasional hiccups where it felt like rough shifts, but in hindsigt was probably the engine missing. This morning when my wife took it to work, it died as she was pulling into her parking spot.

Started up fine when it was cold, so she drove it straight home, and I took the Buell over to get a new crank position sensor. They were $117 from my local Saab dealer, who actually had them in stock! So I got it, figuring it is either the crank sensor, or the crank sensor will be going bad soon enough anyway.

Getting home, the tach thing was a dead giveaway. It failed again, and crank and crank and crank, and the tach needle was dead still.

Put in the new crank sensor... a PITA because there is no good way to get in there, and there is a heat shield over it in my 2001 9-3 SE that makes the torx socket heads awkward. Enough cuts and fussing though, and it eventually came out and the new one went in.

Fired right up... I'm assuming its fixed, time will tell.

Anyway, thanks for the help, particularly the tach tip. I didn't know if it was fuel pump or CPS, and this gave me a test I could do without removing seats and or whacking things with rubber mallets. :)
 

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cranks but doesn't start

Hello All,

I've had a recurring problem (and about $1k already spent), hoping some of you can chime in and offer some suggestions...

2000 Saab 9-3 150k miles. I am trying hard to fix it bec when it starts it runs like a beauty.

Initial problem: ENGINE STARTS, HIGH IDLE, ENGINE DIES (within 5-7 seconds). If I press lightly on the gas, it would stop the idle, so keeping foot on gas lightly for several minutes would keep the car running, and once driven, would run fine.

Had the "coil" replaced (300 to purchase and 200 for someone to put it in). Didn't appear to really have any impact.

Problem worsened to where it wouldn't start and idle, but would just CRANK (at random times). Sometime, just leaving it alone, and coming back later, it starts.

Then it just died completely - would not crank, would not start. Battery was fine (strong actually) because the lights would come on, windows work, etc...

Tried all those NSS bypass tricks myself (to avoid spending more money) - paperclip, starter relay, etc - nothing helped.

Had STARTER REPLACED (about 300 total), and it started, ran fine, FOR A DAY... day after putting new starter, it went back to problem#2 - would just CRANK but would not start.

back to mechanic, who put in ANOTHER new coil - and it runs fine again, for a couple of days.

It hasn't shut down yet, BUT, is having problem#1 again - ENGINE STARTS, HIGH IDLE, ENGINE SHUTS DOWN. This time also, if I keep foot on gas (lightly), it stops the idle and keeps the engine running, so that the engine eventually stays running after a few minutes. That's how I got through today: issue when starting at morning but when I completed my drive (about 30 miles) shut car off and just to see if it would start again turned key and it started fine without the idle problem. later in the evening when I got back to car had same issue of START, HIGH IDLE, AND SHUT OFF but with foot on gas lightly it starts and drove fine 30 miles back. after shutting down at end of ride tried starting again and it again fired up fine.

I'm weary (based on past experience) the problem will worsen to either just cranking with no start or completely dying.

Can anyone offer any suggestions what else I can try myself, or have mechanic try, so i'm not forking spending another several hundred dollars without a FIX.

thank you for your help.
 

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some of that doesn't add up... so don't take the following as an insult, it's exactly what I would have assumed of myself were I in the same situation...

1) Others chime in here if I am wrong, but I think you need a new mechanic. Replacing a direct ignition cartridge for $200 labor? Isn't that a 'plug it in and snap it down' deal? I haven't had to do it, so maybe I am underestimating the problem... but if ever there was a $50 labor job, this sounds like it.

2) I think you do have a neutral safety switch problem (it's an automatic transmssion, right?), and I think perhaps your bypass was wrong.

3) The 'won't turn over' is probably a neutral safety switch, and the crank and crank and crank is probably a crank position sensor (see if the tag jiggles when you are cranking, if not, your cps is likely the problem).

4) I think you have one other problem as well, maybe two, that are causing your stalling / idling problems.

If it were me, i would consider just replacing the cps and fuel pump just because 'its about that time' and because you have had so much frustration already. Tracking down multiple simultaneous problems is really hard, it's not unreasonable in that situation to just start removing some unknowns. since the cps and fuel pump are likely doomed in the next 20k miles anyway, i would personally start there.




Given the age of your car and the headache factor you have had already, I would replace the fuel pump and (if you haven't already) the crank position sensor.
 
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