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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My saab ( '97 900S non-turbo, Auto, 165K mi) wouldn't start this morning - completely dead, no cranking at all.


- When I starts, it's completely silent and dashboard signs and SID displays as normal.

- I hear a robust 'clicking' noise from the starter. I assume the starter is ok. (Replaced starter is about a year old.)

- The battery is fairly new, strong headlight beam, radio & window works well. I even tried jump but no cranking at all.

- The battery cable and connections is fairly clean. I cleaned again with wire brush around terminals and negative connection point on the engine block. Still No Starts.

- OBD scanner shows P1115. I had CEL on for several weeks after I replaced front O2 sensor to Universal one three weeks ago and since then, CEL was on. I don't think it's related to this morning's 'No Starts' problem.

- Fuel pump was replaced last month. Fuel pump fuse is OK.

- I tried lock the door and unlock and re-tried to start but it didn't help.

- Starter fuse (#36) is ok.

- I tried Neutral Safety Switch Bypass this evening as this thread described in detail but still no starts. I assume my Neutral Safety Switch is ok.
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=109861

- Spark plugs, Plug Wires, Distributor cap, Distributor rotor was replaced three weeks ago. Ignition Distributor housing is the original and I spotted some minor trace of engine oil inside the distributor when I replaced distributor rotor.

- I had 'Hard to start when the engine is hot' during the summer as I described this thread. I was going to check MAF and CPS (thanks to invaluable great insight information on the thread) but as the weather gets cooler, it didn't happen again even though I didn't do anything on it. I plan to revisit this issue later.
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=112865
I am not sure if this issue is related to this morning's No Starts problem.

- Before today morning, Starting the engine was robust and cranked rightaway except a few times struggling re-starting the engine during the hot temperature in hot weather.

- Fuel consumption was normal - 28mpg on the highway.

- Ignition Coil under the Power Steering Reservoir is original. There are some minor gunky layers from the accumulated leaks from the Power Steering Reservoir.



Any thoughts???

Thanks!
 

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Sounds like you have coverd all the bases. It's got to be the starter. I have had " new " starters go out sooner than that. Dose it have a warenty? Thats my .02
 

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Use your multimeter and check out the battery, alternator and cables.

So, the engine does not turn over at all, right ??

A scary thing - for the old two strokes - engine seizure, once locked up, nothing(90% of the time anyway) will turn over the engine...but this is rare for any four stroke engine..
The new?? , actually rebuilt, starter motor may be no good.. .as Gurn mentioned.
 

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Sadly rebuilder make crap rebuilt units. I'd rather buy a used unit with lower miles on it or an OEM supplier rebuilt unit.

Don't bother with testing the fuel pump, CPS, DIC, Spark plugs........as the car isn't even cranking! don't waste your time with that.

It's not the battery or the terminals if the lights are staying bright when the key is in the starting position.

If the car isn't cranking it'll be one of these possibilities

Bad ignition switch... They break, and break alot too.... we see threads about it almost on a daily basis. That doesn't mean replace it. Test it first!!! Test the current going to the starter when cranking. How many volts do you get? You probably replaced the other starter for the same reason if the ignition turns out to be bad.

Bad starter (even a rebuilt unit could be bad out of the box or any number of days there after)

Fuses for the starter and all other stuff like the Range Switch, AKA the neutral safety switch, immobilizer won't allow sending the signal to the starter in the first place and you won't hear the click so don't bother.

And yes like EW said check the oil level and crank the engine by using a ratchet to see if it's siezed just make sure you take off the DIC and battery terminals so it doesn't start on you ;)
 

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Some confusion exists here

Does the starter turn over or spin the engine ???.
...........or...........
Does the engine turn over but not start ??

The ignition switch can be a problem in some cases, along with many other things.
A step by step diagnosis must ensue a "no-start"..Proper maintenance can prevent most but never all of this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah..this time 'No Start' experience is awfully familiar as two years ago when I had my starter replaced - no cranking, dead silent but battery works.
When a local mechenic provided the replacement starter for $200 including labor two years ago, I was so happy with such affordable price I had to pay.

I will try to tackle on starter replacement myself. Is it hard to do?

hkayssi said:
Sadly rebuilder make crap rebuilt units. I'd rather buy a used unit with lower miles on it or an OEM supplier rebuilt unit.


Bad ignition switch... They break, and break alot too.... we see threads about it almost on a daily basis. That doesn't mean replace it. Test it first!!! Test the current going to the starter when cranking. How many volts do you get? You probably replaced the other starter for the same reason if the ignition turns out to be bad.

Bad starter (even a rebuilt unit could be bad out of the box or any number of days there after)

Fuses for the starter and all other stuff like the Range Switch, AKA the neutral safety switch, immobilizer won't allow sending the signal to the starter in the first place and you won't hear the click so don't bother.

And yes like EW said check the oil level and crank the engine by using a ratchet to see if it's siezed just make sure you take off the DIC and battery terminals so it doesn't start on you ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I should test output voltage from the ignition switch. Thanks for the information.
But if the ignition switch is bad, I wouldn't able to hear Starter's 'clicking' noise in first place? No?
hkayssi said:
Bad ignition switch... They break, and break alot too.... we see threads about it almost on a daily basis. That doesn't mean replace it. Test it first!!! Test the current going to the starter when cranking. How many volts do you get? You probably replaced the other starter for the same reason if the ignition turns out to be bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Warranty? Nop.
I was so happy to pay $200 for the replacement starter including the labor charge and tax that I drove off like a Roadrunner coyote out of the garage without asking a single question...

gurn said:
Sounds like you have coverd all the bases. It's got to be the starter. I have had " new " starters go out sooner than that. Dose it have a warenty? Thats my .02
 

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I would make really sure it is not just corrosion in the battery cables, or a corroded terminal at the battery or at the starter. Several people here, including me, have had problems due to corrosion or poor terminal contact. The corrosion can be in the first inch or two of the battery cable above the battery terminal, and under the cable insulation.

The starter connection is just an extra lug on the positive battery cable, about a foot from the alternator end of the cable.

Starter current can be well over a hundred amps, compared to just a few amps for everything else. A bad connection does not show up in supplying power for lights or acessories, and often not even in charging the battery, because the power required to do that is very small compared to starter cranking power (and current).

If there is a poor connection between the battery and the starter terminal, the effect is the same as a weak battery. There will be enough power to engage the starter solenoid, but not to crank the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This makes perfect sense. Thanks. I should check the cable and connection points as well.
PMI said:
If there is a poor connection between the battery and the starter terminal, the effect is the same as a weak battery. There will be enough power to engage the starter solenoid, but not to crank the engine.
 

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PMI is exactly right. The conectors can look clean and tight but when you take them off they can have a thick hard blackish layer on the terminals and posts. You will need a good terminal cleaning tool. Mine is a scraping type, I like it better than my wire type.Then coat them with grese after there tight. Also check the wires going to the starter.
 

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suniku55 said:
I should test output voltage from the ignition switch. Thanks for the information.
But if the ignition switch is bad, I wouldn't able to hear Starter's 'clicking' noise in first place? No?
Yes you would hear the click. The signal to the starter would be 6 or 7 volts instead of 12. So the starter clicks but doesn't have enough juice to start. You have to test at the starter end or at the output of the ignition switch under the console.

To determine if the starter is bad, just tap it with a hammer (slightly, don't break the damn thing) if the car starts, replace the starter.

A new starter including labor? Wow! That must be one crappy rebuilt starter! :eek: You get what you pay for.
 
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