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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a very strange problem with my '96 900S.

The problem started when I found some coolant on the garage floor. I couldn't find the leak, and figured that the 14-year old car probably has some leaky hoses and/or gaskets. To help remedy the problem, I bought a bottle of Bar's Leaks and poured into the coolant reservoir.

I drove the car the requisite 15 minutes, and the "Low Coolant Light" indicator came on the SID. I went back home and poured water in the reservoir, but it just pooled in the reservoir and didn't go through the system (is this a result of the Bar's Leaks)?

Shortly thereafter, the car died and the red triangle [!] light came on the dash. The temperature gauge was right in the middle, not even reading hot, but the car died and wouldn't restart.

What happened??? Any ideas on why it wouldn't restart?
 

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You appear to have many different problems, all at once.
The Barrs Leak is too risky to use, I would never recommend it.
Now we have a bunch of coolant hoses to re-new and a BarrLeak's mess to repair... and an engine that does not start nor run.
Does she even turn over?

http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=149169
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
She turns over and tries really, really hard to start, but just doesn't make it. I let it cool down for half an hour or so, but the engine (and even the hood) is still quite warm and the red [!] triangle still lights on the dash.

I am, of course, about the furthest thing from a mechanic that this board has ever seen, but I feel like it must be some kind of coolant-related issue. The [!] triangle can come on because of high coolant temps, and the warmth coming out of the engine bay makes me think that must be the case (though the temperature gauge stays nailed right in the middle).

What do you make of the "Low Coolant" message on the SID, but the water I put into the reservoir not getting pumped through the system? Failed water pump?
 

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She turns over and tries really, really hard to start, but just doesn't make it. I let it cool down for half an hour or so, but the engine (and even the hood) is still quite warm and the red [!] triangle still lights on the dash.

I am, of course, about the furthest thing from a mechanic that this board has ever seen, but I feel like it must be some kind of coolant-related issue. The [!] triangle can come on because of high coolant temps, and the warmth coming out of the engine bay makes me think that must be the case (though the temperature gage stays nailed right in the middle).

What do you make of the "Low Coolant" message on the SID, but the water I put into the reservoir not getting pumped through the system? Failed water pump? No sense in you guessing; I always check the coolant and PS levels by opening the hood; I consider the SID to be unreliable, a silly toy or gadget...
Note that I do not check the oil on a weekly basis, monthly, yes..
I'd remove the entire reservoir and see why there seems to be no flow.
The Barr's Leak may be responsible here.
Use the garden hose to clean everything - the weather is great now - a beautiful 5 days of sunshine.
Next, we have to find out why the temp gage was not working...
My guess is that there was no coolant at that point, that part or level of the engine, so the overheating would be quick and very serious(head gasket).
Check the links and other links for the no-start.
Good luck:cheesy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Shortly thereafter, the car died and the red triangle [!] light came on the dash. The temperature gauge was right in the middle, not even reading hot, but the car died and wouldn't restart.
I should clarify on this point that the car was simply sitting in my garage idling when it died, and it did so very suddenly. Within the span of about two seconds, I heard the car starting to stumble a little, then the triangle came on, the chime sounded and it was dead.

I've done some reading (many, many thanks to Earthworm!), and it sounds like the likely culprits are the CPS, DIC and fuel pump (or fuel pump relay). Is it possible to rule any of those out because of the way it died?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Next, we have to find out why the temp gage was not working...
My guess is that there was no coolant at that point, that part or level of the engine, so the overheating would be quick and very serious(head gasket).
Could it be that the car did not actually overheat? I cranked the engine again this morning (still no start), but the temp gauge read cold.

Also, this may sound like a dumb question, but where is the fuel pump relay? I checked in the fuse box, but it wasn't there...?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A quick update:

The no-start condition comes from a failed fuel pump. A local mechanic, who I have used before, quoted me $250 for the replacement (including a $50 tow to his shop) and I ordered the pump from Autohauz for $57. As soon as the pump gets here, off to the shop she goes, and that should get her running again.

I'm still not sure about the coolant issue. I now believe the car's dying was completely unrelated to the coolant issue, as it was certainly the fuel pump. I don't know if the water pump may have failed at the same time (could it be that a failed pump was the source of my coolant leak?), if the Bar's Leaks clogged/damaged the fuel pump or if maybe the coolant issue is cleared up (the temperature gauge never did indicate that the car overheated).

Being unable to start the car, it is nearly impossible to diagnose any further, as the coolant doesn't leak out when the car isn't running.
 

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While shes not going anywhere for a little while, you might as well replace all the coolant hoses.

Especially if they havent ever been replaced in the life of the car, cause after 14, 15 years that rubber is degraded and by the time you patch up this leak another will have started, 95% chance. Its cheap and simple enough to do, especially considering how its such a silly reason to see a car go to the scrap yard.
 

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A quick update:

The no-start condition comes from a failed fuel pump. A local mechanic, who I have used before, quoted me $250 for the replacement (including a $50 tow to his shop) and I ordered the pump from Autohauz for $57. As soon as the pump gets here, off to the shop she goes, and that should get her running again.

I'm still not sure about the coolant issue. I now believe the car's dying was completely unrelated to the coolant issue, as it was certainly the fuel pump. I don't know if the water pump may have failed at the same time (could it be that a failed pump was the source of my coolant leak?), if the Bar's Leaks clogged/damaged the fuel pump or if maybe the coolant issue is cleared up (the temperature gauge never did indicate that the car overheated).

Being unable to start the car, it is nearly impossible to diagnose any further, as the coolant doesn't leak out when the car isn't running.
That's a very good price for the labor. I'd pay that instead of D-I-Y, and I'm cheap... Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Aerosly..who is your mechanic ..i am in orlando too..would like to know if you can share
His name is Thomas Mckeehan and he used to work out of a rented facility in Longwood. When I emailed him about this issue, he said that he had moved to a new shop in Winter Springs; that works out well for me because I'm in the Casselberry/Winter Park area. What part of town are you in?

I'll probably see him soon, and I'll ask him if it's OK to refer you his way (I can't imagine that he would say no, but I just wanna be sure).
 

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Have you replace the thermostat? That will make the water not go anywhere and make it get hot. the upper radiator hose will get really hard as an indication that your thermostat has failed closed as they do. I put a fail safe thermostat in after that because they fail open. As far as the car not starting and running you could have the dreaded sludge problem. If it has never been done on your car I would drop the oil pan and clean it out. This has become my new rule of thumb for Saabs with 80K or better on them especially if you have always used standard oil as apposed to synthetic. You will be amazed at how well the car runs after that. I have done this three times now on the three 9-5's I own and should have done it on my 9-3 that I had to replace the engine on because I didn't clean the sludge out and blew the engine.
 

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His name is Thomas Mckeehan and he used to work out of a rented facility in Longwood. When I emailed him about this issue, he said that he had moved to a new shop in Winter Springs; that works out well for me because I'm in the Casselberry/Winter Park area. What part of town are you in?

I'll probably see him soon, and I'll ask him if it's OK to refer you his way (I can't imagine that he would say no, but I just wanna be sure).
Is he like a former Saab master tech or something...how many times did you have a chance to repair something at his shop and how was the quality of the repairs?

I am SeaWorld area but work by UCF...i normally use Swedecentral in Winter Park on Orange ..really nice guys..although last time i wasnt 100% satisfied when they did one of the strut mounts...i think they used cheaper parts..and i get some creaking from time to time from the new strut mount..and cant figure out what is causing some minor shaking on the highway after the repair....but for now i will just deal with it
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Is he like a former Saab master tech or something...how many times did you have a chance to repair something at his shop and how was the quality of the repairs?
I like SwedeCentral, but they're very expensive (their Winter Park location should be an indicator of that). I have heard good things about the European repair shop on 17/92 in Maitland, but they are even more expensive than SwedeCentral.

I have had Tom make two repairs to my Saab now, and I have been very, very satisfied with his work. He doesn't seem to be a Saab specialist, but he really seems to know his stuff. He just moved into a new shop on 17/92 at 434, so I suppose word is getting out that he does good work at a reasonable price.

If you want to check him out, his name is Tom McKeehan and his email address is [email protected]. I don't get any kind of discount or anything if you go to him, but I did let him know that I was going to give out his info.
 
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