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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok, so i noticed this real bad a while back, when she just died at the top of a hill and didn't restart for about a minute, but today i was just cruising along a flat straight stretch and all the intruments went down to nothing, and everything electric just died for a split second, i didn't even have time to take it out of gear, and then literally not even a second later i felt a light jolt, and everything was back! she kept going after that... what do you guys think could have caused this? i'm stumped :confused:
 

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Yer damn battery terminals aren't tight! I had this once... (the positive cable had a jury-rigged crap clamp that didn't go down)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
bloody bugger!!!!! she just died... almost completely, just... won't run... ok, heres the symptoms: i turn the toggle switch to on, all the normal dash warning lights come on, i crank the starter, she starts! between 1 and 30 seconds later, she dies, but ONLY the alternator light comes on, the oil pressure warning light does NOT :confused: , also, the gas gauge goes down to empty (she's full up right now, just filled her up this afternoon)...i found this very strange... all the accessories work, and if i try to crank it while the oil light isnt on, no go, she'll crank all day but won't start. if i fiddle with the toggle switch back and forth, the oil light will come back on, and she'll start right up... then die again, with the same symptoms... driveability until she dies is unaffected, runs strong, just... cuts off :x i'm thinking i may have burned out my toggle switch maybe? i checked the battery terminals, they're on tight (though someone is going to disconnect them tonight, i'm out of state with family for christmas, Uma WAS going to come with us until she pulled this BS right as we left. if it's not the switch, what grounds should i look at?


thank you guys!
-mike
 

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Just a wild stab, but try swapping out relays related to igntion control, fuel pump, etc. one by one for known-good spares and see if it makes any difference. Check the status of all the ingition-related wiring just in case something might be loose or disconnected completely.

If the behaviour is repeatable, it's unlikely to be a short or an earth problem.

If there was a short anywhere the engine wouldn't start at all, and if it was an earth problem you'd see random behaviour and not the same, predictable, pattern.

Craig.
 

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It doesn't sound exactly the same, but both my old red Saab and my wife's Range Rover just up and died randomly at idle when the AIC valve was gummed up. I cleaned up the AIC valves with carb cleaner and lubed them with synthetic gun oil, and both cars stopped dying mysteriously.

However, if this simple check doesn't clear up the dying, keep looking at bad electrical issues. Remember that you can pull error codes both from the LH and EZK systems to see if they have any idea why the car died. (I didn't see the year of this car, so I'm assuming it is like my 16V cars. My apologies if the car is older or newer, with different injection or ignition systems.)

Scott
 

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Look long and hard at this ground next to the battery, the big rusty crusty thing with the bolt and the wires near the rad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
900t said:
Look long and hard at this ground next to the battery, the big rusty crusty thing with the bolt and the wires near the rad.
will do, as soon as i get back to it :x i'm out of town right now, and won't be back until later tomorrow :(
 

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mikewitdaspike said:
all the intruments went down to nothing, and everything electric just died for a split second :confused:
What powers the instruments? I think it is the ignition relay. The warning lights have their own independant ground at each switch/sensor (except for the gauges and alternator warning light). try using a jump wire accross the ignition relay. If this solves your problem then it is either the relay, the wire between the relay and ignition sw, the ignition sw, or the power supply to the ignition sw. ( this is based on an 8v so yours might be different)
 

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Mike -

If you can make it behave / mis-behave by fiddling with the toggle switch then I'd suspect the switch -

Hey - at least she acted up BEFORE you took her on a road trip .... mine always decide to bite the dust when I'm furthest from home AND it's dark and wet out ...

Steve
 

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The failure of the instruments and ignition together is definately trying to tell you something! Are they both fed from the same fuse? That happened me before- a fuse can act up a bit before it actually blows. Anyone got a wiring diagram? Is the toggle switch wired in between the relay and the ignition, or the ignition sw and the relay? If you can answer this you might be able to figure out whats wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
9008v said:
The failure of the instruments and ignition together is definately trying to tell you something! Are they both fed from the same fuse? That happened me before- a fuse can act up a bit before it actually blows. Anyone got a wiring diagram? Is the toggle switch wired in between the relay and the ignition, or the ignition sw and the relay? If you can answer this you might be able to figure out whats wrong?
the toggle switch IS the ignition switch :lol: my key switch failed on me last year after i broke it hotwiring the car to get home ;oops: right now it's a three way toggle with the engine ignition+accessories on one side, and just accessories on the other side. when i get home i'm going to check the switch to see if it's gotten loose or something :confused: and if nothing else, i'll manually jump it with a screwdriver and make another trip to radio shack or advance auto :lol:
 

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Mike -

If it's the switch, do yourself a favor and go to a place like tractor supply - get a heavy duty three way switch for Uma - like one you'd use on a farm vehicle - they're less prone to vibration failure and can handle peak amp draws better than the cheapie switches that other places sell.

Steve
 

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I'd bet the contacts on the cheesy little Radio-Shack switch are extra-crispy. It's getting hard to find decent electrical stuff.
 

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grif900 said:
I'd bet the contacts on the cheesy little Radio-Shack switch are extra-crispy. It's getting hard to find decent electrical stuff.
it's actually easy to find (industrial supply houses, marine supply places) but it sure ain't as cheap as it used to be!:roll: The good stuff doesn't tend to come from developing nations, it tends to have lots of brass, strong springs, solid insulation, weatherproofing and well done metal castings - the other stuff doesn't share those traits ... but is cheap.
 

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Nicely P.C. Steve.:cool: I buy a lot from McMaster-Carr and Mouser , But I have to use a commercial Account (work-perks) to order. Marine applications are a great idea, Cole-Hersey is still very good.
 

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grif900 said:
Nicely P.C. Steve.:cool: I buy a lot from McMaster-Carr and Mouser , But I have to use a commercial Account (work-perks) to order. Marine applications are are a great idea, Cole-Hersey is still very good.
MM-C rules - back when I was pretending to be a mechanical engineer (I'm actually a PhD software geek) I ordered a boatload of stuff from them - I think I'm gonna buy my kids '88 900S off of him and start driving a GD Saab everyday again in the next couple of months ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
ok, i'm convinced Uma has a soul, mind, and will of her own... i came home tonight, and she started up and ran PERFECTLY :evil: i got more pissed than i did happy :eek: though she seems to have a vacuum leak somewhere, on base boost it won't even hit 5psi (whereas it used to), and at full boost it'll only go to 10, so i'm guessing i have a leak somewhere, but it being dark and all i can't pin it :confused: i'm thinking i want to go get a new switch anyway though, just to be safe on that part... sometimes i wonder about her... you'd think the prospect of two hours of just cruising at 55-65mph would be welcome!
 

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SteveTheFolkie said:
I think I'm gonna buy my kids '88 900S off of him and start driving a GD Saab everyday again in the next couple of months ...
Great news indeed. I hope you dont find the G.D. models headliner too distracting .:cool:
 

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mikewitdaspike said:
ok, i'm convinced Uma has a soul, mind, and will of her own... i came home tonight, and she started up and ran PERFECTLY :evil: i got more pissed than i did happy :eek: though she seems to have a vacuum leak somewhere, on base boost it won't even hit 5psi (whereas it used to), and at full boost it'll only go to 10, so i'm guessing i have a leak somewhere, but it being dark and all i can't pin it :confused: i'm thinking i want to go get a new switch anyway though, just to be safe on that part... sometimes i wonder about her... you'd think the prospect of two hours of just cruising at 55-65mph would be welcome!
10 psi isn't a vacuum leak it is either a pressure HEMORRHAGE or maybe the APC is turning it back because it is knocking ;) Remember your car was made for ~12 psi... MAX with premium fuel and absolute optimum conditions.
 
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