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1995 NG900 2.3L
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I'm back from the dead and aim to get my old '95 900 (2.3l N/A) also back, at least into a reanimated corpse. It has not been started in a couple of months. :rolleyes:
Yeah, I know. It's an ID10T error.

Installed my battery today, cranked it over and it sputtered and ran for 10 seconds then quit. Gas gauge is hovering in the empty 'E' zone, so I added
a gallon or two but cannot get it to repeat the performance. It'll pop and vr-vr-vr-vroom-die here and there but no run and idle.

What do I need to do?
I just bought 2.5 gallons of 93 octane premium fuel (in a jug) to boost the 87 octane 'syrup' in the tank if need be, but I'm at a loss for the moment.
Will be searching for forum tips in the meantime...


Last time I was here, the forum had a white/light grey and light blue motif. Didn't recognize the place. Congrats on the upgrade.
 

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A couple months really shouldn't be an issue. Probably not even a year or two. Beyond that, gas could be an issue.

Why did you stop driving it? Was there an issue before that has gotten worse? Do you have good fuel pressure? Spark? Start with the basics... Very often no start issues are something simple that has given up the ghost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A couple months really shouldn't be an issue. Probably not even a year or two. Beyond that, gas could be an issue.

Why did you stop driving it? Was there an issue before that has gotten worse? Do you have good fuel pressure? Spark? Start with the basics... Very often no start issues are something simple that has given up the ghost.
--Don't know about fuel pressure
--Spark should be good
Will start with the basics

EDIT: it's been about a year since it was started. Whoops.

Well that's good to hear as I've never really had much issue with stale gas over the years. It usually just combusts, albeit somewhat poorly I guess.

I stopped driving it because I got another newer car to drive, the A/C went out on the 900, my SID went dark--must be a fuse, and it still has a few niggling concerns to be addressed. Prior to abandonment, I was repairing the car gradually (bought used in 2009) so I probably just got tired of it. I need to fix it up and sell it, finally. Good car though - one of the best I've ever had.
 

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Yeah, I've run cars on two year old gas without issues. Ethanol does gum up in a few months and small engines will be in trouble, but cars seem tolerant.

I'd look elsewhere like Jvan suggested.
 

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On my '97 N/A 2.3 the issue was a bad fuel pump. Put a new pump in about 60,000 miles ago and no issues since. Was a PITA to get the pump in. Next time it dies while trying to start, shoot some starter fluid into the intake and see it the engine starts and runs for a few seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I assume I have spark because it fired off and ran for 10 seconds.

My other supposition is that the fuel pump has ingested whatever water was in the tank from the dormant period. It was definitely 10% ethanol gasoline which is hygroscopic by nature.

Is it possible to hook up a remote fuel tank and run the car off that? Anyone ever done such a thing?
Really easy to do on carbureted engines.
 

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Sure. Definitely doable, but fuel injection runs at 45+ psi, so it takes some work to so safely. And some cost, as you will need a second fuel pump.
 

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Might be easier to just make a couple of runs to a gas station and fill w/5 gallons or so of fresh gas rather than mess with the fuel injection system.

Edit: I want to add that E10 is the only fuel sold in the state I live in (and most of New England) for decades and never had a no start issue due to water in the tank. Even after sitting for two + years in my driveway, the '97 N/A 2.3 started right up with a fresh battery. Same with my motorcycles after sleeping all winter. Maybe you are in a super high humid area with ambient temps over 85 deg F? Remember: we are talking about mixture that contains 90 percent pure gasoline, not an E85 blend.
 

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Was your car store with a full tank or on/near empty? With ethanol gas a tank that isn't full tends to corrode quicker, although given enough time even a full tank will begin to rust. This corrosion affects everything related to the fuel (tank, pump, hoses, injectors, rail, etc). A cheap and extremely easy way to test that it is indeed the gas is to try using starter fluid. If she starts up, your problem is fuel related. If not, then start digging through the fuel, spark, air, compression algorithm. FYI stale gas won't be overcome by a few gallons of fresh gas, I think most ppl mix it like 1/2 - 1 gallon of stale in a full 16gallon tank if they're trying to get rid of it.

You should be able to hear the fuel pump audibly prime when the key is turned so that usually helps in the initial step of that diagnosis. Past there you need to pull the pump and put power directly to it to confirm function. It should be noted that very bad rust will flake off & clog the filter, & can stop even a working pump.

Last but not least, if the car hasn't actually turned over yet IMHO it's important to turn the crank by hand a bit to get some oil back onto the moving parts prior to running the engine. A year isn't the longest time to be sitting but since its relatively easy insurance I prefer doing that when first starting a car thats been sitting for some time.
 

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1995 NG900 2.3L
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, the tank was basically on empty all this time but not in the red zone.

Car fires on starting fluid sprayed in the intake plenum...but won't continue running.

I dumped in an entire red bottle of HEET to mix with the 2-3 gallons (estimated) in the tank and that seemed to give it some more sputters.
It's coughing on nearly every turn of the key but that's only 1-2 seconds of combustion.

I have not dumped in the fresh 2.5 gallons of 93 octane (E0) I bought because I haven't ruled out dropping the fuel tank and/or replacing the fuel filter and didn't want to make that more difficult. There's about 2 gallons of fresh 87 lawnmower gas in it already. 🤔

I guess next is testing for fuel pressure.
 

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Well that's good news, hopefully very close to the final fix. If the tank needs to be dropped to work on the pump/filter the first thing I would do is check fuel pressure. If the pump is accessible from the top of the tank then I would just add more good fuel into it. I kinda floated over to this section but I don't own this particular Saab or I would give you a more definitive answer.

Again, you should be able to hear the fuel pump prime when the key is initially turned before trying to start the car. If you don't hear the fuel pump then go straight to dropping the tank & removing the pump. Alternatively you can put 12v of power to the fuel pump relay manually & again should hear the pump prime.

If the pump is audibly priming then check fuel pressure (fuel pressure regulators can also go bad from prolonged sitting). Best of luck, I hope your final fix is straightforward both in diagnosis & execution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
... ...Again, you should be able to hear the fuel pump prime when the key is initially turned before trying to start the car. If you don't hear the fuel pump then go straight to dropping the tank & removing the pump. Alternatively you can put 12v of power to the fuel pump relay manually & again should hear the pump prime.

If the pump is audibly priming then check fuel pressure (fuel pressure regulators can also go bad from prolonged sitting). Best of luck, I hope your final fix is straightforward both in diagnosis & execution.
Aha, that's something I was not looking/listening for.

I know you don't have an NG900 (Calling all NG900 owners) but is the fuel pump fairly audible from the driver's seat? I don't remember the sound and wasn't listening for it prior to this reply.


Thanks for the well wishes, Bob12312357
 

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BARELY audible. Like you definitely have to listen for it (unless it's dying and making a racket). Flip the rear seat bottom up helps.

IMO, you are far better off just directly powering the pump and seeing if it runs. Less effort, less room for failure.
 

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The level of gas in the tank won't affect changing the fuel filter. Change it... cheap test. Note that you need new washers (although it's possible to reface the copper ones in a jam).

Check for 12v at the pump with the ignition on.
 

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To listen for the pump, I would have someone else turn the ignition on while you're in the backseat with the seat bottom remove and the plastic cover off the fuel pump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have the intake resonator (semicircular black plastic chamber) removed and am looking for a place to disconnect the (or a) fuel lines to see if it will squirt fuel at on/start.
Is there a fuel pressure port somewhere in the vicinity, a la a Schrader type valve?

Just getting back to this and have the car pushed into the garage where I can have at-it.
Looking at all your responses--thanks again.
 
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