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Old 10-06-2011, 07:37 PM   #1
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Red face I need a list of crankshaft sensor symptoms! Please :)

Hey guys. I have a 99 saab 9-5 se. It has been sputtering and doesnt want to start without gassing it up and turning off the ac. It cuts out while running and once it overheated big time after not wanting to start at all. After a few hours, once the tow truck arrived (lol) It restarted fine and drove home 30 miles. I replaced the spark plugs and the fuel filter. I recently dropped it off at a shop to have it looked at and the repair-man calls a week later to tell me he ALREADY fixed it, I owe 400 for a crankshaft sensor. He has no diagnostic for saab but does specialize in them. I expected him to have me sign paperwork and at least tell me what was wrong first. I am worried now I have been scammed. I have not picked up my car yet but am wondering if that is proper shop procedure and if that price sounds reasonable for that job. Also, would a crankshaft sensor cause all that? I am so lost when it comes to this car, I just dont want to get ripped off. Could a crankshaft sensor cause overheating? Please, someone, give a young lady some good advice!! It would be much appreciated. Thank you, Lauren.
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:37 AM   #2
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He should have asked before he did the repairs, depends on the state and the shop sometimes a verbal estimate/ok from the customer is required. Again depending on the shop, you may have signed an agreement when you dropped off the car. I would in the future, always specify a verbal ok for any work over an hour or two of labor.

The list price for a Crank Position sensor - Part Number 55557326Description C/SHFT POS SENSO Saab Suggested List $107.19. eeuroparts.com has them at $66.83.

Depending on the labor rate, for instance around DC $90+ per hour is going rate, other areas maybe higher or lower. Is 3 hours reasonable, depends on what else was done and if the guy uses "book" hours, ie the recommended guide for number of hours to do a job. Someone else maybe knows the book time for a CPS.

Will it fix the problem, maybe, it can fix a no start problem, and possibly rough idle. Overheating on start, if you tried to crank it for 20 minutes straight, it could stress the starter and create heat. If it overheated the engine, ie coolant/temp gauge showed high, it still maybe something else like a headgasket, but that part is over to diagnose without more info.

If your not comfortable with the cost/estimate, get a friend/coworker/relative call the shop and ask what was done and have them explain it to them to see if its reasonable. My daughter has me call the mechanic when she gets a complex estimate or bill to see if its reasonable. Sometimes I tell them that she will pass on expensive brake jobs and do them for her when she is in town.

Post what town your in, there maybe a board member who can recommend a local shop or help you sort out the current bill.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-07-2011, 03:25 AM   #3
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That's a rip at teh dealer its only 120 + parts ( one hour labor ) Pay with a credit card and dipute it or negotiate tell him the dealer say one our including diagnostic ( call a dealer and sak diag and CPS how much they will tell you
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:10 PM   #4
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Thank you so much for you advice. I really appreciate it. I have picked up the car and it still whines when started but seems to be fixed. What would cause a whining noise for about 10 minutes when started? It doesnt sound at all like a belt but more like the engine or something like that. I went ahead and paid the shop and hope I didnt get ripped off too bad. GREAT advice on making myself clear about getting an estimate first next time. Thank you so much. Oh, yes, and I live in Fort Walton beach Florida if anyone has advice on a honest SAAB repair shop. The nearest dealership is in Pensacola. The shop under discussion was TNT of FWB FL. Thanks so much, again! You guys are awesome! Lauren
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:11 PM   #5
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Has teh engine been checked for sludge? turbo whine coudl indicate the engien is dying...

Drop the oil pan and clean it out ASAP
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:01 PM   #6
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If the whining noice is a little a little bit towards a "blowing nosie", it could be the fan (emission) that blows air in the exhaust manifold for a while after startup. You could have a leak in that system somewhere. If you have a 4 cylinder, and if you have that system on your car?

When I was working as an Auto Electrician (in US that would be, "drivability expert" someone told me) we charged for "faulttracing", and it's a big problem for a shop owner to charge for that. It's a lot of faultracing, for electrical/drivability problems.

Customers always argue about that cost. I mean, you can't fault trace for free, but in most cases you end up getting payed let say: 1 h, for 3 h fault tracing. (as an example).

I had one woman break down in front of me, crying her heart out, because she was divorced and no money. Had to give her the job for free, and only charge for parts. Stupid of me?.....who knows.

Anyway, a crank sensor can create any type of problem. They can be heat sensitive, they can fail at a certain vibration, and when symptons come's and go's. They car will most likely , work when it is at the shop.

My last cranksensor was with my own Dodge 3,3 V6. First symptons, driving at 80Mph on the freeway, the car jumped liked I hit a big bump, my wife went scared and refused to drive it, so she took my SAAB.

I had the car for a week, it drove fine, until one day after work, hot as hell outside, and the car had been standing in the sun. It absolutely refused to start. A college has to drive me home. Next morning (cooled down) it started fine. I bought Crank, and cam sensor + Throttle pos, sensor, and coil unit, to have ready. Hooked up a Fuel pressure gauge, and 2 bulbs that showed me that I had power to fuel pump (changed a year earlier) and ignition module.

Next time it hapend was at lunch eating in the car, standing for an halv an hour with engine running and A/C on. (Hot ((100F)) day), suddenly...booom, died, and absolutely refused to start. Went out (i also hooked up a button so I could start the engine from the engine compartment), run the starter, and saw that I had fuel pressure, and power to ignition module.

So I changed the ignition coil/module, and it started immidiately. Ok, of course I thought that this was it. Problem solved.

But when I was tryiong to start the car in the afternoon, dead again. This time I stayed after work and changed the crank sensor. Started straight up after the change, but this time I was of course not sure.

But it has been running for 3 months now without so much as a hick up. So problem fixed.

The stupid thing is that the ECM did not set a code, most European cars can run in "limp home" mode on one sensor (cam or crank) and set a code for the sensor not working.

But this is a 1996 car, and I hope that the software gets better and better, to help us solve things like this.
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:10 PM   #7
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And yes. I think the shop didn't talk to you enough about the job. He should absolute have called you about what he was doing, and give you a chance to dicuss the pricing.

I had customers refuse the job, and pick up the car, because the have some relative that can help them, or they will try to do it them self. And that's absolutely ok.

It can be hard to find time to talk to the customer about averything for a small shop, but but that's what every shop should do.
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