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Old 02-12-2010, 08:44 PM   #1
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No start issue, please advise

Background info: '88 900 Turbo, basically stock, has been hesitating intermittently on accel. All driving took place within a 4 mile radius of my home. Outside air temp approx 55-60 degrees F.

Chronology of events this afternoon/evening:

- Washed my car at my mom's house, filled up the tank, came home.
- Had to leave again 15 minutes later, car started with temp gauge abnormally high @ 3/4.
- Drove to meet a friend, car sat in the parking lot about 45 minutes.
- Drove home, temp gauge about 1/2, not as high was it was earlier. Drove an extra couple blocks (normal speed all under 50mph) to see if the temp would creep back up. It did to 2/3.
- Parked in my carport and let it run for a minute with the heater on high. Didn't do much until the radiator fan came on, temp gauge fell to about 1/3.
- Shut the car down, poked around under the hood about 20 minutes, saw nothing unusual. Car does not leak, save for my normal amount of oil out the dizzy.
- Tried to start it. Cranked but did not fire. Cranking sounded normal.
- Called Christian, he said turn the key to ON and see if the fuel pump makes any noise. Not a peep or a buzz or a whine. Nothing.
- Tried to start it a couple more times, 20 minutes apart. No dice.
- Radiator fan no longer comes on when car is off.

So the fuel pump's silence is ominous, but my inner "keep it simple stupid" knows that would have nothing to do with the overheating. And two systems failing within hours of each other is unlikely. (Plus, I can't say I've ever heard the pump priming before. I did lift up the false trunk floor and get under the rear of the car, and still heard nothing.)

The thermostat, radiator, and AMM have been replaced in the last 12-24 months. AMM is a rebuilt unit from eEuro. Coolant looks good. Oil looks good.

So, I'm thinking coolant temp sensor...? Would that keep the car from starting completely? Does it stick out of the head just below the thermostat, with a white wire attached to the end? Is that part Saab specific or can I get one at any old parts store?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:54 PM   #2
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I've had that sensor unplugged and the car still ran... The coolant temp sensor for the gauge is the one with the single blade connector by the thermostat. The water temp sensor (the blue one on the intake manifold) can cause some weird things to happen including rough running.

As for the overheating, it could be a faulty cooling fan timer... beware of this as you could blow your headgasket very easily if this is bad. It happened in my 88 SPG. If you need a quick fix for the mean time to operate your fan, it's the same plug in connectors as your fog lights and you can use your fog switch to operate the fan. It's a good little temp solution to get you home and there is no custom wiring involved. Simply unplug the fogs, and plug in the connector to the fan.

As to why it's not starting... It could be a number of things. AMM, Fuel pump, Relay, ECU, Ignition Amplifier, etc...
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:14 AM   #3
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Thanks. Where is the fuel pump relay located? Looked briefly last night and didn't see it in the fuse box under the hood.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:34 AM   #4
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The Pump relay is Next to the Main Relay ubove the LH Unit in the right front Passenger side kick pannel behind the carpet, "Door jam side" But after Just Filling it All the way up with Gas i would Most likely suspect a Fuel pump. For some reason they fail more often right after a Fill up.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:35 AM   #5
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Its above the ecu in the passenger side footwell... you will likely need to remove the knee bolster in order to get it to it. There are 2 relays side by side... IIRC, they're tiny and silver and say bosch on them. But you should hear/feel them click when you turn the key to the on position. If you don't hear a click, then one of the relays is likely bad.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:11 AM   #6
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Its above the ecu in the passenger side footwell... you will likely need to remove the knee bolster in order to get it to it. There are 2 relays side by side... IIRC, they're tiny and silver and say bosch on them. But you should hear/feel them click when you turn the key to the on position. If you don't hear a click, then one of the relays is likely bad.
Sorry to Correct but the Fuel pump relay on an 88 will not activate untill an RPM signal it established by the Ignition. The Fuel pump relay will not click just by turning the Key on. It has to see Crankshaft rotation first. LH cars do not funtion like Trionic cars.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:30 AM   #7
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i had the same proble m... it would only start intermediatly .... it was the fuel pump relay ... problem was the relay was semi in ... so it would start sometimes .. amnd sometimes not ... i connected it .... and never had a problem since
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:45 PM   #8
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Diagnosis: Fuel pump.

Shot some brake cleaner in the throttle body and the car started, then sputtered and died. So we're sparking.

Loosened the banjo on the end of the fuel rail and was not sprayed by Shell V Power. No fuel pressure.

Now... to replace the fuel pump and figure out why the car was running hot...
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Old 02-13-2010, 06:52 PM   #9
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The car is likely running hot because the cooling fan timer relay is probably junk. It's a fairly common failure. I could be wrong, but it's a definite possibility.
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:07 PM   #10
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The car is likely running hot because the cooling fan timer relay is probably junk. It's a fairly common failure. I could be wrong, but it's a definite possibility.
Thanks. A long time ago I was gifted a bag of random relays and switches. Need to go through it. It'd be nice if that one was in there.
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:55 PM   #11
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Diagnosis: Fuel pump.
Told ya so.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Thanks. A long time ago I was gifted a bag of random relays and switches. Need to go through it. It'd be nice if that one was in there.
No prob... let us know if that was the problem or not or if it was something else . Good luck man...
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:43 AM   #13
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Told ya so.
Adding to your title of Paint Whisperer, you are The Oracle.

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No prob... let us know if that was the problem or not or if it was something else . Good luck man...
Gracias, will do.
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Jeff, if you need any help with this let me know. I find myself with quite a bit of free time lately...

Also, just a thought but are the fuel pump and cooling fan relays related? From what I've read it could still be the fuel pump relay, not the pump, causing the no start so the cooling fan relay failing around the same time would be oddly coincidental.
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:27 AM   #15
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Jeff, if you need any help with this let me know. I find myself with quite a bit of free time lately...
Thanks, I might just take you up on that. The Haynes doesn't rate a fuel pump as too difficult, but I'm pretty short on tools (and know-how).

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Also, just a thought but are the fuel pump and cooling fan relays related? From what I've read it could still be the fuel pump relay, not the pump, causing the no start so the cooling fan relay failing around the same time would be oddly coincidental.
Yeah, the coincidental timing was strange to me as well. I talked to our buddy Lyle and he said in all his years of Saabs, he's never had a fuel pump relay fail, and that it's almost certainly the pump itself. But in the back of my mind there still lies suspicion that these are somehow related. Are those relays connected in any way that might cause both to fail?

Obviously the relay is much cheaper/easier to replace than the pump, so it's worth looking into.
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:34 AM   #16
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Thanks, I might just take you up on that. The Haynes doesn't rate a fuel pump as too difficult, but I'm pretty short on tools (and know-how).



Yeah, the coincidental timing was strange to me as well. I talked to our buddy Lyle and he said in all his years of Saabs, he's never had a fuel pump relay fail, and that it's almost certainly the pump itself. But in the back of my mind there still lies suspicion that these are somehow related. Are those relays connected in any way that might cause both to fail?

Obviously the relay is much cheaper/easier to replace than the pump, so it's worth looking into.
like i was saying earlier .... what happened with my car is that the relay wasnt connected properly .... it might be worth seeing if its properly connected .... just my $0.02
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:41 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aero02 View Post
Jeff, if you need any help with this let me know. I find myself with quite a bit of free time lately...

Also, just a thought but are the fuel pump and cooling fan relays related? From what I've read it could still be the fuel pump relay, not the pump, causing the no start so the cooling fan relay failing around the same time would be oddly coincidental.
No, the cooling fan relay is on the drivers side inner fender... the fuel pump relay is above the ECU under the knee bolster on the pass. side foot well.

The cooling fan relay's do fail very randomly and if you aren't in the habit of checking your coolant temperature every minute or so, get in the habit of it. I learned the hard way driving to work one day in my SPG. I looked down after about 3 - 4 minutes and noticed it was all the way at the top of the gauge, pulled over and the coolant tank was overflowing through the cap and everything else. It was baddddd. That turned into a very catastrophic head gasket failure in a very short amount of time.
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:43 PM   #18
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No, the cooling fan relay is on the drivers side inner fender... the fuel pump relay is above the ECU under the knee bolster on the pass. side foot well.

The cooling fan relay's do fail very randomly and if you aren't in the habit of checking your coolant temperature every minute or so, get in the habit of it. I learned the hard way driving to work one day in my SPG. I looked down after about 3 - 4 minutes and noticed it was all the way at the top of the gauge, pulled over and the coolant tank was overflowing through the cap and everything else. It was baddddd. That turned into a very catastrophic head gasket failure in a very short amount of time.
I check my temp gauge very frequently. Side effect of being on my 3rd car with a turbo/boost gauge. Never get tired of watching [in a Jeremy Clarkson voice] powerrrrrrrr.
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Old 02-14-2010, 02:02 PM   #19
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^ Good good... It's a very good habit to have no matter what car you are driving. Hopefully the relay is the culprit so it's an easy fix.
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:28 AM   #20
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Adding to your title of Paint Whisperer, you are The Oracle.
I think it was more of a lucky guess on my part haha, what is the latest on your plans to fix her?
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