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Old 03-13-2015, 09:27 AM   #1
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Random no start. What the frick frack?

I know there are tons of similar threads here, but I thought I'd just throw this out there and hope someone knows what the hell is going on.

I've had a no start/just cranking problem going on with my '02 Saab 9-3 for the last couple of months. It's a pretty random problem, but usually happens when I go to take my break in the afternoon after it's been sitting for a few hours.

All lights and electronics come on and it will just crank and crank and crank. If I leave it alone for a couple of hours I can usually start it then. Jumping the car doesn't work, but push starting it does. It got a new fuel pump 50k miles ago, I had my mechanic check the CPS and all my lines - all fine. Just got a new ignition hoping that would fix it. Nope. I was stuck at a grocery store last night for about four hours until I got fed up and started trying random things. Finally just disconnected/reconnected the positive battery cable and the car started after that.

So does this sound like a situation anyone has ever encountered or heard of? I don't have much mechanical know how and researching on the internet only gets you so far. Plus, I live in the boondocks of Missouri where 75% of the mechanics have never even heard of a Saab. Help.
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:47 AM   #2
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Sounds like maybe the check-valves on the fuel-pump.
occasionally, I have a similar issue. cranking for a couple seconds, letting off, and cranking again usually primes it, and gets the car started.

Have you had anyone try to diagnose it in person?
Is there fuel pressure @ the rail?
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Old 03-13-2015, 03:46 PM   #3
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I've tried doing that and it doesn't work. I have a mechanic who has some experience with foreign cars and he said my fuel pump checked out. But I'll have him take another look at the check-valves. He seems to be just as stumped as I am.
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:36 PM   #4
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The check valves just eventually allow the fuel to drain back out of the lines and into the gas tank. They shouldn't cause a no-start, just a long start. Have him check fuel pressure with car off, while the key is on, and then while cranking. That'll rule out fuel pump problems quickly.
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Old 03-15-2015, 03:37 AM   #5
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The cps is usually a replacement item. Is it an automatic? Look at the neutral safety switch, it shows up usually after the car is hot. If you can find it, there is a trick with a squirting water or a liquid on it and it starts if your stuck. I've had a bad/rusty connection at the starter on the red wire.
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:29 PM   #6
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Yeah, you can't really "check" a cps unless you can read the crank single (tech 2 maybe) but an easy thing to check is: watch the tachometer when you are cranking the engine. It will bounce up and down if the CPS is working.
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Old 03-18-2015, 05:41 AM   #7
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It's a manual. I'm not sure if the tach is bouncing or not. I'm usually too busy banging my head on the steering wheel in frustration.

I did manage to get the car started this morning, so I'm gonna make the drive to Springfield and take it to Taliaferro Imports. Hopefully, they'll be able to diagnose the problem.

One thought I had - the guy I bought the car from kept meticulous records, but there's no receipt for a DIC. Could it be going bad? From what I've read on here my car seems to be exhibiting a lot of those symptoms.
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:40 AM   #8
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I very much doubt the DIC is from 2001-2002, it was probably replaced during the recalls in 2006-7?
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Old 03-18-2015, 10:10 AM   #9
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I very much doubt the DIC is from 2001-2002, it was probably replaced during the recalls in 2006-7?
The guy bought it midway through 2006 so it's entirely possible that the DIC was replaced during the recalls. Even so that would have been around 7 years ago.

Got to Taliaferro and they couldn't replicate the no start. Of course. So I left it there and they're gonna work on it. It was nice to see Saab people again!
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Old 03-18-2015, 02:42 PM   #10
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They know whats up over at Taliaferro as long as they're not distracted by non-saabs!
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Old 02-21-2016, 03:14 PM   #11
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2003 9-3SE convertible sometimes will not start

when key is put into ignition and turned to start, car does not start-no sound but electricals go on. If we wait an hour or so, it then starts.
New ignition switch was put in but problem still happened intermittently. Fixed a loose wire in the ignition switch but problem was not solved.

Can anyone help us.
Thanks
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Old 02-21-2016, 04:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by isabellesiegel View Post
when key is put into ignition and turned to start, car does not start-no sound but electricals go on. If we wait an hour or so, it then starts.
New ignition switch was put in but problem still happened intermittently. Fixed a loose wire in the ignition switch but problem was not solved.

Can anyone help us.
Thanks
Hey! My problem ended up being the CPS. I'd recommend taking it to a Saab mechanic and having them test it. I got a new part and now my car is running perfectly!
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