How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Stephen D Your Own Question

Stephen D
Stephen D, Auto Mechanic
Category: Saab
Satisfied Customers: 645
Experience:  5+ years managing an import auto repair shop. Lots of Saab experience.
Type Your Saab Question Here...
Stephen D is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

91 Saab 9000: Turbo..rpms up to 3k to keep it running..wouldnt start

Customer Question

I have a 91 Saab 9000 Turbo. I ran it through a carwash 2 days ago and after leaving the wash the engine died and wouldn't restart. After letting it sit for an hour it started but I have to keep the rpm's up to 3k to keep it running, after I let it die it wouldn't start. I let it sit for 30 minutes and it'll start, but gotta keep it to 3k again. Changed plugs, no change. When running it runs very rough, like it's only on 2 or 3 plugs. Alot of black smoke too.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Saab
Expert:  Stephen D replied 2 years ago.
Hello, thank you for again choosing Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help with your Saab run problem.

After reading your description of the problem and the antecedent, I strongly suspect that your distributor cap got moisture inside and has some carbon tracking that is interrupting the ignition. Since you have already checked electrical connectors and replaced the plugs, go ahead and replace the distributor cap and rotor. This is basic maintenance and will likely solve your problem.

If that does not do the trick, you will need to look a little deeper. Basically, remove every electrical connector and use a hair dryer to try and remove any moisture that may be lurking where you cannot see it. You must assume that water is the cause of the problem until it has been completely eliminated as a possibility.

With that said, I think the cap and rotor will do the trick. That is where I would start were it my car.

I hope my answer is helpful. Let me know if you have any additional questions.

Best Regards,
Stephen
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry, I just noticed I didn't put this in my information. This car has a direct ignition system on it. Where else would I look for moisture? I'm thinking I may need a new coil setup.
Expert:  Stephen D replied 2 years ago.
Okay, that certainly makes a difference.

On the direct ignition cars, the entire system is housed in your DI cassette. Because the engine will run, I don't suspect that the various sensors providing information to the computer are faulty; they will typically fail or function.

As you suspect, you may indeed need to replace the ignition cassette. Unfortunately, the 'test' for these cassettes is to swap the unit with a known good one and see if the problem is solved. Were it my car, I would find a good used DIC on e-bay, rather than drop $200+ on a new one. If it solves the problem, just keep driving. If not, you can always sell it to recoup your cost and delve deeper into the Saab electronics.

In any event, I wish you luck.

-Stephen
Stephen D, Auto Mechanic
Category: Saab
Satisfied Customers: 645
Experience: 5+ years managing an import auto repair shop. Lots of Saab experience.
Stephen D and 2 other Saab Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi again, I'm sure you have lots of questions, but I have a follow-up. I got the new direct ignition coil pack, put it on, the car starts and even idles, not totally smoothly, but a big improvement, so its a good start. But, the big issue now is even though it idles, and I can rev it without any problems, when I try to drive I can get to second gear and then it sputters and dies. I've let the car warm up and everything with no change. Could the bad coil pack "carboned" up anything I should clean ? As mentioned in the original write up I was getting LOTS of black smoke before. My neighbor mentioned a possible cat backup or clog. Is that very possible? Thanks for advice and help.
Expert:  Stephen D replied 2 years ago.
I would pull the plugs and clean them if they are soot covered. With black smoke, they are likely not functioning at full capacity.

It is certainly possible that you have a clogged exhaust (usually the cat). You can do the most basic test for this. With the car idling, hold your hand a few inches from the exhaust pipe (don't burn yourself). Have a helper rev the engine to around 3,000 rpm. The amount of exhaust pressure should be significantly greater off idle. You can do the same test with another car to get an idea of the difference to expect.

Black smoke usually indicates a very rich situation. Check your fuel pressure regulator. Connect a piece of vacuum line to the vacuum port, if you don't have a vacuum pump with leak down gauge, just suck on the line and listen for the valve to close. Hold the vacuum there to see if it leaks down. Be careful, because sometimes you can get a mouth full of gas if the valve is leaking into the vacuum line.

I'm really glad to hear that the car is running better after a new DIC. That means you weren't chasing your tail. Hopefully the plugs are just fouled; that would be lucky. Let me know if I can help troubleshoot any more from here.

All the Best,
Stephen
Stephen D, Auto Mechanic
Category: Saab
Satisfied Customers: 645
Experience: 5+ years managing an import auto repair shop. Lots of Saab experience.
Stephen D and 2 other Saab Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ok, new plugs, and a new throttle position sensor (bought one 6 months ago, just warrantied it for free, figured it wouldn't hurt), but no changes. No smoke, but it still just sputters and an occassional backfire. Exhaust seems ok to me. It kinda seems like only a couple of the plugs are sparking, I could be wrong, but that is how it's acting. Checked fuel pressure, that seems good too.

 

What can I do next?

Expert:  Stephen D replied 2 years ago.
Now it is time to get back to basics. Your engine (like all gasoline engines) requires fuel, air, ignition, compression, and timing to function properly.

We know the engine is getting air, we assume that fuel is being properly delivered, ignition is new and should be fully functional, timing is controlled by the computer. From here, I would test compression to be sure it is not a problem. Also, remove the DIC, connect your old spark plugs, ground them against metal on the engine, crank the engine and watch for spark. All of the plugs should spark bright blue.

The only other possibility I can think of off hand is fuel injectors. You can have good, regulated, fuel pressure and a faulty injector can still cause problems.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, thanks for all the answers and suggestions, made another payment today to make sure I'm taking care of you.

New status, after running the car for a bit, still very rough, and we spray carb cleaner around the lines to check for vacuum leaks, nothing. But we did notice a very STRONG smell of gas and the exhaust is again blowing black, fuel rich exhaust. Did the spark test, all are sparking, but the new plugs, (only 4 days old) are soot covered like the old ones. I def have some kind of fuel issue. We're considering MAP Sensor or even Crank/Cam Sensor.

Thoughts ?

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
< Last | Next >
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
  • used your service this weekend with "Trecers" help. thank you ,thank you, thank you. replaced an A/C fan motor. Local Auto Zone had part. $15.00 "tracer" fee and $40.00 for parts, I saved several hundreds of dollers at a shop. i will recommend you and use you in the future. David L. Richmond, TX
  • 9 dollars, 2 hours of my time, and I drove away. Your diagnosis was right on the mark. Thank you so much. Phil Marysville, CA
  • Lurch. Thank you very much. I had real doubts about this website but your promptness of response, quick followup and to the point answer with picture was incredible. Charles Walnut Creek, CA
  • As a single woman, I really appreciate an excellent and affordable opinion.
    Thank you Geordie, I will not hesitate to contact justanswer in the future!
    Sue Charleston, WV
  • Another great insight to what may be the problem. I will have my mechanic take a look at it tomorrow. Thanks again, Frank...you do indeed know your stuff. Jim Castleberry, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Mark N

    Saab Master Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    117
    30+ years experience on all models of Saabs!
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/Mnicotera/2009-8-26_21304_P1010218.JPG Mark N's Avatar

    Mark N

    Saab Master Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    117
    30+ years experience on all models of Saabs!
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JE/jeffrey590/2012-6-8_2233_JAPhoto.64x64.jpg jeffrey590's Avatar

    jeffrey590

    Master Saab Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1522
    ASE Master Technician , Saab Master Technician w/ 35 years Dealer Experience in Advanced Level Diag.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/35/350matt/2012-6-7_182356_matsavatr.64x64.jpg 350matt's Avatar

    350matt

    Engineer - BEng Hons

    Satisfied Customers:

    232
    Mechanical Engineer with 20 years experience in the auto industry, 8 yrs in formula 1 engine testing
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MI/mikeamechanic/2013-4-2_175558_photo.64x64.JPG Mike Kelly's Avatar

    Mike Kelly

    Saab Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    186
    17 years experience as an auto mechanic, foreign and domestic. 5 years running my own repair business.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/tsmodie/2009-6-10_144056_tim.jpg Tim Mohr's Avatar

    Tim Mohr

    ASE MASTER

    Satisfied Customers:

    149
    30 YEARS EXPERIENCE, FORIEGN AND DOMESTIC, GAS AND DIESEL
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/JACUSTOMERxuiyyhiy/2011-9-14_25137_CIMG0967.64x64.JPG Stephen D's Avatar

    Stephen D

    Auto Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    75
    5+ years managing an import auto repair shop. Lots of Saab experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/audidoc/2008-12-23_175252_headshot.jpg SaabDoc's Avatar

    SaabDoc

    Independent European shop owner

    Satisfied Customers:

    66
    Over 20 years of experience working with Saabs. Independent European shop owner and technician.