1999 SAAB 9-3



November, 10, 2009 AT 8:07 PM

Engine Performance problem
1999 Saab 9-3 repair Question 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 115000 miles


I my 9-3 ran great one day and wouldn't start the next. It cranks but doesn't run.
Troubleshooting performed so far:
1. Cleaned battery terminals
2. Reseated Direct Ignition Cassette
3. Moved gear shift several times through park to drive and attempted to start in park and neutral without success.
4. Checked fuses
5. Sprayed carb cleaner in the throttle body and car ran for a few seconds
6. Pulled banjo connector from the engine side of the fuel filter and turned ignition on. Fuel ran out of fuel filter.
7. Replaced Fuel Pressure Regulator

My question is; where do I go from here? I've heard that there isn't a way to connect a fuel pressure gauge to one of these cars because they don't have shrader valve connections on the fuel rail. How do mechanics check fuel pressure on a car without a connection available? I'm also wondering if the ECM could have failed and how I'd test that as well.



3 Answers



November, 11, 2009 AT 8:28 AM

U will need to perform fuel pump test, locate your fuel injector rail, now look in the middle of the rail u will see a valve with a black plastic cap screwed on to it remove cap & fit fuel pressure gauge connector, crank engine over for a few seconds, check gauge reading, if zero replace fuel pump. Due to the test that u did with throttle body this is a sign that your crank posistion sensor is ok, I had overlooked that from your 1st posting, good luck.



November, 11, 2009 AT 6:14 PM

Thanks for your quick reply... I thought I ruled out bad CPS / NSS when I sprayed carb cleaner in the throttle body and the car ran for a few seconds. Is this incorrect?

I thought I was past that and onto fuel pump troubleshooting. My real question was: how do you test fuel pressure on a car that doesn't have a gauge fitting already on it. I went to a discount tool store today and found a fuel pressure gauge kit but it doesnt' appear to have any connectors that will allow me to test my fuel pressure. I later went back to buy a fuel line disconnect tool; hoping that if I could get a line off the fuel rail; I could connect my gauge up to it. Disconnecting the fuel line has eluded me so far...

The tool looks similar to a pair of scissors with half inch rounded flanges at each end. When you close the 'scissors' they form a 5/16" tube on one end and a 3/8" tube on the other. Reading online and talking to some local mechanics led me to believe that by putting the tool against the rubber bushing on the quick connect fitting and pushing the fitting toward the tool while pushing the tool away from the rail would free up the connector and disconnect the line. That didn't happen unfortunately. I spent about a half hour wiggling / pushing the connector toward the tool while pushing the tool away from the rail with no results. (At least it doesn't look like I've damaged anything yet which is a good thing...)

What is the process of removing a quick connect fuel line connector from a fuel rail on a 1999 Saab 9-3 conv with a 2.0L turbo? Thanks in advance for any assistance or insight you can share!



November, 12, 2009 AT 6:42 PM

Thanks for trying. I'm sure that Crank Position Sensor is the cause for fuel delivery problems in Saab 9-3's more times than not. It just didn't turn out to be the issue with my vehicle.

After days of searching I finally found a schematic drawing that showed common types of fuel line quick connectors. The type that Saab uses has rubber bushings that are pushed into the metal quick connectors to prevent debris and dirt from getting into them.

To disconnect a fuel li ne from a Saab 9-3 fuel rail: 1. Disconnect the vacuum line to the evap module so you can free up some room over the fuel lines.
2. Free up the metal connectors and rubber bushings by swiveling them back and forth around the fuel line. (This will help prevent you from damaging these parts when you actually remove them.)
3. Take a pair of pliers, (I used needle nose because there isn't much room in there.), And grab hold of one of the 3 rubber tabs that stick out perpendicularly on the bushing's side and pull the bushing up over the flair in the fuel line toward the fuel rail. You might spin the bushing as you pull it up so you don't end up tearing it. You want to pull it up enough so you can get a box end wrench between the bushing and the metal connector.
4. Insert a small wrench between the rubber bushing and the metal quick connector and finish lifting the bushing up over the flair toward the fuel rail so you'll have enough room to insert the fuel line disconnect tool. (See picture in previous post.)
5. Insert the disconnect tool into the opening of the metal quick connector and push the quick connector up onto the tool. (There appear to be 4 metal tabs distributed around the inside of the connector that snap over another flairing that is lower on the fuel line. By pushing the connector up onto the disconnect tool, you actually move those tabs back so they can slide over the flair.)
6. Push and twist the line and tool away from the fuel rail at the same time.

The fuel line will then come off.

NOW we can test the fuel pressure!

I purchased a cheap fuel pressure gauge test kit from Harbor Freight for about $16.99. I've heard you can also rent one from Autozone but I'm not sure what type adapters come with it so it might not work. You'll want an adapter that will allow you to connect the gauge inline with the fuel line. Mine came with a metal connector that resembles the fuel line on both ends so all I did was hook the quick connector from the fuel supply line to one end of it and then connected the other end to the fuel rail via a 3/8" diameter piece of rubber tubing (included in the kit.). The gauge screws perpendicularly into the metal connector tube. From there I hooked my battery up and turned my ignition switch to on. The fuel pump pressurized the line and I got my EXTREMELY low reading which confirmed that my fuel pump was bad.

Thankfully I already ordered a fuel pump which should be delivered in the next couple days, (good luck trying to find one locally.). I didn't order the whole assembly and plan to rebuild mine. Now I can drain my fuel tank and drop it in preparation for fuel pump replacement.

I posted this reply for any Saab owner that happens to run into the same issue I did. Hopefully the troubleshooting I've outlined will provide some guidance as you attempt to troubleshoot your fuel delivery issue.


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