Don’t get me wrong, I love my little Dumpster Fire... but this is the only car I’ve owned that has been on a tow truck with cause. (We don’t discuss the Scout). I’ve done some investigation onto it’s shit taking on Monday, and here is where we’re at.
As expected, it wasn’t just one thing that brought the Saab back to non-running status. It was a comedy of errors that resulted in the eventual breakdown.
On the way home from work I stopped and filled a jerry can with gas. After empying said can into the Saab I tried starting... and it started!
There didn’t seem to be a pattern to the dying, other than it seemed to be when I jostled the car. Eventually it ran long enough to hear the sounds of distress and chaos from the trunk.
“Wait,” you may say, “Wasn’t the fuel pump why the Saab broke down when you were out with those other nerds on a drive? Didn’t you already do this? Are you re-using content!?”
And you are right to be confused, dear reader. The feed pump died on the Saab Club drive and had to be replaced. The main fuel pump was replaced by my mechanic at the start of this project (at great expense) and seemed fine.
Now it does not seem fine.
It sounded like the pump was sucking marbles, which in my mind means it is sucking air... which doesn’t make sense. Plan is to pick up another 5 gallons of gas and see if that smooths out. An OEM fuel pump runs about $350 so it is in my best interest to make sure that isn’t the problem. (Un)Fortunately we have a number of other issues to look into before that...
Does work... just not well. When I broke down I was at just at a 1/4 tank. Or possible empty? In retrospect I remembered it needed gas somewhat alarmingly when I parked it, but when I dove it to work it was sitting just above a 1/4. The conclusion we can reach here is the fuel sender cannot be trusted.
Unfortunately, replacements are not readily available for my year, so we’re going to just need to be more careful with the fuel level from now on.
All that said, adding gas to the party didn’t fix the problem, which leads us to...
After playing with the mix (which I knew was dumb!) I was able to get the car to run better than it has in a long time, but the performance was really inconsistent. This and the high idle led me to believe I had a vacuum leak somewhere. Luckily, I’d already ordered a smoke injector thingy (which will eventually get its own post) and it had arrived that day, so I set to work looking for the leak.
You would think I would have known better.
In reality I found two leaking grommets and two leaking hose clamps before the smoke injector destroyed itself. New parts are on the way, both for the smoke injector and the Saab.
Hot Start Issue
Exacerbating the whole issue of the car dying, I knew I had an issue with the starter. Sometimes when you turn the key all you get is a clicking noise and a sort of straining sound. In my mind, this means the starter solenoid is having issues. I actually spelled this out earlier, so I am going to try linking that. (Just read the last part if you want to get to the bulk of it)
So yeah, my plan is to not drive it until the hot start relay is in place.
I’ll spare you the long saga here, but the basics are the Saab has been overheating on and off for a while now. I’ve replaced just about everything thinking “it can’t be the radiator”.
It is probably the radiator.
Since I’m doing it, I might as well do everything that hasn’t been done. New thermo-switch, hoses, radiator, and a Saab branded thermostat go in as soon as I can find the time. Also will probably go ahead and switch it from glycol to G-05, so at least three of the four kids run the same coolant.
I tried doing that Tuesday evening only to discover I was missing a coolant hose. I got it on order, but it won’t show until Friday, so I opted to spend my time on other projects.
Uhh the floorboard was super wet, so i assume the sunroof drain has clogged again.
Honestly none of these are huge deals, except maybe the radiator, I just need to find the time to do them. The Alfa gets priority starting Sunday buuuut I just sent my side project off to fab, so I should have some time... at least for a bit.
Project Dumpster Fire will burn on!