03 Saab 9-5 Aero died on the highway

Hi everyone

Here is my problem and I hope someone can help me!

I was going 65-70MPH on the highway and the engine suddenly shut down. I pulled over on the shoulder and tried to restart but the engine would start for a second then dies again. I tried several times but it would not start. Waited 10 min and tried again with no luck. I called a towing service and a friend to pick me up. The towing guy called me 40 min later and said the car starts fine. I have driven it for couple days since and tried to recreate the problem (warming the engine, accelerating hard to 5000 RPM, stop and go situation) but the car runs great. No problem whatsoever with power or jittering or unstable idle or starting the car.
I talked to 2 mechanics and they both think it is the fuel pump failing. But I am not convinced since I could smell gasoline when I was trying to start it.
I have no check engine light on and I checked for recorded codes with my BT OBDII tool – nothing.

Do you think it might be CPS? Wouldn’t I get check engine light on if it is CPS?

Thank you in advance for the help

You might post this on a SAAB site, see if some 9-5 owners have any ideas. If you were smelling gas I agree, seems more ignition-related.

Thank you!
I did post on saabcetral also but haven’t got any reply so i decided to try here

Was it raining when the car died?

No. It was nice sunny day 75-80F. Why? Do you think it might be a bad connection somewhere?

It is a possibility rain could cause ignition related problems, that is why I was asking. Do you have gauges or idiot lights and remember anything out of the norm? I think the smelling fuel is not a common occurrence?

Nothing different than usual. I smelled the gas when i was trying to start the engine what made me think that there is a problem with igniting the fuel not with the delivery

Did they look at the spark plugs, my first thought is injector issues, you should not be able to smell gas. It was an intermitent problem as far as I can tell, try a sea foam or techron treatment and cross your fingers, sorry I cannot come up with a better resolution.

Thank you!

Saabs have Ignition Cassette that holds the spark plugs and coils and a lot of sensors and cleaning systems in there so if it was a spark plug i’d definitely get check engine light on caused of misfires in some cylinders

Fuel pump, CPS, or unnoticed engine overheating would be my three guesses. If it were my car, I’d do a quick visual of the CPS. If that looked ok, I’d keep an eye on the engine coolant temp dash gauge, see if anything unusual happens on that as I drive on my daily go-a-abouts. If the problem recurs, I’d probably hook up a fuel pressure gauge on the rail and monitor what it is doing. It is entirely possible this problem will not recur. It might have been a bad tank of gas for example. Did you buy the prior tank of gas at a different station than you usually do? Had it been raining a lot prior to when you purchased gasoline last? The station may have a leak which allows ground water to entire their gasoline holding tanks.

Bad gas or dirty fuel filter were my other options. I usually fill up at Shell with 87 or costco with premium. But you are right i personally believe this will never happen again but my wife is driving from time to time with my son and i don’t want them to break down on the road.

Does your car require premium? The problem w/premium is that not a lot is sold, compared to regular. There’s less chance of getting a purchase of contaminated gas if the source tank is constantly being depleted and replenished with fresh gas from the refinery. But if your car requires premium, there isn’t much you can do about that, other than to buy at a station that pumps a lot of premium.

There’s other things that can cause this. Esp in a 10 year old car, there’s a lot of things that can start to go on the fritz. A bad ignition switch is one example. Keep an eye on all the dash gauges, hopefully something will show up. Best of luck.

Thank you
I am thinking of replacing the CPS since it is cheap and easy to do ( cheaper than towing) and eventually the fuel pump also since it is probably time