Car won't start

My car will “turn over” but it won’t start. It’s an 89 Saab T 900. I was driving and stopped at a stop sign and it “died.” It gave no warning, no hesitation the lights on the dash came on. That was it. I turned the key and everything seems to work except it act like its not getting fuel to turn over?

Any suggestions. I just had a new fuel filter replaced (from an old recall.) at the Saab shop. Thanks.

Does anyone have a clue?

Anyone? Help! My car is sitting at the end of my driveway.

Its a Saab and an 89 at that. There is virtually no way to diagnose it in cyber space. If you can determine if it is spark or fuel, that’s half the battle. If it has an electric fuel pump, see if you can hear the pump run momentarily when you turn the key on. Check for spark. Check fuses. There would be a pump relay but without the repair manual with the diagnostics and location. If no fuel most likely a pump or wiring problem so probably time to tow it in.

The newly changed fuel filter may be a clue, may not. How far did you drive it from the shop? It’s possible that when the fuel filter was removed, fuel drained out, and air entered the fuel line. The mechanic should have bled the air from the fuel line after replacing the fuel filter. Now, it may be starved for fuel because of an air block.
You might bleed enough air to get the engine started, if you crank the engine for 15 seconds, let it sit a couple of minuets, crank for 15 seconds, let it sit for a couple of minuets…

I know the make, model, and year of my car. I added that information to help out. I’m not looking for you to diagnose my car. I was just looking for some advice. Just like everyone else on this web site. Thank you for your input. I just need the facts.

Anyone else have any input? Any Saab owner’s?

I drove the car over 50 miles from the shop and about 175 miles since.

If that’s the case why did you post “it won’t start” in the first place?

Roadrunner, I answered the question, “how far did I drive my car from the shop?” from hellokit above. My car WON’T START! I DROVE IT HOME FROM THE SHOP 2 WEEKS AGO. IT’S IRRELEVANT AT THIS POINT BECAUSE IT DROVE JUST FINE FROM THE SHOP AND I’VE DRIVEN IT A FEW TIMES SINCE.
So, Roadrunner, do you have any input related to my question?

No need to shout. ALL CAPS are considered shouting and are hard to read. No one here is paid, we are just trying to help out. Some times after reading message after message without and information of partial information… well you get the idea.

If a car will not start or quits it can be three things.

Lack of spark. While it does not sound like that, it is the easiest to check. Get a new spark plug, pull a spark plug wire off a plug and put the new plug on the wire. Hold the plug threads tightly against the engine block while someone tries to start the car. Note: use a well insulted tool to hold the plug or you will discover what high voltage feels like.

Compression can be checked with a compression tester (not expensive)

Fuel pumps generally come on for a few seconds when you first turn on the ignition. When it is quiet you can listen for it or better yet use a pressure gauge.

We can’t do that testing from here and there is no way we can help you more from here. Someone actually has to have hands on the car at this point. Just be thankful it is not intermittent, that would make it far harder to find.

Thank you. My apologies. The CAPS were directed towards Roadrunners response. I’m just looking for some input here and I’ve gotten very little.


A diagnosis of something must be made before we can give anyone advice on how to repair a fault.

What you gave us was a symptom.

We try to help on this forum and with your attitude that’s not going to last long. Using Caps is a sure fire way to shut down communication.

Pardon me, I must have misunderstood your lack of explanation. All you did is question me. I’ve been on here before and have had a good response. I gave you a symptom not a diagnosis, I already knew that. Going by what I’ve seen here on this “forum” I am not the first one. Mr. Meehan and Hellokit at least answered my question to their best ability. That’s all I was looking for.

It’s obvious I don’t know a whole lot about cars. I thought that’s wht “car talk” was for. Plus it’s the weekend. There’s not a whole lot of people to call.

Hey man, I was just looking for some help, so chill out…

your problem will need further diagnosis.

if you are trying to diagnose this, then the earlier questions are appropo. pulling a plug after cranking will help narrow down the prob.

a wet plug would indicate gas, but no spark.

a dry plug would indicate no gas, but there is spark.

you were asked about the fuel pump. although it may be related, the need for a fuel filter may have been masking a dying fuel pump. does the pump come on when you turn on the key?

To determine if the problem is a lack of fuel, spray Starter Fluid (or, similar product) into the air intake tube on the engine. If it starts and runs a few seconds, yep, it’s a fuel problem. Then, you call your mechanic to find out why, or why not.

Does anyone know if this thing has cam and crank sensors. My Jeep had the same problem, and it turned out to be the cam sensor. $700 fix (troubleshooting charge) for a $37.00 part. GRRRRRRRR!

Thanks guys, for all of your input. I “looked” the engine over really well checking all of the connections. Guess what? I found a loose “plug” around the distributer cap. I don’t even know what it is for. I reconnected
the loose plug and made sure it was connected securely. Then I went to my car and said a prayer before I turned the key. It started and has been fine.

Next I’m getting the steering pump replaced, it’s leeking all over.

Thanks again for all of those who gave me your professional input. Reed