My Saab story

So my son has a 93 Saab… my wife was driving it home the other day and one of the radiator hoses burst, steam rolled out from under the hood and the car died. She had no idea what had happened so she called my brother and they pushed it into a nearby driveway till I could look at it. The next day I found the busted hose and replaced it, but the car still will not start? We pulled it home with my truck and a chain. Of coarse on that car the distributor cap is right above the hose that burst so I assumed water got into the cap. I took off the distributor cap and though it seemed mostly dry I wiped it out anyway and let it air dry for a while. After putting it back together it still will not start? I have no idea what to do next or what to try? Please help!

Does the engine turn over?

anti-freeze is oily in nature and the hose that blew could have contaminated the cap and or coil. get some carburator cleaner and remove all the wires from the cap, remove the cap remembering how they go back on, spray down the cap and inside the distributor and wipe all surfaces down. reinstall all wires and put the cap back on with wires…try to start the car. if it doesn’t start check for spark from the coil wire with someone cranking the car while you hold the coil wire with an insulated pliers close to the cap. if you have spark than you can eliminate that as a problem. again antifreeze is oily in nature and if your hose blew than you more than likely have antifreeze coated over everything under the hood. remember antifreeze is highly toxic to dogs and cats and they like its sweet taste but they will die a horrible death so clean and rinse all areas.

Hopefully, like you say, it’s just an electrical problem from the moisture. Usually a few days in warm weather is all that is required to evaporate the problem away, after removing whatever is visible with a rag. But it’s possible that the coolant level decreased enough that the engine experienced a major overheating before the driver noticed the problem. In which case the failure to start could be the head gasket has sprung a leak or some other major problem.

The first thing a mechanic would do after a visual inspection would probably be to check for spark. Then a compression test. Best of luck.