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  1. #1
    Saab Enthusiast Kazamario's Avatar
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    Help - Sputtering on cold start, runs fine after that

    Good Afternoon SW,

    2004 Saab 9-5 Aero

    2 days ago, she started sputtering when starting cold, but it runs fine after that, Ill pull the CEL codes (if there are any) and post later.
    In teh meantime, Im thinking, dirty Air Filter (I have the one from GS installed), or fouled plugs, or DIC.
    She runs smooth on the highway, and when its warm, and I restart her, she starts normally.

    Anyone have any input?

    Thanks,

    Mario

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  2. #2
    Saab Enthusiast
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    19 Jul 2015
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    1997 NG 900 SE
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    Don't think air filter, DIC, always a suspect. And on the fuel side, the check valve makes the list. Having problems after car sits a bit?

    Sent from my LG-K373 using Tapatalk

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  3. #3
    Saab Enthusiast Kazamario's Avatar
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    That is correct South, if I restart when car is warm, no issues.
    Car runs fine after starting. No sputtering, no perceivable performance loss. 29.4 MPG average

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  4. #4
    Saab Enthusiast Kazamario's Avatar
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    What check valve is this you speak of? The ones on top of the fuel pump? Do you have an image/link to the check valve?

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  5. #5
    Saab Enthusiast
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    1997 NG 900 SE
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    It's the supply side check valve, the white one on the fuel pump. Inexpensive part. Check eEuroparts. Common symptoms: when cold, car is hard to start. Runs fine, restarts fine, warm starts fine. Check valve not holding pressure, leaking down over time. To counter symptoms, needed to prime system 2 or 3 times before cranking: turn key on, listen for pump to prime then stop. Turn key off. Repeat. After 2/3 times, should start. That's check valve. PITA to replace.

    Sent from my LG-K373 using Tapatalk

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  6. #6
    Saab Enthusiast Kazamario's Avatar
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    I replaced the fuel pump and I have both the sending and return valves in bags uninstalled. They looked like a huge PITA to change!
    Murphy's law will dictate that is would be the issue of course.
    I'll update as soon as I can.

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  7. #7
    Saab Enthusiast
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    (I'll try this again. Tried to edit and it erased.)

    It's the supply side that's the problem. To replace, relieve the pressure by loosening one of the fuel filter connections, or pulling the fuel pump fuse, start the car and run it until it quits.

    Cut the fuel pipe above the last ridge on the check valve leaving a flare. Once pipe is free, remove the retaining clip. Then carefully pry open the clip on pump, and wiggle the old valve out. Use WD-40 to lube. Using a heat source (hair dryer, boiling water, heat gun), heat pipe end enough to insert check valve in, using flare to start it. It will take skill and patience. If you are like me and have neither, use a small section of 1/4" or 5/16" inner diameter EFI(fuel injection) hose and insert pipe and check valve in the ends, using lube (it will be tight). Use hose clamps to secure. Carefully insert new check valve in fuel pump, replace the retainer, prime the system a few times, start car. You're good to go.

    BTW, check other posts on different sites to see how others did theirs. May be a better way. Also, you can also replace the entire fuel pipe from pump to filter which includes the check valve and filter banjo fitting, but I believe it requires the fuel tank to be movable to thread the pipe to the filter

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  8. #8
    Saab Enthusiast Kazamario's Avatar
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    Thank you South!

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  9. #9
    Saab Enthusiast Kazamario's Avatar
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    If I change this, and it still does it, could it be the Fuel Pressure Regulator?

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  10. #10
    Saab Enthusiast
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    1997 NG 900 SE
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    The symptoms of a bad FPR is usually running rich, blackish smoke. Bad FPRs have a torn diaphragm. It's not electrical, vacuum actuated. Check the vacuum line going into it, pulling one end and see if any gas is in the hose. If so, it's busted.

    More obscure causes could be a dirty throttle body, especially around the butterfly. A throttle butterfly valve that's not operating smoothly can cause issues.

    Intermittent spark at ignition could also be a cause. If you haven't checked the plugs to see how they are doing, now's the time. Assuming you have good plugs, check the gaps. Too large a gap, or worn plugs can cause sketchy ignition. While you have the DIC off, check the contact with the plugs by looking at the springs. Yes, springs. Believe it or not, a spring is the only thing that transfers current to the plugs. And plugs are not just plugs, they are sensors. Ionization is measured by the plugs between cycles, acting as a knock sensor. That's why plugs are critical. Make sure contact is good between spring and plug.

    Anyway, that's too much science. If you are certain that gas is getting to injectors, and it's sparking, the components are good, then check for loose/old vacuum hoses. Don't think that's it, but it never hurts to check.

    I suspect if the fuel supply it's good, the fault is probably ignition. Check plugs carefully.

    And lastly, if you are not using good premium gas, and I do mean top tier, like Shell, Exxon, etc, shame on you! If you buy budget gas, put some Techron in the tank. It's the only snake oil gas treatment that actually works. Top tier gas has it or the equivalent. It has solved more than a few cold start problems. If you are using good gas, n/m. Just had to put it out there to cover everything I can think of.

    Sent from my LG-K373 using Tapatalk

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