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#1 2020-12-16 10:55:26

COxxKitten
Member
Registered: 2020-12-08
User Number: 47109
Posts: 7

Saabaru exhaust problems/ cold start problems

Hi frens!

I'm a new owner of a 2005 Saab 92X aero.
We noticed an exhaust leak near the front of the car, don't know if it's before the Cat. We got a code P0420 from the check engine light saying the 'catalyst system efficiency below threshold'.

Over the past few days its been super cold in CO, in the morning the drive to work has been 3-9 degrees F. The car has been having a REALLY hard time starting in the cold. This morning it turned over 4 or 5 times before catching and staying on. I feel like it only does this in the cold. I have read other forums and they say its a thing, just turn the car on for a sec then start the engine, etc.
Also this morning driving up a steep hill, pushing it to stay speed, it totally died. The engine turned off and by the time we pulled over all the lights on the dash turned on. It started up and ran just fine after it did that.

I've only had this car a little over a week and it sounded like the previous owner kept up with it but the more time goes by the more problems it's having.  unamused

Any advice?? I'm looking into replacing the whole exhaust I just don't know if that's going to solve everything. Do you think the exhaust and starting are related? I heard something about some cars having back pressure, and the exhaust leak might be messing with that, in turn the car has a hard time starting?
Do other people have this hard of a time when starting their cars in below freezing conditions?

All advice accepted, I just need some answers  neutral

*posted in general discussion as well*

Last edited by COxxKitten (2020-12-16 12:13:54)


2005 Saab 9-2x Aero
embeer My first car embeer

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#2 2020-12-16 11:46:45

drewsro
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From: NW Indiana
Registered: 2014-01-10
User Number: 13600
Posts: 1812

Re: Saabaru exhaust problems/ cold start problems

Sounds like you have multiple issues. The first is an exhaust leak before the O2 sensor, which would throw the code. The second sounds like a battery or alternator issue. How old is the battery? Is the alternator working properly?


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#3 2020-12-16 12:02:49

COxxKitten
Member
Registered: 2020-12-08
User Number: 47109
Posts: 7

Re: Saabaru exhaust problems/ cold start problems

Don't know where the exhaust leak is coming from, but I also haven't gotten under to see where everything is yet. I'm taking to a muffler shop to see why the code is getting thrown with a diagnostic check. I just don't want to spend a ton of money just for the car to still have problems in the cold, which is what I'm mainly worried about.

The battery looks fairly new but I don't know when it was replaced. The alternator seems to work fine other than in the cold. Once it has run and gotten up to temp it has no problems starting or staying on, at least that I have noticed..
I haven't thought of the alternator though, I'll look more into that.


2005 Saab 9-2x Aero
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#4 2020-12-16 12:15:08

krazykarguy
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From: South of North Carolina
Registered: 2007-04-06
User Number: 1944
Posts: 8723

Re: Saabaru exhaust problems/ cold start problems

My Aero also cranked for longer than normal when it was cold out in Vermont...


2005 Aero 5MT
2014 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6MT - Sterling Gray Metallic - 475hp of crowd munching fun

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#5 2020-12-16 12:19:07

COxxKitten
Member
Registered: 2020-12-08
User Number: 47109
Posts: 7

Re: Saabaru exhaust problems/ cold start problems

krazykarguy wrote:

My Aero also cranked for longer than normal when it was cold out in Vermont...

Cranked?


2005 Saab 9-2x Aero
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#6 2020-12-16 12:53:51

Rich-N-AZ
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From: Arizona
Registered: 2013-10-25
User Number: 11897
Posts: 141

Re: Saabaru exhaust problems/ cold start problems

COxxKitten wrote:

krazykarguy wrote:

My Aero also cranked for longer than normal when it was cold out in Vermont...

Cranked?

How long the starter turns the engine before it runs on its own.

Last edited by Rich-N-AZ (2020-12-16 15:05:04)


05 Aero | Black | 4EAT: Level 10 Bulletproof Torque Converter & Valvebody | Pro tuned Stage II | Invidia Q300
05 Aero | ~Satin Gray Metallic Matte Blue Metallic | 5MT | 2.5 hybrid | Delicious FlexFuel | Pro tuned Stage III  | Invidia Q300
19 Outback Touring 3.6R  | White  | Stock (so far)

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#7 2020-12-16 13:11:51

dotmaster206
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From: Denver, CO
Registered: 2012-03-10
User Number: 7123
Posts: 2145

Re: Saabaru exhaust problems/ cold start problems

I agree with drewsro, these are not directly related. A leaky exhaust definitely shouldn't cause your engine to shut down during normal driving.

The hill part is a red herring - don't think that matters either.

It definitely sounds like you have a charging problem i.e. your alternator is not working well enough. That explains the shutdown when you were going up the hill. You were able to drive until your battery died because it wasn't being charged enough. Once the battery died, no more spark/fuel pump/ecu and the car shut down. That's why all the lights went out as well. You'll probably need to replace the alternator and the battery as well. That also explains hard starting in the cold - your battery has been damaged by the low-efficiency of your dying alternator and has been at a low state of charge for a while. The effect of that is particularly noticeable in the cold when you have the combination of a cold engine that is harder to turn over fast enough to start and a weaker battery (lower temps = reduced amps available).

I would be aiming at fixing the alternator/battery before dealing with the exhaust. That's the bigger problem that already left you stranded once.

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#8 2020-12-25 19:47:37

COxxKitten
Member
Registered: 2020-12-08
User Number: 47109
Posts: 7

Re: Saabaru exhaust problems/ cold start problems

UPDATE:

We stopped driving it the day it died on us. We were supposed to go to a friends house and change the oil, check the spark plugs and alternator... buuuuttt it didn't start, at all.. We were gonna change the oil because I went to grease monkey and bought their most expensive oil, which happened to be Mobil1. I read later on a forum our cars don't like mobil1.

We try to start it every day to mix up what's in there but we have only gotten it 1 time in the last week. The time we got it was the only time is was over like 40 degrees. I'm still pretty convinced it has to do with the cold.

I also think it has to do with not priming the engine right. When I turn on the cars electricals you can hear a whirling (fuel pump?) and normally I think when the fuel pump primes correct it whirls and immediately stops but when it stops now the sound just dies down/ fades.

Sooo torn on what to do, I'm thinking of just taking it to a shop and spending lots of $$ to get it fixed. I just don't want to take it there, pay a lot and not have the problem solved. This is how I feel ->  banghead

Last edited by COxxKitten (2020-12-26 12:54:38)


2005 Saab 9-2x Aero
embeer My first car embeer

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#9 2020-12-25 22:15:25

itsnotmeitsyou
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From: San Antonio, Texas
Registered: 2011-07-31
User Number: 5779
Posts: 2653

Re: Saabaru exhaust problems/ cold start problems

Well, not that it's a solution... but back when I first got my e85 tune I had major issues starting in the cold.  Later resolved with a better tune, but in the mean time I found myself at the bottom of a driveway blocking my sister in her garage.  My fix was to get several large pots of hot water and poor them over the engine block.  You can also get a block heater installed for those cold morning starts if you have electrical plug nearby.


2005 Saab 9-2x Aero:  More than you've had done to your car.
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#10 2020-12-26 09:33:42

Rodman
Member
From: Long Island
Registered: 2006-03-01
User Number: 1046
Posts: 2619

Re: Saabaru exhaust problems/ cold start problems

I wonder if timing belt jumped on it ?


2005 satin gray metalic aero, sold. 06 wrx, adios!
2005 black aero, rescue project, jdm EJ205 avcs.
2005 desert silver aero, traded.
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