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Saab 93 Frequently Asked Questions 2003-2014

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About the 93 2008 Model Video

[Saab 93]

The 2008 Saab 93 Revealed from Saab cars USA

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Used Saabs and what to look for

[Saab 93]

Purchasing a used Saab can be a coin toss. Reality is that Saabs are very good cars as long as they are taken care of correctly. More often than not people who purchase high end cars just can't afford them regardless of who makes them. Above all things the number one thing to look for is whether or not the individual changed the oil at 5000 miles MAX. We know that some of the recommended service intervals are 10,000 miles but we have seen so many engine issues because of this that we flag any oil changes longer than 5000 miles. Everyone says that oil can last 15,000 miles etc... That may be true but not every car is designed with the type of oil change interval in mind. Most cars have exhaust components right below the engine oil pan which basically cooks the oil in the pan. This heat alone can be catastrophic to the life of engine oil or transmission fluid. You can pull the dipstick out and look at it closely. If it is very dark color (brown) at the base of the dipstick then that is a good indication that the heat has gotten to the dipstick enough that it has baked the oil in the lower part of the engine as well.
You can count on having some issues with Saab ie.... DI Cassettes, Belt pulley issues, Fan speed resistors, SID unit failures etc.. but in the grand scheme of things they are excellent automobiles if maintained correctly.

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Waxing My Saab

[Saab 93]

A special thanks to Matt Hoffman for the contribution of this material!. Kudos to Matt! I did find that using a several step process of the Meguiars' Fine Cut Cleaner #2, followed by Show Car Glaze #7, and two coats of High Gloss Wax #26 I was able to make a lot of really good progress on my '91. There is no clear coat on it that I can find, except on the left front fender which I think was replaced before I got the car. All the products mentioned are in the tan bottles and I used a Craftsman 6" orbital buffer for all applications. I tried a 10" but it was useless except on the roof and parts of the hood. There are just too many curves on the classic 900 to use such a large pad. The cleaner #2 did a really nice job of gently removing the oxidation without going too far. There were still water marks visible after using the cleaner #2 but the #7 glaze appears to have helped blend them in. It's possible that a reapplication of the #2 could eventually remove the water spots, or a rubbing compound, but I'm not ready to give that a shot. Over the past two years I had used the Meguiars ColorX cleaner wax, and on the third use it did make a difference, but the underlying faded paint seemed to nullify the wax after about 5 weeks.

Thanks to Jeff Koss for contributing to this FAQ!

Try using a Clay Bar first!

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Waxing My Saab (copy)

[Saab 93]

A special thanks to Matt Hoffman for the contribution of this material!. Kudos to Matt! I did find that using a several step process of the Meguiars' Fine Cut Cleaner #2, followed by Show Car Glaze #7, and two coats of High Gloss Wax #26 I was able to make a lot of really good progress on my '91. There is no clear coat on it that I can find, except on the left front fender which I think was replaced before I got the car. All the products mentioned are in the tan bottles and I used a Craftsman 6" orbital buffer for all applications. I tried a 10" but it was useless except on the roof and parts of the hood. There are just too many curves on the classic 900 to use such a large pad. The cleaner #2 did a really nice job of gently removing the oxidation without going too far. There were still water marks visible after using the cleaner #2 but the #7 glaze appears to have helped blend them in. It's possible that a reapplication of the #2 could eventually remove the water spots, or a rubbing compound, but I'm not ready to give that a shot. Over the past two years I had used the Meguiars ColorX cleaner wax, and on the third use it did make a difference, but the underlying faded paint seemed to nullify the wax after about 5 weeks.

Thanks to Jeff Koss for contributing to this FAQ!

Try using a Clay Bar first!

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AC Compressor Clutch Replacement

[Saab 93]

AC Compressor clutch replacements usually cost more than compressor replacements because of the cost of the clutches and the cost of the labor added together. In most cases you end up getting a compressor that is about the same cost and may not last as long as a new one. This is why we do not sell compressor clutches.

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AC Compressor Failures

[Saab 93]

AC Compressor failures can be a result of several factors. If a compressor is replaced, be absolutely sure to correct the problem that caused the initial failure to prevent the new compressor from failing also. One of the biggest causes of premature compressor failure is the lack of proper lubricant in the compressor at the initial installation. When a compressor operates normally the fluid in the system actually flows through the entire system not just in the compressor. Most compressors do not have the proper amount of oil in them when they come to you new because different cars require different amounts. Several factors can cause premature compressor failure. Several are listed below:

1 - Too much Freon causes high head pressure & pooling in the condenser or drier which leads to poor flow.
2 - Too small of an amount of lubricant leads to poor lubrication of the compressor and other components.
3 - Clogged condensers release particles into the AC systems causing blockage of components or poor fluid flow.

NOTE: OIL REQUIREMENTS: Seiko-Seiki compressors requires 5 ounces of oil. Sanden SD 508 Compressors require 6 Ounces of Oil. Sanden SD 510 & SD 709 Compressors require 5 ounces of oil but CHECK THE MANUFACTURERS SPECS!

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AC Compressor Refill-Discharge Locations

[Saab 93]

The compressor refills and discharge are located in two locations. The high pressure connection is located behind the grille. The low pressure connection is located behind the passenger headlight on the 95.

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AC Fill ports

[Saab 93]

The low side port is on the largest line and the high side port is on the smallest line. Typically the high side line is the smaller of the two lines and has the highest pressure running through it.

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AC Freon Amount

[Saab 93]

The amount of freon needed in a Saab AC system is from 2.5lbs to 3.0lbs of freon to properly fill the system. When filling you can watch the site glass on the receiver drier or expansion valve to figure out when you have put in enough freon. Once the site glass goes from milky to clear then the system is full.

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AC Fuse Blows AC on

[Saab 93]

Several things can cause your AC fuse to blow when turning on the Air conditioning. The most likely cause of a Blown AC fuse is a frozen or burned up AC Compressor clutch. When this occurs the heat from the burned up compressor clutch often causes the compressor bearing to seize up and burn the AC belt off. Compressor replacement is the only repair!

Another reason can be a short circuit caused by the cable that runs to the compressor (In Saab 95-2004, it is a single and shielded one with blue
plastic lining. This cable runs from a connector located at right upper side behind the front engine panel, directly down to the AC compressor). Check this cable for any damage caused by friction with metal pipes. I solved the problem using isolating tape. Compressor was in perfect working
condition and no dismantling was needed at all. after "Cable repair", no more blown up AC fuse (10A) occurred.

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AC Hose Issues

[Saab 93]

AC lines problems occur on any car with AC. This is the is the weak spot in every AC system. The lines begin to leak where the aluminum part of the lines run into the rubber line. If you grab the junction with your hand you can sometimes twist the two parts where they are crimped together. When a hose has failed there will usually be a thin oily substance at the junctions of where the hoses come together.


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AC Hydraulic Hose Repair

[Saab 93]

Leaking Hydraulic hoses can often be attributed to a leaky clamp which cause the hose to be able to be turned. You can repair some hoses temporarily by cutting a small 1/4 slice of the metal fitting out (being careful not to cut the hose) then put a adjustable hose clamp over the (now cut) fitting and tighten down the clamp. What happens here is that you cut just enough of the metal clamp out that when you put the hose clamp on and tighten it down that is basically creates a new clamp over top of the one that started leaking. This is a great quick fix and may last a bit but replacement of the hoses with new is the best long term solution.

Pricing for AC HOSES SPORT SEDAN (ac parts)

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AC Noise from belt area

[Saab 93]

A roaring noise that can be heard when turning on the A/C can generally be attributed to a faulty A/C Compressor but can also come from a faulty A/C idler pulley (2.0 Liter engines). Both components fail on a consistent basis on the 1985 and up 9000's. Compressor failure should be done by a professional technician only. Idler pulley failures can be identified by removing the belt and turning the idler by hand to see if the bearing has failed!

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Conversion to New Front End

[Saab 93]

On the Saab 900 and the Saab 93 we often have questions regarding the conversion of the front lights to the later style integrated front end (up to 2007). In most cases it can be done but not without a hefty cost. In-order to do this you would have to replace the entire front bumper, all grilles and all lights including turn signals.

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Convertible Top & How it Works!

[Saab 93]

The convertible top is opened and closed using a hydraulic system, consisting of a master cylinder and 7 hydraulic actuators. The top is controlled by the switch on the instrument panel or via a remote control. The movement of the convertible top is controlled by the STC (Soft Top Controller). The position of the convertible top, is detected and controlled by sensors built in with the hydraulic system, soft top mechanism and windshield frame. The information from each sensor is then sent to the STC. The soft top is controlled sequentially, meaning that each movement must be completed before the next one can start. The STC, which controls the pump and valves, must receive confirmation of the various movements from the sensors and switches within a certain time period. When it doesn't receive the information within a certain time, all movement will cease and STC will generate an error message shown on the SID (Saab Information Display). The hydraulic unit, which is mounted in the right-hand side of the luggage compartment, includes an electric hydraulic pump and a valve block. The hydraulic valves are located in the valve block and control the flow of fluid to the hydraulic cylinders. There is no pressure in the system when the convertible top is completely closed or completely open. When the ignition is turned off, the pump will stop and the valves will return to their positions of rest. If work is being carried out with the soft top half raised, it must always be secured with a support to prevent it from falling down. The soft top mechanism and convertible top can be operated manually in emergencies in case of a failure in the electric-hydraulic system.

Click here for Saab 93 03-07 Convertible Top Parts!

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Convertible Top Motor location & fluid requirement

[Saab 93]

We have only seen a small amount of issues with the Saab 93 Convertible top. The biggest issue we see is low hydraulic oil. This is a fix you can do your self. Go to ANY GM dealer and buy the top oil. You do have to use the GM oil so don't try to use anything else it will kill your system. You will have to flop your rear seat back down to reveal the pump cover in the passageway into the trunk. The cover is held by 8 bolts and you will see the reservoir plug. Remove the plug and you can check the level of oil. It should be right at the bottom of the plug hole. Add fluid as needed and replace plug. Becareful not to over-tighten the plug. Cycle your top and recheck fluid level. The 2000 tops do have a bit of an issue with the fifth bow rams leaking. They may just seep a bit or they can dump fluid badly. If you are only loosing a small amount of fluid over a season of use, live with it. The Hydraulic cylinders are costly to replace.

Pricing for CONVERTIBLE TOP HYDRAULIC CYLINDERS (convertible parts)

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Emblem Replacement Tips

[Saab 93]

Remember Feeler Gauges? Gently slide a lubricated 4 thou feeler gauge under the emblem, carefully push it through the adhesive. Do it again slightly further round. When you've done about a third, move up to a 6 thou gauge (easier, more sturdy). When you've done about half, use a thin bladed screwdriver to lever it up a bit (I padded mine with some thin plastic). You can then easily cut through the rest of the pad. Took less than 10 minutes, and no marks on hood at all. I then removed remainder of adhesive pad with on old face cloth and petrol (not recommended I know, but that is all I had to hand). Worked a treat. Less than 15 minutes after starting, a perfect finish.

Thanks to Rob for contributing to this FAQ!

The easiest way to remove your faded emblems is to use a cordless drill or power screwdriver and screw in a 1/2" wood screw until it bites firmly into the emblem. Then take some pliers, get a good grip on the screw and yank that emblem off. Clean up the residue with Goof Off or a similar product. Should only take a couple of minutes and you're ready to apply the new emblem!

TIP: Remember that front emblem have tabs on them and pop into slots so this will work on them BUT YOU CAN DRILL INTO YOUR HOOD! Only go in about 1/8 inch. I would NOT recommend doing this on rear emblems as they are put on with double sided tape!

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Pricing for RIMS FACTORY SAAB (rims & related)

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Odors-Smells from Interior

[Saab 93]

Interior Smells: Leaking evaporators or Heater cores can cause coolant leaks to soil the carpets causing musty smells. Leaves in the false bulkhead under hood cause AC/Heater drains to clog causing odd interior odors. Clogged sunroof drains can cause water to backup and leak through the interior.

Clogged drains can be cleaned out by accessing them through the false bulkhead (in some cases where the cabin filter is). The sunroof drains are most often located in the same place under the false bulkhead but can also be located just below the windshield glass under the hood. AC drains are typically in the right from fender well. You can clean most drains by CAREFULLY pushing a bent coat hanger up the drian to begin clearing the debris.

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Seat thread failures

[Saab 93]

When the seats tear at the seams nothing can be done other than removing the seat covers and having them resown or replacing them used. Finding used seats or seat covers that are not worn out can be tough. We have access to them new but the cost of new seat covers is high to say the least. They usually range from 500.00 to 800.00 just for the top or bottom.

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Seat Track will not go back

[Saab 93]

The most common thing to cause the lower seat to stop on the way back is coins in the seat track. When this happens it can cause good bit of trouble depending on the position of the seat which many cause one to have to remove the seat track to get the coin out. We have also seen power seat control modules cause the stop and go of power seats. Check the connections to the motor to see this is your issue.

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Skid protectors missing behind spoiler

[Saab 93]

All Saabs have protective shields that must be removed in-order to drain the coolant. Those shields provide protection against road grit getting into the engine compartment as well as keeping road debris from damaging transmission lines or radiator hoses which could result in damage to your engine or transmission. ALWAY PUT THESE BACK ON. Many people leave them off because once they are damaged they can be difficult to re-install.

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Sunroof and how it works

[Saab 93]

The sunroof consists of an assembly with a glass hatch that is attached to two lifting units. The cable-driven assembly is powered by an electric motor. The control module and motor is located on the front edge of the assembly. When the back of the sunroof is opened, a spring-operated wind deflector on the front edge is lifted up. When closing the sunroof, the arms on the wind deflector are pushed down thus pulling the wind deflector down with it.. Water is drained by four hoses to keep moisture out of the assembly. To open the sunroof, use the 5-position or 3-position switch (Varies by car) on the roof console.

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Sunroof Manual closing

[Saab 93]

In the event of a sunroof motor failure you can shut the sunroof manually. There is an Allen key in the overhead console where the sunroof motor is located which can be inserted into the sunroof motor and turned manually to close the roof itself. On 1979-1994 Classic Saab the sunroof can be closed from the trunk.

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Sunroof Seals and Leaks

[Saab 93]

Sunroof seals tend to shrink with time causing water drips and air leaks at the sunroof. In most cases you can adjust the sunroof to take care of leaks and rattles but in some cases you must buy the seal and replace it. When referring to water leaks one thing that you need to check is the sunroof drains. If the drains are clogged then the sunroof may leak because the water will drain using the path of least resistance.

NOTE: On most newer model Saabs the sunroof seals are built into the sunroof glass meaning you have to purchase the glass in-order to get the seal itself. On cars prior to approximately 1995 the seals could be purchased seperately for replacement. Please check the weatherstripping sections to see if this applies to your Saab.

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Sun Visor Removal

[Saab 93]

Remove the sun visor by removing the two screws and pulling the visor down and toward you. On some cars you may have to remove it by pressing the locking tab with a screwdriver and pulling the mount toward you.

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Water leaks in floor

[Saab 93]

Water leaking into all 4 floor boards can usually be attributed to the AC drain coming off on the right hand side of the firewall but can also be caused by the following issues. They are listed in order of importance to check:

1 - AC Drain tube has come off in the firewall on the right side (refit to repair)
2 - Sunroof drains are clogged causing water to seep in around the seal (unclog by blowing air through)
3 - Sunroof seal has deteriorated causing it to leak (replace the seal)
4 - Body weatherstrip mouldings have come off causing water to come in
5 - Antenna drain is clogged causing water to get into the trunk. Refit or unclog the antenna drain (usually in the trunk area)

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ABS Brake Definition

[Saab 93]

The term ABS means Anti-Lock Breaking System. The ABS System automatically controls braking at the front wheels individually and the rear wheels as a unit (in most cases) preventing the wheels from locking during a hard braking situation. This enables the driver to maintain STEERING control and also shortens the distance to a complete stop. In cars without ABS, the brake master cylinder actually applied steady pressure to each wheel when the brakes were applied causing the wheels to look under heavy breaking. This led to wheel lockup, loss of steering control & lengthy stopping distances. ABS systems use a hydraulic pump that applies modulating pump pressure during heavy braking. The ABS system in effect pumps the brakes for the driver a consistent frequency. This pulsing is considerably faster than even the most experienced driver could accomplish if he were to attempt to this manually!

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Brake Dust & how to prevent

[Saab 93]

Black dust on the rims usually comes from the type of material that the brake pads are made of. Most factory pads are made of a very soft material to prevent brake squeal. The real problem with that is softer means more dust. Harder usually means more noise. The absolute best thing we have seen to prevent dust is ceramic pads. Keep in mind that there is NO such thing as a pad that does not create dust. They all do. Some less than others. Ceramic pads seem to be the best overall combination to prevent noise and dust.

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Brake Hose Problems

[Saab 93]

Almost all cars have steel brake lines until they reach the moving portions of the wheels. Once the metal line reaches the wheel something has to flex which is generally rubber type line that connects to the caliper. What generally occurs is that the inside diameter of the Rubber brake line swells after many years of being subjected to different brake fluids etc... You then press the brake pedal and the fluid is forced from the master to the wheels but because the line is swollen internally the fluid can only move one direction causing the brakes to stick. Replacing the rubber flexible lines will generally cure these type brake problems.

Pricing for BRAKE HOSE (brakes & related)

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Brake Light Switch Replacement

[Saab 93]
STEP 1 Remove the drivers lower kickpanel (dashboard)
STEP 2 Turn the brake light switch to the right or left and remove it
STEP 3 Refit in reverse

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Pricing for BRAKE LIGHT & CRUISE SWITCHES (switches)

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Brake Pads don't clean rotor

[Saab 93]

There is a couple of things that could cause your brake caliper not to clean the brake rotor correctly. The caliper piston is stuck meaning the caliper must be replaced. The 2nd thing it could be is that the hydraulic line leading to the caliper has gotten swollen inside meaning that the fluid can longer enter or exit the caliper correctly. Replacement of the line is the only cure.

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Pricing for BRAKE HOSE (brakes & related)

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Brake Pedal is hard

[Saab 93]

In Most cases the problem with a hard brake pedal can be attributed to a faulty Brake Booster or Faulty ABS pump. When the Booster fails there will be a small hissing noise in the dash where the pump and the pedal are attached.

When the ABS pump fails the pedal gets hard because the pump is no longer assisting during the braking process. In most cases the pumps are included in the ABS hydraulic units and cannot be replaced separately. The cost of the New complete units range between 1500.00 to 2500.00 and used units are usually around 350.00 depending on the model.

A Saab Story Contribution 1999 Saab 95 had a hard brake pedal. Check Vacuum lines for restrictions first! Hard pedal, no hissing with the brakes working at first then getting hard. First thought was a booster but it turned out to be an issue with a piece of debris in the line causing the flow of air to stop under suction. Removed the broken piece in the hose and brakes are now fine. Moral of the story is to check the line for broken pieces that can obstruct the airflow to the booster.

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Pricing for BRAKE BOOSTER (brakes & related)
Pricing for BRAKE PUMPS (brake components for Abs)

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Brake Rotors and Turning them

[Saab 93]

Saab does not recommend turning rotors because the majority of time after turning them they are below Saabs recommended minimum thickness. The recommended minimum thickness is generally stamped on the rotors! This is not to say that Saab rotor cannot be turned. They can be turned one time but will generally warp within one year because of how thin they become!

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Brakes Apply by themselves

[Saab 93]

This one was a nightmare to diagnose. The car would drive normally, then within a few minutes the brakes would start to engage. They would slowly engage more and more until the car was unable to move. The culprit was oil in the intake, which bleed into the brake booster causing the brakes to apply. The oil ended up coming from two locations: first was the turbo, a turbo rebuild fixed that. Second was the air pump, it leaked oil also which froze the check valve connected to the brake booster air lines, I replaced it. You will also have to buy a new brake booster, all its air lines and drain the oil from the intercooler and intercooler piping.

Thanks to Conasha for contributing to this FAQ!

This is not the only cause of the above listed issue. Do your brakes work fine for about ten minutes, then start engaging and the brake pedal becomes hard? If yes, then your issue is indeed oil in the booster. Main cause for oil in the booster is the booster vacuum pump located on the side of the manifold. Part # 55558434. Replace that and the booster line. The check valve feature on this line most likely failed allowing engine oil to enter. Saab has since introduced a new check valve line with (2) check valves on it to address this problem. Fix the line, the pump, and get a new booster
to solve this problem.

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Pricing for BRAKE BOOSTER (brakes & related)

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Brake scrubbing noise

[Saab 93]

One of two reasons. Reason 1 - The pads that were used are an inferior grade pad. Usually, an inferior grade pad will make its presence known by noting a very high pitch squeal when applying the brakes. Reason 2 - The brake pads that were used are hard use pads which contain a type of material which will cause this noise to occur. It does not mean that there is a serious problem. It simply means that it is the type of materials contained within the brake pad. Only cure - replace the pads! Hard use pads will generally not cause damage to the rotors but the noise can be somewhat consistent!

NOTE: We have also noticed that brake scrubbing sound could come from a worn wheel bearings. Although the sound is different it does sound close enough that one could confuse the two.

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Brakes pull To The Left Or Right When Applying The Brakes

[Saab 93]

Pulling left or right can be caused by numerous issues which include: Sticking brake calipers, faulty brakes hoses (that are swollen from within) and faulty brake master cylinders. In most cases it is caused by a sticking brake caliper. Depending on the application some calipers can be rebuilt and in other cases the faulty caliper must be replaced. If your vehicle is equipped with ABS brakes you may find that the valve body in the ABS system is malfunctioning or a proportioning valve is bad.

Warning!ABS brakes are HIGH PRESSURE & should only be worked on by Authorized mechanics!

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Handbrake Information

[Saab 93]

Upon applying the handbrake the force if transmitted to the handbrakes via two cables (one on earlier models but it was superceeded to the two cable setup depending on the car). Each cable runs to one rear wheel. When pulling on the lever the cable being pulled tightens the brake pad against the brake rotor/drum. The handbrake warning lamp also comes on until the arm is released.

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Clutch Information and how it works

[Saab 93]

The Saab clutch is hydraulically operated and self-adjusting. The unit compresses a helper spring, master cylinder, connection pipe and slave cylinder. The master cylinder is fitted in the bulkhead and connected to the clutch pedal by a piston rod. The slave cylinder is an integrated unit fitted in the clutch body that compresses the cylinder housing, divided piston and release bearing. The slave cylinder cannot be taken apart (93 only). The pressure from the master cylinder passes to the seal, which then presses the piston and release bearing against the pressure plate. A spring fitted between the cylinder housing and the release bearing ensures that the release bearing is always in contact with the pressure plate, reducing the play in the clutch pedal. To prevent dirt from entering parts of the piston and seals, there is a rubber below fitted between the cylinder and the release bearing. A hydraulic line with snap-on couplings at both ends connects the master cylinder and slave cylinder damping pipe (to prevent pedal vibration).

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Clutch master or slave or line issues explained

[Saab 93]

If you bleed the clutch master it and connect get fluid at the tip of the master you cannot get fluid then a seal in the master is broken. If you get fluid out of the master tip but not at the slave then the line is clogged either in the metal line is clogged/crimped or the rubber parts of the line are swollen up. If you get fluid to the slave and it works temporarily then likely have a slave sucking air occasionally and must be replaced.

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Clutch Noise

[Saab 93]

Noise coming from the clutch area can most often be attributed to a faulty throwout bearing. When the bearing wears it is common for it to make noise especially during start conditions. Once the bearing itself warms up the noise will typically go away. In most cases this noise could last for years but should be addressed at some point by replacing the throwout bearing.

NOTE: One other area of squealing during cold start is a faulty starter drive. The bendix in the starter is the part of the starter that triggers into the flywheel itself during starter to flywheel engagement.

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Clutch Slave Mounting (PDF)

[Saab 93]

Thanks to Arthur Doty for contributing to this FAQ!

Regarding clutch slave cylinders. Attached is a PDF from FTE about the importance of proper slave mounting. The slave has a crimped ring which holds it together during transport, but is not intended to hold hydraulic pressure, proper torque and locktite on the mounting screws to the transmission keeps the slave from leaking.

Saab Clutch Slave Mounting PDF

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Cruise Control Failures

[Saab 93]

There are several common cruise control failures on Saabs. The pedal switch failures are the most common problem. What generally occurs is that the pedal switches become mis-adjusted or the ears get broken off the switches causing a no contact condition. Another common problem is that the cruise vacuum hose leading from the vacuum pump under the false bulkhead begins to crack where the vacuum fitting is located at the firewall.. The third most common failure is an intermittent functioning cruise control module. This can often be identified by noting that the cruise will work intermittently (900 & 9000 only).

Another Issue: On turbo models, there is a vacuum controlled switch, located near the pump (red cap) that cuts the signal to the APC solenoid valve when the cruise control is on (switch opens). If the switch is faulty (I broke mine on rough road), it can keep turbo boost at the "basic" level even if the cruise is turned off. The APC boost gauge will only go half-way into the yellow region, and performance will suffer. Either replace the vacuum controlled switch or pull the pigtail connector below the switch and short the ends of the yellow/white wire going to the APC solenoid valve and
proper turbo boost should return. Be aware that if this second fix is employed, your turbo is not limited in boost when in cruise control.

A Faulty wheel speed sensor (WSS) will also disable the cruise control due to it's ability to monitor vehicle speed. In addition, faulty WSS will also disable ABS function, traction control (TCS) and the speedo; all relying on the signal from the WSS

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ACC Bulb Replacement

[Saab 93]

Replacing the bulbs on manual ACC panel can be accomplished by using a small screw driver to pop out the acc panel. Once popped out just unplug and then you can get to the lights in the back easily

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Airbag Light Reset

[Saab 93]

Air bag lights (SRS) are often triggered by the horn contact ring in the steering wheel or because of faulty sensors. The only way to turn out a Air Bag Light is to take the car into your local Saab dealer and have them turn out the light and diagnose the problem. After struggling with the airbag light for a long time I found out, that by isolating the control unit (below hand brake lever) from the car body (negative) my system functions without errors.

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Alarm Remote Battery Change

[Saab 93]

The Alarm remote communicates with a control module located under the drivers front seat. The range is typically around 25 feet depending on the type of transmitter that you have. The left button is used to arm or disarm the car. The right button is used to lock or unlock the trunk.

The battery life is about 3 years under normal use. Use the distance at which the remote functions to determine the battery strength. On the newer cars the SID unit will read "REPLACE KEY BATTERY" when the battery warning is activated by the remote. To replace the batteries simply push off the back housing by pressing downwards. On the newer remotes you may have to insert a small pin on the side of the remote housing to release the cover or remove screws on the back side of the remote. Remove the batteries and replace them. Most newer remotes are powered by a 3V lithium battey. You can buy them at radio shack. After the batteries have been changed you must press the remote 5 times in a row to re-activate the remote.

NOTE: If the remote is being replaced by a new one you will have to marry it to alarm unit by going to your local dealer and having them program it to the alarm module allready in the car.

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Alarm Remote Issues (2006 on)

[Saab 93]

There are known issues with the 2006 on alarm remotes failing to work at distances greater than 20 feet. If your remote appears to be functioning irractically then see your local Saab dealer to have the remotes serviced or replaced.

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Alarm Reprogramming because of Lost Keys

[Saab 93]

When the keys are lost you must replace both the twice unit (CID Unit on Saab 93 SS) and the chip that goes into the key as an assembly and they must be married together with the Saab Tech 2 Scan tool in-order for them to function. You will also need to get a key cut (in Most cases) so you won't have to replace your complete ignition switch. On the Saab 900 94-98, Saab 95, Saab 93 98-2003 you will have to replace the the Twice unit or reprogram it to new then marry it to the car with a Saab Tech 2 tool. On the Saab 93 Sport Sedan 2003-2008 you would have to buy a CID unit (the turn signal and washer switch attaches to it behind the steering wheel) or reprogram it and then marry it to the car.

Common Saab Alarm questions answered.

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Alternator Issues On The Saab 93

[Saab 93]

alternator issues typically come from Voltage regulator brushes getting too short which causes the alternator to not charge correctly. If the battery voltage is low then the computers on the vehicle will not be supplied with enough voltage to operate the fuel system or the ignition system. Typically this range is below 11.5 volts but may vary depending on the car. When this happens it is usually the ignition system starves for voltage which causes fouled plugs because there is not enough spark to burn the fuel efficiently. You will also need to check the alternator amperage output to see if the alternator is failing internally. Many times you can have the alternator load tested at AutoZone, advance auto etc... for free.

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Bulbs cause Major electrical Issues

[Saab 93]

Here is a list of problems occured to my Saab 900 SE Talladega Sensonic of 1997, caused by a dirty light bulb:

- Check engine light on (air/fuel mixture)
- SID with all the possible messages of the rear taillights
- Can't run over 2800 tr/min, the engine goes down
- Can't press down the gas pedal, the engine goes down
- Cant use reverse gear, the engine goes down -can't use the brakes, the engine goes down
- Direction lights always on, if I use it the engine goes down
- Headlamps always on, if i shut off the switch, the lights don't shut down, but the engine... Yes: It goes down!  

After one day of terror, I decided to replace all the bulbs: The bulb of the rear foglight was wrong! I cleaned it, I refitted it, and all the car returns to normal! It happened in March and the car still run perfectly.

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Cabin Fan Resistor Replacement

[Saab 93]

The cabin fan resistor or controller is located on the side of the housing for the cabin fan. In-order to access it you must remove the glove box and access the cabin fan housing to replace it. You do not have to remove the cabin fan motor but the instructions to get to the fan will allow you to gain access to the motor itself. See the below:

Cabin fan Motor Removal will allow you to gain access to the controller/resistor

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Diagnostic Port Location

[Saab 93]

The diagnostic service port is located on the knee bolster just above the pedals. There are two screws that hold it in place. The purpose of this port is to enable techs to hook up the Saab tech2 or GM diagnostic tool to help diagnose any issues that occur.

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Disabling Daytime Running Lights

[Saab 93]

Question: Is there a fuse I can remove from my 2006 Saab 9-3 Sports Sedan to disable the daytime running lights? I wish to use the headlights only at night, using the rotary On-Off control. By removing the fuse, I don't want to alter the normal functioning of the headlights using the On-Off control.

Answer: You have to get them program with tech 2 dealership. You can also try to remove the number 15 fuse. This will stop the automatic daytime running lights and it says it's legal to do so in the US.

See more about this topic at Saab 93 (9-3) 2003-2008 Forum

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Door Component electrical failures

[Saab 93]

Electrical door component failures. What we mean here is that more than one electrical component on a door fails at the same time. For Example; window won't go up and down, door mirrors won't move, door won't unlock, central lock won't work, etc..... When this happens you will likely find that the connector where all the wiring runs to the door is either broken or just pinched. Some cars have a connector and some cars just have wires that run through a rubber grommet. Checking the wiring and repairing it should cure the problem.

Thanks to KD for contributing to this FAQ!

Sometimes a low battery in the key fob can cause these issues. Replacing the battery is an inexpensive first option to see if that fixes the problem before getting the dealer involved.

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Electrical testing for Battery Drain

[Saab 93]

In-Order to test for electrical drains on the battery you need to place a Test light between the negative battery terminal and the Actual battery cable with the two disconnected and then pull one fuse at a time until the light goes out. What ever fuse or combination of fuses that causes the light to go out will tell you where the drain is coming from. This will tell you where the problem is and you can address whatever component or relay that is causing the issue.

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Fog Light Adjustment proceedure

[Saab 93]

You can adjust your fog light beam height by taking a 13mm socket and turning the adjuster on the back of the fog light clockwise to raise the beam and counter-clockwise to lower the beam.

Thanks to Mark Maidens for contributing to this FAQ!

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Fog Light Bulb Replacement

[Saab 93]

Replacing the fog light bulbs can be more difficult than people think on a Saab but it is not terribly hard. In most cases the bulb is located in the back/bottom of the fog light itself. The difficult part is removing the skid panel just below the fog-lights. Skid panel screws located in the fog-lights must be removed to access the bulbs. The skid plates and screws are under the car which means they can be tough to get out....

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Headlight Beam adjustments

[Saab 93]

Almost every vehicle has headlight adjusters on top and bottom of the back of each light assembly. Most dealerships and independent repair shops use headlight aimers to adjust the headlights. It can be done without aimers by adjusting the beam of light to be directly in front of the assembly and about 24 inches off the ground. You can measure this by aiming the lights at a garage wall and making the adjustments. You will find that one of the adjusters will adjust the light beam vertical and the other adjuster will adjust the light beam horizontally. Some headlights have levels located in the lights assemblies. These levels should be adjusted at 0 unless otherwise specified by the owners manual.

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Hood light issues

[Saab 93]

When you open the hood of a Saab a light will come on. There are two ways the lights are turned on. One is manually turning on the light by moving the switch to the on position (much like the trunk lights). On later models, hood lights are activated by a mercury switch that is built into the light assembly itself. If your hood light will not come on you likely need to replace the light or the bulb.

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Interior lights work intermitently

[Saab 93]

Interior lights that work intermittently can often be attributed to a faulty ground at the door pin switch. At the front of the door frame there will be a small push in pin with a rubber housing around it. Peel back the rubber housing and tighten the screw to the frame. Check to be sure the screw to the door frame is tight. If it is then replace the switch.

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Ipods and hookup information

[Saab 93]

Hooking up and Ipod to your Saab can be easy depending on which radio version you have. If you have the "Infotainment" radio which has all the bells and whistles then the Ipod hookup kit is available directly from your local Saab dealer. Cars equipped with the base version Radio system do not have this hookup kit available at this point but we have seen some aftermarket companies with products that will work. See your local Saab dealer or local aftermarket radio installer for more information.

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Key Battery Replacement

[Saab 93]

Question: I have to change the battery in the key for my 93 can anyone tell me how this is done without tearing the key up?

Answer: Pull the top half of the remote off with a small screwdriver & the battery sits under it.

See more about this topic at Saab 93 (9-3) 2003-2008 Forum

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No Radio, No Turn Signal, No Park Assist

[Saab 93]

We have seen issues with the Sport Sedan Cars where you have No Radio, No Turn Signal or So Park Assist. When this happens the first thing to check is to raise your drivers seat to the highest position under the seat is a radio amp you can see it look toward the front of the amp and see if you see a red light shining. If it is then try a known good radio display.


I had this happen to my 2003 9-3 ARC, but in my case the turn signals were actually working. The clicking sound just wasn't coming through the radio because the radio wasn't working. The park assist wasn't working either. The fix was to remove and reinstall fuses #21 and 22 in the trunk panel. That reset both systems.

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Onstar Antenna

[Saab 93]

Saab makes a dummy antenna with nothing in it to take the place of the electronic one for the cars that On-Star. When onstar went from Analog to Digital the system no longer works. The two replacement parts needed are 12762122 and 12792069

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Onstar Going Digital

[Saab 93]

It appears that Onstar is going to a Digital system (instead of analog) on Jan 1st 2008. Here is why, FCC rules require that cell towers support both digital and analog signals until the end of 2007. But starting in 2008, the cell towers will no longer have to support analog so OnStar is hanging up on the 500,000 of its 4 million OnStar customers who have older analog units. Consumers with a 2003-2005 vehicles will need to update their OnStar system using an adapter that will cost approximately $200. (At this point we are not aware of an adapter for Saab but once there is one we will carry it and list it here.) Unfortunately there is no adapter available for cars prior to 2001 which means that you cannot use onstar any longer.

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Radio Code Issues

[Saab 93]

If the radio code is needed to be reset for any reason the radio must be programmed by Saab using the Saab tech 2 tool. The radio is actually married to each vehicle as a security measure. Any shop that has a Saab tech 2 scan tool can do this.

Thanks to Patrick for contributing to this FAQ!

I disconnected the battery [2002 Saab 95S] while replacing the PCV system. I disconnected the battery as part of this procedure. When I connected the battery again and pressed power on the stereo, the SID displayed, "Radio Code". I had to drive 334 miles (round-trip) and pay $83 to have the stereo married to the car again!

Thanks to Paul Ragland for contributing to this FAQ!

I found out that if your Saab is PRE 1999, you can call for the code. They need VIN and info off radio. 1999 and newer, is Tech2 resettable only. I wish I had Patricks drive. I had to drive over 700 miles round trip just to get the radio reset.

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Radio reception poor

[Saab 93]

Poor radio reception can usually be attributed to a poor antenna connection at the radio itself or at the antenna in the rear. The cable typically plugs into both components and if it comes loose the reception would be poor if at all. Remember, if you remove the radio you will need the radio code to get the it working on again which requires a code from the dealer. FYI, many techs use to write the radio code on top of the radio to prevent them having to find the code for the installation.

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Relay pin corrosion

[Saab 93]

If you are experiencing odd electrical issues in a single circuit such as lights, ignition, switches etc.... be sure to pull each relay and look for faulty connections where the relay plugs into its holder. It is common to see corrosion where the connectors and the relays meet. This is usually caused by poor ground connections to a the relay. This can be fixed by cleaning or replacing the connectors and securing the grounds correctly.

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SID Light Failure

[Saab 93]

I have 2007 Saab 9-5 Aero 2.3L and lately started getting random front light failure. At first I assumed it was bulb, which was the case with my 1999 Saab 9-5 SE, but in this case bulb was fine. I noticed that driver side high beam quit working. After reading more about the issue on the internet that issue was related to faulty relay, I decided to try pulling the relay, and checking the contacts. To my surprise, I could easily see crack in contacts of the pins that plug in to the fuse box. I spent about 15 mins preparing, soldering, and clean up. Plugged the relay back in, and magic happened, everything started working fine. I want to thank everyone who shared the info on this issue.

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SID "Steering Lock Malfunction"

[Saab 93]

If the SID Unit (or profiler) displays "Steering Lock Malfunction" get to your local dealer promptly. There has been issues with the steering lock module and they are now being replaced by Saab under warranty. The module is located under the steering column and must be replaced depending on the part number on the module itself. See your local dealer to find out if your module needs to be replaced.

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Switch Replacement

[Saab 93]

Removing square switches such as the AC switch, Hazard switch, etc... can be tough at times. The correct way to remove any of the switches is to remove the Radio, ACC panel or SID unit and push the switch out from the back but in the real world its not that easy to remove switches that way. Another workable solutions is to remove the switches from the front. Try taking a towel and putting it under each side of the switch and prying the switches out from the front. It will likely be easier to remove a switch by prying on both sides. Be careful not to scratch your dash!

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Traction Control (TCS) & Electronic Stability

[Saab 93]

TCS (Traction Control System) is an anti-slip function which provides improved traction for your vehicle. The control module will reduce engine torque and control braking power to each wheel if the TCS is activated. When one of the front wheels rotates faster than the rear wheels, the TCS senses wheel spin. The magnitude of this wheel spin and the speed of the car are decisive to how the system operates. Traction is given priority when wheel spin exceeds a limit value when the speed is lower than 35 MPH. The system then employs brake application first and then engine torque limitation. The transfer of lateral forces to maintain steering ability is given priority when wheel spin exceeds a limit value at speeds above 35 MPH. The system employs engine torque limitation first & then moves to the deduction of wheel spin. A degree of wheel spin is always allowed so that the sporty feel and handling of the car remains. How aggressively the car is being driven will determine how much influence the traction control devices employ.

ESP (Electronic Stability Program) is a system that assists the driver in stabilizing the vehicle in unexpected situations that would otherwise be difficult to handle by regulating engine torque and brake application. The ESP, ABS, and TCS functions work both independently and in combination with the same control module. Certain functions may continue to operate despite a lit "ESP off" warning lamp. When ESP engages due to a skid, for example, it can counter the skid by applying the brakes on one or more wheels without the driver having to touch the brake pedal. The engine power is also limited by the ESP control module requesting a certain engine torque to reduce the risk of spin on the front wheels. The engine control module regulates the engine torque based on this request. ESP regulates instantaneously at high frequency according to the prevailing conditions. The system receives information from a number of sensors and measures: wheel speed, lateral acceleration, yaw rate, steering wheel angle, and brake pressure. These values are used by the ESP control module that is integrated in the hydraulic unit. The control module calculates the course of the vehicle continuously and compares the value (the direction in which the vehicle is traveling) with the desired value (the direction the driver has chosen with the steering wheel). If the actual value does not agree with the desired value, the system will engage as necessary to apply the brakes on one or more wheels and limit engine torque. If the car starts to under steer (when the front tends to continue straight ahead in a bend), the brakes will be applied on the inside rear wheel. If the car starts to over steer (the rear tends to drift out), the system will apply the brakes on the outside wheels until the measured and the calculated yaw rates correspond.

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Turn Signal Issues

[Saab 93]

Turn signal issues are fairly common on most vehicles. The problem can come from something as simple as the bulbs being burned out (usually noticed by the turn signal flashing fast) or by the turn signal just not feeling right inside the car. If the turn signal switch does not feel normal then it is likely broken and must be replaced. Another issue that does occur is the failure of the flasher relay or blinker thinker. In most cases the relay failure will cause the turn signal to come on solid without blinking.

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Turn Signal Switch Replacement

[Saab 93]

Turn signal switch issues are fairly common on all cars. They typically exhibit issues with lights not functioning correctly or turn signals inoperative. Replacement of the switches can be accomplished by removing the bottom cover and then removing the side switch screws. A tip here is that almost all turn signal swithes have wires in the back that are held with tie wraps to the steering column. You may have to remove those before being able to pull the wires far enough out to replace the turn signal switch.

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Washer Pump Failures

[Saab 93]

Washer pump failures are typically caused by debri that gets into the washer tank and gets pulled into the pump when turning on the washer squirters. We have seen tons of issues with both the washer pumps failing and the valves that protect the pump as well. You can test the pump by removing the hose from the pump and pulling the handle to activate the washer squirters. If water squirts then the pump is good, if not you can test it further by removing the pump and applying voltage directly to the pump to be sure it works.

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Balance Shafts and what they do

[Saab 93]

What Saab says about balance shafts: Saab has used the balance-shaft principle to overcome the second-order inertial forces. Two balance shafts located with lateral symmetry on the sides of the engine block but at different heights above the crankshaft centerline incorporate eccentrically mounted balance weights. The shafts are driven by a chain and rotate in opposite directions to each other at twice the crankshaft speed. The balance weights on the shafts are positioned so as to eliminate the upward and downward moving forces generated by the movement of the pistons. Since the balance shafts are situated at different heights above the crankshaft centerline, they also counteract lateral forces. The torque generated by the balance shafts is designed to counteract the gas and inertial forces acting in a sideways direction. The balance shafts are of identical design and supported by aluminum bearing shells in the center (between cylinders No. 2 and No. 3). The bearing shells are a press fit in the block and lubricated by special oil ways. For the balance shafts to perform as intended, it is imperative that they are aligned precisely on fitting. Sprocket assemblies of different design for the exhaust and inlet sides are therefore used on the shafts and marked with identifying casting marks. If they are NOT aligned correctly a vibration at idle will exist .

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Chain Issues Cause Stalling

[Saab 93]

If your Saab stalls and then will not restart, then you should take a look at the timing chain to be sure it is not broken. When the timing chain breaks then engine will usually spin over by the starter but will not "start". When the chain is broken the engine will turn over faster (and sounds different) because the valves were likely bent during the break. The only cure to this situation is to remove the head and proceed with the dis-assembly of the engine ro repair the broken chain. In most cases the chain breaks due to a guide being broken or a problem with the teeth on the gears not being capable of holding the chain any longer

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Cold Start Issues

[Saab 93]

Thanks to David W Hurst Jr for contributing to this FAQ!

Problem was no fuel pressure on COLD engine but after warming up had great pressure and response. The problem turned out to be the Coolant Temp Sensor. You might want to change this prior to replacing other more expensive components.

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Engine Code 126002001 Throttle Body Cleaning

[Saab 93]

When cleaning out the throttle body you need to be sure that you reconnect the hoses leading to it correctly. If you do not get them installed fully back onto the throttle body or you pull the other ends of the hose off the turbo that will lead to stalling when letting off the throttle on deceleration. This is a very common problem with cleaning throttle body out with a toothbrush.

Throttle body Error Code 126002001 means that the traction control system is in limp home mode. With this code you must clear the code then reset the limp mode. This must be done and then the car must be driven to see if the code comes back. If it does check the big connocter on the firewall unplug it and clean the pin connocters and plug it back in. That should cure the problem unless you have a permanent fault code caused by a component failure in the system.

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Engine Code P0601

[Saab 93]

Question: My 03 93 with 85k on it shut down on me the other day and wouldn't start again until it cooled off. When started again it ran for about 5 minutes then shut down again. The scanner gave a code of P0601 Int control module memory check sum error. I've worked on plenty of mid 80's 900's but the newer cars with the scanner telling you the issue seams a bit too easy. my concern is that there could be something else causing this issue which then shuts down the ecm. Any thoughts or knowledge would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: Replace the Fuel ecm. We have seen Internal memory loss inside the ecm.

See more about this topic at Saab 93 (9-3) 2003-2008 Forum

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Engine Compartment Cleaning

[Saab 93]

Cleaning the engine compartment is fine as long as several necessary precautions are taken. Be careful not to pressure was directly at the distributor or directly into the wiring harness. Don't use carb cleaner or items such as this around the harness as harsh abrasives will peal back the wire coating in the future. Try not to spray directly into the harness where water will collect and stay for long periods. If you feel that you have gotten the wiring connectors wet simply remove them and squirt a small amount of dielectric grease into them and reconnect.

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Engine Lifter Noise

[Saab 93]

Thanks to Robert Gagne for contributing to this FAQ!

I recently had a clicking issue with valve hydraulic lifters. I checked the engine oil pressure with a gauge and it was ok (engine rpm 2000 - 38psi) ,the noise was very difficult to locate so I removed both the intake and exhaust cam and checked my lifters. I identified the faulty lifter by looking at the inner section of the lifter once you remove it and flip it over. The faulty one had its innersection (where the valve sits) down completely in comparison to the other lifters. I replaced this particular lifter and put everything together and the noise is gone.

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Engine Oil Consumption Normal

[Saab 93]

Engine oil consumption is an indication that something is wrong either with an engine oil leak, internal engine ring problem or Turbo issue. The most common problem is excessive bushing clearances in the Turbo causing oil to leak into the intake manifold. Replacement of the turbo is only cure. Engine ring problem means replacement or rebuilding of the engine. External engine oil leaks would require locating the leaks and repairing them.

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Engine Oil Leak from the Valve Cover

[Saab 93]

Oil leakage from the Valve Cover Gasket is a common problem. What generally happens is that the gasket heats up and cools down so many times that the gasket eventually hardens up to a point where it no longer seals. Replacement of the gasket is the only repair. Becareful when replacing the valve cover gasket so that you do not crack the valve cover by tightening down the bolts too tight.

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Engine Oil Quantity 4 Cylinder

[Saab 93]

They typical engine oil quantity that is required to fill up a Saab 4 cylinder car is about 4-4.5 quarts which includes the oil filter replacement as well. The 8 Valve engine actually takes 3.7 Quarts.

Thanks to Roger Kelsey for contributing to this FAQ!

For 03-07 Saab 2.0t the oil capacity, with filter change, is 6.3 quarts of Mobil 1 0w40

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Engine Smoke Caused by Head Gasket

[Saab 93]

Saab engine smoke from the tailpipe can be coming from a number of issues. First, crank the car up and pull the hose to the valve cover and see if any blowby or smoke comes from the valve cover after warm. If it does smoke a tiny bit then it is likely normal. If it smokes alot you either have an issue with the rings (which is allowing oil to be pulled from the crankcase because of excessive wear) or an issue exist with a pinched/clogged hose in the crankcase ventilation hose that is not allowing the engine to breath correctly causing the smoke. You could also have a problem with the Turbo Charger. Typical Turbo failures can be identified by noting puffs of smoke comeing from the exhaust when coming to a stop.

NOTE: If the engine is only smoking during cold start and you have a sweet smell coming from the tailpipe check the headgasket to see if it is leaking down overnight. You can often check this by pulling the spark plugs and looking at the piston tops. If they are silver then they are likely getting steamed cleaned because coolant is leaking into the combustion chamber during the cooldown process.

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Engine Smoke Caused by Valve Seals/Guides

[Saab 93]

If you crank your car up after it has been sitting for several days or overnight and it smokes out the tailpipe for a few seconds upon initial start up then the problem is more than likely leaking valve guides/Valve stem seals. What generally occurs is that the guides/seals wear due to the stress of the valve moving up and down so many times. This basically causes excess clearance between the valve guide and the valve stem. Minor seepage occurs during the rest period allowing oil to leak into the combustion chambers leading to morning smoke!

Another problem that will cause your car to smoke or steam after sitting overnight could be a faulty head gasket. A faulty head gasket will allow the cooling system pressure to bleed coolant into the combustion chamber overnight causing the vehicle to blow white smoke and create a sweet smell from the exhaust until the exhaust has become hot enough to burn all of the antifreeze away. The gasket usually blows between Cylinders # 2 and # 3.

Pricing for HEAD GASKET SETS & RELATED (engine seals & gaskets)
Pricing for VALVE SEALS (engine parts internal)
Pricing for VALVE SEALS (engine seals & gaskets)

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Engine Ticking Noise From Engine

[Saab 93]

Ticking noise that occurs when first cranking the car can be caused by several issues. The most common issue is a problem with a hydraulic lifter not getting the proper oil supply to the lifter or a faulty lifter itself. The oil pickup tube that sits in the oil pan gets clogged up due to improper oil changes which causes the lifter area to be starved for engine oil. When this occurs the lifters will tap, tap, tap when first cranked and once the diminished pressure pumps the lifter up then the lifter noise goes away. On 86-88 models the lifters are actually supplied oil via oil tube that connects each cam bearing journal together. On 89 and up heads are internally oiled and the oil tube kits no longer are needed. Trying to find ONE faulty lifter can be like looking for a needle in a haystack because the noise resonates throughout the engine making it very difficult to locate. When one faulty lifter is suspected replacement of one bank of lifters is the most economical process.

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Engine Vibration In Drive Or Reverse

[Saab 93]

Engine vibrations while in drive or reverse can often be attributed to failing engine mounts. What usually occurs is that the rubber portion of the engine mounts deteriorate causing the vibration from engine rotation to travel through the vehicle. In some cases you can move the shifter from drive to reverse to load and unload certain engine mounts to help guide you to the faulty mount.

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Gasket Sealant Information

[Saab 93]

A word about Anaerobic sealant. If you touch it on the outside then it will always be tacky because by definition the word Aenorobic means "pertaining to or caused by the absence of oxygen" this means that it will never cure until oxygen is removed. Saab began to move away from common engine gaskets in approximately 1993. They began to replace timing cover and oil pan gaskets with anaerobic sealant. These types of sealants work well on machined surfaces.

NOTE: When using these types of sealants you don't want to slide components together you want to apply sealant to both items and then apply them together. As mentioned before the outside edges of the two pieces will likely never harden.

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Head Gasket replacement cost

[Saab 93]

The typical cost to do a head gasket Job is around 10 hrs labor by most shops. The hourly rate will determing the actual cost

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Hydraulic Hose Repair

[Saab 93]

Leaking Hydraulic hoses can often be attributed to a leaky clamp which cause the hose to be able to be turned. You can repair some hoses temporarily by cutting a small 1/4 slice of the metal fitting out (being careful not to cut the hose) then put a adjustable hose clamp over the (now cut) fitting and tighten down the clamp. What happens here is that you cut just enough of the metal clamp out that when you put the hose clamp on and tighten it down that is basically creates a new clamp over top of the one that started leaking. This is a great quick fix and may last a bit but replacement of the hoses with new is the best long term solution.

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HYDRAULIC LIFTER NOISE

[Saab 93]

Hydraulic lifter noise can often be attributed to a clogged oil pickup but cleaning the pickup may not cure the lifter noise because they may have been damage due to the damaged while being subjected to poor lubrication. New lifters come with oil in them but they may take require you to run them for 30 minutes or so before the lifters go silent.

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Idler Bearing Failures

[Saab 93]

Thanks to Michael Rosenfield for contributing to this FAQ!

A bearing going bad is usually because the lubrication has dried up. The bearings used in some of these pulleys have rubber covered metal seals over the bearing balls. They can be gently pried out of the bearing with a sharp tool (work it under the rubber at the inner race, carefully, and lift up),allowing the bearing to be cleaned out and fresh grease put in. The seals then snap back in place with fingernail pressure. The bearing, if you catch it early, will be as good as new. I have now done this to 5 vehicles. Two of them have 30,000 more miles, with no failure.

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Intake System & How it works

[Saab 93]

The intake system is composed of an air filter, mass air flow sensor, connecting pipes/hoses, turbo unit and intercooler. The system is connected to the throttle body on the intake manifold. The air filter, which is located on the right-hand side of the engine bay, removes particles from the incoming air and also acts as an intake silencer. The mass air flow sensor provides the engine control module with continuous information on the amount of air consumed by the engine. The mass air flow sensor signals are processed by the control module, which monitors the air-fuel mixture of the incoming air.

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Noise from Belt Area

[Saab 93]

A roaring noise during belt rotation (without the A/C on) will often be caused by an idler pulley bearing going bad. There are occasions where Alternator bearings will also create a roaring noise during belt rotation. In-order to diagnose either of these problems simply remove the belt and rotate each of the pulleys by hand. The pulley failure will make itself apparent by noting that the noise begins when rotating the faulty pulley.Belt Removal should be done by authorized personnel only! Danger!

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Oil Changes, 10,000 Mile thoughts

[Saab 93]

For many years oil pickup problems have cause a variety of engine problems on Saabs. Oil pressure issues, Main/Rod bearing issues, Timing chain issues etc..... We are seeing even more problems with the oil pickups getting clogged up on the 93.95 cars now that the oil replacement recommendations have increased. We are seeing more and more issues with the lower ends of the engines beginning to scream or make a high pitches whining noise due to low oil pressure to the upper end of the engine. When the timing chains are being replaced we HIGHLY recommend cleaning or replacing the oil pickup tube as well. We also do NOT recommend changing the oil at intervals that are higher than 5000.00 miles. Not everyone runs synthetic oil all the time and synthetic is not available at every store in the world.

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Oil Leak from Valve Cover

[Saab 93]

One of the most overlooked oil leaks is cracked valve covers. If one is not very careful when using an impact wrench on valve cover bolts they can actually crack the cover itself right around where the bolt goes into the valve cover. When this happens it can cause a very bad oil leak that is difficult to trace because the leak would only happen when the engine is running. You can usually spot the crack by looking very closely at the hole in the valve cover. If a crack exist there will usually be a little of colored line leading the bolt head. Replacement of the valve cover is the only cure.

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Service Recommendations

[Saab 93]

Recommended service intervals really depend on what year and model that you have. The earlier 99, 900 & 9000 used the 30,000 or 60,000 intervals and in the mid to late 1990's the intervals changed to 35,000 & 65,000 intervals. In the 2000 and on era the 10,000 miles service intervals seem to be the standard. We typically recommend just changing the oil at no greater than 5,000 miles and doing major maintenance at about 30.000 mile intervals. We have developed service kits that help you get all the part without having to look them up individually.

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Smoke from engine compartment

[Saab 93]

The most common problem with smoke coming from the engine compartment is a leaking valve cover gasket. The rubber gasket hardens which causes it to leak on the exhaust manifold (depending on the Saab you have). The only cure for this is to rpelace the gasket.

NOTE: When replacing the gasket you should only use sealant at the front base of the valve cover gasket.

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Stalling due to throttle body dirty

[Saab 93]

The throttle when shut should have a very small gap which allows a little air through when idling. What generally occurs is that the throttle gets coked to a point where there is no longer a gap. When this happens it can cause the car to stall when coming to a stop or when letting off the throttle quickly. Cleaning the throttle body with carburetor cleaner and a tooth brush can cure stalling if the throttle body is dirty but vacuum leaks are the most common cause of stalling.

Thanks to scott chrismon for contributing to this FAQ!

I have noticed that if you turn the throttle body manually from under the hood without aid of the cable, the low idle gets altered and can cause your car to idle too low causing it to stall upon take off. A quick disconnect of the battery will appearantly allow this to reset and idle correctly. Hope this helps someone. 2002 9-5 Arc 3.0 V6 wagon. I found out that my throttle body was in limp home mode which locks the cable to the butterfly instead of the drive by wire settings . This overrides the normal settings, causing the car to idle too low and stall on take off. The Throttle Body Replacement article by the Platonoff's explains this and was very helpful in me resetting the throttle body. One thing to note is that the CEL codes must be reset in order for throttle body to operate correctly . A quick and easy way to do this is to pull the number 17 fuse from the fuse panel, wait a few minutes then replace it and start the car. Otherwise the computer will pop the little wire on the throttle body back to limp mode and you are back where you started. Thanks for the great how too articles. I was able to change my thermostat and waterpump myself last weekend, saving me 1,300 bucks!

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Tightening Bolts in General

[Saab 93]

Tightening torques are important in certain situations but not quite as much as most people think. In general most engine gasket torque for bolts is around 12-18 psi (not headgaskets). The truth is most bolt positions do lend to one being able to torque the bolts to the correct specifications in the first place. A general rule of thumb is that if you tighten the bolts with regulator hand wrachet and you have tightened the bolts to a point that you cannot turn the wrachet anymore then you are pretty close. The most common issue with any typical backyard technician is overtightening the bolts not undertightening. Remember to use gasket sealant only in places that seem logical to have it like corners of pans, covers etc..... We have seen issues with people overtightening valve cover & oil pan bolts and breaking the covers themselves.

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Timing Chain Breaks And What Happens

[Saab 93]

Are Timing Chain Failures Common: Timing chain failures on Saabs are quite common. What generally occurs is that the chain stretches due to the millions of revolutions. As the chain wears the gears take a beating as well. Once the chain cannot stretch any further it actually breaks causing the valves to hit the pistons resulting in costly engine repairs. Generally speaking, worn chains can be identified by listening for chain slap at idle. Replacement of the chain can be done without engine removal if caught early enough. Another school of thought regarding these failures is that the engines overheat causing the guide material to soften which causes one of the chains to slap causing excessive clearance issues with the chain causing it to break.

Timing Chain Damage when they break: If the Timing Chain breaks there is usually damage to the valves. We have seen a few incidents where the valves are not being bent but only if the chain brakes at idle. There are two chains on most Saabs, One chain controls the timing area and one controls the balance shaft components. Typically when there is an issue with chain noise or chain failure the engine will need to be pulled apart for inspection which would include head removal. Make absolutely sure that you inspect the balance shaft area once the head is removed. Both the timing chain area and the balance components are susceptible broken components when the chain brakes. In-order to do the repair you would need a head set and what ever components are broken as well.

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Catalytic Converter Fault Diagnosis

[Saab 93]

In Most cases faulty Converters can be identified by noting that your car will not accelerate or seems to have severely diminished power. Many times converters that are clogged up will glow red when the vehicle is running. The reason for the Glowing is because of the amount of heat and unburned fuel that collects in front of the clogged up converter. Converter replacement is the only option. A quick way to be sure that the converter is the problem when it is suspect is to disconnect the exhaust system at the header and allow the exhaust to flow without going through the converter. If the converter is the problem the cars power should be restored with the header pipe disconnected.

NOTE: There is always a cause for a clogged converter, either excess fuel from a faulty part like and ECM, Injector, wiring issue, Oxygen sensor etc....... We have seen issues with the platinum in converters breaking loose which causes a rattle but other than that converters that get clogged have to be related to a failure in the fuel system or possibly the ignition system.

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Exhaust Diagnoses & Purpose

[Saab 93]

Exhaust Diagnosis: The most common Exhaust failures are mufflers. You can often easily diagnose issues with the exhaust system by placing a rag or towel over the tailpipe hole (Just for a few seconds). BE CAREFUL AS THE EXHAUST MAY BE HOT!!!!! When you cover the tailpipe hole up for a few seconds pressure builds in the exhaust system and a whistling noise will begin to occur wherever your exhaust leak is.

Exhaust Purpose: The exhaust system is designed to carry away the engine's exhaust gases with a low flow resistance, low noise level and a long operating life. The exhaust system is composed of two parts: a front part with a catalytic converter, and a rear part with two mufflers. Both mufflers are a combination of resonance and noise absorption material. The system is delivered seamless via one unit. For spare parts there are three different sections: a front section with flexible pipe, a center section with a front muffler, and a rear muffler. The exhaust system is held up by six rubber mounts from front to back. The exhaust system is protected against corrosion because of all the parts except the outer plate of the front muffler are made of 12-18% chrome steel. The outer plate of the front muffler is aluminized. This combination gives very good corrosion stability. Heat shields are fitted above the exhaust system's most heat intensive zones to protect exposed parts where the heat radiation can otherwise cause problems.

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Exhaust Gasket Questions

[Saab 93]

On just about every Saab made the gaskets that go between mufflers and the header pipes have the flange gaskets built in. Chances are that if we do not have them listed on our site in the picture diagrams then they are not needed. You can generally assume that about 1989 they are built into the pipe (all but the Classic 900 cars 1979-1994)

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Exhaust Smells Like Rotten Eggs

[Saab 93]

A harsh smell coming from the exhaust can usually be attributed to the use of fuel that contains methanol (Although in most places it is not supposed to be sold). When using this fuel, a sulfur smell can be emitted from the exhaust which can range from a mild odor to a rotten egg smell. To avoid this smell try changing the place where you purchase fuel! Catalytic Converter failures can also cause this same smell!

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Exhaust Stud Removal

[Saab 93]

Some Saabs have Studs in the exhaust manifolds and in the Turbochargers. These Studs tend to rust and break off when attempting to remove them. If they break off the easiest thing to do is remove the studs and simply put bolts in their place. If you are going to replace them be sure to use lock nuts on the bolts to prevent them from backing out. If the studs break off flush with the head or turbo you will have to use a easy-out tool to drill them out and remove them. If the stud breaks leaving the stud sticking out you can use a stud removal tool to simply back them out.

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Exhaust Whistle

[Saab 93]

Thanks to H. G. Frautschy for contributing to this FAQ!

If you have a whistle that rises and falls with acceleration under load you should check the stud bolts on the turbo between the turbo unit and the exhaust manifold. IN many cases 3 of the 4 will be loose. Re-torquing the nuts will instantly cure the noise!

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Cold Start Popping Noise

[Saab 93]

Question: It only happens on start-up after the car sits for awhile, which seems to be after 3 hours or so. I can even immediately shut the car off and re-start without the popping sound. I filled up last week and the noise went away until I got below 1/2 tank of gas. Could I have bad gas or water in the tank causing a mis-fire? No CELs have came up on the SID. I also noticed my idle was sometimes wavering between 700-900 RPMS at lights......I filled up this morning, so I will see if it disappears again till a 1/2 tank. Thanks in advance.

Answer: Check the spark plugs first then put a fuel pressure gauge on it and let it sit and see if pressure drops You might have to get ecm reflash.

See more about this topic at Saab 93 (9-3) 2003-2008 Forum

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Filler Neck Replacement

[Saab 93]

Thanks to Freddy L Tineo for contributing to this FAQ!

If you want to replace the tank filler end you have to disable the latch that closes the gas door with the alarm button first. Once disarmed, You can access the filler neck from the trunk on the right side. You then pop up the filler end with a flat tool and replace it.

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Fuel Control Module Location

[Saab 93]

The fuel control module location depends on the car, below is the locations:

Saab 900 - Right passenger inner fender inside the passenger cockpit
Saab 9000 - Under the false bulkhead remove 8 screws & it is just to the right of the wiper transmission.
Saab 93 - Under the drivers seat
Saab 95 - Under the drivers seat

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Fuel leak at Banjo Fitting

[Saab 93]

Fuel leaks at the fuel line fittings can often be attributed to pitting of the banjo fittings. The small pits that develop can be fixed in most cases. To repair the pits simply lay the fitting on a piece of wood with 1000 grit sandpaper between it and the flat side of the fitting (be sure to put a cloth insde the fitting to keep the sand out of the fuel line) then move the fitting back and forth on the sandpaper to remove the pits. The completed repair should reveal no lines in the side of the fitting.

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Fuel Pressure Regulator Issues

[Saab 93]

A bad FPR-fuel pressure regulator or (leaky diaphragm) will cause excess fuel to be sucked into the intake via the vacuum line (from FPR to intake manifold). This can cause extended crank times and hard starting issues. May lead to oxygen sensor malfunction and cause check engine light to come on, which might flash intermittently due to the rich mixture from the excess fuel. Replacement is the only cure.

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Fuel Smell

[Saab 93]

If gas is seen or you can smell it at the fuel pump an easy $3 fix is the fuel check valve or o-rings (depending on the type of Saab). Replace with new o-rings if they look flat and worn from the ethanol, or if gas is seen coming out of the port when connected especially on the pressure side. To remove the fuel check valves WITHOUT BREAKING softly grasp the fuel check valve with vice grips to the right of the yellow tab that holds it in, on the thick flat portion. Turn the valve counter clockwise/clockwise and wiggle out as you hold the tab back so the valve can come out. The wiggle will slowly let it come out with minimal/ almost no pulling force.

First - Use boiling water to loosen the 1/4 old style fuel line to get the old valves out and to get the larger diameter newer valves in. Don't let water get into the port of the fuel pump or down your fuel line or it will end up in your combustion chamber eventually.

Second - Buy the o-rings before fuel pump replacement to avoid leaks caused when you disconnect the fuel check valves to get the pump out

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Fuel System & How it Works

[Saab 93]

The fuel system begins with an electric fuel pump located in the fuel tank pumping fuel from the tank into the fuel lines thus building up fuel pressure in the system. The level of pressure is determined by the fuel pressure regulator, which maintains a constant fuel pressure in relation to the pressure in the engine intake manifold. This way, the injected fuel quantity will only be affected by the injection timing. A fuel filter fitted in the fuel pump helps clean the incoming fuel from any contaminates. Gas is injected by injector valves (electric solenoid valves) fitted in the cylinder head close to the intake valves and connected through a common fuel rail. The injector timing is controlled by electrical pulses from the engine control module.

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Idling Problems due to Low battery

[Saab 93]

I have a 1995 Saab 900SE 2.0 turbo. The car would be slow to start. The idle would bounce up and down between 1000 and 2000 rpms when at a stop light.I changed the bad vaccum hoses and checked for air leaks. The car still had idle problems. I had to replace the battery. With the new battery the car now runs correctly. Check the battery for charge when idle problems occur. The electronics for the fuel system can be affected if the current is incorrect. Typically the section that requires the most current will be the one to starve the most. The first to surfer is the ignition then the fuel system.

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Oxygen Sensor Locations

[Saab 93]

In the early Saabs the sensors were located in the exhaust manifolds and could be removed from under the hood. As the engines evolved the sensors were repositioned to the header pipe and then later moved to just before or after the catalytic converters. In every case you can count on the sensors being located in the exhaust because that is where the oxygen content in the fumes can be measured from.

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Blower Motor Resistor Alternate Location

[Saab 93]

The blower motor resistor for a Saab 93-se convertible is located under the hood near the windshield wipers or behind the glove box depending on which one you are looking for.....

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Coolant Air Removal during Flush

[Saab 93]

When changing any major cooling system component on a Saab you will need to get the air out of the cooling system. In most cases there is no coolant nipple to bleed the air. The easiest way to do that is to remove the coolant reservoir cap and run the engine. Once the thermostat opens the air will cirulate through the cooling system via the waterpump circulation. Once the bubbles disappear from the coolant reservoir you can install the cap and the air should be removed.

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Coolant Amount

[Saab 93]

The typical Saab cooling system holds about 1 gallon of antifreeze mixed with distilled water 50/50. This is a general rule and may be slightly different depending on the year vehicle you are servicing.

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Coolant Draining

[Saab 93]

Thanks to JWright for contributing to this FAQ!

2003 Saab 93. To minimize the draining coolant mess, push a 2 foot length of 5/8" heater hose on the loosened radiator petcock. Rotate the hose counterclockwise to increase draining the coolant from the radiator and dispense in a drain pan. When done only tighten the "PLASTIC" drain cock 1/8 to 1/4 turn after seating. I broke mine to learn this. Just drain by the lower radiator hose.

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Coolant Light on

[Saab 93]

If you see a Check Coolant light, Coolant Level Low or similiar message on your Electronic Display Unit or your Saab Information Display then the first thing to check is the coolant level to be sure that you do NOT have a coolant leak. Leaks can be devistating on the engine if you do not catch them before overheating occurs.

If there are no coolant leaks then check the coolant reservoir level sensor. In most cases they sensor is located in the bottom of the reservoir tank. In some cases you can buy the sensor only and in some cases you will have to buy the tank to get the sensor.

Thanks to kevin for contributing to this FAQ!

Non replaceable sensor...remove the tank and clean it with whatever you can fit in there, both the tank side and the sensor side...sensor has a pivot point and a magnet. The magnetic surface is dirty, preventing the contact signal. Once initially cleaned, put some dry rice (not instant rice, but the real hard oriental stuff) or a similar hard product, then shake and shake some more. Been a year on this fix so far, no further issues.

Pricing for RADIATOR & COOLING SYSTEM V6 (heating & cooling system)

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Engine Overheating

[Saab 93]

Most of time, Overheating can be attributed to a faulty thermostat. Thermostat failures can be identified by noting that no heat exist or that the hose leading from the thermostat does not feel as though water is flowing through it. This is an indication that the thermostat is not opening! Replacement is the repair!

NOTE: Another Major problem with the 94-98 900 cars is that the fan resistor on the cooling fan itself will fail which will not allow the fan to come on. Most of the time when the resistor fails the fan will begin to come on later and later until the car is overheating before the fan comes on. Replacement of the complete fan assembly is the only solution because the resistor is not offered separately.

TIP: DO NOT replace the fan with a used one. Every fan in junk yards also have the same problem. There are guys that remove the fan resistor and attempt to replace just the resistor by going to radio shack and matching up the resistor but until now we have not found a suitable solution to this problem other than replacing the complete fan assembly.

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Radiator Drain Plug Location

[Saab 93]

In most cases the radiator drain plug is located at the bottom of the radiator on the passenger side. You will usually have to remove the plastic skid plate below the radiator to access this plug. Another way to drain the radiator and in some cases and easier way to flush the system is to pull the lower radiator hose.

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Crank Sensor Issues

[Saab 93]

Failing crankshaft sensors will often cause intermittent missing from the engine and can be difficult to diagnose because they usually ocurr intermittently. A good way to test the crank sensor is to put a timing light one the number 1 plug wire (or the number 1 wire for the DI systems which is usually orange but check your wiring schematic first). On a properly functioning ignition system the timing mark will stay reasonably still when looking at it with a timing light or strobe tool. If the mark on the flywheel is moving erratically you may have a crankshaft sensor issue or a possible issue with the reluctor in the ignition distributor (if your car has one) causing a problem.

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Ignition Lock and Door Lock Cylinders

[Saab 93]

Graphite powder is an excellent lubricant and seems to remove gummy substances from ignition lock or door lock cylinders. Lock cylinders typically come with grease in them so don't clean them unless absolutely necessary. If they are gummy then clean them first with substance such as contact cleaner then put dry graphite into them. The cylinder should begin to work properly unless damaged internally. If it is damaged internally replacement is the only cure.

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Ignition Starting Overview

[Saab 93]

The starter motor is bolted to the engine block. A starter solenoid engages a pinion with the flywheel ring gear. Whne the engine is turning faster than the starter motor rpm, the strarter pinion releases from the flywheel to prevent the starter motor from getting burned up. The Alarm Twice module grounds the starting relay which actuates the ignition system. The Twice control module sends the Key correct information to the vehicles bus which allows the car to crank. The Gear selector, (on automatic cars)
allows engine start only when the selector lever is in the park or Neutral position. The clutch pedal which incorporates the starter interlock (on some cars) will not allow the engine to start until the clutch pedal is in the depressed position.

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Ignition Switch Failure Symptoms

[Saab 93]

If the ignition switch is bad, not only may certain electronic devices not automatically turn off, some may not go on. I had a bad ignition switch, and the remotes would not work, and the alarm would not go on. The radio would also stay on after the car was shut off and the doors were opened.

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No Start caused by bad ground (buzzing noise)

[Saab 93]

A Saab 9-3 will sometimes show a buzzing noise coming from the relay panel under the dash (usually a no-start issue). This problem was traced specifically to a loose ground wire to the system computer. The ground wires (2) are attached to the underside of the intake manifold on the engine (2.0 or 2.3 engine).

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No Start due to incorrect light bulbs

[Saab 93]

Be very careful when replacing bulbs in the turn signals and taillights. We have seen issues when people install multi filament bulbs in single filament bulb sockets and visa-versa. One of the issues that we have seen is that the vehicle will run on when turning the ignition off or will not start at all. Keep in mind that different symptoms could occur with different cars. This may or may not apply to your particular Saab.

Thanks to Andrey Y for contributing to this FAQ!

I can verify this problem in my 2003 9-3 linear with different bulbs in the rear tail lights the entire car lighting system from the exterior would flash like a police cruiser and my car would not start. Once the bulbs were replaced with the correct bulbs the car started fine.

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Spark Plugs Pre-Gapped

[Saab 93]

Whether or not a spark plug is pre-gapped is determined by the manufacturer of the spark plug. In most cases the plugs come preset but I would always check them to be sure they are correct. It would be silly to have to pull each one out because you did not take a few seconds to check them for accuracy. Remember that an "ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"

Thanks to Daniel Powell for contributing to this FAQ!

I would gap them to 1.05mm for most NGK variants and then grease the whole thread with copper grease, taking care not to overdo it so it leaks everywhere! 28Nm Torque when you tighten them with a proper torque spanner.
11Nm on the DI cassette star screws.

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Starter Noise During Startup

[Saab 93]

A whining or high pitched whirring noise that occurs at initial start up can often be attributed to a faulty starter assembly. Most of the time when starters fail you will begin to detect a funny odor coming from the starter area. The smell comes from the wires on the armature or shorting causing the epoxy on the wiring to melt within the starter.

Thanks to Rick Blake for contributing to this FAQ!

Starter noise continuing after engine starts, or a higher-pitched grinding can be caused by the ignition switch not returning to the 'Run' position. If the ignition switch binds in between the 'Start' and 'Run' positions, the starter is apparently still engaged. Another symptom to look for is that the power windows won't go up or down.

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Startup Noise when first cranking

[Saab 93]

A whining or high pitched whirring noise that occurs at initial start up can often be attributed to a faulty starter assembly.

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CV Boots Tear and the Cause

[Saab 93]

Inner CV boots break (in most cases) due to dry rot or lack of grease. Outer boots generally fail to due to dry rot or in some cases excessively worn Outer CV joints cause excessive movement in the joint area placing strain on the boot causing it to break in the bend.

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Front-End Alignment & Diagnosis

[Saab 93]

There are several ways to tell if your vehicles front-end is out of alignment. One, is that the steering wheel may appear to be of center (an indication of something bent or tie rod ends off center). Second, your car may pull to the left or right when on flat ground (an indication that the alignment is off). Third, Front tire wear is an indication that problems exist in the front-End. This could mean that the caster or camber is off and in need of adjustment.

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Front Suspension Loose over bumps

[Saab 93]

A loose feeling or rattle when going over bumps can often be attributed to faulty lower ball joints! In-order to test the ball joints you must UNLOAD the wheel by jacking up the car. Then place a large pry bar or screwdriver between the steering knuckle and the ball joint and pry up and release. There should be no movement in the joint itself! By doing this you take the pressure off of the ball joints which will allow you to test them for excessive play or movement!

NOTE: Check the the shock sleeve nut is not loose i had this problem on my ng900. Contributed from Joe Walton. Thanks Joe

Thanks to Braden for contributing to this FAQ!

Make sure the strut mounts are not bad by doing a bounce test with the spring cover off. This can also contribute to a loose suspension over bumps.

On front ends is check the sway bar links and the mounts (rubber bushings that hold the sway bar) for play. this will make a rattling. We have seen the links broken and this causes a loose feeling along with the front end being out of alignment.

Thanks to Darren Cook for contributing to this FAQ!

I had the same issue ifter about 150000kms. I have just replaced all the control arm and tie end bushings on my 93 Viggen with an aftermarket Poly
bushing set (purple colour). I also replaced the tortion bar tie ends and front wheel bearings. I didnt need to replace the bearings as it turned
out. The bushings however have transformed the car into something better than ever. You can also keep your original control arms to do this. However you will need to butcher out the old bushings. I also had to fix worn subframe mounting holes on the rear subframe/radius arm. The holes had grown over the years and made the entire connection sloppy. Plug weld and grind flat all surfaces before installing new bushes. Well worth doing I would suggest for all 93 saabs over 150000kms. Its made a new tight car again.

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Front Suspension Noise

[Saab 93]

Front End Noise and rattle is mainly due to the clearance between the spring, thrust bearing and mount. The excess clearance causes the thrust bearing to move around, they are constructed of a durable plastic and bearings but this clearance destroys them. Purchasing a new strut kit will solve this problem. Saab is aware of this problem and you will notice that the 03 thru 05 Saab struts have been superseded by a revised design. TheSaabSite has what you need at a reasonable price, no they're not paying me but when you buy something and post a technical reply I believe they give a discount. So I am at work replying :) and I just purchased sway-bar bushings and the caps that go over them so they don't make noise in the winter, you know the squeak. Saabs are great cars when they work, Saab should give me a new one for all the money I have spent :)

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Front Wheel Bearing Noise

[Saab 93]

Front wheel bearing issues can often be determined by loading the wheel that is suspect for the bearing to be bad. By turning the wheel left or right this will place the weight of the vehicle on or off of the suspect side. If the noise increases with load then you must replace that wheel bearing.

If you hear a grinding noise while driving and turning slowly check the dust shield and the bearing. Most common is bearing and should be replaced if needed. Also check to see if the tires are cupping on the inside as this will be noisy.

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Grinding while turning

[Saab 93]

Question: Hello, I have a 01 9-5 aero, and now that it is nice out I'm driving with the windows down, and have notice that when I turn left it makes a grinding noise like my tire is rubbing on something. From as far as I can tell the tire is not rubbing on anything. So today while I was putting some wash fluid in I banged on the tire and heard it rattle, this kind of alarmed me. So here are the symptoms. Only makes a grinding noise when my steering wheel is at/above a certain left turn. DOES NOT make the noise on right hand turns. any ideas please help!

Answer: 3 things to ck is to look at the dust shield if it is rubbing take a screw driver and push it back then look at the pads make sure they are not to the wear indicator. The last thing to look at is the wheel bearing if they go bad you will hear noise when loading the weight of the car on that bad bearing while turning.

See more about this topic at Saab 95 (9-5) 1998-2008 Forum

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Loud Popping Noise

[Saab 93]

Sway bar bushing failures, strut mount failures & strut link failures are the most common cause of popping in the4 front end.

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Noise in Front

[Saab 93]

Question: We purchased an '04 9-3 Arc convertible/ manual/ with 54000 miles on it yesterday. My husband tells me that when he drove it over bumps (maybe speed bumps?), it made a loud noise in the front. The back end was fine. Any idea what this may be from?

Answer: The sport sedan had a problem with the front sway bar links being very noisy part no#13237130 u will need 2 left and right side. Could also be a problem with the strut mounts.

See more about this topic at Saab 93 (9-3) 2003-2008 Forum

Thanks to Geoff Snyder for contributing to this FAQ!

There is now a recall for the front springs in this model. Broken springs will cause a clunking kind of noise over bumps. I've had the noise for a while and finally my dealer narrowed it down to the springs, replaced Free under recall as long as car is less than 10 years/120K miles.

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Popping When Turning Left or Right

[Saab 93]

A consistent popping noise that can be heard when turning hard left or hard right can be identified as an outer Constant Velocity Joint failure. Be sure that when trying to diagnose this that the noise is consistent or a continuous pop! This means that the shell or housing that supports the Balls in the CV joint has broken or has excessive wear!

Thanks to Daniel G for contributing to this FAQ!

Another possible issue is a worn strut bearing. This happened to me. Turning at low speeds, there would be a thump and you could tell which side was bad. It is not very easy to access, as you have to remove the strut and disassemble the strut assembly. Air tools will be very helpful, if not necessary, to remove the lock bolt.

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Power Steering & How it Works

[Saab 93]

The power-assisted steering gear your Saab is known as a rack-and-pinion steering assembly. It consists of a control valve and servo cylinder which are placed in a similar housing, along with the power steering pump and reservoir, these are the main components of the system. Power steering fluid is pumped from the power steering pump to the control valve where, depending on which way the steering wheel is turned, it is directed to either the right or the left side of the servo cylinder. The power steering fluid then applies pressure on the rack's piston, thus providing power assistance to the rack-and-pinion steering gear. The mechanical components of the steering gear are lubricated by high-viscosity grease and sealed from the hydraulic circuit and other parts of the system by seals and rubber gaskets.

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Power Steering Noise

[Saab 93]

The most common cause of power steering noise is a fluid leak. Leaking fluid causes the pump to whine due to lack of lubrication in the pump. In most cases the whine can be fixed by locating the leak and repairing it but in cases where the pump is ran dry for extended periods the pump may have to be replaced. The lines are the the most common leak area. They usually leak where the rubber line turns into the metal line. If you can turn the two parts of the lines seperately that is where the leak will be in most cases.

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Rear Suspension Problem

[Saab 93]

Thanks to Terance Love for contributing to this FAQ!

Many do not realize that one of the effects of negative camber - toe in. All wheels that are tilted will tend to go in a circle around the point at which the projected line of their axle touches the ground. Hence negative camber produces the same effect as toe-in. Worse, with a wide tire, this results in a tension across the tire (due to each side trying to cover a different distance) resulting in a slip-stick wear of the inside third or so of the tire. The slip-stick effect (which is cyclical) is likely the main reason for the scalloping typical of 9-5 rear tires with its associated noise and high tire wear. The solution is to make the tires more vertical (i.e reduce the negative camber significantly). The adverse effect will be that the car will tend to change its under-steer/over-steer behavior. From reading the forums and measuring my own Saab 9-5 it's clear that the Saab 9-5 rear suspension tends over time towards excessive negative camber. The solution would appear to be to reset the camber to the middle of the recommended range by shims or by replacing the bushes on the lateral arms. The latter, on feedback from the forums, appears to be only a very temporary solution. Presumably the bushes distort quickly to result in increased negative camber. Perhaps harder bushes would resolve the issue with different problems!

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Shocks, Struts, Springs Should I replace

[Saab 93]

Shocks-Struts Trying to determine if you Shocks-struts need to be replaced can be difficult. Most of the time when the shocks get worn out you can tell by pushing down on each corner of the car. If the car bounces more than once when it returns to the rest position then it likely means that the dampening effect of the shock is worn out. This would mean that you would need to replace the shocks. Replacing them in pairs in not required but is preferred in-order to keep the dampening the same on both sides.

Springs Most spring failures can be identified by noting that ride height has changed. If you notice that the height of the front or rear or even one corner is not correct then the likely problem is a broken/worn spring. Replacing them in pairs in not required but is preferred in-order to keep the ride height the same on both sides.

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Steering Wanders all over the road

[Saab 93]

A Wandering feeling in the steering can often be attributed to faulty tie rod ends. Tie rod ends are the components that Tie the wheels to the steering racks. When they have excessive wear they tend to cause the tight steering feel to disappear. When replacing Tie rod ends be careful to count the amount of turns that it takes to remove the ends and place the new ones on using the same amount of turns. This will insure that the tow-in remains the same.

Thanks to Steven Pfaff for contributing to this FAQ!

The tie rods also connect to the rack and pinion unit with rubber bushings that usually fail within 100,000 miles. When these bushings wear out completely, the tie rods are allowed nearly 1/2" of free play. The bushing kit costs under $20 and can be easily accessed at the center of the steering rack. Often when the bushings are worn, you can easily tell with a visual inspection.

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Tires for Less Money

[Saab 93]

Tires for less money: Next time you need tires on your 900NG or 9-3 (1998-2002) you may save up to $160.00 or more with this information. Saab specifies a "VR" rated tire (130mph ) and tire shops may require that you purchase a VR if they install your tires on the car in their shop at the time of tire purchase. But if you just use the car around town or do not exceed freeway speeds for extended periods of time, a "HR" rated tire (up to 130mph) will fit and work fine and save you up to 35% when you go to purchase new tires. The tire shop MAY require you to bring in the rims OFF the car at time of purchase to install and balance the tires, but then you can drive the car back to the shop with the new tires so the shop can verify the installation and activate the warranty for the tires (I already did this). I discovered this last time I purchased tires from a major national warehouse chain for my 900NG [with over 200K miles] that we use as a spare car around town. I saved $160. off the purchase of 4 Michelin-Brand tires buying the HR vs. VR (OE size). I have about 10,000 miles on these tires with no sacrifice to handling or ride quality. Additional information: I do NOT tow with the car and I do NOT operate the car at maximum load capacity.

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Automatic Transmissions

[Saab 93]

We have seen problems with automatic transmissions wgere they will not shift correctly. What typically happens is that the car will shift from 2nd to 5th in many cases just skipping gears. We have a few problems on 2003-2005 year models. Other models do not seem to have that issue.

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Axle Assemblies & Why We Don't Sell Them

[Saab 93]

Outer CV joint failures & inner driver failures are quite common on the Saab 9000 cars and there are companies out there that sell rebuilt complete axles assemblies that end up being a little cheaper than buying the outer joint & inner driver components separately. Saabs are specifically designed to have axles that weigh a certain amount & they should be certain lengths for balance reasons and most rebuilt axles are done without taking this into consideration. We have seen issues with these rebuilt axles flying out of the inner driver causing transmissions to get torn up as well as other severe damage.

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Hydraulic Hose Repair

[Saab 93]

Leaking Hydraulic hoses can often be attributed to a leaky clamp which cause the hose to be able to be turned. You can repair some hoses temporarily by cutting a small 1/4 slice of the metal fitting out (being careful not to cut the hose) then put a adjustable hose clamp over the (now cut) fitting and tighten down the clamp. What happens here is that you cut just enough of the metal clamp out that when you put the hose clamp on and tighten it down that is basically creates a new clamp over top of the one that started leaking. This is a great quick fix and may last a bit but replacement of the hoses with new is the best long term solution.

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Inner Driver Failures

[Saab 93]

The inner drivers connect the transmission to the drive shafts. They can fail from lubrication issues or from wear and tear, the thrust surfaces can develop depressions inside the carrier above on the mating surfaces. A very small depression in the driver mating surface will cause a vibration problem under loads or acceleration as the tripod bearings rides in and out of the worn area. If you want to do this job right then replace the worn inner drivers, the tripod bearings and replace the boot. Castrol Wheel Bearing Grease NLGI ( a lithium based grease) seems to work better for long term lubrication..

Saab 900 79-94 - Right side failure is more common than left (especially on 900 Automatic cars) Due to exhaust location
Saab 900 94-98 - drivers side tends to go bad more frequently than the passenger side.
Saab 9000 86-98 - Drivers side tends to fail more often
Saab 93 98-2003 - Passenger side failures are more common
Saab 95 98-2009 - Drivers side failures are more common

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Manual Transmission Noise On Deceleration

[Saab 93]

A whining noise from the transmission during acceleration and deceleration can often be attributed to faulty pinion bearings in the transmission. Generally, what happens is that the bearings begin to get pits in them due to excessive wear or dirty transmission oil. Catching the pinion bearings prior to complete failure will result in less cost during a transmission repair!

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Manual Transmission Vibrational Issues

[Saab 93]

There are know issues on cars with manual transmissions where the bushing within the differential that inner driver slides into fails which causes vibration issues at idle/acceleration. Replacement of this bushing requires taking the manual transmission apart although some guys are sawing them out through the differential hole. We are working on a tool that will safely remove this bushing without harming the drive train and we should have this available shortly.

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Nuetral Safety Switch Causes No Start

[Saab 93]

We have seen a bunch of issues with the nuetral safety switches failing on both the 900 and 93 cars. The issue is that the contacts get worn which causes a no start condition because the switch is not reading the inputs correctly when in warm conditions. We have also seen issues with the switches triggering fault codes. The only cure is to replace the switch.

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Transmission Fluid Level Check & Replacement

[Saab 93]

Some tranmissions allow the fluid to be checked with a dipstick located on the top of the transmission itself but in some cases there is no dipstick at all as the transmission units are sealed and cannot be checked. Some transmissions have a small plug that has to be taken off the top left side of the transmission. The dipstick is sometimes located on the bottom of the plug that must be removed from the top of the transmission itself.

NOTE: On transmissions that have dipsticks but no drain plug you can replace the fluid by using a turkey baster with a rubber hose on it to remove fluid from the transmission.

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Transmissions and Buying Used

[Saab 93]

We don't typically suggest buying used transmissions because of the amount of wear associated with its moving parts. Transmissions typically last around 100-175,000 miles but anything after that is a "gift". This is not uncommon with any car as all transmissions have the consistently moving parts which wear out quicker than stationary parts. We do have a used parts division that can supply used transmissions but the warranty is no more than 90 days in most cases.

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Transmission Shifting Problems

[Saab 93]

Question: 2004 9-3 Saab. It occasionally will not shift (my Saab is auto), it goes from 2nd to 5th unless I shift manually. It will skip 1st, 3rd, 4th gear. Lately it has been doing it more often. Can you please tell me why?

Answer: I hate to say but it sounds like the transmission needs replacing saab had some problems with transmission in 2003-2005 sport sedans. The prices are listed in the link below

Thanks to Salar for contributing to this FAQ!

I had the same problem with my 2004 9-3 Arc. all of a sudden my check engine light came on and" Gearbox malfunction, limited functionality
contact service "came on the SID. there is a sensor in transmission that if goes wrong, limits the automatic transmission functioning in 2nd and 5th
gears only. I don't know its name, but my mechanic replaced it for $400 and it fixed the issue.

See more about this topic at Saab 93 (9-3) 2003-2008 Forum

Saab SS 93 Automatic Transmission Pricing

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Octane Requirements & What I should Run?

[Saab 93]

Depending on the Saab you have, Saab Cars uses a system call APC (Automatic performance control) which detects knock when low octane fuel is used and retards the ignition timing to prevent engine damage. This is what I call a Grandmother clause. In-other words, grandma can use low octane fuel and not do any harm or a youthful speed conscious person can put higher octane in and get more performance. With a normally functioning APC system the basic rule is the higher the octane the higher the boost pressure will go because less knock will occur in the combustion chamber.

Thanks to Aaron Kidder for contributing to this FAQ!

After moving to Colorado from the east coast with my 2002 9-3 at about 20K miles. I stubbled on a very important piece of information...I saw two similar cars in the dealer with the cylinder heads off. The pistons were badly damaged from detonation. To make this short, there was a Saab bulletin that owners above 5000 feet elevation should use gas with an octane rating that is higher than the baseline 87 to prevent this type of engine damage in turbocharged engines. I never got this bulletin, but read the shops copy and now use 91 at every fill up as we live at 7000 feet and drive up to 9000 feet very often. I hope this may help someone prevent an engine failure if you also live at high altitude.

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Turbo Apc Boost Control Valve Failures

[Saab 93]

APC boost pressure control valve failures make themselves evident by causing the car to boost excessively which causes bucking in the system by cutting the fuel pump off when the boost exceeds a pre-determined safe level. Replacement of the valve is the only cure.

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Turbo Boost Gauge Reading

[Saab 93]

Reading the Saab boost guage is pretty simple. When in white zone that means that the engine is creating a vacuum only (usually between 10-15 inches of vacuum. When in the orange zone the boost pressure is approximately from 1-10 PSI of boost pressure. When in the red zone the boost pressure is typically above 10 PSI.

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Turbo Bypass Valve Testing for Failures

[Saab 93]

One can test the bypass valve to see if it is faulty by removing the vacuum hose from the intake manifold and applying suction to the hose. If the valve is faulty the suction applied will not hold creating a vacuum leak. A leaking bypass valve will often cause the car to stall when coming to a stop!

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Turbochargers and Rebuilding Yourself

[Saab 93]

Rebuild kits are available for most turbochargers but rebuilding them yourself with these kits can present more problems that most are aware of. In-order to rebuild a turbocharger correctly you must balance the turbo shaft and impellors to keep the turbo from failing prematurely. We have all the neccessary tools to do this correctly and most individuals do not. We do not offer these kits because we feel they cannot be built correctly without these tools.

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Turbo Gauge Not Working and Reading

[Saab 93]

Turbo Gauge Not Working: non-working turbo gauges can be attributed to vacuum hoses failures. When the hoses crack then the vacuum created from the intake manifold will no longer pull down the needle on the boost gauge. Cracked hoses must be replaced to cure the non-working gauge.

Reading the Turbo Gauge: The White is the vacuum in inches meaning that there is vacuum only in the intake manifold while in the white zone. The yellow means that you are in boost (pressure in the intake). In most cases the red color is noting that the boost pressure is exceeding approximately 10 PSI of boost pressure. As the red part widens the pressure is increasing.

Thanks to Jeff for contributing to this FAQ!

The turbo gauge in the saabs, at least the new 93, is more of a torque request gauge. You can nail it from a dead stop and it will shoot to red, obviously the engine is still pulling vac at that time.

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Turbo Oil Leaks into intake

[Saab 93]

When a turbocharger fails it ususally pulls oil into the engine from the compressor side of the turbo because of the suction that is created there. This engine oil can filter into the intake, the intercooler and all the hoses on the intake side. You typically will not have to worry about getting it out because the replacement turbo will push that oil out of the engine with pressure. There are cases where a very large amount of oil will be pushed into the intercooler and will not come out. you can remove the intercooler to get it out but in the majority of the cases this will never be an issue.

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Turbo's & Allowing them to Idle down

[Saab 93]

Allowing the Turbocharger to slow down after driving hard and shutting the vehicle off quickly is something that Turbo owners began to realize was very important when turbochargers came into production back in the late 1970's. As a matter of fact, Saab posted this on the back of the upper visor on production vehicles for years. The fact is, this was done because Turbochargers spin at maximum spin rate of approximated 40,000 revolutions per minute and when you drive hard and then stop the engine abruptly the oil supply to the turbocharger is taken away causing something called "Coking". This process occurs because the Center section of the turbo continues to spin without oil causing the oil to actually burn and coat the bearings/bushings with an coating that would cause the turbo to fail prematurely. In approximately 1988 Saab introduced the Water cooled center sections (actually the bearing section is lubricated by Oil and the section around the oil section is cooled by antifreeze). This, coupled with downsizing the turbochargers considerably has dramatically reduced the number of Turbo failures. Slowing down moderately and coasting to your home for about one/half mile or so would still be a good idea but not mandatory.

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Turbo's LPT Information

[Saab 93]

LPT stands for Light Pressure Turbo. These cars are not full blow turbo cars but do have turbocharges. They have fixed gate systems which means the boost pressure is not adjustable. The fuel ECM is different as well. The cars are considered Turbo cars when purchasing parts although please read the cell groups carefully when purchasing outer CV joints or boots.

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Turbo Whistle During Acceleration

[Saab 93]

Turbocharger whistling is often caused by excessive bearing wear. What generally happens is that the center section bearings tend to wear allowing the impellers to rub against the compressor housing of the Turbocharger causing a whistling during acceleration. This is not to say that all Turbochargers that whistle need to be replaced. Some Turbochargers whistle for years without failure. Frequent oil changes will help prevent Turbocharger failure!

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Wiper Arms Go Opposite Directions or stop in wrong position

[Saab 93]

Wiper arms going in opposite directions can usually be attributed to loosening of the 13 mm nut located at the base of the wiper arm. Simply realigning the arms and tightening the nut will usually correct the issue. One tip when doing this is to pull the wiper arm off the windshield when first checking the alignment so that the arm does not hit the hood or trunk. It is also common to see issues with the arm nut being loose so long that the arm it self gets stripped out which means that you must replace the arm to cure this issue.

Pricing for WIPER BLADES & RELATED (wiper & washer components)

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Wiper Arms Will Not Move

[Saab 93]

When your wiper arm (windshield, trunk wiper or headlight wiper) won't move the most common issue is a loose nut under the wiper cap at the base of the wiper arm. When the nut gets loose the arm cannot move the because their is no compression to hold the arm tight to the shaft of the motor. In most cases you can tighten the nut and it will start working again. There are situations where the arm has been reemed out to a point where the wiper arm will need to be replaced to correct the problem.

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Wipers & Washers for Headlight

[Saab 93]

There are two covers just below the headlights that previous Saab owners would assume are the headlight washers-wiper slots. The covers only serve as a possible future place for headlight wipers or washer squirters. Headlight wipers or headlight washers do not currently come on new models with Headlight wiper in the USA but they do come standard in some countries.

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