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Saab 93 Frequently Asked Questions 1998-2003

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About the 900 And 93 Similarities

[Saab 93]

The 900 basically evolved into the 9 3 car. Both share the same platform but Saab made over 1100 improvements to the 900 in-order to move into the 9 3 phase!

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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 Problems

[Saab 93]

There have been a good number of issues with the AC compressor clutches on the Saab 93 98-2003. They tend to seize up which causes the belt to burn off because the clutch for the compressor either has too little clearance or excessive clearance issues. It is not recommended to replace the compressor clutch due to the cost. In many cases we can sell compressors for close to the cost of the clutch itself. Replacement of the complete compressor is the repair.

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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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Pricing for AC HOSES NOT SPORT SEDAN 98-2003 (ac parts)

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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.

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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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Antenna Mast Broken in Motor

[Saab 93]

The link below is a PDF that is designed to show how to dis-assemble your antenna assembly on the Saab 900. This proceedure also applies to many other Saabs and should be about the same with only minor differences. If you replace your antenna mast and the mast will not retract all the way then the problem is likely an issue with a piece of the mast broken off in the bottom of the antenna assembly.

Click here for Antenna removal and dis-assembly proceedure

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Antenna Mast Replacement

[Saab 93]

Antenna Mast failures generally occur because people ride through the carwash with the antenna up. Once the mast is bent replacement is the only repair. As long as the antenna cord is not broken, repair is fairly simple. Simply remove the 17 or 18 mm nut off the antenna assembly top and pull out the portion of the antenna mast that still remains in the assembly (You may have to turn on the radio when attempting to remove the old antenna mast). Slide the original sleeve over the replacement mast and place the nut over the mast and insert the corded portion of the antenna into the antenna assembly until it reaches the bottom. Have someone turn OFF the radio and slowly rotate the cord clockwise until the corded portion of the antenna is pulled into the antenna assembly. Slide the mast all the way into the assembly and install the nut and tighten slightly! DO NOT WORRY if the mast does not go all the way down at first as it will adjust itself after turning the antenna on and off again.

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Antenna Mast Replacement

[Saab 93]

Thanks to Michael Harvey for contributing to this FAQ!

Antenna Mast failures generally occur because people ride through the carwash with the antenna up. Once the mast is bent replacement is the only repair. As long as the antenna cord is not broken the repair is fairly simple. Simply remove the 17 or 18 mm nut off the antenna assembly top and pull out the portion of the antenna mast that still remains in the assembly (You may have to turn on the radio when attempting to remove the old antenna mast). Slide the original sleeve over the replacement mast and place the nut over the mast and insert the corded portion of the antenna into the antenna assembly until it reaches the bottom. Have someone turn OFF the radio and slowly rotate the cord clockwise until the corded portion of the antenna is pulled into the antenna assembly. Slide the mast all the way into the assembly and install the nut and tighten slightly! DO NOT WORRY if the mast does not go all the way down at first as it will adjust itself after turning the antenna on and off again.

NOTE: Remember to keep the silver sleeve that goes around the lower portion of the antenna mast as you will want to use the original sleeve as opposed to the one that is supplied with the replacement mast! (The ones that come with the replacement mast are often too thin and will not secure the mast well enough!) There are occasions where the antenna cords break off and will not allow the replacement mast to be pulled in by the rotation of the antenna gear assembly. In this event you will have to remove the antenna assembly and disassemble it and manually remove the broken portion!

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Antenna Shark Fin Replacement

[Saab 93]

Question: I need to replace the Shark Fin on the roof of 2002 93 se, it broke away from the base and is being held on by 2 wires. I could careless about OnStar. Does any have any advise on how to replace it?

Answer: You will need to get your hand over headliner to the nut that holds the fin on. It is a tight fit but you pry the headliner down from the back and insert your hand there.

See more about this topic at Saab 93 (9-3) 1998-2003 Forum

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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 Cylinder Failures

[Saab 93]

Convertible top cylinder failures are common on the Saab 900 and Saab 93. What generally occurs is that one of the cylinders begins to leak causing pressure on the opposite side which usually causes more than one piston to fail. The on the 900 there are two pistons and on the 93 there are 4.

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Convertible Top Manual Operation

[Saab 93]

Almost every part of the electric convertible system can be manually actuated by applying a 12v current to the motors. Even in a system that the computer won't fully operate will function normally once a certain point in the process has been passed. The tonneau latches can be opened and closed with a connector located to the left of center under the tonneau it's self. Once they are opened if the rear bow is lifted up by hand to a certain point the entire system will continue to open the top automatically using the button in the cabin.  The override handle located behind the rear seat will only allow manual operation to close the roof but not open it.

Thanks to nomadtw for contributing to this FAQ!

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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!

Thanks to Morley for contributing to this FAQ!

Emblems attached with double faced adhesive: generally pretty easy to cut through the adhesive with dental floss, just pull it back and forth, you may go through 2 or 3 pieces of dental floss, will not damage your paint.

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Noise from dash

[Saab 93]

Question: Hi my 04 9-3 20t has a clunking whirring sound from the dash when i first open the door before i even put the key in it also makes the same sound when I change the temperature in the cabin?

Answer: Replace the inside temperature sensor

See more about this topic at Saab 93 (9-3) 1998-2003 Forum

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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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Seats Tilt Issue

[Saab 93]

Question: How do I access and repair the forward tilt action that causes the front seats to pitch forward to allow access to the rear seat?

Answer: There is actually 2 cables behind the leather. You will need to remove the top leather to see the cables and to access them. There is a platisc piece that the cables goes into that facilitate their removal

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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 Leak Repair

[Saab 93]

Thanks to Arthur Doty for contributing to this FAQ!

My Sunroof Seal leak was small but getting worse, water accumulated along the pinch molding around the interior sunroof opening, then would fall onto my head as I started to drive. I checked the drain tubes, all were clear. The leak was between the sunroof glass and the carrier frame. Replacing the sunroof glass assembly costs ($900.00 +). I cleaned the glass then put a bead of black silicone adhesive sealant (with my finger) completely along where the glass meets the sunroof carrier frame. I did this 8 weeks ago, and there has not been anymore leaking.

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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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Tire Size on Convertible

[Saab 93]

Thanks to De Freeman for contributing to this FAQ!

I have installed 225/30/R 20 tires on my 1999 Saab 9-3 Convertible and I have no rubbing at all. Just a little information to help those that might want to go with this size. It can be done without issues.

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Water Leaks Convertibles (door glass)

[Saab 93]

Thanks to Mark Rogers for contributing to this FAQ!

We have found that the front door window glass fitted height can be adjusted on cabriolet models to adjust glass to create a good roof seal. To adjust it simply remove the door trim and waterproof shield. In the middle of the window regulator near where the main lifting gear arm there is a 10mm bolt in a slot that is used to limit glass travel. Move bolt down to allow window to go higher and up to make it stop lower in the up postion. Also as a check to see if your door is original there was a paper saab sticker with the vin number on it which should correspond with your vehicles vin number.

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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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Pricing for REAR WHEEL HUBS & BEARINGS (wheel bearings & related)

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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.

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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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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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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.

Pricing for BRAKE BOOSTER (brake components for Abs)
Pricing for BRAKE BOOSTER (brakes & related)
Pricing for BRAKE BOOSTER VACUUM HOSE (brake components for Abs)
Pricing for BRAKE BOOSTER VACUUM HOSE (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 Bleeding Instructions

[Saab 93]

The easiest way to bleed the clutch is to use a pressure bleeder. You apply pressure to the reservoir with air and loosen the nut on the line to the master first. Second, make sure solid fluid with no air comes out of the line. Third, tighten the line back down at the master cylinder while the fluid is still coming out. Follow the same procedure to bleed the slave as well.

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Clutch Hose Clip

[Saab 93]

Thanks to Arthur Doty for contributing to this FAQ!

I had problems getting the clip engaged on the SAAB 900 1997 hydraulic slave connector at the top of the bell housing. The clip would seem to be engaged properly, then would pop off under hydraulic pressure. My solution (see pic) was to have a custom hydraulic line made replacing the clip connector with a threaded connection. The modification was made by a custom brake line company that does hot rod work. They machined and threaded the aluminum bleeder block, then tapped it and fabricated the line.

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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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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 Issues Because Of Lost Keys

[Saab 93]

When you loose the keys you have to get a twice unit and a chip and then marry them using the Saab tech2 tool. There are two different alarm remotes and chips. One is 1/4 X 1/4 X 1 inch long and the new style chip is actually built into the remote head. The easiest thing to do is to have a new key made by vin so you can use your existing locks and then buy the twice unit and chip. When ordering the key you must order a key that matches the type of chip you need.

Pricing for ALARM COMPONENTS (NOT SPORT SEDAN) (alarm components)

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Alarm Key Fobs not working

[Saab 93]

Question: This weekend both keys stopped operating the locks remotely. It seemed like the console switch also had a problem which now seems to have resolved (wasn't locking/unlocking consistently now it does) Nothing coming up on the SID battery's low...

Answer: Your remotes likely lost their codes. They will need to be reprogrammed by a dealer or someone with a Saab tech 2.

See more about this topic at Saab 93 (9-3) 1998-2003 Forum

Thanks to Jim Burton for contributing to this FAQ!

The reason why the key stops working is the the ignition lock is not popping up when you remove the key .Try spraying
the switch with wd40 or spray any good maintenance in the lock. it will then popup the keys will then work. Keep in mind that if this continues to happen you will need to replace the lock cylinder.

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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 entry (Distance from car)

[Saab 93]

The distance that the Alarm remote key fob will work is about 5 to 10 feet on cars where the alarm buttons are on the key. Yea.... we know. Thats terrible. The Module is located in the center console and this seems to be a real issue. As soon as a fix is released we will let everyone know.

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Alarm Remotes & loosing one

[Saab 93]

When a remote is broken you can purchase the remote from Saab. You can also purchase the chip kits from Saab that will allow you to synchronize all of your remotes for one car. Upon initial purchase of the vehicle an extra chip should have been provided in case you wanted to add another remote. You can also give Saab the numbers off of remote chip and they should be able to get an extra.

NOTE: It has been brought to our attention that Saab no longer offers the chips individually and that they can only be purchased in kit form which includes the chip for the Alarm remote module as well as 2 chips for remotes!

NOTE: On the 94-98 cars if the car is locked with the remote and you then lose your keys you must replace the alarm remote with the key fob because the system is then locked and cannot be bypassed by just replacing one of the components. They both must be replaced. We believe that you can completely bypass the alarm system by jumping the two main wires to the starter but this is not something we recommend because the car can easily be stolen at that point.If you do this you do at your OWN RISK!

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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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Alarm "Service Theft Alarm"

[Saab 93]

We have seen some issues with the SERVICE THEFT ALARM info being displayed during startup on the Saab 93 1998-2003 models. The issue is likely a problem with the alarm horn itself. Typically what happens is that the resistance of the horn increasing causing this failure. The typical scan tool code is B1785. If you have this code check the alarm horn first.

Thanks to Bruce Brooks for contributing to this FAQ!

Another fix we have found with the "service theft alarm" is that there are 3.1 volt lithium batteries inside of the alarm-horn module. You can open the box and clearly see the 2 batteries, they have tangs attached to where they solder to the circuit board (batteries come with the tangs attached) there is a small red plastic coated jumper you need to disconnect from the circuit before you de-solder and add the new batterys, then reattach the jumper, re-install the batteries and you are good to go. Just like any other non rechargable battery they only last so long before they no longer hold enough voltage to work. When they fail you will get the service theft message.

Thanks to Mark for contributing to this FAQ!

That fix of the batteries was spot on! Those 3V Sanyo batteries with the
tack welded tab are a special order item and takes awhile to get them. Instead I used a regular 3V lithium with the same body size and used small jumpers to solder them to the board. I then secured the batteries to the board with silicone. No waiting for special batteries, and the batteries
cost half as much.

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Alternator Issues On The Saab 93 98-2003

[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 starved 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.

Pricing for ALTERNATORS & RELATED (alternators & related)
Pricing for VOLTAGE REGULATOR & RELATED (alternators & related)
Pricing for VOLTAGE REGULATOR & RELATED (electrical components)

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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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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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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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Fan Issues

[Saab 93]

My 2003 Saab 93 with 140k has not started twice in the last week.  Both times have been after sitting in a parking lot for 10 hours.  I has able to jump start it both times.  The last time I took it to Autozone and they tested the battery and it checked out ok. The battery is 2 years old. I must be drawing voltage somehow when the car sits.  I also have a problem with my cabin fan working only intermittedly.  Pulled out my voltmeter today and discovered fuse 23 (cabin fan) drawing 12 volts without the keys in the ignition. Checked the fan and I am getting voltage at the fan with out the keys in the ignition.  I get 10 volts at the fan when the manual fan control is in the off position and 7 volts when the fan control is in the 5 position. 

The problem with the fan speed is the fan controller. A fairly common issue actually.

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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!

Pricing for FOG LIGHTS & RELATED (lights & related)
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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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Fuse #22 Blows

[Saab 93]

If fuse 22 continues to blow you likely have a problem with the turn signal stalk switch. Replacement is the only cure.

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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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Ignition Switch Electrical Portion Issue

[Saab 93]

Thanks to Malcolm Sharp for contributing to this FAQ!

I had problem with electrical portion of Ignition Switch, no dash lights etc, starter would work but not start, removed ignition switch, stripped down and cleaned contacts with points file and electronics spray, reassembled using small self tappers to replace "riveted" section and presto a perfectly operating Ignition Switch. Took around 45 minutes. This may only be a temporary fix but it may get you home! Replacement of electrical portion of the ignition switch is the best fix!

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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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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 CPU causes hazard lights to come on

[Saab 93]

We have seen some issues with the Central Processing Unit for the Onstar causing the hazard lights to come on and stay on. When this happens you cannot shut them off without disconnecting the battery. The problem is that water gets into the Central Processing Unit which causes this issue. There are two possible fixes. If you do NOT use Onstar then you can disconnect the two wires to the unit and the problem will go away. If you DO use onstar you will need to replace the CPU.

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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 1 to SID 2

[Saab 93]

We have had a number of people ask if you can convert from a SID 1 unit to a SID 2 Unit and the answer is no. The inputs are completely different which means that it will not work.

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SID Language Change

[Saab 93]

In-order to change from English to a foreign language you should hold the "clear" and "up" for 4 seconds and choose the language you want to change to.

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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 Miles to KLM

[Saab 93]

To change the Sid unit from mileage to Kilometers hold down the first 3 buttons for 5 seconds

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SID "Soft Top Failure"

[Saab 93]

Question: When I open the soft top, it will open about halfway and then stop, and SID reads 'SOFT TOP FAILURE.' If I release the button and press it again, it will continue to go the rest of the way. Putting the top up never results in a failure. Any idea what the problem there is?

Answer: Sometimes you can repair the pumps by putting a new propellar in it what happen is the propellar will break and the pump will not work the saabsite sell the kits. Look in the trunk at the back on the left you will see a open in the carpet and you will see the pump and you can see how much fluid is in it if the pump. If it fails you will hear it run but see no movement.

See more about this topic at Saab 93 (9-3) 1998-2003 Forum

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SID Unit "rear bulb failure"

[Saab 93]

Whens seeing a rear light failure warning on the the SID unit you will most often find that a license plate light or rear foglight bulb is burnt out. We have also seen issues with the contacts on the rear bulbs needing to be cleaned up or replaced.

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SID Year Month Day Settings

[Saab 93]

To set the SID1 Units Year, month and date simply holdthe CLEAR & DOWN ARROW for 5 seconds. The Year will blink. Repeat for month and date.

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STS Module Location

[Saab 93]

The STS module is behind the left rear interior panel remove the panel and the ecm will be there. There is 4 bolts that holds the inside trim panel on you can lay the back seat down and there is 2 bolts there.

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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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Charcoal Canister - Purge Valve Location

[Saab 93]

Question: Where is the charcoal canister and purge valve located on the 99 - 93?

Answer: The Purge valve is located beside the air filter box and the canister is under the car near tank

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Alternator Removal 4 Cylinder

[Saab 93]

Thanks to Robert Anton for contributing to this FAQ!

Alternator Removal ( 1998-2003- SAAB 93 4 cyl: 1. Disconnect the Negative Battery Cable
2. Remove the air breather/cleaner and hose from between the air breather/cleaner and throttle housing pic 0523
3. Remove the strain of the belt tensioner off the belt and pry off the belt. pic 0526 & 0527
4. Remove the right front wheel
5. Remove the belt cover & Disconnect the battery Cable and the red alternator power wire. pic 0524
6. Remove the two Alternator Bolts that secure the alternator to the bracket. pic 532, 533, 534

Remove the rubber hangers and cut the brackets holding it on DRIVER SIDE ONLY;now you can gain the space to pull out the alternator and place in the new one! Need only an allan key/socket, same size for the pulley, tensioner and alternator bolts.. Pray bar for the tensioner. Need to weld back the 2 brackets. I would suggest to replace the pulley and the tensioner pulley and serpentine belt, keep the old ones for spare (less than $100 AFT). Good luck!

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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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Check Valve (PCV) Information

[Saab 93]

The white & gray check valve located in the upper hose going into the valve cover is a one way check valve. The purpose of this valve is to prevent boost pressure from going into the intake manifold when the turbo starts to spool up. To determine if you positioning it correctly simply blow through the valve. No air should go into the valve cover after the valve is inserted into the vacuum line. Incidentally the valve is not a PCV valve. Many people think it is so we put that info in the title for search purposes

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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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Cylinder Head Bolts Size

[Saab 93]

Saab uses an inverted TORX socket & E16 is the size.

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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 Codes P0340 - 1312 - 1110

[Saab 93]

Question: These are the three codes (but no breakdown of what they are) P0340 - P1312 - P1110 Just checking if anyone has a list of what these 3 codes are for?

Answer: It is the Direct Ignition Cassette module. Be sure to replace the plugs with the DI Cassette.

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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

[Saab 93]

Oil leakage from beneath the car in the area of where the hood and the windshield meets (C900) or below the belt area (NG90, 93, 95) can generally be attributed to a faulty oil pump seal and O-ring. What usually happens is that the oil seal falls out of the oil pump housing allowing oil leakage to occur. When replacing the oil pump seal replacement of the oil pump O-ring is also recommended!

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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 Light Comes on

[Saab 93]

There are many issues that could cause the engine oil light to come on. The first thing to do is to check the oil level. If it is full then you likely have a problem with the oil level sending unit. What generally occurs is that the unit goes bad causing the light to come on even when the oil pressure is fine!

NOTE: There are occasions where the oil pickup in the bottom of the oil pan will become clogged causing poor oil pressure. This generally will not cause the check oil level light to come on but it will cause major engine damage. To check this simply check the oil pressure with a gauge to see if this is a problem.

Thanks to Paul Arnold for contributing to this FAQ!

Another cause of the oil light coming on after starting from cold is the pressure relief valve sticking open. This is normally accompanied by noisy tappets. This has happened to me twice on B202 engines. Easily remedied by removing plunger and cleaning thoroughly. Very fine abrasive does help.

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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 Rattle at idle

[Saab 93]

Rattling at idle from the engine can often be contributed to a Faulty AC compressor. Turn the AC off and see if it goes away. If it does check to be sure you have the correct amount of freon in the system. If the noise does not go away then check the Idler pulleys, the power steering pump and the Idler pulleys in that order.

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Engine Smoke Black at Tailpipe

[Saab 93]

Black Smoke streaming from the tailpipe is generally an indication of a faulty Air Mass Meter! What generally occurs is that the small platinum wire gets so thin that it begins to give incorrect readings causing the fuel system to run rich. These symptoms occur most often when sitting with the car running at idle!

NOTE: There are occasions when a faulty fuel pressure regulator will cause the same symptoms! In-order to test the fuel pressure regulator you will need to hook up a fuel pressure gauge to the fuel line. The pressure should be about what the number reads on the regulator (2.5 or 3.0 bar)

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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.

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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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Piston Issues Caused by Balance Bushing

[Saab 93]

We have seen an issue the rear balance shaft bushing getting worn out which causes poor oil pressure from the piston squirter (depending on the vehicle). The excessive clearance between the balance shaft and the block bushing will cause poor lubrication to the corresponding piston which then causes failure of that piston. Replacement of the bushing or elimation of the balance shaft with a block plug (not recommended) 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!

Thanks to Nathan for contributing to this FAQ!

In the north eastern part of the U.S. as well as other locations there is a "winter gasoline" and "summer gasoline." It's the additive package that determines the type. Thus is do e for em musings purposes. When the two are mixed (which occurs commonly when seasons change)the same smell can occur. Try to be aware of the timing when the odor occurs.

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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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Back Firing during acceleration

[Saab 93]

Back firing during acceleration is typically caused by a problem with the Air Mass meter. This is usually accompanied by black smoke which is an indication that the fuel mixture is too rich. One thing to check prior to replacement of the meter is to check the fuel pressure. In most cases the fuel should be in the 36 tp 40 PSI range depending on the vehicle. If it is more than this then you may have a broken diaphram in the regulator itself. These two problems are the most common failures when it comes to back firing.

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Extended Crank Time Caused by Check Valve

[Saab 93]

There are many issues that can cause extended cranking time during startup. The most common problem is the failure of a check valve located in the top of the fuel pump. What generally occurs here is that the check valve in the fuel line sticks open causing lack of fuel pressure. This usually occurs after the car has been sitting for a while or overnight. The fuel pressure leaks down causing the fuel pump to have to work very hard to push the fuel from the tank to the fuel rail. Similar to vapor lock but not quite. The solution to this is to replace the fuel pump check valve which can be difficult in itself. Another issue that can contribute to extended cranking time after the car has been sitting is a problem with a fuel leak. A leaky fuel system can also cause the exact same symptoms as above with the addition of the fuel smell. Placing a fuel gauge in the fuel rail is the correct way to test to see if the system is leaking down or if a problem exist with the fuel pressure regulator. If a problem exist with the fuel pressure regulator a gauge would show excessive fuel pressure which would also cause starting issues due to a flooding situation.

NOTE: When doing this job be careful. If you break the link with no check valve in the fitting you will have to replace the entire fuel line because Saab does not offer the fitting by itself. Being a "Bull in a china shop" would not be a good idea here.

Warning!Be very cautious when attempting this repair because of the dealing with the fuel system FIRE HAZARD!!!!!!!

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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 Filter Location

[Saab 93]

The Fuel Filter is located in front of the right rear wheel. It should have a black cover on it many mechanics take it off and forget to put it back on.

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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 Pump Relay location

[Saab 93]

Question: I need to find out where the fuel pump relay is on my 1996 saab 900 se. The pump stopped cutting on so I am hoping its just the relay.

Answer: The relay is in the relay box under the drivers inside panel but I bet it is your fuel pump

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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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Roll over Valve & its Purpose

[Saab 93]

The Rollover valves have been something Saabs have used for years. They are typically located in one of the rear quarter panels (usually right rear). They are designed to shut the fuel pump off in the event of accident which causes the car to rollover.

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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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Cabin Fan Runs on one speed only

[Saab 93]

In most cases the problem with the interior cabin fan running on one speed only can be attributed to a faulty cabin fan speed resistor or controller (for cars with ACC). The fan speed resistor regulates the amount of current that goes to the fan itself. When the resistor fails the amount of current going to the resistor will not longer regulate correctly which causes the fan to run at one speed only.

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Cabin Fan works intermittently

[Saab 93]

If the blower motor works intermittently then you will likely find the fan module is faulty. Check the voltage to the fan motor. If it is 12 volts then the problem is likely the motor.

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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.

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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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Heater Box and Repairing

[Saab 93]

Trying to prevent the heater box from binding without replacing the heater box is not something that is easy to do. The issue with these binding box is how they are set in the car. You can remove the glovebox and then remove the vent. You should then be able to see the heater shaft. You can lube the shaft. If that does not work you will have to replace the heater box assembly.

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Heater Control Knob To Break

[Saab 93]

In Most cases a broken heater control knob adjuster can be attributed to binding heater control box. The repair is to either reposition the control box with additional clips in a manner that will free up the box from binding or to completely replace the heater box.

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Overheating Due to Fan Resistor

[Saab 93]

Question: The engine cooling fan does not run on the driver side and the car overheats in traffic. What can be causing this?

Answer: Could be a fan speed resistor or the fan itself. Common issue. If you remove it and apply 12V to the fan itself and the fan runs it is the resistor.

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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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Camshaft Sensor Fault Code

[Saab 93]

Most of the time when you see fault codes that are for misfires or for Camshaft sensor failures it means that you have a failing Direct Ignition Cassette. This is the most common failure in the ignition system. They have failed so much that Saab recalled the DI Cassettes on some models after 2001. We have also seen issues with the crank sensors failing as well but we recommend starting with the DI cassette testing because they fail so often.

A Customer says "Even in neutral, when The you take the engine up to 2000 RPMs the tachometer jumps around. check engine light went on and I had the codes read. The codes are #335 and #340 which are for the Crank shaft sensor and the Cam shaft sensor. I can only find the Crank shaft sensor because there does not appear to be a camshaft sensor at all."

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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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Direct Ignition Cassette (DI) engine buzzing

[Saab 93]

Any car that is equipped with a Direct ignition emits what Saab calls a shower of sparks after the ignition switch has been cutoff. This usually occurs within 30 seconds of turning off the ignition. The purpose of this shower of sparks is to keep the plugs completely clean for better starts.

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Direct Ignition Cassette (DI) Recall

[Saab 93]

Click for the Direct Igntion Recall Information!

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Direct Ignition Cassette (DI) Testing

[Saab 93]

Turn the Cassette over & put the plugs in the holes, ground each plug to the negative battery terminal (by use of a wire about 2 feet long and skinned at length of where each plug is) and turn the engine over watching the spark. If there is a problem with the cassette, one of the plugs will have no spark or a very weak spark. Also, when you turn the ignition key off there should be a shower of sparks that runs the length of the plugs several times.BE CAREFUL! EXTREMELY HIGH VOLTAGE! There have been occasions when the DI cassettes would test ok when turned upside down but would fail when turned back over to install into the valve cover! Oil leakage from the individual coils of the cassettes have also been a problem. Oil leaks can be identified by noting that there is oil in the spark plug hole!

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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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Ball Joint Replacement

[Saab 93]

You cannot replace the ball joint as a seperate unit on the Saab 900 (94-98) or on the Saab 93. You must replace the complete control arm because the ball joint is built into the arm itself. You can replace the dust cover only. When purchasing the control arms individually you may want to consider buying the complete kit offered because you get the swaybar, stanchion arms, control arms and all hardware for about the cost of the the two control arm by themselves.

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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.

Pricing for FRONT CONTROL ARM BREAKDOWN (suspension front)
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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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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 Issues

[Saab 93]

Check the banjo bolt/check valve located in the pressure supply line where it attaches to the power steering rack. If the check valve in this banjo bolt becomes dislodged, it can partially block the flow of fluid through the system causing excessive noise, lower power assist, leakage or overheating of the power steering system.

NOTE: A new improved banjo bolt and check valve is available from our local Saab dealer under part number 4909073. You will also need one of seal, 5057724. Additionally, if only the power steering pump shaft seal is leaking, a seal kit is available under part number 4649745. This seal kit should be installed when the power steering pump shaft seal is leaking and no other damage has occurred to the pump. Please note that only synthetic power steering fluid part number 3032380 should be used in this system.

NOTE: We have also seen tons of issues with pump failures on the 93 as well that may not be due to the issues above. The pumps seem to be a weak spot in the steering system.

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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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Tie rod End suggestion

[Saab 93]

When replacing the inner tie rods make sure to remove the bolt retaining clip that goes over both bolts the hold the inner tie rods to the steering rack. I would replace the inner tie rods at the same time you replace the tie rod ends, they can be removed as a unit so you can make sure that they are the exact same length as the old ones, then you won't have tom do the job twice when the inner bushings fail, it will only cost an extra 40 bucks or so.

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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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Tire Wear (Rear Axle shims)

[Saab 93]

Rear axle shims do exist to adjust the rear camber to help with excessive tire wear. The PDF below shows the instructions on how to do the repair on Saab 95 but these instructions will also be similiar for the 900 94098 and the 93 98-2003 cars.

Rear Axle Shim PDF

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Vibration in Front End

[Saab 93]

I bought my 2002 Saab 93 SE from a lady that drove it with a motor shake for a long time. I thought all I would have to do was replace the motor mounts. I replaced the motor mounts and it took care of half the shake. After reading an article in a forum I went after the companion flange. When I turned the wheel (passenger front) I could see the axle moving up and down. After disassembly I found the Tripod bearing in the companion flange in pieces. I am now replacing the whole drive line (both sides) and I am sure that will be the end of it. Parts I ordered were, companion flange, ball joint dust cover (bellows kit for control arm), 2ea, drive axle left and right, carrier bearing, also did brake job.

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Vibration in Front End

[Saab 93]

I bought my 2002 Saab 93 SE from a lady that drove it with a motor shake for a long time. I thought all I would have to do was replace the motor mounts. I replaced the motor mounts and it took care of half the shake. After reading an article in a forum I went after the companion flange. When I turned the wheel (passenger front) I could see the axle moving up and down. After disassembly I found the Tripod bearing in the companion flange in pieces. I am now replacing the whole drive line (both sides) and I am sure that will be the end of it. Parts I ordered were, companion flange, ball joint dust cover (bellows kit for control arm), 2ea, drive axle left and right, carrier bearing, also did brake job.

Pricing for DRIVE SHAFT-CV BREAKDOWN (NOT 03 SEDAN) (cv joints & related)

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Vibration in Front End

[Saab 93]

I bought my 2002 Saab 93 SE from a lady that drove it with a motor shake for a long time. I thought all I would have to do was replace the motor mounts. I replaced the motor mounts and it took care of half the shake. After reading an article in a forum I went after the companion flange. When I turned the wheel (passenger front) I could see the axle moving up and down. After disassembly I found the Tripod bearing in the companion flange in pieces. I am now replacing the whole drive line (both sides) and I am sure that will be the end of it. Parts I ordered were, companion flange, ball joint dust cover (bellows kit for control arm), 2ea, drive axle left and right, carrier bearing, also did brake job.

Pricing for DRIVE SHAFT-CV BREAKDOWN (NOT 03 SEDAN) (cv joints & related)

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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 Shifter Knob Removal

[Saab 93]
STEP 1 Remove the gear lever & Place the gear lever in a screw vice
STEP 2 Put something around the midsections of the shaft to protect it like a towel and put it in a vise|
STEP 3 Push a screwdriver or spanner under the lip of the knob and tap it to get the knob to release from the shaft
STEP 4 Remove the knob from its actuator by pressing the 3 small tabs with a small screwdriver
STEP 5 Install in reverse

NOTE: In the procedure above it is required to remove the gear lever but most people simply cut the knob of the shaft with a rotary tool and reinstall the new one

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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 vibrational 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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Sport switch shifting pattern

[Saab 93]

Question: Car Info: 2001 93 98-03 Topic: Transmission (show all) I have a 2001 2.0 SE Turbo Conv. w/automatic trans. It has 3 shift patterns. Winter mode and normal works. The sport mode does not work. When the sport mode switch on the auto shifter is pressed nothing happens. Shift pattern does not change and the SPORT indicator does not illuminate on the dash lights above the WINTER light. Could it be the switch itself?

Answer: The switch is faulty and must be replaced. Common issue actually.

See more about this topic at Saab 93 (9-3) 1998-2003 Forum

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Transmission Code PO717

[Saab 93]

Question: Got this code, means inpute turbine speed sensor, transmission check light came on and transmission went into limp mode, is this the sensor to replace, please help

Answer: The input speed sensor located on top of trans I would replace them both they sit side by side one is input the other is output

See more about this topic at Saab 93 (9-3) 1998-2003 Forum

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Transmission Fluid Check Manual

[Saab 93]

Question: I have a question concerning the fill level of a manual tranny in a 1999 9-3.. I figured out where the fill plug is, but how do you determine when it is full?Most manuals I have ever worked on you normally fill it to the level of the plug, this being on the top of the transmission, well it would seem that it is then overfilled.

Answer: Look on the drivers side of the trans you will see 2 plugs. The top plug is to ck it and the bottom is to drain it the trans takes about 2 qts. If you pully out the top plug and fill it once full the fluid will come out of the top plug.

See more about this topic at Saab 93 (9-3) 1998-2003 Forum

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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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Vibration On Hard Acceleration

[Saab 93]

Vibration on hard acceleration can often be attributed to excessive wear to the inner drivers on the transmission. They tend to wear on the edges that are in direct contact with the inner carrier bearing. Front end vibrations often occur because of lack of tire rotation as well. One can identify cupped or poorly rotated tires by rubbing your hand down the outside edge of the tire and noting whether or not the outer edge of the tire is smooth.

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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 Addition to a Non-Turbo Car

[Saab 93]

It is possible but not feasible to add a turbo to a non-turbo car. You would have to add the Turbocharger, add the APC system which would require wiring modifications or complete wiring replacement. In any case it would be huge undertaking and would require extensive modifications. Without these modifications to prevent detonation a Non-Turbo engine would surely suffer internal engine damage due to the increase in combustion chamber temperatures that accompany turbo charging.

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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 Bucks When Accelerating Into Boost

[Saab 93]

Bucking on hard acceleration into boost is most often caused by a faulty APC solenoid/Boost Solenoid. The solenoid is located on the top driver side of the engine radiator on most Saabs. When the solenoid fails it will allow excessive boost pressure which then leads to the over boost circuit being completed shutting the fuel pump off. The 9000 has a over boost switch which is designed to shut off the fuel pump in the event of excessive boost pressure as a safety measure to prevent the engine from blowing up during boost failures.

Note: In most cases Excessive boost problems come from Turbo hose vacuum leaks or faulty Wastegates (not common though)

Thanks to Rick Blake for contributing to this FAQ!

Bucking or misfire under acceleration with boost can also be caused by a bad DIC. My wife's '98 900 convertible SET started bucking when the boost gauge got into red, most noticeable in 5th gear, but could be induced in
every gear but first. Changed the DIC and problem solved. This has been mentioned by others as well. We had a spare DIC from troubleshooting a stalling problem a few years ago.

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Turbo Bypass Valve Diagnosis

[Saab 93]

A broken bypass valve can also present with hissing. It will stop when the vacuum line coming from the turbo bypass valve running to the intake manifold is pinched off/squeezed. Unplug the vacuum line at the intake manifold port. See if there is resistance when you suction to the hose at the top of the valve, if there is no resistance the diaphragm in your Turbo Bypass Valve is broken. Replacement is the only cure.

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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.

Pricing for TURBOCHARGERS & RELATED (turbochargers & related)
Pricing for TURBO HOSE & RELATED (turbochargers & related)

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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.

Pricing for CV & DRIVE SHAFT BREAKDOWN (cv joints & related)

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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 Alignment off on Headlights

[Saab 93]

The most common issue with headlight wipers going in the opposite directions is that the nuts under the wiper arms get loose causing them to not synchronize correctly. Make sure you test the wiper blades with them off the glass to make sure you have them tightened down in the correct spot. If you don't pull them off the glass to test them by turning them on then you could damage your bumper cover.

Pricing for HEADLIGHT WIPERS & RELATED (wiper & washer components)

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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 WINDSHIELD WIPER ARMS & 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.

Pricing for WINDSHIELD WIPER ARMS & RELATED (wiper & washer components)

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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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