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Saab 9-5 (650) Frequently Asked Questions 2010 - 2011


About Saabs (23)

Ac Category (4)

Body Category (9)

Brakes Category (11)

Clutch Category (5)

Cruise Category (1)

Electrical Category (15)

Engine Category (23)

Used Saabs and what to look for

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

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)

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 Fill ports

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

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

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 Hydraulic Hose Repair

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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Emblem Replacement Tips

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. t

Pricing for 95 (2010-2011) Body, External (Emblems)

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Odors-Smells from Interior

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

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

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Seat thread failures

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

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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Sunroof Manual closing

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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Brake Dust & how to prevent

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

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

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 Rotors and Turning them

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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Brake scrubbing noise

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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Clutch Bleeding Instructions

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.

Thanks to fid04 for contributing to this FAQ!

A Home made pressure bleeder can be made with a piece of 1 1/2 ID radiator hose,metal tire valve stem,2 hose clamps and an ABS threaded pipe plug.Drill a hole in the pipe plug the appropriate size and install the valve stem.Stuff plug into one end of hose and clamp.Connect the other end of hose over threads of brake fluid filler opening. I used about an 8 in piece of hose,but longer would work. A small bicycle tire pump on the valve stem will provide all the pressure you need and then some.It doesn't take a lot to move the fluid. Just open the bleeder valve and let it run till you're sure there's no more air.I've had this tool in my box for years and it works like a charm on clutch or brakes.

Pricing for 95 (2010-2011) Clutch Parts (Clutch Master Cylinder)

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Clutch Information and how it works

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 Issues

The V4 clutches are notorius for having the clutch disc itself get stuck to the flywheel. The only way to get it unstuck is to use a butter knife and try to get it released from the flywheel. DO NOT use any of spray unless it is brake cleaner and even then it is not recommended. If you were to use any type of spray to loosen it just be sure that you are NOT USING A FLAMMABLE SUBSTANCE.

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Clutch Pedal Engages Close To The Floor

There are several factors that can contribute to your clutch pedal engaging close to the floor. The most like cause is worn out seals in the Clutch Master cylinder. Clutch Masters can be rebuilt but a more reliable method is replacement. Mechanics often replace the Master cylinder with out taking a look at the pedal. What generally happens is that the pin that attaches the Master cylinder fork to the clutch pedal will cause elongated holes in both components. This will cause the pedal to become active much closer to the floor. In-order to restore the clutch to original condition both components should be replaced.


NOTE: If you do not have a pressure bleeder you can open up the slave nipple and gravity bleed the air out for 30 minutes or so. Just before tightening the nipple back down have someone push the pedal to the floor and then tighten the nipple down once the pedal is depressed.

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Cruise Control Failures

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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Alarm Remote Battery Change

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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Door Component electrical failures

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

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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Headlight Beam adjustments

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

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

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Interior lights work intermitently

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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Onstar Going Digital

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 reception poor

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

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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Switch Replacement

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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Clean Engine Look

Thanks to Larry for contributing to this FAQ!

How to achieve that "Like New" car engine compartment look is as easy as lifting the hood, spray and hose off.

For 15 years my 1999 SAAB 95 and other cars now and over the years, uses diluted Simple Green concentrate cleaner found almost every where. Simple Green is an enzyme based product that is completely safe 9and non-toxic to humans and animal)for your under the hood periodic cleaning and more. It will NOT degrade your hoses, plastic or metal finish. In fact it will bring out the lost luster and detail back to your engine compartment for that Wow look, guaranteed!

It works great on brake dust and tires too. You will be amazed the dirt and grime that will shed from your car on the first simple try.

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Engine Compartment Cleaning

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 Oil Consumption Normal

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 Quantity 4 Cylinder

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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Gasket Sealant Information

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

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

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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Noise from Belt Area

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 Leak from Valve Cover

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

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Service Recommendations

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

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

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

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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Exhaust Diagnoses & Purpose

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 Stud Removal

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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Idling Problems due to Low battery

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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Coolant Air Removal during Flush

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

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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Ignition Lock and Door Lock Cylinders

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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No Start due to incorrect light bulbs

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

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

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.

Pricing for 95 (2010-2011) Ignition System (Starter Motor)

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Startup Noise when first cranking

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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Water in Distributor cause rough engine

If your run through water or spray your engine and water gets into the distributor then the car may run rough until it is removed. To get the water out you can spray the cap with WD40 lightly and it will remove the water.

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Front-End Alignment & Diagnosis

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 Wheel Bearing Noise

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

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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Rear Suspension Problem

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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Tires for Less Money

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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Hydraulic Hose Repair

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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Transmissions and Buying Used

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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Wiper Arms Will Not Move

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

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Saab VIN Plate
1.
Spring, front
2.
Spring, rear
3.
Anti-roll bar, front
4.
Anti-roll bar, rear
5.
Spring strut/insert, front
6.
Shock absorber, rear
7.
Brake disc, front.
8.
Brake disc, rear
9.
Brake Housing, Front
10.
Brake Housing, Rear