3rd Feb 2010, 12:09

My 2000 93 is smoking intermittently. I unhooked turbo tube and it still smokes horribly, but only after 5 minutes of idling. All plugs are evenly fouled. I unhooked the PCV. Still does it. I can't see how oil could be so evenly be introduced into my engine. Good compression also. Anyone surprised??

4th Mar 2010, 20:07

I've had my 99 SE 4 door hatchback (sage green color) since 1998, and it's still purring along with 75,000 miles! Using only synthetic oil all is well! However the ignition did freeze up once (couldn't turn the key), but after spraying a quick shot of wd-40, it turned over! Knock on wood!

Sir Adam Of Willoughby.

19th Mar 2010, 10:29

Wow, I cannot believe all of the problems. To add another story. My first SAAB was purchased in 1987, brand new with 9 miles on it. I drove it for 6 years, put almost 200k miles on it. My second SAAB (1991) had 11k on it when we bought it, added another 200k on it. Between both of those cars, I never had so many problems or shelled out so much money in repair as I have on my 2001 9-3 Turbo!! I found the door handle comment hilarious, as mine broke also and I thought the same thing, how in the world does a door handle break?!? Now, I am looking at rebuilt engines because mine (at 106k) has a crack in the engine block. If SAAB ever goes back to Sweden, maybe I'll convert back. I hesitate to get a rebuilt engine as I may just be getting an extended problem. Maybe I should be looking at VWs.

31st Mar 2010, 06:46

It amazes me with all the negativity regarding Saab! The 9-3 until the year 2000 was still SAAB not GM, though they did at the time own a portion of the company. Until 2000, the 9-3 (except the Viggen model) was the standard Saab "H" engine, the B204, same as in all previous 900 models. Those engines are bullet proof when maintained, and no, they don't have a sludge problem. I know of several 99s that have between 2-300,000 miles on the original engine and trans... mine has almost 300,000 and has been very reliable, and I don't baby it. The ones to "avoid" if youre not a person who can deal with high maintenance vehicles are 9-3 Viggen 99-2003, 9-3 2000-2004, all 9-5s. Now that Spyker has bought the company, things may go back to the way they should be without any input from GM.

16th Jul 2010, 03:01

Hi, I must put my comments here! I purchased a brand new 1999 9-3 SE Monte Carlo Coupe back in 1999, in Australia.

The SID display started loosing pixels after 2 years, the AC display after 3 years.

I have had some parts replaced under warranty, ie air-con comp. But it is now 11-12 years old. This one was built in the Finland plant. Basically I had the engine removed and rebuilt/reconditioned at 228k KM. Main reason was because I wanted to put a higher output Turbo and Abbott ECU. Turbo fitted was a new Mitsubishi TD04e; better than the Aero, Abbott ECU makes a big difference. Bypassed the APC with the Turbo, and have an adjustment screw for boost.

Currently this engine is delivering over 23lbs of boost under load! And it just purrs along! There aren't many cars in my town that can accelerate like my MC can, that includes big V8's.

Next on the upgrade list is a 3" exhaust and sports CAT. Remove the air cleaner and install cold air induction via K&N. Bigger injectors, and possibly upgrade the ECU to Stage 5, Maptun.

20th Oct 2010, 02:59

There are many other cars that are as much or even more fun to drive than the SAAB, but will not nickle and dime you to death as yours is doing.

Even if they do give trouble, it is much, much easier to sell on most other European premium brands than a SAAB. And they all will fetch a better resale value too.

15th Nov 2010, 11:30

I am the original owner of a 2004 Saab 9-5 and have serviced the car religiously since day 1 with no issues (other than 5 battery replacements).

It now has 90,000 miles and looks and feels almost brand new. However, at approx 80,000 miles I noticed power issues which I reported to the dealer. They replaced "a switch" and car still felt a bit sluggish. 2 days ago the car completely shut down on the freeway. The dealer says the engine block is shot and wants $5,000 to replace.

Any recommendations?

29th Dec 2010, 10:36

I'm an owner of 2003 9-3 Convertible. I am now dealing with SAAB regarding the sludge issue. I have each receipt of oil changes, and SAAB is giving me the run around, because they believe synthetic oil was not used, even though receipts show it was. Where is one to go to help get a new engine from SAAB? I am still within the warranty of 8 years, but I cannot get any help on getting this issue resolved. The one time I called SAAB dealer, they stated that because I didn't change my spark plugs at 30,000 miles, they are not covering the engine. Little did the person know, I am a bit more knowledgeable on cars, and spark plugs have to deal with emissions, not sludge buildup.

HHHHHEEEEELLLLPPPP. Contact me at email address wcrouse@christianacare.org if you have anything that would help me.

31st Mar 2011, 17:31

Let's see, where do I begin? I am a long time Saab owner. I currently own two Saabs.

The first, an '87 900s that I love dearly, has over 280k miles on it, and is still going. I have not done much to this car except routine maintenance.

My second Saab is a GM designed '99 9-3 SE, that had 32k miles on it when purchased. I like the 9-3, the handling and performance is good, not outstanding, but acceptable. The car is comfortable on long trips. The gas mileage is good.

I have a love-hate relationship with this car, because as the miles started to rack up, so have the problems and issues. This car is a 4dr hatchback (5dr in some circles), and ALL the windows have come off the tracks at one time or another, a couple of them twice. Two windows now need to be repaired again. This is ridiculous. I understand that this is a common issue with these cars. The hardware on this car is deplorable.

The automatic climate control and Saab information center pixels had become illegible, and have been replaced. They now need replacing again.

I have had to replace the strut mounts, motor mounts and the right front ABS sensor, as the ABS stopped functioning, as well as the speedometer.

The CD player suddenly stopped working.

The A/C compressor had to be replaced at 55k miles, as the clutch seized, tearing the serpentine belt.

The idler pulley recently seized, causing the same problem.

At about 65k miles, the check engine light came on; the dealer said that a new ignition cassette was needed.

Every year I have had to do SOMETHING to this car to get it to pass inspection, as the "check engine" is always on for some reason or another.

I have replaced 3 O2 sensors.

It now needs another motor mount (replaced one last year), and have recently had the check engine light diagnosed again, and I need another head gasket. (I had one installed a couple of years ago) After the head gasket was repaired the first time, the oil light came on, and I heard a bunch of valve noise. I had the oil pan pulled, and was told that there was a sludge issue. I had heard of the Saab oil sludge issue, but thought it wouldn't happen to me, as I religiously changed my oil every 3k miles!

I love this car, but it seems to keep trying to self destruct! Recently, I came out to a puddle of oil under the front right side of the car. The crank seal spontaneously started leaking at about 3 quarts of oil a week, before it was repaired. The car only has 135k miles on it, which is nothing for a Saab of old, or most cars today!

To add insult to injury, the paint on the top surfaces of the car have faded! My old '87 has sat in the driveway next to the 9-3 the whole time, and it still shines! You can't tell me that corners were not cut in the design of this car!

I am now in a quandary. I would love to keep this car. It is paid for, I enjoy driving it, I have sunk a bunch of money and time into it, but I have never had to repair a car as much as I have had to repair this one. It is becoming a money pit. Every time I go to start it now, I wonder "what next?".

I consider myself a car nut, and I am very knowledgeable about cars. I have had a lot of cars over the years, including Fiats, Alfa Romeos and the like. I have to sadly say that of all the cars I have owned, this is among the worst. I have to say that this car has cured my Saab addiction. However, I will keep my old 900s forever. Now that was a real Saab.

19th May 2011, 12:05

Spray some WD4O into the key slot.

21st Jun 2011, 08:29

Great information. You talk about putting in a direct flow oil injector, but I am unclear as to whether this is a direct flow to the turbo charger. Where can I purchase this item? Could you give me a bit more information?

2nd Jul 2011, 15:16

There is much to love about your Saab. However, there is much to be angry about. Saab cars are "Mechanic's Cars".

I have spent nearly nine months reading and researching about the troubles Saab owners have. They are all the same: great looking car sitting in my driveway or garage. Everyone needs to stop being so damn emotional over Saabs, and wake up and realize that the brand made huge mistakes that it now can't afford to cover, so why should you? Just walk away. Don't make that "one-more-repair". Just walk away without further degradation to your automotive mind.

14th Jul 2011, 03:46

Yes, it's a flaw, but I was wondering if it was fixed in the following years..

26th Aug 2011, 18:44

I've just purchased a 1999 Saab 93 convertible, it's a beautiful car, but the person I bought it from had fixed the engine so it would not blow out white smoke! I had checked the engine and the oil was fine, but on the day of the purchase, I did not check the oil again (no need). Well to make a long story short, the dip stick of the oil was over the required amount, so I had the oil changed, well to my dismay it start blowing out white smoke and there was shaving in the engine; is there anything that can be done about this? Is there a recall for that? And now my starter has gone out as well!


Very Disappointed Person and Harden