29th Jun 2006, 07:35

I bought a non-CPO '02 9-5 Aero Wagon and driving it home, the engine oil pressure light came on. I slowed down, but it stayed on, so I began to slow down to exit the freeway and stop at a gas station. Only then did I begin to hear the ticking/knocking sound.

I had to have the car towed 40 miles to the nearest Saab dealer. The car is out of warranty based on age, but only has 32K on it. During the test drive and 300 mile drive before the problem announced itself, the car ran great.

The engine was opened at the dealership and oil sludge confirmed. $9100 to repair, $6300 if I install a used engine. The Saab regional manager is denying to cover this under the oil sludge warranty because I do not have complete service records. On Saabnet.com, I've read of other Saab owners having repairs partially or completely covered, but their numbers are probably 1/4 of the numbers posted here.

I am interested in a class action suit, letter-writing campaign; whatever it will take to get my car up and running again.

9th Jul 2006, 18:57

I do not know the engine code of the 93 Viggen, but I was wondering if anyone knows if the 1999 Viggen has the same problems as the SE. I am looking at buying a 93 Viggen with 87K miles. I have test driven the car and it ran great, I am hoping the engines are different enough so that the Viggen is a more reliable car.

8th Sep 2006, 00:15

I had a 2001 9-3 SE turbo with 60K as a work car.

I was driving down the highway at 75 and heard a bang and had smoke pouring out the back. Got the car to side of the road and opened the hood to find a connecting rod though the block. Never really had any warning. The oil pan had about two fists full of black burnt-up oil clogging the oil pick-up.

I bought it used and they had all the receipts for oil changes. Got a used engine and sold it. As soon as got another 9-5, I had the oil pan pulled and cleaned (wasn't dirty go figure). Saab recommended non synthetic oil and 6 or 7 thousand mile intervals. Now Saab uses full synthetic oil. The cars are good, just have the pan dropped and cleaned.

9th Sep 2006, 12:45

Most of you are driving 4 cylinder turbocharged Saabs, and you should've been using Synthetic oil and changing it every 3,000 miles.

As for how the Saab rides & drives: Fantastic!!!

In my opinion the Saab 9-3 convertible is a great car.

Fast, comfortable, & very well assembled. (And probably the best looking premium convertible on the market)

I believe most (if not all) of these complaints are way off base, and that people need to learn how to properly care for their vehicles.

18th Sep 2006, 14:13

I purchased a 2001 Saab 9-3 SE convertible 6 months ago. It started to run rough, so I took it to a mechanic who found the pistons had holes burned in them! The Saab service dealer in Billings, 300 miles away, says that this is a common problem in turbo Saab engines that are driven in mountainous regions, and said it is so common that I should consider checking to see if there is a class action suit out somewhere. Something about the fuel mixture is too lean at higher altitudes. Saab customer service said "tough luck". This car has less than 100,000 miles on it, and for the price should not be dumping engines. The LED panel situation is just as ridiculous. The Saab is truly a sob story of a car for the money.

18th Sep 2006, 14:35

In response to the above comment.

What are you saying about the people taking poor care of their Saabs it's not true. I have taken care of my 95, 01' Saab more than any other car. This is mostly because keeps breaking up. In two years I have spent for my Saab more than what I have spent in 10 years for other cars before that.

Direct Ignition, Fuel pump, water pump, Fuel Pump canister (gas leakage) Electrical problem, fuses blown, and goes on and on.

The point is that with the same service, Japanese cars are much more reliable and this proves Saab's poor design and parts.

Unfortunately is a fun car to drive, but is a pain in the arse to maintain it.

18th Sep 2006, 22:55

I disagree totally!

But don't let that dissuade you from driving your Toyotas & Hondas.

I'll keep my Saab, thank you!

21st Sep 2006, 14:09

I purchased a Saab 93, 2000 with 139,000 KM (about 88K miles), B205L engine. Shortly after taking it home, I started to smell what can only be described as an oily-chemical burning smell coming in through the vents. I changed the oil a couple of times, and the smell would go away, only to come back within a week. I added "stop leak" treatments as I was told from various mechanics that it might be a leak, and the smell is coming from oil smouldering on the engine block somewhere. Of course, I tried to find the "leak", but never did. I also noticed that I had an engine whine that would kick in about 5 seconds after the engine started, and would last for about a minute.

About three weeks ago, I was looking for the leak again and poked around the PCV system. I had a hose that was slightly more cohesive than play-dough (out the valve head cover), a PCV valve that had seized (blow-through test failed) and a vacuum hose that was also ripped. The I changed all of these and the smell disappeared. I had noticed that the fatter hose that came out of the valve head nipple was loaded with sludge. Obviously not a good sign. The whining sound is still there, but goes away after about 60 seconds of running in idle (as per the link below). This only happens when the engine is cold and has not been run for several hours. From what I can tell from the Saab forums, this is due to a clogged oil pick-up screen, and the engine starves of oil for the first minute. There are no engine or oil pump warning lights ever. I have "flushed" the engine with Pennzoil engine flush twice within 200 KM.

Is the whine a warning of imminent doom? Have any of you had it? Is it too late even now? I have booked my car into the local Saab dealer to have the sump dropped and cleaned.

22nd Sep 2006, 07:30

Personally, I wouldn't be dumping "stop leak" into my Saab's engine, or any other such chemicals. You are much better off finding the true source of any leak & then fixing it properly.

There are no short-cuts or magic potions to repair leaks or engine problems. I believe you may actually be costing yourself more in the long-run, than having the problem properly diagnosed and rectified in the first place.

I hope the dealer can assist you.

4th Oct 2006, 15:35

Regardless of what manufacturers might say, to own a turbo and not change your oil every 3 months or 3,000 miles with synthetic oil is just asking for trouble.

4 cylinder turbos work hard & run hot, of course you are going to run into sludge problems if you don't take extra care. Using a high quality oil is extremely important, synthetic is by far the best insurance you have against breakdown & sludge.

You only had your changed oil twice a year. Now you're surprised that your 4 cylinder turbocharged engine has sludge? You shouldn't be.

Did you even check your oil between changes over those 6 month periods???

It's beyond me why manufacturers don't insist on 3,000 mile oil changes. I even do this on my old Wrangler with the bullet-proof in-line six.

With proper care, that 2 liter turbocharged four in your Saab should last at least 200,000 miles.

I own a Saab 9-3 as well and I certainly will never deviate from using synthetic oil and the 3 month 3,000 mile rule of thumb. If this is too much of an inconvenience for you, I would suggest staying away from turbocharged vehicles.

But with all of todays engines, turbo or not, I would suggest following this rule of thumb. Your gas mileage will increase and your engine should last a long long time.

Best of luck getting assistance.