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Saab 9-3 Maintenance and Repair



  • I would always use synthetic, but is it recommended or required by Saab? What year and how many miles on your Saab? Thanks for the reply.
  • dmaindmain Posts: 1
    I also have a 2000 9-3 and the turbo bearings burned out at about 50,000 km. It seems that it is a design flaw. The turbo is too close to the exhaust manifold and it gets too hot. In 2000, GM did not specify synthetic oil but it did in 2001. By the time I found out it was too late for my turbo. Synthetic oil is the answer for engine sludging too.

    Since changing over to synthetic oil, my 9-3 has been great and even at 160000 km, it still feels like a fairly new car. I like it so much I went out an bought a 2009 9-3 XWD Aero, as it looks like they are al bound to be collector items (and can be had for about 20% off the list prices now. What deal. Still, I love my 2000 9-3. Once you get the turbo and the electronic engine management cassette dealt with.

    Good luck. 94000 miles should be nothing for a Saab.
  • My wife has a 2005 9-3 Arc Convertible with 60k miles. Mobil 1 has been used exclusively, it was European Delivered and has had no issues except the power steering pump.
  • The not starting is the neutral switch... It cost me about 375.00 to fix it... or for the switch itself...
  • I just bought a used 2008 Saab 9-3 2.0 engine with 28,000 miles. It now has 29,500 miles and I recently noticed that each time I accelerate to 30mph & 70mph, the car wobbles, or wiggles, or what appears like it's shaking a little.
    I have new tires but they looked like they had been balanced.
    I think the slight shake feels like engine related.
    Does anyone have the same problems with a used Saab 9-3?
    Please help.
  • I'm sorry you bought the car. I am trying to get rid of my 99 9-3 with 130 K after putting way too much money in it the past few years and time in the repair shop. Recently experienced rough idling and stalling - had crank sensor replaced but that didn't solve the problem and eventually had to replace the fuel pump after it failed to start. This week the radiator started leaking and is now in the shop for that to be replaced. Another costly repair. We have trying to maintain the car meticulously it looks new but there are so many little annoying things wrong with the car and things are constantly breaking. My advice: sell ASAP before you end up with more headaches and run out of money!
  • I had the same problem and gave up. I cut the rusted line out and spliced in a piece of 3/8 inch steel tubing. It worked like a champ. No issues so far.
  • Please tell me the results of your repair work did you get the correct hoses and was the work done at a reasonable price? I need the same hoses...repaired in 2008 and now they need repairing again!!!
  • 2002 9-3 SE, 145000 km, well serviced. Last summer it would not start on a hot day. No response when the key was turned (ie the problem was not the battery). Hauled to dealer in Exeter NH. Car started. Dealer not sure but thought it might be the sensor for transmission in park. Did not have the part in stock, so I did nothing. Yesterday, a hot day in Gainesville FL, it would not start. No dealer here. Hauled to Continental Imports, who seemed very competent. The car started on arrival, perhaps because it cooled off during the tow. Shop owner said he could not find the problem, since now there is no problem; he thought it might be something other than the park sensor.

    What should I do? Where is the gear shift park sensor? Can it be 'shorted', or cooled with a bag of ice? Another discussion item on this forum suggests that the problem is high oil pressure? Is that likely, given that the pressure icon is not displayed?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    Since no Saab owners seem to have feedback, you might try our No Start Problems discussion. People with general automotive tech expertise often hang out there.


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • trooper57trooper57 Posts: 1
    I have just experienced the same issue (both sides at the same time) and I am looking for a shop to perform the repairs. I am in Houston and generally use TAP-VPI but I am not sure they can handle this type of repair and they are only open weekdays. Of course this occurred last night, Friday night. Feel free to contact me directly at with any suggestions or advice.
  • dedmeatdedmeat Posts: 1
    I don't know if you resolved the issue, but I had the same problem on an 06. Turned out to be a bad crankshaft position sensor. $200 and two hours of work and the problem went away.
  • Thanks for the response. I sold my Saab because it just became too unreliable. The latest problem was intermittent failure of the air conditioning fan. When it failed the first time a dealer replaced the fan 'resistor, his name for it'. It worked, then failed again, then worked again with no intervention, so I sold the Saab. Consumer Reports rates the 2002 Saab 9-3 as a not buy.
  • me262me262 Posts: 1
    I was sure glad to here some one who know some much about Saab's as you.I'm the first owner of this car all service has been dun at Saab.It's almost time for it's 150,000 mile service.but any way it runs great starts every time dashboard precheck always states checking then OK.But every now and then it all most stalls,and sometimes does.I have ran into this before and it's the throttle botty sensor or it just needs to bee cleaned.I never have had to turn a wrench on my car.I love it and not sure if it's safe to use throttle body cleaner on it and not really sure where to put it.I am a muscle car guy.I do work for Microsoft and would be willing to trade my skills,all kinds of software,hardware and via telephone email.we could trade help.Please call charlie at 619-569-8770 or email Know matter what people may think I truly don't make much where I work.I cant drive403 rocket.
  • dgeblerdgebler Posts: 19
    I drive a 2007 9-3 2.0t convertible which I purchased last year. Without any warning (SID or sound) the engine died on the highway and I lost all power steering and brake functions.
    The car was towed to the dealer where they said it was the fuel pump had failed.
    Has anyone else had trouble with a fuel pump after only 35K?
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