Car Problem Reports

Saab 9-3 Noise from Idler Pulley Failure

Saab 9-3 Problem
18 Reports
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Model Years Affected: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002

Engines Affected: 2.0L 4 Cylinder Turbo, 2.3L 4 Cylinder Turbo

Average Mileage: 127,548 mi (75,000 mi - 164,000 mi)


The idler pulley for the serpentine belt can fail causing noise from the belt area. Our technicians report the pulley has been known to fail completely which can cause the belt to break or be thrown off.

  • Visitor, , 2.0L 4 Cylinder Turbo, 126,010 mi

    Before my idler pulley failed, I would hear a high pitched whine upon start up for 5 minutes or so and then at high rpm. Pulley finally failed, broke in half and caused the car to run hot.

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  • Visitor, , 76,500 mi

    pulley failed causing belt to rip

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  • Visitor, , 2.0L 4 Cylinder Turbo, 160,000 mi

    Started hearing high pitched whine on startup, literally days later on a cold, cold start (-25 C) the outer ring separated from the spokes and shredded the belt while the car was warming up. Came back to a dead battery but that was the only damage other than the belt and pulley

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  • westender, , 2.0L 4 Cylinder Turbo, 164,000 mi

    Not fixed yet, but told idler pulley bearings are worn, causing it to rattle.

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  • Cindy Smit, , 2.0L 4 Cylinder Turbo, 131,425 mi

    Alternater bracket with pulley, broke. Best didn't break but it needs replacing. We have ordered a new bracket and pully.

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  • Visitor, , 2.0L 4 Cylinder Turbo, 75,000 mi

    noise from pulley replaced pulley

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  • Visitor, , 2.0L 4 Cylinder Turbo, 105,000 mi

    Same problem hearing a high pitch whining when i first start, then it goes away after10 seconds i believe its time to change the serpentine pulley, honestly i bought this car with 60k on it and its been in the shop twice a year for something.What i steming pile but my wife had to have it. cant sell it,its like a mother in law.

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