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Saab 9-3 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Saab 9-3 based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

Oil leaks from the timing cover, valve cover, and/or rear main seal may be due to excessive crankcase pressure. An updated PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) kit was released to fix this concern.

2.0L engines may become low on engine coolant with no cause found for the coolant loss. Our technicians tell us than in some cases the engine block may require replacement due to porosity.

A knocking noise while turning and/or a banging noise when driving on rough roads may develop in the front suspension. This type of noise is commonly caused by a front strut thrust bearing damaged due to water intrusion. Our technicians tell us revised thrust bearings are available to correct this concern.

Our technicians report failures of various components in the audio system. Speaker, control unit, and steering wheel button failures are all possible.

If the engine will crank but not start, it may be the fuel pump has failed. Diagnosis may find no fuel pressure when attempting to start the engine.

The Check Engine Light may illuminate because of air injection pump, and/or check valve failure. There may be no drivability symptoms detected.

The thermo contact in the AC compressor can fail, which means the compressor may fail to engage or disengage.

If the ignition switch is turned to the "lock" position when the vehicle speed is over 5km/hour, the ignition key cannot be removed from the lock cylinder. This is not a defect, but a normal design feature. In order to remove the key: Turn the ignition to the "on" position, wait several seconds, turn ignition to "lock" and remove the key.

The shaft for the air blend door can fail creating the inability to adjust the AC or heating temperature. The AC or Heat will not maintain the proper temperature.

The air conditioning expansion valve can fail causing poor, or no cooling from the AC system.

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.

The head gasket can fail causing the coolant and oil to mix in the engine, and external oil leaks around the cylinder head and block. Symptoms can include overheating, white smoke from the tailpipe at start-up or acceleration, and the visible presence of oil in the coolant expansion tank.

The anti-lock brake system (ABS) and/or traction control light may illuminate. This can be caused by corrosion in the (ABS) wire harness connector at the right front wheel speed sensor due to water intrusion.  Corroded connectors should be cleaned or replaced as necessary to correct this concern.