1999 Saab 9-3 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1999 Saab 9-3 as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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19
Known Problems

The direct ignition cassette can fail causing the engine to die while driving, and/or it will crank but start. Diagnosis may also discover trouble codes for random misfires.

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.

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

The fuel pump check valve may have failed if the engine requires more cranking before it starts. The check valve is a one way valve that maintains the pressure in the fuel lines so the engine is easier to start after it has sat a while.

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

The air blend system in the heating, ventilation and AC (HVAC) system can have problems, which can cause the AC controls to be stiff, or a lack of HVAC control.

The AC evaporator can leak causing poor cooling of the air conditioning. The loss of refrigerant may be hard to diagnose.

The head gasket may leak oil externally. The oil will be visible around the cylinder head and block area.

The Check Engine Light may come on because the electronic throttle body has failed. Other symptoms include loss of acceleration, a high idle or failure to return to idle, and difficulty starting.

Coolant loss may be caused by leakage around the thermostat. Leakage will be visible around the thermostat at the right, rear area of the cylinder head.

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.

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.