2003 Saab 9-3 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2003 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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18
Known Problems

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.

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

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.

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 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.

The Check Engine Light may illuminate because of oxygen sensor failure. There may be no drivability symptoms detected though gas mileage may suffer.

 

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

The water pump can fail causing noise on the left side of the engine and overheating. Other symptoms include coolant loss and leakage at the front/left area of the engine.

 

The exhaust flex pipe can fail causing excessive exhaust noise from the front/center area of the vehicle. The flex pipe is a flexible joint in the exhaust that allows for engine movement.

If the battery "goes dead" after sitting for several hours, but only when key is left in the ignition, in the "off/lock" position. The problem may be with the stereo amplifier staying on. Our technicians tell us reprogramming the affected control module can remedy this problem.