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NG900 & OG9-3 Workshop NG900 (1994 to 1998) & OG9-3 (1999-2002) & '03 Convertible Technical Forum

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  #1  
Old 5th September 2007
BlackBoosted2
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Default 2001 Saab 9-3 noisy engine & trans issue

Picked up this car earlier in the summer and it has started making strange noises. It has a clattery, almost sewing machine noise coming from the engine. To me it sounds like an issue with the valvetrain or even a very small exhaust leak. Is there a common issue with these? I changed the oil to slightly thicker oil - 10w40 about 3 weeks ago and it actually quieted it some, but the clatter is still there. The check engine light came on today, and I will take it to a friend at a GM dealer to diagnose that soon.



The car is a 2001 5 door 9-3 2.0L turbo with an Automatic (NOT an SE) right at 81,000miles on the ODO



Another thing, the automatic transmission is hesitant/vibrating in 1st gear, and clunks around some in the lower gears. We changed the trans fluid 2 weeks ago, and it seemed to help...but it's still there. It doesn't slip at all under acceleration.



I know the auto's in these cars aren't very strong but is there any advice on fixes?
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Old 5th September 2007
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Definitely research the service history and inspect for sludge and check out the timing chain...
But, before that, inspect the serpentine belt pulleys..
The CEL has nothing to do with this, the code will have to be known...

Welcome to SaabCentral ...

IMO, the automatic is the best feature, seem to be strong with very little problems - there is a good reason for this...
The old BW automatic from the early 70s - that is a different story...
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Old 5th September 2007
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Death rattle by the sound of it; question is timing chain or balance shaft chain?
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Old 5th September 2007
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I also had a very rattly engine just recently, cam followers were bleeding off. Changed the followers no better. Changed cam chain etc and balance chain, all was quiet for 10 minutes then rattled again. Changed the cam chain tensioner and all was good. Seems the tensioner may have been leaking pressure and taking oil away from the followers on the inlet side as the oil supplies for both are very close together. No sign of sludge any where. No debris on oil pickup screen. Head was shiny silver inside no varnish so Mobil 1 seems to do its job.
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Old 5th September 2007
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Our 1998 900SE with 71k on the odo started making a rattling noise. I isolated it to the water pump. I took the serpentine belt off and cranked the engine. Ran quiet. Felt all of the pullys and found the water pump to be sloppy and loud.

May want to check that out.

As for the tranmission. If it feels clunky, check the transmission mount next to the driver's side tire on the front of the motor. This is a COMMON failure point and will make the transmission shift very rough.
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Old 6th September 2007
BlackBoosted2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthworm
Definitely research the service history and inspect for sludge and check out the timing chain...
But, before that, inspect the serpentine belt pulleys..
The CEL has nothing to do with this, the code will have to be known...

Welcome to SaabCentral ...

IMO, the automatic is the best feature, seem to be strong with very little problems - there is a good reason for this...
The old BW automatic from the early 70s - that is a different story...
Thanks for the welcome, and are there any good writeups on how to change the chains? I have not worked on a Saab before this.
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  #7  
Old 6th September 2007
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http://www.geocities.com/ng900set/TC...tensioner.html

PMI ,where art thou ?? You have left quite a legacy...

http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/sh...t=timing+chain

What JonnyGroove has posted may help.
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Last edited by earthworm; 6th September 2007 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 10th September 2007
BlackBoosted2
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Found out that the indicator in the digital readout says service soon, it's not a check engine light. I can hit CLR and it's temporarily gone. Is there a way to manually check and see what it wants serviced, or can I take it to AutoZone and let them do it. I do not want to use a dealer to clear a service interval light if thats all it is.
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  #9  
Old 10th September 2007
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Proper service on any motor vehicle is a serious thing , use either a trusted dealer or an indy, better yet, yourself (DIY)..

Read up on this, keep records, etc.
Our sticky FAQ are most useful...

I think the service interval lite will give up after a while, but, IMO, it is a good thing.
Any dealer who charges $50 to 100 to reset this light, if it is even necessary, should be reported.....
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'96 900S, Automatic
Those who think in the past will have no future.
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Old 10th September 2007
BlackBoosted2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthworm
Proper service on any motor vehicle is a serious thing , use either a trusted dealer or an indy, better yet, yourself (DIY)..

Read up on this, keep records, etc.
Our sticky FAQ are most useful...

I think the service interval lite will give up after a while, but, IMO, it is a good thing.
Any dealer who charges $50 to 100 to reset this light, if it is even necessary, should be reported.....
I've more than kept up on the basic service items, so this indicator just needs to go away. It's probably wanting me to change the brakes, oil, filters, plugs etc...which all have been done in the last month by myself.

I still have yet to fix the timing chain tensioner, and just put a new belt on it.
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