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Old 25th July 2011
TheGamingArt TheGamingArt is offline
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Default Car shakes when starting up cold...

I'm looking at the big picture here, and am worried that something may be wrong but I'm not quite sure. Sometimes when I start my car in the morning * after the engine has cooled all night * it will jitter a little when starting a lot. This morning in particular, the car shook for a VERY short time... but it shook hard and the RPM apparently rose up to 2 by itself with no gas being applied. I just got this car, and would seriously like any ideas of how bad this could be if at all and what effects it may lead to. I will say that the dipstick is a pain in the *** to read because it's stained the same color as the oil. Can anyone help?


Edit: I read that it might need a fuel injector cleaning... could that be true?

Last edited by TheGamingArt; 25th July 2011 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 25th July 2011
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Originally Posted by TheGamingArt View Post
I'm looking at the big picture here, and am worried that something may be wrong but I'm not quite sure. Sometimes when I start my car in the morning * after the engine has cooled all night * it will jitter a little when starting a lot. This morning in particular, the engine shook for a VERY short time... but it shook hard and the RPM apparently rose up to 2 by itself with no gas being applied. I just got this car, and would seriously like any ideas of how bad this could be if at all and what effects it may lead to. I will say that the dipstick is a pain in the *** to read because it's stained the same color as the oil. Can anyone help?


Edit: I read that it might be from sludge gathering up from the fuel...The sludge is an engine internal thing, separate from the gasoline. could that be true? Also, could I use a fuel cleaner to try to fix that?
I fear that yet another throttle body is biting the dust.
But do assure that all the service work is up to date.
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Old 25th July 2011
TheGamingArt TheGamingArt is offline
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I fear that yet another throttle body is biting the dust.
But do assure that all the service work is up to date.
would you really diagnose this as the throttle body? That's a $500 part ... and I have no idea how much to put it in. I mean, the car doesn't shake while driving at all nor when in idle after start up, it almost seems to correct it self after the first jolt or two when starting. I also will correct myself in saying that the car shook, it came from the front... but I didn't per say see the engine shake as it happens in such quick timing.

This is the thread I was reading: http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=200009

Last edited by TheGamingArt; 25th July 2011 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 25th July 2011
BobSaabit BobSaabit is offline
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Originally Posted by TheGamingArt View Post
would you really diagnose this as the throttle body? That's a $500 part ... and I have no idea how much to put it in. I mean, the car doesn't shake while driving at all nor when in idle after start up, it almost seems to correct it self after the first jolt or two when starting. I also will correct myself in saying that the car shook, it came from the front... but I didn't per say see the engine shake as it happens in such quick timing.

This is the thread I was reading: http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=200009
You need to make sure everything else is right, like fresh vacuum hoses, the MAF OK, etc. Replacing the TB is not too difficult if you are handy with tools. You can get one from BBA Remanufacturing for $200. But, I would not want to throw parts at it. Usually a bad TB starts to throw some codes and/or falls into "limp home" mode a few times so you know it's going bad.

Is there an indy mechanic around you?
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Old 25th July 2011
TheGamingArt TheGamingArt is offline
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You need to make sure everything else is right, like fresh vacuum hoses, the MAF OK, etc. Replacing the TB is not too difficult if you are handy with tools. You can get one from BBA Remanufacturing for $200. But, I would not want to throw parts at it. Usually a bad TB starts to throw some codes and/or falls into "limp home" mode a few times so you know it's going bad.

Is there an indy mechanic around you?

no warning lights have been thrown off, and a 'limp home' mode hasn't been kicked in * like if the CTS went *. I could get the codes checked out by Pepboys though... if it's an engine code that goes off with their free checks. My mechanic is quite a drive away from me though.

you don't think it may just need some injection cleaner though? What are the repercussions of this symptom being left alone for a given time..

Last edited by TheGamingArt; 25th July 2011 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 25th July 2011
BobSaabit BobSaabit is offline
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Originally Posted by TheGamingArt View Post
no warning lights have been thrown off, and a 'limp home' mode hasn't been kicked in * like if the CTS went *. I could get the codes checked out by Pepboys though... if it's an engine code that goes off with their free checks. My mechanic is quite a drive away from me though.

you don't think it may just need some injection cleaner though? What are the repercussions of this symptom being left alone for a given time..
There are accumulated data numbers in the computer that are not "codes" per se, but that an experienced Saab mechanic might be able to read something into and diagnose. You need a guru though and he needs to have a Tech II, not just a code reader.

That might help find something like a bad or dirty MAF. Off the top of my head from 1000+ miles away, I'd be more likely to think it was a bad MAF if it's only cold oriented since those are temperature oriented by design and the TB is not. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_airflow_sensor. Unfortunately a MAF is not cheap either.

Keep in mind that I'm not an experienced mechanic, just another guy with a wrench who swaps parts when he figures out or guesses which one is bad. :-)
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Old 25th July 2011
TheGamingArt TheGamingArt is offline
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Originally Posted by BobSaabit View Post
There are accumulated data numbers in the computer that are not "codes" per se, but that an experienced Saab mechanic might be able to read something into and diagnose. You need a guru though and he needs to have a Tech II, not just a code reader.

That might help find something like a bad or dirty MAF. Off the top of my head from 1000+ miles away, I'd be more likely to think it was a bad MAF if it's only cold oriented since those are temperature oriented by design and the TB is not. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_airflow_sensor. Unfortunately a MAF is not cheap either.

Keep in mind that I'm not an experienced mechanic, just another guy with a wrench who swaps parts when he figures out or guesses which one is bad. :-)
Unfortunately, it seems to feel slightly off when driving now. It shakes very little, but noticeable when you pay attention while driving. It's something you have to pay attention to to feel.

If it's worth noting, the RPM is at 1 at idle .. and easily goes up to 3 when speeding up.

Last edited by TheGamingArt; 25th July 2011 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 26th August 2011
TheGamingArt TheGamingArt is offline
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I fear that yet another throttle body is biting the dust.
But do assure that all the service work is up to date.

Well, I just took it to my mechanic and they told me that it needed a fuel injector cleaning badly. It was soo dirty that it was soaking the spark plugs. Both have been replace and fixed * with a very minor vacuum leak * .... I started it this morning and it shook a little though. Does the engine need to re adjust itself or is there another issue?

Last edited by TheGamingArt; 26th August 2011 at 11:18 AM.
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  #9  
Old 27th August 2011
08flstc 08flstc is offline
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This is a VERY common issue with the 00 - 03 9-3's. There are many threads that refer to this problem. Another one was posted right above yours a matter of fact. Start with the cheap and easy stuff before you start changing out throttle bodies and MAF's. I had the same issue with my 02 9-3 SE and I performed all of the below recommendations at the same time so I'm not really sure which one cured the problem.

Start with checking all your vacuum hoses. Even if they look "good", they may not be. Change them all out. Very common problem with the 9-3's.

Dump a bottle of Chevron Techron in your gas tank and let it go to work. I'm sure there are many opinions on what is the best fuel system treatment out there, but I've found this stuff to work better than Gumout, Seafoam, or many of the others available.

I would then move on to your spark plugs. When was the last time they were changed? If you're not sure when they were changed, install a new set. Just make sure you install the correct type and they are gapped correctly. If they were recently changed, again, check the gap as the correct gap is CRITICAL with these cars.

Lastly, when was the last time your fuel filter was changed? If you're not sure, go ahead and replace that. Another very easy DIY project.

The total cost for all of the above was just over $100.00 and the cold start problem no longer exists. I wish I could tell you which one of the "fixes" cured the problem, but I really can't. All of them are very easy DIY projects that can be completed in a little over an hour.

Hope this helps...

Chris
Southeastern PA
2002 9-3 SE
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  #10  
Old 27th August 2011
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earthworm earthworm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 08flstc View Post
This is a VERY common issue with the 00 - 03 9-3's. There are many threads that refer to this problem. Another one was posted right above yours a matter of fact. Start with the cheap and easy stuff before you start changing out throttle bodies and MAF's. I had the same issue with my 02 9-3 SE and I performed all of the below recommendations at the same time so I'm not really sure which one cured the problem.

Start with checking all your vacuum hoses. Even if they look "good", they may not be. Change them all out. Very common problem with the 9-3's.

Dump a bottle of Chevron Techron in your gas tank and let it go to work. I'm sure there are many opinions on what is the best fuel system treatment out there, but I've found this stuff to work better than Gumout, Seafoam, or many of the others available.

I would then move on to your spark plugs. When was the last time they were changed? If you're not sure when they were changed, install a new set. Just make sure you install the correct type and they are gapped correctly. If they were recently changed, again, check the gap as the correct gap is CRITICAL with these cars.

Lastly, when was the last time your fuel filter was changed? If you're not sure, go ahead and replace that. Another very easy DIY project.

The total cost for all of the above was just over $100.00 and the cold start problem no longer exists. I wish I could tell you which one of the "fixes" cured the problem, but I really can't. All of them are very easy DIY projects that can be completed in a little over an hour.

Hope this helps...

Chris
Southeastern PA
2002 9-3 SE
Much better advice than mine, I must say.
Sometimes I slip into a "profit of doom" mode...forgetting that I am no longer in the field as I was in the 60s,70s.
Now, I am supposed to be the prophet, and must shy from the doom bit.
This INTERNET advice business is much better when a consensus exists.
As to the "shakes", the possible repair cost is tied in with tolerance...I for one would "put up" with this if faced with a huge repair bill, but now Id say that some Chevron every 50K is part of regular maintainence..In the past I have used this, maybe once and never noticed any difference, but then, there were no "shakes" either...
Please let us know what works for you.
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Old 27th August 2011
08flstc 08flstc is offline
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I for one, still bow down to the almighty prophet that you are:-) I've only owned my Saab for a few short months and your posts have helped me out of a great many jams already, so PLEASE, continue to prophetize(is that a word?)

Like you, I weigh the issue against the cost. Since the start up shake didn't effect the overall driveability, I put a cap on the amount of time and money I was willing to spend on the problem. Got lucky this time and one of the fixes solved the problem. Hopefully it will for the OP as well. Otherwise, I hope he heeds your advice. As we all know, our beloved cars can be a little "quirky" at times. I prefer to look at it as "character".

Chris
Southeastern PA<----sump pump ready
2002 9-3 SE
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Old 27th August 2011
TheGamingArt TheGamingArt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGamingArt View Post
Well, I just took it to my mechanic and they told me that it needed a fuel injector cleaning badly. It was soo dirty that it was soaking the spark plugs. Both have been replace and fixed * with a very minor vacuum leak * .... I started it this morning and it shook a little though. Does the engine need to re adjust itself or is there another issue?
What I can say, is the second morning I've started it cold after the fuel injector cleaning and new spark plugs * with the minor vacuum leak fix * ... it did not shake at all. The RPM still spiked to 1,500 * and the turbo spiked *. I'm not sure if that's a normal range for this car. I'm also not sure if the engine is re adjusting itself or not.
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Old 27th August 2011
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She should not spike at all - maybe to 1,100 when really cold outdoors...
Perhaps we are experiencing "computer readjusting".
A good read in that apparently the fixes worked..
The plugs in a turbocharged car are good for - 30,000 miles or so..
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Old 27th August 2011
TheGamingArt TheGamingArt is offline
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Originally Posted by earthworm View Post
She should not spike at all - maybe to 1,100 when really cold outdoors...
Perhaps we are experiencing "computer readjusting".
A good read in that apparently the fixes worked..
The plugs in a turbocharged car are good for - 30,000 miles or so..
I'm crossing my fingers for a computer re adjusting
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Old 28th August 2011
08flstc 08flstc is offline
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That's not a normal spike for a T-7. My RPM's will spike to around 1,000 at startup and come right down to around 900 until warmed up and the turbo needle doesn't even jump into the orange range. I would run it for awhile and see if the ECU re-adjusts things. If not, it would bear looking into further. Glad to hear the simple, (ie:inexpensive), fixes solved your shaking problem though.

Chris
Southeastern PA<-----Under water right now
2002 9-3 SE
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Old 28th August 2011
Twitchie Twitchie is offline
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My '02 has had the cold start shakes since I bought the car at 60,000 miles about 5 years ago. It now has 145,000. It just sputters when I first start it, smoothes out after a few seconds and idles at about 1300 for about a minute. Then drops to about 900 and all is well. I could not figure out what was causing this problem so I have just let it go since it was not hurting how it drove.
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Old 29th August 2011
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sounds like the coolant temp sensor is unplugged or gone bad. rising idle when first started is a typical issue when the sensor quits functioning correctly, from what I have seen over the years.
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