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  #1  
Old 12th September 2005
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Exclamation Let's talk about sludge!

The subject of PCV and breather pipes and sludge comes up daily, so lets collectively put a thread together that we can sticky to the forum!

Please add comments and at the end I will edit the thread so we have a view which a number of us have contibuted to, for others to take guidance from

We could perhaps include:
  • Which engines are affected
  • Signs and symptoms
  • Known weak points
  • Parts to check / change
  • Preventative maintenance
Any information from past posts etc is good, I will just splice it together, please take a moment to add your comments or knowledge you have gained reguarding the problem.......

Thanks in advance, Chris
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  #2  
Old 12th September 2005
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Which engines are affected:

GM's Saab recalls 400,000 cars over engine flaw STOCKHOLM (AFX) - General Motor Corp's Swedish subsidiary Saab Automobile AB said it is recalling up to 400,000 of its 9-5 and 9-3 cars worldwide due to an engine design flaw.

The company said the flaw could lead to a rapid deterioration of oil quality and damage turbo-charged engines.

'As many as 400,000 cars may be affected worldwide,' Saab (Stockholm: SAABb.ST - news) spokesman Oerjan Aaslund said, refusing to reveal how much money the company would be forced to spend on the repairs.

The company said it will issue an 8-year retroactive engine guarantee for its 1998 to 2000 9-5 models and its 2000 to 2003 9-3 models. (However the design wasnt changed until 2004 so cars up to 2004 will be vulnerable)

'The guarantee means that customers who have been affected by motor problems due to oil sludge will receive full financial compensation,' Saab said in a statement, pointing out that the purchaser of a vehicle in 1998 would still have a valid guarantee through 2006.

The car manufacturer said that about 4 pct of the 95,000 cars equipped with the engines in question circulating in Sweden appeared to have experienced problems.

'Sweden has been more affected than many other markets... mainly due to the fact that it is colder here and it takes longer for the engines to warm up,' Aaslund said.

Plus all 9-5 and 9-3's with poor or no routine maintenance or where oil specification has not been adhered to.

MY2004 9-5's and 9-3SS are reported to be free of this design fault.
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Last edited by Chris 9-5; 13th September 2005 at 03:48 AM.
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  #3  
Old 12th September 2005
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What parts are involved?

The PCV (Breather System)











The Sump, strainer and oil pick up tube




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Last edited by Chris 9-5; 12th September 2005 at 01:54 PM.
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  #4  
Old 12th September 2005
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What's the problem?

Poor or no maintenance, using the wrong oil grade or frequent short journeys will add to the problems associated with the flawed PCV(Breather system).

The old method of suction to remove oil via the filler neck also prevented particles of sludge from being drained.

The PCV (Breather System) breaks down causing blockages leading to oil starvation, symptoms can include:

Soft/mushy PCV Pipework
Oil leaks
Increased Oil consumption
Blue Smoke
Turbo failure
Whine immediately upon start up (which may dissapear as the engine warms)
Oil Pump failure (resulting in total engine failure)

Models other than the Aero were specified to run on semi synthetic oils, these oils would under some circumstances break down too quickly.

http://www.thesaabsite.com/95/95faqs...d_Our_thoughts

For many years oil pickup problems have cause a variety of engine problems on Saabs. Oil pressure issues, Main/Rod bearing issues, Timing chain issues etc..... We are seeing even more problems with the oil pickups getting clogged up on the 93.95 cars now that the oil replacement recommendations have increased. We are seeing more and more issues with the lower ends of the engines beginning to scream or make a high pitches whining noise due to low oil pressure to the upper end of the engine. When the timing chains are being replaced we HIGHLY recommend cleaning or replacing the oil pickup tube as well. We also do NOT recommend changing the oil at intervals that are higher than 5000.00 miles. Not everyone runs synthetic oil all the time and synthetic is not available at every store in the world.

HOW DO I DETERMINE IF MY OIL PICKUP TUBE IS CLOGGED UP?

One of the most common issues with Saab engines is a clogged up oil pickup tube. Paraffin based oils will cause build up on the oil pickup screen causing the engine components that are farthest away from the oil supply to make noise. i.e.....Valve train, lifters etc.... You will likely find that the waxy build up begins to block the screen. This is usually caused by too long of a time between oil changes. The only real fix is to remove the oil pan on the 9000, NG900, 93, 95
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Last edited by Chris 9-5; 12th September 2005 at 01:09 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12th September 2005
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Preventative Maintenance
  • Always use fully synthetic oil
  • Always use a genuine saab oil filter
  • Always drain the oil via the sump plug (renew the washer)
  • Change the oil every 6,000 miles (or sooner if very short journeys are undertaken)
  • Check the condition of the PCV system (Breather Pipework)
  • Owners of cars without a meticulous history may wish to have the sump removed and the oil strainer and pick up tube cleaned
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Last edited by Chris 9-5; 12th September 2005 at 01:27 PM.
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  #6  
Old 12th September 2005
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can't contribute my experiences yet, but which numbers in the diagrams need changing.

also what part number is the oil pick up tube. so basically you remove sump, undo strainer and there is a tube there?

i think my turbo may have failed due to this problem, does that mean that the engine is seriously damaged or would changing pipes and cleaning strainer fix the problem?

also if we're to clean the strainer, should an engine flush be used first?

good idea this sticky!
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  #7  
Old 12th September 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmackie
can't contribute my experiences yet, but which numbers in the diagrams need changing.!
All that are squishy or mushy when you press them with your fingers

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmackie
also what part number is the oil pick up tube. so basically you remove sump, undo strainer and there is a tube there?!
Its labelled as No 21 in the diagram

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmackie
i think my turbo may have failed due to this problem, does that mean that the engine is seriously damaged or would changing pipes and cleaning strainer fix the problem?!
Hopefully this will be ok!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmackie
also if we're to clean the strainer, should an engine flush be used first?!
Many of us do use an engine flush with each oil change
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  #8  
Old 13th September 2005
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what is the best way at gaining access to the oil trap and its pipes? from the top of the engine or bottom?
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  #9  
Old 13th September 2005
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The oil trap is located bolted on the back of the engine, about 6 inches below the throttle body, secured by two 13mm bolts I believe.

Make sure the engine is stone cold!

The oil trap and top of the pipes can be accessed from above, but is slightly easier from below the car, however make sue the car is raised securely.

Its all a bit fiddly! The pipe work simply pushes onto the oil trap but no doubt takes a bit of force
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  #10  
Old 16th September 2005
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1999 9-5 2.3 lpt 5 speed 110,000.

I have had a major sludge experience, which resulted in a complete engine seize. I tried some hardcore cleaning and rebuilding/replacing bearings, lifters..etc and extended the life another 6 months. In the end I had a 45K rebuilt engine dropped back in and my love affair with this car is back in full swing. Since I live in the city and do short trips, I have now started to change the oil (full syn) every 3000 miles instead of 5000. I would like to flush the engine every 10,000 miles but I see many flushes say not to use with Turbos...anyone use a turbo safe engine flush?

As always thanks...Simon Cambridge,MA (unofficail Sugarloaf Saab)
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  #11  
Old 17th September 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowrider02446
1999 9-5 2.3 lpt 5 speed 110,000.
...anyone use a turbo safe engine flush?

As always thanks...Simon Cambridge,MA (unofficail Sugarloaf Saab)
Chris and myself use the Forté engine flush with no adverse effects.
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  #12  
Old 18th September 2005
Boulder74 Boulder74 is offline
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Default Is this good in the U.S. and for how long?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris 9-5
...The company said it will issue an 8-year retroactive engine guarantee for its 1998 to 2000 9-5 models and its 2000 to 2003 9-3 models...
Do you have any other info on this or a link to the primary site info??

Thanks
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  #13  
Old 20th September 2005
shikaraa shikaraa is offline
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Hi


I just joined the forum. I have a 2002 9-5 which had a sludge issue. The engine was replaced at 54000 miles. SAAB paid for the replacement after some discussion. The car now has 66000 miles. I have following questin.

Is the synthetic oil more susceptible to generate sludge or is that a problem specific to the engine design. Also is it possible that the sludge problem will reoccur in this new engine after it goies thru another 50000 miles or has SAAB been able to fix the problem.

Thanks for your help.
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  #14  
Old 20th September 2005
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Hi, and welcome

The design flaw hasnt been fixed its to do with inferior oil, prolonged oil change intervals and the PCV (breather system)

So if you ensure the PCV pipework is in good order, use fully synthetic oil and do regular changes, say every 6000 miles, you should avoid the problem recurring

The breather system was changed on the 2004 cars, however it still remains to be seen if the new system works long term
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  #15  
Old 29th September 2005
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So, even if the car missed a service, you would still be covered?

Not that I'm planning to mind you.
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  #16  
Old 1st October 2005
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Default motor flush and rislone

I don't think i have a problem with oil sludge, but this thread made me want to make sure.. (1999 saab 95 115,000 miles)

So I decided to use a "motor flush" http://store1.yimg.com/I/rodi_1865_17708788
and "rislone" http://www.rislone.com/engine.htm at my next oil change.
And from now I will always use synthetic oil every 3,000 miles.

Any feed back on this? Good, bad, not recommended? Other products or procedures to maintain the PCV?
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  #17  
Old 1st October 2005
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Several of us use an oil flush each time, and of course do the "squease" test on the pipes, if they go mushy, change them
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  #18  
Old 2nd October 2005
shikaraa shikaraa is offline
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If you are changing oil every 3000 miles, is there a problem using regual motor oil at one fourth the price of synthetic which started out with claims of being good for 10000 plus miles. I know of several people who stay with regular motor oil in high performance cars with oil change at 3000 miles and no ill effects.


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  #19  
Old 2nd October 2005
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I see your logic, I think 3000 miles is too frequent personally, I tend to buy fully synthetic when an offer comes out and get say 4 cans, we often see half price offers or buy on get one offers over here and do it that way.

I certainly wouldnt go below using semi synthetic even with 3000 mile changes personally
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  #20  
Old 2nd October 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikaraa
is there a problem using regual motor oil at one fourth the price of synthetic
Here's my 2 cents. You bought a $30-40,000 car (which you obviously love) and cant decide if you should buy regular oil at 2.30 a quart or 4.99 a quart.not too much of a difference if your engine will run ALOT longer. I see it as more expensive oil, but there is no way that in the amount of time that i own the car, that $4,000 for an an engine swap will ever be the same cost as synthetic oil at every oil change.

Also its a good idea to drop the sump (oil pan) and get it all cleaned out. I had mine done, and expected to find alot of sludge, yet there was almost none. so regular oil changes with full synthetic oil and a genuine saab filter, and checking your pcv hoses regularly, you shouldnt have an issue.

Nick
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