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My first piece of advice is to find a new mechanic and/or learn to do some repairs yourself. Besides not knowing when Saab went bankrupt (end of 2011 as a previous poster said), your guy was wrong about the timing components being hard to find. A shop that knows Saabs would have no trouble locating those parts. I'm also not sure you should trust the diagnosis. Did he check the timing chain tensioner? Did he pulll the valve cover to inspect the chain? If it were my car, here is what I would do:

1. Remove the serpantine belt and start the engine. If ther noise is gone, then the source is one of the belt driven accessories (AC, water pump, PS pump, alternator), or the idler or tensioner pully. If the noise is still there, on to step 2.

2. Check the turbo for play. The "white smoke" you saw makes me suspect you have a turbo issue. If there is play in the shaft, then the turbo is likely the source of both the noise, and the burning coolant.

3. Run a compression test to rule out a head gasket failure. Also check the coolant level and look for any sign of oil contamination in the coolant and/or water/coolant in the oil.

Do NOT let a shop start swaping parts before a proper diagnosis is done.
 

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The rattling is definitely something belt drive, so it's not your turbo. It sounds like your AC compressor is the leading suspect. There's a very good chance that you now have a seized pulley, so it should be quite easy to find what had been the source of the rattle. Bob is exactly right, NEVER keep driving without your belt. Besides the alternator, power steering pump and AC compressor, the belt also drives the water pump. So, driving without a belt will eventually kill the engine. Your weak battery may have saved you from a much bigger mess.

Sounds like you have found a compotent shop. Good luck with the repairs. These cars can be very enjoyable to own, but they can also put quite a strain on one's budget.
 
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