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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I'm new to this forum. I purchased a 2003 9-3 Vector from Saab of Milford in Connecticut in September 2006. It has about 44K in miles and is covered by the Saab CPO warranty until July 2009. The only major trouble I've had is:

Email brake repalced - Jan 07
Passenger window regulator replaced - July 07
Transmission replaced - Aug 07

Now, one thing that has always bothered me from time to time is that occassionally, the car violently shakes when the engine starts up. I'm not really tech savy, so I'm not sure what terminoligy to use to even describe my problem. However, I've discovered that when the key is turned to the "on" position, you can hear something "wind up/cycle" in the front part of the car on the passenger side. Most of the time the "wind up/cycling" sounds smooth, and ever thing is cool. However, sometimes the "wind up" process sounds different and whatever it is that is making that sound sounds like it's having trouble doing whatever it's doing. When the "wind up/cycling" process sounds different is when the car will shake upon starting the engine. Once the engine is started everything seems ok, but this really bothers me. The car is, like I said before, covered under warranty, but I would love to be able to tell them EXACTLY what I think is wrong with the car instead of using my horrible descriptions to lead them on a wild goose chase.

Another problem is that I hear a wierd sound coming from right below the windshield. It is another "cycling" kind of sound, that is directly related to the thermistat I believe. I say this because if it's set at 70, and I raise it to 74, you will hear this thing "cycle" for 2-5 seconds. Change the temperature again, and you get the same results. It also makes these sounds randomly, even if you don't change the temperature. Any advice as to what the hell is causing that?

Any help from you guys would be much appreciated. Again, it's a 2003 9-3 Vector. If you guys need to ask me for any more details, please feel more than welcomed and I will do the best I can.

Thanks
 

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I'm just curious as to what the Email brake is?

Several of us have had the window regulator(s) replaced.

The Trans issue was very rare, but very real, T-fluid/coolant contamination.

I would try to have your Dealer replicate the rough starting and whining/cycling sound issue if your under warranty. The big cop out with dealer service is "could not replicate problem"


There are some here who have had experience with Milford, they can address the Service level.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
JonV said:
I'm just curious as to what the Email brake is?

Several of us have had the window regulator(s) replaced.

The Trans issue was very rare, but very real, T-fluid/coolant contamination.

I would try to have your Dealer replicate the rough starting and whining/cycling sound issue if your under warranty. The big cop out with dealer service is "could not replicate problem"


There are some here who have had experience with Milford, they can address the Service level.
My bad, I meant to type E-Brake. Sorry for the confusion.

1. Jan 07 - I went out to go to work in the morning one day and the e-brake was stuck and would not release. Milford sent a tech to my house (45 minutes away) with a loaner, released the e-brake manually, and drove it back to Milford for repair

2. Jan 07 - After driving roughly 30 minutes on the highway and then eventually coming to a complete stop after getting off, the transmission would skip gears 2-3. After the 3rd time of having the car looked at, the Throttle Body Valve was replaced. upon doing that, the car wouldn't even start at the dealership, so they replaced the ECM. However, now the car would roguhly downshift into 1st gear every single time. After 6 months of the issue not getting better, I brought the car back in July and Milford offered to just replace the whole transmission. Problem solved!

3. Do other 9-3s not have the same "start-up" sequence when the key is turned to the "On" position? Like I said, most of the time, when turned to the "on" position, the cycling sounds prefectly natural (is it some kind of fan or relay possibely??? that's just a guess). However, the times the item "cycling" appears to struggle or malfunction or whatever is the times when turning the key to start the engine results in a abnormal startup... The car shutters and it's definately out of place. This object I'm refering to is somewhere in the forward section of the car... Possibly jsut past the firewall in front of the glovebox... Does that help anyone know what it could be? I'd imagine all 9-3s would have it.

4. Does anyone know what's going on with the other "cycling" sound thats coming from directly in front of the driver area, right near the windshield? Like a said, it makes a wierd clicking sound (almost like a clock or sorts), and ALWAYS happens when you change the temperature...

5. Milford has been GREAT to me. The Service manager, Nick, and one of the technicans, Keith, (just in case other posters need to know who to talk to in CT) are super nice. Like I said, they gave me a brand new transmission when they could have probably dicked me around if they wanted to. The Service down there is great, I just don't like going down there as much as I seem to do. Part of it is because I'm anal I guess, but I feel like since it's under warranty, I might as well take advantage of the service while I can.
 

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Not being sarcastic, but if service is so good and those folks are so nice,,,,they should be able to detect the rough starting and "Sound/noise" problems you are having. The Transmission issue is well documented and contaminated transmissions (to the best of my knowledge as posted here) have always been replaced, as were the window regulators
 

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You could always records the sounds, say ... using a cellphone - it should help convince them there is a problem and it might help them diagnose.

As for the ticking clock...my car always does it when its cold for about the first 20 seconds after startup - then it stops. May be not normal, but my cars been doing it for 3 years with no secondary fault or change in symptoms - so I'm not worried.

/edit...if your car struggles through the start sequence...I'm wondering if your getting ready for a new battery...4 years old...its not unreasonable
 

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Discussion Starter #6
JonV said:
Not being sarcastic, but if service is so good and those folks are so nice,,,,they should be able to detect the rough starting and "Sound/noise" problems you are having. The Transmission issue is well documented and contaminated transmissions (to the best of my knowledge as posted here) have always been replaced, as were the window regulators
No offense taken. I called the dealership this morning and told them I would bring the car in early Thursday morning to have them check everything out. I was already bringing it in anyways that day as they ordered me a new ashtray, rear air duct, rear brake light assembly, and both front door interior door panels (all ordered because of excessive interior rattling). Now they get to do even more! I think they know I pay attention to detail and know everything about the warranty, which is why they never turn me away. However, I was hoping if any of you knew exactly about any of the symptoms I've described that I could walk in Thursday morning and tell them EXACTLY what's wrong so that they could confirm it and then fix it. As of right now, it looks like the only easy thing will be the "ticking" sound coming from in front of the windshield. The rough start sequence and the creaks and rattles in the suspension will probably take way more time... Good thing you get free coffee in the showroom lobby!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
smurkenstein said:
You could always records the sounds, say ... using a cellphone - it should help convince them there is a problem and it might help them diagnose.

As for the ticking clock...my car always does it when its cold for about the first 20 seconds after startup - then it stops. May be not normal, but my cars been doing it for 3 years with no secondary fault or change in symptoms - so I'm not worried.

/edit...if your car struggles through the start sequence...I'm wondering if your getting ready for a new battery...4 years old...its not unreasonable
It's not so much the sounds that are produced when starting the car, as it is how roguh it feels. Every loaner they have given me has started just like I expect. The car cranks and then starts nice and easy. My father's BMW 540i starts the same way. When my car starts, sometimes it is a "smooth" start and cranks normal, and other times it's rough, and it doesn't seem like it actually cranks. It's like I turn the key, and the engine kind just starts and it shakes and stutters. It's very strange. Not something I think a cellphone video could capture...
 

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Iv'e never had that problem with my 2003 Vector. The only thing I get every once in a while is when I am driving is automatic mode when I am accelerating it seems to not find the gear and revs up somewhere around 3-5th gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Vectorama said:
Iv'e never had that problem with my 2003 Vector. The only thing I get every once in a while is when I am driving is automatic mode when I am accelerating it seems to not find the gear and revs up somewhere around 3-5th gear.
I had the same issue, and my transmission got replaced... You should have that looked at because obviously Saab will replace the transmission if you push for it...

Anyways, hoepfully someone here will be able to help me eventually. I would feel so much better going to the dealership being able to tell them exactly what I think is wrong instead of describing it to them and letting them do all the investigating...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
SidewaysD said:
hi..

i have a 2003 9-3 as well but in standard.

THe car starts smooth..

When your car starts what idle does it go up before it drops down to 900 or 1K rpm?
I just went outside to check... It started fairly smooth, and the RPMs were at about 1100 rpm, and stayed there. Since it's about 32 degree F outside right now, they didn't drop down. The car was shaking/stuttering slightly more than what I would perceive normal. Overall, it was a pretty normal startup, and not as abnormal as it can be.

Please make note, the shaking/stuttering on even bad starts disapates after the initial engine startup sequence. I am worreid though that roguht start could lead to problems down the road.
 

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Well it is great to hear that Milford Saab isn't a dealership that gives the owner a difficult time, that is where we bought our 9.3 and plan on having it serviced.
I did meet one of the mechanics, but it wasn't Keith or Nick.The whole staff seems very nice.
Yes, they do have a nice coffee machine there, however, this time of year I prefer the hot chocolate.

You may want to consider a new battery also, and I question a fuel pump, the rough start may be a starving engine.

Our 9.3 with 1K miles on it seems to take a tiny bit longer cranking then I would expect, and that kinda scares me.
 

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Rough idle could mean a vacuum leak. These are starting to be more common in 2003's. The rubber gets old. The mst common place for a leak is the purge hose connected to the manifold next to the oil dipstick.

If the 2003 has the original battery it should be replaced. But this is not likely the cause of the problems you describe. Saab batteries last an average of 3 years.

2003's have a different startup sequence compared to 2004 on. The reason is the presence of a Sencondary Air Injection system. This involves a pump that runs for about 90 seconds to prime the catalytic converter with extra oxygen (the ECM also adds fuel). This heats the converter so if gets up to temp quicker. SAI only runs at cold start. SAI check valves are starting to fail in these cars. When the valve fails, the pump soon follows.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
ctrlz said:
Rough idle could mean a vacuum leak. These are starting to be more common in 2003's. The rubber gets old. The mst common place for a leak is the purge hose connected to the manifold next to the oil dipstick.

If the 2003 has the original battery it should be replaced. But this is not likely the cause of the problems you describe. Saab batteries last an average of 3 years.

2003's have a different startup sequence compared to 2004 on. The reason is the presence of a Sencondary Air Injection system. This involves a pump that runs for about 90 seconds to prime the catalytic converter with extra oxygen (the ECM also adds fuel). This heats the converter so if gets up to temp quicker. SAI only runs at cold start. SAI check valves are starting to fail in these cars. When the valve fails, the pump soon follows.
So, is the battary and SAI pump and valve covered under the CPO warranty? Should I tell the technican to check out the battary and SAI system? I don't want to sound like an idiot and have them ask me what the hell I'm talking about? Where is that pump that runs for 90 seconds when you have a cold start? Is it on the passanger side of the car, in front of the glovebox? That is the location of the "cycling" sound I hear sometimes; and when I hear that, the car starts rough.
 

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SAI pump is attached to the lower front center of the engine block. It can be heard most easily when you start the car and stand in front with the engine idling. It's really not a prominent sound, but you can notice its absence once it shuts down. Kind of a high-pitched whir like you would expect from a fan.

This at least is the sound of normal operation. If your hard start problems are related to vacuum leaks or SAI problems, chances are good you will eventually get an engine light.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
ctrlz said:
SAI pump is attached to the lower front center of the engine block. It can be heard most easily when you start the car and stand in front with the engine idling. It's really not a prominent sound, but you can notice its absence once it shuts down. Kind of a high-pitched whir like you would expect from a fan.

This at least is the sound of normal operation. If your hard start problems are related to vacuum leaks or SAI problems, chances are good you will eventually get an engine light.
Hmmmm, well I've never had a warning light on the SID yet, so who knows. Maybe the pump is kind of breaking but not fully broken yet?
 

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chrismerriman said:
Hmmmm, well I've never had a warning light on the SID yet, so who knows. Maybe the pump is kind of breaking but not fully broken yet?
Maybe.

On a 2003 I would recommend you replace the battery if it is the original.

I would also suggest you inspect the SAI check valve for soot. You do this by facing the engine. The SAI check valve is that silver flying-saucer-looking thing to the right of the manifold cover, behind the power steering reservoir, and in front of the coolant overflow tank. It has a squeeze-and-pull type connection. There is a short rubber hose (about 4" long) which attaches to a metal tube. There is enough rubber there to allow you to pull back the quick-disconnect from the valve. Stick your finger in the valve and check for soot and/or moisture. Do this when the engine is cold. If it is wet or dirty your valve needs to be replaced. This is a wear-and-tear item.

Some pictures in this thread:
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93085&page=4&pp=20&highlight=inspection

Soot check here:
http://www.msi-motor-service.com/ximages/PG_SI_0083_EN_WEB.pdf
 

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Vectorama said:
Iv'e never had that problem with my 2003 Vector. The only thing I get every once in a while is when I am driving is automatic mode when I am accelerating it seems to not find the gear and revs up somewhere around 3-5th gear.
There is a TSB on that, #4402425....I believe a software update corrects that issue.
 

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JonV said:
Ctrlz, are you sure the valve is not under warranty? That's mechanical/emmisions! not like tires, shocks or batteries?
This is not covered by the federal emissions warranty, if that's what you mean. It is covered by Saab under the 4-yr standard warranty.

One of the old SAI threads contains more info on the Fed. Warranty, which does not cover much.
 
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