SaabCentral Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi fellow Saab owners. I have a 2008 9-3 Aero SportCombi (2.8L v6) that is displaying some very strange symptoms. Very often it refuses to start - I turn the key and nothing happens, no clicking, not attempt to turn over, etc. - when it does start it starts right up. The CEL is on. Car seems to run fine but the fuel gauge oscillates between showing empty and showing the actual available fuel. After driving for a bit, the ABS, TCS, and SCS lights will come on, I think indicating limp mode? Weirdest of all, once the speedometer and tach both froze simultaneously, with the speedometer showing 25 mph even when I was stopped at a light - sorted itself out next time I started the car. I initially thought it was a bad NSS, but that does not explain the dashboard freezing. I took it to a local mechanic (not a Saab specialist but highly recommended) and he was stumped; said sometimes the computer just refused to communicate with him so he was not able to diagnose the issue. Anyway, there are some other issues with the car so I don't want to sink a lot of time and money into it, but it would be nice to have it starting and running consistently, so I'm wondering if this sounds like something with a potentially easy fix or if I'm most likely looking at replacing the ECU or worse.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,616 Posts
Bad ABS module.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,616 Posts
If you want to try something to get you by until you replace it. Jam something between the strut tower and the ABS module to put pressure on the case. Have heard of that working in a pinch for awhile.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Ah interesting... I had wondered about that after seeing some similar posts. Would that actually cause issues with the dash? Unfortunately, seems pretty expensive. Thanks!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,616 Posts
Yes.
Yes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I guess I'll start by just checking there are no loose connections and trying the pressure trick. Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Wow! I just tried folding the infotainment manual (first thing that came to hand) in half and jamming it between the strut and ABS module and the CEL disappeared! Obviously not a permanent solution but great to know what the problem is. Thank you!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,616 Posts
Start searching for a replacement. Make sure you buy the same part number.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bksaab87

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,616 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
667 Posts
Expect it to get progressively worse until it simply will not start one day. As Diggs says, find a replacement sooner rather than later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Maybe a dumb question, but do you know if the new unit needs to be "mated" to the ECU? I found and ordered a replacement on eBay; wondering if this is something my local mechanic will be able to do or if I need to find a specialist with a Tech2.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,616 Posts
Some people say yes. I replaced mine on my 2003 and car didn't give a lick. So, if you are handy and don't mind trying then just hook it up and try it. Worst case you have to swap it back to drive it again.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bksaab87

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
So I tried something I saw suggested in another thread where someone seemed to be having the exact same issue; I gently bent in the pins on the ABS controller side of the connector to get better contact and now it works even without the shim in place (also would seem to explain why the shim worked). I have another module on the way but now I'm wondering if I bother replacing it right away or if I hold on to the second unit and just see how this goes for a while.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,616 Posts
Definitely blow on it. (y)
 
  • Like
Reactions: MNtastic

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Update for those interested, or who may find this useful in the future. With some coaxing, I was able to get the car to at least start consistently, and frequently without any lights, but inevitably once things got hot the ABS controller would fail again, so I took the car to a Saab specialist in the area as soon as I got the salvage replacement. The part I bought came as a combined controller and pump unit and the mechanic suggested I replace both so as not to void any warranty on the part. Anyway, car started up fine after replacement but the ABS light came on almost immediately after I left, so I circled the block and came back. Apparently codes showed that the pump was at fault, so I suggested we try the new controller with the old pump; that seems to have done the trick, and I made it the drive home without any CEL or ABS lights, which was not true of the drive there. Now I've got the old controller lying around that I can ship off to be rebuilt if this happens again. I'll take the car for a longer drive this weekend, and I'm sure be paranoid the entire time.

Two things worth mentioning:
  1. The mechanic said the controller did not need to be married to the ECU; it's plug-and-play. If this happens again I might attempt the replacement myself.
  2. I was previously getting a "cornering light malfunction" from the SID. When I had the old controller semi-working, I wouldn't get this warning until the controller failed, and I did not get it at all on the drive home. My theory (maybe someone can confirm or correct) is that the cornering lights use the wheel speed sensors to determine the correct angle, and thus rely on the ABS controller, much the same way that the controller caused my speedometer and tach to freeze on occasion.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top