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2008 9-5 aero wagon- bad engine knock

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Mechanic says its a rod knock. Seems there was an oil leak and the oil indicator is defunct. New engine time?

Not sure this is what I want to spend the next few months dealing with. Anyone local interested? The rest of the car is in nice shape. Its fully loaded with retractable mirrors, ventilated seats etc. Aftermarket Pioneer nav system. Shocks and springs are recent. Just needs an engine. . .
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I first thought it was an exhaust leak. He confirmed its not exhaust. He added 3 qts of oil and it got quieter. Dratted defective oil pressure light! Its been maybe 5000 miles since the last oil change.
An engine swap is not something I want to do. 50 years ago maybe. I finally got smart. . . Have someone else do it.
The quotes were $1,500 to $2,500 for the labor, maybe as much at $300 in gaskets and seals etc. And engines of different origins for $1K to $2k.
If it were just my decision I might replace the engine. However others here would prefer to move on to something newer. Unfortunately SAAB really doesn't have a newer replacement for a 2008 wagon.
One company, SWengines offers a replacement with a 5 year 50K mile warranty for $2095.00. Its pretty tempting.

The other annoyance is the gas gauge being nonfunctional. Second SAAB wagon with that problem for me. And on the 2008 you need to drop the tank to replace the pump to fix the gauge.
 

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Yeah, those estimates feel about right to me for the area certainly within hundreds of dollars. I would only offer that in today's market putting $4k in to a 15 year old car isn't as insane sounding as it might have been a few years ago. For whatever that is worth. ;)

Of course, if the car is a luxury and not a necessity, that probably changes the equation substantially.
 

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Just to be clear...you said your mechanic added 3 quarts. Was it three quarts low, or did he overfill it for testing purposes? The car only takes about 4 quarts during an oil change, so 3 quarts low is crazy low.

You guys probably ruled this out, but there's no possibility it's lifter noise, is there? Rod knock is a deeper/louder sound but tapping lifters can be pretty loud too. Lifter noise would obviously be coming from the top end, not from the bottom like rod knock. You also mentioned the noise quieted down with additional oil...as far as I know, rod knock typically doesn't quiet down whereas lifter tick often will quiet down, especially if the oil was low and then filled to the correct level.

Lifters would be something you could replace without rebuilding the whole engine. Worth at least verifying.

My 2009 Suburban has lifters that like to get loud in the winter on startup and then quiet down. They are quite loud at first when it's really cold. Has been doing this forever with no apparent ill effects. (Truck has 200,000+ miles, has had cold start lifter noise since 130,000. Oil pressure is good/normal).
 

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As far as I know, the answers are "probably not" (on my experience with a couple of engines) and "no".

Beyond a bad noise that goes as engine speed, I am not aware of any diagnostic short of tearing down the engine or running it until the rod comes out the side of the block.

A compression test might reveal other problems (or not), but it won't diagnose rod knock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update- It seems the oil pressure sending unit or light has failed. No oil light with the engine off. I completely overlooked that. If I had noticed no light with engine off maybe would have saved $$$$.
I'm getting an engine swap to make the car drivable. Not sure of my next steps on this car. Wife wants a newer car- looking at a Volvo XC70. I'm very mixed about the change.
 

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XC70 is a pretty nice car. The first few years of each generation have issues (which vary) but they always seem to get 'em sorted out. Those per-generation latter years always seem to be pretty solid cars. Not cheap to run nor maintain, but nice to be in. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Updates
1) We got an XC70 but after a few weeks its for sale. Has all the right stuff but too big for the same cargo space. Does not drive like a SAAB at all, more like an old pickup and stupid expensive to service. An oil change through an independent deal was $350!!. Came with one key-less key. another is $500 at the dealer. Finally the Nav etc. is all obsolete and no longer supported on a 2015 car.
2) New used engine installed on the wagon. its running OK. The Oil light problem I traced to a wire- the wire from the harness into the connector at H24-2 had come out of the pin. I need to know where I can get the pin and the correct tool to remove the old pin?
3) New operation problem- under some mix of engine speed and throttle (neither at full) the engine cuts out momentarily. Its quite unsettling. The bypass valve and the charge air control valve are both 14 years and 180K miles old. I'm ordering a bypass valve since they are cheap and easy to replace. Any other suggestions?
 

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2005 Saab 9-5 Aero Sedan '98 corolla until my 9-5's engine is finished:'~((
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Just to be clear...you said your mechanic added 3 quarts. Was it three quarts low, or did he overfill it for testing purposes? The car only takes about 4 quarts during an oil change, so 3 quarts low is crazy low.

You guys probably ruled this out, but there's no possibility it's lifter noise, is there? Rod knock is a deeper/louder sound but tapping lifters can be pretty loud too. Lifter noise would obviously be coming from the top end, not from the bottom like rod knock. You also mentioned the noise quieted down with additional oil...as far as I know, rod knock typically doesn't quiet down whereas lifter tick often will quiet down, especially if the oil was low and then filled to the correct level.

Lifters would be something you could replace without rebuilding the whole engine. Worth at least verifying.

My 2009 Suburban has lifters that like to get loud in the winter on startup and then quiet down. They are quite loud at first when it's really cold. Has been doing this forever with no apparent ill effects. (Truck has 200,000+ miles, has had cold start lifter noise since 130,000. Oil pressure is good/normal).
My 98 corolla does this as well. Good compression and runs like a top. Just a little cranky in cold mornings in terms of noise only
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A little more time with the cranky car. . . It will pull at full throttle with the revs up but 1/2 boost at lower engine speed will trigger some type of cutout, like a rev limiter. I have a new DIC coming along with the bypass valve. Could the wastegate cause these issues?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Not beating on the car, just more notes from the initial test drive. I got all the parts, except the bypass valve (from Amazon) was defective- doesn't hold any vacuum so its going back. The old one seems OK. The DIC from Rock auto ($160) has no label. They apparently used to come from SEM but now from China. I'll check the warranty before I install it. It may also be going back. My local SAAB specialist says he gets the DIC's for around $250 direct from SAAB.
 

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My local SAAB specialist says he gets the DIC's for around $250 direct from SAAB.
A $160 DIC is money wasted, authenticity is well disputed across most suppliers, I bought this one.

It's been working for only 1000 kilometers so...

 
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