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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just wanted to "enlighten" with my 2 cents about my recent A/C troubles. I did numerous searches, and came up with empty answers about what could be wrong or how to fix the problem without a warranty coverage.

My initial problem was my driver vent was ice cold, but the vent got hotter moving towards the passenger side. Now the passenger side would blow cold when it was cooler out (say in the high 70's), but was still blowing hotter than the driver side.

So I check the forums and talk to a few car guys...seems it might be a blend door issue. So the 9-3SS has about 20 "step" motors carrying out functions of the automatic climate control. I checked this first, by removing the glove box. If you look toward the center console there are 3 small motors. The top two are for defrost, and upward distribution, while the bottom one carrys out the passenger side air distribution function. All seem to be functioning fine, and all are moving properly.

Next thing suggested on the forums is the compressor malfunction. I want to set the record straight here after discussing with my mechanic. You do not have a compressor issue (90% of the time) when at least one of the vents blows cold. If it did not blow cold then your condenser would be dead. The other guesstimate of time, and worst case scenario is you have a leaking compressor that may cause this issue.

I also checked the condenser, no signs of issues so I moved on.

There was one post that caught my eye about leaks...it said if you do not have antiquate pressure to push the gas through the condenser then you may blow hotter from left to right. This is because of the way the air is channeled through the vents. This caught my attention and I decided to look at my check valve, and put on a pressure gauge.

My Pressure was on the low side, and so I decide to take it in to have it evacuated and recharged. This SOLVED all my problems (at least so far). The A/C now blows ice cold. However, my issue was initially cause by a leaking check valve pin. I ran to Autozone and picked one up so my mechanic could put it in while recharging.

IF THIS SAME ISSUE HAPPENS TO YOU...DON'T PANIC.
There seems to be mixed information, but seemingly you just need a proper evac and recharge. 70$ cured my problem that others have shelled out a thousand or so far to replace parts that don't need replacing. Unfortunately dealers do not always have sound advice, but then again if your replacing things under warranty then I guess it's a non issue anyways (sorry for the small rant).
 

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I can't thank you enough for the info. I went in a shop asking about the same issue. Driver side vent is cold but the rest wasn't. He suggested that I should go to the dealership. Instead, I winged it and got the vacuumed and recharged. All in all it cost me $160, $70 to vacuum and recharge and $80 for 1.8 lbs of R134a. Now my a/c works like it was new. Anybody who has the same issue with their Saab 9-3 I would definitely take igetablumpkin advice cause it worked for my 04 9-3.
 

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Thanks for this post. I am having he same exact issue, this will save me alot of troubleshooting. I may try adding a can myself before taking it to the garage.
 

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Thanks for this post. I am having he same exact issue, this will save me alot of troubleshooting. I may try adding a can myself before taking it to the garage.
The reason it blows cold on the driver side and gets warmer across the vents from left to right is that there isn't enough refrigerant in the system. I add a can every spring to bring the pressure up and that solves that for the season. Cheapest DIY possible. And once my stop gap approach stops working then maybe I'll have shop take a look. $80 buys a lot of DIY freon at Autozone.
 

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Me to. Just went through the same issues on the wife's car. One can of freon did the trick. Hopefully it will last through the summer.
 

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A/C recharge

2008 9-3 convertible: Left side vent was cold, less cool (warmer by 12-15 degrees at each vent) as I checked each vent from left to right. Tested with gauge, slowly added 16 ounce of R134a, and watched the low side gauge again. Perfect! all vents at max average 36-38 degrees. I used the A/C Pro kit from Walmart for this. Wish I had done this several years ago.;ol;
 
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