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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow Saab-sufferers,

I apologise for starting a new thread. I have been on this forum for many years, usually lurking and not really able to offer any help - but learning a lot about how to diagnose various issues. My current Saab is a MY2000 (W-reg) 9-5 2.3t estate (I had an NG900 and a Classic 900 before it). I bought it four years ago for £2,000. It had 110,000 miles on the clock; the previous owner had spent £3,000 on a post-sludge rebuild, including new breather system and turbo etc. It seemed like a good deal, and indeed for most of the last four years it has been a wonderful, reliable, comfortable, practical and much-admired form of transport.

Since buying it I have spent about the same as the purchase price on servicing and various odd peripheral bits that have gone wrong (new heater fan motor etc, pulleys, belts etc. etc.). I think this is fair enough, given the age of the car and its 'status'.

It now has 171,000 miles, but I think this is the end.

After a long (3,000+ mile) trip to the south of France and back last summer (at about 160,000 miles) the 'fill coolant fluid' message became increasingly persistent. (Luckily I had spent £40 on repairing the SID otherwise I would never have understood what 'f*** c*o**** f***' meant). Inevitably this led to the replacement of the head gasket, in December. I then had about three weeks of lovely motoring once again, and then a sudden and dramatic failure on the motorway in early January.

To cut a very long story short, after exhaustive investigation of throttle body, vacuum pipes etc., the code "random misfires" perhaps inevitably resulted in a new DIC.

Three weeks later (and now still less than 1,000 miles after the new head gasket) the CEL started flashing intermittently, especially under acceleration. I have persisted for another few days on local journeys, but today on a long-ish run it began to misfire even when not under acceleration. Again, I turned to SaabCentral, and it appears that this is likely to be a catalytic converter issue.

Having just spent the best part of £1200 in the last two months on keeping a car worth about £800 on the road, I am now faced with another possible several-hundred-pounds repair bill for the catalytic converter before I can even sell the car!

I love this car, it has been a fantastic thing to drive, but is increasingly expensive to own. The last three breakdowns have been embarrasing work-wise. Regrettably therefore I think I may have to leave the Saab fold. I wish you all the very best with your Saabs for the future, and would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for these informative and entertaining forums which are extremely useful. I am sorry that I have not made many contributions, but my level of mechanical expertise is not very high.

My experience leads me to suggest that the realistic life expectancy of these cars is 12 years and 170,000 miles.

Best wishes

Paul
 

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Probably would have helped if you posted all along as your story reads like a timeline that one could guess the next failure.

Over heated engine is your fault because you didn't listen to the idiot lights. High temperature toasted the cat and DIC, bad DIC flooded you cat with gas, bye-bye cat.


Get it fixed and learn from your lesson. The car is tough and will take allot of punishment(neglect). How is the transmission fluid?
 

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Having just spent the best part of £1200 in the last two months on keeping a car worth about £800 on the road, I am now faced with another possible several-hundred-pounds repair bill for the catalytic converter before I can even sell the car!

If you have already spent that much and have to spend the next lot just to be able to sell it then how would you be ahead of the game after you sell it?

You would still have to replace it, so why not keep it and get your money's worth out of the repairs?

.
 

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Once the cost of repair exceeds the value of the car, it's time to let it go. Glad you had many happy Saabin miles!

You are forgetting, aside from the catalytic converter he has already spent the money.

And still has the cost to replace AFTER spending the money.
 

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Have you considered fitting a known good used Cat converter?

Not difficult whatsoever to fit yourself and could be done for well under £100.
A little more if you have to pay a driveway mechanic to lie on his back for 30mins and fit it for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi guys - thanks for the sympathy and helpful comments.

I feel that I ought to say something in reply to Norm95. Firstly, I am not an idiot. Secondly I have not neglected this car - I have had it serviced every 5,000 or 6,000 miles and everything that has needed fixing has been fixed as and when it came up.

As soon as I noticed coolant disappearing from the coolant tank and not appearing anywhere else, the head gasket was my first suspect. Despite not showing any of the other classic signs of head gasket failure (gunge etc.) I had a block test done. This did not detect a head gasket leak.

For the next few hundred miles I never allowed the engine to overheat, and kept a check on fluid the whole time. A serivce was due, so I had another block test done and it just failed. So the car sat for two months whilst I saved up to get the head gasket repair done.

I wouldn't say the failed DIC was the result of overheating, but you are probably more of an expert than I am. A suddenly failing DIC at that sort of age/mileage is well known. It ran for a total of about 500 yards with the DIC failing. Then it was towed and sat waiting for the DIC to be replaced. So I really don't see how DIC caused the cat to fail in that short distance. If it did, I don't really see how this is my fault. Again you are clearly more of an expert than I am.

I am waiting to see if the latest fault is sensors or more serious. I think it is unlikely that I'll ever be ahead of the game with this one, so my decision to bow out will still stand, I guess.

Thanks again.
 

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You are forgetting, aside from the catalytic converter he has already spent the money.

And still has the cost to replace AFTER spending the money.
He's just going to keep spending more and more money, why not put that money towards a car payment and have something reliable? It just doesn't make sense financially, and for his peace of mind. Just one mans opinion.
 

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Well good bye, understood its time. I beleive some comments here are warranted, not sure you really ever needed a headgasket since compression was fine, more likely a 50 dollar coolant bypass.

A DI will ruin a cat over time if it is going, should have been checked with a Tech II

All in all you had a decent run, the brand is dead so you are not leaving much behind, good luck
 
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