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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my 2006 9-3 2.0T has been having some issues as she gets older. To be expected, for sure, but much of it doesn't seem related to anything else.

First, on cold-start, there is an engine stutter as it warms up. I suspect coils, but the Tech2 also shows a Throttle Position Sensor error. This is seemingly related to the other issue which happens randomly at speed, namely, that the car will chime the SID, and then drop into a psuedo-limp mode where 1st through 3rd gear, it lags hard no matter how far the gas pedal is pushed down. Generally, I can game it into working by mashing on the gas pedal rapidly to get it back on track.

Then, there is the issue of the constant Check Oil/Check Coolant Level messages that pop up on the SID every other morning, despite the fact that the oil dipstick shows it's full (I change it regularly with Mobil Synthetic 0W-30). I had a pinhole leak in the heater core hose from debris on the highway (a can jumped up off the road from a truck in front of me) because all of Austin is apparently a landfill. Got that fixed after losing my coolant all over the highway (didn't drive it long enough to cause any issues once that happened). However, even though the reservoir is full, it's occasionally pops up.

Another issue is that the car will shudder when I mash the gas to pass cars, as though it's slipping gears, but I know it's not slipping gears. I suspect it's the coils, again, because of the stuttering issue. I'm praying it's not the ECU. I have yet to order the ECU bakelite spacer from the gentlemen in Britain to get it off the block, but I plan to.

The other strange thing is that every once in a while, the car shorts itself and the clock goes dead. No idea why. It's completely random, and sometimes when this happens, the car won't start. The battery is only a couple years old.

The history of this car with me over the course of four years is that it has absolutely been babied. I have extensive records, and have had Saab-certified GM techs work on it for anything I cannot handle or where the is a risk of my amateurishness negatively impacting repairs. This car is kept in top shape.

...I think I need to find a sponsor who will help her become the Swedish version of KITT I know she is in exchange for slapping some sponsorship logos on her...lmao Any angel sponsors out there?! Hello? Is this thing on...?

crickets

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See if one of the Saab-certified GM techs has access to and experience with Tech ll because that’s what’s needed - again.
 

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Throttle body could be bad. Connector under battery tray could have a problem. Could have a harness issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The problem is, there are zero Saab-certified GM techs down in Austin (despite the fact that there is a GM plant here--weird, huh?). There's not a single place that really wants to mess with it, other than Swedish Motorsports, and they have a waiting list.

Would a bad throttle body account for the weird problems that (seemingly) have no connection to each other? Too bad I'm not in Kenosha, anymore. Brew City Boost was only 45 minutes away.

I'll run a tech2 diagnostic scan tonight and post results here. The main one that comes up is the Throttle Position Sensor Fault B+ and there's a stalk issue as well as some minor lighting issues (mostly because I use LEDs and don't care to wire in a resistor as I like the flashing lol).

I really appreciate your replies!
 

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The problem is, there are zero Saab-certified GM techs down in Austin (despite the fact that there is a GM plant here--weird, huh?). There's not a single place that really wants to mess with it, other than Swedish Motorsports, and they have a waiting list.

Would a bad throttle body account for the weird problems that (seemingly) have no connection to each other? Too bad I'm not in Kenosha, anymore. Brew City Boost was only 45 minutes away.

I'll run a tech2 diagnostic scan tonight and post results here. The main one that comes up is the Throttle Position Sensor Fault B+ and there's a stalk issue as well as some minor lighting issues (mostly because I use LEDs and don't care to wire in a resistor as I like the flashing lol).

I really appreciate your replies!
Texas
Houston/Clear Lake - $50.00 - kbivens5
San Antonio - Negotiable - TXSaabStory
Trinity - Depends on what is needed and if I have to drive to you - mark458

Also, suggest running a bottle of Techron through a half tank and once you get close to E fill it up and add Seafoam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What is Techron? Thought that was some Chevron marketing. Seafoam? You think it may be carbon build-up? I appreciate the links. I'm in NE Austin in the middle of the "ghetto" by Long Lake. I can run a Tech2...sort of. I have my Dell D651 laptop, too, for security access. I had a parts car in Kenosha, but I ended up junking it. Probably should have tried getting it powered to unmate the ECU, now that I think about it...

I am kind of obsessive about the maintenance. lol As you can see, I've gone custom...

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what the hell is going on with that coolant expansion tank,looks like it full to the top which it ISN'T meant too be..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just stained inside really badly. I need to get a new one. I have to open the cap to see it's level. I hate it because my Coolant Level Low alert pops up once in a while on the SID.
 

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can't work out what would stain in that bad,unless someone tried to clean it out with something that reacted with the plastic..

Didn't notice before but that oil cap isn't on tight..
 

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Not for anything but obsessive about maintenance would be the opposite of that picture...you'd have 0 issues & a dirty engine bay. Also, I've never seen someone obsessive over maintenance run their car with an oil warning & not have an oil pressure gauge or some other way to verify they aren't about to grenade their engine. It sounds like you have multiple issues which have been deferred & are piling up.

For starters, with all these issues do you have any basic CEL codes? LHM can come on without a CEL but IME will very often still have a pending CEL when scanned. Your driving issue can be plugs, coils, MAF, a dirty TB, a TPS reset vs cleaning vs replacement, or some combination thereof...among other things; along with whatever electrical issue you have regarding the "short" you describe. I'd start by looking for corrosion on the ground points or the wiring harness coming off the battery but its hard to narrow down without more info.

Check coolant message is probably related to a sensor that was damaged. Your coolant looks green, dexcool is orange. Not sure whats going on there but that won't affect the level sensor. +1 on the level appearing elevated.

Oil level warning is likely just a sensor issue as well however if you're getting a light on the dash (oil pressure) I definitely wouldn't drive the car.

You've got a lot of deferred maintenance to catch up on, tackle 1 issue at a time starting with the most significant & go from there. Ironically I'd say your electrical issue is the most significant as anything that is severe enough to incapacitate the car also has the chance of damaging various modules when it does so, or starting a fire...not to mention it may incapacitate you if it occurs while driving. The limp mode is dangerous as well; I have had a similar issue & should it decide to pop up while making a left hand turn it can also kill you, along with an innocent family...ask me how close I came to knowing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay, so the dirty engine bay...yeah, I moved to Austin recently and haven't had time to have it cleaned. However, I assure you that the car is, in fact, babied as much as possible--I just haven't had time to go over it since moving down in June. I took it to Frank Boucher Chevrolet in Racine (thanks, Michael Wichgers!) right before the move down to ensure there were no issues. Austin is filthy, and the roads are full of dust and debris, so there's that, but I am definitely not pleased with its current appearance and level of cleanliness. I can replace the coolant reservoir without much fuss. +1 on the dexcool being orange. The place I took it to down here (Leonard's Garage) filled it thusly after the pinhole leak in the heater core hose (most likely caused by bouncing debris on the road).

I haven't yet hooked up the tertiary fuse box I have wired into the car from which I was going to wire all the electrical accessories to. The line is fused as well on a direct connection, but as of yet, is not hooked up. I literally just replaced the oil a month ago with a new filter, so I'm not understanding why it would be burning oil. The head gasket was replaced when I had the valve cover powder-coated.

The plugs were replaced about a year ago with NGKs that were properly gapped after coming out of the box. The coils are on the list, but damn, NGK coils are expensive af. I want to replace the throttle body, anyway, because I see new ones for sale on eBay that are powder-coated black. I think both are, in fact, caused by faulty sensors because when I check the oil level via the dipstick, it shows full. The coolant is another story. The radiator was pressure checked (according to Leonard's), but I definitely prefer someone who knows Saabs working on it to someone who doesn't have experience with a Saab simply because Saabs are so touchy compared to other cars, especially when it comes to the electrical.

The one saving grace has been that there has been no Check Engine Light on. Just SID alerts. Loose oil cap came from day of photo back in May when I was just taking a photo of the valve cover and had literally just gotten it on; the cap is on tight right now. I'll be replacing the reservoir tank very soon as it's only like $20 on eBay. I'll have to check the contacts and ground connections off the battery this weekend. I don't mind replacing sensors simply so I don't have to worry about it in the future and especially since I know enough to know I don't know much about the finer points of diagnostics (and since there's no real Saab presence in Austin, there's no clubs or other Saabies to talk to). Time to start scratching off lottery tickets so I can pay for a complete rebuild from the ground up. lmao

Again, I appreciate all your feedback--thank you, all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So, I threw it on the Tech 2, and holy eff. P1682 code came up, but there's no CEL. Car misfires terrible on start, and today, almost didn't start up. I'm taking it to Swedish Auto Service in Austin for diagnostic today (I know they'll catch the P1682 as well as the alignment issues--Austin roadways resemble an Allied landing strip after a strafing run by Japanese Zeros). The problem with having to replace the ECM is that I had a tech at Frank Boucher Chevrolet in Racine program all the modules on the zero bus EXCEPT the CD player, which he then deleted out so that the SID doesn't "see" the CD player and the radio works. A new ECM means having to reprogram that, or it's not going to work out of the box because there's a CB radio where the CD player used to be.

I'm really hoping it's not the ECM, but I have weirdness in the electrical--sometimes, the driver's side door won't lock or unlock from the inside, even though the rest will. Plus, I still keep having Coolant Level/Oil Level Low warnings on the SID pop up occasionally, so somewhere I'm losing coolant and/or oil.

Anyone got a "new" ECM they'll sell me cheap? I'll put a dedication plate with your name on it in the car. lol

Pic of my avionics with the CB radio:

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So...eff Swedish Auto Service. They just tried getting me to order an ECM, but wouldn't program everything over onto the zero bus, even though they would try charging me $180 for programming. WTF--you gonna knowingly program it bogus af so that it doesn't work out of the box because you're too lazy to program everything over onto the zero bus while you're doing the programming? What the hell kind of programming is that? Wasted $85 on a diagnostic that I already had.

"Uh, yeah, we'll program it for $185."
"Onto the zero bus?"
"Uh, no."
"So...you'll knowingly program it incorrectly."
"Uh, we program it."
???

I'm going to leave them terrible reviews. Garbage garage. I wouldn't trust them tuning up a fricking Pinto at this point.

@TXSaabStory, would you be willing to program an ECM so that all the modules are on the zero bus? Otherwise, I might as well just drive my car off the edge of the quarry because I have no idea how to program modules onto the zero bus, nor how to mate a "new" ECM to the car. So pissed off right now.
 

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So, my 2006 9-3 2.0T has been having some issues as she gets older. To be expected, for sure, but much of it doesn't seem related to anything else.

First, on cold-start, there is an engine stutter as it warms up. I suspect coils, but the Tech2 also shows a Throttle Position Sensor error. This is seemingly related to the other issue which happens randomly at speed, namely, that the car will chime the SID, and then drop into a psuedo-limp mode where 1st through 3rd gear, it lags hard no matter how far the gas pedal is pushed down. Generally, I can game it into working by mashing on the gas pedal rapidly to get it back on track.

Then, there is the issue of the constant Check Oil/Check Coolant Level messages that pop up on the SID every other morning, despite the fact that the oil dipstick shows it's full (I change it regularly with Mobil Synthetic 0W-30). I had a pinhole leak in the heater core hose from debris on the highway (a can jumped up off the road from a truck in front of me) because all of Austin is apparently a landfill. Got that fixed after losing my coolant all over the highway (didn't drive it long enough to cause any issues once that happened). However, even though the reservoir is full, it's occasionally pops up.

Another issue is that the car will shudder when I mash the gas to pass cars, as though it's slipping gears, but I know it's not slipping gears. I suspect it's the coils, again, because of the stuttering issue. I'm praying it's not the ECU. I have yet to order the ECU bakelite spacer from the gentlemen in Britain to get it off the block, but I plan to.

The other strange thing is that every once in a while, the car shorts itself and the clock goes dead. No idea why. It's completely random, and sometimes when this happens, the car won't start. The battery is only a couple years old.

The history of this car with me over the course of four years is that it has absolutely been babied. I have extensive records, and have had Saab-certified GM techs work on it for anything I cannot handle or where the is a risk of my amateurishness negatively impacting repairs. This car is kept in top shape.

...I think I need to find a sponsor who will help her become the Swedish version of KITT I know she is in exchange for slapping some sponsorship logos on her...lmao Any angel sponsors out there?! Hello? Is this thing on...?

crickets

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View attachment 283974
Is there a chance that when your coolant leaked out, the water temp sending unit got overheated? Is it up high in the engine, as it is on my 900?
Regardless of which car I've had, starting always seems to have come down to a) battery state, and b) fuel pressure/volume.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
That is a very distinct possibility, and it should probably be replaced anyway. I think on the 9-3, it's farther down, closer to the ECM. The battery is nominal in mine. What pisses me off is the fact that the Swedish Auto Service people didn't even bother looking for any other issues. They simply heard me say ECM, and then only looked for symptoms that would confirm that, rather than fully inspect the car. There's an alignment issue, for sure (the steering wheel sits about five or so degrees to the right of straight-aligned wheels) as well some other minor stuff.

I can't understand why no one has attempted to make a new ECM unit based off the OEM design. Not like the guy who wrote the code vanished--he's on these forums selling the e-SID, for crying out loud. Someone who figures out how to make new ECMs for these cars by reverse-engineering is going to become a millionaire overnight--they will instantly have 10,000 customers lined up and could easily charge $1,000+ for it.

My only hope (if it is, in fact, the ECM) lay in someone who is willing to use a Tech2 to delete out the modules on the standard bus once the ECM has been mated, and reprogram them to the 0 bus while leaving the CD player module off to trick the SID and radio into thinking it's not supposed to be there. I can literally put them in touch with the tech who did it--I just do not have the expertise to do it myself and would be far too paranoid of borking something.

What is worse is knowing that if I have to buy anything other than a 2006 Saab 9-3, I'm going to hate it. The avionics of most cars these days are trash because they're dumbed down to the point of stupidity: no buttons--cuz we don't want to confuse anyone. lmao And the gearbox of the 9-3 is perfection in itself--straight back into D, none of this back and then up one crapola. I love the button-rich environment of the 2006 9-3's avionics. I don't need my car dumbed down because I'm not a sheep who wants to drive sh*tty Honda lawnmowers like everyone else is driving. A Saab is like nothing else on the road. Mazda avionics packages aren't bad, and have potential, but again, everyone and their brother is driving them. I want something that isn't like everything else on the road and that turns heads because it's such a rare beast. I love my Saab to death.
 
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