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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all -
I recently moved from Iowa to Atlanta, GA. The Saab dealership down here seems to be run by a bunch of pricks and refuses to help me with my issue w/o paying fifty-some dollars for some over-the-phone troubleshooting, SO...

My check engine light came on - the car runs perfect. It doesn't idle hard, stall, miss, it accellerates perfect, and doesnt leak anything. I took the car by Autozone today and had them read the codes:

OBD-II P2257 which means: Secondary Air Injection System Control "A" Circuit Low

Has anyone had this happen or does anyone have any insight as to what this means, and whether I should be worried?

Before I had the code, the Saab dealership here in town said, and I quote "If the car is running fine, keep driving it. Bring it in when it starts acting funny." (what help!)

Thanks,

Eric
 

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Could indicate your SAI pump is having a problem. There's a thread here discussing the fact that they fill up with water , the cause is a bad check valve which allows exhaust to blow back & condensation develops or something like that. I'll try and finf the thread and post it, but just search for SAI pump,
Edit:

...SMH just gave it to ya...I type to slow
 

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rwinger9-3 said:
OBD-II P2257 which means: Secondary Air Injection System Control "A" Circuit Low
I think the "A" circuit is the primary injection circuit, which is all our cars have anyway. "Low" probably means the system is getting less air from the SAI than it expects. It probably knows this from the lamda sensor reading rich.

You need to inspect your SAI valve and check the pump for water.

If you are pulling your own OBD codes it sounds like you might be up for doing this yourself.

The easy tests you can run:
1) listen for the sound of the pump running for the first 60-90 seconds of a cold start
2) remove the airbox fitting and feel if the pump is sucking air
3) remove the quick-disconnect from the SAI check valve and feel inside for soot/moisture. My quick-disconnect required a bit of work to get loose. I lubed it with silicone grease when I reassembled.

I intend to check my SAI valve periodically for soot. I also plan to avoid any high-rpm driving for the first 90 seconds after I start the car. The idea is to avoid any high pressure in the exhaust manifold in the time period before the SAI pump shuts off. That may help prevent soot from depositing on the check valve seat. That's the theory at least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was reading your prior posts ctrlz - you seem like the demigod of Saab 9-3s :) I was hoping you would reply to my post! Where exactly is the sai pump located? I was doing some work a few weeks ago trying to install some aftermarket HID headlamps and while doing that I disconnected the black hose (pictured in the red circle in this pic http://img174.imageshack.us/img174/9426/enginesaiis0.jpg ) and forgot to reconnect it for a few days. I don’t think that it rained or anything so I don’t suspect that anything got in it, but I could be mistaking.

I will definitely take your advice and listen for the sounds - what should I be listening for? I will also check the suction from the air box (I have installed a K&N Air filter in the OEM air box, could that be a problem?)


A few questions that I didn't see in any prior posts:

1) Will this affect the way the car runs at all? There is NO performance reduction that I can tell from what's going on. Like I said at first, the car idles fine, accelerates fine, etc.



Could this be linked to the gas cap? I know that 9-3's have touchy gas caps so would it be work spending the $10-25 to replace it and see if that is the culprit?



Thanks all



Eric
 

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Gas Cap is a free replacement at Saab Dealers now. It has a 10 year wwty if that is the problem, but the code does no indicate that.
 

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I'll bet the gas cap code is specific. I don't know what the exact code is, but it has to do with the pressurization leakdown test failing. The car pressurizes the fuel system, then monitors the pressure to make sure it holds. If it leaks so much in a short time interval the test fails. The problem with 93ss's is typically a leaky seal on the gas cap.

The hose in the red circle is the SAI inlet. When the car starts (cold start) the SAI pump runs 60-90 seconds. There will be suction at that hose for that period of time. On my car it feels like a weak vacuum cleaner. You can hear it too. You can also hear the SAI pump running. Again, this only goes on for 60-90 seconds after you start the car.

The SAI pump is bolted to the front of the engine. Kind of hard to see. I think it's a bit right of center as you face the car, but it is down low, and the view is mostly obscured. Service approach is from the underside of the car.

You don't need SAI for the car to run. The main problem is your car won't pass most emissions inspections with a CEL that's lit. Also, if your SAI check valve is leaking, it is possible for your car to suck both water (that has condensed in the SAI pump) and exhaust into the airbox. This is what the check valve is there to prevent. This might cause problems beyond the annoying Check Engine Light.
 

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how long have you been receiving this error after placing the SAI back to the air box? I would think now that its attached the saab should fix itself... electronic gemlin if you will?
 

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SMHarman said:
Gas Cap is a free replacement at Saab Dealers now. It has a 10 year wwty if that is the problem, but the code does no indicate that.
The Gas Cap CEL is an Evap emmisions code...the number eludes me. I think P044xx?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I reconnected the hose two days ago, then disconnected/reconnected the battery to clear the check engine light.
It came back. I just went back out and disconnected/reconnected the hose - perhaps I didn't have it on properly before. I'll keep trying and I appreciate all the info from everyone.

ctrlz - to check if there is water/soot in the sai pump, what would I check? which hose(s) would I disconnect to look at it? Ty again!
 

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CallipNCSUsaab said:
how long have you been receiving this error after placing the SAI back to the air box? I would think now that its attached the saab should fix itself... electronic gemlin if you will?
Since he got a flow code, I suppose a good question is, "Did he cover or block the inlet?"

The SAI does not need to be connected to the airbox. That connection just provides FILTERED air, which is good. My car had service where they forgot to reconnect the hose to the airbox, and I drove for about two months before I noticed it hanging off to the side. You don't want it disconnected as bugs, dirt, and maybe some animals could get in there.

rwinger9-3 said:
ctrlz - to check if there is water/soot in the sai pump, what would I check? which hose(s) would I disconnect to look at it? Ty again!
In that imageshack photo, look to the left of the green circle. There is a short rubber black hose which connects to a silver metal valve (looks like shiny flying saucer in the photo). That's the SAI check valve. You need to squeeze the disconnect there to pull the rubber hose away from the metal valve. The fitting works just like the one on the airbox. It will probably be on there pretty good, so wiggle it as you pinch it. Once you pull it back you stick your finger in there (car off) and see if you get black soot on it, which would mean the valve is leaking.

This document contains information on the soot check:
http://www.msi-motor-service.com/ximages/PG_SI_0083_EN_WEB.pdf
The valve on the BMW pictured is almost identical to ours!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ctrlz, What does the SAI actually do? What are the risks of driving with it not functioning properly/at all?



My dad is a big car guy (I wish I took more after him) but he recommended that I ask you what the potential damage is of the SAI going bad, and in your opinion, what steps can be taken to try to diagnose it myself. I suppose I could turn the car on, from a cold start, and put my hand over the SAI inlet to see if it is sucking any air.. What else?

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just went outside and pulled the hose away from the SAI valve and it was filled with soot. Not filled enough to be blocking the hose but there was a noticable amout of soot - it was even a little wet. What do you think my next step should be?

Eric
 

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rwinger9-3 said:
ctrlz, What does the SAI actually do? What are the risks of driving with it not functioning properly/at all?


See post #7 above for "risks." I would fix it (or get it fixed). You may be able to replace the $100 valve and be done. You may need to blow out the pump (assuming it contains water). If the pump is shot you need a new pump and a new valve (~$800). The pump is hard to change out (figure on several hours). The valve can be changed in minutes.

The SAI system reduces emissions. The worst emissions are produced when the engine is cold. SAI works to help the catlytic converter get up to temperature quicker. The ECM adds more fuel while it runs the SAI pump. The SAI pumps air into the exhaust stream, which is where the excess fuel ends up. The fuel burns off in the exhaust manifold and the hot gases heat the catalytic converter. Think of it as an "instant on" heater for your converter.

This system was deleted after 2003. I do not know why. Probably just a cost reduction. It really only serves to reduce cold start emissions, and most states do emissions checks with the car already warm. The other possibility is the car burns clean enough to pass (cold start) emissions without SAI. You can't delete the SAI in your 2003. The ECM knows it should be there, and deleting stock emissions systems is illegal in most states.
 

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rwinger9-3 said:
I just went outside and pulled the hose away from the SAI valve and it was filled with soot. Not filled enough to be blocking the hose but there was a noticable amout of soot - it was even a little wet. What do you think my next step should be?

Eric
Order a new valve. It's called "SAI check valve" or "SAI non-return valve."
I can get you the part # later.

See the other SAI thread for someone who just changed his. Post #44.
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93085

You need to either suck the water out of the pump with a Shop-vac or blow compressed air through it. This is easier than removing the pump. This is just an idea we've been batting around here and hopefully it works to get the water out.

I would run compressed air through the inlet side. If you decide the Shop-vac approach, I would draw from the other side (the part which connects to the check valve). I don't know how well this will work, or how much water to expect, but at least it's free and worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Well, like I said, I just moved. I don't think we acutally own a shop vac so I'd have to go buy one. I'll see where I can order a valve from - if I am to replace the pump, I'll have to replace the valve as well, right?

Thanks again for the suggestions - I'll give er' a shot.

EDIT:
#44's code is different from mine - I think I may just go, drain the wallet, and have Saab crank away at it, rather than messing things up myself (limited tools, no shopvac, etc)
 

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rwinger9-3 said:
if I am to replace the pump, I'll have to replace the valve as well, right?
Absolutely replace the valve! The valve leak is the source of the water!

Your pump may not be able to be repaired. If there was enough water in it and it froze, it's, "Goodbye pump!"

I reread WO's post in the other thread. That much water and freezing temps don't bode well for this kind of pump, which looks to be mostly plastic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Im talking to my dad now and he suggests that I try spraying a can of brake cleaner in the valve which would wash all the gunk out onto the exhaust manifold, right (or would it go somewhere else)?
So I'm thinking I'll try spraying a can or so into the valve, then if that doesn't do anything I'll go ahead and take it to Saab.

I live in Atlanta, GA and I haven't had the car in below-freezing temperatures yet. I keep it garaged and the garage typically stays around 40-50 on the coldest nights thus far. Would/could there still be damage to the pump?
 

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Remove the valve before trying to clean it. Just two bolts hold it on. I would try spraying from both sides. Do this away from the car. That way you can only damge your already-damaged valve.
 
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