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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys,

I've searched the forum for this subject, but I didn't really find a definitive answer, so I hope you don't mind me starting a new thread.

I have a 2001 9-3 which had a reconditioned B235R engine (T7 ignition) fitted 40,000 km ago. I have religiously changed the engine oil and had it serviced by a local Saab specialist.

Long and short, I was driving recently and the oil light started to flicker very briefly when I stopped at a junction. It went out again and I continued 5km to the Saab spares place nearby. I mentioned it to them and they said, don't drive it anywhere else. Leave it here and we'll look at it. They suggested that the sump would need flushing.

They've just phoned me and told me that the engine is completely stuffed and must be replaced. :cry:

I can't get my head around how a car can be driving perfectly well, a light flickers on once and now I need another new engine. I asked what had caused it, and he explained that he couldn't tell why it had happened, just that it HAD happened and there was nothing they could do to save it.

I'm sure they know what they are talking about, and they seem very decent, but I thought I would get an opinion from other owners. Engine runs smoothly and sounds great. Regularly serviced, oil (5w-40) changed more frequently than needed.

I may be clutching at straws but I am desolate here. Could there be any other explanation, or anything else worth trying ? I would love to keep it, even if it did mean another engine, but how can I trust it not to do the same thing again if it is a design fault ?

Thanks in advance, Ian.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Found some info.

I have found some (not very optimistic) info on the other models' forums and it looks like it is a design fault which causes sludging to the point where it has done terminal damage before you get any real warning.

That must be what the mechanic was trying to tell me. So what to do next ? Bite the bullet and replace the engine again or scrap the !*$&%*.

And in the meantime what do I do ? Continue to drive it until it actually expires or scrap it now ?
 

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If your plan is to scrap it, then replace the oil and run it until it dies. In the meantime, find yourself another car. Personally, I would not put any money into an old saab, motor wise, especially if you are paying someone to do the work.
 

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It sounds like you have the Viggen equivalent, which over here is still worth quite a bit.

I highly suspect that the reconditioned B235R engine was actually your old engine with new bearings and piston rings. If that's what they did, they probably didn't cleanup (regrind) the crankshaft and eventually it wore down the new bearings which reduced the oil pressure.

Having periodic oil samples tested may have prevented, or at least prolonged this problem. Over here, some people send samples of their used engine oil to blackstone-labs.com for analysis. It normally takes 2 samples of different oil changes to detect an increase in wear based on the metallic content of the sample... Ron
 

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If they know it's got sludge issues, then they have the pan off. Go look at it. If it's not terrible, have them clean the pan screen, put it back together, and see how it runs.
 

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Questions.

What oil are you using? Full Synthetic?

Does engine have the PVC update done to correct the sludge issue?

Assuming they have the pan off (if they told you this without taking the pan off find another shop!!) I would want to take a look and see how bad bearings are and condition of crank. With the pan off you can pull the main caps and inspect. Depending on what you see, consider replacing main and rod bearings. Clean up and reinstall everything. Won't be as good as full rebuild, but with only flicker of oil light could get you another 40k miles...

Really depends how bad it was sludged.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Questions.

What oil are you using? Full Synthetic?

Does engine have the PVC update done to correct the sludge issue?

Assuming they have the pan off (if they told you this without taking the pan off find another shop!!) I would want to take a look and see how bad bearings are and condition of crank. With the pan off you can pull the main caps and inspect. Depending on what you see, consider replacing main and rod bearings. Clean up and reinstall everything. Won't be as good as full rebuild, but with only flicker of oil light could get you another 40k miles...

Really depends how bad it was sludged.
Thanks to all of you for taking the time to reply. It is definitely not the old engine, engine number is different. My feeling is that it is time to say goodbye. Already gone beyond economically viable, so it's more the heart than head. I don't know what a PVC update is (sorry !) I have used a top quality fully synthetic oil. I will take your advice and ask to inspect the sump. If it hasn't been removed before the prognosis, I will try taking it elsewhere. We'll see what happens.
 

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You might want to send a PM to one of our members in Australia: bogan. He's in Sydney NSW, but he's a heck of a lot closer than we are. He may be able to set you up with an engine, or be interested in you car... Ron
 
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