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Discussion Starter #1
Okay I just joined this forum and hopefully you saab experts can help me out before I have a couple of ulcers.

Here is my situation (if you guys care, haha). I bought my first saab about 3 or 4 weeks ago. Its a 2000 Saab 9-3SE 61k. After having it a day the check engine light came on. I took it back to the dealer I bought it from, he checked the code said it wasn't a big deal and to bring it back the following week. I brought it back he said he had to order another part because it was a different code this time. I believe at first it was a fuel mixture code?? the next time he said something about a crank sensor. Anyways he ended up changing the DIC which I can see is common. After he did that he said he checked the gasoline and said it was bad gas. He saved a sample and told me if anything went wrong with the fuel system it would be the gas stations fault, not his and that their insurance would cover the costs.

Now the gas station I bought my gas from is brand new and I haven't heard anyone having problems with their gas. So after the mechanic drained my half tank of gas and put in 1/8 of a tank I filled it up at a different station and the day after I got my car back I went to start it and it stalled. It will not start with the ACC on and if I turn it off it sometimes starts but usually i have to hit the gas right after it starts to keep it going.

Any suggestions on what it could be?
 

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Welcome.

Do you know if the 60k maintenance has been done on the car? If not, there is a whole list of things to look after, including the fuel filter, plugs, vacuum lines, PCV valve, serpentine belt and idler pulleys, etc.

Possible causes of rough idle or stalling at idle:

Spark Plugs: I assume the dealer would have changed the plugs along with the DIC, but you never know, so old plugs are a possibility.

Fuel Injectors: Another is dirty injectors, which can be fixed with a couple applications of a good injector cleaner (Techron Concentrate is a favorite here, but any strong cleaner from a part store will do, just not the little bottles from gas stations).

Vacuum Leak: A vacuum line leak can give you a rough idle, not sure if it can make the engine stall though.

AIC valve: Final possibility is a dirty AIC valve (Idle air control valve, p/n 9127200), which can be removed, claned with some carb cleaner and put back good as new. There are a lot of posts on cleaning the AIC here.

At idle, the throttle is closed and the ecu controls the flow of air into the engine through the AIC valve. Air goes around the closed throttle plate, and through the AIC valve. When you step on the gas, the throttle plate opens and the AIC closes. When you come to a stop and take your foot off the gas, the throttle plate closes, and the AIC valve opens again.

If the AIC is plugged with a few years of crud, it may stick closed or open, and the engine may stall.
 

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What PMI has posted should be in the sticky FAQs under "Tune up", I think. And the dealers should access this ....Today's autos are extremely complex, no man could possibly remember everything in any detail...

I don not buy this "bad gas" deal, how can the dealer possibly know what is really bad gas ???.. What we have here is more guessing on the dealer's part.

In the official repair manual should be a section under CEL and the codes : what do they really mean ??...

As to the plugs, I think these are good for 30,000 miles, so the second change should have occurred.

Any records ??
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Dealer said he did all the usual maintenence plus the extras, flushing coolant, tranny fluid, said the serpentine belt was fine...all that

I ran some good fuel system cleaner in it yesterday and drove it up and down the highway and its still doing the same thing so far. I've noticed my tank still says its full even though my DTE says only 300 miles. Spark plugs should have been changed and they look brand new(I took a look at the DIC myself yesterday) and I'll have to check out the AIC today.

I have a feeling the dealer doesn't want to deal with my car anymore, but he did give me a sample of the gas that was supposedly in my tank and it does not look good. Even then the fuel injectors would get cleaned, right? and how does a brand new gas station where I got my gas from have bad gas already?

I like my saab but these problems are giving me headaches.:confused:
 

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The "brand new gas station" ha ! Yes , they can have "bad" gas.

Bad gas can be delivered anywhere, to new and old.
But, IMO, what happened is that good gas was pumped into new tanks which should have been cleaned and were not - as they were new.

But, there is little worse than an empty tank, new or old .Dirt, growths , and condensation will occur if that new tank sits around empty for too long.
And I believe this is all too easy to happen..

And I'll bet money that the dealer does not bother checking/cleaning the idle air control.
Why should he, this is NOT listed as a service item, many things are not, but should be !
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay, so it could be bad gas? I haven't heard anyone havingn problems from the gas station especially to the degree my mechanic is saying, and for the car to have just crapped out like this after driving on that gas for 5 days with no problem?

2 questions though, where is the AIC located? and if you buy a brand new DIC would it have a chalked part number on the side? I'm wondering if he bought a used one so he could find a cheap way out.

I have a 3 month 3000 mile warranty on it and I expect the dealer doesn't want to put much money into this car for nothing. Thats why I think he tried to blame something on the gas.

I'm goin to work now and on my way home I think I'm going to get a sample from this gas station.
 

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The AIC is toward the passenger side of the throttle body, under the black plastic cover. It is attached to the TB with two short hoses. You can use the part number I posted to look up a picture of the AIC on saabsite.com. Here is a link to some instructions on how to clean it:

http://pages.infinit.net/mlbriand/saab/iac/page1.html

The DI cassette should have a label under the end of the black (or red on older DI's) cover with a date code. Not sure why it would have anything written in chalk, new or used, the p/n is on the label also.

I would inspect all the vacuum hoses and AIC hoses for cracks and leaks, they have given me a lot of trouble over the years, including some of my rough idle problems and other things. Replace any vacuum hose that looks questionable, the hose is only 50 cents per foot at a part store.

Not much experience with "bad" gas, someone else will have to take that one.

Good luck!
 

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Ok, lets stick with the bad gas for a second, and I will give my theory if that was the case.

Gas station opens, and no one cleans the new tanks. They are filled with all sorts of crap, and were never cleaned before they put in gas and opened for business. You filled up your tank and filled it with a ton of dirt. This dirt then did one of two things or both. Completely screwed up your fuel pump, and/or completely jammed up your fuel filter. So I am going to stick with the fuel filter for a second.

So you do get the car started, and there is now fuel on both ends of the filter. When it first starts and then stalls, maybe the engine is grabbing that first bit of fuel from the line, but then as the filter is really clogged up, fuel is not moving through freely. So when you are just idling, the fuel pump is not pushing hard enough and the fuel does not get through in time, engine gets starved of fuel and it dies. When you start the car and then give it gas, the fuel pump is pumping harder, and therefore your engine continues to get fuel and does not starve, although it will still be a low mixture of fuel to the ECU and it is throwing a CEL.

So even if the dealer did change the filter the first time around, it still would be clogged to hell now. Try changing the fuel filter and see what happens. Also when you do get it off, cut it open and see whats doing in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Okay, I changed the fuel filter today and took the car on the highway to try and get some of the good gas flowing in. After I got home the car still started pretty crappy. I even stopped at the gas station and asked if anyone else had any problems with the gas.

As for the AIC or IAC, is it located in a different place on the 00 9-3? When I look at the picture that you sent me PMI, on the right of the throttle body there is the spring for the throttle and all that, but when I look at my car it looks like its swapped, because that throttle control (I don't know what its called) is on the left hand side.
 

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Is the car still stalling? Don't forget if there was a lot of garbage in that gas, you may need to run some fuel injector cleaner and such through the system. I would also worry about the fuel pump.

If you can determine that this was indeed gas related, you should take action agains the station...

Also, did you cut the filter open to see what was going on in there if anything.
 

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A lot of interesting theory on the dirt in the fuel line, IMO, the probabilities are against it..

But I believe these things, as very well explained by Doug, do happen.

Sadly, much more probable is the dealer inadvertently cheating the customer by "over-economizing"..
The DI may be no good. The chalk scribble indicates its origin - a junk yard)...
The idle air control (operates when the throttle is closed) may well be so clogged with regurgitated combustion by-products (c r a p) that stalling occurs. Doubt if the dealer knows how to fix this..other than to visit the yard again...
A rebuilt IAC for less than $50 ???
I wish...

My idle air control is next to the throttle control, this this is a '96 900S; the newer 9-3 may have relocated this device...But it makes sense that it is connected by two hoses to the throttle air intake...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Okay, I'm going to try and show you guys a picture of what the fuel looks like. On the left is the fuel I took out when I did the fuel filter, and the right is the sample of the gas in my tank the mechanic gave me.

 

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Why does your gas look like my oil after 5k miles? :eek:

I could be wrong, but I though gasoline was basically clear with a slight yellow tinge. At least it looks clear when I put it in my lawn mower. And also the fuel I use when I fly is clear accept for a slight blue die indicating its octane.

p.s.

I am a little concerned that your mechanie had an empty bottle of smirnoff laying around at the shop :p
 

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Scottybody5 said:
As for the AIC or IAC, is it located in a different place on the 00 9-3?
The link I posted was to Michel's web site, with instructions on how to clean it. This is a picture of how it looks on my car. I hope it is similar on the 9-3 but someone else will have to confirm that.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Limp Mode??

Does anyone know exactly what it does? I recall seeing something on here say something about how the cruise control doesn't work in limp mode or something to that nature. If anyone knows more about this I would appreciate it if they let me know more about it. I'm thinking my problem may be linked to this. Also, I believe if it goes into limp mode the throttle body might need to be cleaned? If I disconnect my battery do I need the radio codes if I have a '00 9-3 SE?

Just a little more hope for something to narrow this problem down to.
 
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