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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,
I've spent a good amount of time on this forum and have found the community most helpful in assisting fellow SAAB owners in diagnosing issues with their cars. Having come across a rather weird issue of my own I was hoping that maybe the community could help me out as well :)

The issue I'm faced is a rather weird one - my 2004 SAAB 93 sounds like a diesel even though it's clearly not.


Right now its' on 193 K miles and still on the original timing and balancing system components. I originally suspected that that timing chain might have stretched and/or skipped a tooth, however, the engine still produces the same power (I have not noticed a drop in performance) and I have no issues starting the car, be it cold or hot outside. Alternatively, I suspected the balance chain guide/tensioner, however, the engine does not vibrate nor is there any mechanical shrivel that would indicate that the chain is sliding/hitting the engine block.

Any ideas as to what might be the cause of the harsh idling?

Rudi
 

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Sounds like the timing chain is rubbing the upper chain guide in the valve cover.

Idle appears fine, engine seems to be running smooth. Why do you think it’s rough?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sounds like the timing chain is rubbing the upper chain guide in the valve cover.

Idle appears fine, engine seems to be running smooth. Why do you think it’s rough?
Thank you for the quick reply Steve! I could take the valve cover off and examine the state of the upper chain guide.

I guess what I mean by saying "rough" is that the engine is a bit on the loud side and not as smooth as I would expect it to be. I should add that I have never had the chance to hear another B207 in real life so I can't tell if this is the way it's supposed to sound. Furthermore, it's been sounding like this ever since we got it with ~150k miles, thus I can't really compare it with what it was like straight from the factory.

Although it's a totally different engine and one cannot compare them directly, but the 1.6 liter I4 on my friends' 2007 A3 is a lot smoother and quieter.
 

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The guide gets hard and even a slightly stretched timing chain will rub it, especially when cold. It may have even broken off. Easy to replace and not expensive. Won’t cure a stretched chain but should quiet it a bit.


To be sure, use a mechanic’s stethoscope ($5 at Harbor Freight Tools) to identify the source.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the input, I'll see if I can identify the exact source of the noise using a mechanics stethoscope. I guess that if I do end up taking of the valve cover to inspect the timing chain and its wear, I might as well just replace the upper chain guide seeing how cheap it is.
 
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