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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading dozens of horror stories regarding engines and turbos going "boom!" due to oil starvation, is there a way of checking for sludge/strainer blockage other than removing the sump?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The "rocker" valve cover on the top of the engine you mean?

Black with the torx bolts around the edge?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You are probably right.

The car is 11 years old and has 111K miles on the clock. Although the service history is Saab and Saab specialist (using the correct synthetic oil) I can only assume that the build up will have begun by now.

The sub frame issue worries me a little, having to undo and move it to access the bolts.
I also don't have a ramp, only a trolley jack.

Maybe wait until the next oil change? Has just been done, so will need to be done in 6-10K miles, depending upon who you listen to!
 

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All you need is jack stands.

The subframe is no big deal. Getting the bottom nut off the downpipe on a 9-3 is a bigger PITA because of the first car. Just bust the two middle bolts loose with a breaker bar and a pipe on it when the car is on the ground. Mark the location of the subframe, then take out the front and middle bolts once you get the car on stands.

Read the thread "all things oil" for some more hints.

Dropping the pan is the only way to be sure... and even if your engine is clean, you have at least some clogging. Everyone does.

Install PCV fix #6 unless you've had that done and include the optional larger hoses.
 

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Drop the sub frame, Drop the sump.

If your mechanically minded, Its an easy job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Will be doing the rear discs/pads and adjusting the handbrake at the weekend, will get the front up and see what the job looks like.

Think a set of axle stands are about to be purchased!

Thanks for the input fellas. :)
 

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oil pressure valve

After reading dozens of horror stories regarding engines and turbos going "boom!" due to oil starvation, is there a way of checking for sludge/strainer blockage other than removing the sump?
drain the oil...and remove the oil pressure valve, look for scouring or fine scrapes on the valve (it look like a smooth metal cylinder) if it has sludge or thick blobs on it then you most likely have sludge...but the first sign of sludge is ticking) my 2002 had sludge...and started ticking when driving...thought it was lifter issue...then while driving on the highway oil light started flashing..pulled over...checked oil...light went out drove to friends house..he checked the valve then removed the gasket..said there was sludge.. dropped the pan. cleaned it and .put in a new strainer (oil pickup) added synthetic oil and BG motor something.. told me to drive for 500 miles...ticking went away...then changed the oil again...added more cleaner..ran for 2000 miles... after that no more problems...he said use synthetic and change every 3000.... i asked about oil light...he said the Oil pressure valve will usually stick if clogged by sludge and cause oil pressure to drop before the engine is damaged ...so don't ignore the light... I was lucky...but he told me others were not so lucky...so at the first sign of ticking clean the engine...it's only 60 dollars..each time...and if its something else..at least the engine is cleaned...ps...tell the wife/kids if they change the oil only use recommended synthetic because changing dads oil at jiffy lube (dino oil is a nice gesture but it may kill your engine)
My friend Lenny is a retired Saab mechanic in New City Ny...and has a lift at his house...so I usually hang out an watch/help when he works on my car. 2002 SE
 

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Use this, along with longer filters (Purolator L20195 or equivalent) to trap more debris.

Then, after finishing the 'rinse' phase, use an ACEA A3/B3 rated fully synthetic oil (preferrably Group IV/PAO) & change it every 5,000 miles.
 
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