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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As usual i come here for all my Saab help. You guys are great.I currently own a 99 9-5 and wife has a 96 9000. Twice now i have self diagnosed through here making the dealer curious as to how i could possible have the answer. My suggestions went overlooked more than once.( I dont use them anymore:roll:).

Anyway, My latest was the DI. Which most of you know to be a very common problem. My question now is why for so many years has this been a problem with Saabs. If we all know this, they obviously have known for some time:confused:.

I am NOT a mechanic but i do work in manufacturing, as a matter of fact, in warranty and product development. When we see a common repeated problem with the product we fix or change it. Why does this go unchanged for so many years and through different models?......or has it?

Thats a damn expensive part to be replacing every 50k:eek:

Comments anyone?


...moderators, if i have posted this in the wrong area please forgive me and pop it in the right place!
 

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Is the DI a common problem?

The average driver will take 4-5 years to reach 50,000 miles and many DI's go on above 100,000 miles. How many distributors, points plug leads etc would you have to replace in this time on other makes of car?

Saab put a 2 year warranty on it already ;)
 

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I'm on my 3rd Saab and i've never replaced a DI yet. I do however treat them as consumables, for some inexplicable reason US dealers try to charge an extortionate amount for a DI, whilst you can get them in the UK for a sensible amount (unlike other parts). :roll:
 

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Mine's got 70K on it and hasn't given me any trouble.........yet. I have a backup just in case it fails in the bad part of Trenton. I don't think it's unreasonable to be changing a part every 5 years. :eek: Many things on your car must be changed much more frequently than that. And the DI makes spark plug maintance so much easier than any other car I've ever worked on. And then there's the techy perspective, the whole ignition system is integrated into one part, that's just cool. :cheesy:
 

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Raven18940 said:
And then there's the techy perspective, the whole ignition system is integrated into one part, that's just cool. :cheesy:
And when its polished :cool: :cool: :cool:

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do a search on direct ignition... how many threads come up. It appears to be one of the most talked about issue here.

http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54983&highlight=direct+ignition

"Its recommended to change the plugs at the same time you install a new DI, older plugs make the DI work harder and apparently shorten its life. Nickeldog, if its the first DI change in 77,000 miles its not bad at all. My DI died at 59,000, the replacement has got to 105,000 so far."

Kermit....i believe this is your quote;)

I believe i read in another thread that some people keep and extra in their trunk just in case!
 

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Do a seach for "my car ran fine today" and you wont find any :roll:


Thats because its a forum for fixing problems isnt it :confused:

And yes I keep a spare, not because I believe it will fail at any moment but because i know that when it does I am unlikely to be outside a dealership :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
...........come on guys, i did say you were great! Dont beat me up for making a slight observation. I was just trying to open it up for conversation. I wasnt bashing Saab, just little curious.
I put 20k miles on my cars a year because we live so far out in the country it takes 40 min to get to work(hwy miles). Lot o miles = lot o mantainace...i understand that.

My purchases for Saabs are more practical than pleasure. Where i live and the travel i do demands a superior vehicle and Saabs proven the best. It just hurts a little when i have to shell out to fix something. I started this thread because i was annoyed a bit with the appearance of a common problem and it seemed others were too.;) Cheers
 

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Seems to me to be a legitimate observation that the DI failures for Saabs is a low point of Saab's quality control. There is currently in the US an investigation by the NHTSA with respect to the DICs in 9-5s. It seems likely that a recall will be in the offing soon. The information gathered by the NHTSA from Saab itself reflects a nearly 40% failure rate in (I believe) 1999 to 2001 model years and possibly up to 2002, I can't recall. I'm not sure what the distance covered were. The numbers for 2003 and newer were much much better (I think roughly 2% failure rate - it's still early though for these cars).

I've never felt the need to carry spare parts of any kind in any cars I have ever owned.
 

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Make: SAAB
Model: 9-5
Type: PASSENGER CAR
Year: 1999
NHTSA Action Number: PE05017

Summary:

Odi has received 35 reports of alleged engine stalling due to the failure of the ignition discharge module (idm) "cassette" on the subject vehicles.

Twelve (12) complaints were received on model year (my) 2000-2002 saab 9-3 vehicles and 23 on my 1999-2002 9-5 vehicles.

All complainants reported that the engine shut down suddenly without warning and most reported that the vehicle would not restart.

In three (3) incidents, the complainants reported smoke and/or flames resulted from the idm module failure.

The majority of the incidents reportedly occurred between 40 to 75 mph. at least five (5) complainants reported damage to the catalytic converter from raw fuel being pumped through the engine.

In addition, two (2) complainants, shown in "other" in the failure report summary above, attributed non-stall drivability problems to the damaged idm.

A preliminary evaluation has been opened to assess the scope, frequency, and potential safety-related consequences of the alleged defect.
 

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midguard said:
"Its recommended to change the plugs at the same time you install a new DI, older plugs make the DI work harder and apparently shorten its life. Nickeldog, if its the first DI change in 77,000 miles its not bad at all. My DI died at 59,000, the replacement has got to 105,000 so far."

Kermit....i believe this is your quote;)

I believe i read in another thread that some people keep and extra in their trunk just in case!
It is indeed my quote, i bought the car with 89k miles on it. I got the data from Saab UK about maintainance done on it. As i said before, i've had 3 Saabs and the only breakdown i've had in 7 years of ownership is a clutch master cylinder in my previous 9000. By our very nature, people only visit here when they have a problem. I would say the 3 most prevalent faults are throttle bodies, CPS and DI, but thats just a very small percentage. The vast majority of owner/drivers are happily driving around fault free, blissfully ignorant of the perceived problems they could have.
 

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Chris 9-5 said:
Do a seach for "my car ran fine today" and you wont find any :roll:
roflmao :lol:

I try to keep the DI failures away by keeping my spark plugs properly gapped. .95 mm, no more, no less.
 

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Chris 9-5 said:
Make: SAAB
Model: 9-5
Type: PASSENGER CAR
Year: 1999
NHTSA Action Number: PE05017

Summary:

Odi has received 35 reports of alleged engine stalling due to the failure of the ignition discharge module (idm) "cassette" on the subject vehicles.

Twelve (12) complaints were received on model year (my) 2000-2002 saab 9-3 vehicles and 23 on my 1999-2002 9-5 vehicles.

All complainants reported that the engine shut down suddenly without warning and most reported that the vehicle would not restart.

In three (3) incidents, the complainants reported smoke and/or flames resulted from the idm module failure.

The majority of the incidents reportedly occurred between 40 to 75 mph. at least five (5) complainants reported damage to the catalytic converter from raw fuel being pumped through the engine.

In addition, two (2) complainants, shown in "other" in the failure report summary above, attributed non-stall drivability problems to the damaged idm.

A preliminary evaluation has been opened to assess the scope, frequency, and potential safety-related consequences of the alleged defect.
This is only a summary of the complaints not the data that has been compiled to date. I can't recall the link to the data paper but I'm not exaggerating the 40% failure figure and from Saab's own data. To be fair, the failure rate is to a specified mileage which I don't recall. The investigation was started after only 13 complaints.

I think Saab's are great cars and I love my Saab, but they really dropped the ball on this DIC issue and should have instituted a voluntary recall. Especially since they have to a large extent solved the problem from 2003 on. Although, I have seen posts from 2004 model year 9-5 owners who have had their DICs replaced due to the cel coming on with misfire codes. Part of the software update in 2003 was to provide this early warning so people aren't stranded by the side of the road somewhere.

My point is that this problem should be recognized and addressed rationally not excused away as being insignificant.
 

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mjlee said:
This is only a summary of the complaints not the data that has been compiled to date.
Ok I'm guessing you are one of the complainants :confused:

You asked not to be flamed, so I searched and found some supportive evidence, just trying to help ;)

To be fair, there are two issues here for me, I actually dont have a problem with a DI or any component having a wear out rate, hence my initial response about it being a consumable which on average lasts ok, in my opinion.

The second issue which you didnt initially refer to in your first is the safety aspect and the nature of the compliants leading to the investigation of the DI failure and its subsequent damage to other parts such as the catalytic converter. I agree this is very concerning and as many of you US guys have the V6 with two very expensive DI's I can see your point. So lets all hope we benefit from the investigation.
 

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Chris 9-5 said:
Ok I'm guessing you are one of the complainants :confused:

You asked not to be flamed, so I searched and found some supportive evidence, just trying to help ;)
No, actually I'm not one of the complainants and I didn't ask to not be flamed. Flame away if you think I deserve it :). I think that was the OP. Also, I wasn't trying to come off aggressive. I guess I should have thrown in a smiley here and there.

I know that you were trying to help. I didn't take any personal offense, just wanted to clarify that number of complaints to the NHTSA for these types of issues are deceptive with respect to the prevalence of the problem.

I actually see both sides of the argument and if you are comfortable treating the DIC as a wear item that's fine. But I also think we should not diminish the problems that others have had. I think that's unfair to those who have been seriously inconvenienced or put at expense and especially those who have been put at serious risk of harm when the DIC cut out at highway speeds.

On a practical note, I think if you are buying a used Saab from MY99 - 02, you should replace the DIC with the new model they have now and get the software updated. Anyone with 03 or later Saabs shouldn't need to worry about the DIC at all. I'm not concerned about my 9-5 Aero and I don't carry a spare. Knock on wood. ;)
 

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For those who are interested, here is a link to the response from Saab to the NHTSA investigation. If you look on page 14 you will see that Saab predicts 440 failures of the IDM (or DIC) per 1000 vehicles for the 2001 MY 9-5 over a five year period and estimates about 1 in 10 failures will leave you stranded somewhere.

http://199.79.180.162/prepos/files/Artemis/Public/Pursuits/2005/PE/INRL-PE05017-20825P.pdf

The response also gives the new part number (55559955) for the new DIC which should have gone into production in June of this year.
 

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This thread got me thinking - what should we do IF the engine suddenly stops while we are on A-road or motorway doing high speed?

The power assist in steering and break will run out, but how quickly?

Is it best to break in one, long press on the paddle or use a number of short pedal presses? And would it have enough juice to steer across 2 lanes of traffic to the hardshoulder?
 
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