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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So the other day I took my best friend out for a ride in my new 2003 Vector. After it had warmed up, I down-shifted and got on it, only to be confronted with vibration and hesitation on boost. My friend's response: "Haha, you're ****ed... told you not to buy a Saab!"

Whats up? Has anyone had this problem? I was hoping that it would just go away, like so many other "ghosts" that I have seen with this car, but it is still doing it.

Somebody give me courage, I want soooooooo badly to like this car, but in two months of owning it, the CIM, (column integration module) and ignition went out, ($1,500) the check engine light is burnt into my pupils and now this. Will it be like this from now on? **wishing I had spent more and bought CPO**
 

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First check that you don't have a boost leak. Inspect all couplings from the intake to the turbo, to intercooler to throttle body.

Change plugs and plug wires if old.
 

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Any local Saab mechanics in your area? I live about 40 miles east of you and there is a good one in Jacksonville, if it comes to that. I agree that plugs & wires should be checked first. And others with more experience should be chiming in here soon.

If you want to start over I know of a perfect '06 9-3 Aero, with some mods, for a great price :)
 

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I would hate to say it but you're probably up for an asortment of problems. I have been owning Saabs since 84. When we moved to the Saab 9000's in 90 they were plagued with problems. I love Saabs, but I would never under any circumstances buy one without a warranty. I have a 2003 Vector I bought earlier this year with CPO.

Good luck.
 

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If the CEL is on what's the code? Or what were the codes?

There are a lot more possibilities beyond plugs. What are the miles on the plugs anyway?
 

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ctrlz said:
Also a possibility. But first I'd like to know why the engine light is/was on.
The OP's post is confusing, but I am not sure the CEL happened this time. We await his response...
bradman951 said:
the check engine light is burnt into my pupils and now this.
Is the CEL experience from when the ignition went out?
 

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I had a similar problem with my 03 on boost. My problem turned out to be the plug gap. I searched around and found a suggestion of reducing the gap to 0.8mm instead of the recommended 1.0mm.... take your plugs out and check what gap you have..if they have been in a while and worn the gap could be a very big 1.0mm !!
 

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Ambisaab said:
if they have been in a while and worn the gap could be a very big 1.0mm !!
All right, correct me if I'm wrong here. I thought these platinum coated plugs lasted longer because the platinum helped resist pitting of the contacts which eventually leads to erosion and opening of the gap. I thought you were not supposed to regap platinum plugs in this condition because they are basically shot. And you have to be careful of the platinum coating when gapping new plugs, which is part of why they sell so many "non-gappable" platinum plugs now.
 

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Well it worked for me... never had the issue re-occur in 12 months. The post I got the info from was on SC somewhere. Any how it was only a suggestion for the OP..... I wonder if it's still on the original plugs!

Plats should be good for 100k... yep you're right..they should....operative word being... 'should'.
 

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why don't you just go to autozone and pull the codes. Maybe if you fix whatever the CEL is throwing, it will smooth out your boost
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
WOW! Thanks for all of the response! Bob Z: we actually have a small Saab/Cadillac dealership here in Gainesville, I have been working with them and it is quite terrifying when I go there and there are more Saabs in the service lot than the sales lot:cry:. Wish I could afford the 2.8T, the allure of these cars for me was fuel economy and initial investment.

The CEL was originally the typical "Evaporative leak" (i.e. loose gas cap) so they cleared it, checked the gas cap and all was well.

Here comes the fun part, the service guy drove the car out left it running for me, I signed the paperwork and hopped in--my next words were "Hey Justin, the CEL is on!" He was floored and apologized for not noticing when he brought it out. This time it was an emissions check valve for the pre-start air injection... we both agreed that we could let this slide and just reset it, (don't get me wrong, I am an environmentally conscious person, but figure energy is wasted to make and deliver the part... okay I am on a tangent).

On my way to class, the darn light came on again and I choked. Next fill, I discovered that the gas cap was loose, so I assume that this triggered the most recent CEL occurrence.

Most of you seem to indicate that this may be ignition related... why would spark plugs fail suddenly? And why on earth would the coil die? Coils are usually very resilient. I guess my question is, did your symptoms appear suddenly?

Oh, before I forget, the car has 57,000 miles on it now, (bought it with 51,000).

dsanders16- This news is very discouraging:cry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
One more thing, I have the warranty records which verify the 30,000 mile service... I presume this includes spark plugs?
 

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bradman951 said:
This time it was an emissions check valve for the pre-start air injection... we both agreed that we could let this slide and just reset it, (don't get me wrong, I am an environmentally conscious person, but figure energy is wasted to make and deliver the part... okay I am on a tangent).
You will want to get that looked at. If it is just the valve, not the pump the fix is cheap. If left unfixed water and condensation get into the pump and a new pump is $$$ and you have already indicated you have no CPO wwty.
Many states won't pass inspection with the CEL or the system not functioning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
SMHarman,
The dealer did in fact check this, and they reported that the pump is functioning properly, but the valve is not.

Cheap? They quoted me $300 in total:roll: Also, Florida decided some time ago to scrap emissions testing... thanks a lot Jeb.
 

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A bad (i.e. leaking) SAI check valve is basically functioning as an exhaust gas recirc valve. You are sucking exhaust into the intake. Unfiltered exhaust. This is not good for a lot of reasons. Exhaust gases are also heavy with moisture, which probably isn't good for the MAF sensor.

I would try a test. Start the car and let it run for 90 seconds. This is the cold start cycle time for the SAI pump. The pump runs only at cold start. You should hear it with the hood up. At least you will notice when it stops. Once it stops, disconnect the SAI tube from the airbox and cover the hole with duct tape or similar. The SAI tube is front right lower corner of the airbox as you face the car. Squeeze connection. Tape the airbox and the loose end of the hose so you don't get a lot of exhaust coming into the cabin. Once taped up on both sides test drive the car.

The loose tube will still be blowing exhaust, but you won't be sucking it back into the engine. You will see if performance is restored. You will also get a sense of how much exhaust is backflowing by the smell in the cabin. I can almost guarantee it will leak through your tape job.

BTW, the SAI valve looks very easy to replace. Two bolts and one squeeze hose connection. I think the part is <$100. New SAI pump is several hundred just for the part, and you will need a valve as well. So fix the valve before the pump goes. You will get CEL's if the SAI pump can't run, and they won't go away.
 

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I am not familiar with Saabs, but I do know quite a bit about Subaru turbos. The reason I suggested boost leak is that I had very similar symptoms as you and it turned out to be on the turbo inlet pipe. A bad/cracked vacuum line can also cause many issues.

Often emissions type CELs are related to vacuum problems and will cause more that just poor emissions, but poor performance as well.

Coils fail all the time. Ask any VW or Audi or WRX owner.

A weak spark due to old plugs, old wires or weak coils will be OK for off-boost conditions, but once the boost builds the charge will blow out the spark without igniting the fuel mixture. So changing your plugs and wires will eliminate that possibiliy and give you a minor tune up. They are also relatively cheap.

So my first guess is an air metering issue - boost or vac leak
Second guess is a spark issue - plug, wires , coil (usually accompanied by mis-fire CEL)
Third guess is fuel - bad RRFPR response to boost, clogged filter, weak pump.
Fourth would be an injector problem.
They are many other potential causes due to sensor failure, but they would usually come with a CEL.

Happy hunting.
 
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