I have to say that the starter may well be the problem. if you buy and fit the starter and it makes no difference then you can resell the starter and recoup most of your money which is what i would do first.
re all four injectors failing - it is most unlikely - but possible under certain circumstances - if the car has been run on petrol for example - previous owner maybe? problems do not always show up straight away, fuel pumps can fail quickly after petrol has been in the tank or take a while. this is dependant on miles driven and the amount/ratio of petrol as much as anything. Lot of people think they have 'got away with it' only to find parts failing prematurely due to this.
If you are close to Manchester then it would be worth getting a second opinion from Diesel Jones - they have a good rep!
I am sure i have read somwhere that the car will run with new injectors but will need to be tech 2'd so i would check.
My friends Bmw had starting problems but that occured when it was warm and that was excessive leak off on the injectors.Best of luck and please let us KNOW the cure as i have a 56 plate 120tid and this problem looks like something that could happen in the future
Wanted to update the community of the outcome of the starting saga highlighted in this thread.
Basically without wanting to go over old ground, I had starting issues resulting it in throwing the glow plug code p0380. Did lots of things to the vehicle outlined in the thread previously and was told I might need new injectors. Well... Changed the starter motor today.
I have to be honest, it was a pig of a job. My hands as I type are like a boxers. It's is in the most awkward place imaginable to get at... However, after 4 hours, a lot of swearing, it's done. Fitted a new Bosch unit. Maybe too early to tell but the thing kicks into life very quickly now. I am hoping the motor change will sort my problem, but will have to wait for the cold weather to tell 100%.
Big thanks to Gareth_allen for his advice earlier.
If the problem does rear it's head again will let the community know.
I know it's been a while, but has the starter motor change cured everything 100%. Just I am having very similar issues with my 55 plate 9-5. I even managed to flatten the battery once, luckily at work so got a mate to jump start the car. When connected the car sprang into lift like never before, so I presumed it was a faulty battery however it made little difference. So before I take the plunge into the back of the engine bay I wanted to hear if it was a good place to go! Cheers loads (great thread btw) JoggerM
I am having similar problems and I am looking into replacing the starter motor just interested where you got the bosch starter motor from I have made enquiries and have been told I need to get the part number from the original unit just wondered if you had to do that?
Hi All, I thought I should share my experience...I have been having the same issue with my car. First start of the day was almost imossible and getting worse. Saturday was the last straw. I wasnt sure where to start after reading this so I took it to Leelac Saab in Stevenage, I used them to change my flywheel & CIM last summer and they were excellent. So I called Dawid and told him about this thread and my symptoms. Mine is at 135k, Without even looking at the car he said "the valves might need shimming" where they measure the gap and shim the difference. He said this should have been checked at 50K (if i remember rightly) along with the timing. I didnt know so i took his word for it and had them do the work, he quoted £40+VAT for the shims and the rest labour, £200 in total. Adding to low compression were 2 leaking copper washers under the injectors and 4 faulty glow plugs, (They wernt adding to my problem as they only kick in below 5 degress C). My car now starts on the button no matter what the temp outside is. I actually had them do some other work also. They did all the other work cheaper as they already had the car in bits
All done for £200, chuffed with that actually, then i had these bits done which I was going to do in Summer anyway
New timing belt
Totalling £600, to be honest, i need only have spent £200 to get it working again, the car runs better than ever, so I would suggest, calling them or a specialist locally, these guys really know there stuff. I'll have them do all my maintainance from now on, the car was destined for the bin !!
Its almost as if its a common fault that occurs with mileage, have a think before changing stuff yourself, theres lots to get wrong I think !
Leelac Saab Specialist 07850 401572 Saved my bacon again !!
Very good read this fellas, I've been having similar starting problems with my 9-3 2008. I'm ashamed to say that I've put off taking it into a garage for repair for a long time as no fault code's are present and everyone i talk to seems to have a different diagnosis from fuel pressure to starter motor. I'm glad I read your experience valinco, as emotional as it was, as i was going to change the glow plug's this weekend (starting small ). I think I'll just jump right in and change out the starter motor rather than look for a cheap fix.
I started to have long crank times on my 2006 1.9 (150) when it had been sitting for 5 hours+ i.e. overnight and it appeared to be turning over ok so I was dubious about replacing the starter motor but I found a thread that explained why the starter motor caused problems. As it wears it doesnt turn the motor over fast enough to kick the high pressure fuel pump into action so the car takes longer to start. This made sense so an order was placed.
I replaced the starter motor (which isnt a bad job and takes under an hour and all from above) and it solved the problem straight away. The car now starts straight away hot or cold and oddly enough shut down is smoother???
Hi Everyone, I too have been having starting problems with my 2005 Saab 9-3 1.9 turbo sports diesel. It has been into the garage many times for suspected glo-plug fault (all 4 changed) no better, swirl paddle thingy changed... no better. New Battery...not much better. The guy at the garage said it must be the starter motor (he said "they get tired").. being and retired electrician/electronics engineer I thought this was rubbish and starter motors either work or don't work.... end-of. But after reading the forum it confirmed the starter problem. I had the starter motor replaced with a factory remanufactured one from ebay and it is brilliant. It starts better than I have ever known it do. So much for the deluded thoughts of a retired electrician/electronics engineer!!!
PS the starter motor cost £59.00 and the garage fitted it for £45.00 cash and he said it was a pig to fit.
Hello everyone its been a long time since my last post. Anyway the old girl is now nearly 10 years old with 61000 miles on the clock and still runs like a dream that was until the starting problems appeared.
I had all the problems described in this post but after fitting a new Lucas starter motor myself she fires on second turn of the engine cold or warm. In fact in the morning you can insert the key and start engine straight away without waiting for glow plugs etc. After a week of no starting issues I fitted a new battery just to be on the safe side for the next winter.
It is such a reliable and cheap car to run and owned since 2 years old I cannot bring myself to sell it yet and hope to get some more years out of her.
I hope this helps anyone with the same problem
Again just adding my experiences to this post and again it turned out to be the starter motor.
I bought a Saab 9-3 1.9 TDI 120 (Z19DTH) in 2011, and it was not brilliant at starting but it started most of the time well, but when it didn't it took four or five attempts to start. Often when it was warm, after short runs.
Checking the voltage on the battery it was drooping with the Lion battery (fitted new when sold to me), so I replaced it with a Bosch Silver, and things were slightly better, but not brilliant still. I went down the road of an air leak in the diesel spill pipes, and replaced all those. Changed the MAF and checked the inter cooler for leaks, still no better.
I did find a hose on the low pressure side of the turbo was not tight, so tightened that up, which seemed to improve starting, but then maybe not.
I replaced the EGR and had the engine looked by a garage who's reply was "Yes that engine's like that"! helpful.
So after 5 years of dicky starting I eventually go, well lets try the starter motor!
I bought an APT £57 1.9Kw unit off the big auction site, and it starts on the ball every time now.
As Fallout3 said, I don't even need to wait for the glows now, it just starts instantly.
I didn't believe it was going to be the starter motor, as it seemed to be going round just fine! But it was obviously just not fast enough!
So, please, if you have starting issues on the Z19 engine, try the cheap option first, just replace the starter motor.
Its an easy job, took me about 30 minutes. Well recommended.