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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I plan to make a detailed YouTube video about the 9-3 (02-11). One of the aspect I would like to thoroughly cover are the common issues of the car. I've made my research based on my experience, various groups, YouTube videos and forum threads. I need your help, from more experienced people, in verifying all of the things I've manage to wrote. There may be some mistakes (especially in "causes" section) or maybe you have some suggestions – what's to add?

I am sorry if it's not well written but english is not my first language and this list is just a working one, for myself.

Here it is:

Common electrical issues:

Sensitive Electrical gremlins releated to poor battery, stored fault codes due to low power, broken connection in key fob or it’s battery or alternator and:

1. CIM - Central Integrated Module (add SCL later)

CIM – part of complex electrical system, strictly related to the security and immobilizer system – keys are married to the CIM, not ignition switch module.

Can cause problems related to not starting, immobilizer faults etc.

Cause of CIM-itself failure: shorted main circuits, memory faults

Some things sometimes can be replaced or fixed: cleaning contacts in wiper switch, turn signal or fixing it’s mechanism, replaced; the clockspring that powers the airbag, horn and steering wheel controls and also the steering wheel angle sensor, often responsible for ABS/TCS/ESP faults.

2. Throttle body

Faults codes released to throttle body function:
  • P0638
  • P2135
  • P1681
cause: jamming throttle body motor
solve: can be fixed – rebuilt

3. ECU Trionic 8

Most common:

P0606 – ECM internal fault

P0638 – fault releated to throttle body

Also P0601 - RAM/ROM fault

Beware it can also other: for example P0201, P0202, P0203, P0204 – related to injectors

Cause of death: BGA failure - poor design? Mounted to exhaust manifold/engine – temperature and vibrations?

Solve: replace with new one, replace with used ones, rebuilding seem to be not available (hard to open and close, lack of technical documentation)

4. Ignition Coils

Same part number 12787707, but two types:

Yellow - early yers, weaker, especially not recommended with tuned cars

Black - later years, stronger, more reliable

Common issue: misfires, especially with full boost, on higher RPMs (blinking check)

Solve: replace with a new, ONLY ORIGINAL ones, alternatively used – black ones


5. ISM - Ignition Swoich Module

Symptoms: Steering Lock Malfunction;

Cause: worn or dirty contacts – ignition switch location prone to dust, dirt

Additional: plug&play, don’t need tech2

Solve: replace with new one, replace with use one, cleaning & redoing contacts

Minor problems:

1. AMP1 damage due to liquid

2. Water leak front passenger floor
Cause: cabin air filter housing foam, clogged drain

Solve: replace seal, clean/unclog drain, some claim worth to install HVAC barrier panel

3. HVAC Fan noise
Cause: damage probably due to the corrosion from the water leak

Solve: replace or rebuilt the fan / various new aftermarket ones

4. Problem with CD ejection

5. Door locks
Cause: even slight corrosion, dirt on door lock pins

Solve: clean and remove corrosion from pins inside the lock mechanism or replace if no result

Mechanical B207:

1. Timing Chain
Premature wearing of timing chain (150k-200k km)

Symptoms: ticking noise from the left side of the engine, irregular ticking noise from the left side of the engine
  • broken balance guides
  • broken tensioner
Solve: replace whole timing chain (main&balance, gaskets, water pump) with a new, genuine Saab parts. It’s hard to establish but many say aftermarket ones seem to have shorter life expectancy.


Common place for oil leaks:
  • vacuum pump (boith seals; usually inner o-ring)
  • oil level sensor oring
  • valve cover gasket
  • power steering pump seals
Thanks for your help!
 

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Some suggestions...

Key issues specifically battery tab gets broken when closing case and failure of microswitches...often this is confused with ISM problems when its the key.
Bulb failure messages particularly tail lights..usually corrosion somewhere in the wiring giving voltage drop or bad connections
Failure of switch packs within the CIM giving non latching of high beam/turn signal/wiper problems....rebuild or change switch packs.
ESP/TSP failure due to angle sensor...often due to tracking being done and requiring recalibration or replacement.
Suspension front springs are made of chocolate.
Soft inlet valves
Earlier -06 failure in stereo components optical loop.
Valve body problems AF40-6 gearbox often lead to scrapped car.

Your comments above are biased toward the petrol......... in Europe there are a lot of diesels which could add a lot to your list.
If so I could probably write a few more pages.......
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! Although few things you mentioned are already included like CIM switch packs and angle sensor.
Corrosion in taillights wiring isn't really worth mentioning – it's common for many other cars (like E46) and the issue is not that serious. Also, optical loop problem, I think is not that common; major problem related to audio seem to be AMP1 which fails because of liquid damage.

I've heard a lot about the springs but I am not able to find what is the cause of wearing, if it's some manufacturer flaw then why aftermarket ones often break prematurely also?

I'll look into inlet valves in 07-xx problem and read some information about that AF40-6 since I am not that familiar with it.

I do see your point and I think it would be worth to briefly overview other engines also – mostly B284 but also diesel ones. That's said, in my opinion, B207 is the most unique and the best motor in gamut. As far as I know diesel engines are made by Fiat so there is not much Saab in them and the performance nor technology isn't the top one.

If you know issues of B284 and diesel engines (I don't have a clue about them) then any help is much appreciated! Feel free to write as much as you like :)
 

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I assume you have posted on UKSaabs and Saabcentral?
On the V6 one of the big issues is ECU failure as well as coil packs...the ECU is a tough one as they are hard to get.
We have 5 Saabs in the family and even though I like driving the Aero I find the diesel mapped to 180BHP a better driving experience especially at 50mpg!
The TTID is an even more interesting animal.......

Before I forget the autolevelling Xenon sensors can be an issue on both 9-3 and 9-5 also TPMS less so.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I assume you have posted on UKSaabs and Saabcentral?
On the V6 one of the big issues is ECU failure as well as coil packs...the ECU is a tough one as they are hard to get.
We have 5 Saabs in the family and even though I like driving the Aero I find the diesel mapped to 180BHP a better driving experience especially at 50mpg!
The TTID is an even more interesting animal.......

Before I forget the autolevelling Xenon sensors can be an issue on both 9-3 and 9-5 also TPMS less so.
I haven't posted on those forums yet, should I?
 
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