racer33
racer33 New Reader
9/13/09 7:13 p.m.

I've come across a '99 Saab 9-3 that I can get at a fire-sale price, but it has a loud exhaust leak comming from under the hood. The turbo is still building normal pressure, and the engine still pulls strong. The slushbox shifts well too. Is there a common issue with exhaust leaks on the 9-3, and if so, what is the normal remedy? The A/C also does not blow cold, so I'm a big hesitant about that too. And, when you hit the "night" button on the dash, all the gauges except the speedo go dead????

 Mike
mtn
mtn SuperDork
9/13/09 7:55 p.m.
racer33 wrote: I've come across a '99 Saab 9-3 that I can get at a fire-sale price, but it has a loud exhaust leak comming from under the hood. The turbo is still building normal pressure, and the engine still pulls strong. The slushbox shifts well too. Is there a common issue with exhaust leaks on the 9-3, and if so, what is the normal remedy? The A/C also does not blow cold, so I'm a big hesitant about that too. And, when you hit the "night" button on the dash, all the gauges except the speedo go dead???? Mike

Speaking from experience with an 2002 9-5, but by no means am I an expert:

The exhaust leak from under the hood happened to us to. We fixed it about two weeks ago. About a 100 dollar fix at a shop, 800 at a dealer, if its the same problem (crack in the pipe). The A/C on ours has been fixed a few times. It doesn't work. I don't know if this is true of all SAABs or just ours.

The night-panel is something I wish every car had. It is really really cool, IMHO. The speedo lights up 3/4 way. If you get to 80 MPH, it lights up the rest of the way. Great if you need to make a bombing run on the next town.

The pixelated display for the radio, MPG, mileage, temperature, etc. WILL go out. 900 for a new one. Box it and send it to a guy in New Hampshire? who fixes it for much cheaper.

mtn
mtn SuperDork
9/13/09 8:02 p.m.
mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
9/13/09 11:04 p.m.

I love the Night Panel in my NG900. You are right, it is a button ALL cars should have. Everything but the speedo dies and goes dark UNLESS you have a problem, then those gages come back. In many ways that is a better way to alert you to a problem.. at least at night.

I do not know about the 9000/9-5.. but the absolute WORST thing about my NG is that to do anything to the engine seems to require dropping the subframe (I exagerate of course)

As for the turbo noise.. could be a blown seal between the turbo and the downpipe.. or the flex pipe has perished. What kind of noise are you getting?

mtn
mtn SuperDork
9/13/09 11:14 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: I love the Night Panel in my NG900. You are right, it is a button ALL cars should have. Everything but the speedo dies and goes dark UNLESS you have a problem, then those gages come back. In many ways that is a better way to alert you to a problem.. at least at night.

Cuts out all distraction too. Just you and the road at that point, don't have to worry about anything.

HappyAndy
HappyAndy Reader
9/14/09 12:39 a.m.

cacked flex pipes are a common nuisance on these cars. If thats all thats wrong with it have a muffler shop fix it. There is a more serious problem with the engines sludging up and losing lube oil pressure however. A dirty dipstick is a bad sign. If there is an independent saab repair shop near by have them check it out. From my experience with saabs, a well maintained used saab is a darn good car, especialy for some one who doesn't mind doing some of the work them selves, but a poorly maintaned saab is a nightmare that won't stop untill you sell the car to some one that you will never see again.

81gtv6
81gtv6 Reader
9/14/09 10:34 a.m.

It sounds like the exhaust leak is a cracked flex pipe, like Happy said. When mine did that it was an excuse to go with a 3in stainless DP, good stuff.

The motor in that car is the 2 liter T5 and have not really had the issues with oil sludging. With that being said regular oil changes are very important, again like Happy said.

We got our car with 75K on it and the AC was OK but has never been as cold as some of the American or Jap cars I have had.

I use the Night Panel button fairly often. It seems to lessen the strain on my eyes when driving at night but my wife does not like it.

Is the car an SE or a base model?

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
9/14/09 4:15 p.m.

yes, the T5 cars do not seem prone to the sludging issue that the later t7 cars do. I think Saab is up to number 6 on the redesigned PCV system on the T7 cars

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