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  1. #1
    Saab Fan
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    Saab 9-5 2.3t
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    Engine light, Hissing sound, Cloudy headlights, and Shaking?

    Hey everybody, I'm new here.

    My dad is gone for a few days so I figured I'd see if I could do anything to fix up his Saab 95 2.3t.

    Engine Light: This has always been a mystery to everyone, even at times the local auto shop. It just keeps turning off and on at random times. He'll take it in sometimes and they'll find something that was "off" but then a couple days later the light comes on again.

    Hissing Sound: Whether the car is idling or moving, I always hear a hissing sound coming from the air vents. It almost sounds like gas leaking or something. So yeah any help there would be appreciated.

    Cloudy headlights: My dad kept telling me that there was some faulty design in the housing of the bulbs or something that caused the light bulbs to overheat? Not sure if it's related, but the light covers are always really cloudy and dirty.

    Shaking: When the car is at a stop, it shakes like a freakin' earthquake lol. The dash, interior, everything.

    I know it's a lot of questions packed into my very first post on this site, but I'm hopeful you guys can give me some insight into these issues.

    Thanks in advance!

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  2. #2
    Frank
    Saab Enthusiast nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    Hello and welcome! What year is your Saab 9-5 and how many miles are on there? Auto or manual?

    Engine light: Did they scan the code(s)? The light going on and off could be the DIC going bad but difficult to tell without the codes.

    Headlights: Depends on the model year.

    Shaking: The 2.3 engine with automatic transmission always had vibration when at a stop. It got better through the model years but early years could be very noticeable.

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  3. #3
    Scott Hutchings
    Too much to do, no time! SaabScott's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    2009 9-7X 5.3i
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    The hissing sound could be the brake booster ... not an uncommon thing to leak on a 9-5.

    I would check to see if someone had installed the short belt. That is known to cause more vibration than the standard long belt. A lot of people were switching to eliminate the center pulley (which also sometimes fails).

    As for the CEL, it could be any number of things. If it keeps going on and off, it is likely something temporary and the only way you will be able to diagnose it would be to leave it with someone who can pull that code WHEN IT HAPPENS. Once you have that, you should be able to figure it out.
    I would also check to see that the gas cap is tightly screwed in ... it can throw a CEL if it isn't.

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  4. #4
    Saab Fan
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    Saab 9-5 2.3t
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    @Frank: It's a 2002 [notranslate]Saab[/notranslate] 9-5 with 115k miles on it. Automatic.

    I'm not even sure what the local auto shop does to be honest lol. I mean one time they tried swapping out the computer's motherboard because they thought it was a computer problem. But then they saw that the engine light still popped up.

    @Scott: You know I just tried touching the brakes when the car was idling at a stop and the hissing stopped! So does that mean it really could be the brake booster? (I have no idea what that is or what it does by the way, lol)

    I do recall my dad saying they had to replace some pulley a couple of months ago. Would there be any particular reason they would install the short belt versus a longer one?

    Just checked the gas cap and it's definitely screwed in tightly. I should mention that sometimes WHILE we're driving the engine light comes on and off...not sure if that helps. Yeah I'm trying to avoid the mechanics because they haven't been able to help at this point xD So I'm hoping some fellow [notranslate]Saab[/notranslate] owners would have more insight.

    @Both: Thanks again guys for all the help!

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  5. #5
    Frank
    Saab Enthusiast nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    You can buy an OBD scanner for not much money or you usually can borrow one at an automotive parts store. Until you get the code, it is pretty much a guessing game.

    [notranslate]Saab[/notranslate] switched to a shorter serpentine belt for the 9-5. (I believe 2005 and up?). This shorter belt eliminates the center pulley which is prone to failure. Some owners experience a rougher idling engine with this short belt. Some workshops and [notranslate]Saab[/notranslate] dealers also use this short belt when they replace it on earlier models.

    Check out these threads for more info:
    http://saabworld.net/f9/my-wifes-new-car-752/
    http://saabworld.net/f9/question-ser...lt-change-402/

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  6. #6
    Saab Fan
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    16 Aug 2011
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    Saab 9-5 2.3t
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    Do you think you could point me in the right direction for a good, affordable OBD Scanner? There seem to be a lot of different makes and models and I don't want to go buy one and find out it doesn't read the [notranslate]Saab[/notranslate]'s codes lol.

    Man, that sounds like a predicament. So you're saying if my [notranslate]Saab[/notranslate] (hypothetically) has a short belt it will shake, but on the other hand if I get a long belt I need the center pulley and the pulley is prone to failure. There has to be some other way lol.

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  7. #7
    Frank
    Saab Enthusiast nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    Any OBD-II scanner should be able to read the generic and [notranslate]Saab[/notranslate] codes, as far as I know. You can get them for as little as $30 on Amazon. I bought this one for $75 with some more features. Amazon.com: Equus 3100 Innova CanOBD2 Diagnostic Tool: Automotive

    But something like this for $47 should be fine as well. Amazon.com: Equus 3030 Innova Diagnostic Code Reader for OBDII Vehicles: Automotive

    I have a short belt on my 2005 and it hardly shakes. So if you have a short belt, there may or may not be an improvement when you switch to a long belt. May feeling is you won't notice a big difference. Perhaps it could be a worn engine mount?

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  8. #8
    Saab Fan
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    Saab 9-5 2.3t
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    I'm definitely going to look into getting one of these or something like them, thanks for the info!

    Would there be any signs of a worn engine mount that I could see? I'm assuming the engine mount is the "cover" for the engine right?

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  9. #9
    Saab Fan
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    York, PA
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    2003 9-5 Aero
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    I replaced the brake booster in my car, I had the exact same symptoms and this could be the culprit of your CEL. Mine would come on occasionally but as the leak got worse it came on and stayed on.

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  10. #10
    Saab Fan
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    Saab 9-5 2.3t
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    Alright yeah I'm starting to think it's the brake booster. 2 people and my own pumping of the breaks causing the noise to go away seems very convincing.

    So how the hell do I do it? Haha thanks in advance for your patience with me people!

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