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  1. #21
    Jeffrey
    Master SaabTech/Moderator Burnsside42's Avatar
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    25 Oct 2010
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    Point Pleasant, PA
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    1,316
    Saab(s)
    - 86' 9KT - 95' 9K Custom CS - 06' 9-3 Combi - 07' 9-7X Arc - 08' 9-3 Convertible - 08' 9-3 TurboX -
    Thumbs Up:   3
    Quote Originally Posted by Finding41 View Post
    Would you say the amount of carbon build up on the head and valves (above) is excessive?
    I don't think my 2.3 with 363000km looked that carboned up. (See picture below... It didn't...?)
    I would guess that there is a big difference in the cooling of the head vs the block on these 2L 9-3.
    Does the 2L have an aluminium block?
    I would almost bet the head on the 2L is cooler running than the 2.3L.
    Yes - the ECOTEC engine is an ALL Aluminum engine - case from a styrofoam mold in fact. The 2.3 cast blocks of the SAAB era are nothing like the GM Ecotec 2.0L engines.

    Quote Originally Posted by AVguy View Post
    The 2.0L engine in the 2003+ 9-3 is a GM Ecotec engine with no commonality in parts to any previous Saab engines. The theory that seems to be the most accepted but never officially is the the valves in some (not sure of the percentage) later model 2007+ 9-3's (maybe 2006) with the 2.0 are not hardened properly and wind up getting a razor shop edge that can't hold compression.
    The issue is FUEL INJECTION - it does not spray fuel on the back of the valves like a carburetor would have. The more advanced we get with fuel injection the worse this carbon issue is becoming amongst ALL brands. If no fuel is able to "wash" the internal parts then the byproduct of combustion is left to build up over time.

    Quote Originally Posted by AVguy View Post
    Burnsside42,

    Any chance you have access to any of the failed valves? Someone over at that other saab forum has access to metallurgical testing equipment and they would be interested and willing to perform some hardness testing on a bunch of valves (new and used) to try and detect the actual issue with the failed valves. Just wondering...
    Currently I have NONE - as the machine shop was who does all our customer work for us. When my head get's done I am doing it in house if I can - or having a friend do it for me to save money where I can. I'll take pictures - and real ones with a camera and then yes, when I have some "bad" valves I would happily pass them along to see if anything could be determined from it.


    I bought my car in Aug. 2013 - @ 52K It started showing rough starting signs when the temps dropped. I started with fresh plugs after a BG fuel injection service. This changed almost nothing. Next I performed 2 GM top engine upper intake "services" via 2,000 RPM and some old spark plugs to foul. I ran the car once hot @ the 2,000 rpm and from the intake vacuum port slowly siphened in the GM Top Engine cleaner solution. Once it was all run through I let it run for a little to clear up - then I took it out and beat the snot out of it. I then allowed it to sit over night. In the morning I swapped out the plugs and took it for a warm up drive - it became better, but still not right. So I repeated this process again. Improving a little more I changed the oil and installed fresh plugs.
    When the temps dropped more it got worse again and the idle became a bit more erratic regularly. I talked to our BG supplier and he game be a can of INDUCTION CLEANER and told me to run it just as I had the GM stuff and see what happens. I did - and it made the most improvement of anything. It made the car drivable and start the best - still rough, but not like it was.
    It hasn't gotten worse - but come spring I am fixing it correctly and will be done with it I hope. I am nearing 59K now. So I should be doing this work right around my 60K so all new fluids will get done anyways then.

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    European Motor Services, LLC - Point Pleasant, PA 18950 - www.europeanmotorsvc.com

  2. #22

    Join Date
    14 Jan 2014
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    1
    Saab(s)
    Saab 9-3SS 2.0T Aero
    Thumbs Up:   0
    My car has rough idling when starting cold, have had it for 2 years. Does anybody know if my car could be affected by this? It's strange because it's a 2004 year model and have not heard anybody else having this problem with a 2004 year model.

    I changed yesterday the MAF sensor and the Boost Pressure Control Valve (55354158), but I still got the same problem, Is there something else I could do?

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  3. #23
    Jeffrey
    Master SaabTech/Moderator Burnsside42's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    - 86' 9KT - 95' 9K Custom CS - 06' 9-3 Combi - 07' 9-7X Arc - 08' 9-3 Convertible - 08' 9-3 TurboX -
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    Quote Originally Posted by pihlsjon View Post
    My car has rough idling when starting cold, have had it for 2 years. Does anybody know if my car could be affected by this? It's strange because it's a 2004 year model and have not heard anybody else having this problem with a 2004 year model.

    I changed yesterday the MAF sensor and the Boost Pressure Control Valve (55354158), but I still got the same problem, Is there something else I could do?
    You may require one of these -
    03 07 Saab 9 3 2 0L Turbo Igniter ICM PTU 12787708 ion Ignition Module J5T45171 | eBay

    These can go bad and cause a bad idle and miss fires. Older SS are more effected by them failing. check your part number before you buy - there are 2 or 3 versions.

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    European Motor Services, LLC - Point Pleasant, PA 18950 - www.europeanmotorsvc.com

  4. #24
    Saab Enthusiast AVguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    01 Jun 2012
    Location
    Long Island, NY USA
    Posts
    71
    Saab(s)
    2004 9-3 Arc Convertible, 2008 9-3 2.0T
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burnsside42 View Post
    Yes - the ECOTEC engine is an ALL Aluminum engine - case from a styrofoam mold in fact. The 2.3 cast blocks of the SAAB era are nothing like the GM Ecotec 2.0L engines.


    The issue is FUEL INJECTION - it does not spray fuel on the back of the valves like a carburetor would have. The more advanced we get with fuel injection the worse this carbon issue is becoming amongst ALL brands. If no fuel is able to "wash" the internal parts then the byproduct of combustion is left to build up over time.



    Currently I have NONE - as the machine shop was who does all our customer work for us. When my head get's done I am doing it in house if I can - or having a friend do it for me to save money where I can. I'll take pictures - and real ones with a camera and then yes, when I have some "bad" valves I would happily pass them along to see if anything could be determined from it.


    I bought my car in Aug. 2013 - @ 52K It started showing rough starting signs when the temps dropped. I started with fresh plugs after a BG fuel injection service. This changed almost nothing. Next I performed 2 GM top engine upper intake "services" via 2,000 RPM and some old spark plugs to foul. I ran the car once hot @ the 2,000 rpm and from the intake vacuum port slowly siphened in the GM Top Engine cleaner solution. Once it was all run through I let it run for a little to clear up - then I took it out and beat the snot out of it. I then allowed it to sit over night. In the morning I swapped out the plugs and took it for a warm up drive - it became better, but still not right. So I repeated this process again. Improving a little more I changed the oil and installed fresh plugs.
    When the temps dropped more it got worse again and the idle became a bit more erratic regularly. I talked to our BG supplier and he game be a can of INDUCTION CLEANER and told me to run it just as I had the GM stuff and see what happens. I did - and it made the most improvement of anything. It made the car drivable and start the best - still rough, but not like it was.
    It hasn't gotten worse - but come spring I am fixing it correctly and will be done with it I hope. I am nearing 59K now. So I should be doing this work right around my 60K so all new fluids will get done anyways then.
    That's great. When you get some valves maybe you could PM me. Thanks again.

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  5. #25

    Join Date
    08 Jan 2014
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    3
    Saab(s)
    2008 9-3
    Thumbs Up:   0
    Does anybody think the carbon buildup and valve problem are related? I know evidence points to a valve metallurgy issue. But I wonder if bad (regional) fuel and/or bad fuel injectors are related. Perhaps the carbon deposits react with the valve material and cause it to break down. BMW had an issue will nickle alloy (Nikasil) engine blocks in the '90s(?). They found out US fuel, high in sulfur, was breaking down the cylinder walls, causing compression loss. They replaced the engine blocks with aluminum alloy under warranty. This problem was worst in some parts of the country.

    My shop diagnosed bad fuel injectors on cylinders 1,2 and 4. The compression test indicated bad valves on the same cylinders. Food for thought. My car was also a Pennsylvania car, where Burnside has seen many of these valve failures. Local Saab specialists in Dallas and WA state that I spoke too had never heard of this problem. So maybe regional fuel issue.

    Has anyone tried the 3 part 3M intake/throttle body/injector cleaning system?

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  6. #26
    Jeffrey
    Master SaabTech/Moderator Burnsside42's Avatar
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    - 86' 9KT - 95' 9K Custom CS - 06' 9-3 Combi - 07' 9-7X Arc - 08' 9-3 Convertible - 08' 9-3 TurboX -
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    We here in PA also have 10% Alcohol in our overprices Petrol. I believe when these cars are run on 87 octane their whole life and never driven proper for the first 50,000 miles it doesn't help things either. You're buying a Saab - with a Turbo Engine - put premium in it you cheap bastards. lol They run correctly with higher octane and boost much better and burn cleaner and get better MPG's!

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    European Motor Services, LLC - Point Pleasant, PA 18950 - www.europeanmotorsvc.com

  7. #27

    Join Date
    23 Jan 2014
    Location
    westchester county, ny
    Posts
    1
    Saab(s)
    2007 9-3
    Thumbs Up:   0

    filed nhtsa complaint -dealing with since 2011

    2007 9-3 now at 134.000 became noticeable at 94,000


    Began having issues starting, and misfires, and finally engine lost compression but still able to start when weather was warm.

    NOV -DEC 2011 no start or hard start in weather below 35F,local service shop said needed new engine, no compression when sat for long periods or exterior temp below 35F approx 97,000 mile.


    DEC 2011- called saab but bankrupt so no customer service, reached out to gm corporate regarding warranty and was told not honoring them since bankruptcy. car was still under power train warranty.

    JAN 2012 -2nd opinion by indy saab focused service center. thought wrong oil was put in and with proper oil car, new spark plugs, fuel pump, etc started even in cold weather, but still misfired and rough idle and had to start in cold had mild winter. 102,000 miles

    JAN 2013- same no start in cold and compression test again and cold test showed NO compression in all cylinders. hard to start when outside temp was below 30F and tested compression again and loss of compression, and ran sea foam through engine to remove carbon buildup upon suggestion from website board, others having issues with GM motors! not specific to saab. Still randomly started car ever 6 hours when temp dropped below 28F. 119,000 miles


    MAR 2013- did another top engine cleaning with sea foam, mild weather until December. miles 124,000

    DEC 4th 2013-again hard start in cold weather did another top engine cleaning with sea foam. mile 132,000

    JAN 8, 2014- temp outside 22f No start again after sitting for 6 hours, battery dead from cranking, car towed, and no compression again, another 2 cycles top engine cleaning, car started after sitting in shop overnight. miles 133,700

    JAN 22, 2014- temp outside 16F, sat idle for 8 hours, no start again, battery died from cranking, car towed to shop, waiting on diagnosis. miles 134,000

    Found mention of SPNA Technical Bulletin dated 12/17/2013 hard starting cold w/ engine misfire and low compression 9-3 B207 and it described my issue perfectly. reaching out local saab/gm service center and filed complaint with nhtsa.

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  8. #28
    Jeffrey
    Master SaabTech/Moderator Burnsside42's Avatar
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    - 86' 9KT - 95' 9K Custom CS - 06' 9-3 Combi - 07' 9-7X Arc - 08' 9-3 Convertible - 08' 9-3 TurboX -
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    Good luck - IF you have documentation from Saab "dealers" and service centers that it was in before 100K and before the time frame for your GM power-train warranty expired then you have a SLIGHT chance of SOME coverage for it. If not - then they will just tell you tough luck and laugh at you. It's GM's warranty - not Saab's.

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  9. #29
    Saab Fan
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    19 Mar 2014
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    northern,ky
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    Saab(s)
    2007 9-3t
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    Quote Originally Posted by AVguy View Post
    Burnsside42,

    As this is a known issue will GM do the work even if the car is not exhibiting symptoms yet? I know it is a long shot but I think a number of owners are very concerned about this issue and want it taken care of while the car is still under warranty (my 2008 still is but is OK so far at 56K miles). How many cars have really been affected so far out of all produced in the affected range? 1%, 10%, 50%? Perhaps you being in the "trenches" have a better feel for quantity of this issue. Has there been any discussion (official or otherwise) about the root cause of this problem? Bad batch of valves? Different suppliers? Ambient temperatures? It just seems so strange that it does not seem to be prevalent in early year production of the 2.0 engines that something must have changed and if so what?

    Thanks for all the info so far it has been a great help.
    . Mine is doing the same thing ruff cold idol and runs fine warm. Comreshion test showed 30 pounds in two center cylenders. I'm goin to take head to ky motors to be sent off do you think they find the valves and if they do will they put piopower in or the original valves back in?

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  10. #30
    Jeffrey
    Master SaabTech/Moderator Burnsside42's Avatar
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    Use the Bio Power valves as indicated - they are more robust it seems.

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