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  1. #1
    Saab Fan
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    17 Dec 2013
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    Adelaide, Australia
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    Saab(s)
    Aero 95 2001 wagon/estate
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    Rough idle and loud rattling sound

    Hi,

    I think my timing chain is stuffed/ needs replacing? It has for while had small rattle sound but now it is loud and the engine idles rough and has no power . There are fault codes of P1300, P1312 & P1334. I did swap the DI cassette with an old one but did not change the situation. I also checked the spark plugs. Sparkplug one was (where the spark ignites) bent and squashed! I swapped with an old one and the engine still ran rough, sounding like misfiring.
    Earlier this week it did start up and idle rough, but once warmed up ran like normal. Now it runs rough when warm.
    My car is 2001 aero and has done 250,000km. I don't believe the timing chain has been done as I cant see it in the history before I had it. I do regular oil changes ( around 7,000km) and updated the PVC kit a couple of years ago. I am wondering if its either or all the timing chain, bad DI cassette or a leaking inlet manifold? I don't believe there are vacuum leaks as the last service the mechanic replaced a some vacuum lines.
    cheers
    Clayton

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  2. #2
    Saab Owner Digger's Avatar
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    28 Oct 2016
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    Minneapolis Minnesota
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    Saab(s)
    2006 9-3 2.0t SportCombi
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    Timing chains will stretch, tensioners do go bad, plastic guides break and these things can lead to rough idle, rattle noise and fault codes, but a squashed spark plug is a whole different dog. Best do a compression check before you do anything else.

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  3. #3
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    30 Jul 2010
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waxa View Post
    P1312 & P1334. I did swap the DI cassette with an old one but did not change the situation. I also checked the spark plugs. Sparkplug one was (where the spark ignites) bent and squashed! I swapped with an old one and the engine still ran rough, sounding like misfiring.
    You should start with replacing the DIC with a new OEM part. Swapping it out with an old one probably isn't much use in fixing the problem. Also replace the spark plugs with new NGK plugs that are the right specs for your engine. What engine do you have?

    It is common the timing chain in the 2.3 engine gets louder over time but it shouldn't be excessive. But after 250K km, it probably is time to replace the chain and tensioners as Digger mentioned. It is not common for them to break but they do stretch and wear out. And perhaps when they stretch out enough, it can skip a a tooth on the timing gears which will cause all kinds of problems. I can imagine that definitely will cause power loss and a rough running engine.

    Not sure how a spark plug could get squashed inside the engine. Maybe the spark plug was like that when it was installed. If it wasn't you, a mechanic could have dropped or bumped it before it was installed.

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  4. #4
    Saab Fan
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    17 Dec 2013
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    Adelaide, Australia
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    Saab(s)
    Aero 95 2001 wagon/estate
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    Thanks folks. I did replace the spark plugs with new ones around 30,000km ago with the NGK. I have the 2.3 aero B235R.

    I tried again this morning and it sounds like one cylinder not firing, the "ticking/ rattling " noise didn't seem as bad as last night. I will get some new plugs today and organise a new DIC. When I swapped the DIC the old one was still working, just had the engine light on. Admitily I did swap the DIC with a second hand one and the codes/ warning light did go away. Recently the engine light had been on and off for the last week or so.

    How many hours would it take a mechanic to replace the timing chain?

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  5. #5
    Closet Intellectual Pali7's Avatar
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    15 Nov 2013
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    Saab(s)
    2005 9-5 ARC
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    It sounds like you have a rod coming undone. It means that the rod that holds the piston is breaking and that is why the piston is hitting the spark plug and bending it. Bummer. Fix it now or it will trash your head and do some damage.

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  6. #6
    Saab Fan
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    17 Dec 2013
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    Adelaide, Australia
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    Aero 95 2001 wagon/estate
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    Yes my local mechanic suggested the same thing. He did a compression test, cylinder 1 had no compression. The motor had no power and the idle got worse. For the amount of $$ and access for parts, I ended up getting rid of it. I don't have the space, skills or time to take the engine out myself unfortunately. cheers

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