Saab 9-3 1.8t. Stopover.

Some things are boring ... because they are good. Our Saab 9-3 1.8t has been with us since summer 2011. Unfortunately, it seems like it was our last new Saab car. He now has almost 78.000 kilometers on the clock, and I was actually sure that I would be able to complete the 100.000 without disturbance. Blogger thinks ... hopes ... the 9-3 is planning something else.

Saab 9-3 2011 1.8t
Saab 9-3 2011 1.8t

Mileage 77.700. No disruptions in 4 years. Regular inspection in Frankfurt or Bamberg, no abnormalities, no oil consumption. Also no wear; the 9-3 doesn't seem to age. But then it does happen! The Saab suddenly runs rough, out of round. What happened? Worry lines on the forehead, perplexity.

There is a roar in the interior, it sounds like a defective exhaust - says my wife. Feels like a defective engine mount - I say. It is not both. But it can't be healthy, and so the 9-3 1.8t will stop until I find time to drive to Frankfurt. There are these workshop stories that make you feel strange. Whenever you drive up with a mistake that you cannot properly classify. If the workshop staff are also at a loss, become hectic, then that's not good. Let's see how it will be at Saab Service Frankfurt.

Flash diagnosis in Frankfurt.

On a Wednesday I roll into Gerard Ratzmann's yard, which, as always, is full of Saabs. Workshop full, all stages occupied, parking spaces in short supply. A lot of work, Gerard Ratzmann does the direct acceptance. Sits in the Saab, starts. The unstopped diagnosis time: less than a second. "Secondary shaft, I'll show you what is defective". He brings chain tensioners and guides from the warehouse. The chain tensioner is broken, the chain is no longer guided correctly. The motor transmits vibrations that are responsible for the out-of-round running. Of course you can't move the 9-3 in this condition, it stays in Frankfurt.

Friends pick me up and Gerard Ratzmann promises to fix the station wagon as soon as possible. And keep his promise! The phone rings 24 hours later and the repair is done. The 9-3 has to leave the court, lack of space in Frankfurt. We pick up the Saab on the same evening and are very happy about the quick problem resolution. The defective parts are ready for inspection when you pick them up, that's exemplary! The chain guide is broken, that could have ended badly. Our 9-3 1.8t now drives as silky smooth as on the first day. It continues towards 100.000 kilometers.

Defective chain tensioner - GM is to blame.

GM is responsible for the defective chain tensioner with almost virgin mileage. Not every engine is affected, just a small shipment. Presumably the Americans saved 10 cents per engine in this way. Congratulation ! That costs us 3 hours of work in the workshop, plus material. This is annoying and spoils the otherwise flawless record of the 9-3 sports suit. Can you get upset about it at a time when another manufacturer is pulling through its Dieselgate? Probably not !

There is an all-clear for our 2011er 9-3 1.8t. The future looks good. The new chain tensioner, according to Gerard Ratzmann, will fulfill the expectations in terms of quality and will serve many, many kilometers unobtrusively on the secondary shaft. Since we too have done everything right from the beginning to drive Saab for as long as possible, we have been providing comprehensive rust prevention right from the start, so we are confident too. Sequel follows.

13 thoughts on "Saab 9-3 1.8t. Stopover."

  • Yes, I don't know anything about that - my Aero is not stressed when it is cold, but only when the oil is up to temperature. This should apply to all turbo engines, otherwise it will be expensive. The turbocharger rotates at up to 300 rpm in a plain bearing.

    For short distances, I will soon replace our Golf and use an electric vehicle such as the BMW i3. He has no turbo and does not need to be warmed up. ☺

  • Perhaps a reader of the blog knows which model series and years are affected by this problem? - Since our 9-5 “chrome glasses” 2,3t (185 HP), built in March 2010, will soon reach 70 tkm, we would like to have the affected part replaced preventively in this case.

    • The 9-5 is not affected, only 9-3 and there only a small supply of engines.

      • Thank you - that calms us down.

    • With my 9-5 Aero with chrome glasses, I tore a good 2007 km between 2015 and 300 without any mechanical problems. The vehicle is also good for another 000 km. (For details see SAAB long-term experiences on the blog)

      I wouldn't worry about that. A 9-5 with 70 km hasn't even run in properly.

      • That sounds great! 100% is due to long-distance operation, because my father's 9-5 has 120tkm away and already has the 2 swap turbo on it. Unfortunately, he does not understand that it is death to drive only 5-10 km….
        My 9-5 also had about 300tkm with 1 Turbo and 230PS deer down and ran like a clockwork!

  • My 2008 SAAB 9-3 TTiD was always for inspection at FSH ;-). Until 180.000 km everything was tiptop, as the customer (!) Wishes it. From this mileage came the normal Verschleisteile on the Rep. Bill. Rust is, except for the re. front window frame :-(, no topic., The focus remains in! Motor runs with Triboron tiptop Soon, the 200.000 km reached!

  • I got the 2011 2008-9 3t in 2.0. The best decision of my life. I am happy every day when I sit down. At 74.000 km the spring at the front right broke, I tick that under "individual case", like Tom's chain tensioner. Otherwise mine is now 113.000 km and runs faithfully and without errors. No trace of processing errors, etc. with me.

  • Hi Tom,
    I hope that my 9-3 convertible BJ 2008 is not affected.
    Otherwise I have to say that the quality has suffered a lot under GM. Leather is under all hell, rust on the convertible top compartment, rust on chassis parts, rust on all weld spots on the sill (underbody), interior materials are more of a former Chinese quality…. So 9000 and old 9-5 are of a different kind. Apart from the rust…. 🙂
    Still love the Saabine!

  • I've got down 9 without any problems with my 3-2.8 convertible 53.000, I hope I can make the 100 without such mistakes :-))

    The quality seems to be right in any case, that was different (900 II Bj. 93 ... ..)

  • I know crankshafts, camshafts and balancing shafts and old engine shafts (with bottom camshaft) also have rocker shafts. But what is a side wave?

    • From several engine overhauls at various vehicles me intermediate and Nebenwellen are a term. Driving ancillaries, I would say.

  • The 9-3 can only be recommended, especially after the facelift the quality is right. The side wave is annoying, otherwise 100.000 kilometers would have been due without disruption. That would be “nothing is impossible” level.

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