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NHTSA — Engine Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
106,479 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Saab 9-3 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Saab 9-3 Owner Comments

problem #6

Dec 072015


  • 87,171 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Saab 9-3. the contact stated that the vehicle jerked when the brake pedal was depressed and stalled. The check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was able to restart. The failure recurred intermittently. In addition, it took multiple attempts to open the driver side door. The vehicle was taken to an independently mechanic where it was diagnosed that the spark plugs had failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 87,171.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #5

Jul 152015


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saab 9-3. while driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning and was able to be restarted. The failure recurred on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and was not diagnosed; however, the mechanic replaced the dic and the crankshaft sensor. The vehicle was repaired and the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken back to the mechanic and the dic was replaced. The failure persisted and it took several attempts to start the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The contact stated that the failure mirrored NHTSA action number: EA04008 (electrical system, engine and engine cooling). The approximate failure mileage was 45,000. Updated 02/23/16

- W. Babylon, NY, USA

problem #4

Jun 052014


  • 184,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saab 9-3. the contact stated that while driving at approximately 60 mph, the vehicle failed to accelerate and decelerated independently without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer but was not diagnosed or repaired. In addition, the contact stated that while driving, there was an abnormal odor and smoke coming from the front of the vehicle. The contact pulled over and discovered that oil was leaking from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the valve cover gasket needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 184,000....updated 01/07/16

- Queens, NY, USA

problem #3

Aug 302014

9-3 4-cyl

  • 109,560 miles


As I was driving in the middle lane of the 3 northbound lanes of U.S. 23, the engine suddenly stalled. I was going about 62 mph. I activated my emergency flashers, shifted the automatic transmission to neutral, and shut off the ignition key. I then turned the ignition key to restart the engine and it restarted. This is about the 5th time this has happened in the past 5 months. This vehicle should be included in gms ignition recall!!!

- Chillicothe, OH, USA

problem #2

Jul 012014

9-3 4-cyl

  • 106,145 miles
While driving at highway speed, the engine suddenly stalled. Slowed and stopped vehicle off side of road. Turned key to off position, then re-started vehicle when turned key to on. Car ran fine after re-started. This has happened multiple times. Suspect defective ignition switch, but this vehicle is not on the recall list.

- Chillicothe, OH, USA

problem #1

Feb 092011

9-3 4-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
The vehicle will become almost immobile in first and second gear (manual transmission). Once in third gear, performance is back to normal. If driver is not aware of situation (cruise light off is only indication if cruise control system is turned on), driver can easily get into bad situation as car will not perform as usual (very significant degradation of performance). All that is needed to reset problem is to turn the key off and restart the engine and the condition will go away for as little as 10 minutes or up to as much as 2 hours of driving. It is suspected that this problem could be associated with the air mass sensor as replacing air mass sensor with used part, problem disappeared for several months. This condition could cause a serious safety issue if driver is not aware and tries to make a quick maneuver involving tight traffic (left turn when performance is paramount). Whatever this condition is that the electronics/engine controls is/are entering is unacceptable and this problem needs to be corrected by the manufacturer in a recall.

- Nevada City, CA, USA

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