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NHTSA — Engine Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
89,952 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.

2004 Saab 9-3 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Saab 9-3 Owner Comments

problem #3

Aug 072016


  • 1,855 miles


While driving, without any warning the car engine stalls. No warning at all!! once it stops, ignition key won't work. The only way to restart the car is to disconnect the battery. This is all done in the emergency shoulders, breakdown lanes, its also happened on the highway exit ramps. Luckily each time there was a place to pull over. We could get killed. It has happened numerous times. Sometimes it stalls 2-3 times a day. I am so disappointed in this car. I am afraid to drive it, and how can I sell it knowing that something bad could happen to the new owner.

- Hopedale, MA, USA

problem #2

Oct 072014


  • 117,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saab 9-3. the contact stated that while at a stop sign, there was a odor of burning oil inside the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the valve cover gasket was leaking. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 117,000.

- Nekoosa, WI, USA

problem #1

Aug 112015


  • 151,000 miles
Approximately 5 minutes after starting, the car stalled on a busy, 6 lane road. The engine was not able to start again, or even attempt to ignite. The check engine light was on. The car spent 2 days in the mechanic, who was able to source a P1605 error code. However, he told us only a licensed Saab technician could extract details from the code. While at the shop, the car was also started by the mechanics and appeared to be working normally, upon which they deleted the error code. Two days after the initial incident, we drove it back approximately 12 miles back home without any issues. Later that same day, the car stalled a second time on the expressway after 10-15 minutes of driving; fortunately I was driving in the right-hand lane and was easily able to pull over on the shoulder. After the car was towed to a specialized Saab mechanic, they were able to conclude that the issues were stemming from a defective ECU (engine control unit). We exchanged the ECU with a brand new part, at the cost of $1400. While clearing up the finances, I spoke with a service representative at the mechanic/dealer who informed me that while my car was in the shop, there were 2 more cars that had came in with the same problem. Also, customer service from an online Saab parts retailer informed me that this has been a known problem to him, based off other customers' experiences. Their cars would stall, be fine after cooling down, but would stall again later.

- Palatine, IL, USA

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