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NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling: Engine Problems


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,212 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.

2001 Saab 9-5 engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Saab 9-5 Owner Comments

problem #7

Jun 132008


  • 98,300 miles


The first time the oil light came on was in mid October 2006, after about an hour of driving. There was no other indication of a problem (noise, vibration, change in handling, etc). The oil had recently been changed, but it was rechecked and topped off on the side of the road anyway. Everything seemed good for about 20 min when the oil light came back on during a turn. I was on my way to the airport so I parked the car and took it to a service shop two days later when I returned. It was given an oil change and an overall check. The oil light did not come on during the test drive. I drove it home with no explanation as to why the oil light came on in the first place. In early 2007, the same thing happened again. This time the engine light came on too. Everything was checked over and nothing found wrong. Even the sensors were working fine. For the next year and a half, the oil and engine lights would go on and off at odd intervals accompanied by no other signs. Sometimes they would only flicker on and off during a short drive and other times they would stay on for weeks and then going off again for no reason. Each time, the oil and engine would be looked over and nothing found to be wrong. The last time there was an issue was on June 13th 2008. I was driving for about an hour and the oil light and engine light came on, this time accompanied by a ticking sound from the engine. I immediately pulled over at the next exit and had the car towed. After another checkover, we were told that the engine is failing due to sludge build up and that it would need to be replaced. It has 98,300 miles on it. All regular services were done, and oil changes were done at more frequent intervals than stated in the owners manual. We were told it would cost between $5000 to $9000 depending on what type of replacement motor was found (new or used). The vehicle is still sitting in our garage and has not been driven. The Saab company refuses any responsibility.

- Center Ossipee, NH, USA

problem #6

Oct 022006

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I am not sure if this is where I file a potential fire hazard my 2001 Saab 9-5 ce, the head on the engine is leaking oil down the engine block, near and onto the exhaust pipe. The leak is on the back rearward side of the engine toward the drive belt. Having been on the forum for Saab owners, I realize that I am not alone with this problem.

- Topeka, KS, USA

problem #5

Aug 032006

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,400 miles
At 8:00 pm this evening, I went to dinner. Everything was working normally on my car. At 8:20 pm, twenty minutes later, I start my car and it enters "limp-home" mode with a blinking check engine light, indicating misfire. Given the way the car was acting, the timing belt has broken. In my research, I have found this motor is a GM L81 motor, 3.0L V6. This motor has also been used in the Saturn vue and Cadillac catera. According to the NHTSA records, there was a recall on timing belts for the 97-2002 cateras. As stated earlier, this is the same motor in my 2001 Saab 9-5 SE V6 3.0L.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #4

Mar 142006


  • miles


2001 Saab 9-5 idm is defective, consumer was told that all the spark plugs need to be replaced.*****

- Concord, NC, USA

problem #3

Mar 152006

9-5 6-cyl

  • 117,785 miles
The consumer received a letter from Saab stating that problems with the idm could cause reduced power and rough operation. The consumer experienced this problem with his 2001 Saab 9/5. the check engine light began to flash prior to the vehicle stalling.

- Bloomfield Township, MI, USA

problem #2

May 162005


  • miles
My 2001 Saab 9-5 stalled one day all of a sudden after I reached a shopping mall. I took it to a local Saab dealer and they replaced my ignition system for a charge close to 600 dollars. They spoke to me that it was an isolated event. From the recall notice you release I realize that it was intrinsic manufacturing defect. Thank you all for the good work. I hope I will get a refund.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #1

Dec 242004

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles
Multiple times the car, when warm will just without warning. All electrical and engine simultaneously quits leaving the driver to deal with a situation of no power brakes and steering. Multiple trips to dealer has resulted in no diagnosis and genearl apathy about the problem. The car is stil under warranlty but it offers no value. Clear safety issue as the last event was at a elemenary school where a child was almost hit as the lack of braking and steering power. How can such a symptom betreated withsuch apathy. We will be forced to sel the car for safety reasons and no responsibility is taken by Saab. Ironically we had a similar problem with a 1994 9000.

- Mclean, VA, USA

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