2009 Saab 9-3 engine NHTSA complaints: Engine

NHTSA — Engine Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,903 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.

2009 Saab 9-3 engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Saab 9-3 Owner Comments

problem #8

Feb 122016


  • 103,000 miles


The intake valves are bad on this car and it has 100K miles on this. This is a $2000 plus job that comes out of pocket. It seems to be this is a common problem with Saab and it appears there are several complaints on here. This needs to be recalled and paid for by GM, because they did not property build this engine if so many are failing. My car will turn over and not start in the cold weather.

- Hazel Park, MI, USA

problem #7

Jan 272016


  • 77,000 miles
Car went into "limp-home" mode. Upon mechanic inspection, failed compression test and had bad intake valves. Out-of-pocket fix, car running fine now. Kept all parts replaced, edges of valves are as sharp as a knife. Similar experience as documented by other Saab owners at link below. www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?T=329066

- Lannon, WI, USA

problem #6

Nov 112015


  • 76,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saab 9-3. the contact stated that while driving at 65 mph, the engine stalled while all the warning lights illuminated. The failure occurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 76,000.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #5

Nov 132015


  • miles


My Saab has fallen victim to the, now well known, well documented, soft valve issue. While GM owned Saab they somehow allowed non-hardened valves to be placed into Saab engines that are now failing at astronomical rates. There is no excuse for engines to fail at 50-60M miles. The cost of repair to consumers is $2,500 and there is no choice otherwise the engine does not start unless it's 70-80 degrees outside. The government needs to take action and hold GM accountable for this as they rightfully did for the seat belt recall. Human safety is important but so is knowingly producing an engine that fails not allowing customers to be a productive member of society.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #4

Jul 062015


  • 33,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Saab 9-3. while driving at 65 mph, the vehicle stalled and the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not able to restart and was towed to the contact's residence. The contact stated that the check engine warning light illuminated intermittently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 33,000....updated 09/28/15

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #3

Jul 152014

9-3 4-cyl

  • 79,223 miles
Car began running rough upon cold start up, but would run better after a few minutes. I had the plugs replaced and problem persisted. Problem became more pronounced as weather got colder. Saab technician suspected an intake valve problem that has been very common in these cars. A cold compression check confirmed that valves in three of the four cylinders were bad. I was quoted ~$2,500 for the repair!!!! technician said that GM is well aware of the problem but refuses to recall the vehicles to repair. They are only repairing those still under warranty.

- Sutton, MA, USA

problem #2

Mar 042014


  • 71,000 miles
The intake valve in the first cylinder has to be replaced at the cost of approximately $2500. This is a known issue for all Saab (2009-2011). There is a technical bulletin released for how to fix this problem. It is obvious that vehicle workmanship is the problem and the cost of repair is being passed on to the consumer. After purchasing the vehicle in good faith with the expectation that I am purchasing a quality vehicle from GM, I am disappointed that this known issue is a problem with all Saab manufactured by GM. The 2009-2011 Saab all have the same issue. This is a manufacturer problem. I want to voice a complaint about the quality of the workmanship produced by GM. After the tax dollar bailout, costumers should be able to expect, at the very least, a quality product.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #1

Jan 152014


  • 80,000 miles
My Saab has worn intake valve seats which was confirmed with a compression test. Because of this problem, my car is having trouble starting cold. According to multiple Saab blogs, this is a very common problem and is possibly caused by defective parts.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

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