Engine Failure


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
92,700 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. new engine (2 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
1999 Saab 9-5 engine problems

engine problem

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1999 Saab 9-5 Owner Comments

problem #3

Jun 222015

9-5 SE 2.3L 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles


My very first car was a 1999 Saab 9-5. I thought I got a good deal when I got it for only $900. Bought sometime around the middle of July. Seemed like it was going to be a good car. I noticed about a month after that the oil was sludging up a bit. So I had the oil changed. Didn't seem to help much. One instance happened with the car stalling out. I was coming up on a light when it suddenly turned to red. So I had to hit my brakes quite hard. The car stalled out at the light. How scary that was. Thankfully i wasn't in the middle of the intersection, just in the turning lane. It started back up after that though, I took it right home and told my father, he said it was a "safety feature" that those cars had, which I didn't believe. I think there was something more serious going on. The second incident happened about a week or so later. I was going down a small hill, which was coming up on a red light at the end of it. I lightly tapped the brakes to slow down. The car shut off! I was going about 30 mph, I could of rear ended someone who was waiting at the light, since all of the power steering and stuff shut off, I barely got the car to turn into a parking lot that was open next to the light, almost hitting a pole pulling in the lot. Not sure what could of caused this exactly but I'm guessing the engine was about to quit thanks to the oil sludging, which I find out is a pretty common problem in this car.

Update from Apr 7, 2016: Sorry I didn't buy it in July, I bought it in March, my mistake.

- jcalkins, Madison, OH, US

problem #2

Sep 052010

9-5 ES

  • Manual transmission
  • 110,000 miles

So many problems and expensive costs led up to the turbo blowing up. I had to sell it to the mechanic for a loss.

- sandstrom, Beaverton, OR, US

problem #1

Nov 022003

(reported on)


  • 56,000 miles

Service not as promised - resulting in engine failure on 1999 Saab - I leased a 1999 Saab 9-5 from Carter Volkswagen-Saab in Seattle in August 1999. Three weeks before the lease expired the engine in the Saab blew, at 56,987 miles, and I got stuck with a repair bill in excess of $6,200.

I'd trusted Carter Volkswagen Saab to take care of my routine maintenance, along with a lot of other repairs. At 42K miles I brought the car to Carter for service and to repair an oil leak. At this time they did not change the oil (unbeknownst to me). The car was due for an oil change. Carter drilled holes in the breather box and worked on the oil system. I expected them to change the oil as it was time for service - I mentioned my request at the time. This omission of service in effect voided my WarranTech extended warranty.

I had all my service done with Carter at every service interval just to avoid this very problem from ever occuring. The service I got from their team was terrible. The service advisor, Dan Castro, took nearly 4 weeks to file a warranty claim.

No reason was ever found as to why the engine died.

- Mark J., Seattle, WA, US

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