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Everything you have described does sound like it is in limp home mode due to a faulty throttle body. These are very common on Saabs. You can verify the throttle body by turning the key on and listen under the hood for five loud "click" noises.
It is an electrical fault, so the fuel is not the root cause. (I do suggest premium fuel to avoid power issues as well and harmful detonation- a small price to pay for having a turbocharged car.)
The TB can be reset, but it may come on the next day or week. You would need a scan tool to erase the fault first, then the throttle body has to be re-latched. It is almost impossible to explain. A good saab shop will do it for about $50. You can try it as a temp fix. A new throttle body is going to cost about $550 for part and installation.
I would avoid driving it in limp home because the power flow is altered and may put you in a unsafe situation you can't avoid.
If you don't have the funds for a new throttle body I would have it reset and see how long it lasts. You may be able to work out a deal with the shop that you will come back in two weeks to have the TB replaced if they reset the light and TB today. It gives you a little time to take a deep breath financially (a box of donuts would certainly help as well- food is a great bribe to most techs). If they work with you on the repair- you can feel good that it is a trustworthy shop which can use your business, and you their honest service.
The five clicks verify the throttle body is in limp home mode and faulty- sorry for not being clear. I fully expect you to hear the "clicks" from everything you describe.
I'm sorry for not answering your questions in a numbered order. I will pay closer attention to answering the questions in a more orderly fashion in the future. Thanks for the feedback.
I do not know of any repair manuals available for the 9-5. You may be able to go on ebay and look for a 9-5 WIS (workshop information system) CD which has all the information the dealers do on repair, SIB's and system operation. See link below.
Feel free to contact me if you have further questions.
It was good working with you. I hope the repair goes smoothly.
Thanks for the tip!
A few Saab items you should know about:
- Always have more than one key- loose them all and it will cost nearly $1200 to repair.
- Using synthetic oil will greatly increase the longevity of the engine.
- If you hear a clicking from the sunroof when opening it- be very careful. The deflector breaks and prevents the sunroof from closing.
- The timing belt (V6 only) is replaced free at 60,000 miles at any Saab dealer.