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Elated Technician
Elated Technician, ASE Advanced Master Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 486
Experience:  16 yrs exp, Auto/Diesel Associates degree, ASE Master w/ Advanced cert, Saab Master and BMW level 4
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2000 Saab: w/ a V6 Turbo a month..light came on about a

Customer Question

I bought a 2000 Saab SE Wagen w/ a V6 Turbo a month ago and the "Engine Light" AND "TCS Off" light came on about a week ago the morning after filling with Regular Unleaded (I used premium the first 2 tanks and Regular on the 3rd). Since then it doesn't stay running by itself when cold, but, once warm, either runs the same as it did before (except the cruise doesn't work which the manual said is normal when the light's on) or slightly worse (in other words runs "plenty good". Per the manual it appears to be in "Limp Home" mode. Due to the timing of the lights coming on the morning after filling with regular, I've been suspicious that the fuel caused it especially since the manual also said different Oct fuel can cause some problems. My main questions are: 1) Am I harming the car by driving in what I think is Limp Home mode? 2) Is there a way to simply reset the fault / warning lights and if yes, how? 3) Do you think the fuel caused the problem? 4) What would you do? Thanks, Randy
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Elated Technician replied 8 years ago.



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.




Elated Technician and 5 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I'm happy with the answer and I plan to accept and pay but could you clarify the "5 loud click noises"...I assume if I hear the clicks it means it's bad?? Please clarify.

One tip Jason...I had to sort of "find" the answers in your reply to the 4 questions I numbered so replying with numbered answers would have both saved me time and increased my confidence in the answers by minimizing the chance for error by having to interpret the reply.

Looking forward to the requested clarification.


P.S. - Is there a place for me to get a consumer repair manual? I've been looking some without much luck. THANKS!!
Expert:  Elated Technician replied 8 years ago.

Hello Randy,


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. 71Q7c66Q3a2Q7c65Q3a12Q7c39Q3a1Q7c240Q3a1318Q7c301Q3a1Q7c293Q3a1Q7c294Q3a50QQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQhashZitem330304290460QQitemZ330304290460QQptZMotorsQ5fAutomotiveQ5fTools


Feel free to contact me if you have further questions.




Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Jason - Thanks again! XXXXX handled it wrong by paying you earlier and especially since I tipped too, I don't plan to pay again.

Thanks again and have a good week.

Expert:  Elated Technician replied 8 years ago.



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.