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jeffrey590, Master Saab Technician
Category: Saab
Satisfied Customers: 2847
Experience:  ASE Master Technician , Saab Master Technician w/ 35 years Dealer Experience in Advanced Level Diag.
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Saab 9-3 2.0T I have a 2006 Saab 9-3 2.0T. About a week and

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I have a 2006 Saab 9-3 2.0T. About a week and a half ago I was at the gas station and while the car was idling it died on me. I felt it jerk as if it was going to stall and the car just turned itself off. I tried turning it on and the "traction control system failure" warning light came on. The car would not start after that. There was no click, click sound to say the battery was dead. The car was trying to fire up but it just wouldn't turn on. Again I took the key off the ignition and locked the car waited a few minutes and then tried to start it up again (I did this 'cause my mechanic who is a saab specialist states this is the only way to shut down the car properly). Anyways, after trying to fire it up a second time the engine light came on and "gearbox malfunction limited performance" came up. The traction control failure light had dissappeared. I kept trying to start the car and after about 10 minutes I was able to drive away, the car run fine but "gearbox malfunction" was still being displayed as well as engine light on. I took the car to the mechanic, they found no codes stored.


The mechanic cleaned the fuses in the car stating sometimes when moisture gets in there it can throw a bunch of codes. I also asked for the tranny fluid to be changed so that they could look at it and make sure there wasn no coolant leaking into the system. They said the fluid was a bit dark but nothing to worry about. After a day at the mechanic I got my car backland it was fine. I has been a week since this happened and now while driving on the highway this morning (320km later)  the same light came back on!


So the car felt like it lost some power and "traction control system failure" showed on the display panel, I pulled over the car and turned it off. When I tried to restart it the car would not fire up and "gearbox malfunction limited performance" was back on my display panel as well as engine light. Traction control warning light is now out. Again 10 minutes later the car fired up and it runs fine but the gearbox malfunction light is still on and the engine light on as well. I will take it back to the mechanic but I am at a loss. I've read on a few saab forums about several issues with this in the 2003 model for 9-3. Apparently coolant was leaking into the tranny due to a faulty O ring but this has not been an issue for the 2006 model. What should I ask the mechanic to look for? What could be causing this? Can a battery that's dying do this? Why no codes stored previously? I'm really frustrated with this car right now. Please help!


The car has only 62000km.

HelloCustomer I can definitely understand your frustration...But I will help you and your mechanic get to the bottom of this...I promise.First off the coolant problem back in 2003 has been fixed for years so you don't have to worry about that. you state both lights come on..I need to know if there are any codes stored in either the T8 Engine Management System or the Transmission Control Module (TCM) .. A Tech2 scan tool is vital to retrieve this data and to monitor live data so be sure that is what your mechanic is using. No other scanner is as accurate for this automobile. Now when the vehicle wouldn't start you stated there was no sound at all...This would indicate either a battery problem or a problem with the start request system (immobilizer) in the vehicle.This can also be monitored with the Techs to see component is blocking start request. The ISM is a likely candidate for these symptoms. They fail commonly and will usually set a code in one of the computers. Have the mechanic try the listed items I have supplied and let me know the results...Or if you are more comfortable I will deal directly with him over this message board...We will fix your car...Just hang in there...jeffrey590
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The first time this happened the mechanic found no codes. He did use a tech 2. They only deal with saabs and volvos. Now when I did try to start the car it made a sound but it just would not fire up. I will take it back to the mechanic and see if any codes come up. Unfortunately it's a long weekend so will have to wait until Tuesday. Also after 10 minutes the car did fire up, and currently it runs well but gearbox malfunction stays on as well as engine light. The traction control failure light is gone. So if the car does start after waiting about 10 minutes and runs fine, should I really be looking into the ISM? Thanks.
If the vehicle now cranks but will not start , that is a totally different scenario. However if the gearbox and check engine lights are on there HAS TO BE fault codes stored in one or both systems . If the ISM is at fault a code for it will be included in the fault code list. Also a CRANK NO START could be caused by a Crankshaft Position Sensor...If I can assist further please let me know...jeffrey590
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I see. But why is it the car starts 10 minutes later and works fine but the warning lighs for the gearbox and engine light remain on.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi again, so I was talking to a mechanic friend that deals with mercedes but not saabs. He recommended I disconnect the battery to reset the computer and drive it to see if the car drives fine, he said if it does then it probably is an electrical issue. Now I did this and the engine light went off but the gearbox malfunction warning remains on. I'm not sure if I did the right thing following his recommendations. I'm gonna take it to the dealer tomorrow to get it diagnosed but I'm now afraid it won't read any codes since the battery was disconnected? what do you think? if the gearbox malfunction is still on after disconnecting the battery, what does that mean? thank you!
Well, you shouldn't have disconnected the battery until the codes were retrieved...They are lost now...But there is a light at the end of the tunnel...The gearbox light staying on means there is what is called a HARD FAULT stored in the TCM ...This means whatever is triggering the trans light is permanently "broken" or faulty...Let the dealer have a look and hopefully he will have a list of codes to give you..Ask for the code #'s along with the text and post them so I can continue advising you as to how to proceed...Don't beat yourself up over the battery disconnect...The mechanic friend should have known better than to give you such poor info...jeffrey590
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi, so on my way to the dealer the car threw the same warning lights again. I guess that was good since codes would be stored. Anyways, the dealer pulled up the following codes P0337 and P0725, they said I need a new crank position sensor. You were right on suggesting that earlier. Gonna have that fix by tomorrow. Hope the problem doesn't come back. Thank you for your help. Now is there a way to get you to always answer my questions if I have any problems in the future.

Yes...You can go back to this question and click on either my picture or my ID (jeffrey590)...This will take you to my personal homepage and there will be a spot for you to ask your question directly to me there...If for some reason another expert takes your question just tell them you want to deal with me specifically...Glad you are back on the road again and thanks for using me both now and in the future...jeffrey590