Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2002 20:12:56 -0500
From: "Kenneth S." <nimrodnopsams.com>
Subject: Re: Thinking of buying a 1999 SAAB 95


This was my first visit to this repair shop, which was recommended in this news group several months back. They service Volvos and Saabs. The cars I have owned previously were pre-1996 cars. Although I had a new gas cap installed, I have serious doubts about whether this has anything to do with the check engine light problem on this car. In the previous round of problems with the check engine light, in the early part of last year, I had the gas cap checked at an emissions testing station, and they said it was fine. In addition, the check engine light did not come on after I had filled up the car (and perhaps not tightened the cap enough). It came on just as I was driving the car, or in the case of the last occurrence as the car was stopped in traffic. I appreciate the advice about generic oxygen sensors. It would not be surprising if this repair shop were adding a profit percentage to parts, but this percentage strikes me as exorbitant. Perhaps the answer is to get the parts myself, and have the mechanic install them. Having gone to the Saab dealer for all previous work, and now to this independent repair place, I think I will need to keep looking for somewhere more satisfactory. Apparently this independent place is not much cheaper than the dealer. For example, the heated seats on my car don't work, and the independent's estimate for fixing them was over $1,000. I may go back to the garage I have used for years for other cars. I have not taken the Saab to them, because they are not Saab specialists. I just wish I didn't have to use up all this time, energy and money on these problems. Walt Kienzle wrote: > > The Oxygen sensor (there are two of them) for a 1996 900SE 4cyl is $119.50 > each from www.eeuroparts.com for Bosch. Obviously, the price would be > higher from the dealer. If you are willing to get a generic sensor, they > can be purchased for between $40 and $60, but you have to splice the > electrical connector from the old sensor onto the new one. Oxygen sensors > with the factory connector for other brands of cars (including domestic) > cost about $100 too. > > The bottom line is that you are correct in estimating what the part > should/does cost. Your independent mechanic isn't looking for the best > price. Does he service Saabs on a regular basis? He may even be adding on > some profit for himself. > > Interestingly enough, I believe that 1996 is the first year that the US > emissions laws required cars to have the OBD II compliant emissions systems. > Part of that is to light the "check engine" light if the fuel cap isn't > sealed tightly enough. When you say that you haven't had these problems > with any car other than a Saab, I would have to ask: Is this based on > experience with any other cars that are less than 7 years old? Many people > owning various brands are having problems with the check engine light being > on because of the fuel cap on these newer cars - that's not unique to Saab, > and I don't expect it is applicable to the 1995 model that was the subject > of the original question. > > Walt Kienzle > 1991 9000T > > "Kenneth S." <nimrodnopsams.com> wrote in message > news:3DE774D9.7361nopsams.com... > > Eric wrote: > > > > > > "Kenneth S." <nimrodnopsams.com> wrote in message > news:<3DE63BF8.3EC0nopsams.com>... > > > > Once was Bob wrote: > > > > > > > > > > On 27 Nov 2002 13:52:05 -0800, Eric_1234nopsamast.net (Eric) wrote: > > > > > > > > > > >Greetings; I am a new member of GOOGLE groups but a long time > reader > > > > > >of your wisdom regarding SAABs. I currently have a 1996 900SE that > is > > > > > >giving me lots of "check engine" problems and am thinking of > trading > > > > > > > > > > Not to change the subject... but I assume you've changed the gas cap > ? > > > > > > > > > > Bob > > > > > > > > > > > > I had check engine problems in my 1996 900SE in the early part > of last > > > > year, and endured repeated and tiresome visits to the dealer to try to > > > > get them fixed. Finally, the dealer resoldered some wiring, and that > > > > took care of the problem for just over a year. Then, a few weeks ago, > > > > it came back. > > > > > > > > Just as before, the check engine light came on for no apparent > reason, > > > > as I was stopped in traffic. It stayed on, but there was no > difference > > > > in the driveability of the car. This time I took it to an independent > > > > Saab specialist. They said they were getting a trouble code > indicating > > > > a vaccuum leak, but there was no sign of a vaccuum leak in the engine. > > > > They recommended getting a new gas cap, although I said that I had had > > > > the gas cap tested at the time of the last round of problems, and > there > > > > was nothing wrong with it. So I got a new gas cap, and in the > > > > intervening two weeks the check engine light hasn't come on again. > (Of > > > > course, part of the reason may be that I don't drive the Saab much, > and > > > > normally drive my endlessly reliable and fun-to-drive Mazda MX-5 > Miata.) > > > > > > Actually, yes, I have changed out the gas cap due to a "learning > > > experience" a few years ago when I forgot it and the lamp came on. > > > Took it to the dealer and recieved a lesson on the check engine lamp. > > > Without getting in to the problem too much, I have replaced the O2 > > > sensors seven or eight times, the ECU twice, the seals around the gas > > > cap vent (?) and the catalytic converter. Total trips to the shop for > > > this problem over the last two years is near a dozen. I often wonder > > > if it is something that the state puts in the gas as an additive to > > > cut down on polution since I have used Exxon, Shell, BP, Chevron, > > > COSTCO, etc and none seems to prevent this from recurring. Anyways > > > thanks for the idea. > > > > > > Eric > > > > It's not a popular point of view in this news group, but I think this > > is most likely a Saab design flaw. I've never had these problems with > > any car other than my Saab. Always, with other cars, the check engine > > light was an indication that the oxygen sensor needed to be changed. > > > > When I took my car in a few weeks ago, I provided the independent Saab > > specialist with records showing what had been done last year at the > > dealers to take care of the problem. This included replacement of the > > oxygen sensor on a trial basis, and then taking it out again when the > > check engine light returned anyway. The independent mechanic told me > > that an oxygen sensor for my car would cost about $400, which I find > > astounding. My understanding is that they cost well under $100 for > > other cars.

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