Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 19:03:13 -0500
From: "Kenneth S." <>
Subject: Check engine light in 1996 900 SE . . .

. . . the last chapter of the saga? The story so far: I have a 1996 900 SE, which I bought about two months ago with 67,000 miles on it. A few weeks after I bought it, the check engine light came on as I was driving it along the interstate at about 60 m.p.h. There was no apparent reason for this, and the car showed no other problems. Took it into the local Saab dealer, who ran a check on the computer, could find no trouble codes, and suggested that the gas cap might not have been tightened properly. There is a warning on the gas cap that, if it is not properly tightened, the check engine light will come on. After the dealer re-set the system, the check engine light stayed off for about four days, and then came on again, for no accountable reason. This time I thought I would have the gas cap tested, since I was positive that I had tightened it up properly, and in any case the light hadn't come on immediately after a fill-up. I took the car to a local emissions-testing station, removed the gas cap, and they tested it. No problem with it. However, when I came back out to the car, put the cap back on, and started up the engine, the check engine light had disappeared! It stayed gone for about two miles, and then came back on. Took it into the dealer again. He ran a check, found what he said might be indications of an oxygen sensor problem, and put a new sensor in on a trial basis. Again, light out for a few days, and then came back on. Now read on: Yesterday, I left the car in again, and the dealer seems certain their mechanics have found the problem. They put my old oxygen sensor back in, because that clearly was not the source of the problem. Then they checked the ECM, and (according to the bill) did something called "R+R harness and solder crimp connection." That has cured the problem -- I hope permanently. Although the car had no driveability problems before, it seems to be running more smoothly now. I trust this is the end of the saga. At this point, if that damned check engine light comes on again, I will conclude that this car has been sent from above to torment me. I'm afraid that all that will be left for me is to consult the Book of Job, instead of the local Saab dealer. (For Car Talk fans who know the importance of color in diagnosing problems, this car is dark green.) Thank you to those who offered helpful suggestions on this problem. At least one of these suggestions was of a psychological nature (that the car was just trying to get my attention). So at this point I am a little concerned that another visit to the Saab dealer may result in my being accused of the automotive version of Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

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