CEL woes, computers, and coils, oh my - Saab 9-3SS Bulletin Board - Saabnet.com

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CEL woes, computers, and coils, oh my
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Posted by Sondeen [Email] (#796) [Profile/Gallery] (more from Sondeen) on Sun, 28 Oct 2018 07:48:17 Share Post by Email
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This is going to be a longish message, looking to tap into the Saabnet brain trust.
2006 9-3 2.0, 161,000 miles

About a month ago, literally on the drive to the emissions inspection station, CEL came on, for the first time ever for the car. Inspection failed and 5 codes were pulled from the car:
P0245 Tubo waste gate solenoid Low
P0201 injector No. 1 circuit open
P0202 injector No. 2 circuit open
P0203 etc.

Car ran fine, and did so the remainder of the day, and CEL turned off. Next day, on the way home from a local store, the car ran horrible, barely held idle, engine super rough, lots of smoke from exhaust, and wicked gas smell like car was running really rich, CEL back on. Parked car at home for the weekend, researched Saabnet.

Saabnet research suggested engine computer failure, TechII required to replace. I called a local long time Saab Indy with a TechII and made an appointment. The car ran better on drive to the shop, but not perfect, still idled rough, engine was not smooth. His diagnosis was it needed a new T8 engine computer. He had seen similar problems on other Saabs where the computer spits out multiple error codes suddenly and car ran poorly intermittently, with no other evidence of component failure, i.e. Injectors working, turbo solenoid functioning, etc. While waiting 3 weeks for computer back order to be filled, we drove the car occasionally around town the first week, some days it ran fine, other days I ran rough and had trouble starting. After experiencing two reluctance to start events, we parked it at our house until the computer came in.

Right After the new computer was installed, the mechanic then found a code for a bad O2 sensor. He did not 100% believe it, but after some tests he decided a new sensor was necessary. I picked up the car and it ran really well for six days 500 miles. Then the engine suddenly ran really rough, misfired a bit while my wife was driving to my office. CEL back on. She made it to meet me, and turned off the car. I joined her, and the car again did not want to start, crank but no fire. I had to crank while pumping the gas pedal to get it to start. Then it ran fairly well for the drive home. The next day I had returned to the mechanic. Code was P0301, cyclinder 1 misfire. He cleared the code and swapped no.1 coil to cylinder 3, test drove car for 30 minutes. He also checked No.3 plug to gauge condition and proper part number (looked fine). He kept car overnight, started cold, test drove it for another hour with several stop start cycles. CEL did not come back on, and car ran well, and he could not confirm bad plug, coil, or computer. I took the car back. We expected eventually a CEL would return with P0303 code, which would confirm a bad coil now installed at cylinder 3.

That evening I did some more Saabnet research and reviewed my maintenance records. My plugs (platinum) were last replaced 41k ago, and all coils were original. I decided it was time to replace all 4 coils and put in a fresh set of plugs, but I wanted to wait until a CEL light came on to confirm the bad coil and nothing else. I got it the next day. I decided to stop at the auto parts store for a free CEL scan to see the codes myself before calling the mechanic. The codes reported out were:
P0204 (sound familiar, these are same 5 original codes)
Also P0300 (general misfire, not cyclinder specific)

I plan to call the mechanic back tomorrow, Monday. Is it possible I got a computer with infant mortality problem? Bad coil? Both at once. Any ideas out there?


->Posting last edited on Thu, 8 Nov 2018 08:52:06.
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