Question about 2003 Saab 9-3

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2003 saab 9-3 w/ turbo constantly overheats after a few miles

2003 saab 9-3 turbo has overheated so many times that it is now blowing white smoke from exhaust, probably blown head gasket or cracked head. I've heard that a turbo on an engine can cause similar symptoms, how do I go about diagnosing what's what?

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If is a strong smell, so can be a turbo fault!!!

Posted on Nov 25, 2014

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Did you check coolant level???

Posted on Nov 11, 2014

  • Ken Riser
    Ken Riser Mar 29, 2015

    Thermo sticks on alot saabs even brand new ones i put 3 in to get one good one usually heat sensor below to left they say goes to mine didnt make sure if 2 liter 180 not 190 195 it will cause hot and stickin thermostat

  • Ken Riser
    Ken Riser Mar 29, 2015

    Thermo sticks on alot saabs even brand new ones i put 3 in to get one good one usually heat sensor below to left they say goes to mine didnt make sure if 2 liter 180 not 190 195 it will cause hot and stickin thermostat and cause engine to get hot quick

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1 Answer

Engine number on a 1999saab 95


Blowing blue smoke is NOT an issue with the turbo, it is an issue with either piston rings or valve guides. You need an engine overhaul.

May 21, 2015 | 1999 Saab 9-5

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I had white smoke from the tail pipeand getting hot ... I had the heads done , gasket valve . and resurfising. when I got the saab back ,I drove it about 49 miles started driving slugish , bufs of black...


Sounds to me like they did a bad head job. No pun intended. lol, White smoke indicates moisture in exhaust but black smoke indicates a oil leak. I would take it back and have them check the job they did. If the car is over heating then the head gaskets are pretty much blown.

Dec 01, 2009 | 1999 Saab 9-5

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I habe a saab 9-5 2.3t and when i start the engine white smoke comes out i dont what it is but i think is the turbo. does any body had the same proble


WHITE SMOKE MEANS ENGINE IS BURNING ANTIFREEZE.TURBO WILL SMOKE HEAVY BLUE WHEN TURBO SEAL FAIL.ALSO YOU WILL LOSE POWER.YOUR CAR IS TOO NEW.TO HAVE PROBLEMS.YOUR CAR SHOULD BE WARRANTY COVER.TAKE IT TO SAAB DEALERSHIP.LET THEM CHECK IT OUT.

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99 Saab 9-5 going on its third turbo in 3 months?


turbo oil return line could be stopped up causing pressure to build up blow the seal in it.

Apr 24, 2009 | 1999 Saab 9-5

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2003 Saab 9-5 Check Engine Light


Take the car to Autozone, they will read the codes via OBD II for free.  Other parts stores may have the same policy ... call first.   My VW dealer charges $40 to pull the codes!!   I bought a low-end OBD II reader for $50, as the wife and I  both have VWs.

White smoke is usually antifreeze, the most frequent cause of this is head gasket blown or cracked head ... big bucks.  Hopefully this is not you.  Unless the car had a dramatic overheating incident, for most makes of cars, this should not happen until you have over 100K miles, probably closer to 200K.   
White smoke could also be break fluid sucked in from power brake booster.  If it's brake fluid, it will smell very bad.  
On cold days, when the car first starts, white smoke can just be normal condensation in the tailpipe ... if it happens after the car is warmed up ... it's something else.
Check your coolant overflow tank level ... if it's very low or empty ... put water in (don't bother with antifreeze yet in case you are burning it up in the engine).  
Good luck, ..ajm

Oct 29, 2008 | 2003 Saab 9-3

8 Answers

Saab 9-5 blowing white smoke from exhaust


One way to check for a blown head gasket, is to simply smell the coolant reservoir. Pop the cap, and see if it smells like raw gas. Every headgasket, I've diagnosed has had this smell, even if the oil is not contaminated. Another way is to hook up a coolant pressure tester, and run the vehicle for 15-20 mins or so. If the head gasket is blown, the pressure will exceed 15 psi. sometimes as high as 25 psi. If there is oil in the coolant overflow tank, the head is cracked, about 90% of the time.
I'm working on a 03 Saab 95 2.3l t. This vehicle smokes on initial start up, then the smoke disapates, and the vehicle is fine. Another mechanic diagnosed it as bad valve seals. I disconnected the pcv system, and the vehicle no longer smokes. If the valve seals have gone bad, the vehicle will smoke on acceleration. Also if the turbo seals are leaking it will smoke more heavily on acceleration.

Sep 09, 2008 | 1999 Saab 9-5

2 Answers

I have a 1999 saab 9-5 model and i have 195.000 miles on it i went with the 0 weight 30 mobil one synthetic motor oil on my oil change ran it 3,000 miles and just as i was about to change the oil again it...


Sounds like it's time for a compression check. The head or gasket could be blown, and this test will confirm or deny this fact. Your smoke/steam and the oily residue are pretty good clues...accordianman

Jul 28, 2008 | 2004 Saab 9-3

7 Answers

White smoke from exhaust


White smoke from exhaust = water into the cylinders, when this happens it usually means head gasket gone or starting to go.
Check the water level, and take the car to the garage for a check up , if it is the head gasket, as I think, you risk to blow the engine at any time.

Jul 07, 2008 | 1999 Saab 9-5

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