1998 Saab 900 Turbo Idling Problem



My '98 Saab runs like a top, until I pull up to a stoplight. After about ten seconds idling, then engine will falter, and sometimes stall completely. It does that whether it’s in drive or neutral. I’m also noticing it wants to stall while idling, immediately after refilling the gas tank, as if removing the gas cap caused a change in pressure, making the engine more difficult to restart and keep going in normal idle. If I rev the engine slightly, to about 1.5, it won’t stall. If the car is moving, it won’t stall. Only when it comes to a stop, and the engine is running at normal idle (900rpm). Help!


It sounds like either a vacuum leak or a faulty/dirty Idle Air Valve.
The former could be checked with a vacuum gauge and the latter is possibly worth an attempt at cleaning it since they’re a pretty pricy item on the Turbo models.

You might also consider dropping by a local AutoZone, Advance, Checkers, etc. and have them pull the codes. They will do this for you free. Post any results back here for discussion.
There’s always the chance an idle air valve problem could set a code depending on the cause of the problem in that particular circuit.


Thanks for the good info, ok4450. Hate to ask a stupid question, but what does it mean to “pull the codes,” and “set a code?”


There are certain problems pertaining to the Idle Air Valve that could exist in the computer’s memory even if the Check Engine Light is not on.
Many of these types of parts houses will access the codes for you, if any exist, and will do this for you free.
There may not even be any, but it’s always a good idea to check.
Do not ask or expect the parts store people to diagnose a problem if a code exists. Their job is to pull them only and interpretation is up to the person doing the repair work since a code for a specific problem does not necessarily mean the problem is that item; only that a problem exists in that area.

It’s not a stupid question at all and hope that helps.