Known Saab Turbo problem - help


Dear Mr. Magliozzi,
I am not sure if you are in a position to help through your work at the paper, but I do not know where to get help for myself and all the owners of late model SAAB 9.3’s with turbo 2.0 liter engines. Recently the check engine light came on in my SAAB, so I took the SAAB to Morrie’s to have it checked out. What I discovered was that the associated code indicated that the car’s valves needed to be replaced. The car only has 83,000 miles on it.
I thought this to be rather unusual for a car with these few miles. I used the internet to research the issue. I found a SAAB owners website. To my surprise I discovered that this same issue was affecting many SAAB owners across North America with vehicles built from 2007 until production of the vehicles ended. The belief among this group is that the valves in these vehicles was constructed of inferior metal that is prone to premature failure at around 80,000 miles depending on the climate in which the car is used.
Many owners had approached their dealers and General Motors, but their voices were ignored. I believe that a louder voice is needed and hoped that you could help. General Motors has an obligation to provide owners with some sort of assistance, financial or otherwise.
Thank you for reading this message and your time.
Harry Jacobs


@cdaquila would you remove Harry’s email, please.

Sorry Harry but you are barking up the wrong tree. I don’t think Ray is on this forum. As a former Saab owner, I feel for you but getting satisfaction from GM on a 10 year old, discontinued model produced before thier bankruptcy is not going to happen. No amount of influence from Ray or anyone else will help.

Sorry, but it may be time to walk away from your Saab.


Hi Harry. Mustangman is right. Maybe someone else has an idea for you, though.


GM was denying warranty claims on Cadillacs that were only a couple of years old after the bankruptcy. They legally became a different company when they emerged from bankruptcy, and they worked the deal such that they weren’t obligated to honor warranties for cars the “other” company had made.

If they’re gonna deny the owner of a 2 year old Cadillac any warranty coverage, they’re sure as heck not gonna help someone with a 10 year old discontinued car from a dead brand formerly owned by a company they legally don’t have any ties to.

The sad fact is that you’re stuck. Either get it fixed and then dump the car before you drive another 80,000 miles, or dump it now.


Thanks for the reply. I was trying to use the power of the press (StarTribune), but posted my letter to the wrong venue.


Be that as it may, for the reasons stated by both Mustangman and Shadowfax, expecting relief from GM is simply not realistic.


He does not work at the paper that you read. It is a syndicated column that appears in many papers across the country. I agree with the others, have it repaired or sell it and just move on .


One thing that can damage cylinder head valves is the use of a lower octane fuel or a poor grade of gasoline; especially when the engine is under boost.

So what have you been feeding it?