I have a 2000 Saab 9-3, the ‘Viggen’ model, and it almost always runs just fine. But once in a while, maybe every couple of thousand miles, the engine just stops, in the middle of cruising along. The power steering goes dead immediately. So far, it has only happened in city driving, not going fast or accelerating hard. I can restart immediately by just depressing the clutch and running the starter. Anyone else with this problem? From other reading, I wonder whether it’s the Direct Ignition Casset? The engine is the 2.3 L turbo.
It could be a bunch of things and would be difficult to guess at without knowing a little more.
When it stalls, do all the dash lights go on or do they stay off?
On the older 900, it wasn’t all that uncommon to have ignition switch problems.
That thing being between the seats and it a convenient place to hold a coffee cup, the potential for coffee spills to goof the lock up is quite large. It happened to me several times.
If this is your problem, you can clean the gunk out, though, after which everything may be fine.
You’ll want to find some Saab forums to discuss this with current owners. They will come in handy for future problems, too.
Dash lights go off. Everything is dead.
“Dash lights go off.” That says a lot. Did the 2000 have a CID? Does it go out as well? If it does there’s a limited number of things that can cause that.
It’s probably either the ignition switch is failing, or a main relay is about kaput. Do you have a lot of weight, a lot of keys and stuff, on your keychain? If so, remove the unnecessary items as this can contribute to an ignition switch problem. Try driving it with just the single key in the lock and nothing else for a while, see if this helps.
You might consider the possibility of a flaky junction terminal that has corrosion or scale and is being affected by heat. This can cause odd electrical problems as all electrical power except for the starter motor windings go through the terminal.
There should be 2 leads from the battery positive terminal. One should go to the starter motor and the other to the junction. Try cleaning that junction terminal and see if the problem goes away.