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Old 07-10-2020, 10:13 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2020
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Problems after head gasket replacement

I have been having trouble from my 2002 Saab 9-3 SE Manual with approximately 80,000 miles. *I had a head gasket replacement job done by an indy mechanic I have used for several years, and after getting the vehicle back, I noticed when I started the car on a cold start, the car would start right up, but after a few seconds would increase to around 1500 rpm, then go down to 500-600 and continue lowering and raising for around 30 seconds until it would stall. *This cycle of fluctuating rpms until stall continues until around the 3rd or 4th start. *After a few starts the idle stabilizes, but when I give it gas, the engine bogs down to almost stall and then rushes with acceleration to how much gas I am giving it. *It is very strange and takes around 15 minutes of sitting stationary until the car is safe enough to drive away in traffic. *Once the car has really warmed up, the hesitation when shifting and gas is still there, but only slightly. *Any thoughts on what might be going on?**There have been no codes show up.

A little background on the potential development of this issue as follows:
* Took trip to Florida in December*
* After return from Florida in late December, I noticed gas/oil smell and found a hole in a pcv hose and taped up until mechanic could do update kit. *1/11/20 pcv update kit installed. *After received the car, coolant began to leak noticeably more. *I had been having a slight coolant leak for years, but attributed to water pump which was replaced in March 2019. *Mechanic claimed I didnít have the right nipple. *Drove with supposed wrong nipple style fit for a few weeks. *
* Right after pcv update kit installed, I noticed an oil smell in cabin and began losing oil slightly. *Had to top off.
* Around 2/10/20 a month after noticing oil smell, I discovered a white substance on dipstick and immediately parked car. *Car began to run rough a few days before this I and never noticed any overheating on the gauge. *Mechanic insists head gasket is blown.
* 4/1/20 car gets towed to garage after sitting parked for almost 2 months.
* 4/16/20 Head gasket replaced, new head bolts. *New pcv nipple installed. *Pickup screen cleaned, pan dropped and cleaned. *Turbo stud broke, mechanic had to fix.
* 4/29/20- 4/30/20 mechanic Finishes up job.
* 5/5/20 mechanic works on air conditioning issue, car bogs down when air is on, is luke warm on cold setting, fixed with recharge, but car still bogs down, claims the distributor not working, claims compressor was engaging, but he freed it up and now it is engaging for the time being so he says i need a new compressor eventually.
* 5/23/20 picked car up, was completely warmed up when got there, test drove, seemed fine, opened on the interstate hard, pulled very hard. Power back.
* 5/24/20 cold start, car started, then rpm jumped to 1500 then to 500-600. * Did this many times until stalled. *Called mechanic said sounded like vacuum problem. *I opened the hood and a vacuum line was pulled off the vacuum valve at the firewall. *put the vacuum line back on snug. *Started the car again later and car did the same thing.
* 5/30/20 Took car back to mechanic, dropped off with new spark plugs to see if that would help
* 6/4/20 new spark plugs, mechanic could not get car to stop doing the hesitation. *did a cold compression test 160, 165, 155, 170 results. *Claims the numbers are lower than usual for an 80,000 mile car. *Mechanic double checked the timing, claims perfect. *Claims it could be that coolant was leaking into the cylinders slightly over time and it could have wore the rings out.
* 6/5/20 picked car back up*
* 6/15/20 Checked and cleaned Mass airflow and swapped DI for a spare. *Nothing changed.*
* 6/23/20 head back down to mechanic, this time I stay and look at the tech 2 together to further diagnose. *While there, he ran a hot compression test and the numbers were the exact same as the cold compression test. *I have the tech 2 results pictures, but mechanic claims everything appeared okay.
* Currently still not driving it. *Mechanic was thinking the head was warped, originally did not as I told him it never appeared to overheat on the temperature gauge, so he thought it was a waste of time to send it in to a shop for machining. *The problem fluctuates with heat as the car warms up the problem goes away, so he thinks it has to do with metal expanding and sealing. *When shifting car and applying gas jerks like it isnt getting fuel for a second and then thrusts back to normal. *It is a delayed response and after car gets warmed up, the hesitation mostly stops, but is still slightly present. *

One more thing to note is the car sat for about 3 months with 1/4 tank of 93 octane gas. Not sure if that could be related to the issue.
DCJ1991 is offline  
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