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Car Problems? NG900 or old 9-3 Only If you're experiencing problems with your NG900 or 9-3, post your question in here. CEL Code or GTFO!

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Old 07-06-2008, 03:28 PM   #1
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Taking bets: what's that noise? What's with that light?

My car is making a noise. (2002 9-3 SE, autotragic, just hit 75k miles.) The best I can determine is that it's coming from the engine bay, and it sounds like a hammer hitting another hammer while someone smokes from a bong.

STFU, I'm not that smart.

People who have heard it in person have told me they think it might be the water pump or the a/c compressor or another "belt driven accessory". My dad is freaking out because he thinks it sounds like a spun bearing. Stella (Mr. Guru) says it sounds "expensive". My mechanic says it sounds like fun and advised me not to drive the car except to get it in tomorrow morning.

Also my sister borrowed my car for about five minutes last Monday and brought it back with a $100 speeding ticket and a CEL. Someone taught her what the nifty little "S" on the shifter is and she obviously had a good time for herself! My fuel economy sucked for about a week but it's right back where it should be, about 28 - 29 mpg. Maybe an O2 sensor?

I'm confused, the car still goes like hell, doesn't smell rich, doesn't stutter or stumble, holds its idle and its temp just fine, no ugly shit in the coolant, and I don't *think* I filled with shitty gas... ?

I'm also having them do the annual sludge check, I'm hoping the results will be as good as tehy have been in the past. Also it will be nice to have a decent rental instead of having to keep driving Stella's beat-up shitty Altima.


Oh... and please please please don't tell me to learn how to do this for myself. I've exhausted my limited knowledge trying to sort this out and I feel accomplished just being able to identify that noise as something which might be bad. I don't have space, time, tools, know-how, or patience to DIY.
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:54 PM   #2
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when water pumps fail they sound like a chugging sound. when they start to get real bad you can hear the impeller rubbing against the housing. A good check for you to do is start the car, pop the hood, and look at the drive belt. See if any of the pulleys are wobbling around. the alternator bearing can sound like you are describing. Other than that....

check the oil level?
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:28 PM   #3
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Does it make the noise all the time?
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:57 PM   #4
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Ali, does the noise increase with the RPMs? or is it constant?

Also, when is your sister going to stop getting in trouble with the law? :P
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escalator guru View Post
My car is making a noise. (2002 9-3 SE, autotragic, just hit 75k miles.)
Also my sister borrowed my car for about five minutes last Monday and brought it back with a $100 speeding ticket and a CEL. Someone taught her what the nifty little "S" on the shifter is and she obviously had a good time for herself!
$100 speeding ticket isn't that bad. The CEL would have pissed me off though.
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Does it make the noise all the time?
On and off. Makes the noise every couple of miles. (That makes me think it's not what my dad thinks).

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Originally Posted by chriscam84 View Post
Ali, does the noise increase with the RPMs? or is it constant?

Also, when is your sister going to stop getting in trouble with the law? :P
Doesn't increase with RPMs. Also, different sister
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:12 PM   #7
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How about when you hit bumps?
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:12 PM   #8
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$100 speeding ticket isn't that bad. The CEL would have pissed me off though.
50 in a 30 around a sharp blind curve, so $100 isn't bad at all.

I was a little miffed that the car came back with a CEL but I can't think of anything she might have consciously done to cause it.
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:13 PM   #9
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How about when you hit bumps?
No worse then. It's worse (or maybe just more audible) at idle, but I still hear it at speed.
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Old 07-06-2008, 06:25 PM   #10
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ac clutch and or compressor.
the noise goes on and off because the ac is cycling. get it to a Saab guy before it siezes and throws the belt.
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Old 07-06-2008, 06:39 PM   #11
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I should mention that even with the a/c off it makes the noise, which makes me lean more towards the water pump.


It's going in tomorrow morning for a few days, probably. I'm taking it no more than 15 miles, but I think I might just call AAA for a tow anyhow. Any of the several possible parts causing that noise seem like the kind of thing that would render the car totally useless if they were to completely fail...
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Old 07-06-2008, 08:21 PM   #12
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it's not like a ticking noise is it?

It's hard to describe noises without actual sound clips. But when I say ticking I mean like a clock. If it is like a ticking noise I would assume something like your purge valve. And if your purge valve were malfunctioning it would probably throw a CEL.

But if it's much louder then a subtle tick then it's probably not your purge valve.

When my water pump bearings failed the pulley got cockeyed and started cutting into the timing cover. That was more like a constant grinding noise.

When my alternator bearings went it sounded like constant sanding on metal. It was very loud.

One time my downpipes flange at the turbo had worked slightly lose.. That almost made a very slight knocking noise.

Not sure what the idler puller sounds like when it's going... But have you ever had it replaced?
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Old 07-06-2008, 08:30 PM   #13
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I had a friend with a similar sort of noise in a Honda Civic -- terrible racket, not RPM or speed related, came and went, but mostly came -- and it turned out to be the alternator. Which, of course, is a belt-driven accessory.

Don't let the fact that half the TSL crowd can rebuild a motor blindfolded with one hand behind their back (or claim to), it's perfectly acceptable to have this sort of thing done by someone else. Unlike most c900's, your car is still worth enough to justify the expense.
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Old 07-06-2008, 09:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
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it's not like a ticking noise is it?

It's hard to describe noises without actual sound clips. But when I say ticking I mean like a clock. If it is like a ticking noise I would assume something like your purge valve. And if your purge valve were malfunctioning it would probably throw a CEL.

But if it's much louder then a subtle tick then it's probably not your purge valve.

When my water pump bearings failed the pulley got cockeyed and started cutting into the timing cover. That was more like a constant grinding noise.

When my alternator bearings went it sounded like constant sanding on metal. It was very loud.

One time my downpipes flange at the turbo had worked slightly lose.. That almost made a very slight knocking noise.

Not sure what the idler puller sounds like when it's going... But have you ever had it replaced?
Not quite a ticking noise. I'm tempted to go out and see if I can capture it on film but the consensus seems to be "don't start the engine, or else". Hammers and a bong is teh closest I can get, unfortunately...

I had the alternator replaced 3000 miles ago, and they also did the tensioner and the pulley before they seized.

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I had a friend with a similar sort of noise in a Honda Civic -- terrible racket, not RPM or speed related, came and went, but mostly came -- and it turned out to be the alternator. Which, of course, is a belt-driven accessory.

Don't let the fact that half the TSL crowd can rebuild a motor blindfolded with one hand behind their back (or claim to), it's perfectly acceptable to have this sort of thing done by someone else. Unlike most c900's, your car is still worth enough to justify the expense.
Oddly enough, I just had the alternator replaced. Mine failed in grand fashion with very little warning.

Honestly, my time and the fact that while it's in the shop I have a loaner more than justifies the cost for me to take it in. if something goes wrong it's better to have someone other than myself to blame...
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Old 07-06-2008, 09:53 PM   #15
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Take a long screwdriver or similar implement, and use it as a contact microphone.

Hold it up to various suspected components, and listen, either with your ear (wear a du-rag or similar to keep your hair from getting tangled in anything), or simply with your fingers.

You should be able to hear or feel a vibration while holding the screwdriver to something that corresponds to the sound you hear (sound is formed by vibration).

Good way to narrow things down, if it decides to be obvious.
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:37 PM   #16
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Take a long screwdriver or similar implement, and use it as a contact microphone.

Hold it up to various suspected components, and listen, either with your ear (wear a du-rag or similar to keep your hair from getting tangled in anything), or simply with your fingers.

You should be able to hear or feel a vibration while holding the screwdriver to something that corresponds to the sound you hear (sound is formed by vibration).

Good way to narrow things down, if it decides to be obvious.
The Saab Whisperer.
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Old 07-06-2008, 11:07 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by escalator guru View Post
I should mention that even with the a/c off it makes the noise, which makes me lean more towards the water pump.
Don't be so sure. The only way I found out my AC compressor was getting all cranky was when I actually turned off the ACC for once (and that once happened to be on Saabtoberfest '07). Oh, the horrible noises....
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:20 PM   #18
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Did someone say A/C compressor? If so, give yourself a pat on the back!

Also, the funny outline of an engine.... someone "borrowed" fuse #38, which has something to do with the O2 sensors, which tripped the CEL. Five cent repair FTMFW.
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