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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to Saab ownership, and new to, so please forgive the ignorance I'm bound to display with this question.

I purchased a 2003 9-5 2.3t Linear that has been thoroughly molested. Apparently the engine failed, and the Previous Owner (PO) had a not-so-great mechanic swap out the motor with a used one. PO doesn't know the year model or mileage of the used engine. (I've looked for an engine number, but where it is supposed to be is only surface rust, no stamping visible at all. I went at it with a bit of sandpaper, but it revealed nothing. I'd love to know exactly what year model it is.)
The turbo has supposedly been rebuilt.

I bought the car cheap, knowing there was a problem with the check engine light and the car not running right. Sparing you the details, I determined (with the help of a certified Saab technician and his Tech 2) that the throttle body was the source of the most immediate issues, with the DIC a likely candidate for needing replacement, as well.

Indeed, replacing the throttle body with a used one from a known good car did solve the drivability issues, and the car no longer goes into limp mode.

However every second or third restart would light the check engine light, and (having bought a code reader), I could see codes P1334 & P1312 regularly coming up, along with semi-regular P0340. Research tells me this is usually a failing DIC, and I purchased a used one that was supposed to be good. And when I put it on, I thought the problem was solved for a couple of days. But after driving an extended period one very warm afternoon, the same code gremlins returned on the next restart. Clearing the codes gave me another couple days driving with no codes, and then after another hot afternoon, there they were again. Repeating this a third time had me convinced the problem was heat related, and I found another used DIC, which as it turns out, behaves exactly like the second one. Both are an improvement over the first one, which threw codes much more frequently.

(By the way, all 3 DICs are part # 55562588, rev.TK3.7, the last two with date codes 0545 & 0601. Is this the latest part number? I see part number 55559955 also listed as fitting the 9-5 with the 2.3t. Are these interchangeable? Which is the newest version?)

Further road testing has me convinced that the problem is more related to driving a bit harder and getting deeper into the boost, rather than strictly heat related. It is a cool evening, and tonight I took the car out and ran it harder, getting full boost several times. When I got home it restarted once with no check engine light, but lit it again when I restarted after letting it sit for about 5 minutes.

My main question is this: How likely is it that there would be two DICs that are bad in exactly the same way? (not counting the first one which clearly is worse than the other two)

Are there other issues that can trigger those 3 P-codes? I have replaced the sparkplugs with the standard NGK BCPR6ES-11 copper plugs. The gap was consistent between all the new plugs, so I did not check or adjust the gap prior to installation. This was done while the first DIC was still in the car, and it made no difference.

Additional things I've noticed that may or may not have anything to do with these symptoms:

I suspect there may be oil getting into the intake under some conditions. The intake runner that clamps onto the throttle body has accumulated a bit of oil around it.

There is also the smell of hot oil around the car, particularly after running a bit hard. (I'm running Mobil 1, which has a distinctive smell when hot or burning. 0w40 by the way.) The car leaves no drips in the driveway when parked, and I don't see any obvious oil leaks.

I don't find any vacuum leaks. I pulled the vacum line to the turbo bypass valve and sucked on it, and it held vacuum.

If the boost gauge is accurate, the car builds full boost rather easily, although boost does fluctuate just a bit on full acceleration. It never goes into the red, but reaches the line between yellow and red, and fluctuates a bit below that, particularly as the car shifts. (it's an automatic, by the way)

I don't know whether the crankcase breather has been updated. If it were not functioning properly, could that introduce oil into the intake, perhaps causing missing or preignition? I can't hear any preignition at all, and the engine doesn't feel like it's missing. But perhaps the DIC is more sensitive to such than I am.

I've replaced the air filter, which was surprisingly clean, and there was even a bit of oil in the air filter housing. None on the filter, though.

Overall, the car runs and drives great. I clear the codes as soon as they appear, which is always upon a restart - the CEL never comes on while the car is running, only on a restart. If the car is running when I clear the codes, it seems to smooth out just a bit the moment the codes are cleared. (that could be my imagination, as the change is minor at best)

I'm sure there are other clues that I can't remember at the moment, but I think I've covered most of them.

I'd really appreciate any insight, input, and advice anyone might have.

One last thought - If anyone has a known good DIC that has been thoroughly tested, that I could use for diagnostic purposes, I would be eternally grateful to either confirm or eliminate a bad DIC as the cause. I would pay shipping both ways, along with an amount sufficient to cover the value of the DIC, if you know anyone willing to be helpful to an extreme. :)

I'm sorry for the length and detail of this post. Thanks in advance for your help!

- Paul

131 Posts
Yes, you can have a bunch of failed DICs. You seem to have a pretty good handle on everything and as you know 1334 almost always is a DIC. You can get an off brand with a lifetime warranty at some places on line. You dont say where you are, but in the US Car Quest has an OEM DIC for about 330.00 I believe made by Wells. Advance auto has Wells as well. PVC #6 is a must plus get the check valve that does not come with it.
Burning oil could be residual left over stuff if there are no leaks, but if you check around the turbo for leaks around the oil intake hose that is really the only place that the oil could spill onto the anything hot enough to burn. Other places oil leaks, like the oil sensor behind the starter, the timing cover or the top gasket you not create a burn off.
Do some research at Saabworld and Saab Central which are much more active sites particularly to track down the mod 6 description to help you determine is you have it or not.
Ev0340 is tied to the DIC.
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