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'04 9-3 Stalling w/ "Gearbox Malfunction"!?!?

'04 9-3 Stalling w/ "Gearbox Malfunction"!?!?

 
Old 11-17-2008, 12:01 PM
  #1  
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Default '04 9-3 Stalling w/ "Gearbox Malfunction"!?!?

I bought a used 2004 93 Aero at the beginning of the summer w/ 40K miles on it, and I lovedrivingit! But last weekI was stopped behind another car and sat idling for about 15 seconds, andthe car stalled. After 2-3 minutes it started up again and displayed a "Gearbox Malfunction - Limited Performance - Contact Saab Dealer" message on the SID. I got it home and then next morning the SID message went away. I feel like its idling lower than normal, but that could always just be my imagination.

The car drove fine for a couple of days, and then did the same thing at a stoplight. This time the car restarted almost immediately with no message displayed.

Last night I was exiting off of the highway and the car stalled while I was decellerating on the off-ramp (At approx 45mph)! I pulled off to the side and let it sit for a minute. When it started up again I got the same gearbox malfuntion message.

I've done somebrowsing on the saab forums and similar problems seem to be the result of:
1) Needing a software upgrade? Can the computer of the car be causing it to stall for some reason?
2) Oil Cooler Coolant leaking into the transmission? The car does occasionaly jump a little bit between second and third gear but I've read thats typical for the 2003-2004 9-3s. http://www.saabscene.com/forum/lofiv...t31617047.html
3) Turbo Valve Bypass Failure? All three times that it has stalled its been after highway driving.This site is referencing the 9000, but it seems to sound somewhat like what mine is doing.It talks about theresult of this being stalling or very low rpms after being in a turbo boos situation. http://www.thesaabsite.com/Saab%20By...0diagnosis.htm

I'm taking the car in this week to a saab dealer to get it checked out, but if anyone can offer me some ideas/advice I'd really appreciate it!!

Thanks!!!
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:40 PM
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I know this reply is to a post that is nearly six months old, but i have a 2004 saab 9-3 arc 2.0 and i had the same problem happen to my wife while she was driving to the store when she arrived at the store parking lot the car just died and would start again thats when it displayed the gearbox malfunction limited performance message, after which the battery then died ( propabably from all the cranking to get it started) got a new battery installed it, car ran for maybe 8 mins then shut itself off again and will not start, only difference now is that there is no message about a gear box malfunction ? any thoughts from anyone >?< as he mentioned above there are three fixes but i dont know where to start, i have checked the tranny fluid and there is no sign of collant leaking into it.
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Old 03-21-2009, 04:06 PM
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#1 if the ecu is bad then yes
#2 drain the trans fluid if its leaking youll be able to tell it will be milky not brown not red
#3 take the bpv off and pressure test it
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:08 PM
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Default same experience

Clearly this is a major problem for SAAB vehicles. I have 2003 9-3 Arc. 79K miles.
This is the 3rd time I have gotten the "gearbox malfunction" code.
Unlike the first two, a simple change of speed sensors isn 't fixing this problem. Of course, warranty is expired. Transmision shop has had car for a week now and still don't know the source of the failure. The weird thing is, other than the alert and fail-safe mode, there have been no symptoms of any problem with the transmission. Week before thi happened, I did notice a couple of time where the RPMs didn't increase although I was stepping on the gas.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:25 AM
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I noticed this problem in my 2004 saab 93 arc few months ago. Had no idea where to start. I took it to a local mechanic (not dealer) and they mentioned its a "Limp back home mode". For my car they said it was due to coolant leaking on to the speed sensor (input-output sensor) and had to replace it ($800 parts + labor) as sensor gone bad. However it could be related to "Throttle Body". Cleaning throttle body could eliminate this problem sometimes. I'm not a auto-tech guy, so please do your research..Most important thing is finding an honest mechanic.
Hope this info helps...
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:56 AM
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My 2003 93 Linear is in my mechanics shop as I type. It too displayed a Gearbox Malfunction and the code pointed to the Input Speed Sensor. That was replaced, code cleared and it came back. Trans fluid is clear and does not smell burnt. Thinking that it may be the TCM. Anyone else have this happen to them?
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:39 PM
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My experience with the gearbox malfunction: 1st time in 2008 - under warranty, replaced the torque converter. Week later, replaced the speed sensor. two weeks later replaced the other speed sensor. Jump ahead to May 2009. "gearbox malfunction" pops up and I'm 400 miles from home. Nurse the baby home, take it in to same shop that repaird it last time (big mistake - although it's a national brand store). This time, the transmission coolant has ruptured and steamed all the internals of the tranny. $3700 and two weeks later I'm riding in style again. For two days. then boop! You got it. Back we go. This time t's a bad solenoid, albeit a brand new one. A further two weeks later and I STILL do not have my car repaired. The time it has taken to repair the car is due mostly to Moe, Larry, and Shemp who are techs, and Curly the manager. they cn't do but one thing a day apparently, and have none of the tools needed. Except when they were charging me $3700.
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:05 PM
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Most national brand chains are crap staffed by inexperienced and/or underpaid techs. I would never take my car to ANY of these chains... not even for oil.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:07 PM
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Roto may have broken the code. But, with a BBB 5-star rating and only 1 complaint in 36 months, who knew? I mean, a SAAB transmission could be complex I guess, but then again it's not a Lamborghini! Couldn't be that different from a BMW or Volvo. So, I can't fathom why it's taken so long.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:41 AM
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My issues started with the car not turning over. Tow to dealer; new battery. I leave the dealer, do an errand 5 miles away, and the car won't crank again. I got the car cranked (out of pure anger!) and back to the dealer, this time with a "battery not charging" warning on the dash. They see it, turn the car off, and it starts fine. The only code they could find was an alternator code. 5 days and $1100, I pick the car up a second time, and it seems fine until I get out of town and stop to get coffee. No start. Again, I work to crank it, but this time I drove it home (an hour away) -- just a loss of faith in the dealer. This drive home was the first time I noticed the transmission "hiccuping" (acting like it didn't want to change gears), although it was barely detectable and I blamed it on my own paranoia.

The dealer responded that the alternator needed to "settle in", and assured me it wouldn't stop while driving, or anything dangerous. After a few days, I tried driving it again, and it drove like it came out of the showroom! For almost a whole week.

And then last night, the transmission started "hiccuping" again, and the car stopped WHILE DRIVING. On a highway. (New symptom!) I got it to a safe parking spot, tried starting it, and it wouldn't crank or turn over -- dead! After a brief period of weeping (LOL!), I tried again and got it to crank and turn over, but now with the "gear box failure" and engine check light (and probably other warnings) lighting up. However, while it was idling, the car died again. I got all my stuff out of the car, locked it, and got a ride home.

After reading this thread, I'm thinking what I initially thought after the first failed attempt at repair by the dealer -- this thing isn't going to get fixed. I think I'm going to cut my losses here and just try to trade it to a dealer.

Btw, the coolant has leaked since about year 2. It's never been a horrible issue, but I have had to carry coolant with me to top it off about once a month. Nothing else has leaked (garage floor is clean). Before 2 weeks ago, the car was a real joy to drive, for 77K miles. I kept it serviced; used only synthetic oil and changed that every 3000-5000 miles. I'm supremely disappointed. I've never owned anything but a Saab, but that's about to change. (For a few years, anyway!)
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