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#1863573 - 04/19/10 04:48 PM saab sludge
Edmund Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 2
Loc: Canada
I have recently purchased a 2002 saab 9-3 se. They are notorious for sludeging it has 130 000kms on it. I am wondering what the best way to check way to if it is indeed a problem I was planning on running an amsoil engine flush and then running amsoil synthetic. Any thoughts?

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#1863582 - 04/19/10 04:53 PM Re: saab sludge [Re: Edmund]
saaber1 Offline


Registered: 11/28/07
Posts: 1877
Loc: Pacnw
Pulling oil pan and taking a look is probably the best way. Checking under oil cap (if you can see any internals) is another way that can give you a hint if it is sludged up or not. Most importantly, what has been the previous oil change history? Have they been running a good synthetic? At what intervals?
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#1863583 - 04/19/10 04:54 PM Re: saab sludge [Re: Edmund]
tig1 Offline


Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 12021
Loc: Illinois
Welcome! If you can take the valve cover off that will tell the tail about sludge. As for cleaning slude out I would scrape all you can get out. Draine the oil and refill with M1 10-30HM.


Edited by tig1 (04/19/10 04:59 PM)
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#1863584 - 04/19/10 04:54 PM Re: saab sludge [Re: Edmund]
d00df00d Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 10376
Loc: PA
welcome to BITOG!

If the engine doesn't have any serious apparent problems, the only way to check is to open the engine up. You may be able to shine a light into the oil fill hole and check; if that doesn't work, you'll have to pull the valvecover.

Either way, there's no need for the engine flush. If there is sludge, you'll want to remove it SLOWLY so you don't get chunks floating around getting stuck where they shouldn't. And of course, if there isn't sludge, there's nothing to worry about. wink

What's the spec oil? Isn't it Mobil 1 0w-40?
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#1863591 - 04/19/10 05:00 PM Re: saab sludge [Re: saaber1]
Edmund Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 2
Loc: Canada
Unfortunately i cannot get the history and the oil cap is not ton the valvle cover. I have thought about dropping the oil pan but it is a pain in the [censored] as it requires the removal of the sub frame.

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#1863669 - 04/19/10 06:04 PM Re: saab sludge [Re: Edmund]
Deltona_Dave Offline


Registered: 02/01/10
Posts: 800
Loc: Deltona, FL USA
I would try running Pennzoil Platinum for a while. It gets rave reviews on this board, and cleans slowly, but effectively. It is readily available at Wally Mart for about 20 dollars for a 5 quart jug. 2 5K changes or so, should have that engine pretty clean, IMHO.

Dave
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#1874736 - 04/28/10 09:08 PM Re: saab sludge [Re: Edmund]
ekpolk Offline
The Regenerator


Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 8881
Loc: Pensacola FL
Originally Posted By: Edmund
Unfortunately i cannot get the history and the oil cap is not ton the valvle cover. I have thought about dropping the oil pan but it is a pain in the [censored] as it requires the removal of the sub frame.


Or you could get one of these and go exploring. A great tool (or toy, depending upon your perspective...).
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#1874853 - 04/28/10 11:54 PM Re: saab sludge [Re: ekpolk]
Autobahn88 Offline


Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 675
Loc: Kingston On, Canada
Being the owner of a Saab, and having owned 4, just take the valve cover off. It is a simple job. You can tell if the car has been neglected or not. If there is signs of sludge you will have no other choice but to lower the oil pan and clean it out along with the pick up screen and hope that that will be enough.
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#1874952 - 04/29/10 05:57 AM Re: saab sludge [Re: Autobahn88]
wolfc70 Offline


Registered: 04/13/07
Posts: 360
Loc: Wisconsin
There are a few things to do, first is hook up an oil pressure gauge and see what pressure you have when hot. If it is low, then the pickup screen is clogged. If your car is sludged, the best thing to do is do the oil pan modification, where a removable metal plate is put over the pickup tube so it can be cleaned without dropping the pan. The reason for this is the pickup screen is very fine and will clog easily once you start flushing the engine.

The other thing to do is put a heat shield over the catalytic converter, as it run beneath the oil pan.

Andrew's Saab calls it an accumulator oil pan.
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#1875821 - 04/29/10 09:43 PM Re: saab sludge [Re: wolfc70]
Dick in Falls Church Offline


Registered: 06/01/02
Posts: 1412
Loc: Falls Church VA
There's a lot of info on this at saabnet.com

Give it a try

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#1875887 - 04/29/10 10:44 PM Re: saab sludge [Re: Edmund]
hominid7 Offline


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 1530
Loc: North Texas
I'd skip the engine flush and fill with Mobil1 0w40 and carefully watch the oil level and condition of the oil during the first OCI.

If it's terribly sludged you should be able to see some signs of that through the oil fill hole, unless it has one of those annoying baffles over the inside of it.
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2017 Hyundai Elantra

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#1875931 - 04/29/10 11:37 PM Re: saab sludge [Re: hominid7]
Paul B. Offline


Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 31
Loc: Shelton, CT
The sludge problem on the vintage Saab you own is due to inadequate crankcase ventilation. During certain operating conditions this results in breakdown of the oil and subsequent sludge formation where the hottest engine surfaces exist such as oil pan near catalytic converter.
Frequent oil changes will minimize the exposure of the oil to blow by contamination and breakdown. The nature of the sludge that causes engine failures on these engines is reported as hard particles ("coffee grounds") and is unlikely to be broken down by synthetic oil changes or other oil treatments. The particles wash down and collect at the fine mesh screen on the oil pick up tube and cause oil starvation.
If you want to be 100% sure you will not have the probem drop the pan and check the pick up screen. If significant clogging of the screen is noted, install the modified oil pan with clean out port and clean it when you change the oil. If only a small amount of debris is noted, install the improved cranckcase ventilation kit (about $55 for parts) and use good quality synthetic oil changed at 5000 mile intervals.
My 2001 model has seen mostly highway miles with a strict oil change regimine and has not had the problem. I have 140,000 miles and added the improved PCV kit at about 90,000 miles.


Edited by Paul B. (04/29/10 11:39 PM)

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#1875960 - 04/30/10 12:27 AM Re: saab sludge [Re: Paul B.]
Zedhed Offline


Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 635
Loc: Texas, USA
Saabs are sludgers....
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#1876020 - 04/30/10 05:59 AM Re: saab sludge [Re: hominid7]
wolfc70 Offline


Registered: 04/13/07
Posts: 360
Loc: Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: hominid7
I'd skip the engine flush and fill with Mobil1 0w40 and carefully watch the oil level and condition of the oil during the first OCI.

If it's terribly sludged you should be able to see some signs of that through the oil fill hole, unless it has one of those annoying baffles over the inside of it.


There is no oil fill hole in the valve cover, it is just a large version of the dipstick tube, it goes straight into the oil pan.

Here is a pic. The yellow cap behind the valve cover is the dip stick/oil fill.



Google Andrews saab and go to his page (Saabpros, IIRC) and seach for his NINES articles, he has done extensive work on tracking down causes and cures for the Saab engines oil issues.
_________________________
2011 Honda Accord EX Saloon, Manual, K24Z3, Toyota Synthetic 0w-20, Napa Gold 7356
2008 Pontiac Vibe 1ZZFE, PP 5w-20, Federated LF410F

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#1876570 - 04/30/10 04:21 PM Re: saab sludge [Re: wolfc70]
hominid7 Offline


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 1530
Loc: North Texas
That's too bad, i really like being able to see into the VC.

Thanks for the photo. Looks like the Valve Cover wouldn't be too terribly difficult to get off.
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2017 Hyundai Elantra

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