Clicking Sound...?

SaabSon

Wrench Pro
Points
26
Location
Southern California
Car
04 Saab 9-3 2.0t
Hello all,

I have an 04 9-3. When I get on it I can hear a faint clicking sound which seems to be coming from deep inside the engine. I changed the spark plugs the other night and found that one of them was loose. I figured that that loose spark plug was causing that clicking sound. However, that didn't fix the problem. Has anyone had a run in with this clicking sound? I have close to 100K miles on it... Any suggestions would be great. Thank you in advance.

-SaabSon
 

BAD63R

Authorised Trader
Points
312
Location
Cornwall
Car
MG TF135
The 2.0t engine in the Saab is not that much different to the the Vauxhall 2.0t engine (as GM own Saab) so couple of things it could be:-

1- If the ticking is the top end it's usually the tappets.
2- If the ticking is the bottom end, then unfortunatly it might be oil starvation due to the pump going or possibly the lower end bearing.

But first, replace the plugs and leads, and also change the oil and filter with a good grade oil and see if its still there.
 

SaabSon

Wrench Pro
Points
26
Location
Southern California
Car
04 Saab 9-3 2.0t
Thank you for the reply. I don't believe it is the tappets as I do not hear the ticking in the top end. I have already replaced the plugs and changed the oil and filter with a good grade oil. What do you mean by the leads?

-SaabSon
 

Bertrum

Torque Junkie
Points
57
Location
Felixstowe
Car
Mondeo Zetec S TDCi
Wont it have coil packs rather than leads?

And if im thinking the right noise (a noise similar to what i had in my pug) im thinking the big end might be up creek.
 

SaabSon

Wrench Pro
Points
26
Location
Southern California
Car
04 Saab 9-3 2.0t
Wont it have coil packs rather than leads?

And if im thinking the right noise (a noise similar to what i had in my pug) im thinking the big end might be up creek.

Are you talking about the rubber-like things that go over the spark plugs? Anyhow, whatever it is i'm going to try and find it. Thanks you for your help.
 

Aikmanson

Torque Junkie
Points
62
Location
Kingston, New York
Car
1995 Saab 900 2.0T
Usually when a saab taps or clicks its the engine starving for oil. Does it sound as if it is comming from the bottom of the engine or outside the bottom of the engine? Maybe for safe measures check the mounts as they have been known to cause tapping sounds around 20mph on these cars...
 

SaabSon

Wrench Pro
Points
26
Location
Southern California
Car
04 Saab 9-3 2.0t
Usually when a saab taps or clicks its the engine starving for oil. Does it sound as if it is comming from the bottom of the engine or outside the bottom of the engine? Maybe for safe measures check the mounts as they have been known to cause tapping sounds around 20mph on these cars...

The clicking sound is not overwhelming but it does seem to be comming from the outside now that I think of it. Toward the bottom of the engine. Thank you for pointing me in the direction of the mounts; I will check those asap. What are some other clues that would tell me that my engine is starving for oil...?
 

T9 man

TC ModFather
Moderator
Points
1,137
Location
London, UK
Car
Saab 9-3SS T9
Hi, had a similar problem with my 93ss 2003 and in my case it was one of the coils! there are four seperate ones on mine which sit directly over the spark plugs. If you look on the top of the coils they should be a dull off white colour, one of mine stood out as being very dark and was apparently proof that all was not well according to the garage. This was replaced and the clicking for me in this instance, stopped :)

These little coil rascals, if it is the problem? have an ouch involved on the price tag, so be sure about the diagnosis first!
Agree totally however with the possible oil scenario! have had this too!these babies are very fussy about the type of oil and filter used, so make it synthetic and high performing! and trust me on this, change the oil more frequently than Saab recommend, depending on your finances, I change mine every 5k.

Good luck! ;)
 

SaabSon

Wrench Pro
Points
26
Location
Southern California
Car
04 Saab 9-3 2.0t
Hi, had a similar problem with my 93ss 2003 and in my case it was one of the coils! there are four seperate ones on mine which sit directly over the spark plugs. If you look on the top of the coils they should be a dull off white colour, one of mine stood out as being very dark and was apparently proof that all was not well according to the garage. This was replaced and the clicking for me in this instance, stopped :)

These little coil rascals, if it is the problem? have an ouch involved on the price tag, so be sure about the diagnosis first!
Agree totally however with the possible oil scenario! have had this too!these babies are very fussy about the type of oil and filter used, so make it synthetic and high performing! and trust me on this, change the oil more frequently than Saab recommend, depending on your finances, I change mine every 5k.

Good luck! ;)

Excellent info man! My dad and I were talking about it last night and we narrowed things down to the spark plugs. We changed the spark plugs about two weeks ago. When we took off the four coils, the area around one of the spark plugs was charred and smoky black (as opposed to the clear clean look around the rest of the spark plugs). I'm going to check it out tonight.

As far as the oil goes, I've been changing my oil very frequently and use fully synthetic oil! Feeding my baby the good stuff, frequently. :p
 
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SaabSon

Wrench Pro
Points
26
Location
Southern California
Car
04 Saab 9-3 2.0t
Update: I got to the coils and spark plugs tonight. When I pulled the four coils off which cover my spark plugs, the inside of one of the "cylinders" was a burnt color. In addition to the inside being dirty and grimy, the actual coil was "burnt" and had a hardened texture to it. Do I fix whatever is causing this this by replacing my coil or my spark plug? Note that I changed my spark plugs two weeks ago. I figured that with new spark plugs they could be taken out of the equation as a possible problem. I'm not completely sure though. I'm hoping that I've narrowed it down to the coil? I'm not sure what to think of it... any more advice would be much appreciated.
 
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T9 man

TC ModFather
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Well from my experience, the fact that your spark plugs are only a couple of weeks old, does not been that they can not have sustained any damage! I know in theory no! but if the plug has been working extra hard due to what the coil has been producing, I don't know! :confused:

But for me personally, it would play on my mind!!! for the couple of pounds each that they cost is it really worth leaving them in?

Also not sure what plugs you are using at the moment, but I use the Saab Biofuel set, far superior to so called high performance ones, and I have tried several types in the search for higher performance, and these were recommended by Neo Bros in Waltham Cross, who race some pretty powerful 93's. Neo Bros also sell used and tested coils amongst other things so give them a call, there advice is free!

Good luck ;)
 

SaabSon

Wrench Pro
Points
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Location
Southern California
Car
04 Saab 9-3 2.0t
I put in the NGK Iridium spark plugs. I'm going to replace the coil, take out the spark plug to see if it is worn, then go from there. As far as Neo Bros goes, do you know of a company similar to them here in the states? I went to there website and didn't see a number that would work for me here in the states.
 

T9 man

TC ModFather
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Well genuine saab will no doubt help you in the states, but Neo Bros like Abbott Racing over here in England will deliver to you anywhere in the world! but obviously, local is best!
Good Luck :blink1:
 

SaabSon

Wrench Pro
Points
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Location
Southern California
Car
04 Saab 9-3 2.0t
Update: I fixed the bad ignition coil and the bad spark plug and got my cylinder to stop misfiring however, the clicking sound did not go away. I know that my car is not starving for oil, I checked my engine mounts, and I fixed the bad ignition coil which I thought was most certainly the culprit. What are your thoughts? I'm determined to find what is clicking. It's starting to frustrate me. Any more help would be very much appreciated.
 

T9 man

TC ModFather
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This problem will not be a problem for long, not if this forum has anything to do with it! In the meantime while the clever chaps here at Torque ponder your dilema, I shall make an enquiry to Abbott racing tomorrow on your behalf and see what they suggest, ;)
 

SaabSon

Wrench Pro
Points
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Location
Southern California
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04 Saab 9-3 2.0t
This problem will not be a problem for long, not if this forum has anything to do with it! In the meantime while the clever chaps here at Torque ponder your dilema, I shall make an enquiry to Abbott racing tomorrow on your behalf and see what they suggest, ;)

T9, you da man! Thanks for caring about the problem. I'm seeing more light than tunnel.
 

T9 man

TC ModFather
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Have spoken to Abbotts and they would like to know if you are positive that the clicking sound is coming from the engine bay and not from behind the dashboard? Is the clicking intermittant or melodic?

The first things they would look at, you have already done! check to see if anything is fouling any exposed belt-drives, look at the alternator and water pump, HT side of the coils also!
If you can get hold off a piece of small diameter pipe about 500mm long and have a piece of your plastic tube at one end, you can use this as a stethoscope which might help to pin the noise down a little more.

If you think the clicking sound might be comimg from inside the cab, just in case as sounds travel quite a distance through various mediums? then look at solenoids and blowers for the AC.

Very difficult to diagnose a problem of this kind over the phone unfortunately SaabSon, but I wish you luck! :)
 

SaabSon

Wrench Pro
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Location
Southern California
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04 Saab 9-3 2.0t
I am positive that the clicking sound is coming from the engine bay and not from behind the dashboard. The clicking sound is definitely not intermittent (stopping and starting at intervals). The sound is a continuous click only when I am accelerating quickly. Normal acceleration I don't hear the sound. When I get on it, it clicks, increasing in volume as the car engine receives more load (pedal to the metal).

I will check those things. What is the HT side of the coils?

Thank you for your efforts T9. I really want to get rid of this clicking. I want to hear nothing but my turbo singing and my exhaust blowing.
 

T9 man

TC ModFather
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I am actually going to Abbott Racing next Tuesday morning to have a few more performance parts installed onto the Beast! I shall take your information with me and see what they think about the problem then!
Will let you know what their conclusions are later on in the afternoon.

In the meantime, a few of the clever chaps here on the forum might come up with a solution for you!

All the best! :)
 

T9 man

TC ModFather
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Oh yes! the HT side is where the coil units sit over the spark plug, make sure that the coil fits the spark plug firmly and that there is no play! ;)
 

T9 man

TC ModFather
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Hi there SaabSon, well I have spoken to Abbotts again about your problem and they seem to think that there is a possibility it may have something to do with the camshaft? something about possible dry oil wells, blockages!
Its a pity your across the pond, as I am certain that if was left in their hands, it would no longer be a problem!

The boffin is back from his holidays on monday, so they have promised me to present him with all of your data and see what he can come up with, but without seeing the car I am sure you'll appreciate everything is just guess work.

Good luck in the meantime with the car, I do hope you find the fault ;)
 

Aikmanson

Torque Junkie
Points
62
Location
Kingston, New York
Car
1995 Saab 900 2.0T
now that I think about it, how old is your alternator? My girlfriend's VW ticked so f****** bad, turns out her alternating was going. It is as you described, it is a low note but audible when idling, as you rev the car, the clicking gets louder. More revs = faster clicks.

Just a guess.
 

jarrus

Pro Tuner
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317
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West Midlands, UK
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Suzuki Swift Sport
As p said,
are you using the correct fuel?, might sound like a daft question but that could be it, I would say try using a high octane fuel, I know the petrol over there isn't as high octane as here in the UK but trying running some super unleaded though it, ( I think that's 93 over there if my memory serves me right)
as for other suggestions, apparently SAAB's are prone to loads of "querks" but common problem is also:
the gear selector switch failing (on auto models) it only happens when starting from when the car is hot,
also the CPS goes on them as well so the might be worth a look,
Are there any ECU lights up on the dash?
also welcome to the forum we do have a couple of saab "rockers" from the USA on here as well so you aren't alone :)
 

Aikmanson

Torque Junkie
Points
62
Location
Kingston, New York
Car
1995 Saab 900 2.0T
im guessing a saab "rocker" from the USA would be me? haha

agreeing with the fuel issue, should use 91 in all turbo saabs minimum, 93 would be much better. I doubt that would casue the clicking noise he describes however.
 

SaabSon

Wrench Pro
Points
26
Location
Southern California
Car
04 Saab 9-3 2.0t
I've been out of the loop for a while. We had a death in the family so my apologies for leaving the thread a bit hanging.

T9 I checked my plugs and the coils over them. Things seem to be in good shape there. I am taking into consideration all your ideas guys. I'm running high octane; the highest I can get at the stations here (96 I believe?). I know its not my alternator.

After thinking about the problem a bit more I realized that this ticking sound ONLY happens when I am at full boost. So, I'm thinking it has something to do with the turbo/exhaust. I lifted the car up and took apart my exhaust from the catalytic converter down. I did notice that when I moved around the flex, it had something that was loose in there. Not sure what to think of it. Maybe that's my clicking sound????

If I can't figure out the problem I was thinking that I should just make my exhaust louder than the ticking ; ) Possibly take out the catalytic get a downpipe and run a straight pipe.
 

T9 man

TC ModFather
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Hi SaabSon, well this problem of yours is certainly a bit of a head scratcher! Our fuel here in the UK starts at 95ron for unleaded and varies between 97 and 99ron for super unleaded.

There was a wilder concoction from BP which for a while was on trial here last year in east london along the A13 Canning Town, this was 105ron but they wanted absolutely silly money per litre for it? pump has disappeared now, but if anybody knows the whereabouts of any other ultra high octane juice let me know!

Have retried the lads at Abbotts and at Neo Bros for you again, and both say similar things which you have all but ruled out through your investigations to date! Not really sure what to suggest next?

But if these clever chaps here on the forum cannot find the cure to your problem? then I would suggest that you pinch yourself hard! as the problem clearly never existed, and you have just been having a terrible nightmare!! lol :bigsmile:
 
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