1999 9-5 Engine Compression question

07-24-2004, 08:41 AM

I am looking at purchasing a 1999 9-5 2.3L 4cyl with 86,000 miles
and have had it checked by a shop including having an engine
compression test done.

The readings from the cylinders are: #1: 117, #2: 116, #3: 114, #4: 116.

My question is: how are these readings for a car this age with this
many miles ? And how many miles should this engine run ? 250K+?

Also - is there anything in particular that I should check into with a magnifying glass on this car ? When will the timing belt need to get changed?

This is my first Saab so I am unfamiliar with them... but so far I have
not seen or read anything negative on them.

Thanks for your help.

07-24-2004, 10:04 PM
2 bar is the maximum allowed compression test pressure difference. Thats about 29 psi so your values are just fine.

The car has no timing belt, it uses a chain. Or actually it has two chains but one is for the two balanceshafts. A chain usually becomes noisy before it needs to be replaced, that is usually at 150,000 miles or later. At 200k the turbocharger is probably on the way out but serviced properly the engine should last long.

The gearbox is probably the part that you want to check carefully.

There was some problems with the early models turbochargers, there was also some piston issues but that isn't that common. More common are probably problems with the displays in the car which tends to lose pixels. The crankcase ventilation on the earlier models was also a bit "undersized", it can however by upgraded to the same type as the Aero. They also had another crankcase ventilation upgrade but that one can increase the oil consumption.

Saab had 2 turbocharged 2.3 litre engines for 9-5, B235E and B235R. B235E had 170 hp and from 2001 185 hp, B235R is the "Aero" engine and that engine had some parts that were stronger, it also had exhaust valves in Nimonic. From 2001 and later the hardware in these engines was identical except the turbocharger.

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