Is your Saab has Check Engine Light on? Know the cause of why the check engine light illuminates and learn the possible solutions to fix and remove the check engine light on your Saab.

All 1996 and newer Saab vehicles, including the 9-3, 9-5, 900, and 92x Aero (identical to Subaru WRX), have a small warning light on the dashboard known as the check engine light.

What does Saab check engine light mean?

When your Saab check engine light stays on, the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) computer has detected a malfunction. The cause could be an engine problem, a fuel system leak, or even an indication of a transmission issue.

Since a fault code will be stored in your Saab’s OBD computer, you can use an OBD-II scanner to read those codes.


saab check engine light

When your Saab check engine light comes on, you may notice:

  • Engine running rough
  • Engine shaking or juddering.
  • Lack of power
  • Poor throttle response
  • Check engine light flashing.
  • Smoke from the exhaust

In some cases, you may not notice any performance issues, as would be the case if you forget to tighten the gas cap.

How to Reset Saab Check Engine Light

With the check engine light on, you first need to find out what caused it. You can take your car to the workshop for a full diagnosis or read the fault codes with an OBD-II scanner. Fix the underlying problem and reset the codes.

These devices come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. The choices range from something simple as a Bluetooth OBD adapter that connects to an application on your smartphone over dedicated hand-held scan tools, to powerful diagnostic tools.

You will get the stored engine trouble codes and read engine running parameters with any of them.

What Triggers the Check Engine on a Saab?

saab engine

Fuel Injector

Saab turbocharged engines can have problems with fuel injectors. This will cause excessive smoke from the exhaust on startup and sometimes while driving, combined with rough running and hesitation.

The root cause for this is dirty fuel, which causes buildup on the injectors and poor spray pattern. The best solution is to have injectors cleaned by a specialist.

Related Fault Codes: P0245 and P0201 to P0201

Crankshaft Position Sensor

Crankshaft Position Sensor is a known failure point, as they sometimes endure extreme temperatures. In most cases, they will start failing gradually, initially causing only occasional running problems.

Usually, telltale signs are sporadic crank-but-no-start situations.

Codes: P0336 or P0337

Spark Plugs

Random misfiring is another problem you might encounter when you have worn out spark plugs. In addition to flashing the ‘check engine light, you may experience juddering and hesitation. Have these issues checked without any delay, as they can easily cause additional damage.

Related Fault Codes: P0300 and P0301 to P0304

Mass Air Flow Sensor

A dirty MAF sensor will give false air-flow readings. This can upset the air-fuel mixture and cause the engine to run rough and stall. Luckily, this can be easily cleaned, but don’t use anything else than MAF cleaner fluid for removing dirt buildup.

MAF sensor could be the issue if you have an intermittent check engine light problem. MAF sensor may function fine when the engine is cold then start to malfunction once the engine warms up.

Code: P0102 MAF sensor

Engine Temperature Sensor

A coolant temperature sensor can go bad with time, causing the engine to run rich and preventing it from going into the ‘closed-loop’ mode. Although not causing any immediate problems, this will impact the gas mileage and can damage the catalytic converter in the long run.

Code: P0117

Anti-brake System Failure

In some cases, it is possible to have a check engine light combined with an ABS/TCS warning light. This issue is usually caused by an ABS/TCS unit internal problem, causing a communication error. The only real solution is to remove the car’s ABS/TCS control unit and send it to a specialist for repair.

Throttle Body

Many Saab models from 2000-2010 have running issues caused by a faulty throttle body. Typical symptoms are stalling and poor throttle response. Also, to check the engine light, your car might go into limp home mode, limiting performance and speed. The problem lies within the potentiometer, which gets damaged by corrosion and dirt.

Code: P2135

Saab Check Engine Light Flashing

When Sabb’s check engine light is flashing, the engine is misfiring. This is a serious problem that should not be ignored. Faulty spark plugs, MAF sensors, or a bad ignition coil usually cause the problem.

Do not drive with a flashing check engine light. Fuel is not getting burned in the cylinder. When the Saab engine is misfiring, raw fuel will exhaust, which can damage the catalytic converter.


Hundreds of possible problems can cause the check engine light on your Sabb to stay on. The most common issues are spark plugs, oxygen sensors, and catalytic converter failure. Instead of guessing what is wrong, use an OBD-II scanner to read the fault codes.


If you need a more professional OBD-II scanner that can read and clear fault codes through every control module of a Saab vehicle, use the YOUCANIC Full System Scanner. This scanner supports every control module and any vehicle make and model.

We hope you find the Troubleshooting Saab Check Engine Light guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your Saab vehicle.

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