I have a 2004 9-3 Aero with an automatic transmission. A couple weeks
back, I drove my car for about an hour on the highway. When I got off the
highway and hit city streets, I noticed that it was shifting funny. I'd
try to pull away from a stop and it would accelerate for a few seconds,
then pause for a few seconds (the RPMs would hold steady despite my giving
it gas), and then it take off. I figured it was just a fluke, maybe
because it was so cold. On the return journey, it was started doing the
same thing in the city, but then it flashed a "Gearbox malfunction,
Limited performance" message as soon as I got on the highway. "Limited
performance" didn't seem like a stern warning, so I drove it home
carefully. If I put the shifter in drive, it would keep the car in 5th.
Using the Sentronic, I could shift between 2nd and 5th, and that was
enough to get home. I parked it overnight, checked it the next morning,
and it was fine. I figured maybe it was a busted sensor or something.
Last week, it started doing the same thing, except the problem didn't go
away. I called a few dealers and they all said it probably wasn't a major
issue based on my description of the problem and the fact that the car was
still running pretty good (e.g., no problems with traction control, etc.).
I brought it to Wigwam Saab in Providence  this morning for my 60,000
mile service and to get the transmission checked. Their techs say that
the transmission is slipping and that I need to replace it. They said
there's an open recall for an oil cooler coupling, but I never received a
notice about it and can't find any information about it online.
Apparently, a defect was allowing engine coolant to leak into the
transmission, which is what may have caused my problems. My engine
coolant was down a while back (I topped it up and it's been holding steady
since), so their explanation seems plausible.
I'm wondering if other people have had similar problems. Has anyone been
notified about the oil cooler coupling recall?
The service advisor had me open a case with Saab to see if I can get the
transmission replaced under goodwill. Does anyone have any good or bad
experiences with that? The service guy was optimistic about my chances
because it's a known problem and I have all my service records, but the
Saab representative said because it's out of warranty, they might only
cover part of it.
 Wigwam is closing on Friday, unfortunately. They've always been
really helpful, even though I didn't buy the car from them.