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Saab Fuel Sending Unit Replacement

The 2006 Saab 9-3 Sport sedan came in on the hook and the tow truck driver said, “I think it needs a fuel pump.” The gas gauge was reading less than a quarter of a tank and the low fuel warning light wasn’t on, so a quick fuel pressure check was in order. The test showed zero fuel pressure, so I called the customer and asked “does your fuel gauge seem to read normally?”

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­4. Disconnect the filler hose (see Photo 8) at the tank and then disconnect the quick coupling for the vent. Now all you have to do is support the fuel tank (see Photo 9) and remove the bolts that hold the gas tank straps (see Photo 10).

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5. Carefully lower the tank and be cautious that none of the fittings get caught or damaged on the way down.

Photo 16

Photo 16

6. With the tank lowered, the pump assembly is ready to ­be ­removed (see Photos 11 and 12). Removing the pump assembly from the tank is easy. If you don’t have the special tool, a large screwdriver works really well (see Photo 13).

7. Lift the pump and tilt it forward to clear the sending unit float (see Photo 14). The sending unit is attached to the pump ­assembly with only a plastic clip (see Photo 15). Release the clip and slide the sending unit down and off of the pump.

8. Unplug the connector on the bottom of the pump (see Photo 16) and remove the two blue wires from the connector.

Photo 17

Photo 17

9. The new sender is ready to ­install (see Photo 17). Insert the two blue wires into the connector and slide the sender up onto the pump assembly. Note: Always thoroughly clean the tank opening before removing the pump and again before installing the pump, and be sure to use a new O-ring. There is nothing worse than having to take the fuel tank back out because you didn’t take the time to ensure a good seal.

10. With the pump back in, you can carefully and slowly jack the tank back into place, watching so that no lines get caught or pinched on the way up. Then, ­secure the tank straps.

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11. Connect the filler neck and vent, and then reconnect the fuel lines and electrical connector.

12. Reinstall the exhaust and the car is ready to start.

This is a fairly common problem on the 2003 and up Saab 9-3s. We did this same repair last week on a 2010 9-3 convertible, and, as you can see, it is not a difficult ­repair. While the part number is different on the Saab 9-5 fuel pump assembly, I was told by one of the dealer techs that the sending unit on some of the newer 95s was the same, and I’ve replaced those senders with the same one we used in this ­repair.

Even though Saab is no longer making cars, there are still plenty on the road that are in need of service and repair. Parts are still easy to get and there are fewer dealers and shops that work on them, so when the phone rings and the customer on the other end asks if you fix Saabs, the ­answer should be yes!

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