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This post is for anyone considering purchasing a Saab built within the last 15 years. Newer Saabs are nothing like those 900 workhorses built through the 80s and early 90s. Over the last couple decades, the maker of the awesome "Sweedish sleighs" has fallen victim to the perilous Government Motors, (GM) who's influence on Saab is akin to the influence Lindsay Lohan might have on a Brownies troop.
I Purchased a seemingly immaculate 9-5 in the winter of 2009. Although the mileage was relatively high at 138,000, the car drove as though it was brand new. I had the vehicle thoroughly inspected by a mechanic prior to purchasing and only a small oil leak was found (the crank output seal) which the dealer replaced free of charge prior to the purchase.
This site advises its members to post separate complaints, but if I were to do that, I might develop carpal tunnel syndrome. So here it goes. The worst incident I've suffered was while driving to the Philadelphia Airport on Christmas eve of 2009. About 20 miles or so from the airport my car decided to take a dump on the busiest section of the turnpike in downtown Philadelphia. The Idler Pulley and tensioner had suddenly seized causing the serpentine belt to brake which in turn severed an oil cooler line. I managed to pull over on a sliver of what was left of the road shoulder (most was covered in compacted snow). I had to have the car towed to a storage place and barely made my flight. I paid a vehicle transport guy to take the car 120 miles to Harrisburg. (500$) The repairs and labor ran another 500$.
In the 20,000 miles I've accumulated on my car. I've replaced or fixed:
The Idler pulley: $50
Belt Tensioner: $150
Serpentine belt: $25
Wheel hub bearing: $300 with labor
Sway bar links: 50$
Rear Shocks: $250 with labor
Front Brakes: $250 with labor
Coolant bypass valve: $65 (performed labor myself)
Retorqued head gasket: $100. (performed labor myself)
Fuel Pump: $135 (performed labor myself)
Backup Lights begun to stay on constantly: $26 relay
Almost every exterior bulb: $75
AC compressor and expansion valve: have yet to replace: $1200+
Through my research, just about all of these issues are common among 9-5s.
I'm sure there are others I can't remember at the moment. Oh yeah, I had a clunking in my steering and drove 90 miles to a guy who calls himself the "Saab doctor". He didn't charge me much to look at it, but he couldn't figure it out. My intuition told me to grease some splines on the intermediate steering shaft, and WOW, no more clunk! Maybe I should start calling myself the "Saab Psychic!"
I must say that my 99' Saab has often made me want to sob! There's seldom a week or two that passes without a new issue with my car.
Luckily I'm somewhat mechanically inclined, but for those who are not, stay away from Saabs!!! Though it's not uncommon for the older Saab 900s to surpass 500,000+ miles, (before GM groped Saab with its dirty hands) but good luck finding someone who wants to sell theirs. I wish another group of aircraft engineers (like Saabs' original founders) would get together and create some fine automobiles. I would be the first in line to buy one!
Salina, KS, USA
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