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Saab 900 / 9000



  • Stephen - I own a '97 900s with 45k miles and I just love this car - it does not have the turbo and so I am missing the extra horses a turbo provides, but it still moves out when I need it to. I think the $18k is a fair price,just make sure it has the maintenance records. You will love that car, it has a ton of cargo space, it's fast, it gets great gas mileage and it's something a little different. My 900 is all stock and I still get compliments on it. Good luck.
  • A friend is selling a 95 Saab 900s w/ 129k all hi-way miles for $6500.00 that I am considering . I live in the city and would only use the car occasionally. Can anyone offer any insight or feedback? I have heard that Saabs will last forever if maintained but I can't seem to get over the mileage factor. He says that the car was serviced regularly and was very reliable.
  • My daughter leases a 1998 Saab 900 which she is
    due to return to the lessor later this month. Over
    the weekend, she ran over a pot hole and one of the
    wheels got bent so much so that it has affected
    the driving performance.

    The car has the standard wheels that came with the
    car and she is looking to replace the damaged
    wheel. She has been quoted a price of $240 by the
    dealership just for the wheel.

    Can anyone suggest a way to acquire the wheel at a
    lower price? Thanks.
  • Hi all:

    I am planning to buy a SAAB 900SE. It has 38K miles on it and still has 1 month of original warranty left on it. The dealer is asking 19,500. But carmax has one in black (not the color I like) with 38K for 18,000.

    How do you all feel about the car? Is it great? Is it fun? and Is it eye catcher - I desperately need that??

    Moreover is it worth spending $1200 to get additional 50K miles warranty. Please respong.
  • My 1994 900 Turbo blew a head gasket (at 58K miles). My mechanic who works exclusively on SAABs, informed me that the gasket was a symptom of a more serious problem. He's informed me that the Engine Block needs to be replaced because it has corroded to the point that the gasket does not fit with a tight enough seal. He believes that the chain of events that caused the problem started with the Antifreeze "going bad" and circulating through the cooling jackets and the engine block - causing the block to corrode which eventually led to the head gasket problem.

    This sounds strange - anyone heard of something like this happening - does the mechanic's explanation seem legitimate? It does not make sense to me, especially given the car is a 94' with less than 60K miles and has ran great up until now. Any other possible explanations?

  • I hope jimrearden's report at #52 is a relatively isolated case. I have been planning to buy a used Saab 900 S. I would love a newer 9-3 or 9-5 but just can't afford it. I decided after reading Consumer Reports' reliability guide that 97 was a year that might not be so risky- average/slightly above average reliability(CR indicated that the 99 Saab 9-5 is very reliable. But, I don't have enough money for one right now). I am a little concerned about the cost of repairing Saabs. Can any one give me feedback on experiences with the the 97 Saab? How much more will I spend on fixing a Saab than any other foreign car (Japanese, German)? I mean, If I spend $470 replacing the brake system on my Toyota, how much more would the same repair cost for the Saab? In your experiences is 97 known to be any better or worse than any other years in terms of reliability?
  • mfarmer2mfarmer2 Posts: 67
    I know that offers detailed information on vehicle maintenance costs. Also, has information about reliability, including the types of problems and repair costs, on used vehicles. Hope this is helpful.

  • jji7363jji7363 Posts: 33
    I have a 1993 Saab 900S (the last year with the "classic" design) with 58000 miles. It's the base model with auto trans (no turbo or ragtop) and I just love it. However, our family has grown to the point that it's no longer practical. I'm trying to determine a reasonable asking price to list it in the Auto Trader. I would appreciate any input that folks on this bulletin board might provide.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    In addition to the feedback here, you should try using's Used Vehicle Appraiser.

    Also, place a free ad in Edmunds' used vehicle MarketPlace. You'll find the link to that in their Used Vehicle guide.

    Good luck. ;-)

    Hatchbacks Message Board

  • alex18talex18t Posts: 117
    I own a Saab 900S no turbo on it. it's a 5spd and it is just so darn quirky. i love the way the car looks and the interior is very european but the transmission is just baffling. the shifter moves and vibrates pretty violently when shifting and accelerating. also the exaust sounds like the average 17 year old kid's rice burnin' souped up civic. i know nothing of saab engineering but im guessing that i can attribute the shifter movement to the transmission or engine mounts that have gone bad and therefore the whole drivetrain moves durring acceleration. have any other saab owners experienced this?... umm... other than all that bad stuff, i can say that the car is very functional, has the most comfortable seats of any car and has brakes that nearly rival Porche. it's scrappy and can handle the corners even though the body roll is unnerving. the saab makes by 2000 Celica GT seem like a go kart because it's so much smaller and there is so much more feedback not to mention no ABS.

    For people looking to buy one all i can say is test drive one extensively and remember that you are buying one of the last truly unique makes of cars available to the average joe.
  • What year is your saab 900, alex18t? I just bought a '95 turboSE. It came with 81K miles and all the options. I have the same complaints. Kinda noisy at Mcdonald's drive thru plus the shifter vibration (not wildly or anything). I really love driving it . . .except for the stick shift. I took it back for an adjustment because I have to push the clutch pedal through the floor to shift and I don't have long legs. They replaced a cable but that made no difference. In fact it was impossible to shift after the cable change. That finally improved after a little driving. The mechanic said I needed a new clutch, the owner said no, it didn't, but said he would replace it if I still had problems. I was hoping for feedback from this message board. I think I will have the clutch replaced anyway. After all, it's still under the short term warrenty. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come.
  • alex18talex18t Posts: 117
    it's a 95 900S bought it with 64k and im pretty sure the guy who owned it before baybied it. the clutch effort you describe sounds strange to me. my clutch uses a good amount of effort when compared to my celica but it is essentially a luxury car style clutch... if that makes any sense. it's easy to use. in 1st and 2nd gears i need to push it pretty much to the floor but from 2nd to 5th i barely use the clutch, it shifts very smooth. your turbo might have a more heavy duty clutch to handle the power and with that usually comes inresed pedal effort. there's few good saab mechanics but maybe he's right about the clutch.

    and as for this being a sign of things to come. all i can offer is that a friend of mine has owned something like 4 - 6 saabs and he bought them all after 100,000 miles. he says they drove great right up till the day he sold them! Rock solid cars in his opinion. I happen to agree. a company so based on building up an already existing design as opposed to redesigning it must have some kind of advantage when it comes to build quality.
  • maabmaab Posts: 41
    There are a few things that can damage a head gasket (other than high milage and age): over reving the engine, and overheat (due to bad circulation, bad thermostat, clogged heater core, etc.).

    The only time I've heard of potential corrosion due to anti-freeze is with 100K mile anti-freeze (ones you change at 100K mile).

    Did he remove the head, and measured the block to be no longer flat? It just doesn't sound right.
  • patbcampatbcam Posts: 2
    I need a fair source for a rebuilt auto transmission for a 91 900S. I'd appreciate any references. I'm in the MidAtlantic area (PA/NJ/NY)
    Thanks. Pat
  • alex18talex18t Posts: 117
    ofcourse your tranny is killed. that's what you get for driving in the middle of the ocean.
  • patbcampatbcam Posts: 2
    And who says SAAB owners don't have a sense of humor?
  • alex18talex18t Posts: 117
    i think i will recall that saab recomendation. my car just had about every warning light go on, the headlights slowly went off and the car began to stall. luckily i got it infront of my house right before it died. this is gonna be expensive. it's an ECU problem. i have no idea what makes these saabs go so im gonna have to pay a mechanic a fortune.
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    My current daily driver is a '95 900S with 50K miles... anyone interested in buying it?

    On clutches, this Saab has a flawed manual transmission design IMO:

    My first transmission died of a seized throw out bearing at 36K miles.

    The second one manifested irregular clutch force last month at 47K miles (11K miles after the first one) and has been rebuild. The claim was loss of gearbox lubrication, but because its a dry clutch system design, I don't really see how it could not again be the same throw out bearing was a clutch problem, not a shifting problem.

    BTW, I recommend that we all go read the fine print in our warranty. You'll find that Saab has an escape clause: clutch plates are considered "wear items" like brake pads & wiperblades and are only warrantied for 1 year or 16K miles.

    However, per their most recent email to me, Saab also classifies release bearings to also be exempt as "wear" items, even though they're not listed in my warranty.

    I'm a Mechanical Engineer and IMNSHO, anyone claiming that a bearing is a "wear" item is full of "it".

    I've also noted that my rebuilds have gotten different part#'s each time it has been rebuilt, which is evidence that they're changing the design. The only time you change the design on an old product because there have been problems.

    In any event, the moral is to complain. Firmly.

    Each rebuild ran around $1000 at the Dealer.

    My Dealer used 'goodwill' to cover parts on my first one ($400) and Saab USA paid for 100% of the second one, although in both circumstances they only paid because I specifically challenged the validity of me having to incur the entire cost on something that should last far, far longer than 36K (or 11K) miles.

    Moving on, the wonderful motor.

    Experiencing metallic noise under the hood means one of two things: (a) trade-in the car for something else TODAY, or (b) prepare for a $2600 repair bill. Unfortunately, I didn't think of option (a) last year.

    For some reason, the 2.3 4-cylinder suffers from loss of lubrication of the timing chains for the counter-rotating shafts, etc, and it eats the chain alive, along with the gear sprockets. I never had a loss of lubricant, never failed to change the oil on schedule and never had the oil pressure light come on.

    Having looked at the motor while apart, it looks like its a splash lube system run through a dip (collection) guess is that a blockage occurrs in an area where the oil pressure gage is unable to detect it, so the oil never gets to the dip tray, so the chains run dry without lubrication. There's no leak, so the dipstick remains happy.

    Insofar as the costs on this one, Dealer told me to get lost. It has been a long battle with Saab USA, but they've finally made good and agreed to pay for half of my out-of-pocket cost.

    In the meantime, I no longer follow the book's 10K oil service interval, nor the modestly more frequent interval I had been following: for the remainder of this car's life in my garage, its going to get nothing less than a 5K interval with 100% synthetics.

    In summary,

    I've had 3 major repairs required to get from zero to 50k miles. I don't expect a car to always be trouble-free, but I feel that problems before 50K should be the rare exception: if I only were to have had one problem, I wouldn't have really been all that ticked off...bad luck, and all of that. And paying half was reasonable IMO. But I didn't have one anomoly: I had three. That's no longer simply "bad luck".

    And in any event, I feel that 1 year warranties are a cop-out. The intent of "Bumper to Bumper" includes all the internal goodies and the only exceptions that I can honestly accept are those products that are ablative in design function, such a brake pads. Excepting a bearing is simply out of the quesion.

    Looking at costs, the repairs topped $4500. Had I not complained, I would have had to pay all of that. Because I did speak up, sent faxes with service records, and most importantly, DID NOT accept "no" for an answer the first time they declined my requests, I'm out of pocket "only" ~$2K.

    And when looking at this five year $4500 cost, I have to say that this exceeds my repair costs for my '84 VW Scirocco (11 years & 100K+ miles), my wife's '90 Audi 80 (10 years & 100K+ miles) and believe it or not, my toy car, a sixteen year old 1985 Porsche 911 (which I've owned for 8 years & 25K miles).

    Would I buy another Saab? I'm borderline. They did eventually make good, more or less, on these costs that really should not have been incurred by me, but by the same token, I do feel that I had to fight tooth-and-nail in order for them to accept responsibility.

    The one thing that I would definitely do is to amend the purchase contract to make the warranty terms far more customer-friendly. Specifically, I would make notation on what products are excempted from the 1-year loophole and mark that list as being 100% comprehensive. Similarly, because I only drive ~9K miles/year, I'd want longer duration coverage. If the dealer wants to do this through an extended warranty contract, that's fine...but it comes out of their pocket, not mine. The thing to remember is that a car purchase is nothing more than a contract and in a contract, *EVERYTHING* is negotiable.

  • tobestertobester Posts: 9
    Does anybody know where I can get some information on the trouble codes for a 1992 900 Turbo Convertible? The check engine light keeps coming on at various times. I would like to see if I can diagnose the problem by myself, before taking it to my mechanic. Any FAQ's on the web that will help?
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