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Saab 9-5 Sedan

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Comments

  • jgraveljgravel Posts: 54
    Can anyone recommend are service station in the Worcester Ma area? My 1999 9-5 has 120K miles on it (bought it new)and is going to my daughter. The next appointment at my dealer is 2 1/2 weeks away and I prefer not to wait. I'd like to car to get a thorough inspection.

    Thanks in advance for any advice,

    -Jay
  • amyshubbyamyshubby Posts: 19
    Here is my background- I have always driven Japanese cars. I usually buy them two years old with some mileage and drive them for about 5 or 6 years at 20,000 per year. My last car was a Nissan Maxima with 130,000 miles and not one problem until it was stolen last week.

    I looked at another used Maxima but decided it was time for a change. I was considering a 2001 fully loaded V6 Accord for $17,500, but saw and test drove a 2000 Saab 9-5SE and really liked it. I can get into the SE with 30,000 miles for slightly under $20,000 and am comparing it to the Accord and Maxima. My questions (and concerns) are as follows:

    1) The obvious question is reliability. I am a big Consumer Reports advocate and I saw they bumped the reliability up from average to above average. It seems to be based on reliability improvements (especially electrical) made after the 1999 model year. Do most owners agree with that assumption? I plan on putting about 150,000 miles on it and have no fear of that number with Nissan or Honda, but do most of you expect to get 150,000 miles without major problems?

    2) The second question is also related to reliability and cost of repairs. I have had two people tell me that if something goes wrong, it will be much more expensive to fix then if it were a similar item on a Japanese car. Is this true?

    3) I read something about the tires being performance tires that should only be used in good weather. I'm not sure if that's true for the SE or only the Aero.

    4) What kind of gas is used in the 2000 SE? Regular or premium? If it's premium, with the mileage I put on, I need to factor that in to my higher monthly payments

    5) I also saw a 2001 9-5 SE through a Saab dealer on the internet that I could pick up for around $21,000. Were there any real differences between the 2000 and 2001? This dealer is about two and a half hours away from me, but I would make the drive if the car not just newer in years, but also look and/or reliability.

    Thanks in advance for any answers you can give me.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    (1) Yes. Yes.

    (2) Yes. In general European cars will be more expensive to repair due to the cost of parts.

    (3) The SE uses 16" touring tires whereas the Aero 17" performance. Any of the cars you mentioned will benefit from a top quality tire which will be priced accordingly.

    (4) Gotta use premium due to the turbo motor. Also most Saab owners highly recommend using full synthetic motor oil (like Mobil One or similar) to protect the engine and the turbo from the added heat. Saab recommends at least a semi synthetic oil but you'll find full synthetics of better quality.

    (5) No real diffs between '00 and '01. The 9-5 received a major makeover in '02. But the general consensus is the newer the 9-5, the better and more reliable it is.

    Happy Saab shopping :-)
  • jgraveljgravel Posts: 54
    Just what I was looking for. I recognize a few of the names. Thank you for your help.

    -Jay
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    i have always been told by experienced mechanics that a saab is a car that you must sell at 60,000 miles or it will nickel and dime you to death......
    my experience with the aero 2000 has been so-so.
    new computer 4 times ,new fan for the motor,left me stranded .....
    and other.about 6 other failures.
    now ,at 51,000 miles ,(4 weeks ago or so ) my dealer told me that i needed a new exhaust,have an oil leak from the head gasket,and need a new cowl......
    he waited until i was out of warranty.......but,i think this dealer's mechanics are on a commision basis and ........took the car to a gas station and put it up......
    the exhaust has rust on the outer layer.but it should give me another 2 years or so.but a good aftermarket ss unit is 300.$.
    the oil leak nowhere to be found.......
    the cowl.........i cannot see why it needs replacement ,maybe one of you experts can tell me.

    my tires ,michelin mxm pilots ,with 52,000 miles have only 3/32 left out of 10/32 when new,or another 6,000 miles or so.--the car has 58,000 miles now but i run snow tires when i amin ct. in the winter.
    i am looking to replace them soon and posted here about the goodyear f1 but no one has replied.

    so,if you are asking ----to choose between a honda,acura or toyota and saab. with 2 years of use.......
    i will go with
    honda
    toyota camry
    acura
    and forget saab.........too many unknowns on this car and poor reputation from those who know,the mechanics.....

    or,i tell you what ,go to consumers union and check on the ratings.but remember,the saab rating is based on year to date........look at back issues and you will see that in the past saab have been very poor and now,is the promise that saab is now better.......
    maybe,but it is a gamble and if you have limited income to gamble ,go to honda or toyota camry or lexus 300es-------
    you cannot go wrong here. but ,i am not recommending,just giving you my objective view,ande suggest that you go to past issues of c.u.--they have excellent data.
  • scraigscraig Posts: 1
    I just purchased my first Saab. My previous cars have been Hondas, Nissans, and most recently a Subaru. All have been good cars. The Nissans had a few ignition module problems in the 80's. When I bought my 2003 9-5 linear I was looking for used AWD safe European cars (Audi,MB,Audi,Volvo). All were nice cars but CR says they have dependability problems. On a whim I stopped by the Saab dealership, but then realized no AWD cars. Apparently, they do well in the snow because of FWD in addition to TC and SC. Then I tried to find a 1-2 year old car, hard to find. I started looking at 2003's and they seemed to give you alot of car for the money. I negotiated a price 5.1K below MSRP. Later found out that factory to dealer money was available and some people were getting 6-7K off of MSRP. Called another dealer across state and they told me upfront about the factory to dealer cash. I sort of feel like a chump. In this day and age invoice and MSRP don't mean anything until you thoroughly search for all incentives and that can take some work. I am hoping that reliability problems are in the past. Opted out of extended warrantee which would have cost me 2.1K. Also didn't get simoniz for exterior paint which would have cost$499. After I found out that I could have gotten a better deal I tried to approach the dealer about getting the extended warrantee at dealer cost which they claimed was $1800 and so would sale for $2000 instead of $2100. I didn't believe them so I still don't have a warrantee. Since my car is new I have four years to think about it. I have loved driving the car so far.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,931
    we have a 2 year old 9-5.
    look at it this way, if you have a good car the warranty isn't a big deal, you are covered for 50k. you can shop around for a gm warranty in the mean time, from what i understand.
    legitimate issues we have had, are rear seat heaternot working, and sid losing columns a couple of times, headlight bulbs burning out(drive in and they are replaced).
    another issue(resolved) that maybe was just a moneymaker.
    regrding winter driving, the tc works, but it's not like a 4wd system. snow tires will definetly help, so buy a tire\wheel package, if you are going to keep the car. it probably cheaper in the long run, and will keep your wheels looking good.
    if you post what state you live in, maybe you can get some feedback on the dealer.
    from what i understand, another resource is saabnet.com
  • My Saab 2000 9-5(61K) died on the highway. Took it to repair place. They had to replace ignition cassette. since then engine light has been on. They think it is oxygen sensor from starting.

    Has anybody had similar problems? Is this the start of a downhill trend?

    Thanks.
  • petersjfpetersjf Posts: 8
    The ignition cassette is a weak point of the 9-5 design and failure is common. It's almost a wear and tear item and 50-60k miles is when it seems to go. Some people keep a spare DI cassette in the trunk along with the fairly basic instructions on how to install it! It's about a $300 part from the online vendors.

    More info at saabnet - search for di cassette

    While no one is happy with their DI failures, it doesn't necessarily represent a trend towards failure of a bunch of other parts.

    Other common problems on the 9-5's are faulty turbo's producing a light smoke at start up, and faulty LED's in the information display.
  • jracinejracine Posts: 28
    Greetings,

    I was just wandering if you would have suggestions as to what is the best way to find a buyer for my prisitine 2002 Aero Steel grey w Touring? I only have 13,000 Km on it!

    Going to work abroad this fall...

    Any help would be appreciated!

    jr@laser-registration.com
  • Wouldn't the best way to sell an Aero now in Montreal be to throw an ad with an email address (but omit location and phone number) in the Sunday Boston Globe? Offer to email some photos once contacted. If you got the price down to around 24K USD or lower (see article in current issue of Forbes on significant drop in luxury resale values, especially Saab and BMW) that AERO would be on its way down I 91 by mid week with a BC or BU type behind the wheel.

    Incidentally, there are several high end used dealers in the Boston metro market who bring in trailer loads of both brand new and slightly used luxury cars and SUVs from dealers in Canada. Seems that our stronger economy is a better market.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    It's not the economy.. it's the exchange rate difference. Bringing in cars from Canada is an attractive exhange right now.

    In fact, some new car dealers in Canada are advertising to the U.S. To add to the incentive with new cars, the pricing strategy in Canada is more aggressive from manufacturers. They sell identical cars there for much less. It's a controversy going on that some officials and dealers are fighting.
  • amyshubbyamyshubby Posts: 19
    I decided on the 2000 Saab 9-5 SE instead of the 2001 Accord or Maxima. I am picking it up tomorrow.

    Thanks for the advice given. After test driving all three cars, I decided the Saab was much nicer and more fun to drive then the other two.

    The other big factor was the extended warranty. It's going to be covered by Saab until September 2006, which alleviated some of the reliability fears I had.

    Thanks again. I'm really excited about getting the car tomorrow.
  • kaparrettkaparrett Posts: 1
    Have had my 2003 9-5 Linear for approximately one month now. After having had a '98 Audi A4 and '01 Volvo S60, this is - by far - the most fun and "best" car I have had (I say best, because long term quality of the car will have to be proven).

    Had been looking at the 3.0 Arc, but decided on the Linear with the 5M transmission. Was, in my opinion, much more fun to drive. With the Premium and Touring packages, there wasn't much difference between the Arc and the Linear, excepting the 15 hp, ventilated seats and heated rear seats. Unlike a lot of people here it seems, I had a good dealership experience and got the full factory to dealer cash.

    I like the Saab for the size, the trim level, and little things like the a/c glovebox and the tilt down side mirror while in reverse. Ditto for the rear parking assist and the cool bi-xenon lights. Granted, these options are available on other cars, but not at the price for which I was able to get the Saab. Also, it's nice to finally have a car that's both fun to drive and where the rear seat passengers aren't completely cramped. The Homelink and autodimming mirrors are great ... after two cars with these features, I would not get one in the future w/out them.

    The stereo is quite good - although it would have been nice to have a multiple CD changer as standard. The seats are comfortable and again the room in the rear is excellent. I haven't used the OnStar system except to make a couple of calls, but I'm glad that I have it if ever needed.

    Ride quality is good and I haven't had any annoying creaks or rattles (something I did have in my Volvo). Although the interior is a bit dated, it's not offensively so, and I like the unique body stying that's very different than many cars in this arena (5 series, A6). I'm glad that I have the manual tranny as it makes the car a lot of fun to navigate around town and on the highway. Pickup is good thanks to the turbo.

    Suggestions would be one touch close operation of the sunroof, and the ability to control the windows/sunroof while outside the car. A electric tilt/telescope of the steering wheel would be nice, but not really necessary for me as I'm the only one who drives the car.

    Will definately look at Saab in the future if their large car is anything like the current 9-5. For those who care about such things, I'm a 32 year old male, living in Denver, Colorado.
  • We're looking to replace our 1997 Subaru Outback Limited Wagon with a car within the $30-$36K range... local Infiniti dealers are offering the FX35 for about $36K while we can pick up a 9-5 Arc for about $32K... I know these two are VERY different cars, and we were originally going to just go with the Infiniti, but we have had a long string of Japanese cars and wouldn't mind something new. However, the reliability of the Saab is questionable apparently, and that is not a strong selling point for a family of 4 with 3 drivers... we also own a 2001 Acura TL and love it very dearly, however we're looking for a car with more "character." The Saab, I know, has unmistakable charm, but the Infiniti is "out there" also. Any suggestions? Go for yet ANOTHER Japanese car for reliability or go for the Saab for an equal amount of charm with maybe a few more problems down the road?
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    After reading your post it seems like you are on a certain wavelength when it comes to cars and style/image. Many people consider Subaru the Saab of Japan. And I equate Infiniti with Saab in many ways. So I don't think your thought process is out of whack - it makes perfect sense to me.

    My previous Infiniti, a QX4, was great in many ways. But my current 9-5 SE (same as an Arc) has cost me about the same $$ in service costs. My Saab has not been perfect. The Infiniti wasn't perfect. But both were excellent vehicles that offered a personality different from what everyone else is driving.

    If you live in an area with good local service, any reliability worries can be taken care of. You might want to search around for local Saab specialists and try to find out if the local dealer is any good. I'm sure you well know your local Infiniti dealer.

    FWIW, I helped my mother buy a new car recently. Based on what she wanted, a 9-5 would have been perfect. Yet I recommended she pass on a Saab because where she lives there is no Saab dealer for almost 100 miles. What did she get? An Infiniti I35.

    Hope this helps.
  • alfaberalfaber Posts: 19
    I just had an experience that may be relevant. I drive an I35, and was helping a friend buy a new car. We drove the FX35, and she ended up with a 9-5 Linear Wagon. BTW: The dealer's opening price was $6500 below MSRP. One other car you might consider is the Nissan Murano. I felt it drove a bit better than the FX35, possibly due to the accelerator calibration when mated with the CVT transmission, and the styling isn't quite as imposing as the FX35's. Plus, it's cheaper.
     --Andy
  • hilstroy1hilstroy1 Posts: 1
    4 months ago I finally got a Saab. I have always wanted one and with the great discounts being offered my husband agreed that now was the time to get one. I love how sporty the car is, how well it handles and its speed (I traded in a Lincoln Navigator for it - big change!!)

    Unfortunately I am having several problems that I am hoping are not indicative of how the ownership of this car will be in the future. The first "problem" was that the passenger side visor broke within the 1st 2 weeks I had it. Not a big deal - just a minor annoyance. But then about a month ago I got in the car and the ESP light came on on the dashboard and never went off. I stopped the car, turned it off and then back on. The light went out. I thought maybe I had accidently hit the button or something. A week later I started the car and left my house. I noticed as I was driving down the road that none of the odometers were working - no speed, no fuel, no tac, nothing, although the car was working fine. Again, I stopped the car, turned it off and restarted. Everything was fine. I haven't had any issues since, but my fear is that it is a symptom of a larger or persistent problem. To make matters worse, my dealer is 60 miles away (I have been told that they are trying to get one in my home town). But I certainly don't want to have to drive out to the dealer on an ongoing basis to resolve issues like these.

    Has anyone else had any issues with the 2003 Linear 9-5?

    Thanks!
  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    The issues you're describing don't sound like common problems for a late model 9-5. Did you already take it to the Saab dealer for the 1,000-mile checkup?

    Perhaps take it to a local GM dealer or AutoZone to see if the diagnostic computer is showing any codes.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    We have our second 9-5 and have never had reliability problems and VERY few annoyance problems.

    I do have a thought as to what may have happened with your Gauges going out: If this happened during day light hours, it could be that somehow you had inadvertantly hit the "Night Panel" button on the dash and you didn't notice. This would cause all the gauges to shut down as well as turning off their lighting. The only gauge that would function would be the speedometer. If you didn't activate the feature somehow by mistake, your computer could have a malfunction that activated it. If that's the case, don't fret. I simple change out under warranty will fix the trouble and you'll be good to go with an explaination and fix for all your problems. You can expect years of reliable service based on my two previous 9-5's

    FWIW.. I think the Night Panel is a wonderful feature. I use this alot when I have to drive long distances at night. I activate it and then Dim the panel lights remaining and it creates a much more comfortable environment for late night drives on Dark Highways.

    Drew
  • buddhabmanbuddhabman Posts: 252
    Tough Choice. I am a Saab fan (Aero Owner) but I love the FX35/45 (AWD, Good engine, Cool Styling). If you can get a good price on the FX35 take it. If sportiness + gas mileage is high on your list then Saab Aero is the way to go. The reliability should be even or to Saab if you have good local dealers.
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    well ,took my saab for the 60000 mile service at a dealer in vermont.....
    the price list said $448. for 60,000 mile service

    i asked 3 times if it included all of the items that had to be replaced........
    to make story short.........when i picked up car i noticed that the serpentine belt was not done, the auto transm. fluid was not done,and they failed to reset the check engine lite.

    when i asked why i was told that they inspected it and it was in good shape......no need to replace........even thou i had paid for it in the $448 charge ,as listed on the board in the service dept.
    when i suggested i would talk to a lawyer they walked away..........saying that i had used the word lawyer......

    i then spoke to one of the owners and explained that he and i had entered into a contractual agreement .....and that he failed to live up to it...............

    after 20 minutes of pointing out the merits of my position he agreed to and did all of the work....

    to add ,i had asked them to mount 4 new michelin mxm tires ( i got from tire rack ) to replace my oe tires with 60,000 miles on them .they agreed.........they did not tell me that they sent the tires out to an outside contractor..........
    the wheels came back damaged......all chewed up.......one needs replacement...........again i reminded them that my agreement was with them and not the outside contractor..........i got a new wheel.........

    but,as i drove home ,i blew a new tire.........it happens that they did not replace the valve stem....with a new one.......and it developed a leak due to damage from the installation.......
    i did not noticed it until the tire blew up......

    so,i had to get a new tire............

    and of course,the balance was off so i had to re-do it........all 4 again.

    so people,when you bring your saab in for service,ask and inspect......over and over again......

    by the way,i bought a new di casette as suggested somewhere here......i now carry this in my car because i drive to fla. quite often and would hate to have this fail somewhere and have to visit a saab dealer .......

    ..and i have now learned that a number of 9.5 2001 have experienced failure of the turbo at about 19 to 21,000 miles......under warranty.....
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    That doesn't sound like the Typical Saab dealer to me.. Lets hope your experience is more unusual than common. I have always been extremely happy with my dealer. I've been dealing with them for over 8 years now.

    Okay... so.. what is a di cassette and why do I need to keep a spare with me?

    Drew
  • Ffb13, I was as unimpressed by your post and its ee cummings punctuation as probably you were impressed by your performance at the dealership. IMHO you strike me as a person just spoiling for a fight with a member of a lower social order. Were you really surprised that the hourly employees (that means they punch a time clock every morning for probably $9-14 per hour, live in a modest home-or trailer in VT-, and don't share your world view) walked away from a "customer" who started talking contract law and lawyers? Did you really have twenty minutes to debate the dealer? Maybe you should ask for a credit, tell them why you should get it and then move on to third party resolution if absolutely necessary. In other words, get a life.

    Please clarify though a couple of nagging details.

    1) you didn't realize you had a tire going soft from a slow leak "until the tire blew up"? Man, I wouldn't want to see you coming up behind me in the outside lane on I 91 South some night. I could wind up bunted down to Greenfield, MA.

    2) Did you not choose to buy new valve stems from the Tire Rack with your tires? Were new valve stems on your repair order? Or did you expect the Saab dealer to mount the Tire Rack tires and throw in for free four new valve stems?

    3) Wouldn't you agree that as long as a primary vendor stands behind the work, it doesn't really matter if they have located someone else who can do something faster, better, and/or cheaper? Afterall, isn't this just the law of comparative advantage of nations taken down to the level of the firm?
  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    Direct Ignition (DI) Cassette replaces conventional distributor and coil. Consists of 4 ignition coils mounted in a single 'cassette' plus other electronic controls. Sits on top of the engine between the banks of the valve cover and has the words "Direct Ignition" printed on the top.

    Probably as reliable as any other ignition system on the market, but if it fails the car will die instantly.

    I've had mine out when changing plugs and it's a snap to replace. 4 Torx screws (use the Torx driver in the trunk) and disconnect the electrical plug by sliding the locking clip toward the rear of the car, then pull the plug off.
  • skisummoskisummo Posts: 1
    Hi gang ,
    I am new to the group and need some info ASAP.
    I am trying to decide on the 2003 9-5 Linear with the 2.3 auto or the 2003 9-5 ARC with the 3.0 auto.
    Has anyone heard good or bad reviews,or major differences about the two motors.
    Repairs/Etc?
    Is invoice minus 5k a good deal?
    Any help or info will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks.........JK
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    blockisland guy,

    you could not be more wrong.
    and ,why the class warfare stament ? are you from the peoples republic of vermont or are you an employee of the dealer.

    i will adrress your silly comments as follows.

    in conn. the price for the 60,000 mile service is $699.
    in vt, it is $448.
    ...........so, i chose vermont..... i do have a house there and are there quite often.

    .little did i know that even thou in their price list they say one thing ,they mean something else. but i could have easily prevailed in court. i have all in writing. and so ,they did what was correct.

    i mentioned the lawyer because i was getting nowhere with them ,and i dealt all the way up the line to the co-owner.........

    no,i am not full of myself.....nor satisfied with having what was correct ,done....as you suggest.......
    i paid for something and i expect to get what i paid for...........
    if you are willing to get less for your money than you are told that you will get ,and you do not fight for what is rigth and correct,then ,that is your way.........not mine.

    all i wanted was to get my car back with the full work that was promised..............but,i check and i inspect ..........and when i found not all was correct ,i then went up the ladder to get it done right.

    it would have been easy and fun for me had they fulfilled their agreement in full .....instead it turned into a bad experience.......

    regarding tires.........
    any tire dealer or saab dealer knows that when they install a new tire ,a new valve has to go in..........period.

    as far as the blowout........i suggest that you talk to any tire dealer and you will find out that it extremely difficult to feel low presure when driving on low profile tires......
    i did check the tire before my trip and all was o.k. but once rolling i guess the valve just started to leak and so after a while heat build up took care of blowing it up. no warning of low pressure,nothing.just a blow out.

    i did the tire in vermont because they charged me $72 to mount the new tires including balance and all.

    the dealer in connecticut wanted $248.00 for the same service .and the local goodyear store wanted $100.00

    the michelin dealer would not do it because i got the tires from tire rack..........

    so ,i ended up in the hands of an incompetent tire guy who did the work for the saab dealer in vt. because this dealer does not have the equipment to align a car, nor to balance/mount 17 inch tires..........something that i was not told until after i got the car back............

    incidentally ,the 60,000 mile service calls for an alignment check and execution....this dealer cannot do it.

    by the way when i picked up the car ,they never told me that the tires had been damaged.......i had to inspect them and bring it to their attention.....and only one wheel was replaced even thou all have damage from the impoper tire mounting equipment or technique used by this so called tire dealer.

    so, blockisland guy ,if you think that this experience is something that i want ,you are very misguided....i like things to go easy ....i have a very simple mind and like things to be as i am told ...........
    byt the way,how did you know that i was on i91 ????

    drew,
    the di casette ............there are explanations above.......
    the reason i got a spare one to carry with me is because i spoke to 6 mechanics at saab dealers all over and they all told me that this is an item that fails more often than other items in the car.

    one of the service advisers ,not a mechanic told me that it is more common to have this fail than to have a tire blow out.
    and they go usually after 60,000 miles.......and at times they go at at about 30,000 miles but many go on to 120,000 miles..........

    while i was at the dealer in vt. they changed one in a car with only 23,000 miles.
    i do not want to risk being stranded anywhere so i got one..
    the saab dealer in conn. wanted $423.00

    the vt. dealer wanted the same ,plus a $235.00 core charge because i did not have an exchange.

    i called europarts on the telephone and got it for $338.00...........
    on tuesday i drove the saab down to fla. and i towed a motorcycle on a trailer....all was o.k.
    the only downside is that i usually average between 32 and 36 mpg.....at approx. 75 to 85 mph.

    with the trailer ,i got 20.2 mpg.
    i mounted 15 inch tires on the trailer and it was great.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    Both engines are quite reliable. The V6 has a GM-sourced engine block and components but has been heavily massaged by Saab. About the only real concern with it is the fact that it has a timing belt instead of a chain which needs replacing every 60K (Saab does the first one free). Overall its a smooth, torquey engine that is well suited for most types of driving.

    The 4 cyl is the traditional Saab motor. Been around for ages. Almost overengineered and prolly the last Saab motor of its kind. A decent amount of upgrades and mods available. Seems to be a little more troubleprone than the V6 but not troublesome. For the Saab purist the 4 cyl is the only way to go.

    Both motors have their quirks and trouble spots but are very good as long as they're maintained well. Since the V6 is heavier the feel of the 9-5 changes a bit. The best thing to do is drive them each for a good bit in all kinds of traffic and get the one you like best.

    Invoice minus $5K sounds like an excellent price. Try to get that on a BMW or Mercedes!
  • bostnwhalrbostnwhalr Posts: 128
    I was at the Saab dealer getting the DI Cassette replaced off my 99' 9-3 with 75k miles. The nice service manager acted like it was a typical wear item. When I asked why they fail, he said that because they are placed on top of the engine, the engine heat (and temperature changes) causes them to need replacement. Also, my second SID has failed, $380 for a new one installed. Overall, I still like the car, but for those of you coming from Japanese cars, you'll be shocked by stuff like this. I hate to say this, but its possibly another reason why Saab hasn't gained significant market share. In this day, where people expect at least 100k without significant problems, that's pretty stupid on Saab's part. However, I believe that Volvo, Audi, VW, Mercedes Benz and even BMW are facing worsening reliability problems. If you want a European car, you could do far worse than a 9-5. Ask my friend with his 1999 A4 with rear main seal leak and bearing failures at 55k - 60k miles.

    There was a point to the post. I'm in the market for a 9-5 wagon, circa 2000. Close to the service desk was a used 99' 9-5 wagon SE (with the V-6). As I looked at the car, I was thinking, you know, I should go ask the service writer what he things about the V-6 vs. the 4cyl. Ironically, before I could go over to see him, he looks up and waves me over to come talk to him.

    "I didn't tell you this, but go for the 4 cyl. model." He mentioned something about the V-6 having a timing belt while the 4 cyl. having a timing chain. He had no vested interest in selling me a car. I truly appreciated his unsolicited candor.

    Anyway, the dealer had a 2000 9-5 2.3t, 41k miles, no leather, but sunroof. $23,900 with 100k bumper-to-bumper warranty. Seeing that another Saab dealer has 2003 Service Loaner wagons with leather and other options for $27k, I'll take a pass on the offer. I could find the same 2000 9-5 on Ebay for $12k. The lower reasonable prices are why I'm considering another Saab. I'll take my chances on replacing a SID and DI once in a while.....
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