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Saab 9-5 Sedan

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  • Another day... More Saab reliability. Another headlight failure announcement on the failing SID. It was correct and am going to replace the lamp yet again (I have three spares always on hand).

    My experience with Saabs is echoed by the mechanics in this area. They have seen lots of folks here with troubled Saabs and a minority of Saabs that are trouble free. We never had any trouble with the 7 Toyotas we owned so it is back to Toyota for my next car. I am sure there are Saabs that run trouble free. You may have one; congratulations on your good fortune.

    Is my car a lemon? Probably not under the lemon laws since it can be fixed and the truly major engine parts haven't given out. It certainly isn't reliable and requires constant repair. However from the long list in my previous post you can see why I hold my breath every time I start the thing. Frankly the car isn't worth much, thus unfortunately I am stuck with it since it probably would be too expensive to trade it in on something that would give peace of mind.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    Your not stuck with anything. Just sell it, trade it, or whatever and spare us the rest. Statistically you know I'm right and your local machanics experiences aren't better then CR or JD Powers... sorry. We don't need to hear about every instance when a headlight goes out. Pull the fuse for the daytime lights and leave it at that. I replaced my first headlamp last month on our 18 month old 9-5. It's the price you pay if you wanna keep daytime lights on.

    Actually... I take that back... it's not the price you pay since it was replaced under warranty.

    Drew
  • Drew: You don't get it. It is getting in the car and often as not something goes wrong, minor usually, which requires attention. Thanks for your advice but for your information the first set of head lights blew at 3 months after I got the car and the fuse for the running lights was taken out at that time. Only 4 more complete sets along with quite a few individual ones have been replaced since. Dealers have been no help.

    I suppose I should do a Col. Potter (MASH) and shoot the thing. The other option is to donate it for a tax write off. The next car certainly won't be a Saab no matter how much loyality incentive I am offered.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    I do get it. You have LOTS of problems with your car that you shouldn't. I don't dissagree at all with that. The difference is that I'd unload it as soon as I was convinced that I wouldn't get anything more from the dealer or Saab for relief and move on. I absolutely aggree it's not right.

    I just think it is NOT correct to say Saabs in general are NOT reliable. It's a false statement. I have a neighbor who had the identical situation with 2 Volvo's he's owned. Lights were going out constantly along with Many other problems. After his 2 Volvo's I still wouldn't make a general statement that Volvo's are unreliable.

    He finally dumped it and got a BMW instead of another Volvo. That's what I'd do if I were you.

    I don't mean to badger you. But, I will speak up if i disagree with something said here. I do wish you luck with your future choices. The odds are greatly in favor of consumers getting basic reliable cars no matter what they chose this day in age. That's the good news.

    D.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    Okay... I hate sounding like a Saab nut who will defend them all the time and make excuses even when they get it wrong. So here's one of my Pet Pieves with them:

    Wiper Blades! First of all, why do they have to use a size that is NOT available at retail? They have an odd size only available at the dealer for an INSANE price. Second, it seems that they've made a further change in the Grip Size for the Refill. What i used to do was buy longer Refills and cut them to the proper legnth. Now when I do that, the little Gripers you slide the blade into are too small. This method worked great on our previous 9-5 but not on our '02.

    I'm really ticked about this. I bent them to fit but the Blades do NOT work well now. The funny thing is that this it the type of issue that annoys me enough to think more in my next purchase. LOL My reason for that is because i have to beleive they thought about this and decided to force a high profit part sale at the dealer level.

    Drew
  • Curious to know if anyone has made any mods on there 9-5 Saabs. I am interested in stiffer shocks and steel braided brake lines. Has anyone used Abbott Racing, Hirsch or Nordic parts?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,972
    exactly what is an insane price? i thought i bought a set, but couldn't find a receipt. don't seem to remember having a heart attack over the price. there are places you can order factory parts at discount prices out there. i actually might need a new set soon.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    It's been awhile since I priced them at my dealer since cutting down larger Refills used to work well. It seems to me that a pair was gonna run me around $30. That's INSANE.

    I'll find out before long though... after several hours of driving in the rain today with poor blades the sounded like finger nails on a chalk board on every pass, I'll have to do something soon!

    Drew
  • Note -- not trying to tick anyone off here just thought I would mention my experience with Saab. I think it is important in a forum like this.

    When my wife and I looked for a new Sedan 3 years ago we were not comfortable in purchasing -- nothing on the market stood out. So at the time we thought --- hey what the heck we will lease and try a car out for 3 years...if we like we will buy. After a ton of research BUT NOT looking at the customer satisfaction reports, essentially just features -- we ended up on a Saab 95. I am soooooo glad to be getting rid of this car next month ---- soooooo glad. This car has an MSRP approaching 40k and let me tell you it is not worth 15k, IMO. 1 week after we got it, a colleague of mine who is a citizen of Sweden laughed at me and outright told me that Saabs are considered Junk luxury sedans in Sweden. They are better known for other vehicles like commercial trucks. He was saying that most Swedes cannot figure out why people buy these cars over a Volvo or other well known European models.

    So with this in mind we started down our lease. Well, within 5000 miles it sprang an oil leak all over my garage floor. Once that was fixed, one of the headlamps went out. Then the digital display got all jarbled. Then the brake pads needed replacement at 20,000 miles (seems awfully short to me), now there are popping noises coming from the steering column, high pitched screeching sounds in reverse at low speeds, and finally a collection of rattles in the car -- making it noisy. To top it off, on the way home tonight we noticed that the light on the right heated-seat knob no longer lights up. It is just one thing after another. Tonight was the straw to document my experience here on edmunds as I found this site useful in my recent Saab replacement purchase.

    Now, my wife and I are extremely pleasant to our vehicles. We do all the maintenance when the manual indicates. This was her car and she drives it very soft and easy. But when we have to take a 40 thousand dollar car to the garage 4 times outside of regular maintenance before 30,000 miles I am ready to be rid of this poorly built car. I have had a Ford Taurus in the past that never had a problem in 80,000 miles of ownership, we owned a Nissan 240SX -- not a single problem in 113,000 miles of ownership. Why all the sudden do we get an expensive vehicle and it is a running joke.

    Also, is it me or does anyone else find this car vastly unintuitive. Every feature it seems I am pulling out the manual and I am a professional engineer. Our other car (a Ford Explorer) is very intuitive for doing things like turning on fog-lights, implementing the radio volume-speed increase feature, the wipers on the headlamps, checking the oil against a black plastic tip on the dip-stick -- what genius engineer thought of this????

    We have decided in our next purchase going with a winner -- we bought a Lexus. How much you want to bet I do not have any problems with this car before 75,000 miles -- not a single one.

    So long Saab! Should the slogan be:

    "Saab, We can only sell to foreigners -- our countrymen know better."
  • GBrianKGBrianK Posts: 211
    Actually heard quite the opposite from my relatives in Uppsala. He considers his Volvo to be a heap (1998 S70, electrical issues out the rear).

    As for me, I have owned two SAABs in the last 4 years and both have been great. I, unfortunately, am leaving the SAAB family as well due to the new family of GM bred products (9-3SS). My friend owns a 9-5 and has never had an issue at all with his Aero.
  • I am always amazed by those who experience what are essentially nickel & dime issues, and find it unacceptable. If you own a car for 3 years, and have to "garage" it 4 times because a bulb is burned out; or an oil leak; or break pads (20K isn't necessarily unusual, depending on what type of driving you do); or an interior light goes out - I'm not sure thats the end of the world. The fellow who has the '99 probably has a legitimate complaint - many cars in the 1st model year (regardless of manufacturer) experience above average quality issues.

    I've owned many kinds of cars: Olds, Pontiac, Honda, Toyota, VW, Ford (the Explorer was the one I couldn't wait to ditch), Chrysler and Saab. All have required some level of repair and most other brands (you can fill a book on Acura complaints) as well.

    I CAN SAY THIS ABOUT SAAB: They have by far the BEST warranty, HANDS DOWN, I've ever experienced. It's never cost me a cent and they always provide a loaner or rental car at their cost. No hassle - unlike any other brand I've ever had: I had an air bag sensor not working properly and called the dealer. I live 150 miles away, and explained it would be a couple of weeks before I could get in. The dealership SENT A TRUCK, a rental car and hauled it in to be fixed. No charge, no hassle. Amazing.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,972
    check out the vw threads; $80 for wipers! even my ford dealer is 20+.
    re: saab reliability, we have had our share of annoyances during our 2.5+ years of ownership; fluid leaks, headlight bulbs, sid, heated rear seats, m/a sensor, but it hasn't been our most troublesome. dealer service has been below par, at times, but we always got a 9-5 loaner. never had a vehicle without any issues.
    facing the buy/turn in next spring.
  • When people find it okay to go to the dealership on a repeatable basis --- I guess being a business owner I do not have the time that some have at their expense. After looking at my records I fogot, I had a sensor problem -- that makes it 5 trips to the dealership within 28,000 miles. Yeah, I get the loaner car and yes they are courteous -- but you know what -- I should NOT be there 5 times in 2 years. Once you throw in oil changes I am averaging probably somewhere in area of 60-100 hours of inconvenience for a 40k car -- I am sorry but this is unacceptable to me. You may not seem to think this is a problem -- but all my friends think that it is (so I know my wife and I are not crazy). I ended up talking to a neighbor today who has a 95 -- mostly due to thinking about my post here -- guess what.... same experience as me! He cannot wait to get rid of it either. He was the guy who talked another neighbor out of buying one.

    All I know is this -- my wife and I have owned over 6 cars together (9 counting company cars) -- we have never done anything but routine maintenance to ANY of them. We lease a Saab 95 and we are taking it to the dealership once every 3 months PLUS the routine maintenance (not acceptable). My issues may seem "nickel and dime" to some -- but my time is extremely valuable as I am a father and a business owner. I do not subject my wife to sitting around in a dirty service department waiting to hear her name called on a loud speaker. Not trying to start any arguments -- but the idea that these "nickel and dime" occurrences should just be considered a fact of life is absurd. Hey, I wish you all the luck in the world on your Saab -- and when you have to get your car tuned up, I would love to compare the cost to a Japanese vehicle. Oh yeah, I guess that will be coming soon as the manual states you need an official tune-up at 60k while Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, say you need to do it at 100k (only mention these brands at I know this for sure on this manufacturer) -- so I guess this make the TCO significantly less. So it would appear that the argument of these "nickel and dime" issues goes out the window when you take into account TCO.

    I do not know how it is at other dealerships -- but when I want a loaner car they have an Enterprise Rental Service booth at the dealership. So when I bring in the car -- guess what, I get in-line and wait like all the other Saab owners. On one occassion it took 90 minutes to drop off the car, explain what is wrong, and then go through the Enterprise paperwork to actually get a loaner! Sorry I do not have this type of time on my hands. Also, I do not want to deal with learning about which bulbs to buy extra -- in case a bulb goes out again. This car is literally a laughing joke within my family -- and apparently down the street at one of my neighbors house.

    Oh yeah -- a 4 year/50k limited warranty is actually the worst in its class -- I encourage you to go look for yourself. For instance, Lexus is a 4 year/60k limited warranty.

    My wife and I could not be happier to be picking up our next car within the week.

    Good Luck and I hope all you have much better luck than my family. But I have to say -- I chuckle when I hear someone complain about the cost associated with their vehicle and then in the same sentence brag about the car:-)
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,972
    seems like a bad dealership experience compounded what should be minor issues. if i have a headlight go out, i drive into the dealership, they have a tech come over, replace both bulbs, no questions asked. out in 5 minutes, no paperwork. hasn't happened in quite a while, though.
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    i too own a saab. a 9.5 aero 2000 which i got new in december 1999 ,and have been to the dealer many times.
    4 new computers,a new cooling fan that left me stranded in d.c. on my way to ct from fla.
    and many other so called nickel and dime issues.
    like blonw bulbs,locked out shifting gear,plug a/c water drains dropping a gallon of water under the front seats,and other such minor stuff,
    including 4 blown tires 17 inchers.

    anyhow i want to correct your statement about the lexus warranty...it is 70,000 miles on the power train as is infinity....

    i am now shopping for a new car and have driven the new vw phaeton,mb500,lexus 430,bmw530, and every time a get off one of them and back on the saab,i am happy that i own the saab.....

    (except for diving the new 530----this is a car ,period.nothing out there matches the fun this car gives. it is a 4 passanger sports car.and the new active steering is great. but...reliability ??????? )

     so, the reason i still like the saab,check out the reliability on mb ,bmw an vw........and the prices being paid for those cars.

    the lexus appears to be my next car but i am keeping the saab.....it is fun to drive......

    but,you know why i take this atitude........
    it is because i have owned a number of jaguars before,and as a jaguar owner who kept going back ,i must be a car masochist .

    and i see the same thing with saab.......it is a sweedish jaguar........
    in jaguar it is my opinion ,prior to ford,,,,,5 out of 7 were lemons..

    after ford,maybe 4 out of 7.

    and with saab ,i think we are going down the same route.

    but,it is so much fun.......

    by the way,one car that i drove twice already and it is an incredible car with the finest sound system --dvd--out there and a great navigation system ,a great ride,firm and secure and very sporty, the new acura tl.
    ut not enough room inside since it is a repackaged
    honda accord---but,super reliable.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    What I "find amazing" is that you seem to be spending about as much time going on here as you do having the Saab serviced. ;)

    I'm sorry for your experience. It happens sometimes. I have a Honda that's 6 months old and so far it's had more "issues" than our previous 3 Saabs combined. I know your frustration. I NEVER expected that from Honda but I absolutely realize that even Honda has a bad apple on occasion. Fortunately mine are mostly annoyance issues and not Mechanical so far.

    Good Luck with the Lexus. I'm sure you'll be very happy.
    Drew
  • Starrin, wow. I would hate to see how you reacted to a real problem with a purchase of a manufactured good. A quick reading of your posts turns up a couple of inconsistencies and not a little arrogance. For an example of an inconsistency, Post #2 talks about "yeh, I get the loaner car" in paragraph #1 and then in paragraph #3 complains NOT getting a loaner and standing in a rental car line for 90 minutes. Sitting around dirty service departments? This is impossible to believe. The manufacturers have very high standards and I've yet to see a dirty service waiting room in an imported car dealership in recent years. Most car dealerships wash and polish their floors with Tenant Floor machines every night. Most dealerships are cleaner than any restaurant or caterer you will ever be in. In any case, get the loaner and go!

    Arrogance? Most people who pop for a new Saab are , as the Census Bureau would say, Managers, Professionals or Others. Not a few are business owners. I've never ever heard someone lump routine maintenance (i.e, oil changes) into why owning a particular car model was such a burden. Count yourself lucky that you aren't a teacher, cop, nurse, fireman, etc. whose hours are not as flexible as a busines owner and so routine maintenance like an oil change must be a hassle. But a hassle which anyone can minimize: drive the car to a JiffyLube in your jogging gear and run for 40 minutes while the underclass works on the business owners car.

    Come on. Enjoy life. You apparently have done well in this world. You got to drive a Saab for a couple of years which in itself isn't a bad thing. You didn't like the ownership experience, so move on.
  • Unfortunatley for some, the older Saab models particularly those of pre 2000 had many reliability problems. Though according to Consumer Reports, reliability has improved signifiacnlty since the 2001 model year. Our 2003 Aero Wagon has been buzz, rattle, glitch, and bug free, thank goodness. Besides with OnStar Roadside assistance and diagnotics, I am not overly worried.
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    just back from the dealer to fix a power steering leak about which i have been complaining for 12 months and no one could find the exit place.

    well ,my dealer ,went all the way for me . he inspected every nook and cranny including the steering rack bellows......too make the story short.....he found out from saab that all 2000 9.5 utilize a cover for the fluid that has a tiny hole in it.
    according to saab ,the liquid vaporizes and travels out of this hole thus,the low fluid levels at times.........

    my car is going on 70,000 miles now .

    because i am going into another car ,not a saab, i plan to kep the saab ,and maybe put less miles per year on it.will keep it for winter travel mostly.
    it is still a lot of fun
  • In April of 2003, I purchased my 2003 Aero. Except for a check engine light problem that was corrected, the car has been problem free, and lovely. Fifteen thousand miles, lightening fast,roomy, and luxurious. The Aero is awesome and unique.
  • Ditto to Starrin. My wife and I had a 99' 9-3. Great car to drive, supposedly reliable according to CU. However, let's see: 2 CID's crapped out, one under warranty. One of the retention pulley's let go, stranding my wife and 11 month old on a major highway at 53k miles. No sympathy from Saab Customer Service on that one since that's a "wear item" that needs regular replacement. Never heard that one before on any other car. And then of course, don't forget that you have to replace the Direct Injection Cassette every 4 years because it sits directly on top of the engine where it heats and cools to extreme temperatures daily. I didn't even know what the heck this cassette was til the service dealer pulled one out of the trash from a car the day before and exclaimed, "Yeah, normal wear item". Well, my 1991 Volvo 940 finally needed the equivalent part at 170k miles, ok?

    Every time I went in for service, I got the sense that Saab owners such as myself were brainwashed into thinking that these were normal to all cars. Frankly, I had better things to do with my time, then hang around a service area with a fairly new car.

    Prior to the last repair, we were very seriously considering a 9-5 wagon. After getting it again, we went "boring" and bought a Honda Pilot instead. I'm sure the newer 9-5's are more reliable, but we won't know til 4 years out. I didn't feel like finding out first hand.

    Oh, and that same service writer said to avoid the V-6, too.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,972
    posted a complaint on the rx330 site because he has to push the button on the remote twice for the rear hatch to unlock. :)
  • Someone from Saab must have erased mesage 1630.
    Basically I will say it again. One of the best days of my life was when I gave back my SAAB 95.
    The only reason people lease SAABS are the great lease rates. The only thing worse than the cars
    are SAABs service department.

    DO NOT GET BAITED BY A GREAT LEASE DEAL
  • Pokadots, in the interest of fairness to all, why don't you repost the "missing" post. I'd like to see how serious the problems were.

    With regard to subsidized lease deals, the SAAB ones always seemed to me to be uniquely ideal for a SAAB buyer for lots of reasons. First,in leasing you are buying an option to buy at the end of the lease. So, if you like the car or if it is worth more than someone thought it would be three years previous you can buy the car. This option to buy is probably most important on a car you aren't reallly sure about and/or is a bit out of the mainstream. Secondly, you get to walk away in three years with no hassle. Thirdly, I suspect that with a leased vehicle you might have more ammunition if things went wrong. You could ask for the leasing company to negotiate with SAAB, you could ask for a penalty-less early termination if you leased another GM car, etc. etc. In other words you could drag in a third party into the discussion.

    So, bring on the great lease deals. Let me drive a 40K Aero for $395 (just kidding) a month. Let me bring it back in disgust in three years if I want to. Let me keep it if SAAB turns around and Lutz improves the resale. Let me bring the leasing company to the table if the thing is junk. Despite the boilerplate I'll bet that you could get a leasing company to put some pressure on the manufactuer. ( For what it is worth, I write this as one who has never leased anything.)
  • Looking for feedback on buying a 2001 Saab 9-5 SE wagon from my local Volvo dealer (who apparently doesn't want a competing Swede on his lot). The car has 39,000 miles on it and appears gently used - only concern is a CarFax report showing it titled as a rental for its first 2000 miles prior to being titled to a private party (possibly a service loaner?). The dealer is currently down to $15,600 for the car. Is this as good a deal as it seems or am I missing something about this particular car or Saabs in general? I'd like to buy and drive this wagon to 100K+. Any thoughts or troublespots with Saabs (V6?) that I should be aware of before I write a check? Thanks in advance to all who respond to my plea for help!
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    This forum was dead for about a year but I guess the winter blahs have been getting to some folks.

    CHIC345 - $15.6 is an excellent price for that car. Since its not being sold by a Saab dealer its not CPO and that's one reason the price is good.

    The consensus on V6 reliability is that its an excellent engine with very few problems. There are fewer V6 9-5's on the road than the 4 cylinder models but statistically it's looking like the V6 is every bit as reliable as the 4 cyl if not better. Use a full synthetic oil and change it every 5000-6000 miles. Don't go past 7500 miles between oil changes on the V6.

    Write down the VIN and contact or visit your Saab dealer and see if they can find any service records. Things like spark plugs, transmission fluid, and coolant need to be replaced at 30K along with the normal oil change and air filter replacement. IOW, try to find out if the 30K service was done. If not that'll run you $300-500 and should not be ignored.

    While you're at the dealer ask about buying an extended warranty. It might be worth the expense if only to mitigate potential expensive repair costs down the road. Saab parts are not cheap nor widely available and that makes some repairs rather pricey.

    Like most European cars, Saabs are not rolling appliances. They need regular maintenance, a dose of TLC occassionally, and an owner who appreciates the driving & ownership experience. There is hardly a safer car on the road than a 9-5. And I think Saab is probably the last automaker selling a car with some real personality and character. If these things appeal to you, you'll love the 9-5. If not, there are other fine cars out there to own.
  • I am looking at a 01 AERO that is loaded, but it has a 5 speed. I have no experience with Saab manual transmissions. Specifically the clutch. Can anyone offer up advice on their reliability or problems??? The car has 15K miles and the dealer is asking $24,000. It is not Certified. Does anyone know what the average cost to Certify is??? Would this be a fair price? Or should I have certifed, if not to costly.
    Any thoughts would be appreciated!!!
  • GBrianKGBrianK Posts: 211
    Reliability is better than average. I had owned my 9-3 manual for 34000 and was close to needing a new clutch ($500). Brake replacement around 40K (estimated by Service Advisor). I recommend you get the car Certified. Usually runs about $2000. Worth every penny. You can expect a few things to go out after 50K miles: DI Casette, SID display.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    WEll... If you've been here long you know i've had 2 9-5's and loved both. Our current one is a Wagon. Reliability has been great so far. This is after 6 years experience.

    But the reason for my response: I too went boring with my work vehicle, a Honda Pilot. I got everything including leather and a DVD system i Hate. Don't get your hopes up too much here. The Pilot ain't all that great lemme tell you. It most definately does not have the expect build quality from Honda. It's just been.. "okay". What a shame. It is a grea highway vehicle though.

    Drew
  • Does anyone know if I can put Xenon lights in my 2001 9-5 Aero??? If so is there a better after market place to purchase them?
    Thanx,
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