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Saab 9-5 Sedan



  • 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.

  • 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 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 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 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?

  • 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.
    Is invoice minus 5k a good deal?
    Any help or info will be greatly appreciated.
  • 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., 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 , 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 ????

    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 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.....
  • Hi all,

    A little bit of background (for context), then a question for anyone who cares to listen.

    A few years back, I owned an Audi 200 quattro. It was by any measure a very enjoyable car to drive, but frequent, high maintenance and repair costs eventually lead me to sell it, in favor of a more "practical" Honda Prelude. I knew that someday I wanted to own a well made sporty sedan again.

    The Honda is "okay" to drive, but it's not exactly inspiring. However, it has served me better than I could have ever imagined.. I purchased it with about 45k miles, and in 5 years of daily driving and occasional abuse, it's never once broken down. Literally -nothing- has failed on the car until very recently, when I needed to replace the master cylinder. Other than that it's run like a charm every single day.

    But the time has come to replace the venerable Honda. I need more room for cargo, and although I imagine the Prelude could continue to serve me well, I'm not sure that I want to be driving a car with its best years behind it.

    In researching what's available, it seems to me that the 2001 9-5 Aero fits the bill almost perfectly. It's got plenty of space, power, good mileage, etc. etc. and is reasonably priced (in the 25k range). And as it turns out there's a low mileage specimen at a dealership not far from me.

    So I'm looking for some advice from recent owners/ex-owners, enthusiasts, and/or pundits. Is the '01 9-5 going to be the ideal car? Or is it going to be another Audi-like experience, where in one loves the car but hates having to deal with an endless stream of repairs? By way of comparison, Honda Accords don't excite me in the least as a car enthusiast, but I know if I buy one the chances are good that I won't know the service manager on a first-name basis.

    This is sort of the classic "fun versus reliable/practical" issue, but I'm wondering if/hoping that the 9-5 Aero might be both.

    Any thoughts, feedback would be greatly appreciated!
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    if you read my post and the above post you will get an idea of what you are in for.
    so far my 2000 aero which is rated by consumers report as very reliable has had 3 or 4 computers replaced ,an electric fan,an oil leak,and disc brakes.

    60,000 miles .so far.

    a much fun to drive car and good range...about 525 miles or more i get 600 on long trips at about 80 mph.

    if you want reliability stick to honda.
    if you want reliability and fun check out infinity g35.

    also most saab owners are kind of fanatics.........see posts above.....because the cars used to be unique and charming.......currently they are german opels with a saab name..........if you ever drive an ipel in europe you will understand.


    if you want fun fun go saab but you will pay........

    if you want the reliability of honda,lexus and infinity....stick to those.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    One thing (of many) to keep in mind is the 9-5 is much more practical than most of the cars it competes with. The interior is huge with plenty of room front and rear. If you carry people frequently or want/need a roomy car, the 9-5 is terrific.

    The 9-5 has a huge trunk and offers flip & fold rear seats which turns it into a fantastic hauler. I know for a fact the G35 doesn't offer this and its trunk is tiny by comparison.

    So the 9-5 is equal parts fun and practical. Just depends on what's more important to you.

    And while I've never driven an Opel or Vauxhall, I am somewhat familiar with their product lines. I can't think of a single model from those companies that have any tangible similarities to the 9-5. Yeah, there's some parts sharing and some platform sharing but that's a million miles from making Opels and Vauxhalls the same as Saabs.
  • buddhabmanbuddhabman Posts: 252
    Consumer Reports noted that the quality of the 2001 and later models is much improved over the earlier models. Believe it or not I think GM money has helped with this. We have a 2003(7800 miles) with no problems at all. The only wish I had for the car is a little stiffer springs.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    Too bad you don't have a dealer like mine. Sounds like yours is clueless. If mine wanted to charge me the cost of a scheduled repair without doing all the work.. explaining it didn't need it.. but we're charging you for it anyway.. I'd be completely done with him! That's insane!

    I hope you find better service soon. Good luck.
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    of course i will never go back to that dealer in vermont.except to get the new wheel he owes me.

    i have an excellent dealer in connecticut. he is expensive but i do trust him because i know him for a long time.
    and,also have an excellent mechanic here in florida who has a very large operation and works only on saabs'.

    dealers do not get it .and ,i do not mean saab only but almost all of them. their prices are 3 to 4 times higher than anyone else out there ( i do undeerstand their overhead ,etc....) but,and at times they fake the work. i think that they rely mostly on warranty work.

    most of the people i know ,once the warranty expires they go on to local mechanics,usually after their first non-warranty work to a dealer.

    last month my vette broke a tiny piece of plastic in the clutcch pedal. a $1.25 part.-----the clutch became very hard and difficult to engage.

    i called my mechanic in fla. and he told me what was wrong,namely the clutch pedal went out of alignement when this plastic piece broke off.

    i removed the panel that covers this area and took it to my local dealer in conn.--i told him exactly what was wrong with the car.and went home.................
    he called me 2 hours later and told me that i needed a new clutch assembly at $800. and a new clutch pressure plate at $1400.----(not including the clutch ).....
     i told him to do nothing and came to pick up the car.
    i then explained to him that this was a case of gross incompetence or other way around it..........

    i then went to the parts dept, and ordered the plastic piece and a week later i had the same mechanic replace it........the car now works fine.

    but i got hit with a $125. diagnostic charge and a $ 190 charge for 2o minutes of work the next week.

    i can fight it and win ,but ...rather forget it and go on....
    so, it is difficult when you keep cars to over 250,000 miles like i do.......mostly because it is hard to find honest people out there to work on it.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    They may not be dishonest.. It could be that they are just stupid.

    In either case.. they should be out of the business.

  • mdashimdashi Posts: 6
    My friend at work has a 2000 Saab 9-5 Wagon that had the "bike" package and came with 225/45/17 tires. The originals were Michelins and they wore out in 15K miles. He had them replaced with a set of Kumhos and had an alignment done. They lasted another 15K miles. He bought a third set of tires and had another alignment done. This time he asked to see the alignment results. They said that the front had been out of alignment and they fixed it, and that the back was just a little out of alignment and there wasn't anything they could do about it. Is this type of tire wear (15K for a set) normal for a wagon that is driven in a non-sporting manner around town only??? I drive a M3 with the same size tires on the front, and I'm getting longer life out of the same Kumho tires and I drive extremely fast and hard and even do a little autocross racing. It just doesn't make any sense. Can anyone help??

          -- Matt
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    Two things to find out: Does he have an Aero Version and how often is he rotating?

    The Performance tires used on the Aero are low profiles that do not last nearly as long as traditional tires do. 15K might be normal if he's not keeping pressures and rotations up.

    With either 9-5 version, he should be rotating every 5,000 miles. Ignore what Saab says about 10K or not at all with the newest versions. Thats insane! IMO I followed the 10K recommendation with my first 9-5 and my tire wear was not as good as it should have been. BUT... I got closer to 25K before one tire became unacceptable for wet roads.

    Our 2002 9-5 Wagon now has 15K on it and no sign of significant wear. I rotate every 5K now.

    Aside from his rotation interval, he needs to make sure he keeps his tire pressure in check. That will kill these tires very fast and MUST be checked when the tires are cold or sitting idle for at least 3 hours.

  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    I've heard plenty of stories from 9-5 owners of rapid tire wear on 17's. Heck, the 16's on my SE wore out at 28K.

    Gotta run higher than normal tire pressures, rotate often, and pay close attention to them. Even still, they're gonna wear faster than a RWD car.
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