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Saab 9-5 Sedan



  • jbro4jbro4 Posts: 1
    I am thinking of buying this car. Very nice condition, 56k miles. What should I be wary off? I have heard so much about issues with repairs on Saabs, but after driving it, I love it. Please help!
  • anyone have trouble with the transmission on their 9-5? Never had a single problem with my 9-3, but the 9-5 has been a piece of junk. And saab won't do a thing about it. Car has trouble getting into 2nd and 3rd gear, hesitates and dogs out, engine light keeps coming on...


    tried trading it in and found out two years later the car is only worth $12,000.
  • In the past year, my wife's 9-5 has been in the shop 45 days. The local dealer has never had a loaner available, so those were lost days of use I paid for on my lease from Saab. Contacted Saab customer service today to request a month credit on our base lease payments and the answer was NO. Looks like the 9-7x is out of the question in May when our lease is up..
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    transmission----when i first bought the car and after 6,000 miles or so ,i did the oil service and found that it was easy to also drain and fill the trnny.

    when i did i found a lot of metal particles stuck on the magnet at the end of the plug.


    so, i decided to to be safe i would change the transmission fluid myself every 6,ooo miles.


    knock on wood.


    but ,i have spoken to friends at the saab dealership---they work there --- and the horror stories about problems are incredible.

    i still like my car as i posted above,but getting a littl worried as i approach 90,000 ,iles.we will see
  • I feel compelled to reply to the recent string above. I have driven both a 9000 CS and now a 9-5 Aero (2002 model) for the last 8 years. My problems have been minimal (none with the Aero). Having said that, I had my share of woe with my old 1988 900, but most of those issues were taken care of during the warranty.


    The point, to the many online readers thinking of buying a 9-5, is that every car line has its share of lemons and poor dealers. I feel for my brethren above, but know that they are in the minority.


    ...And I am NOT a Saab salesperson, just a longtime devotee of Saabs.
  • I feel for the people with problem vehicles. I had a Chevy Blazer than was a nightmare.


    But I leased a 2000, 9.3 that didn't have any problems - i miss that car.


    I now have a 2002 9.5 Areo that has had only very minor problems. A headlight fell out while driving and scratched up the paint - the power cables kept it from falling off, so it bounced around until I stopped.


    The Aero is FUN to drive but I wouldn't get another with auto trans - because it vibrates at idle. It's bad enough that it makes me put it in neutral at every red light.


    Does anyone know?... Can you put modern tire chains on the factory delivered tires? I live in Raleigh and I won't drive in snow but we get a lot of ice. I don't think snow tires would help when it's very icy.
  • I agree that with any make/model you run the risk of getting a car with problems, but the big difference is how a company responds to them when they do arise. Saab has done nothing but blow us off. You cannot get anywhere past the call center, and the reps there are empowered to do nothing. Most companies are now smart enough to know that the best way to differentiate themselves is to get closer to their customers, not push them further away. The truth is, most complaints come from passionate customers who are the only ones who take the time to speak up. Most of the time, it's the most valuable input a company can receive.

    Perhaps part of my frustration is because I know some automakers are getting it right - we have had the exact opposite experience with Audi. The few problems we have had we hardly remember because Audi calls us after every visit to make sure our needs were addressed and we're 100% satisfied. That's how loyal customers are created.
  • Hi folks,


    I want to get rid of my gas guzzling Landcruiser and get back into a SAAB; last one was a 96 9000CSE, a blast but always breaking down. Hope to get 03 Aero within next few months.


    Question is how will it handle snowy winters (Vermont for me) even with winter wheels and snow tires. I am tempted to get a Volvo S60 AWD but have always wanted an aero. If you depend on your aero in the snow belt I'd like to hear your observations. Thanks!
  • bcoolbcool Posts: 59
    I just tried a set of SCC Super Z-6 cables on the front tires of my Aero - 225-45/17's. There was some interference (clank clank clank) while making turns. It may be that the Z-6 135's were just a loose fit. I'm going to try the smaller 133's. If that doesn't work, I may have to go to the smaller 16 inch tires.
  • rworrellrworrell Posts: 151
    We're on our second 9-5 Aero wagon in Minnesota and, with snow tires, the car is fantastic in the snow (you know it comes with summer tires, not all-seasons, I'm presuming). We run the OEM winter setup, which is alloy wheels with Gislaved snows--I just change them out twice a year--on around Thanksgiving, off around Easter. The first Aero was a stick and no problems. Our current one (my wife's car this time) is an '03 automatic. The year is important because '03 was the last year they offered Winter mode (starts in 2nd and seems to accelerate a little more gently). I went to Aero Academy last year after we bought it (if you get an Aero, definitely go to Aero Academy) and asked the Saab exec why they had discontinued the Winter mode. He admitted it was cost-cutting, but that with the Sensotronic (fake manual), it wasn't necessary. The more I think about it, though, the Winter mode is nice--if you're in stop-and-go traffic in a newer Aero, you'd constantly have to be shifting up to 2nd at starts. With Winter mode, it's taken care of.


    Either way, a Saab 9-5 Aero with snows is a joy to drive in winter. We took ours up to northern Minnesota to go skiing a couple of weeks ago and drove it during a heavy snow at night on our way out to dinner. The car felt like it was on tank tracks. Go for it--you'll love it!


    Let me know if you have any questions.


    Oh, and far as fuel economy goes, we got just over 33 mpg in the snow with snow tires on. We made the same drive last summer and got just shy of 35 mpg. The interior is a little noisy (it's our 4th Saab--they all rattle and creak), but it's a fantastic car.
  • Thanks for the comments re. aero in snow. My old saabs did ok in snow too but after awd in Landcruiser, you start driving like the snow isn't even there. I used to run studded Hakkas on 900's and 9000's and they ran great in winter. Makes sense aero would be the same.


    Did you consider the awd volvo xc70? Just curious as to why or why not compared to aero wagon. Thanks.
  • rworrellrworrell Posts: 151
    Two big problems for us with the Volvo:


    1) The styling--with all the black cladding, it's just trying too hard to be something other than a wagon. It's kind of like an Audi allroad--if you're going to drive a wagon, drive a wagon. Black plastic doesn't make the car look tough, just like you're hiding something.


    2) Reliability--my company gets Ford supplier pricing, my wife's gets GM--not too bad a deal, eh? So, I considered the Volvo, but then started reading complaints (, etc.) from actual owners. I know it's all second-hand (so no flames, please!), but right now, I'd have to say Volkswagen, Audi and Volvo are all on my "too unreliable to consider" list.


    Also, I'm really not all that sold on awd. With modern road maintenance (plowing responsiveness, salt/chemical application, etc.) and modern snow tires, awd (even in the snowy northern plains of MN) would only truly be helpful a few times a year. The entire rest of the year, you're paying for those few days with the extra weight of awd. A balanced car with snows and some electronic aids is all we need here (my own car is a BMW 330--RWD, but with a 50/50 balance, DSC and Dunlop winter sport tires).


    Probably more than you wanted to know, but there you have it.
  • surprised to see you think Saab is more reliable than Volvo or Audi


    My A4 has been a dream - zero problems

    My wife's 9-5 is a total lemon...


    Resale on both Audi and Volvo is among the best out there, Saab is among the worst
  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    That's strange too. I heard more Audi/VW problems than other European makes (well, MB seems to have more and more problems now). For VW, it is too famous for reliability problems.


    I heard that Saab (BMW too but it depends on the model years) is on the top of the most reliability European brands (I heard that Saab is the most reliability European brand). I heard that Audi has good resale value but I have never heard that Audi, VW, or Volvo are reliable
  • rworrellrworrell Posts: 151
    Good point on MB--not only is their reliability decreasing, they are also de-contenting their cars (i.e. no more seat memory, etc. because they can't get the electronics working correctly), but they have also stopped offering free scheduled maintenance.


    BMW was the first marque we bought from that offered free scheduled maintenance, and theirs is very generous--even includes consumables like wiper blades and brake pads. Most of the other luxury brands have followed suit. For MB to drop it speaks volumes to me about how expensive it has been for them to maintain their current vehicles--for them to remove features says even more.


    I read an interesting comment about MB around two years ago. Not an exact quote, but something like: "Mercedes used to be designed and built by engineers and the cars cost what they cost; now they're designed by marketers and the engineers have to fit within that budget."


    J Umbgerger: I can only say that this is our fourth Saab and they have never had a major problem other than a dead battery. There have been some quirks with HVAC or squeaks, but they have been just great cars for us in terms of always being ready to drive when we need them. I don't quibble with you on the A4--I test drove one when I bought my 3er and I loved it...but the reliability complaints just scared me away. I'm glad to hear you've had such good luck with yours--maybe things are getting better over there and I can add them back to our next shopping list. They certainly have the most beautiful and livable interiors in the business.


    As far as Saabs go, most of the reliability problems came right after GM bought out the company and introduced the new designs--'94-'96 are very bad years for Saabs and that reputation has followed them.
  • I agree - both reliability and resale have been hurt by GM
  • If you live in a climate like mine (Northern California), the 9-5 Aero poses a problem in the snow. You can't put chains on the OEM wheels/tires, but the occasional ski trip doesn't justify investing in snow tires.


    My tire dealer recommended Spider Spikes, which fit over the front wheels and clip on in seconds when you reach the snow or ice (or so they claim). The price is the problem ($500 plus).


    I do wish that the Aero could chain up from time to time, since the Sierra Nevadas have chain restrictions in winter.
  • Gentlemen, say what you want about the General's heavy hand on Saab, but Saab reliability has gone up significantly and consistently in the past 5 years according to Consumer Reports and JD Powers surveys. (I realize there are problems with JD Powers but they beat anecdotal evidence.)


    For a look at where Saab is going take a gander at the piece in the current issue of the Economist. Looks like they are going to build the next ones in Germany. (In part because GM has excess capacity in Germany and to close a factory there is a "nightmare". Way to go unions: make the work rules rigid enough and maybe you can keep a plant but kill an economy.)
  • Just recently developed a gas/exhaust smell in the cabin area after idling only 20-30 seconds. After take-off....the smell goes away in about 20 - 30 seconds. Returns again upon idle at a stop light.

    Share your thots?


    ( 1999 9-5 Turbo 2.3, automatic, 144M, Michigan )


    Thanks, Accsell
  • Long distance diagnosis is difficult but here goes: this clearly is an exhaust leak that seeps in during idle and goes out and aft while underway. With 144M and six salty winters on some of the worst roads in North America, the exhaust system is shot AND/OR there is a hole in the floor pan area.


    Put it up on a lift at a Midas ostensibly to get a "quote" and take a look. Then buy the best OEM exhaust stuff you can (forget Meinece and Midas; their warranty doesn't cover much beyond the muffler itself) and have an Independent garage (lots in Ann Arbor) put it on.

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