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Saab 9-5 Sedan



  • jerrys2jerrys2 Posts: 188
    Check out a Subaru Outback.
    I have owned 2 as well as a Forester. Currently drive 2003 Saab and 2006 Subaru Tribeca. Love the Subarus!!

  • sjmstsjmst Posts: 1
    I am thinking of buying a used 9-5, automatic.
    I know the ins- and outs of other makes, but little about 9-5 other than they ride well, look good, and are priced right.

    I’d appreciate help on the following:

    1) Pros/cons of 6 cylinder vs. Turbo
    2) Is the ride height of the Aero’s the same as the other models?
    3) Any years better than others?
    4) Any other tips worth sharing.
  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    I have a 2001 9-5 Aero and I like it. It is much better and more reliable than my 9-3.

    1) Pros/cons of 6 cylinder vs. Turbo
    - I test drove the V6 but I didn't like it. The I-4 turbo seems to be more
    powerful and predictable.
    - V6 uses timing belt (you need to replace them at 60K) but I-4 uses timing
    - V6 has only 200hp...
    2) Is the ride height of the Aero’s the same as the other models?
    - I don't think there is much difference in the pre-2002 model regarding to the
    ride comfort. The clearance of my Aero is low but not as low as those 2002+
    Aero. My car got stuck when the snow was more than couple inches.
    3) Any years better than others?
    - Avoid 2000. 2002+ Aero got more horsepower (250hp vs 230hp), better auto
    trans (5 speed vs 4 speed), and many upgrades.
    4) Any other tips worth sharing.
    - You need to be careful and watch for damage on those 17" wheels and
    low profile tires.
    - Watch your speed or buy a radar detector !

    If you are buying pre-2005 model, I would say get the Aero (only Aero has Mitsubishi turbo !) because you have the color match front spolier and side skits. You also get more horsepower and MUCH BETTER HK Stereo. I tried the 2005 Arc (220hp) and it seems almost as good as my 2001 Aero. Some people said they are good enough as power goes.

    More info about different models can be found here or saabnet.
  • Even this doesn't sound low enough for what is now a one year old car that is due for a refresh with a poor reliability record. See if they will budge if you mention "D I S problems" to them.
  • Anybody else had troubles with a non-AC heating system? The plastic mounting for the 3 knobs cracked in the middle, fan control stopped working. I put it together with wire and now it works fine, but i can't get it back with the blower setting (windshield/feet/upperbody selection on the right) installed. I cant get that variable-length-plastic-tube-p.o.s.-actuator installed at both ends. It's too short, the mounting plate blocks all access back there when i move it close enough for both ends to reach. Any ideas? Could i get access by removing the glove compartment?

    Anybody with a HAYNE'S MANUAL nice enough to look up what it says about it?

    I don't understand how it broke, might have been the mechanic who installed a new wire for the temp knob. It's my girlfriend's parents' car, so i don't have the opportunity or the balls to just go tearing out all the panels.

    Anybody else with bad experiences of the whole system?
  • smu1976smu1976 Posts: 110
    I am on my second 9-5, had a 99 SE and now a 05 Aero Wagon.
    Five years later, same car pretty much, surely the same dash and tune box.
    Here's a lesson I learned and posted on the board back in 2000 that still has some value to you 9-5 and 9-3 owners.

    The Harmon Kardon Stereo Amp is factory present to less than one third of the gain. For example, lets you you have an amplifier in your house, but your fixed on level number "9" out of "30" on the volume knob and don't now how to increase the volume (watts). The Saab manual fails to address this and calls it this the Start Volume? That is wrong. This is the AMP gain. So how do you raise the gain to get the subwoofer cranking and some watts to this fantastic stereo which as good as the Mark Levison in the Lexus (also made by Harmon, same amp, don't let the old brand cache of Mark Levison, Clarion, JBL, Infinity, etc, fool you, they are all Harmon International).

    Ok, Here we go.

    1) Turn your car on, stereo off.
    2) Hit the weather band button and turn on the stereo at the same time.
    The manual was wrong on my 99, wrong on my 05, it says hit the station band button. This will just move the sound around to each speaker for a test, kinda like testing surround sound.
    3) The read out will say start volume of "9"
    4) This is a waste of a good tune box, so increase the gain to about "25" by turning the volume dial up.
    5) Wait ten seconds, turn your radio off, repeat, make sure the start (or actually gain is set at 25). Now you have a couple hundred watts moving to your speakers versus 90. You do not want to go up to 30 *the max), this will make the amp clip if you turn it up too loud, which may blow your speakers. If under warranty, don't be too concerned, the speakers are covered and the techs do not even know this feature at any Saab Dealer.
    6) Finally, if you can't hear the difference, audio is not your bag, turn it back to the factory preset and be happy, its the stereo you thought you had and bought.

    If happy, glad I helped, if you can't hear a difference, you need to stick to the A.M. dial and talk radio, but please don't [non-permissible content removed]. I know HK units, the Sweedes just confuse start and gain and the manual.

    Hope it makes your ride more enjoyable.

  • Where is the cabin filter located on the 95 Aero? I am beginning to get a musty smell and figure it needs changing.


    03 Aero
  • Most will recommend Aero but I like the softer ride and more comfy (for me) headrests, and lower price of the Arc/SE V-6. I like the 2002-2003 Arc's as they had many features (heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, weather channel, improved crash ratings, 5 speed automatic, great stereo, etc.) that were not available on the 1999-2001 or were "decontented" in the 2004 version when they went to the 4. I have 72K on the 2001 SE (V-6) and although the purists hate the engine, it has tons of power, gets 31 MPG at 70 MPH on Maine Turnpike and, for me, has been very reliable. In 2002-2003 models Saab's marketing strategy was to make the ARC the touring (i.e. Cruiser) model and the Aero the performance model, and both vehicles were identicially equipped, making the Arc and fully loaded car. Most dealers are unaware, so pricing on these cars is very reasonable. Good luck. :) :)
  • smu1976smu1976 Posts: 110
    All saabs have the WB and good crash rating for years. I had a six also on a 99 SE 9-5. Good GM motor, but I wouldn't buy one used unless it was certified for a few years by Saab or you know your way around under the hood. Very expensive to work on after the warranty is out, tight fit in the engine well, won't get the high miles of a four banger (150-200K). Ask the mechanics at the dealer, not the service manager. The Aero has a different suspension, wider bucket seats, 250 horses, tighter ride, not a luxury ride. BIg difference, nah, not much, your correct. You can't beat the gas mileage/performance ratio with any saab versus any car, period. You can get you six again, now a Saab six, turbo, in the new 9-3 Aero, but be ready to buck up about 40-50K (Saab is crazy with these prices). Saab better find their niche in the next couple years and I believe their niche is the 20-35K car, not going head to head with BMW, LEXUS, INFINITY in the 40-50K range.
    Just my opinion, maybe they will sell like crazy.
  • :) :) :) Thanks SMU, and yes, I can certainly tell a masterful difference in my audio after "turning it up". Again, thank you for the information, I am enjoying my sound even more than before.

  • saablcpsaablcp Posts: 195
    Due for a refresh ...YES,poor reliability record ...You better check on that one!Saab 9-5 has the best reliability record of any mid-size or larger European sedan.
  • ijgijg Posts: 1
    Anybody know anything about this anticipated recall? I received a letter from Saab telling me that my vehicle (mine is a 6-cylinder but it also applies to 4 cylinders) might be equipped with a defective ignition discharge module (IDM). The letter basically says that Saab doesn't have replacement parts yet and are hoping to have enough to send out recall letters in March of 2006.

    Basically, a defective IDM can either cause your car to stall (more often in a 4 cylinder) or in a 6-cylinder there is a chance if you don't stop driving when the check engine light flashes, you can possibly have a fire (or thermal damage in their wording). I realize the odds are slim but apparently it has happened to some drivers. You can read more about the recall at www.autospectator. com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=2214 (I searched for saab recalls).

    I've never owned a car that will be recalled and am frustrated that GM can cover themselves by sending out this pre-recall letter while the rest of us drive around wondering if it will happen to us.
  • My 02 9-5 Aero's factory warranty will expire in a month. What do you guys think about aftermarket warranty? Is it worth it? Who provide the best warranty out there? I heard that GMPP is pretty good. Your opinions are much appreciated. Thanks
  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    The tire noise was getting louder and louder (humming noise, increased speed -> louder noise) . I described the problem with the dealer and they found that the wheel bearings were bad. They replaced them free under warranty. The car is so quiet now.

    I increased the loudness of my Aero from 10 to 20 but I found that the result was worse in the front. It didn't sound natual. High pitch was too shape. Howvere, it seemed to be better when I sat at the back. I changed it to 15 and it sounded much better.

    I did the same thing to my 9-3SE (changed it to 20). The result was good and I can really tell the difference.

    Thanks !
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    there are 2 recalls .one a hiddeden one.
    the dic is a major source of failures and the engine quits

    the other is major engine failure due to folowing the oil change recomended by saab.
    to solve you must use synthetic oil and change every 3,000 miles .
    to solve problem saab has given us an 8 year warranty ,unlimited mileage.
  • Hello!

    Does anyone know the proper antifreeze to use in a Saab 9-5 Arc from 2002? My manual just says a "saab approved antifreeze" which doesn't help me very much! Thank you in advance for any help!
  • 8aa2ym8aa2ym Posts: 16
    It's the ABS ECU. To be more specific, the ABS module. You can find DIY instructions at
  • stmssstmss Posts: 206
    Many Saab owners have been waiting for recall of the DIC module. It is a known problem. This unit sits atop the spark plugs. Some owners even carry a spare in the truck as it is a quick DIY changeout if required. Me?, I just play the DIC lottery.

    I think Saab's story is that they have been looking for a solution to this for awhile and are now waiting until there supplier can offer up the replacement.
  • I have a 2001 9-3 and last December my car died downtown Boston at a red light. Mechanic replaced the igntition cassette. I'm getting out of this car. SInce I've bought it, the alarm mysteriously kept going on and off all day long, the ignition cassette had to be repalced, the alternator went about 6 months after the ignition cassette and a month after that the AC compressor blew. This is excluding the dented rims and brake discs/pads.

    All of this on a new car with less than 35k on it. Of course it all went bad after I bought it at the time the lease was up and with no miles on it, I didn't opt for the extended warranty. Live and learn. I'll never get into a Saab again.

    I'm going to call them. I have the bill for the ignition cassette-has to be related to the IDM?

    Good luck.
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