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Saab 9-3 Convertible



  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,662
    I'm looking at potentially purchasing a 99 9-3 S convertible 5spd approx 70K mi...clean carfax report.

    I'm not exactly sure which the advertisement just lists 9-3 S and all I can find on the web is...Convertible, SE, and SE HOT...

    I only will put on approx 8k mi per year so reliability isn't the highest on my list...but it definitely is a factor.

    Other than a worn out drivers leather seat it looks great; I still have to schedule some time to go drive it.

    Are there any particulars that I should look for? Certain tell tale signs that I have a "bad one".

  • Forgive me if this has been discussed, I am new here. I have bought a 2004 9-3 Arc Convertible. It is a fantastic car.
    The door locks seem a bit archaic though. For one thing the doors do not lock or unlock automatically, and more importantly, I can not find a power lock switch on the passenger door. The manual seems to indicate there is a twin to the one on the driver's door but mine doesn't have one.
    Any help or thoughts would be welcome,
  • I am considering a 2008 Aero convertible, but have been a little spooked by Consumer Reports' reliability survey of the 2006 model. Does anyone have any information (preferrably non-anecdotal) as to whether the 2008 model is or is not more reliable?

  • The 2008 Saab 9-3 just received the "recommended buy" from Consumer Reports. Sorry, only lists all 9-3, as does not break them down by trim level. rview.htm
  • Actually, if you are a CR subscriber and take a look at the reliability history, the history is "average" for the sedan and "below average" for the convertible. Since CR does not assign "Recommended" to cars that have "below average" reliability, the "Recommended" status is not for the convertible. I'm curious because neither CR nor JD Power have any results for any model year after 2006.
  • blynchblynch Posts: 1

    Curious where you had this work done. Considering doing the same for my '02 SE. Love the car (only had it for a month) but drive a lot of back roads on my daily commute and would like to get rid of some of the shakes.

  • colm964c2colm964c2 Posts: 2
    Hello all,
    Just joined the group as a websearch found the forum. I have a 2004 93 Convertible (linear),which I use as a daily driver,and prefer for long journeys to my Porsche 911 C2. Today, however, the soft-top got stuck halfway open and would neither open nor close. The dashboard indicator said there was an obstacle blocking the soft-top, but nary a thing could I find. I managed to close the roof manually but of course the sun has come out here and now I can't use the soft-top. The local Saab dealership here are a bunch of cowboys, so does anyone have any experience of this, or do I just bring the vaseline along to the official Saab dealer?

    Colm (West of Ireland)
  • Just bought an 05 convertible (linear) Had to, I fell in love with my daughters 93 but she won't give it to me! after a wonderful week of driving with the top down everyday, this morning is wouldn't go down more the 80%, nothing blocking it and no info on the will go back up, but still stops in the same position on the way down. The Saab dealership here in Durango is giving up the ghost, and they have no mechanic to look at it. Help!

    Dale :
  • I have a '04 Arc Convertible with 35k miles. I love the car (specially the look) but its started rattling & shaking quite a bit already. I commute about 15 miles a day & really "baby" the car - slow over speedbreakers, etc.

    I have read about strut braces & such that will reduce the shake. Can anyone tell me how they went about installing these? (buying parts, good installer, cost, etc). I am not mechanically inclined so I am not going to install them myself but if someone can let me know where to get the parts & the cost, etc ...

    "donman" - it seems you have done the same to your '03. Can you please give me some infomration on this? Thanx
  • crs4_00crs4_00 Posts: 10
    I am considering purchasing an 06 Saab Convertible. Is there anything to look out for or serious issues to check have been corrected? This is a CPO Saab.

  • jb643jb643 Posts: 4
    I am looking into a 9-3 2002 or 2003 convertible.

    As a new Saab fan, are there differences between the 2 years - I have
    heard that the 2003 convertible did not make as many changes as the

    The pricing for the '02 is about $2000 or more less than the '03 however the
    '02 has about 20,000 less miles

    I guess I am wondering what are the benefits of getting the '03 model even
    if it has more mileage on it - perhaps the platform or features are worth it

    Any feedback will be most welcome - along with questions I should explore
    in comparing the 2 vehicles

    thanks in advance

  • jb643jb643 Posts: 4
    I overlooked mentioning that the mileage for the 2 cars

    the 2003 has 60K

    the 2002 has almost 45K

    thanks again

  • 208208 Posts: 3
    both the '02 and the '03 models are going to be very similar and i would opt for the '02 due to the lower mileage. the '04 model is fantastic and although it does cost more i def recomend trying it out before you commit to the 02 or 03. the styling used in the '04 and up convertibles was first used in the '03 sedans so all the kinks were worked out there and there are no issues w/ the '04's. your resale value will also be much higher down the road due to the more modern styling, both interior and exterior.
  • jb643jb643 Posts: 4
    just to say thank you for your response and for clearly explaining
    the differences

    much appreciated
  • bons,
    I recently (2 wks ago) purchased a 2003 Convertible, drove it 500 miles from Pittsburgh when the engine blew up. This car has what is called a sludge engine and it is fairly common for engines to fail at low mileage readings ( mine had 64K). Do your homework. Goggle : saab engine failure, or saab engine sludge. I have owned many Saabs and had no problems, but certain model years are prone to this problem. Saab has extended the warranty 8 years retroactive, but, and this is a deal breaker but, you have to have every single oil change receipt/record and the changes must be done on time. If you buy a used 2003 be sure to ask about maintenance records. I am awaiting an estimate to rebuild my engine and it isn't going to be pretty.
  • Good post on the sludge problem with some engines. Had 1 or 2 questions related to this -
    * What color should the oil be on the dipstick? It always seems to be "black". The Saab dealer insists the oil is ok if its "black" coz TurboCharged engines always "blacken" their oil. Ive been worried about this "black" coloration for sometime.
    * Manual says change when the SID says so. SID seems to indicate oil change every 8 or 9k miles. im wondering if thats a lot of miles between change. It is synthetic oil but still seems a lot of miles ...
  • Oil turns black soon after changing. I change the oil and filter on my wife's 2005 Arc convertible every 5000 miles, always synthetic. I also had the transmission fluid changed at 30,000 miles with synthetic fluid. We have had no problems with her car so far (50,000 miles), but a opossum did $1500 damage to the front bumper last summer.
  • The following partially explains the sludge problem.

    99 9-3 SE at 130K+ the "little red bugger" came on my wifes car. It's convienently funny though how Saab never happened to send "WARNING" letters to owners of certain years about potential problems. We had just had the car in for service for the DIC and the tech retorqued the cylinder head bolts that "magically" loosen up by themselves. Two days later the oil light is on. Technician said he noticed some sludge in the valve cover and we drop the oil pan. Sure enough... SLUDGOLA!!! I have worked in automotive service for over 22 years mostly in GM dealerships and changed oil every 3K on her car. Why the hell some moronic "kolledge edumacated" engineer put the catalytic converter UNDERNEATH the oil pan on these cars is beyond me let alone with no heat shield even. I called Saab... bitched, complained, talked nice and got nowhere... I wasn't surprised. It shouldn't matter to the degree that Saab makes it out to be that your oil is synthetic, or that you change it every 3, 5 or 10 thousand miles, if it's done at a Saab dealer or in your driveway because it's the converter that COOKS the oil that is the issue... plain and simple. There are a few p.c.v. updates that can be done to help s-l-o-w the formation of sludge but the converter is still under the oil pan cooking your oil like a crock pot. Cars are mechanical marvels that require maintenence and t.l.c. from their owners... the problem with these particular Saab's is a design flaw of epic proportions and the burden of blame for this sludge issue that costs owners of these cars literally THOUSANDS of dollars falls back in the lap of Saab/GM... plain and simple. Other than this MAJOR problem and some typical eurotrash car electrical gremlins... I like the quirky little thing. BUYERS BEWARE!!! Will Saab/GM go good on their sludge problem like Toyota quietly did??? Time and lawyers will only tell.

    These pix( ) show the results of the cooking process. The large pore screen material is available at Home Depot, just cut to fit. The larger holes allow the sludge particles to pass on to the oil filter and not starve engine of oil. Frequent (3500 mile) oil changes with a good synthetic oil should avoid expensive rebuilds.
  • All,
    a little advice please. i've located a 2007 Saab 9-3 Convertible Anniversay Edition, CPO and only 3250 miles. dealer dropped the lot price a grand to $23,925. dealer will not budge on the price stating they just dropped the price $1000.00 on the lot. is this a good deal paying the asking of $23,925 or do you think the dealer has more, wife loves the car...
  • Does any one know of any engine performance chips or programers avalible for the 93 2.0 turbo.
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