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Saab 9-5 Sedan



  • saabbersaabber Posts: 84
    At least the old key probably floats. If I am ever out at sea and the key falls into the water. . .

    Drew, nice repeats of your personal attacks again. Are you going to keep that up, even after the host told you to quit? There are those who do not always agree with your views, and they have a right to be heard as well. I guess you just can't stop the personal attacks because you are afraid that you will lose your own purpose if you must rely strictly on comments about the 9-5.

    Anyway, I read a review of the new Lexus I model in Car and Driver. It's called the anti-BMW car, because it was developed to compete with the BMW 3-series, but it is supposedly nothing like the BMW in feel or in handling (or internal structure except for the rear wheel drive).
    It looks a lot like the 9-5 from the side and back. Although it looks smaller than a lexus GS model, it seems to be as big as a 9-5 (although that may just be the looks). Car and Driver gave it great marks stating that it has Lexus quality with a sporty feel. It also has a very quick 0-60 speed and fully loaded, it is about $35,000 MSRP. Base is around $31,000 MSRP.
    I wonder if this model is worthy of saab 9-5 discussion as a new competitor to the field to the 9-5. I have no question that BMW is not happy with the entry.
  • Dave Kovacs: I have a 4 cyl 2.3L engine in my '99 9-5 that is idling with surges. I have now noticed that the tach barely moves while this is occurring. Yes, I have received notice of the recall but am unsure what the repair will affect. Can you explain?

    Sherndon: I have not found another way to open my entire car without 3 button hits. I have noticed, however, that if you hit the door button the 2nd time right after hitting it the 1st time, you only get one set of beeps and all 4 doors unlock!

    Thanks for the info, guys, on the key fob. I guess I have to think about having an automatic opener only work within a range of 2-3 feet of my car is okay or not. It's probably safer in a way (thinking of being parked in a shopping mall) than opening it from 10 feet away...

    Ciao for now.
  • Dleesac - The re-call most likely will address the issue since the ecu is definately related to idle etc. I would confirm the fix after the ecu replacement. Go on a test drive with the service manager after the fix to make sure it is corrected.

    Also in regards to the beeps etc - -they are programmable by the service department for loudness, repeat number and mute.

    Saaber- - I did see the Lexus 'thing'. I saw it in bright yellow and it in my perspective was really ugly. Actually, I think it is the ugliest design ever to come out of Lexus. The lights in the rear look like they came out of design shop catering to after market gangsters who modified the rear brake lights to look white.

    The car is definately smaller looking in person compared to the Saab 9-5.

    The 3 series looks far more attractive unless your preference is for cars that have the wiper blades in colors to contrast with the car.
    I am talking way too flashy and tacky. It does not look refined. It does have a very strong Japanese style influence to it - - I see that overall look in Japan often - I get there every few months and I can see the design origins in their non-export cars.

    Insofar as comparisons to Saab - - I would match it up with the 9-3 Viggen in one of the bolder colors available from Saab.

    The Saab 9-5 is not aiming at that market - -

    Also - - I thought some of the first ads for that Lexus were very irresponsible. They showed them being driven in very un-safe manners through tight streets etc while relating to a 'live dangerously' type metaphor. Please are there not enought reckless people on the road already - -

    Needless to say the car will sell well - - but I think that is more a reflection of the poor state of values in the U.S. than anything else.


    Dave Kovacs
  • saabbersaabber Posts: 84
    I agree that I did not like the taillights very much. They look like the new Maxima SE lights. Cheesy. The general shape seems attractive to me from the side, but a "yellow" model in any car also seems cheesy. It's really hard to tell which market the 9-5 is in sometimes because they advertise it as a sporty luxury car, and they give it a luxury car price.

    Thankt RTD for the size info. Remember, its not the size of the wave... (just joking). I have always thought of the 9-5 as a medium size car (like the IS), but yet, when you see the actual measurements, it is really a much larger car. I guess I knew this from my garage spacing and the huge trunk space for my golf club carry case, but the 9-5 still seems to look smaller to me. In my opinion that is actually a positive thing for the 9-5.
  • Saaber brings up an interesting point regarding how a car is sized. The length of the car typically doesn't seem to be a factor. I believe it has more to do with volume for passengers and cargo. Yet there seems to be a big range in what a mid size car means. The old 9000 was actually classified at the time as a large car.

    I think it is hard to classify the Saab 9-5 into a pre-defined bucket. In many ways is in a category somewhat on its own. I have seen it classified as entry level luxury, luxury, a mid size sedan, sport sedan, luxury sport sedan etc.


    Dave Kovacs
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    Gotta jump in here, too. Somehow we need to find or recruit a Saab dealer that will sell us parts at a discount. This is pretty common in various car clubs. For example, the Yahoo Infiniti Owners Club is managed by the Wholesale Parts Manager at Scottsdale Infiniti. He offers club members 25% off list for any part. That may not sound like a big discount but he told us most dealers markup prices OVER list. They pay cost, then take list and pile on the profit. So a 25% discount can end up being 50% off your local dealers price. This is what we need. Any ideas or thoughts?

    I drove the Lexus IS300 at an event in Atlanta. BTW, it was a terrific event and a great idea, hope they do it again next year. Anyway, I liked the car compared to the others there - 3 series, A4, Acura TL, I30, Catera, Lincoln LS, 300M. The IS300 was a very good copy of the 3 series and I thought it accelerated and steered better. Now I could only drive it on their closed course which was very small so my experience is not extensive. Guess you really got to drive one on the road to compare fairly.

    I like the styling of the IS. It really appeals to a younger crowd which is why I think it exists. Lexus is a conservative brand and appeals to an older clintele. The IS changes that and brings in a customer that has money but wants cutting edge style and high quality. My only concern is that the styling will age quickly. It's very techie and "Japanese-anime". I'm sure all the 25 yr. old cyberdudes drool over this car and I feel this is the audience. A little too young for me but it is appealing. I prefer the Audi TT's sophisticated "Euro tech" style over the IS.
  • smu1976smu1976 Posts: 110
    A replacement key for my 92 Griffen ran $75.00 five years ago. I would imagine that a 99-2000 key would be around the same or higher today, so having the electronics inside (industry first) is probably worth the extra $100. If the distance is reasonable (will check one out in the showroom) sounds like a good deal. I am not aware of any car manufacturer passing on parts for what "they cost". Dealer markup is considerable.
  • saabeesaabee Posts: 23
    Stopped by my dealer last night after work, needed to replace wiper blades on my wifes 1999 9-5 SE, $22 each....ouch.

    Also got a further explanation from parts manager whom I had spoken to earlier in the day about the the new FOB. The 2-3 feet activation distance of the new FOB only relates to 99's and 2000's that replace the old with the new, they currently cannot be programmed for a greater distance. On the 2001 models new FOB works normally.
  • You should have asked the dealer if you installed rabbit ears on the fob if it would get better range!!! It would be interesting to see the response.

    Just as an FYI with the wiper blades, most people don't do this but - - peridically you should wipe your blades with either window cleaner solvent or isopropryl alcohol. It improves their clean wipe-ability and prevents streaking.


    Dave Kovacs
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    No Saaber my comments were NOT personal attacks and you know it. I was pointing out that your complaints are often said to be "Saab Only Issues". I believe it's a distortion to make that claim. It's a distortion to insinuate that Saab is the only company to charge high prices for replacement keys. It's also a wrong to insinuate they do it because the like cheating custmers.

    Don't be so sensitive. Read the posts and take them for what they are. BTW I wasn't asked by the host to do or not do anything.

    I've also said that I will not engage in these type discussion unless I was Directly addressed, attacked, etc. You did - I responded with this post - Isn't that only fair?

    Disclaimer to the reader: There were no personal attacks made or intended in the above statements. Does that help anyones comprehension?


    ps. I'd have to go back a read the post your referring to but I don't think I even mentioned you in it directly.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    >Probably - but as usual your seeing it as "Saab"
    cheating or an opportunity to complain about Saab<

    That would be a direct mention of you.

    But I do not see it as an attack. The verbage "but as usual your..." must be what offended you. This confuses me but sorry if your offended.

  • Just picked mine up today for my 2000 Aero. Great size and functionality, about 1/2 again as large as the original key. $144 plus tax at my local dealer.
  • I tested my new 2001 with my 2000 Aero, and the range seems identical. Both work from a max of about 25 feet, depending on where you stand around the car...
  • Thanks for the info. The range seems acceptable. How long did it take for the service department to complete the process once you showed up with the car?

    Dave Kovacs
  • rtd1rtd1 Posts: 22
    It's official (I guess): all '98 and '99 9-5s are to have their T7 boxes replaced. I'm having fun imagining what the discussions were like as the two companies decided who was going to pick up the tab for this little episode.

    STOCKHOLM, Oct 7 (Reuters) - General Motors Corp's Swedish subsidiary Saab Automobile is recalling 130,000 cars because of defective electronics, a Saab spokesman said on Saturday.

    The cars represent the entire 1998 and 1999 output of the 9-5 model, Saab's head of information, Niklas Andersson, told Reuters.

    Andersson said the fault did not affect safety. Components in the electonics box had not been well enough protected when the system was manufactured by a Saab supplier.

    As a result the parts could suffer corrosion, causing the engine to handle roughly or even stop working.

    ``What the driver would experience is that a sign on the dashboard tells him 'Please check the engine', and the engine might even stop,'' Andersson said.

    The supplier, who he declined to name, would shoulder the costs of fixing the fault, and Saab itself would not suffer any costs
  • Took my dealer about 10 minutes to assemble the key and program the car. I was very pleased!
  • smu1976smu1976 Posts: 110
    Had a similar problem with my 9000 a couple of years ago with a recall on the electronics box for the air bag, where it was not properly sealed, and "could lead to problems". As I have stated on this board before, its best to wait to you receive the letter from Saab and then check with your dealer for it often takes 4-8 weeks before the dealer has the replacement kit in stock. Also if you can arrange it with your service check up, you can save a trip, and you can take advantage of the free loaner.
  • saabeesaabee Posts: 23
    Looks like I'll need to talk with my dealers parts manager and ask him why Saab told him the range would be 2-3 ft.for the new Fob on 99's & 2000's, when it looks like that's not the case at all.
  • saabbersaabber Posts: 84
    If saab states that an engine can stop randomly, how can it state that there is no safety issue? I guess this is to cover themselves if a law suit arises from an issue which they are not acting on quickly enough. I guess I have to put myself in their same position as legal counsel to not want to panic individuals to demand quicker action (e.g., firestone tire).

    For anyone here to state that random engine stalling at highway speeds is not a safety issue, it is just my humble opinion that you can only be perceived as smoking something really strong. I know all the saablovers here will run to saab's rescue to claim that random stalling is a "good thing" because (1) it shows character in the saab name and (2) "all other cars" randomly stall as well.

    Yes, I commend saab for finally admitting what their owners were reporting in mass numbers for months. Many here can remember themselves viciously attacking those who mentioned that the saab 9-5 could randomly stall. I also remember the special informal "survey" where 7 out of ten people responded on the saablovers' "saabnet" site (to the question "is there anyone out there who has not had an ecu issue?") with no complaints about the ECU issue.
    I guess it's a good time for reflection of making personal attacks on those who mention issues with the intent of informing new customers of the problems,and getting saab's attention in the meantime to make the cars better.

    Yes, I congratulate saab on finally acting to fix the problem. I do not like its claims that no safety issue exists, when it admits that the cars can randomly stall (or in my case--buck) at any time. Let's hope they act quickly to fix these vehicle before a major accident does occur (or another accident occurs if they are covering up something that has actually happened).
  • I didn't get to services this weekend - - thanks for the sermon.


    Dave Kovacs
  • rtd1rtd1 Posts: 22
    While I doubt we'll ever be privy to the goings on behind the scenes re. the ECU recall, it's fun to speculate.

    First, my kudos on what must have been quite a piece of detective work. One doesn't often hear of chemical contamination during production as the cause of an electronic component failure. From what I've read, torture testing normally revolves around heat, vibration, impact, dust, voltage and current spikes, etc.

    I'll guess that there were some heated battles around who was responsible for the failures, then again over who was going to foot the bill.

    Once those issues had been settled, there had to have been a huge increase in production to accommodate the recall itself--basically tripling or quadrupling capacity to get enough boxes into the pipeline prior to announcing the recall (not to mention first correcting the source of the flaw while supporting routine production).

    As to the "drivers" for Saab, I'll guess in descending order: reputation-customer satisfaction, emission regulations, safety.

    - Nobody expects their new car to suddenly perform poorly or even conk out. Saab needs to keep its customers happy--especially in the luxury/sport sedan category. (This all makes a pretty good argument for the combination of roadside service and On-Star.)

    - No carmaker wants to feel the emission regulator's hammer. While safety recalls get headlines and segments on 20-20, the emissions regulators swing a much swifter and more draconian weight. They can not only force recalls, they can issue *fines*. Too, emissions violations are the most common outcome of engine control computer failure (i.e., not running properly is more common than not running at all).

    - I can imagine that there is an implicit danger to being stranded on the side of the road, in traffic, with a stalled car. I'm sure there are emperical data, somewhere, that tell us fairly precisely what that danger is. I can easily imagine a harrowing situation in which to have my car die on me, but what I'm left with is the question of whether my *perception* of risk correlates at all with true risk (much like looking out the window of an airplane imagining the wing ripping off has no bearing on whether there's a real risk of its doing so). A sober review of my car's history (no stalling problems), my commute (mercifully brief and uneventful), and my emergency driving skills (brilliant, of course) tells me that that the danger is largely between my ears.

    Saab's declaration of there being no safety issue seems reasonable to me.

    That said, yes I want the new box. In addition to wanting to avoid any possible ECU-related problems, I'll bet there've been a lot of software and firmware mods since '99 that we will benefit from
  • jeh1jeh1 Posts: 1
    I am just back from a few days in Vermont and this has to be the Saab capital of the U.S. There are Saabs everywhere you turn , many more than Volvo . Only the occassional BMW or Audi . I was looking in a Boston paper and there are 8 Saab dealers listed in the greater Boston area . In Vermont you see a ton of old Saabs puttering around , many with older drivers. I assume Saab got the jump up there due to front wheel drive when Volvo had none. Even now , you see more new Saabs than new Volvo's . I wonder if Saab has identified the highest per capita Saab ownership by state , Vermont has to 1st or 2nd.
  • smu1976smu1976 Posts: 110
    Saab 9-5's everywhere in Denver. I can't believe how many I see on the road, wagons, sedans, etc.
    Lived in Denver for 7 years and never have I seen so many Saabs.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    I've been driving back and forth to the Carolinas the past two weeks (from Atlanta) and I've hardly seen a Saab of any kind. Obviously, Saabs aren't gonna be too popular in NASCAR country but ya think you'd see a few in Charlotte or along I-85.

    Around ATL it seems all I see are Saabs with Distributor plates on them. Saab USA is a few miles from my home so I guess they're being driven by employees. I must drive by the Saab Training Center 3 or 4 times a week; nothing but 9-5's in the parking lot.
  • If memory serves me correctly Saabs, were first imported into the Northeast area of the States. They have a well established foothold in the Ct, Vt and surrounding states. There historical low key positioning makes it a suitable match for those people who don't like showing up at the club in cars typically driven by 'new' money people. Thankfully in some areas of the U.S. 'flash' doesn't need to speak for ones liquidity. I can't recall ever seeing a Saab in a rap artists video - - to some - - - 'that is a good thing'.


    Dave Kovacs
  • saabeesaabee Posts: 23
    Hmmm....'Old' money people were once 'new' money people. So needless to say, today's 'new' money people will eventually be "old" money people. So, will the 'new' money people drive a BMW, Mercedes or a Saab when they are 'old' money?
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    Lots of ways to look at the subject - for instance you could say New Money folks are those who've worked and earned their place on thier own and Old Money folks have grown up around it and likely have not earned it on thier own. At least not to the degree of what's in their portfolio's. I'm old middle class striving to become New Money.

  • . . . I have a car I like . . . unfortunately some others do not. Although I must say, it does please me that some people are unhappy with their choices. It is truly worthy of a good chuckle! It will make for such a good laugh at the club!!!

    Now how is that for arrogance?

    Also strange but funny - I don't have any friends who drive a Camry - - eventhough alot of them are sold - - I don't know if that says something about the car, my friends or me. But honestly I can't be bothered worrying.

    I sometimes feel like the puppet master when I make some statements on this board. It is fun making certain people dance!!!


    Dave Kovacs
  • saabbersaabber Posts: 84
    I prefer to generally respect others, especially those who have less than I do.

    Whether or not this issue is worth chucking about at the "club," well, that is not for me to comment on as I like to judge people on their personal character rather than on the amount of money that they inherited from their parents.

    If saab is going to try to break out and double its sales as it suggests, it is going to have to wake up to the fact that it is going to have to attract some of those Camry-type drivers away from their current choices. Hopefully it can do this by "reinventing" its culture. It cannot continue the attitude of "build it and they will come" as evidenced by the fact that it cannot even sell the cars that it is producing now without a heavy lease subsidy.
    Just my ideas for saab to help to make the company produce a car that I will like better in the future.
    I wonder what it is like to sit at a table at the "club" and talk about those "new" money saab owners who buy cars that they don't love and yet they do not dispose of them immediately?
  • You seem to be outraged with your Saab, with Saab Corp. and with anyone on this board who will not agree with you.
    Perhaps it is not fair to the rest of us for you to continuously clang the negativity bell. You have made your point about your opinion of the Saab car and organization. But (at least IMHO) when you keep going on and on about this with post after post it starts to change the character of the forum into that of griping or maybe even whining.
    This is not bringing people into line with your point of view. Rather, it is probably alienating those who might otherwise listen to you.
    Your points about Saab shortcomings are well taken. You're using a bazooka where a pea shooter would do the job.
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