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Saab 9-3 Sedan



  • lcp1lcp1 Posts: 14
    Anyone have any info or experience with after-
    market install of Delphi XM,1st generation or the
    new Roadie?Have it at home and am TOTALLY sold
    on the service.
  • glutz1glutz1 Posts: 20
    My Linear goes in the shop next wk for to allow the service dept to replace trim that they broke while fixing the noises in my sunroof and I'm trying to decide whether to have them address my frnt speakers. While I can't tell if it's the center speaker or the ones on the ends of the dash, one or all of them buzz with certain bass frequencies, which is annoying. I almost hate to have them work on the issue, as it seems that when they touch one thing to 'fix' it, something else gets screwed up. Has anyone else had their dealer successfully address this in their car ?

    BTW, this is my 1st Saab and my Linear is loaded (Launch, Touring and Sport Packages) and I do like the car.
  • I would suggest telling them now that your speakers are possibly blown. They typically don't have them in stock and will have to be ordered which usually take about 1 week. My speakers were buzzing also and they replaced them without asking any questions.
  • I've brought my 2003 Arc to the dealer twice so far. The first time they did the software upload which diminished the door buzzing but didn't remove it and was supposed to fix the stalling.

    After two more stalls, I brought my car in again (I was willing to tolerate the buzzing for a while but not the stalling). This time, to (hopefully) end the stalls, they replaced the spark plugs because they were "worn." Happily, a week later, there have been no stalls.

    However, the dealer claimed they could not hear the buzz (to be fair, neither could I when I test drove it with the dealer) and, unless they hear it themselves, they say there is nothing they can do to fix it. Of course, the buzz came back the next day. I think I'll call the dealer from the car and introduce the service department to "Mr. Buzz" the next time I hear it.

    I have a few more gripes. After I got the car back from the dealer, the three Onstar buttons were backlit. The mystery here is that they were always dark before. Originally, I just thought it was a design flaw and that they weren't meant to be lit up. Strangely enough, they are now dark once again. Also, the seat memory definitely has a mind of its own. Occasionally, and for no apparent reason, the memory positions are lost. More frequently, sometimes when I start the car, even when the seat stayed in the same position, I find that the side view mirrors have to be readjusted. Has anyone else noticed any problems with the memory settings?

    The car is packed full of technology but I think there are some bugs that still need to be worked out.
  • When my Arc was new (April-ish), the mirrors seemed to reset themselves to some "home" location. I never could figure out why. I even included it on my JD Power survey.

    But now, I swear, the thing has healed itself! It no longer does it, and I never had it to the dealer for investigation.

    And another thing -- for a while my driver's side rear door lock wouldn't work. Stupid thing has healed itself and worked flawlessly for months.

    Go figure...
  • After reading this board, it would seem that no one has anything good to say about the 9-3... bunch of whiners. For those individuals, I suggest they consider owning something a bit more a Honda. What ever happened to the car enthusiasts who thrived on the minor issues, got them solved, only to get back on the road to enjoy the ride? If I have to hear one more person complain about the stereo in the 9-3 I think I'm going to have a fit. Just needed to vent. Better yet, I'm going for a ride.
  • I just wish I could like it unequivocally. I did figure out what's up with the Onstar buttons. Apparently, they only light up when the headlights are set to on. Why this should be, when every other button on the dashboard lights up when the headlights turn themselves on automatically, is beyond me.

    Obviously, this is a really minor quibble and it doesn't affect the drivability or my enjoyment of the car. For the life of me, though, I can't figure out why Saab's engineers would deliberately treat the Onstar buttons differently. Thus, I can only conclude that it was an oversight.

    What bothers me is that, although the 9-3 is by far the most fun to drive car I have ever owned, I never experienced anywhere near as many problems, both minor and major, in any of my previous cars.

    Nojalopy, I hope you're right. I do believe that if you ignore them long enough, most problems, like creditors, telemarketers and demanding children, will go away. :) Maybe Saabs are like that....
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166

    We're pleased to announce that the 9-3 Sport Sedan was recently named "Best Pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

    Saab’s “Real-Life Safety” philosophy helped earn the 2003 Saab 9 3 Sport Sedan a “Best Pick” designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In the most recent series of 40-mph frontal offset crash tests, IIHS tested seven new or redesigned vehicles, including the 2003 Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan. The Saab was one of five vehicles that earned the Institute’s “Best Pick” honor in this round of testing. The crashworthiness test evaluates vehicles on three primary elements:

    I didn't realize the 9-3 has side seat bags and head curtains...WOW....
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Yes, IIHS posted the results a while ago, and the 9-3 did very well. Hardly surprising because the 9-3 earned five stars in the EuroNCAP crash tests last year (they have a slightly tougher offset crash test than IIHS does, but overall the frontal tests are similar).

    EuroNCAP also gave the 9-3 full marks in their side-impact test.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Well, it's easier to bring up negative issues than positive ones, especially on the Internet.

    However, I wouldn't characterize stalling as a minor problem.

    Fortunately, in the 9 months I've had my Linear, I've never had a stalling issue (knock on wood). The only negatives I have are:

    - Occasional rattle, comes and goes. Minor problem, not worth going out of my way to fix and just waiting for the service appointment.

    - Brakes are pretty touchy and probably need adjustment. Will also get that taken care of at the service appointment. Minor problem again.

    - The ride comfort is jittery, especially on repaired road surfaces. Before anyone jumps on me and says that I should expect that in a sports sedan, I'll mention that a 3-series and a C-class have similar sporty handling (if not better) but (minus the sport suspension) have far better composed rides.

    I will say that because I lease the vehicle, I'm probably a bit more forgiving about small glitches. I'd probably be a bit more concerned and motivated to fix things quickly if I owned it for the long haul.

    As far as rolling along with the punches, sure I think I've done that. I got the OnStar upgrade a few months ago, and my dealership still hasn't figured out how to program all the features that I think are there. I do get the sense that Saab got the vehicle out a bit too early and needed some more time to get the kinks out or to refine it.

    Now, for the positives I've found in nine months of ownership:

    + The vehicle is as fun now as when I first drove it. Very tossable, light on its feet, and quick (low-end torque seems to be a key here). It's an enjoyable vehicle. Around town, it prowls the streets with a low growl of its turbo, and gets up and going quickly and stops quickly. On the highway, it moves quite smoothly.

    + I still appreciate the little touches that some shoppers don't notice. Park the car after driving in the rain, turn off the ignition, and the wipers fully retract instead of sticking up at a right angle and requiring you to turn on the power again. Or how the Night Panel mode not only darkens about everything but the speedo, it also darkens the highest speeds of the speedo.

    + I like the trunk space, true mid-sized volume.

    + Seat comfort is very good. A lot of vehicles bug my back, but Saabs and Volvos seem to fit very nicely.

    + I love the look of the vehicle. Plus the fact that it's distinctly Saab and it's not a vehicle you see all the time.

    + Love the bi-xenon lights. I'll never go back. Even had a chance to use the xenon high-beams after daylight savings time ended and really appreciated the difference (the turn-off into my neighborhood is pretty dark at night, without many cars, so the high beams help for driving through and avoid joggers and dog walkers).
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,858
    have a 9-5 it's 29% german, 22% swedish.
    how about a new 9-3?
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • 3and143and14 Posts: 36
    It would seem you are the one who is whining. People simply wish to share their experiences, and if they happen to be primarily negative then so be it.
  • Saab 9-5 only 22% swedish? that's suprised. As i recalled, Saab 9-3 should have over 95% Swedish with German engine and Japanese transmission. So it looks like has Swedish safty+German power+Japanese reliability.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    I don't have my 9-3 window sticker with me, but I can tell you that it's not that far from the 9-5. Largest percentage from Germany, significant percentage from Japan, and a percentage from Sweden.

    German power? Well, IIRC, not in the sense of MB/BMW German power. Think General Motors in Germany (Opel). The engine is based on the GM Ecotec 2.2 block, reduced in size and very heavily modified with Saab technology (e.g. turbo, intake/exhaust, valvetrain pretty much all the internals). But this happens at a GM/Opel plant in Germany, I think. The modifications are Saab design.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Opel/Vauxhall Vectra platform as well.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Yup ... the 9-3 platform is the GM Epsilon platform, used most recently in the new Chevy Malibu. Of course, just the platform being shared as the base doesn't make the 9-3. The Malibu obviously has vastly different handling characteristics than the 9-3!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,858
    there is more to a car than where all the parts came from, it just suprised me how low the swedish content was. for all i know all the screws come from germany.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • luba1luba1 Posts: 13
    Just when I start to love this ride again, something else goes wrong. I am still having auto tranny problems. Yesterday morning my auto, in the manual mode, slipped 5 different times while shifting from 2nd to 3rd. This morning the car stalled taking off from a stop. Later, leaving from an appointment in downtown L.A., it barely started (idling at about 300-400 rpm). I gave it some gas and it finally picked up to about 800 rpm. But then the engine light came on while driving home 20 miles. My car (2003 Saab 9-3 ARC w/auto and 17")only has 3,700 miles on it. My dealer has no clue and is waiting for Saab to respond. I love the way this car handles, but this is my 6th time to the dealer, 3rd for the tranny and 2nd for the stalling.

    If any one else has had these problems and has a solution, please let me know. I really want to enjoy this car!!!
  • My 9-3 Arc stalled again recently, this time when my wife was driving it and as she was about to make a left turn through a busy intersection. NOT a good place to stall! She took it directly to the dealer and they gave her a Trailblazer (b/c they were out of Saabs) as a loaner. BTW, the Trailblazer is a pathetic vehicle; it's handling and steering are the pits.

    Anyhow, two days later, I have my 9-3 back. The dealer claims that the software upgrade (which I had done at the thirty-day check up after my first two stalls) had "deteriorated." I'm not a computer guy, but that sounds like something out of "The Matrix" to me. Dealer's solution....they reinstalled the software upgrade.

    Of course, they still didn't detect the buzzing from the doors and had never heard of there being any problems with the seat memory.

    Despite all of the above, I actually kind of like the dealership. Their employees are friendly and courteous (although maybe not too knowledgeable) and they are service oriented. Nevertheless, this had better fix the stalling problem for good or I will go the lemon law route.
  • This gives a good idea on where the parts are sourced. Peace.
  • For months now I have been eager/excited about purchasing a new 9-3 Arc...practically just drooling and waiting for lease end on my current car! But, this discussion board now has me very leery...I've actually begun to consider other cars (Acura, Infiniti, BMW). There are so many posts here where people are complaining/commenting about all the problems they've had with their new 9-3's that I can't even imagine why anyone would go through all the hassle! I was hoping there would be some people out there who could provide more objective feedback regarding their experiences. Additionally, most of the negative comments are from people with '03 9-3's. I would love to hear more comments from people who are in '04 9-3's...hoping that many of the problems identified in previous posts have now been corrected with one model year under their belt. I guess I'm just hoping that maybe you guys can help turn me back into a pure Saab enthusiast again......
  • gbriankgbriank Posts: 220
    Are you leasing a 9-3 right now? There are bugs in the current 9-3. From reading posts on other boards and speaking to folks at the dealership, some of the issues (stall, rattles, On-Star not working) still exsist in the '04. Have you considered a 9-5 Aero? Not as sporty or refined, but it is a SAAB.

    I too am worried about the new 9-3 and am not enthusiastic about the materials used. The closest competitors I have liked are the Acura TL and BMW 330iA.
  • I own a 9-3 ARC and have had no problems whatsoever in 12K miles. I mentioned this in an earlier post, that if I had to do it over again, I would buy another 9-3. I was shopping for a unique, European sports sedan, and wanted to keep the price under $30K. Having owned BMW, Mercedes and Audi in the past, my 9-3 provides a comparable ownership experience. What you are seeing on this board is a group that wants to share some of their problems with the car. What you are not seeing is all the satisfied owners that chose not to post. Just my 2 cents.
  • Hi
    I am a very happy owner of a fully optioned '03 9-3 linear at 11k miles. So far the only problem I have had is a jammed cd changer fixed under warranty from Saab. My only complaint is the under powered small rear speakers. Anybody have a cost effective way of upgrading the standard liner 150 W system? I'd like to add some 6 x 9 speakers in the back, perhaps a cd changer and higher wattage amplifier. The saab upgrade is over $1k (including disc changer in back and Arc/Aero sound system).
    I am also wondering about the system re-set after you change the oil.
    Anybody have any experience here? After you change the oil, does the system reset function become available?
  • I have a 2003 Linear with 12k miles and have not had a single problem. So far it has probably been the most trouble-free car I have owned. It does no stall, it has no rattles, it shifts smoothly, and all the electronics have worked the way they are supposed to. I bought it in 3/02 and it was built in 1/03.
  • lcp1lcp1 Posts: 14
    I have 9,000 miles in 8 mos.on my 9-3 Vector
    with sentronic trans.-----no slipping,stalling
    at creep speed while in stop and go traffic-
    fixed at dealer in 30 minutes never to appear
    again.Onstar"went to sleep"once,fixed it myself
    following service dept.instructions to remove
    and reinstall a specific fuse.These kind of issues
    in a car which is essentialy the classic clean sheet of paper redesign are to be expected and
    could never sour my overall opinion of the car.
    Let's keep these negative posts in perspective---
    the last time I checked Saab 9-3 sales for calendar year 2003 were approaching 21,000 units!
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    04 9-3 brochure reports that Arc and Aero models will have input jack for hooking mp3 players into the car's audio system located in the center console area..........

    EXCELLENT (except why not on the Linear also?)

    good job Saab
  • i am looking at a saab 9-3 arc.

    What are the lease numbers like, i know there is a special, but how much have you guys walked out the door with.

    Thank you
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    some dude here in Mpls area traded has black 03 Auto Vector in to a dealer here with like 3k miles on it. Black/gray int. Sweet car.

    Myself I would like the stick but it was a nice new car sitting on the lot here.
  • My wife recently bought a 99 Saab SE Convertible.

    Seems like a neat car. I know absolutely nothing about Saabs though. I had to read the owners manual just to find the oil dipstick (like I was supposed to know it's attached to the oil filler cap?)

    One minor problem: on the message screen, "Fill Coolant Reservoir" keeps popping up, then going off. I've checked the reservoir and it's full.

    I can't seem to locate any traditional radiator cap to check the radiator level itself.

    Ideas, anyone? There is what looks to be a level sensor in the side of the reservoir, and that may be what's causing this. The sensor is below the level of the coolant.

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