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Saab 9-5 Sedan



  • I know Saab has been using turbos for decades....But that doesn't seem to be enough of an arguement to say the turbos are trouble free. It's like all domestic manufacturers have been making cars for decades too. But they still have questionable reliability. However, I will consider your suggestion of using Mobil 1. What weight does the manufacturer recommend? And are the turbos made by Mitsubishi?

    I would like to get a Saab. I like it's interior and styling. I just want to make sure I know every possible "failure or problems" the car will have. BTW, is your Aero 2003? Is the ride comfortable? My choice will be a used one, probably 1999. So I won't have to debate between a V6 or an Aero. Oh, Edmunds have both the 1999 4cyl and 6cyl at 7.5 seconds. Do you know the 1/4mile time for this car? I also want to use it for smoking those import cars, especially the japanese one.

  • I have a 1999 Saab 9-5 2.3t wagon (4 cyl.) Recently, the engine siezed at 36,000, still under warranty. However, Saab is disclaiming warranty coverage, saying that it was the result of "failure to maintain." Manual requires oil changes every 10K, which I had. Saab says oil should have been changed more often. Any similar problems with oil failure in saab engines? If so, I am thinking class action.
  • hi,
    While looking for a used 9-5, in my search for a car, I found a 2001 9-5 aero wagon with only 21,000kms on it. "Hmmm," I thought,"this could be intersting." I called the man and he said it was in excellent condition and a real good deal. I asked if it had ever been in an accident and he said no, had been vandalized. They broke in the windows, stole the airbag and the wheels, and scratched the paint. The Insurance wrote off the car. He has a garage that specializes in Saabs and fixed it up with OEM parts. He repainted it and says you can't really tell anything was ever wrong with it. I don't know if it's even worth going out to look at it. If it was just those cosmetic things, perhaps it could be a good find, or it could be even more scary than I want to think. So, what would you folks do?
  • I wouldn't consider that car.....Airbag being stolen? Are they really that expensive?

    Since you mentioned airbag, I have a question that's unrelated to the topic. Once an airbag is deployed, how are they going to be replaced? Will it work perfectly for the second time?
  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    No, an airbag is a one-time use component. If deployed, it needs to be replaced along with the section of dashboard or steering wheel pad that is destroyed when it goes off. The old airbag is removed and a new one is plugged into the wiring harness.
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    well, i have been out of here for some time.
    my 2000 aero was purchased in november 1999.
    currently 47,000 miles.
    car has great stability at high speeds (in usa this means 80 to 100 mph sustained )have had it to 125 for a few minutes and still good.
    problem areas---------
    4 ecm's replaced
    head light bulbs --took fuse out for daytime .
    center console lock mech locked out gear selector.
    small oil leaks.
    radiator fan (one out of two)went out.
    power steering now leaking.
    new disc brakes front at 28,000 .
    is not a honda for sure.but it is more fun to drive in the north east .not worth it in flat areas such as fla.
    car likes winter .so so in summer weather though a/c is good.
  • My Aero is a 2002, and the 0-60 is somewhere in the mid 6's. My old 900 SE was in the low 6's. I'm not sure of the 1/4 time. I may take it to a local strip and find out when spring rolls around and I get better tires. As far as synthetic, I use standard weights 10W30 in winter, 10W40 spring/fall and 15W50 in the summer (I think that's it). Unless you live where it is really cold (high temps below 0F), don't go below 10W30, it is not generally recommended for the turbo.

    Saab's turbochargers are oil and water cooled (IIRC), but SAAB has used both Mistubishi and Garret turbochargers in the past, I don't know who makes the one in my 95. I got a great deal on my new Aero, it had 6K miles on it and had never been titled, since it was driven by a SAAB regional parts manager. Automatic, touring package, and only in service for 4 months. I paid just under $30K and may qualify for owner loyalty rebate of $500, since I own a '73 SAAB Sonett. (48K miles, 2nd owner)

    If you are really concerned about maintenance issues/costs, you might consider a used Acura TL Type S. Nice car, I would have gotten one, but I just wanted to be back in a SAAB when I finished out the lease on a vehicle for my wife. (Wife wanted Honda Oddessey half way through her lease when I blew the transmission on my 900 SE, can't blame SAAB, 160K miles and 60 extra horsepower, with much bigger and better tires.)
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    Okay..I've been gone too long. Here are some clarifications from some of the conversation thread lately.

    1.In Canada.. you can't pull fuse 35 as he said, it's the law. DRL's cause short bulb life whether it's a Saab or a Honda.

    2.Saab Automobile doesn't Make Airplanes. They've been seperate for Years now. In fact.. I don't even think Saab Aerospace even makes a Plane anymore. Big supplier to company's that still assemble though.

    3.You don't fix an airbag.. you replace it. Someone already answered that. I just thought the question was funny. LOL

    4. Headlight replacement.. in the U.S. the dealers replace the bulbs under warranty. It must be different in Canada. Of course after the warranty expires... we're on our own. The last 7 years of Saabs here.. we replace our bulbs much less than our neighbors do for thier Volvo and they blow all the bulbs a LOT not just headlights.

  • I don't know what kind of bulbs and the brand Saab uses (H4? H3?) But did anyone replace a burned out bulb with those that are use by Hondas or Toyotas? (Assuming they are the same kind of bulbs) I'm just wondering if anyone has done it to maybe proof it's the bulb's problem and not Saab.
  • Sonett_lvr:
    I don't know where you live. But I live in CA. Do I need to switch the oil in different seasons like you do? Acura TL-S......don't want japanese cars.....

    Please keep us posted. Doesn't seem like Saab is taking good care of its customers.......
  • bbf65bbf65 Posts: 29
    mitsubishi turbo on aero's,
    garrett's on linear and arc's.

    happy saabing!
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    Doesn't seem like Saab is taking good care of its customers.......

    I think you can make that statement about every single automaker. Based on my personal experience and what I've read from hundreds of fellow SAAB owners is that SAAB does a great job with their customers. Not every car is perfect, not every dealer is wonderful, not every car owner is honest.

    The 9-5 is at least as reliable as any comparable European car, and more reliable than many. But there's always gonna be a few bad ones. If you put reliability as your #1 priority, stick with the Asian brands. The odds are slightly more in their favor. Not that Asian cars are perfect either.
  • I guess I shouldn't make that comment based on just one incident (post #1278). The reason I said that is because based on enginetrouble's post,

    "Manual requires oil changes every 10K, which I had. Saab says oil should have been changed more often."

    seems like to me Saab is not going to repair the vehicle even the driver follows the manual's indicated maintenance requirement. It's good to hear you have good experience with Saab. I know all cars are not perfect and I definitely wouldn't go for another japanese car.
  • ejh00ejh00 Posts: 6
    Was planning on another Saab, this time buying an Aero (I have a 2000 9-5 SE coming up to lease-end). Local dealer still has a new 2002 Aero 5-spd that he offered for $31,500 (MSRP is $40K and change). This includes $500 owner loyalty and what I think is a hefty discount. Am concerned only about the reputed turbo lag and sloppy shifting, which my brief test drive seemed to confirm. Car is outstanding otherwise.

    My son convinced me to test drive a 2003 Maxima SE 6-spd, which I did. Smooth, quiet, powerful and luxurious. It had none of Saab's quirkiness or intelligent engineering touches, and the warranty is less attractive (3yr/36,000 vs. 4yr/50,000 plus roadside). But this car really performs, and I was surprised at how much I liked it. The dealer's first offer was $26K (MSRP is $30,600), which I think can come down more if I get serious. I need a backseat and trunk space, otherwise I'd look at the Z or G35 for Saab money.

    Is this a fair comparison? The $6-7K price difference is significant in this class, but 20% off the Aero is also compelling. I want to own and drive for 4-5 years. Or am I comparing Swedish apples and Japanese oranges? All thoughts are welcome.
  • ejh00.. I know what you are going through. I too have a 200 Saab 9-5 and my lease comes up in a few months. I've been doing some heavy research and have narrowed my picks to the following:
    Saab 9-5 Aero wagon,Volvo XC70,Subaru Outback H.6. I'm looking for a wagon as you can see and these are the choices that make the most sense to me. Obviously the Saab is the sports car of the bunch and I'll talk about that in a moment.
    My newphew just purchased a 03 Maxima and I test drove it. Like you,I was mesmerized by the speed and sheer acceleration that it produces. Having said that,the rest of the experience left me wanting more. I can't put my finger on it but it just seemed to get boring after about 5 minutes of driving it. If you are looking for a reliable,fast car I think the Maxima will be superior to the Saab although besides some battery issues with my car, I can't complain too much. It's been very reliable. It will be a tough choice,I know.Also,you will be able to do much better on price with the max.
    Back to my situation,I like idea of leasing something else this time but I know there is an 80% chance that I will end up with another Saab.
    Why?? I think you know the reasons so I won't go into it. The fact that I will be a return customer should also be favorable so I may as well give in and go and put my order in for my
    9-5 Aero wagon.. A red one sounds good..
    Good luck and let me know your thoughts as well.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    But buy the car you like. You'll have to spend the next 5 years paying for it, might as well get something desirable.

    Some time ago I posted some comments about the 9-5 vs. Acura TL. You might want to scroll back and look for them.

    Part of me thinks its terribly sad that people compare the 9-5 to mainstream Asian cars when SAAB should be compared against Audi, Volvo, etc. Maybe not MBz or BMW but at least something close. If nothing else it helps Nissan's marketing dept justify price increases. I mean, if the average person can't tell the diff between one and the other, why not raise the price $5000 and stick it to them?

    I feel sorry for all the suckers kicking down $27,000+ for a Honda Accord. But ignorance is bliss, especially when it comes to buying a new car.
  • bbf65bbf65 Posts: 29
    if money is no object, i'd take the aero anyday.

    the maxima is a really good car with an outstanding engine, roomy inside, nice fit and finish, and 6 speed manual tranny (although, nissan's stick is not as slick as say a honda or bmw). also, it's due for a redesign and therefore, all the kinks and bugs should have been ironed out and there should be ample incentives when buying the car. and the maxima is historically very reliable. however, the ride is a bit stiff and not as pleasant or as comfortable as the saab. the doors don't close with a reassuring solid "thud" as saabs do. some safety ratings are not as good as the saabs (iihs, nhtsa, etc.)

    the saab 9-5 aero is much more fun to drive.
    it may not have an engine as smooth running as the vq series v-6 in the maxima, but the overall driving experience is sublime. it has that elusive european feel on the road - solid, satisfying ride. the doors close with tank-like firmness. the ride is firm, taut, compliant but not uncomfortable, stiff or jittery. and you don't see one in every corner.

    the price they gave you on the aero is a steal.
    got mine 3 months ago for much more than that.

    buy what you really want.
    let us know which one you end up choosing.
    either way, good luck.
  • mstsscmstssc Posts: 89
    Careful with going from a 9-5 to a XC70. If you like the ride, handling and tightness of the Saab, you will be disappointed with the Volvo. I have both a 9-5 and V70 (although a GLT). The Volvo is a good comfortable highway cruiser but the Saab a better driver. I am now looking at upgrading my Volvo front end bits to tighten it up some.

    Take the Volvo for a good test drive and make sure it suits your driving style. Better yet see if you can get your hands on a rental with some hard miles on it.

    Both cars have been very reliable with only minor problems.
  • thinking about getting one of these...price is a question. i undertand that there is a lot of dealer cash out there right now...what should i expect to pay for an '03 aero wagon? carsdirect says $35,961, but i expect that i can do better?
  • ejh00ejh00 Posts: 6
    After debating over Aero vs Maxima SE and a few others, yesterday I bought the '02 Aero. Dealer offered an under-$30K price for a new '02 with auto and touring, zero miles. The bargain price was based on a few factors, but mainly the fact that the car is Laser Red. Now there's a distinctive vehicle! There are some factory incentives (plenty, it seems), 2.9 financing for 48 mos, and the year-end push helped. But in the end they just didn't want the car on the lot any longer, and I was ready to buy. Black or Cosmic Blue would have been nice, but not $4K nice. Taking delivery Jan. 2. See you on the roads!
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    What those "few factors" are? Getting a $42,000 car for less than $30,000 is quite a feat. I think sharing the details would be rather helpful to those of us looking to get a $12,000 discount on a new car.
  • I'm in the market for a new Vehicle and am on the fence regarding the Audi A6 or the Aero 95. I was impressed with the A6 2.7T but it was a bit expensive $46K, the A6 3.0 just did not handle the way I expected it should for $38K. I then drove the Aero and was very impressed with the handling and turbo but, after doing some research the 9-5 received some mixed reviews. I was wondering if someone could give me some feed back one way or another on the 9-5.

    Also, I was given a ball park of about $36k for a 2003 ($42MSRP)

    Thanks for your time...
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    There are 1297 posts before yours. Lots of info here about the 9-5 including some 9-5 v. A6 comparos. Do a search on it (find the Search Box in the grey column on the left).
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    If you use "advanced search" to search within a single discussion, links to relevant posts are returned.

    The Search box looks for the keyword in discussion titles throughout the Town Hall, so it is not useful for searching within a topic. It's purpose is to find discussions already underway rather than specific posts.
  • jmfjdfjmfjdf Posts: 1
    I am looking at a certified 1999 9-5 with 36,000 miles. The car has leather /sunroof/ automatic. Perfect condition. Dealer is offering $16,700. Are there any specific questions I should ask? Any thing to look for in the test drive? What would be a good counter offer. The car has been on lot for over 90 days and they are motivated to sell. Any replies greatly appreciated. I live in S FL.
  • bbf65bbf65 Posts: 29
    i bought an aero a little more than 3 months ago.
    that's after i read ALL the posts here and most of the posts at the saab network (TSN).

    like you, i was at first concerned about some reliability issues because saab does not seem to have the reputation that honda or toyota has.
    a lot of research and several test drives later,
    i'm happily behind the wheels of a 9-5 aero.
    very satisfied and have never looked back.

    i'd say go do all the research you need to do and do all the test drives you want.
    the aero will not disappoint.

    also with surveys done by Consumer Reports and JD Powers, Saab seems to be the most reliable of all european brands.

    good luck and let us know what you end up with.
  • ejh00ejh00 Posts: 6
    Bretfraz -

    While I'd like to be as helpful to the board here as I can, the "other factors" I mentioned were probably situation- and dealer-specific. It was month-end/year-end, so that motivated both of us. After an initial phone call (and a $30K offer over the phone!) I came in as the prototypical "I'm ready to buy today" customer, and that usually creates a condition that shakes a few dollars off the tree. I confirmed that the $500 owner loyalty would also be deducted. After a test drive and some hesitation on my part (I really *was* torn about the color) an additional $500 was taken off to seal the deal. The sales mgr explained that they had already written off a good portion of the vehicle in 2002, and he said he was also taking the 2003 depreciation now, rather than wait till January like other dealers. It was clear to me that the laser red color was the reason they had failed to sell this for many months. Further, a friend had explained that they move a lot of cars at this dealership (it's Saab-only), and that their pricing was generally aggressive.

    To get a great deal right now, I would suggest that prospective buyers check out the existence of any remaining '02s on area dealer lots (the web is great for this), ignore the price listed on the site (it's almost always MSRP anyway), and call to verify a few facts on the car. Some '02s I found were listed under pre-owned or used, even if they have very few miles. Most are under "new "cars, but you'll want to confirm mileage and options. Try to get a sense of where they'll be price-wise if you decide to come in, knowing that even a very low verbal number can be a starting point for further (if limited) reductions. At the very least, with ongoing dealer rebates from Saab, and pressure to make room for more '03s and eventual '04s, a $4-5K discount should be the absolute minimum. Where it goes from there is based on those "other factors."

    Good luck and good shopping!
  • bbf65bbf65 Posts: 29
    from what i've read at the saab network (TSN),
    the model year 99 had a few bugs (ecu, fuel tank thump). most of which were covered by recalls and replaced under warranty.

    check out TSN and post some questions there too.

    my experience with saab is limited since i'm on my first one that's only 3 months old.

    best regards.
  • regarding your criticisms of the 9-5, what about engine problems?? have you heard of any engine failures? seizures? problems with oil failing to maintain viscosity? please advise. Also, what is TSN and how can I access it. Thanks.
  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    TSN = The Saab Network =

    If you need info on a Saab of any vintage or model, this is the place. Keep in mind that this is a 'problem posting' site, so don't let your impression of Saabs be skewed by the posts. I've been driving our 9-5 for a year now and have found it to be an exceptional car. Wish I could afford another one for ME.

    Regarding engine seizures, oil problems, Saab engines generally don't have problems with these type of issues, although if you did a search on TSN you'd probably find someone with said problem.
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