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Saab 900 / 9000



  • avnutavnut Posts: 10
    If you look at the depreciation and reliability of a SAAB, you'll see why there are so few customers loyal enough to buy a second NEW one! My '84 Turbo bought new with 3 miles on it (meticulously maintained by a SAAB Dealer) was in the junk yard with 75K miles (not a scratch on the flawless exterior). SAAB can only survive by finding NEW customers. Most former owners look elsewhere after having experienced the mechanical anomalies of a SAAB.
  • boonsboroboonsboro Posts: 22
    Saab has become much more reliable now then they were back in the mid 80 or even mid 90s. In fact I've seen written that Saab has one off the highest owner layolty (repurchase) rates. See


    '89 900S

    '02 9-3SE

  • jspears2jspears2 Posts: 19
    I have an 89 900 that I thought was a 900S. A lady that I know has an 89 900s that has different equipment as mine. She has the sunroof and back wing, automatic seatbelts and seat warmers. My car has none of these items. How can you determine what your car is and if it is equipped with a turbo or not. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
  • boonsboroboonsboro Posts: 22
    The quickest way to tell the difference is to look at the rear of the car. The 900S has the S after the 900. My 89 900S has the sunroof, power windows and doors, heater seats (probably an option), but no black wing (mine is a 4 door). I'm pretty sure the 900 did not have the power doors and windows.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    "How can you determine what your car is and if it is equipped..."

    In addition to Boonsboro's advice, you should also try contacting Saab customer service. With the VIN, they should be able to tell you all the factory features that were installed on your vehicle. Good luck. ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    If you actually have an (U.S. equipped) '89 900, it should have automatic seatbelts (if 90 or later, it will have a big steering wheel with an airbag). All 900S have sunroofs (manual til '89, power after). Heated seats were standard on all Saabs, IIRC, at that point. The '90 and later had a seat heater switch on the left side of the dash, earlier models were 'automatically' heated (maybe driver's side only) when the heat was turned on (look on the side of your seat, it should say 'automatically heated seat' or something like that). If your car has crank windows, it's not an S, it's a base 900 ('92? and later base 900 had power windows, otherwise power are on 900S and Turbo only after about 1983). Lastly, not all 900S have a rear spoiler (aka 'wing'), it was optional most years. Do you have a 4-door or two-door hatch (3-door)?

    You definitely do NOT have a turbo. The 'S' in '89 has an non-turbo 16v 4-cylinder, the base has an 8v non-turbo 4. All Turbos have sunroofs, most have leather, all have rear spoilers. There is no 'Turbo S', the S and Turbo are different models, similarly equipped but with different engines. You're mistaking the questions, 'do I have a Turbo or an S?' with 'do I have a 900S or a base 900?'
  • jspears2jspears2 Posts: 19
    I have an 89 900 and I have had to install a new starter and after disconnecting the battery cable, the radio needs to be reset. Is there a universal code for the radios or can I call Saab to get one? Without knowing the radio was screwed up I turned it on and hit a preset button which has put 4 numbers on the display. I have tried taking the radio out and putting it back in but the numbers still appear. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Someone may be able to offer some help in our Aftermarket & Accessories Audio Systems discussion. Good luck.

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • mmangahasmmangahas Posts: 6
    I drive a 97 SAAB 900 SE equiped with the low profile 205/50 ZR16 tires. For years now I've been having problems with the tires wearing unevenly and too quickly. Saab blamed the tires, and the tire companies blamed the car. I just received information on a class action lawsuit against SAAB regarding this problem, and it seems SAAB will likely reimburse SAAB owners for the money spent on replacing tires within 4 years or 40,000 miles of purchasing a SAAB with these tires. Has anyone else out there had the same experience as me? My tires just don't last long. It's nice that SAAB may pay for one set of tires, but I'm going to have this problem for as long as I have this car
  • jspears2jspears2 Posts: 19
    I purchased an 89 900 about 2 months ago and I have had ongoing problems with the starter. I have gone through 2 of them and I am about to install the 3rd one. Has anyone that presently or previously owned one had problems with the starters shorting out or burning up? I think I may have a short in the radio, because when it happened the last time, the radio was making a loud screeching sound and I was in the process of downshifting to make a turn and the car went dead and now it will not turn over at all. Everything works when I turn the switch on but I can hear a slight clicking sound that seems to be coming from the starter. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • van29van29 Posts: 1
    Being offered a 1990 900 Std. 4 door. Non-turbo. 144k on odometer. Very clean. All records. Seems to have been dealer serviced. Needs tires.

    Is $2500 a good deal or...?
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    From Edmunds' Daily Headlines: Saab to Fix 1995 900. According to the article, the issue affects some (not all) 1995 900 vehicles. Hope this is helpful.


    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host

  • Hi - can anyone recommend a good Saab resource in the Baltimore region? My 98 9000 CSE is starting to have some issues and needs some 'love', preferrably from someone who knows this car and can help me with it without breaking the bank.

    Help/advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

    -CSE in Maryland
  • I am having to replace my ignition lock cylinder and housing in my 89 900. Looking for helpful tips or info. I purchased the Haynes manual but it is of no help.
  • Go to, click on the mechanics link and look under "MD." There were bunch of recommended mechanics for Baltimore when I checked.
  • Try Bentley's Manual. Do a search under "saab 900" on and it will be the first one that comes up. It should have a red cover. It is more expensive than Haynes ($38) but a MUCH MUCH better manual for the classic Saab 900, a "must have" for anyone working on Saab 900's. Maybe you can get it for cheap on ebay...
  • mkarpdmkarpd Posts: 4
    I need some help.

    I have a 95 900se v6 w/ 82k and just recently w/ the cold weather in the east the "check gearbox" light comes on. After the car seems to warmup or drive about 10 miles, shuting the car off and restarting it, the light does not come on. Can anyone help me, what could be the problem, besides I need a new transmission? The fluid level seems to be ok. Any ideas? Thanks
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    You may also want to post your question on our Maintenance & Repair Message board. If you can't find an appropriate discussion there, feel free to start up a new one. Good luck, and please keep us posted on your situation.

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host
  • dkrilldkrill Posts: 20
    It's cold this winter in upstate NY, but all of a sudden, my wife's '96 Aero is fogging up, even getting ice crystals on the interiors of the windows, after only 15 or 20 minutes of driving. The shop she takes it to has replaced the heating element for the environmental system, fixed a leak in the coolant system, and unplugged drainage holes in the sunroof. None of these fixes have seemed to work.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions as to what might be causing the interior to fog up so badly?
  • blaza76blaza76 Posts: 1
    I'm new to the Scab family. Last week I bought 900S 2.3, 4d (auto), model 95' with 57k miles on it. After a couple of days of driving I must admit it's a great car. However when it’s stopped but still on a D drive I can feel very uncomfortable vibration coming rather from the bottom of the car than the engine but I'm not sure. When I put to neutral the problem is mostly gone. Any ideas what is the cause? I also have a polite request if anybody could share the address of the reliable Saab mechanic in Arlington VA area or just Washington DC metro area??? Thanks in advance!
  • t_nagesht_nagesh Posts: 1
    What is the better price to buy 1996 Saab SE Hatchback model, it has problems like air cooler is not working and brakes are 75% weared and steering is somewhat tight. The rate offered to me is $5000, is it wise to buy for $5000, is that amount really worth for it. any suggestion is appreciated. Does anyone knows how much it costs to fx a/c for Saab.

  • rsunicorsunico Posts: 82
    Im looking for a 2nd car. I have a choice of a 1990 900 5 speed (77k miles) or a 1992 900 s automatic (69k mile). Which of the 2 setups is the better option for transmission reliability? I've heard horror stories about the automatic and heard the 5 speed is not much better. Thanks.
  • bocatripbocatrip Posts: 194
    Either Transmission is risky. Make sure you check the auto when it is cold. If there is any delay in Drive or Reverse, forget the car. Drive it on the highway and listen for any unusual sounds especially at high speeds. With the manual trans, downshift in all gears when it is thoroughly warm and make sure it doesn't want to pop out of gear. Bottom line. All these Transmissions will sooner or later be a problem. Make sure you purchase the car right!
  • We have a 96 saab9000 which needs quite a bit of work. Can any one recc. a good Saab place, not a dealer. Thanks, Nancehow
  • rj123456rj123456 Posts: 137
    Other than B&B Saab and Swedish Auto Factory, does anyone have a recommendation for a Saab specialist service place? B&B is expensive and has poor customer service. SAF used to be cheaper and more personalized but lately I find them to be equally expensive and getting worse in the customer friendliness department.
  • can you help me, please?
    my 1990 900S is intermittently stalling. it runs great while it's running and then without warning, it stalls out and wont start for approx 8 hours, then it starts up and runs great for 15-20 mins. and then stalls again.

    i have found that even though there is spark on both terminals of the coil when i disconnect the coil wire to the distributor cap and hold it to the block and crank i dont get spark (hence it doesn't start). i have checked and do get juice at the injectors.

    my car has 153,000 mile and has been well maintained.

    i would appreciate help on this problem so i can drive my vehicle again.

    thank you

  • bocatripbocatrip Posts: 194
    I used to sell used Saab 900's up north in the late 80s and early 90s when the car was relatively new. When new it was a tight and fun car to drive. With time, I can tell you in all honesty that with all the problems this car has (transmissions, oil leaks, body hardware, head gaskets, turbos etc) the worst to be plagued with is electrical. The cars was problematic when new with electrical. With milege, it becomes overwhelming. Unless the owner has nothing else to do but service this car, I would suggest abandoning the project. This is Not a reliable car.
  • Am looking at a '97 9000 CSE turbo, and generally like the car, but wanted to see what experiences you may have had. It has 120K on it. Any suggestions/comments? Thanks!
  • mattrigmattrig Posts: 4
    I have a '96 900s (110k) that until recently ran fine. Then we ran into problems with sludge in the engine probably due to running the car with a clogged screen in the oil pan. The car is undriveable at this time, basically the engine over heated. The car had been at the dealership the week before with an intermitent oil light, the mechanic said they couldn't find anything wrong, but 15 miles later we nearly fry the engine as the light comes back on. The dealership is now telling us that it will cost $600 to clean the engine and there is no guantee that this will correct the engine problem. If we don't do this the car is not drivable. The question is do we gamble the $600 and see if it fixes the problem or do we just sell the car as is and if so what is it worth?
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    You **might** try an independent repair shop who specializes in Saabs and get a second opinion. We have a 92 Saab 900 and have had a few problems and the dealership was saying we absolutely needed x-y-z done to the car. The indy said only x, that y and z were ridiculous. I have to say, I'm happy we went with the indy, saved ourselves $1500 of repairs that weren't needed and the car now runs great.

    Note - we simply called the indy. We didn't even take the car over. It may not be the case for your car, but worth making a phone call or two and describing the situation.

    Good luck.
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