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  #1  
Old 8th April 2010
RubaDub06 RubaDub06 is offline
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Default 2004 Aero

I'm looking at buying an 04 9-5 Aero. It has 110,000 miles on it and appears to be in good condition. There are a few cosmetic scars, but nothing major that I could tell and the interior looks pretty clean. My problem is that I don't know much about cars. I've only owned trucks and a jeep. I'm somewhat familiar with engines, but small engines and pretty big power are new.

My question is, what are some things that I should really test out before I buy this car. I'm not looking to race or mod it really. I just started a new job that will require more driving. So, this is the reason I'm looking to buy a car. The guy is asking $7500 for it and has come down from $9000 in less than a month. I have driven it and driven pretty hard. But, as this will be my daily driver, I want to make sure that it's reliable.

Please school me a little and help me out. Any advice given will be appreciated.
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Old 8th April 2010
justin.graeff justin.graeff is offline
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Fortunately, 2004 is beyond the years with Engine troubles, so as long as the oil changes were done with 3-5k mile intervals with fully synthetic oil, the engine should be okay.

Things you will have to be worrying about are replacing worn suspension components, fuel pump, etc. Otherwise, the car can be a very reliable, comfortable daily driver!
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  #3  
Old 8th April 2010
RubaDub06 RubaDub06 is offline
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Man that is good news. What do you think about the price? I was going to offer $6000 and use that as a starting point, with hopes of getting it for less than $7000. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 8th April 2010
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Originally Posted by RubaDub06 View Post
Man that is good news. What do you think about the price? I was going to offer $6000 and use that as a starting point, with hopes of getting it for less than $7000. Thanks for the reply.
Check Kelly Blue Book first for private seller amount and then go from there.
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Old 8th April 2010
RubaDub06 RubaDub06 is offline
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Check Kelly Blue Book first for private seller amount and then go from there.
NADA has it as about $10,000 for private with clean trade in around $6500.
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Old 8th April 2010
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Originally Posted by RubaDub06 View Post
NADA has it as about $10,000 for private with clean trade in around $6500.
KBB has it as $7900 for excellent and $6400 for fair so I 'd say you're golden.
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Old 8th April 2010
RubaDub06 RubaDub06 is offline
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KBB has it as $7900 for excellent and $6400 for fair so I 'd say you're golden.
That's what I looked up just now to. Thanks for the info.
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  #8  
Old 8th April 2010
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If he has been coming down on the price that fast....chances are he wants it gone. that means he likely has a good reason for wanting it gone- which is something that may or may not affect you as a buyer.

my advice- FIND OUT why exactly he wants it gone. do your best, as this can mean the difference between walking or taking the car.

pester him about when the car was serviced, ask about maintenance records, carfax, etc. get all of this information together.

if you still like what you have- get a certified saab indy mechanic (or the dealer, if you HAVE to) to do a full inspection. i paid 100$ for this before buying my car- but TRUST me, it is WELL worth it.

if you still want to buy it, i would start even lower than 6000. a helpful thing to do is set a price that you KNOW you will not go over, and start well under that. if he really needs the cash, he will probably take quite a bit less than he is asking....
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Old 8th April 2010
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Originally Posted by ivanwakeup View Post
pester him about when the car was serviced, ask about maintenance records, carfax, etc. get all of this information together.

if you still like what you have- get a certified saab indy mechanic (or the dealer, if you HAVE to) to do a full inspection. i paid 100$ for this before buying my car- but TRUST me, it is WELL worth it.
YES YES ^ This.

Also, if you have a budgets of (say) $8000 for a car, DON'T SPEND ALL YOUR BUDGET ON THE CAR. Spend (say) $7000 so you have $ left for the inevitable things that you will discover need to be done...
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  #10  
Old 8th April 2010
RubaDub06 RubaDub06 is offline
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I ask him about the service when I test drove it. All services were done by him. I do thus myself so I can't fault the guy for that. He says he is selling because he wants a truck and he wants to buy some PWCs for the summer. I know he wants a truck because we talked about trading vehicles, but I sold my truck before we made a deal.

The guy seems pretty honest and has answered every question I've asked. I know the closest dealer to me is Memphis, about 3 hours drive, so I will try to find a certified mechanic here.
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  #11  
Old 8th April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justin.graeff View Post
Fortunately, 2004 is beyond the years with Engine troubles, so as long as the oil changes were done with 3-5k mile intervals with fully synthetic oil, the engine should be okay.

Things you will have to be worrying about are replacing worn suspension components, fuel pump, etc. Otherwise, the car can be a very reliable, comfortable daily driver!
What years were noted for having engine troubles?
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  #12  
Old 8th April 2010
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What years were noted for having engine troubles?
The breather system has been highly critised and coupled with poor service intervals many cars can suffer from sludge, however the system was completely revised in 2004 and so far looks good!

So pre 2004 you must ensure the latest PCV system is fitted and the sump is kept meticulously clean - frequent fully synth oil changes will help
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  #13  
Old 8th April 2010
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Originally Posted by Chris 9-5 View Post
The breather system has been highly critised and coupled with poor service intervals many cars can suffer from sludge, however the system was completely revised in 2004 and so far looks good!

So pre 2004 you must ensure the latest PCV system is fitted and the sump is kept meticulously clean - frequent fully synth oil changes will help
Well,

I have an 03 Aero. Good to know...
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  #14  
Old 8th April 2010
RubaDub06 RubaDub06 is offline
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Stop derailng my thread. Haha J/K.

Good info guys. Any other advice is very welcome.
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  #15  
Old 8th April 2010
EChid EChid is offline
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This is sort of a thread hijack but not really, its applicable to us both! I am also looking into a 2004 Aero, but with 100,000kms on it instead of miles. Again, the car is not perfect cosmetically but it ran smoothly and had no squeaks or rattles (might have heard some suspension noise).

The questions I had were regarding the engine and the suspension. I am currently driving a Mazda 3 Sport, and I am familiar with Japanese reliabiltiy and Japanese costs, so I am a tad worried about repairs and likely issues/part costs.

Concern 1: Why I am seeing so many head gasket problems with the 2.3? Should I be expecting major engine repairs like that in the future?

Concern 2: What type of suspension components are likely to wear out? This car has been mostly city driven (although gently), so I suspect this would be my first concern...are we talking big bucks?

Concern 3: Electronics. SAABs have become known for electrical gremlins, how is the SAAB 9-5 of this year with this? Big problems? Niggling problems?

Concern 4: The xenons. They work on the vehicle I am looking into, but a warning light is on (apparently related to voltage). What are the ownership costs related to the xenons?


Again, sorry OP, but I assume these also might be concerns of yours
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  #16  
Old 8th April 2010
RubaDub06 RubaDub06 is offline
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No worries, Echid. Great questions, I am interested to hear some answers.
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  #17  
Old 8th April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EChid View Post
This is sort of a thread hijack but not really, its applicable to us both! I am also looking into a 2004 Aero, but with 100,000kms on it instead of miles. Again, the car is not perfect cosmetically but it ran smoothly and had no squeaks or rattles (might have heard some suspension noise).

The questions I had were regarding the engine and the suspension. I am currently driving a Mazda 3 Sport, and I am familiar with Japanese reliabiltiy and Japanese costs, so I am a tad worried about repairs and likely issues/part costs.

Concern 1: Why I am seeing so many head gasket problems with the 2.3? Should I be expecting major engine repairs like that in the future?

Concern 2: What type of suspension components are likely to wear out? This car has been mostly city driven (although gently), so I suspect this would be my first concern...are we talking big bucks?

Concern 3: Electronics. SAABs have become known for electrical gremlins, how is the SAAB 9-5 of this year with this? Big problems? Niggling problems?

Concern 4: The xenons. They work on the vehicle I am looking into, but a warning light is on (apparently related to voltage). What are the ownership costs related to the xenons?


Again, sorry OP, but I assume these also might be concerns of yours
i will take a stab at your first two questions....at least.

concerning the head gasket- these issues are almost ALWAYS a result of neglectful ownership, as are most problems with any car you would buy. the head gasket in the 9-5 is metal, therefore most problems with it arise from servere overheating of the block. it is rare to see a metal head-gasket fail otherwise. you should always be changing your coolant regularly (a 20k interval usually works for most people).

if your car overheats, DO NOT think it is ok to keep driving it "just to get home". that is where you will run into problems.

the 9-5 has a few weakpoints, yes, but it has a relatively strong motor- especially for years 2004+. that isnt to say the older motors arent great too- but they require you are on time with oil changes, otherwise you might end up with a sludged motor in a short amount of time.

concerning suspension- expect wear and tear just like any other car. obviously the heavier 9-5 wont be as easy on suspension as a honda civic would be (especially true for the wagon 9-5, the rear shocks go a little sooner than the sedan). many people change out their shocks at about 100k.

realize this isn't some P.O.S. car that you can buy and run into the ground for 100k miles and then be done with it. you buy this car, maintain it, drive it, maintain it some more- and if you treat it well it will do the same for you for a LONG time running.
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Old 9th April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EChid View Post
Concern 1: Why I am seeing so many head gasket problems with the 2.3? Should I be expecting major engine repairs like that in the future?

Concern 2: What type of suspension components are likely to wear out? This car has been mostly city driven (although gently), so I suspect this would be my first concern...are we talking big bucks?

Concern 3: Electronics. SAABs have become known for electrical gremlins, how is the SAAB 9-5 of this year with this? Big problems? Niggling problems?

Concern 4: The xenons. They work on the vehicle I am looking into, but a warning light is on (apparently related to voltage). What are the ownership costs related to the xenons?
1. There was a problem with incorrect bolts/incorrect torque from '99-mid '01. Fix is new bolts, properly torqued - easy job.

2. At 100k km you will want new rear shocks ($50 to $100 each) and new front sway bar links ($30 each). You need a spring compressor to change the rear shocks.

3. '04 should have most of the electronics resolved. New SID and updated DIC fix a lot. Watch for wiring harness wear at the trunk hinge leading to goofy brake lights/backup lights/ backup sensors.

4. You can replace the Xenons for about $150 a pair. They last about 60k miles/5 years. The Xenon system is complex and has lots more to break than the halogen system. If it's more than just the bulbs, can't help you with repair cost.
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  #19  
Old 9th April 2010
Jssaab Jssaab is offline
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Originally Posted by MacNoob View Post

4. You can replace the Xenons for about $150 a pair. They last about 60k miles/5 years. The Xenon system is complex and has lots more to break than the halogen system. If it's more than just the bulbs, can't help you with repair cost.
You will need to get the systme checked with a TechII it can tell you whats wrong with the Xenons, so you will need to go to the dealer or a indy with a tech II ( and will save big headaches or $$ at least to have them tell you what to do.

J
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  #20  
Old 11th April 2010
Thomcat Thomcat is offline
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I'm tempted to buy this myself, but take a look at this one:
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/cto/1682251967.html

Even with the transport fees, you'd still be ahead.
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