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Old 11th July 2012
mopiko mopiko is offline
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Default 2001 Saab 9-3 S Potential Purchase

Sorry if this is repeated - had a quick look but couldn't find anything to the detail I'm after.

I'm looking at buying a 2011 Saab 9-3 S - 3 door with the 2.0L Turbo and auto. It has about 130k kms on it

I'm just interested in the reliability of the car and what should I look for.

I've already read about tie rods? and obviously suspension bushes, etc. But my other questions:

1. Is it timing belt or chain? If its chain does the chain also need replacing? When are these due?

2. What are the service intervals both recommended by Saab and by owners?

3. With the bankruptcy, how easy are parts to source - particularly in Australia?

4. Electrical reliability?

5. Any items in particular I should check or know? Noises, etc, etc.

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Old 11th July 2012
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BobSaabit BobSaabit is offline
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Wrong forum, you want the 9-3SS forum. This one ends in 2002/3.
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Old 11th July 2012
widuck1 widuck1 is offline
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Default 2001 is this forum, but you put 2011 in your text.

The 2001 has a timing chain, 130K kilometers is just broken in if regular oil changes were made, which I would verify before purchase. As far as the bankrupcy and parts supply, here I think you pays your money and takes your chances

Lots of service parts are made by other companies, Bosch, Valeo, Brembo, etc but suppliers here in the US seem to be sneaking the prices up, don't know about your market. Saab specific parts are right now backlogged due to the lawyers but this will pass. These include some bits associated with the ignition locks and tranny interlock switch (auto trans) but there is a work around if you are handy with wiring.

There is a ton of expertise here to keep the cars running but the bankrupcy issue should be used as a negotiating tool in my opinion.

Good luck,

1997 900S 2.3 5 speed 'vert
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Old 11th July 2012
mopiko mopiko is offline
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Ooops speed typing error - yes I meant 2001!

Thanks for the info. Anyone else able to give some specifics? I just want to know what else I should factor into any bargaining.
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Old 11th July 2012
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'97 Saab SE Turbo '97 Saab SE Turbo is offline
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Make sure that you get two working key fobs. If you get one and loose or break it, it will cost lots to get the car running... Ron
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Old 11th July 2012
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Pacey Pacey is offline
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my advice is to pay a little more for a higher spec if you can afford it. I bought an S and it's a great car now I've put some work into it, but I often wish I'd ponied up a bit more for a later Aero.

In terms of parts, it's not a problem but you will probably have to look overseas for some parts. It's cheap enough, depending on what you are buying...

These cars are pretty reliable, overall, and you get a lot for your money.

Some things to look out for:

Mine has so far had a fuel pump failure and replaced ($900 in Sydney). People tackle this themselves so depends how clued up you are. But that's one of those things that can and will fail in the end, so don't let it worry you too much.

More importantly, check whether the firewall is cracked. This is quite hard to discern (unless it has been repaired - with records!), but you can generally tell by sitting with the car parked and running, and turning the steering wheel, foot on the brake. If you hear a very obvious rubbing sound, and if the brake pedal also moves slightly at the same time, it's likely the firewall could be failing. This is a ~$1500 repair. There's a huge thread on it here somewhere if you want to read more.

At that age the suspension could be on the way out, as mine was. You should get an idea when you drive it.

Other than that, and the well-known sludging issues (check if the latest PCV update has been done, or if the oil pan has been dropped and cleaned), you should be good (!)

Any more questions let us know. If you have a budget in mind some of us in Aus might be able to help you find a good one. Good luck!
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