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9-3 Sedan, Cabrio ('04+)/Combi & 9-3X Workshop 9-3 SportSedan, Convertible ('04+)/Combi & 9-3X , 2003 - 2012 Technical Forum

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  #1  
Old 18th February 2009
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SP 7755 SP 7755 is offline
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Default Are Saabs unreliable?

Hi,

We have been driving our 2009 93 for 1 month now but have heard that Saabs could be quite unreliable!?!

Is this right?

If so, what kind of problems have you had??

Many thanks!!
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  #2  
Old 18th February 2009
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74stingray 74stingray is offline
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Welcome the the forum! Lots of great information here, helped make a decision to buy my used 9-3 Combi

Just for arguements sake... Honda's are known to be reliable car, but yet, each time i drive past the Honda shop, there are plenty of Hondas being worked on....

Each brand makes a lemon once in a while. From my research, Saabs can be tempermental, but they are unique and different.... I like being both!
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  #3  
Old 18th February 2009
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I have a 2001 93 thats never had a thing wrong. I have a 2005 93 thats had cd player, air con replaced under warranty, and 2 x front wheel hubs and an alternator that cost me. Either the old saabs are better, or it's just the luck of the draw. Personaly, i believe the older car is the better build.
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  #4  
Old 18th February 2009
CorsaTurboC CorsaTurboC is offline
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Bought an '08 in September, so far, flawless.
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  #5  
Old 18th February 2009
accordboi accordboi is offline
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Haven't had any problems with my '08 9-3 and have thus far enjoyed the car immensely. There was the one incident though where the tire pressure was low but that was because of the cold weather we were having. Otherwise....flawless!
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  #6  
Old 18th February 2009
MI-Roger MI-Roger is offline
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Three years of 2006 9-3SC ownership with no issues.

Nine years of 2000 9-5 ownership, with 242K miles, and no issues before 190K miles. Just a few wear out items due to age and miles since then.
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  #7  
Old 18th February 2009
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I've had my 08 since Oct 31st and the only thing I had was a speaker rattle in driver's door which was fixed.
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  #8  
Old 18th February 2009
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I work for a manufacturer in a different industy (ophthalmics), but notice similarities- namely, nearly anything manufactured will be seen as "unreliable" - in that the few consumers who experience problems are usually the most vocal.

Face it, few people log on to places like Edmunds just to say "Hey, I have been driving my car and have had no problems!" (unless they are an enthusiast of the brand). On the other hand, people who do have problems naturally want to vent about them and will seek any audience they can get.

Its just like the media- the news is always going to generally focus on bad things. The fact that I-35 had no accidents today is never going to be a news item!

I just came out of a Jaguar X-Type, which is also supposed to be an "unreliable" car. Well, I drove it for 4 years and 40k with only one minor problem that was remedied at the dealer in one day. I'm hoping my Saab serves me as well, but that's the chance we take with any car. Consumer Reports actually considers Saabs to be better than average on reliability (certainly better than Mercedes), which helped me decide to give into my lust for a convertible.

Meanwhile, I'll be glad the market is soft for Saabs- since I was able to purchase a $50k car for $23k with <9,000 miles on the odometer!
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  #9  
Old 18th February 2009
DanS DanS is offline
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I think the quality of parts is superior to the other GM models and is reliable. That being said, no car is flawless. Our 2007 has 55,000 without any problems. Lately though the cv joints are going (covered by warranty).

Saabs are by no means unreliable.
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  #10  
Old 18th February 2009
tc3jg tc3jg is offline
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I agree with everyone else that every car has its downs I totaled my dodge stratus a few months ago and boi was that a surprise. the car had 30,000 miles on it when I got it and about 64,000 when I crashed it and during the period of 4 years that I had it (it was a 2002 SE) I replaced the right tierod end both front bearings and an upper control arm all in a year then the next year I had to have it serviced because my heat totally went out. I had alot of money tied into the car as accessories go so i was sorry to see it go. But the maintenance I had on it I feel was ridiculous because of the few miles I had on it to begin with.
SO that being said i found my 9-3 saab linear online and NEVER even thought of a saab as being a car for me but When I saw the lines online and the COSMIC BLUE I said o I have got to take a look at that. Plus I heard they run good and 100,000 miles on a saab is like 50,0 or less on any other car. so I finally saw it in person and after one ride i was sold. the car did have some obvious issues that needed to be fixed so I got a little knocked off the price. but I have spent around 1,500 in repairs on the saab since I bought it two months ago ( NOW DONT FREAK OUT)... that is only because I took it to the dealer and did a 90,000 mile check up on it the day after driving it home from the lot. that was 640.00 bucks alone.. then I had some of the things they said were wrong with it fixed (not by the dealer their price was astronomically high) and now i need a new gas cap (oem) cant use an aftermarket one learned that the hard way. in order to get rid of a check engine light that popped on.

what im saying is I dont care if I knew this stuff would go wrong before I bought the car I would HAVE STILL DID IT. once all the kinks are worked out the car should be fine and on top of that it handles so much better in the snow than my stratus did.. I get MAJOR compliments whereever I am and my linear is totally stock (just have the optional 17" wheel package). THe car is great regardless of the little bit of money I have spent and as long as it doesnt cost me this annually I will never regret my decision.
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  #11  
Old 18th February 2009
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Glad I heard wrongly re: reliability!

Agree: every purchase is a risk and there are always lemons (like my Honda).
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  #12  
Old 18th February 2009
adolan20 adolan20 is offline
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Remember, most people post problems not how great their car is.
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  #13  
Old 19th February 2009
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2003 Vector, owned it for nearly 4 years, so far I've replaced -

2 front wheel bearing assemblies,
2 front suspension drop links,
2 rear upper suspension arms (cross stays in Saab speak)
All the shocks (replaced with Koni FSD's)

Currently needs -
2 door latches (locking motors failing),
Power steering pump (engine oil leaking into it),
2 front strut bearings (occasional front spring twanging noise)

Other than that, it's just needed service items.

I'd say the above are fairly typical repairs on these cars, and although the 9-3 has needed more parts in 4 years than my previous Laguna did in it's entire 9 year life, I think Saab's are pretty typical in terms of reliability for modern cars. No-one makes cars like they used to!

Reports of major mechanical failures are thankfully rare on SaabCentral...
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  #14  
Old 19th February 2009
DanS DanS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adolan20
Remember, most people post problems not how great their car is.
We will have people sign up just to solve a mechanical problem or dealer issue. They use this as a resource to help because of the knowledgeable people here. There are great links to parts when people come here to complain too. There are also do it yourself pages when people have minor mechanical issues.

I don' t think the auto industry picks on Saabs for being unreiliable. If any thing, Saab's were known for being durable. There were some known minor weak spots and still are, but for the most part glaring problems have been worked out.
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  #15  
Old 19th February 2009
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Geeves Geeves is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adolan20
Remember, most people post problems not how great their car is.
Im not going to lie ive had problems but not really that bad. I have 150,000 and other than regular maintenace ive only had a hub bearing go out. Im happy it starts every time i turn the key.
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Miles to Date: 178,000 ish No major problems, Replaced My 1st set of breaks @ 130,000, they lasted for ever. Door handels are now grey, badges are chipped, rubber inside is pealing bad and im on my 4th windshield. Only real problem was a new gas cap and wheel bearing and ac blower. Also dealer replaced broken front springs. SWEET!!!
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  #16  
Old 19th February 2009
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randyarreola randyarreola is offline
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2003 saab vector 6MT with over 78k miles. Bought brand new. Only issues I had were:

-A few recalls that I was notified and fixed right away (Typical on new cars)
-Replaced brake pads at about 60,000 miles
-Replaced all tires at about 45,000 miles
-Replaced temperature sensor (was actually my fault coz I kept on bumping into parking stoppers, which also caused me to replace front bumper lower bumper lip)
-Replaced a few light bulbs
-Major issue was replacing my Stability Control Unit twice (Covered by warranty)

Other than that, my baby still looks and runs like it's got only 15k miles on it!

Before this, I had a 2001 Audi S4, sure it was fun and such a beast. At about 50k(warranty expired) hell broke loose...had more major issues in that within my second year ownership. Oxygen sensors went out on two occasions-causing emissions to fail, suspension and control arms squeaked louder than a 1985 cadillac deville, my power windows/locks failed, my Bose system simply quit, wheel hubs needed to be replaced...etc. Sold the gremlin and bought my first Saab!
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  #17  
Old 19th February 2009
Mithos the Hero Mithos the Hero is offline
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i'm the second owner of a 2k3 Linear.

Before i got it, they replaced the water pump on it. i dont know the terms/reason behind it. Since i've had it only very minor and common things.

Fixed:
-Cracked front spoiler (car was like that when i got it) was replaced by a base model kit (plastic is more durable)
- o rings for tranny replaced (part of recall)
- power steering pump (whole thing was replaced under warranty due to seal failure. Quite common, specially when people overfill crankcase. it was leaking prior to my ownership.)
- front control arms and all bushings associated, steering rods (Front and back) [this was due to my accident. Car held up well, maybe a slight frame misalignment but is something i'll pay out of pocket at another dealer so i dont pay premiums on my insurance.]

Needs fixing:
- LCD in gauge cluster is leaking, i have an arc cluster hopefully i can swap without tech2.
- various rattles (ungodly common)
- driver side latch (motor is failing, common for a now nearly 10 yr old car.)
- oil change [just cause its time ]

overall saabs are reliable. Sadly there are some bad eggs and i think due to the smaller community and usual need for a forum is to fix problems is why we seem to hear more horror stories. Generally 90% of the issues in our vehicles is computer/electrical related. Mechanically our cars are wonderfully sound. Bushings and such can be made bad but if somethings fails, good mechanics are proven the fact you can get your car to safety and without harming you or anyone else. i was able to drive almost 500 ft on a completely destroyed front end to get myself out of harms way. And she put 15000 mi. on since.
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  #18  
Old 19th February 2009
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MooF MooF is offline
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Jump onto an Audi , Chevy or even a Honda forum and you'll see there are just as many problems on any random car depending on the volume. Accords are notoriously reliable vehicles, yet automobile forums are a place to chat/vent/diagnose issues and you if you never heard that Honda's were reliable, you'd come to the conclusion they aren't based on reading a forum.

Point being, sure, SAABs can be finicky, and in particular the 9-3SS 2003 MY had its share of gremlins, particularly the Launch edition. If you had a previous owner who brought the vehicle up to speed and perform proper maintenance, then your '03 could be up-to-snuff and may provide many years of carefree driving.

Enjoy.
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  #19  
Old 19th February 2009
redd93aero redd93aero is offline
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Bought my 2005 9-3 aero in 2005, since then ive driven all sorts of rentals for about a total of 3-4 months since 2005. Ive had the exhaust manifold replaced 7 times, steering wheel lock problems about 4 times (car couldnt and wouldnt start had to get it towed) my heated seat has given out twice on the drivers side and once on the passenger side. mad problems with peeling buttons, pinch control on the car is extremely annoying. Had a water leak that was coming in from the sunroof. Rattles!!!! im sure anyone and everyone thats diven a saab has had rattles. Most of my problem are reacuring and i dont blame the car nor do i persive it as a non -reliable car but i can tell you that the car is realible, GM is not! they definetly were to blame for about 90% of my problems wth my ride and now that they wanna sell of saab from GM its even worst. I still love my car tho
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  #20  
Old 20th February 2009
Energy_AZ Energy_AZ is offline
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I just bought my 4th Saab

Would never dream of doing so if reliability was a concern.

Nothing out of the ordinary in my time of Saab ownership.

I did have a major transmission failure in my 2003 9-3 that resulted in me upgrading to a 2006 Aero. But this problem was due to faulty o-ring and my own ignorance in preventive maintenance. It could have been avoided if I knew better, so I cant fully fault Saab - it was disappointing, but I cant think of better cars for the money than Saab.

My wife's 2003 9-5 wagon has been an absolute rock - no problems at all. 83k miles and going strong. We anticipate putting 200k on that car.
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