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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 9th November 2009
ski ski is offline
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Default possible 2003 9-3 purchase

OK, So I am a 9-5 guy and never really payed much attention to the 9-3. My friend is looking at a 2003 9-3 linear.

I know i have come across people saying don't buy a 2003, but I don't actually know specifically why. Yes, I realize that it is the first model year and there are issues, but what exactly are they, just the rattles and squeeks everyone hates? Mechanical/suspension issues? The engines are the same as the OG 9-3 right? (they are all trionic 8?)

Thanks for any/all help or suggestions you can give!
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  #2  
Old 9th November 2009
everyidtaken everyidtaken is offline
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I have TWO 2003's.

I'm the 2nd owner of one and the 3rd owner of the other.

Nearly EVERY SINGLE PROBLEM is the direct result of previouse owners being jerks/morons and not maintaining anything.

Other than that, people consider maintenance to be a problem. It's not.

Here are my probs/fixes. That are really just deferred stuff that cost some money.

2003 Linear: Brakes at 70k, MCC fan ciruit shorted and most likely it was water coming in thru cabin filter. fixed and resealed that. usual peeling...fixed that for under 100 bucks...all of it. and the lady left window down and rain got on amp under seat...burned that out and that was a grand, but ins covered under comp coverage.

2003 Vector: Badass car btw. Peeling all over. Fixed that with new door grips and a button kit and then for fun did some neffy wrap. a couple rattles fixed easly silicone lube, presto felt and electric tape, just depending on location. had to replace power steering pump. i change my own oil, so did autoRX and then had the oil analyized..my engine is in great condition per the report. other than a few scuffs and the headlights oxidized, this car is ready to be driven. i'd drive it to the Bering Straight or to Argentina. Don't care...it can do it.

I took both cars to 100mph and honetly thought i was driving 65mph...they are that smooth and as good at high speed was my Audi A4 3.0 6spd was...then again, my Audi $31k for a CPO. The Saabs were less than that COMBINED.
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Old 9th November 2009
tgadd tgadd is offline
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I'm the second owner of a 2003 9-3 Vector sitting at 96k miles.

I had to replace the Secondary Air Injection System at 85k miles and then just this week the alternator died. So nothing too major.

Aesthetically, the front emblem and radio/ac buttons are peeling. The door handles faded. Those are just small things but annoying.

Besides that I love my 2003 and don't have any squeaks or rattles.
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  #4  
Old 9th November 2009
93_vector 93_vector is offline
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The 2003 models are pretty well sorted these days.
Since their release nearly 7 years ago all the major problem areas have usually been fixed or replaced.

I've got a 2003 I bought second hand with over 100,000 miles. The only major issues I've had are leaky injector seals, and the waterpump needs replacing. Pretty much regular wear and tear items. The interior was a bit tatty... but I've replaced and fixed most of the wearing items.

In the US interior parts are relatively cheap and easy to replace.
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  #5  
Old 10th November 2009
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rogan rogan is offline
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To answer your other question, 2003+ (4 cylinders only) has Trionic 8, OG 9-3 is Trionic 7.

-Rogan
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  #6  
Old 10th November 2009
ski ski is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogan View Post
To answer your other question, 2003+ (4 cylinders only) has Trionic 8, OG 9-3 is Trionic 7.

-Rogan
yes, that is what i meant.. thanks for the confirmation
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  #7  
Old 10th November 2009
Aspen Aspen is offline
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It's the automatic tranny that is the biggest concern. O-rings failed allowing coolant into the tranny fluid to wreak havoc and destroy it. There was a service campaign to replace them which most people would have done. However, it seems that every month or so someone comes in and says their tranny has failed and it will cost $4k to fix.
Most other stuff is less expensive. Spring corrosion is common, as are window regulators, idle issues, clunky suspension, electrical issues with the fibre optics, cosmetic issues...
Pretty much all of these problems were sorted out by 2005 except for trim rattles and fading/peeling buttons.
A manual tranny 03 that has been sorted out should be a pretty good car and the price is right.
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  #8  
Old 10th November 2009
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zippyluvssaab zippyluvssaab is offline
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Id make sure the front suspension doesnt rattle. You could hear a slight banging noise when you go over small bumps and a slightly louder banging noise over speed bumps. The dealer fixed mine in August and its rattling yet again. Thats the only major issue for me but I still love the car.

zippy
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  #9  
Old 11th November 2009
everyidtaken everyidtaken is offline
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If you have access to a lift and a friend who can turn a wrench with competance, it is cake to replace the sway bar bushings and sway bar links.

Parts: 2 x $25 for the links and 2 x $6 for the bushings. negotiate your dealer for that price...i did.

If you want to pay the dealer to do it, there is NO WAY in hell it should take more than 2 HOURS labor.... so negotiate that too.

You decide: $62 parts or 62 + 180 labor(2hr), = $242
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