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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 27th March 2011
mportugais mportugais is offline
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Default Repair costs

Hi,

I'm in the process of buying a used 2005 9-3 and I'm looking for advice. i really love the car and from what I heard it seems like a reliable car but I'm just worried about the repair costs. I heard a bunch of rumors about astronomical Saab repair cost on other car forums but thought it might be a better idea to get feedback from actual owners. I own a Toyota corolla at the moment so I'm sure prepare that it will cost more but just don't want to ruined myself in repair cost. Is it that bad?

Thanks
Maxime
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  #2  
Old 27th March 2011
SAABBSR SAABBSR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mportugais View Post
Hi,

I'm in the process of buying a used 2005 9-3 and I'm looking for advice. i really love the car and from what I heard it seems like a reliable car but I'm just worried about the repair costs. I heard a bunch of rumors about astronomical Saab repair cost on other car forums but thought it might be a better idea to get feedback from actual owners. I own a Toyota corolla at the moment so I'm sure prepare that it will cost more but just don't want to ruined myself in repair cost. Is it that bad?

Thanks
Maxime
Its all relative. Going from a corolla to a turbo like this is a very big jump. Saabs are unique cars, not anything like a toyota in the least bit. They are fun cars, and very reliable. However, they are not cheap. THey are not crazy expensive, but not cheap.

Most Saab drivers are "enthusiasts", a unique following that truly love their vehicle. Im not speaking for you, but most people that go for civic or camry or even corolla own the car for one reason, to get from point a to point b. Saab drivers usually are willing to pay a bit extra for the repair costs, because we love what we drive. Its a hobby, or even a passion.

I really dont know what the costs on toyota are, but what repairs did you want pricing for. Every dealer/mechanic is different. Your best bet is to contact a euro car mechanic, and ask them some questions. Get pricing from different places, and assess it from there.

Welcome to the Saab world.
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  #3  
Old 27th March 2011
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Saabstory34 Saabstory34 is offline
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A quick hint. Besides just asking and expecting people to tell you all about everything. you might also want to look through the threads that have been created and read about peoples problems they are having, then maybe asking on those threads how much particular things cost them to repair. Personally i love my Saab, But yes things do tend to cost more IE my dealer wants $120 for an oil change. Granted I dont pay stupid stealership prices for stuff like that, but I still spend over $60 just in parts to do a simple oil change myself. I am doing my serpentine belt in the next month or so, Dealer wants $180+tax and parts for that. Then I put a new clutch on my car. Dealer wanted $2300 plus tax.
Do some research and make sure there is a good indy mechanic in your neighborhood, otherwise you will go broke paying stealership prices.

But just as with any 6 year old car, im sure there is bound to be something wrong eventually. Im not trying to scare you, but as SAABBSR said, if you are just looking for a point A to point B car you might want to look somewhere else, you can get much cheaper cars that will get you around. But if you have always wanted a Saab, I say go for it!
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  #4  
Old 27th March 2011
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kimvette kimvette is offline
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The 9-3 (after 2003 ) is a very reliable car so repairs aren't much of an issue - and the parts cost is a bit higher than domestic vehicles but that is true of practically every import. Aside from that, it's all the same as other vehicles. Unless you go to the dealer repair costs are quite reasonable.
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  #5  
Old 27th March 2011
Cosmicflash Cosmicflash is offline
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It certainly won't be as reasonable as a common Japanese model. It is in line with all other European competitive cars such as BMW, MB, and Audi.
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  #6  
Old 27th March 2011
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i also came from a toyota corolla, except mine was supercharged and i blew it up 3 times before i totaled it. But so far the repairs have not been really all that expensive. I just went stage 2 and now my clutch is slipping but other than that, the only complaint i have about these cars is dash rattle.
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  #7  
Old 27th March 2011
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volcomstone2262 volcomstone2262 is offline
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Saab is a very reliable car. No matter what people say. You cannot believe 99% of the **** you read online, it takes research. Most people who say negative things either had some sort of lemon or neglected basic maintenance.

The ss platform is a basic ecotec 2.0T like any chevy. We have a more adaptive ecu, but parts are interchangeable and usually easy to find.

The car will last as long as you take care of it. 2003's had some flaws that are covered by saab, but you need to catch it quick. I had an Acura before this (MDX) even though it is not too common of a car I know honda/acuras reliability. Saab can be just as reliable, only thing I have had done on my car is basic maintenance, serp belt + tensioner and thermostat.... Those parts will and can go bad on any car at any time. BTW got the car at 28K now sits around 96K.
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  #8  
Old 27th March 2011
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93Jet_Vector 93Jet_Vector is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAABBSR View Post
Its all relative. Going from a corolla to a turbo like this is a very big jump. Saabs are unique cars, not anything like a toyota in the least bit. They are fun cars, and very reliable. However, they are not cheap. THey are not crazy expensive, but not cheap.

Most Saab drivers are "enthusiasts", a unique following that truly love their vehicle. Im not speaking for you, but most people that go for civic or camry or even corolla own the car for one reason, to get from point a to point b. Saab drivers usually are willing to pay a bit extra for the repair costs, because we love what we drive. Its a hobby, or even a passion.

I really dont know what the costs on toyota are, but what repairs did you want pricing for. Every dealer/mechanic is different. Your best bet is to contact a euro car mechanic, and ask them some questions. Get pricing from different places, and assess it from there.

Welcome to the Saab world.
This^ and I used to have a Camry a while back, parts can get really expensive on Saabs especially if they have to order it from Sweden. That has happened to me twice now >_>
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  #9  
Old 27th March 2011
GixxerSixxer GixxerSixxer is offline
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Our 2004 9-3 is costing us a bit over $700 in repair cost a year after 2008. That's excluding maintenance.

I do all the oil changes. I replaced the valve cover gasket, spark plugs, and fuel pump. I fixed the corroded front end turn signal wires. I serviced the brakes, brake fluid, coolant. I bought transmission fluid and had the transmission flushed. When we buy tires we get tire life rotations/balance and already bought lifetime alignment so every 5000 miles that work was covered.

The TSB for the o-rings had expired before I found out about it. The dealer wouldn't perform the service free so we had to pay $250 to have it done by an independent mechanic. I figured that was cheap "insurance" in comparison to a transmission.

The exasperating problem is that the blower motor control unit goes out just outside of warranty and is $350 each time. It's been replaced 3 times now and started the cycle in early 2008. No electrical problems can be found for the cause of the in-dash control unit going bad.

One oil leak I couldn't identify was taken to a mechanic. It turned out two parts had bad seals. After the first part was replaced the better oil pressure caused the second part to start leaking since it was now the weakest part. In the end, that cost $600 but we didn't pay for labor the second time, only parts.

Having work done is cheaper if you can find an independent mechanic instead of taking it to a dealer. The dealer wants $1300 to replace the water pump. The independent quoted $800.

My wife and I are just about done with the Saab. As it's getting older there's more stuff popping up that I don't have the confidence to perform. Truth be told, my experience with a Saab is that I wouldn't buy another one. When I look at the engine there's too much stuff I say "I can't fix that", or "I don't want to take the time to fix that". A few hour job for a mechanic is a day or two job for me so having the car out of commission for a while while I slowly figure out how to fix it isn't an option. It's partly my fault but it's not an easy car to work on IMO. It's a fun car. The turbo is great and it handles well but we're at the point where we feel we're getting nickle and dimed. Every 6 months there's something that needs fixing. Right now the glove box light doesn't work, it's not the fuse and the bulb isn't burned out. Also the driver's side seat heater element is broken and causes a burn if used. My 1997 Expedition hasn't needed anything besides spark plugs, 2 batteries, brakes/rotors, and standard maintenance since 2007. In 2007 the ball joints were paid to be done and that's a pretty normal wear and tear item for a heavy vehicle like that. Besides the ball joints, the starter, alternator, fuel pump, seals, etc have been holding up fine.

Last edited by GixxerSixxer; 27th March 2011 at 01:34 PM.
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  #10  
Old 27th March 2011
mportugais mportugais is offline
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Thanks for all the replies. It's very helpful. I really appreciate that you took the time to answer. I think I will soon be back here a proud owner of a Saab 9-3!

thanks
Maxime
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  #11  
Old 27th March 2011
saabmeatball saabmeatball is offline
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I have a Anni Edition and its been just as realible as my Honda and Acura's before it. I am sitting at 52K miles. I maintain it to a T. Full details every season, regular oil changes, etc.

Only thing replaced so far is the battery in the key fob and 1 right position light, and the ignition switch. Battery tests "good" and is orginal.

Car drives awesome and is more fun to drive than my former RSX type S.
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