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Discussion Starter #1
I have owned my 2004 9-3SS Aero for just over 3 months, and I've NEVER owned such an unreliable car!

I should make it plain, I love(d) this car. With the stage 1 BSR kit... it's superb... but it's also absolutely bloody awful in terms of reliability (and I've come up (apparently) from a Peugeot)

  1. Gear knob came off, and because of the lift-reverse spring, it ended up on the parcel shelf. Replaced.
  2. Car refused to idle correctly. Replaced air filter with Simota CDA which fixed it.
  3. Key's stopped working, couldn't lock/unlock the car. Had to use emergency unlock key and set the alarms off.
  4. Gear knob came off again! Replaced.
  5. Lots of squeaks and rattles from very strange places, not so much a problem, just VERY frustrating.
  6. Gear knob... you know the rest! Replaced and adapted (it's NOT coming off again, EVER!)
  7. Seat belt pre-tensioner stopped working (would be MOT failure) and the belt wouldn't retract.
  8. Keys stopped working AGAIN. Reverted to 2nd supplied key which seemed to resolve it.
  9. More rattles... from the seat belt unit!
  10. Brakes started to scrape with very loud metallic noise, couldn't identify the fault
I spent 3.5hrs at the Saab dealer yesterday (who have been completely faultless, it has to be said) to try and fix the keys. I drove home, approx 20 miles and by the time I got home... the keys have stopped working again. If you place the key back in the ignition for a moment, it resets and works perfectly for a while!

So... completely pi$$ed off at the situation, I reset the keys and lock up the car for the night. This morning, it WORKED!!! :):):) Now the rear suspension groans and cracks! :roll:

I know it tries to compete with the likes of BMW & Mercedes... but really they're both in a different league in terms of build quality.

I'm one very disappointed Saab owner! Does anyone know if a BSR PPC can be adapted to tune another brand of car or have I wasted another £500? Also, there's a practically new Simota CDA up for sale very soon, around the £90 mark if anyone is interested.

I want to like the car, I REALLY do... and I'd gladly upgrade to a new 9-3 2.8 V6 if I thought it was going to be reliable, but after listening to several telephone calls whilst sat in the customer services depo... it seems the new ones are just as bad. Born from Jets??? Remind me never to fly.
 

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Saabs have their own "unique" personality if I have to say...:)

I agree that this car has its share of issues (I used to go into the dealer about twice a month) for the 1st 7 months of owning my car. After that, I havent had any problems.

The suspension creaking is actually, strange enough, normal for these cars when the weather gets colder. i think everyone can vouch for me on this one...

But one thing for sure, the car is a BLAST to drive... there is something about these cars that draws people to them despite the little quirky problems. Plus, its not everyday you see another saab pull up next to you ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Twice a month for 7 months? :eek:

You're obviously more patient than I am.

My car seems to have a personality disorder if that's the case! :)

Just spoken to PFS... and the PPC cannot be reflashed! So I've wasted £14,550 and lost £2500 in depreciation in just over 3 months!

"But one thing for sure, the car is a BLAST to drive... there is something about these cars that draws people to them despite the little quirky problems. Plus, its not everyday you see another saab pull up next to you "

I can't argue there! It's certainly a very capable car, and when it's running OK, it's a hoot to drive... and I can put up with the odd quirky problem, but not the keys failing on a daily basis! 250BHP... all of which are useless if I can't get in the bloody thing.

Each time something goes wrong, I look at these to remind myself why I bought it :cry: The effect is wearing off tbh.




 

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Sorry to hear about your issues, Vision. You do seem to have had more than your fair share of problems.

I've had a few minor issues with my 2003 - had the seatbelt issue when I first got my car - they were replaced FOC as part of a safety recall, so I hope you didn't have to pay out. Since they were replaced, they now rattle! Unfortunately, these cars do rattle, and just as you solve one another one makes itself known!

As for the rear suspension, as observed above, unfortuately "they all do that" when the weather gets cold. Honestly, my 39,000 mile Vector sounds like it has 200,000 miles on the clock it rattles, clonks and creaks so much in the cold.

Mine also has it's fair share of occasional electronic gremlins, which again seem common with these complex cars. There are times when I dispair with my car, I just wished they'd screwed them together a bit better, but I'm still willing to forgive its faults.

I suspect it's the key issue that has pushed you over the edge though! I'm not sure why the keys should require re-syncing so much - since I had mine replaced under warranty I haven't had a problem.

Has the dealer been able to suggest a cause so far?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The dealer hasn't a clue what is wrong (and that's not to the detriment of the dealer either), they simply can't find what is wrong.

I work in the I.T industry, so I can relate to the frustration of diagnosing strange faults... but it still leaves me with a car I can't use.

I've agreed to allow them one more chance to rectify this problem (it'll be the 4th time) and I really hope they sort it, along with all the other odd things. If it comes back faulty again, it'll be part-exchanged for an 2007 RS4.

Fingers crossed!
 

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Sounds like you have one dodgy key. It is just that key. Not the other that loses sync.

Silly question but your key does not get accidentally pressed wherever it sits outside the car, or do you have a habit of pressing the key buttons when away from the car. Either will cause sync to be lost. At least with Saab the resync is by putting it into the ignition.

I had a rental Jetta and the key was out of sync so I could not use the remote lock / unlock (Vermont middle of winter - fab) and read up on how to resync. Result - Take it to the dealer :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
They've replaced both keys and the control unit in the car... to no avail.

Long story short, I've had enough. I've cancelled 2moro's appointment as the garage are not willing to compromise.

I have spent several costly hours in time & petrol going to and from the garage, and all they can offer is a 1 litre Corsa and I have to provide the petrol and a £500 excess for insurance! I don't pay £500 excess on the Saab, let alone a bloody Corsa, and when I asked them to provide the petrol, I'm told

"we can't do that, that would be at a cost to us"

The cost of petrol aside, 13 hrs off work means I lose £1100... which I obviously can't get back, and yet they're not willing to put £20 of petrol in their own car!

Disgusting way to treat a customer! :nono;

I've had a better service and more help from this forum!
 

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I never knew that you could un-sync the fob from the car by playing with the bottons when out of range. I do this all the time! haha, that explains why I had that problem of a fob not working until I inserted it into the ignition.

And I only have one fob... so I got worried for a minute when it happened! I have Since purchased a second Fob.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
lol, neither did the guy at Saab!

He said it's a security feature so if someone steals your keys (say if you're walking around a supermarket) they'll go to the car park and keep pressing unlock until they find your car.

If you press the button 3 times whilst out of range, it loses connection.

In my case, it just loses the sync when it feels like it, usually when your hands are full of boxes which you want to put in the boot! :evil:

I'm going to look at an RS4 on thursday, but with that type of money, I'd love to buy an F355 Spider / 456 GT but it's not practical enough :(

I'll be sorry to see it go, but glad to get rid of the hassle at the same time. :cry: :cry:
 

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I have an 06 with approximately 25,000 miles. Shifter knob popped off and the dealer fixed promptly. Coolant tank cracked and that was fixed promptly. One time the key fob didnt work so I keyed in and started the car with no furthur problems since. I don't consider that unreliable so far. You have a sweet car. It's obvious whoever is working on it can't figure it out. You need to take it somewhere else.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The calipers came out really bright in the picture... they're actually brembo red. :confused:

I'm so glad you commented on the calipers!!!! I'd forgotten to cancel my big brake conversion kit I had on order! ;oops: THANK YOU SO MUCH! You just saved me £1200.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hehe :) It doesn't look like that for long!

I don't usually have the time (or bother if I'm honest) to wash it by hand, so I take it to ValetMaster in Bloxwich twice a week (it's on my route to work).

It only costs £20 for a degrease/rinse/wash/wax and a polish... and they do a great job (as you can see). I'm only going once a week at the moment because of messy roadworks on the way home, which dulls the shine straight away :(

If anyone lives local, I'd highly recommend them.
 

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Vision,

Is the garage that is repairing your car the one that sold it to you?

If so, I recommend that you get tough with the General Manager and tell him how much this car is costing you in lost earnings and ask him to do you a deal on a 2006 or newer Aero (2.0 or 2.8).

There are loads of these kicking around in Saab closed auctions at the moment and they are going dirt cheap with hardly any miles on the clock. If you push hard enough, they may give you a good deal and you could salvage some of your lost investment.

The reason I say 2006 or newer is the fact that even though there was no refresh for the 06 MY, there was a lot of extra sound dampening installed and the rattles really quietened down.

Also, chances are your 04 plate doesn't have much manufacurer warranty left, whereas a year old car will give you 2 years of reasonably hassle free motoring.

I have had my 06 (55 Plate) Aero 2.0T for 25 months and have had hardly any problems with it and I have now covered 98,000 miles!!! :eek:

Not quite sure about the BSR side of things, but if you explained the situation to them (about it essentially being a buy back) they MAY be repared to help out.

By the way, the key issue seems to be related to a control module not recording correctly. Sounds like a BUS communication isue or a faulty component. There are a number of interconnected systems in the immobiliser circuit and so far you have had two replaced, the keys and the 'control unit'. The system has several elements, including I believe the CIM (Column Integration Module) and ICM (Infotainment Control Module, notoriously unreliable!) which take part in the authentication process and sit on the CAN bus (I-Bus in Saab Speak). One of these could be faulty. Do you have strange quirks with the radio? If so, i could be the ICM.

I suspect they have changed the keys and the ignition unit by the handbrake. This wouldn't fix the problem as this is obviously working fine because it reads the keys.

If you are under Saab warranty still, give Westbury Saab in Shrewsbury a go. They are pretty good on these cars despite only being a service agent now as they gave up the sales franchise.

RS4 is tempting, but as you say, for the money..............
 
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