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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, this is my first post on SaabCentral.
I am looking for a first car under $1900 and I found a 08 9-3 sportcombi with near 200k miles on it. It has a misfire and a pretty bad shake, engine code leads to ionization module, but the owner thinks it need new coils. It is also leaking oil, which might be because of the oil filter O-ring being installed incorrectly, but not 100% sure. It struggles to start up but will eventually do so, think it might be the fuel filter. The car is listed for 1800 but I will try to get it down to 1200-1300. Does this sound like a money pit or a good fixer-upper?
 

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I know car prices are through the roof right now but objectively Saabs are money pits. I definitely wouldn't recommend as a first/only car, I'd go with something far more reliable....unless you have access to knowledgeable ppl that already have legit experience working on Saabs that can help you out. There are better options out there, especially depending on your budget.
 

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A 2008 will probably need the valves done if it's hard starting, but you are describing so many issues it could be something else. If it's vibrating when it is running maybe the balance chain as well. Oil leak could be anything.

It likely also needs a suspension overhaul, I'd expect to replace all of the struts, links, bushing, mounts, etc. Use all high quality components, not the cheap Chinese ones or you'll be replacing them again in a few months (weeks? days?). These cars handle excellently when the suspension is dialed in, but it is fragile and is prone to making noise and clunking.

Not sure where you live, but the main thing that puts me off of any car at this point is rust. If there is any rust on the rear wheel arches or the sub frames have anything more than superficial rust I'd skip it. I'd take a car with a clean frame and all of the problems you described before I would one with rust that ran perfectly.

If you do buy it the first thing you need to do is get access to a Tech2. I couldn't keep my Saab's running smoothly without it. All of the information you need to fix it is on the web if you look.

Expect to spend at least $2.000 getting it back into good running shape if you do the work yourself.
 
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