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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at purchasing a 2003 9.5 aero with the automatic transmission. I'm just curious if there are any heads up on the car, things I should look out for? How does the auto trans do? It's got the paddle shifters which is awesome but if I wanted to upgrade later on how is it going to handle power?
 

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I have that same car and love it.

Same failings of all 9-5's with the exception of the turbo. The Mitsu turbo is much more robust than the Garrett and seems to last a lot longer. Mine is at 138K now and has not been replaced. Others have reported pretty long life.

Mine also has the paddle shifters and I'll say that I don't use them very often. Sure every now and then they're fun to play with, but it's not like driving a standard shift, there is a slight electronic lag in making the shift that just doesn't give it that standard feel.

The 03 came with the short serpentine belt. I changed mine to the long one because I had ordered the parts before I looked and heard that some people had less vibration. I haven't noticed any difference. I'd go for the short one again if I were changing it since it's easier to do. That center pulley is a pain in the a**!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your quick reply! I'm glad to hear that there isn't much to worry about. I've never dealt with the 9-5 before, so what are the standard failings that I need to look out for? I'm glad to hear the turbo is good, what size is it? Is it the td-04?
 

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The 9-5 Aero's use the TD-04 turbo from Mitsubishi. It has a pretty good reputation. The non-Aero's use the Garrett GT-17 which seems to work well but suffers from being just a little under-designed and they fail about 100K or so.

The most obvious is the sludge issue. The 03 Aero "recommended" Mobile 1 oil, but you have no idea if the PO has used it. Dino-oil and long change intervals is a prescription for engine failure. You really can't tell if you have an issue unless you drop the sump and check. It's a few hour escapade that is well worth it for peace of mind.


The issue is that the dino oil and long change intervals generate an oil sludge that then seeps to the bottom of the sump where the oil pickup resides. Too much sludge and the oil pickup gets clogged, the engine is starved for oil and then suffers spun bearings and piston slap due to insufficient ring lubrication.

To prevent it, use full synthetic oil only and change at reasonable intervals. some here will advocate 3K but I've been doing mine at 5-7K with only M1 since I bought it at 48K. I dropped the sump for the first time at 130K and had no issues. But I regularly drive to the point where the oil is up to temp (30+ miles) so that may play into it.


The SID is an issue, everyone knows that. BBA Reman in CT can rebuild them if it gets too problematic.

The throttle bodies also have issues, BBA is your friend there as well

And of course the dreaded alarm siren going off for no reason. There are plenty of tutorials on how to fix that for $30 in parts and a couple of hours of your time.

You'll find that this forum has a lot of very good info an tutorials on how to do a lot of things to your car. There are a lot of very knowledgeable people that hang out here as well and I've learned a LOT from them.

enjoy the Aero, it's a great ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Awesome! It only has 106k on the clock and aside from a little valve chatter everything is tip top. I'll have to check the oil out, I'm glad I found that out as well. The SID is already messed up, I figured it's normal since i've seen it in a bunch of others. Well my last question is do you think it's worth $8,000? Super clean inside and out.
 

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$8K seems a bit high for that mileage. I was looking at another 03 Aero a couple of months ago here in CA and it was $6995 and had only 86K on it.

Should have bought it, but my wife says I already have enough cars!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks a lot man! I checked around for prices around here in Colorado and it seems to be under value through a dealer which is what I'm doing so I'm getting a decent deal on it. I'll be sure to post more if I get it!
 

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I currently have 136K miles on my 9-5 and I think I have replaced the following parts so far:
-Throttle body. I replaced it with refurb BBA part as unclemiltie mentioned
-SID. I put some foams in there got about 90% of the pixels back.
-Crankshaft position sensor
-Heater bypass valve. Is your coolant is leaking, this could be the culprit.
-Front and rear shocks and subframe bushings.
-My local mechanic says I now need to replace torque rod and transmission mount....
 

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Awesome! It only has 106k on the clock and aside from a little valve chatter everything is tip top. I'll have to check the oil out, I'm glad I found that out as well. The SID is already messed up, I figured it's normal since i've seen it in a bunch of others. Well my last question is do you think it's worth $8,000? Super clean inside and out.
I paid $8700 for a super clean 2004 9-5 Aero with 115k in March. It came with a 30 day/1000 mile warranty which came in handy when the heater bypass valve went. It's been great other than that.
 
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