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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm going shopping for a 900. Today I'm supposed to have a look at a 1990 900S with 100000 miles (160000 kms). Anyways I was wondering if there was a way to test with transmission issues on the automatic? Should I just shift through the lower gears? I had a look in the buyers guide, and this looked like the biggest issue I could have.. Also I had a look at the buyers guide. I don't know how to check half the stuff on there. Unfortunatly I don't have any mechanic friends. Does anybody have any advice on what I should look out for?

Thanks
 

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well there are 3 gears, it should shift into them, automatically ;)
 

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You are local to Scanwest, which is a Saab service centre. My advice is to have them look over the car for you, could be the best $50-$100 you could spend.

Signs of banging into gear, slipping, and sticking in gear too long (may) point to an issue. If the thing shifts really smooth and all seems well then chances are the thing is fine.

My advice with a Saab 900 is to buy a turbo, seriously, unless this car is mind blowingly amazing or you tend not to drive quickly then just try to find a nice 900 turbo. Just wanted to lay this on the table.

Check for signs of neglect, often well looked after cars will have all thier lights working, tidy interiors, and lack of peeling/broken body mouldings and bald tires and so on. If you are new to Saabs, best bet it to find a well looked after car, ask for service records, ask how long the person has owned the car and so on.

Welcome to SaabCentral.
 

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I was not unlike you 3.5 years ago, when I went shopping for a c900 - blissfully unaware of the things to watch out for. It scares me to think of the things I know now and how naive I was then. But I was lucky enough to pick up one which was in good nick - the key word there being "lucky".

I understand you may not be mechanically inclined. I would limit it to the following "once over" before paying for it to be checked by someone else.

1. Rust. Turn the wheel max to one side and look into the wheel well for rust. Especially around the tunnel where the driveshaft goes through.

2. Start up. Turn the key and see if the idiot lights come on - most important are the Check Engine and ABS (if there is). It should come on for 1-2 seconds, then extinguish. If it doesn't, the owner has removed the bulbs :eek:. If it stays on, you have issues to deal with.

3. Starting and idle. It should start in the first crank. c900s should start easily, even when left standing for long periods, and cold. On starting, it should rev up to 1.5-2k, then settle a tad below an indicated 1k with no stutter or dips.

4. Driving. Listen for loud thunks when going over bumps, or one-time or repeated clacking sounds when turning or reversing slowly. Also, for power steering groan on max lock. Some of the sounds are normal for a c900 tho.... ;)

5. Overheating. Temperature should hover around the half-way mark after 5-10 minutes of normal driving. Check the coolant reservoir for tell-tale signs of overheating problems - is the coolant milky or oily or just rust coloured?

6. Leaks. Check the carpeting for heater leak (towards the foot of the central console, under the dash area), power steering fluid leak (right, passenger side footwell), trunk (under floorboard).

That's my take on a minimal once-over which you can do easily.

I know it's sometimes not easy to check everything when you first see the car, but at least go through the above. If you like, let us know what you find, and we'll be too pleased to guide you to your second visit and help you make a decision if it's worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for all the responses people. I am very much considering purchasing a c900. They are my latest car crush. I do not own a car currently just my motorbike.Turbos and manual transmission cars are attractive to me however I found an automatic with low miles (~100000) seems low to me for a car from 1990. I may check out scanWest too, $50-$100 does sound reasonable, if I'm seriously buying it, it sounds like it's worth it.
 

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Yeah 100000 miles is fairly low for these cars. The engines will go forever, and I've allways heard that the "magic" number is about 180,000 to 200,000 miles for an auto tranny. So in my unproffesional opinion, if it drives fine and wasn't abused, at 100,000 miles that tranny still has plenty of life in it. I would still have it checked though;)
 
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