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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Opinions on the V6? I'm reluctant to buy anything but the 2.0 that I know from the NG900/OG9-3 world... but I might want to grab an automatic wagon to solve a transportation issue.

Thoughts on the V6? Stay away or OK?


I'm not looking to turn this one into a fire breathing road handler... this will be a utility car/family use vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also, what to look for on the used V6 would be very helpful. I’m going to look at one today with 110k on it.
 

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There will be lots of uneducated and inexperienced opinions on the V6.

Only major things to look out for are the oil cooler and the timing belt service. The belt should be done every 60k, so yours will be due for one if you don't have the records to show prior replacement. Definitely use as a bargaining chip in beating down the price.

The car is great (I own a Viggen so have experience with both engines). If you get a well kept example, you will find the car is equivalent to the 4 cylinders in terms of maintenance.

I'd suggest searching over on Saabnet about the v6, the opinions there IMHO are far more experienced/fair/realistic in dealing with this motor.
 

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The only downside to the V6 is that you're limited to the early model years so expect a not-so-pristine car. I'd be more worried about maintenance done on the 4-speed auto trans-equipped years then on the engine. The 4-speed spec'd Dex 3 (mineral oil) and needs to be changed regularly to keep the trans happy.

Otherwise, the V6 feels more refined on the road. It does lack the punch of the tuned B235 but the smoothness of the V6 is really nice.
 

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I had a V6. Every 75K, you will need a Crankshaft Position Sensor. I changed the trans fluid with the 4 quart drain and fill every 30K or so and the transmission lasted the life of the car. I also did the 60K timing belt and water pump change and it never gave me any issues.

The only times it was on the tow truck was when the alternator died and I was only one mile from the mechanic. That was at 150,000 miles. The radiator lost it's coolant close to home at about 200,000 miles. Temperature never went about the middle and it was towed to the repair shop.

I retired the car at 273,000+ miles and it was still running strong. Being in the Northeast, rust was getting to it. Someone got a sweet deal as I donated it with new tires, 4 struts, and new rear brakes and rotors.

I can't comment about the 4cyl engines as I never really drove them.
 

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Ah, the V6

fdw201 is correct about the V6. It's a great engine, with none of the sludge issues which the early 4-cylinder 9-5s had. Watch that timing belt like a hawk. It and the oil cooler are the big failure points.

One thing which comes to mind is the oil filter blank plate. The original oil filter location on the engine is covered, with Saab mounting the filter on an adapter plate. That cover has an o-ring part number 90490744, which eventually fails and starts leaking oil right onto the exhaust manifold. It's in a terrible location (behind the front exhaust manifold which holds the turbo) and hard to replace without a bunch of work.

There are a few model years to be careful of. The 1999 to mid-2000 V6 9-5s use an older style head gasket (composite). This style is known for giving out eventually. I just replaced mine at 160k miles (cylinder #5 was leaking coolant). Get one from 2001 or later and you'll have a MLS (multi layer steel) head gasket - I've never heard of one of those failing.

If you're looking for an auto, go for 2002 or 2003 because they come with the 5-speed and that means better mileage. It also unfortunately means plastic headlights, you don't get the little headlight wipers, and that sort of stuff.

Good luck on your hunt.
 
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