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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I'm sure you get alot of these threads around, so i would greatly appreciate if someone could answer a few questions for a long time Saab fanatic, and perhaps soon to be owner!

I am currently considering buying a '96 9000 Aero with an automatic transmission. I have in fact been looking for a manual (extremely hard to come by in my local market of New Zealand), but this particular car is at such a good price it is hard not to consider. The car has done 174,000kms (108,000miles). There is no visible rust anywhere (including engine bay and spare wheel well) and the car has a decent service history. Having taken the car for a quick drive it turned out to be a pretty good runner - no odd noises, nice and smooth.

Having looked through various guides on the net about what to look for, i have the following questions:

Being an auto i payed particular attention to the gear changes which were mostly smooth and timely. There was one or two changes i felt a slight clunk (which was under a sudden change in throttle). Could this be a sign of weakness or just a harmless protest at being jabbed a bit?

The steering didn't feel as tight as i thought it would. The first roughly 5 - 10º of movement either way was noticably lighter (and had slightly less movement from the wheels) than from thereafter. It was not enough though to adversly affect the otherwise nice handling of the car. Is this a normal charactaristic or a potential sign of wear?

The other worry i had was with the turbo. Under full acceleration the needle of the turbo boost gauge would only reach about the middle of the yellow reading (roughly straight upwards from what i remember). Not having driven an Aero previously i don't really know how the car should feel, but it didn't pull quite as hard as i'd expected from what i had previously read about it (not to say that it wasn't quick and nicely responsive). Is it likely that it just needs a good clean and some new hoses or does it point to something more serious? Or perhaps i am wrong in thinking that the needle should reach all the way to the right of the dial under full acceleration?

Other than that (minus a few small cosmetic blemishes) the car looked and felt very nice. Considering i could potentially buy this car for around NZ$2,000 (US$1,500) is it worth the risk of buying an automatic with this milage?

Many thanks in advance for any advice you can give!

Sam

Edit: Sorry if thread this is in the wrong section - i intended to post it in the workshop but managed to get my windows mixed up. Apologies!
 

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I'm not sure on the gear change side but it could be one of the engine mounts or even both of them as when they brake they usually clunk under hard acceleration as metal hits metal. The turbo needle usually only stays in the yellow from standard, or it could vacum pipes or stuck in base boost caused by the apc or simular. The steering on mine feels the same it's just the steering rack building up pressure.

In my oppinion & probable many more owners with saabs the milage is'nt important, my 1994 aero has done 191,000 miles with various tuning modification & never misses a beat or let me down.

If you feel happy with the car then buy it, if not then leave it alone & wait for the right one to come along.
 

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Middle of yellow on the boost gauge is usually base boost. (stock boost gauges aren't terribly consistent or accurate) An Aero Auto should at least go to the start of the red. Do all the pre-requisite vac line checking and replace any that appear to be rotted or otherwise sub-par. The Autobox in these cars isn't terribly robust. If it's been thrashed it can turn into a horribly bad experience. Although after I got my auto replaced I also get the same harsh shifting on sudden throttle changes. My trans shop told me this was because of a high stall torque-converter they used when they replaced the trans. When I had him drive it, he said it was working perfectly. Usual rust spots on 9000's are the wheel arches (check all the way from front to back) and the bottom of the doors if the drain holes get plugged up. So if you have no rust there, you're most likely in great shape. I'd buy it
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for the advice, i very much appreciate it. I talked to a friend who has worked on a Saab or two before, and he too thinks that there should be no need for major worry. Thanks again!
 

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I have '96 9000 Aero auto, with almost the same mileage (162,000), and it is a great car, with Maptun Stage 5 installed (over 300 HP). Of course, to avoid ripping the auto tranny to shreds, I avoid jack-rabbit starts, and use the manual controls to help nurse the car through gear changes under acceleration.

You will enjoy the car, but set aside $1000 or so bucks for short-term problems, because that price is almost too good to be true. Most likely candidates are the tranny, fuel pump, DI cassette and APC solenoid.
 

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Therealet23 is right - the power of the auto Aero was really disappointing at the start. Nothing that an MBC or ECU upgrade couldn't put right, however.
 

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just bought a 96' auto aero. seems alright. I bought it for cruising purposes so it's never going to be maptun stage 5. Probably the best seats in any car available ever... not even new cars have better seats.
 

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I just got a 96 Aero manual, have been looking for 2 years. Its the best 2 years wait I've ever had. Avoid dismay buy a manual they are awesome. :D
 
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