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I hope this is the right forum for this model. If not mod please move.

We currently have a 1991 900 S with nearly 200K on the odo. it runs GREAT, but isnt cosmetically very nice. We looked at a 96 900 SE Turbo with 90K on it in EXCELLENT, in and out, pristine, with Blizzack snows on steel wheels for winter all for 5,200. looking to get em down to 4500 ish. What do i need to know about this car, history questions i should ask, this is the original owner, he has ALL the paperwork. routinly serviced, great shape. Issues with the turbo on this model? anything else to look for. i noticed the cosmetic issues presnet in my 91 arent here for 96 which is nice. Is the asking fair? Just looking for some tips...not sure if i should hold on to my trusty 900S or go for the newer model. Looking to have a kid soon and the newer car would feel more reliable, plus we need 4 doors not the 2 we have now.

Thank in advance
 

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I purchased a 97 2 years ago w/ 109,000 miles on it and it has been very reliable. I paid $5900. I'd try to go lower, if I were you, but I wouldn't say that what the owner is asking is bad at all. There is a maintenence FAQ at the top of the list on the workshop page, read it over to see what the common issues are. The turbos on these cars are pretty darn reliable. Timing chain and head gasket CAN be a problem if the car wasn't properly cared for. But if you can't discern a timing chain rattle, you're probably fine. Any upper valve train ticking should be listened for, as it may indicate some sludging that is starving the top of the engine. But if it is as well-cared for as you say, I'd bet it's okay. Sometimes the boost solenoid (which the ECU employs to regulate the wastegate) can go on these, causing a moderately pricey repair. You can replace it yourself quickly and easily, but the part itself is a $100-200 if I remember correctly. About the easiest way to see if it is a problem is to take the car out and accelerate flat out in 3rd gear or higher. If the boost needle fails to make it to the border w/ the red or just under, the solenoid may be going out. Of course, a cheap and easy fix is to just fit a manual boost controller.

I've blabbed enough, read the FAQ! Another area you may focus on is the suspension!

Good luck!
 

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Here are some things to check into or ask about:

Seat heaters (mine gave out a long time ago)
Electric seats (check all axes of movement)
SID (run through a few screens and check for missing pixels)
Rear door pulls and rear electric windows if 4-dr
DI cassette, original or replacement (date code is on the bottom of cover)
Fuel pump (ideally this would have been replaced, mine failed at 100k miles, expensive to do because you just about have to drop the fuel tank)

Rear brakes (check rotors for rust by looking through the spokes. Rusted rotors may mean seized caliper pistons) Hand brake (make sure it works on both sides). Rear calipers and hand brake shoes have been a sore spot on my car, mine both need a good rebuild after 9 winters.

Traces of rust along the inside lower lip of the hatch, and inside the door frames will tell you if you have it elsewhere (I have some).

The security system takes some getting used to, you should have at least one working remote, all doors should lock and unlock with the remote or the key or the lock button, the deadlock feature should work, and the 4-digit security code for the radio should be on hand.

Lots more in the FAQ section...
 

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OK, I bought a 1996 900 SE 5 speed for $2900. It had 110K and it was in very good condition. Got it home. Found a ton of bondo. I also found that it burned oil from the turbo. Watch out for a blue cloud when you start it. If the clutch grabs low then you will need a new one soon. If the stick feels funny then you make the call. These were all things wrong with mine until I got my money back. I just heard that the people who we bought it from traded it in to a mazda dealer :x. It was a nice car but it wasn't worth it.

Watch out for the LEMONS!
 
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