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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I think it's time to replace my wife's 00 MPV. She is anxious to get back into a sporter vehicle, ideally with a manual trans. Poking around it looks an 03 ish 9-5 wagon might be the way to go. Reading the reviews, between the lines in some, it seems that they suffer from the typical Saab issues, pixels and DI cassettes. Apart from this, are the other issues I should be aware of?

The car will mainly be a grocery getter/run the kids around (2 - 6 and 8yrs)/weekend ski trips. Also, I need to be able to pull a small tent trailer (under 1500lbs). Size wise I think it's okay, might have to put a rack on it. Any thoughts?

I am suprized/concerned by the wide variation in prices. A couple of quick searches suggest that a good condition, average mileage Linear is about $10,000 USD (some way lower). This is about $2,000 under the KBB listing, any good reason for this?

I should mention that I'm not new to Saabs. I have an 02 Vig and had a 9000.

Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks
 

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If you have an 02 Viggen, then you are probably aware of the sludge issues with the B235 and what to check for in that regard. That is probably the biggest thing to watch for on these cars. Also, on the 9-5, the rear shocks get the &%#@ beat out of them, so be prepared that almost any car you buy over 70k will probably require shocks sometime soon, especially in a wagon, but that's not really an 'issue' just maintenance.

Lots of people use the wagon as a tow vehicle, and I believe they have roof racks on them already.

The prices are a strange phenomenon with the 9-5 as I haven't ever seen a consistent price. Not sure why, someone else may know.
 
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I think the main reason for the price difference is the reliability of the turbo. The Linear turbo is not as robust and they seem to go out between 70 and 100K. The Aero is much more robust. You can swap the Aero turbo into the Linear, but that is something you would have to decide. The V6 is reliable but you have to change the timing belt every 60K. 5 speeds seem to be cheaper than the auto and wagons seem to be cheaper than the sedan in the U.S.

If you do go with the 9-5, run full synthetic oil.
That is my 0.02 cents

Jeff
 

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I recently got an 04 linear wagon still under factory warranty for about $14k- a ridiculous bargain if you ask me. I can't think of any other car I could have bought for that price that has the same combo of safety, versatility, and is fun to drive! I don't know why residual value is so poor with these cars, but that mostly means that it is a great car to buy used! I say watch out for the typical issues like sludge and electrical problems, and go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've found a very good deal on a 03 Linear but I would have to by sight unseen (except for photos) and import to Canada. It's ~ 9,500 usd with 58,000 mi. All said and done I'll be back in Canada for under 11.5K. I can't find anything this side of the border for under 14K and not a manual to be found. I'm thinking.........
 

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Maybe someone down here can look at it for you, where is it?

I jsut bought my 2003 9-5 unseen forma a US dealer and could not be happier.

There are also professioinal car checkers ( you can find them through fleabay) taht will check the car for you.
 

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wooden_spoon said:
I recently got an 04 linear wagon still under factory warranty for about $14k- a ridiculous bargain if you ask me. I can't think of any other car I could have bought for that price that has the same combo of safety, versatility, and is fun to drive! I don't know why residual value is so poor with these cars, but that mostly means that it is a great car to buy used! I say watch out for the typical issues like sludge and electrical problems, and go for it.
I think the main reasion for the residual value being so bad is due to the problems you stated...electrical, suspension, sludge. I mean, you can get the car for cheap but then if you're not lucky, you're gonna have a giant hole in your wallet. Also, I think wagons have a stigma to them...think of all the dorky wagons you've seen over time (ie. the ford ltd wagons and the old chevy caprices in national lampoon's movies, etc). Until I got my 9-5 wagon, I always thought they were very soccer-mom and not responsive nor fun to drive. The 9-5 definitely changed my opinion, haha
 

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one thing I see from looking at the car on the site quickly is that the front headlight covers are oxidized (that's why the lights are on in the pic, to cover this up).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I mean, you can get the car for cheap but then if you're not lucky, you're gonna have a giant hole in your wallet. Also, I think wagons have a stigma to them...think of all the dorky wagons you've seen over time
I think the same holds true for any used vehicle. I bought a Passat once and ended rebuilding the motor a month later. Come to think of it, it was a 5 speed wagon. Hhhhmmmm could be a sign.

I used to think minivans were Dorky.......now I know they are, handy but definately dorky.
 

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RoCo said:
Hi All,

... it looks an 03 ish 9-5 wagon might be the way to go.

Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks
Give Dana Motors in Billings MT a call. You can drive down there from Calgary in a few hours if they have anything you want to look at. They seem like very nice people and have a huge selection of cars (at least they did a couple years back when I went through there).
 
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wooden_spoon said:
one thing I see from looking at the car on the site quickly is that the front headlight covers are oxidized (that's why the lights are on in the pic, to cover this up).
How can you tell from such a small picture? It's just the glare imo...

$10K for that car sounds like an excellent price. It's probably so inexpensive because it is a station wagon with a manual transmission. Nothing wrong with that ccombination but probably not the most popular choice for many used car shoppers. It looks like an independent dealer who generally have lower prices compared to Saab dealers.

I bought my 2001 with 82K miles on eBay for $8K about 4 months ago. I prefer finding cars on eBay because of their feedback system so you can easliy figure out how many years they have been in business and how many happy/unhappy customers purchased cars from them.
 

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wooden_spoon said:
one thing I see from looking at the car on the site quickly is that the front headlight covers are oxidized (that's why the lights are on in the pic, to cover this up).
DRL's come standard, he probably never pulled the fuse. The lenses look fine to me. I'd be surprised to see oxidation on the lenses of such a new vehicle.
 

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my 02 waggy has oxidized lenses.both headlights right where the lights meet the hood.

personally,i think the 95 looks best in wagon form.
 

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two sheds said:
my 02 waggy has oxidized lenses.both headlights right where the lights meet the hood.
Mine were oxidized in the same manner and my detailer told and showed me a little trick to minimize this. We took blue painters' tape and taped off the areas around the headlights and then surrounded them with newspaper so that the painted areas around the headlights would be kept free of splatter and then we applied toothpaste (I know, it sounds crazy) directly to the surface and then buffed it with my DeWalt orbital buffer and a foam pad.

It cleaned up about 90% of the oxidation and haze and also minimized some of the pitting. I then applied some clear laminate headlight material over the top and now you can barely tell that the headlights aren't new! The whole thing took about 20 minutes from the first taping to cleaning the tape back off. :)
 

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ill have to give that way a go.its a very light oxidation,but its still there,and is the only thing that gives the car's age away.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've polished headlights before using Maguires paint polishing products, it worked very well. I'd bet even Turtle Wax polishing compound (green can) with a wet rag will do a reasonable job by hand
 

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PaulGinAZ said:
Mine were oxidized in the same manner and my detailer told and showed me a little trick to minimize this. We took blue painters' tape and taped off the areas around the headlights and then surrounded them with newspaper so that the painted areas around the headlights would be kept free of splatter and then we applied toothpaste (I know, it sounds crazy) directly to the surface and then buffed it with my DeWalt orbital buffer and a foam pad.

It cleaned up about 90% of the oxidation and haze and also minimized some of the pitting. I then applied some clear laminate headlight material over the top and now you can barely tell that the headlights aren't new! The whole thing took about 20 minutes from the first taping to cleaning the tape back off. :)
I'm glad that worked for you and I'm curious to know what the clear laminate headlight material is that you spoke of? Is it that "headlight protector" sheet stock?

I'll also chime in because I'm kind of a home brew expert on this...haha:cheesy:

My headlights were very badly oxidized, I tried two or three of the "headlight restoration" kits at the auto parts store and they were a waste of time. I think one of the Mods suggested polishing compound IIRC and Meguires PLASTIX polish, I did this with some improvement but still not good enough. The plastic polish looked great for about a week but then it wore off from UV. Others may have better results depending on the degree of UV degradation.

My headlights were too far gone so I bought some 2000 grit wet/dry sand paper and wet rubbed, then rubbed with polishing compound, finished off with PLASITX. They look really good. Still show some minor pits but I probably have close to 90% optical clarity.

I think I'll go back one day soon and repeat the process but start with 1500 grit and finish with 2000, etc...Maybe I can get them almost perfect:)
 
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