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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Being a long time c900 owner I'm accustomed to getting many miles out of a car. I'm going to look at a '99 9-5 tonight with 190,000 miles on it (regular oil changes, newer 5spd, etc.). Is anyone out there running a 9-5 with significantly more miles on it?
 

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I was in the same boat as you, just bought a 123,000 mile 9-5 Aero 2001. Runs fine.


I'm going to get HUGE smacks around this forum when I say: Don't count on it lasting quite the same way or quite so long, you can't compare these cars.

The old b202 16V in our 900s is near bomb proof, and if you slip to 20,000 miles between oil chnages it will hardly EVER screw them up, can you really blow up a b202 with typical use?

Sludge issues on these cars is a serious problem and there is no cure. You can only manage the issue with PCV updates, sump cleans, and synthetic oil. THink of it like a Saab with a chronic illness that needs careful management, like a car with diabeties or something.

A c900 has a weaker transmission and driveline; however, with proper care they have proved to last in excess of 300,000miles on original components. Turbos on 900s outlast the frame in most cases.

9-5 don't have structural rust issues (well they are newer). The interiors have been exposed to less elements, and you can get a real Automatic that returns impressive performance.

The feel of the 5 speed M still isn't great in any 9-5 I have driven, my 20 year old 900 shifts smoother.

most 900s I have looked at seemed to be more well taken care of than 9-5s at least around my parts. Unless you go to the dealer so many have serious issues. I ended up going to the states to buy a car that was reasonably priced and well taken care of.

The 900SPG I was thinking of buying instead of this 9-5 was more money, $100 more. So in terms of upfront cost in similar condition: they are about the same. (in the affordable 99'-2002 9-5 area)

Theer were postings in the lounge pf people getting good running 9-5s for 1000pounds!~!!!!:eek:

I'm impressed with the car; however, don't expect the simplicity of a C900 and the same level of durability. the 9-5 does have new age refinement with a good deal of power. Instead of the fun wooden roller coaster ride of the c900, the 9-5 delivers more fun of a modern all steel loopy loopy smooth rollercoaster.

Apples and Oranges.

I still thik a 9000 is more durable than a 9-5 in the long run; however, with really careful owners 9-5s don't seem to cause thier owners excessive grief or large scale failures.

GO for the Aero, they are more cost effective in the long run: save on upgrades (more power) and has a better turbo. The Aero also runs synthetic oil from factory and is much less prone to sludge, tho not exempt.
 

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Well, mine only has 125,000 miles on it but in my experience with cars all the major stuff seems to go between 115,000 and 135,000 miles. If the car is still alive after that then most of these things have most definitely been replaced. So, if that car has survived that long and it has been well maintained it shouldn't be too bad.

However! Unless this guy is absolutely giving this car away you should be able to find a 9-5 with many fewer miles on it for a very reasonable price. So while this car could be ok, it is safer to go with a car that has fewer miles on it. And as always, the maintenance history is absolutely key. Good luck!

BTW: I have meticulously maintained my 2000 9-5 but this thing just ain't going to last to 190,000 miles...so I would never buy one that is that old.:roll: In other words, I dunno if 9-5's life spans are that long.
 

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GeminiMoods said:
Well, mine only has 125,000 miles on it but in my experience with cars all the major stuff seems to go between 115,000 and 135,000 miles. If the car is still alive after that then most of these things have most definitely been replaced. So, if that car has survived that long and it has been well maintained it shouldn't be too bad.

However! Unless this guy is absolutely giving this car away you should be able to find a 9-5 with many fewer miles on it for a very reasonable price. So while this car could be ok, it is safer to go with a car that has fewer miles on it. And as always, the maintenance history is absolutely key. Good luck!

BTW: I have meticulously maintained my 2000 9-5 but this thing just ain't going to last to 190,000 miles...so I would never buy one that is that old.:roll: In other words, I dunno if 9-5's life spans are that long.
yeah, exactly.

An Aero should last a little longer.

The engines are much poorer quality than in past Saabs. The automatic seems to be very good and can outlast the engine in most cases. Both are about the same to have replaced.

One thing is the $100 factor. 900s can $100 you to death! Little things go all the time, like switches, lamps, window regulators, interior bits, sensors. THis is an age related issue.

Ebay prices for 9-5 parts are less than 900 parts. Think an uncracked dash on ebay for a 900 $400. Or good condition door panels $300-400. and so on.

SID units on ebay are like $40, DIC can be found on ebay for good spares at under $100. RED DI on ebay for a 9000 used is like $200+
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah I wouldn't buy the car for a lot of money considering the miles and the known issues so far (brakes, paint chips, little rust, some dents). The price would probably be about half of what we paid for our '99 9-3 two years ago with 125K on it. I make it a point not to buy expensive cars. That way when I end up with problems I only get annoyed with my waste of time, not waste of money... I do all my own work too.

No reports of people driving these over 200,000 miles yet though...:eek:
 

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I'm currently using a 9-3 (a T7 one so same engine) with 205,000 miles on it and it's excellent :p
 

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saabblackman:
My 2000 9-5 has about 171,000 miles on it so im fairly close to you..the car is still running great.:cheesy:



good to hear some success stories. our 9-5 v6 we just got has 85k miles on it and its nice to hear how long people are getting there saabs to last with regular maintenance and upkeep. as long as ours holds up with no major/frequent repairs and can go the distance on mileage, we would like to hang on to it for many years to come and possibly convert over to a long line of saab buying cause we love our first. as everyone knows, first impressions are the most important, so a regular saab with minor repairs and long mileage success equals happy saab owners for life :cheesy:. if i had it my way, i would put a solid 100k more miles on that bad boy before even thinking of replacing it. anyone else running a high mile 9-5 with a success story? the more the merry
 

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Interesting comments. there are a few 9-5s with 200K+ miles on them out there. ( remember that's not too many miles for a car that was only introduced in 98/99.)


Mine had 100 k and ran like new before I did an overhaul - to strengthened it - and runs like new, and is now putting out 260+/- WHP. Sure GM cheapened the pistons but they are still good for lots of miles..At 100k barely needed to be honed in one cylindar, and bearings hardly had any wear ( replaced them anyway). Not even a hint of sludge ( 5K changes )

I had a 86 900S and bought it from a guy in the neighborhood. At 86K miles it threw a rod and he changed oil every 3000 miles, but never drove it more than 8k per year, prolly had a lot to do wiht it.

But his car had 2 steering racks, 1 trans ( auto ) a couple of window motors and rust in every door. Kinda wondering why I bought a new one in 97, because no matter what the car had to get better...

Sludging is caused by short trips where you get teh sump hot and don't let circulate to cool the oil...
 

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Jssaab said:
Interesting comments. there are a few 9-5s with 200K+ miles on them out there. ( remember that's not too many miles for a car that was only introduced in 98/99.)


Mine had 100 k and ran like new before I did an overhaul - to strengthened it - and runs like new, and is now putting out 260+/- WHP. Sure GM cheapened the pistons but they are still good for lots of miles..At 100k barely needed to be honed in one cylindar, and bearings hardly had any wear ( replaced them anyway). Not even a hint of sludge ( 5K changes )

I had a 86 900S and bought it from a guy in the neighborhood. At 86K miles it threw a rod and he changed oil every 3000 miles, but never drove it more than 8k per year, prolly had a lot to do wiht it.

But his car had 2 steering racks, 1 trans ( auto ) a couple of window motors and rust in every door. Kinda wondering why I bought a new one in 97, because no matter what the car had to get better...

Sludging is caused by short trips where you get teh sump hot and don't let circulate to cool the oil...
having a 900 "throw a rod" is really really unheard of. wow.

The lightweight pistons in these cars are "fine" however the engine internals are of much lower quality compared to last Saabs.

When the head came off my 89' 900 T16 you could still see the cross marks from the factory on the cylinder walls. THis was at 325,000. It did need a new headgasket :(.
 

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my car has about 76000 miles and it runs like new...i dropped the oil pan and there was no sludge. but i wonder how it looks up top under the valve cover...my car seems to be young compared to others...
 

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I would get one with lower miles than that. I got one with 97,000 miles on it for a good price it was like $6k. It drives great so far. My advice is to keep shopping.
 

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99,300k miles on my 9-5 Aero 5-speed. I hear the Aero's and 9-5's with manual tranny's tend to be much less prone to sludge. The most expensive thing I've had to replace to date was the clutch, and I just got my car back from that repair. $2,001.22 (Why that price? Why not $2000.00?! *%&*@$#!!!) and I got a new Aero clutch, slave cylinder, master cylinder, hydraulic system flush, and fresh tranny oil! :cool:

I've really had no problems with my car... :confused: Feels like it will run for another 200,000 miles, however, I must say the 5-speed does feel notchy and I don't think that will last 200,000 miles, maybe 100,000. But if you got a new tranny, I say your lookin good! :cheesy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So I looked at the car last night. 192K miles. Needs: brakes (rusted rotors from sitting, should do pads while at it), PVC update, Right tail light (small chip missing), probably needs rear shocks.

The power steering pump was whining a little bit but the fluid was full so it probably needs a new pump (rebuilt ones aren't cheap). The right side of the engine/chassis are wet, probably either from the pump or a slow oil leak. The transmission was replaced a few years ago with a used one due to engagement issues. I don't know anything about the used one other than a few times I had a hard time moving the shift lever towards reverse. After a few tries it went right in. It felt like the reverse lockout wasn't adjusted right or its possible I just wasn't pulling up enough on the reverse lockout collar when going for reverse (I'm not used to the car).

Other more minor issues: pitted headlights, one broken fog light, dent under left tail light, paint chips/surface rust on hood, surface rust on bottom of tailgate, light surface rust along edges of sheet metal under car.

Other than that everything looked decent. The SID is only missing a few pixels, ACC looks fine and no codes when pressing 'auto' and 'off', interior needs to be cleaned a little, paint needs to be washed/waxed after the paint chips in the hood are fixed. The engine seemed to run OK and the timing/balance chains didn't make any noise and the owner didn't remember them ever being replaced since he bougt it at 100K (I had to replace the timing chain on a '99 9-3 with 150K on it...). No service records though...

He was asking $2600 and then the brakes rusted from sitting and he'd like to see it gone before winter so he said he is open to offers. In my opinion it would be a $2900 car (kbb.com) if the major mechanical problems were fixed. I figure if someone were to pay to have the brakes, power steering pump, turn signal, and PVC update done it would probably cost a minimum of $1500 in parts/labor. I've thought about offering him $1500 for the car but I don't know if he'd think I was trying to low-ball him.
 

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Rusted brakes aren't really an issue as long as they are still within the appropriate thickness. The rust will rub right off on the first use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
nah, these are pretty rusty. Enough so that sections were flaking away. I drove it around the parking lot (it isn't registered) and it cleaned things up a little but there is no way they'd pass inspection, even if the car was driven 1000 miles. I think the car was parked right around the end of road-salt season. Around here my brakes will rust from sitting over night in the winter and it takes a few aplications of the brakes to clean them off. That's life in New England...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
GeminiMoods said:
hmmm, $1500 sounds reasonable. Perhaps even $50.
Yeah, I think in reality a car like this that needs work is worth less than $1500 but trying to get someone to sell it for what it really might be worth isn't usually easy.
 

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depends what you are getting yourself in to.


I think I would pass it up, even for $1,500.

A properly cared for car with a little more money upfront is most often more worth it.
 
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