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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Sup everyone. The other day we picked up a '99 Saab 9-3 for my partner. I'm more of a Volvo guy myself, but I decided to give Saab a shot. He was never 100% thrilled with any of my Volvos anyway.

So what we found is a '99 9-3 SE 5spd. Excellent condition with a practically brand new interior, and no mechanical issues that I can find for about $3k. Only kicker is this. It has 194k miles. At first I was like "no f---ing way". But after thoroughly checking it out (My mechanical abilities are somewhat advanced as a dealer tech) I couldnt find anything overtly wrong with it. Seriously if you put a piece of tape on the odometer I'd figure it has about 50k miles. Engine is very quiet, no signs of sludge, no oil leaks, no timing chain noise, trans shifts nice, clutch grabs. EVERYTHING WORKS!!! Additionally it's a one owner, entirely dealer serviced car (from 15 miles to 194k miles, it was at the dealer). I've owned a few turbo cars with over 200k miles and this one seems as nice, if not nicer than anything I've ever had. So for $3k, what's the worst that can happen?

As far as the car itself. I'm VERY impressed. Like I mentioned earlier, I'm a Volvo guy. Never really paid much attention to Saabs. This is one nice f---ing car. The ride quality is excellent, as is the interior fit-finish. The engine noise/vibration is nicely muted and the list of features/conveniences and the electronic integration employed is very nice. Dont know why I didnt discover these cars sooner.

That being said, as nice as this car is at 194k miles there of course a few small issues.

One is I think it has a bad APC valve. It dosent build much boost and it spools up slow.(only the beginning part of the yellow, probably about 6psi). I checked the piping for leaks, finding none I pulled the hose off the wastegate and went for a ride. Straight to the fuel cut, very quickly. I'm no stranger to turbos so this seems like a simple issue. If it were up to me I'd connect the MBC I have laying around and be done with it. He wants to replace the APC. These things are rediculously expensive, for what basically is a 3way frequency valve. I've seen things like this on many cars, and they dont go bad. Anyone ever retrofit one from a completely different car?

Other thing that is driving both of us nuts. There's this odd buffeting noise while moving along. Kinda like when you drive too fast with a sunroof open. The only thing is this car does it with the windows/roof closed. Anyone ever had this?

Other thing is oil. I'm changing the oil tomorrow. Question is this. At 194k miles. Synthetic or not? My instincts/experience tell me NO. But like I said, I'm new to these cars so there's probably something I dont know. My concern is oil leaks, since the car dosent have any.

Pic of the car in question:


Thanks!
 

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At the very least go with a semi syn.

My dealer told me the T5's (94-99) should use semi, and all T7's (2000+) should use full syn. Regardless of age.
 

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Volvos are excellent cars, but not as enjoyable to drive as a Saab.

This car I would snap up, even with the miles, a vehicle well taken care of is rare - sadly..
On the buffeting noise, check out the undersides splash shields.
I am missing one on my car, these are hard to find, probably expensive -plastic or not...
 
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