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Hello

I've never owned a Saab before. I'm looking into purchasing a 1999 Saab 9-3 SE. It's that grey/green color (anybody know the name of this?), 5 speed and a whole bunch of options.

Anyways I've been poking around here trying to find some answers and this site has been very helpful, however I've got some unanswered questions.

1. The Saab I'm looking at has the head unit w/ cassette. It's my understanding that in the 9-3's there is an in-dash CD player head unit available as well as the Pioneer CD changer. I would like to purchase one of these because I want a CD player, and ideas on where I can get either one? I tried Ebay...no luck

2. I've seen lots of information on burnt out SID pixels, however I was wondering if anybody had a problem with the Climate Control display? The one in the car I'm looking at is partially burnt out. Any remedies specific to this?

3. How about those Saab badges? They're worn so much - no color is left at all (probably from automated car washes). How could I replace them? Where could I buy replacements (at a reasonable price)?

4. My mechanic (who works on my Volvos and specializes in German/Swedish cars) told me that these Saabs are mechanical nightmares and not to buy one. He said that anything with significant mileage is going to cause a lot of problems. The '99 I'm looking at has 96k. So is this car really going to cause me a lot of problems? I think I can get a really good deal on it. BTW what do you guys think is a fair price?

Thanks you very much
 

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Dok said:
Hello

I've never owned a Saab before. I'm looking into purchasing a 1999 Saab 9-3 SE. It's that grey/green color (anybody know the name of this?), 5 speed and a whole bunch of options.

Anyways I've been poking around here trying to find some answers and this site has been very helpful, however I've got some unanswered questions.

1. The Saab I'm looking at has the head unit w/ cassette. It's my understanding that in the 9-3's there is an in-dash CD player head unit available as well as the Pioneer CD changer. I would like to purchase one of these because I want a CD player, and ideas on where I can get either one? I tried Ebay...no luck

2. I've seen lots of information on burnt out SID pixels, however I was wondering if anybody had a problem with the Climate Control display? The one in the car I'm looking at is partially burnt out. Any remedies specific to this?

3. How about those Saab badges? They're worn so much - no color is left at all (probably from automated car washes). How could I replace them? Where could I buy replacements (at a reasonable price)?

4. My mechanic (who works on my Volvos and specializes in German/Swedish cars) told me that these Saabs are mechanical nightmares and not to buy one. He said that anything with significant mileage is going to cause a lot of problems. The '99 I'm looking at has 96k. So is this car really going to cause me a lot of problems? I think I can get a really good deal on it. BTW what do you guys think is a fair price?

Thanks you very much

1. I actually dont know, but it probably has a cd changer, or you can attach one.
2. Again here Im not much help, but there are instructions for fixing the SID, depends on the deal, but i would not worry about this. I have had problems with the SID when it gets really hot, but it returns to normal when it cools down?? :roll:
3. Yes you can buy saab badges at most any place that sells any type of saab equipment.
4.When I did not own a saab i thought they were P.O.S. But now i own two and love them... Just bought a 93s w\70K for 4500, but it appraised at the bank for 9100..just depends. In my opinion, VERY reliable cars and lots of fun to drive and mod.:cheesy: Prob around 5-7K
 

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it might be eucalyptus green. perhaps scarabe green? either way, the greens look good on Saabs!i researched Volvos and Saabs before i bought my Saab. neither are the epitome of reliable at high mileage, but none is worse than the other from what i could tell.

good luck with the car!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies guys.

The car doesnt have a changer so I'd need to locate one regardless.

I also spotted another one that interests me. The only thing is it's a '95 SE, 5 speed and has 30000 less miles....total of 65000. The 1999 9-3 has 95000.

What do you guys recommend? What was the better year? Better to go old w/ less miles or newer with more miles? The older car is going for less $$$ too...

Thanks in advance.

Couple of questions about trim lines

SE = higher (highest?) output engine? so 1999 9-3 SE = 200 HP? What about 1995 900 SE? Which is faster?
 

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Well to answer a few questions, not in any order.

The 9-3 would be faster than the 900. The 900 SE has the base engine of the 9-3 in 1999. So its 185 hp.

I would probably go with the 99 9-3, just because I feel like the updates to the 9-3 are worth it over the 1995.

Also something to consider, is if the 95 is of the first or second build series. There was a front suspension change mid-way through 1995. If you can find the manufacture date in the doorjam, that should help you find out.
 

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CD changer is unfortunately something you'd have to go to the dealer for.


it must be 'married to the car' and will not work otherwise.

cost ~$500.
 

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or Ebay for about $100.

95SE = 185 HP
99 SE = 200 HP

I would actually lean towards the 95 IF it has the newer suspension. I'm keen on low miles (although I've been burned by it before).
 

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Dok said:
1. The Saab I'm looking at has the head unit w/ cassette. It's my understanding that in the 9-3's there is an in-dash CD player head unit available as well as the Pioneer CD changer. I would like to purchase one of these because I want a CD player, and ideas on where I can get either one? I tried Ebay...no luck
Better to just install an aftermarket head unit. You'll get much better sound and features. It will also cost you less.

Dok said:
2. I've seen lots of information on burnt out SID pixels, however I was wondering if anybody had a problem with the Climate Control display? The one in the car I'm looking at is partially burnt out. Any remedies specific to this?
My SID went after 4 years.
My ACC control unit failed twice but I think this is an exception.

Dok said:
3. How about those Saab badges? They're worn so much - no color is left at all (probably from automated car washes). How could I replace them? Where could I buy replacements (at a reasonable price)?
This is a common problem, especially the front one. You can purchase them from dealer.

Dok said:
4. My mechanic (who works on my Volvos and specializes in German/Swedish cars) told me that these Saabs are mechanical nightmares and not to buy one. He said that anything with significant mileage is going to cause a lot of problems. The '99 I'm looking at has 96k. So is this car really going to cause me a lot of problems? I think I can get a really good deal on it. BTW what do you guys think is a fair price?
Do a search on this topic. Many people have ranted over all the repairs that they had to do (me included). Most of the problems are not mechanical but related to the electronics. All in all, once you get the bugs out it's actually a pretty reliable car.

For the money, you won't find another car with as much pickup and fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
rotate said:
Better to just install an aftermarket head unit. You'll get much better sound and features. It will also cost you less.
This was my initial reaction when I saw that there was no CD player. I am hesitant however because all the the stereo display is integrated in the SID and figured this would make upgrading the stereo a trying process.

I also prefer the factory look.

$500 from a dealer is obscene for a cd changer.

Anybody have any pics of aftermarket stereo installs?
 

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This is my radio, a Harman-Kardon TrafficPro. I think if you get the right radio (plain and black), it can look pretty good, but I have seen some that I didn't really care for in a Saab dashboard.
 

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one thing to note about the in-dash cd players on the 9-3 '99s:

See if you get a first gen or a second gen (i forget the #'s, but hey, look it up). I have a first gen and it plays 'real' cds fine.

But don't think about playing burned cds, even if it's a fresh burn that morning. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. 2 minutes between working, it will stop.

Apparently the first gens didn't handle them too well... (just a note if you're like me and like to burn copys of cds so you don't kill the originals in the car...)

peace,
bny

(ps. I purchased a 1999 93SE 104k miles w/ a set of snow tires & rims w/ brand new rotors & pirelli tires all around for $5,800 -- just to give you a guage. Also included FULL records of both prior owners, the first of which was a lease, the second of which was a saab-certified used car w/ 2 year warrenty on everything (meaning: incredibly well maintained, down to oil change paperwork...))
 

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Discussion Starter #12
brewtide said:
(ps. I purchased a 1999 93SE 104k miles w/ a set of snow tires & rims w/ brand new rotors & pirelli tires all around for $5,800 -- just to give you a guage. Also included FULL records of both prior owners, the first of which was a lease, the second of which was a saab-certified used car w/ 2 year warrenty on everything (meaning: incredibly well maintained, down to oil change paperwork...))
This is good to hear, puts me in the right range.

I was going to offer 6k for the car I'm looking at, took it to my mechanic who I trust a lot (he's a big Saab guy and he works on my Volvo P1800 sometimes) and figured it needs about $1500 worth of work done - 90k service, rear brake pads/rotors, inner driver bushing, and oil leak (said because of location he could re-torque cyl. head and this would fix it). Rear shocks too...maybe.

I offered the seller $4500. He's thinking about it. I will probably go as high was 5k. This seems fair to me now considering the work needed and mileage (96k).



Jeremy - Thanks for posting the pic. Looks really good, I guess I'm going to look into aftermarket alternatives. I still prefer the factory look, but oh well.
 

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Jeremy R. said:
This is my radio, a Harman-Kardon TrafficPro. I think if you get the right radio (plain and black), it can look pretty good, but I have seen some that I didn't really care for in a Saab dashboard.
I love that stock look Becker (H/K) has, also saw few Nakamichi's built in the same manner. Those are the only aftermarket single-DIN units I could install in my Saab, not to mention their quality. When you see something flashing in 15 different colors, formula running on big LCD, millions of options... it's there to smear your eyes.
 

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Just saw a brand new changer on Ebay for $158.

Just do the aux-in mod, keep the stock unit, and buy an iPod/Rio Carbon/Creative Zen/iRiver MP3 player.

Simple, really! :cheesy:
 

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CleveSaab said:
Just do the aux-in mod, keep the stock unit, and buy an iPod/Rio Carbon/Creative Zen/iRiver MP3 player.

Simple, really! :cheesy:
Can you direct me towards more information on the aux-in mod?
 
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