SaabCentral Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
i recently just purchased a fourth-hand 2002 9-3se and got it checked out for the first time. it came back with a laundry list of issues and i was wondering if anyone else had come across similar issues and found alternative methods of resolving them. the place i took it to was asking quite a lot more in repairs alone than what i even paid for the car. :/ so here is the list...

replace window roller on drivers side.
replace window regulator on drivers rear.
replace transmission shift cover.
replace oil sender.
intall pcv (crankcase vent) kit.
replace heater hose.
replace head gasket.

any advice would help. i absolutely love this car but the problems are very overwhelming. or if you happen to know a place around the dfw area that can do these repairs for a reasonable price...that would be GREATLY appreciated too. thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,911 Posts
How mechanically inclined are you?

Several of those items are pretty straightforward (I'd happily pay someone else to mess with the windows though.)

If you're not handy, it's ok, but I would start with the head gasket, heater hose, and PCV kit. Then take the car back for the other items when finances allow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,072 Posts
If you post some of the estimates, we could comment on how reasonable they are. Perhaps another mechanic is the solution if you are not mechanically inclined. Also, the largest item, the head gasket, can sometimes be solved with a re-torque with fresh head bolts for a lot less money than a gasket replacement. I don't know anything about your mechanic, but not all of them try to find the lowest cost solution.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
well, i am not the most mechanically inclined...however, i know a few people who have worked on generic cars before so if any of the work is universal then i could pick their brain about it.

the head gasket is certainly on the top of the priority list. here are some of the prices (including labor) that the shop gave me:

the front window roller: 182$
rear window with regulator: 586$
transmission shift cover: 247$
PCV kit: 316$
heater hose: 221$
oil leak at oil pipe seals over filter housing: 146$
lower ball joint: 393$
head gasket: 1980$
oil sender: 233$

seems quite pricey to me. i looked at some of the prices of these things online...and they go for much cheaper. essentially, the head gasket and the windows are ranking high on my need to do list. the windows have been leaking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,911 Posts
That seems REALLY high to me, but I haven't tried to take my 9-3 in for anything (yet).

Get another quote at an indy shop?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,176 Posts
well, i am not the most mechanically inclined...however, i know a few people who have worked on generic cars before so if any of the work is universal then i could pick their brain about it.

the head gasket is certainly on the top of the priority list. here are some of the prices (including labor) that the shop gave me:

the front window roller: 182$
rear window with regulator: 586$
transmission shift cover: 247$
PCV kit: 316$
heater hose: 221$
oil leak at oil pipe seals over filter housing: 146$
lower ball joint: 393$
head gasket: 1980$
oil sender: 233$

seems quite pricey to me. i looked at some of the prices of these things online...and they go for much cheaper. essentially, the head gasket and the windows are ranking high on my need to do list. the windows have been leaking.
Holey smokes! For that kind of money, you should be able to fly in a SAAB specialists from Sweden, provide first class accommodations, dining and a rental.

OK:

The front window roller is a $5.00 part and maybe 30 minutes.
Not sure about the rear window regulator, I'd say it's equally unreasonable.
What on the shifter cover is broken? If it's just the black slider, it's a $25 part and under 30 minutes.
PVC kit is a $65 part and an hour, probably much less depending on the current oil separator.
Heater hose is a $15 part and 10 minutes
O-Rings for the oil cooler pipes are maybe $10 for a pair and 10 minutes
Lower ball joint, less than $150 for a quality part and well under an hour. $75 for a inexpensive part and still, under an hour to install.
Head gasket, call it $200 in parts, maybe 8 hours. Might get lucky with just re-torquing the head bolts.
Oil sender is a $15 part and while tough to get to, still under an hour.

Find a good, honest indie and for the little stuff, I'd say try it yourself! Even the head gasket is not that hard to do but takes more tools than many keep.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,072 Posts
the front window roller: 182$
rear window with regulator: 586$
transmission shift cover: 247$
PCV kit: 316$
heater hose: 221$
oil leak at oil pipe seals over filter housing: 146$
lower ball joint: 393$
head gasket: 1980$
oil sender: 233$

seems quite pricey to me. i looked at some of the prices of these things online...and they go for much cheaper. essentially, the head gasket and the windows are ranking high on my need to do list. the windows have been leaking.
You're getting rolled on this one my friend. If this is a dealer, perhaps those are "reasonable" dealer prices, but they are way out of line. A headgasket, if you actually need it, should be in the $1000-$1200 range. With the prices I see here, I'd have serious doubts that the diagnosis is correct. It could be, but someone is trying to stiff you.

I can't quote all the jobs here, but the oil sender is a $10 part and takes perhaps a half hour to install on a lift, at most. If the car was on the lift already it's 10 minutes work. Even at $100/hour, that's $60. Even with a dealer part at $17, that's $67.

The PCV #6 kit is about $100 in parts if you get all the extra hoses and the FACTORY labor on it is .9 hours. Even at $100/hour that's maybe $200 total.

I won't go through all the other jobs but they are similar ripoffs and/or there are aftermarket parts available that would seriously lower the cost.

Do a new post "looking for a Saab Indy in DFW" here or in the Lounge, and also take a look out saabnet.com where they have a recommended mechanic list. You need a good Indy who won't rip you off and will give you the straight story.

One question: why do they say you need a headgasket? Do you know what tests they did or what criteria they used?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
i am certainly glad i didn't follow through with that shop. it definitely felt sketch from the get-go.

they said i need a new head gasket because i am losing coolant and there isn't indication of any place it is leaking. he showed me underneath the car where there was like a white/polishy area where he feels it's the coolant. my fill coolant indicator comes on every 3 days after topping it off.

i will call around tomorrow to get another quote and scour the area for an indy.

and win_k...it is just the black plastic slider that goes along the middle with the gear shift. what exactly is that piece called? and where can i go about getting one. there is just a large gaping hole where my gear shift is and i would love to get that fixed. are there any tutorials on how to replace that as well?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,072 Posts
That's a lame diagnosis on the head gasket. First, he should check all over for a leak, it could be a hose or the waterpump/block seals, which are common. Coolant underneath just means that it's dripping down from "somewhere". It could be the head gasket, but there's a chemical test for that. We can guide you how to do it. Even if it is the headgasket, the first option is new head bolts and a re-torque of the bolts. That fixes many of them. Total parts cost with gasket about $75 and a couple hours labor. If you have a friend who is mechanical and has a torque wrench we could guide you/him through it. It's always worth a shot before a $1000+ repair.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,352 Posts
I'm sorry to use your car as an example, but this is definitely an example of why people should have a pre-purchase inspection done before buying a car. It doesn't just apply to Saabs, but it applies to any car (or house, or boat, or any other high dollar purchase) in general.

And, if it was me, I would concentrate on the highest priority problem first: fix it and move on the next highest priority. Fix the coolant leak; start with retorquing the head bolts. It will cost around $50 for a valve cover gasket set, $20 at Harbor Freight for a mediocre torque wrench and $20-$30 for the correct socket wrenches. Get the procedure from www.townsend,com or from www.genuinesaab.com.

I would also be interested in a breakdown of the component prices and the associated labor. Most times the labor is 8-10 times the price of the component being replaced or repaired, that's why we try to DIY to save some money... Ron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
All this and he didn't even suggest dropping the oil pan to check the pick-up screen? Doesn't sound like someone who is familiar with Saab's at all.

I had the oil sender replaced by an Indy. Total cost was around $225.00 since the starter had to be removed in order to gain access to the sender. I sucked that one up. The PCV upgrade however, as others have mentioned is a $65.00 parts plus easy labor job that you can easily do yourself with very limited mechanical ability. Lots of threads on here with pictures on how to do it.

I also did the head bolt replacement. $50.00 for the new bolts, $35.00 for a new valve cover gasket and that was that.

The great thing about these cars is that they are very easy to work on even for a novice or someone with limited mechanical ability. There are guys on this forum who know more about these cars than you will ever care to know and are more than willing to offer up their advice and walk you through just about any repair you care to take on yourself. Don't be afraid to ask:)

For the rest, you need to find yourself a good Indy who specializes in Saabs. Don't waste your time or money taking it to Mom and Pop's Garage and Diner for repairs. It will cost you MUCH more in the long run. That's speaking from lessons learned the hard way.:-(

Chris
Southeastern PA
2002 9-3 SE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,176 Posts
and win_k...it is just the black plastic slider that goes along the middle with the gear shift. what exactly is that piece called? and where can i go about getting one. there is just a large gaping hole where my gear shift is and i would love to get that fixed. are there any tutorials on how to replace that as well?
That sliding bit is listed as the "accordion slide", part number 4777173. I wrote up a detailed replacement a while back, Got mine from thesaabsite.com. http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=221559

I had the oil sender replaced by an Indy. Total cost was around $225.00 since the starter had to be removed in order to gain access to the sender.
Yea, the starter is really in the way, but the sender can be replaced with the starter in place. Definitely easier to do with the starter out or while the head is off the engine, but not required.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,072 Posts
That sliding bit is listed as the "accordion slide", part number 4777173. I wrote up a detailed replacement a while back, Got mine from thesaabsite.com. http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=221559



Yea, the starter is really in the way, but the sender can be replaced with the starter in place. Definitely easier to do with the starter out or while the head is off the engine, but not required.
It's still not a $225 labor charge. How long could it take to pull the starter, replace the sensor, and replace the starter?

Probably more of the infamous "flat rate stacking" at work: we charge you for the starter labor, then we charge you for the sensor labor, even though they overlap operations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,352 Posts
The starter has two bolts, so it's $50 to take out each bolt, then 2 seconds to yank out the starter, and 2 seconds to set the started back in and $50 to replace each bolt. .. Ron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
I am in Fort Worth and have used Gorecki Auto when I haven't felt comfortable doing something myself. He is not cheap but knows Saabs inside out and will not perform unneccessary work. I know Southwest Auto in Dallas is a recommended indy for Saabs but I have no personal experience with them.

I did the rollers on mine and it was super easy. Rollers breaking is a common problem. You've gotten good advice above regarding all your issues. I would definately get a good Saab Mechanic to confirm the headgasket before changing and even with confirmation would push for the headbolt retourque as suggested first. You can find detailed info on this site for DIY repairs on all the items you have listed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
Stay away from Gorecki Auto. Turns out that my wonderful mechanic Mr. Gorecki never changed out or rebuilt my distributor. I gave him the new rebuild kit. He changed out the connectors on the distributor but charged me for a distributor rebuild.

So I think it is time for Mr Gorecki and I to go to court. I think he owes me a refund for work he didn't do, parts he didn't use plus the cost of the new repair and towing done by French's Foreign Auto. Thanks Mr French for bringing this to my attention.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,182 Posts
Stay away from Gorecki Auto. Turns out that my wonderful mechanic Mr. Gorecki never changed out or rebuilt my distributor. I gave him the new rebuild kit. He changed out the connectors on the distributor but charged me for a distributor rebuild.

So I think it is time for Mr Gorecki and I to go to court. I think he owes me a refund for work he didn't do, parts he didn't use plus the cost of the new repair and towing done by French's Foreign Auto. Thanks Mr French for bringing this to my attention.
If what you say is true, he may owe you much more than that. Most states have specific consumer fraud laws, expecially for car repairs. These laws frequently provide for punitive damages plus attorney fees, especially where repairs actually done do not equate to repairs charged for. Chapter 50, Article 6 of the Kansas Statutes is your Consumer Protection Law. See specifically 50-626 (D) and (G)(5). DISCLAIMER: YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO RELY ON MY ADVICE. I AM A LICENSED ATTORNEY IN OHIO. I AM NOT ADMITTED TO PRACTICE LAW IN KANSAS. IF YOU BELIEVE YOU MAY HAVE A CAUSE OF ACTION, IT IS INCUMBENT UPON YOU TO SEEK THE ADVICE OF COMPETENT COUNSEL ADMITTED TO PRACTICE IN YOUR JURISDICTION.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top