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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am seriously contemplating getting this 9-3 SS Linear
but have read some pretty horrible stories out their of them being problematic cars.

I noticed there were not too many people on the forums either as say the VW vortex forum. I used to own a 91 Passat fully loaded (with the 4 banger) and just loved it. I did however throw a lot of money into its up-keep and maintaining it. I am now married and want something still super fun to drive, unique (i don't know that is a good thing or not though~ getting parts)

The Saab 9-3 Linear, 2003 is black on grey interior. I did a lot of reading on this car and I don't know why I am still considering it. I think I just fell in love with its look (styling) small engine and fairly good HP, good handling etc... etc... On the other hand I am already pretty scared about purchasing such a unique car. Of course you hear all the complaints online and how many things go wrong with these cars. Has everyone on here experienced this? I found a few people on other forums said they love their car but just can't bear having it in the shop so much.

Before I buy, what should I make sure of??? What kind of problems am I looking at having and how long will the car be in the shop for repairs and stuff? (will the car still be driveable???) What kind of warrenty should I be shooting for? Saab/GM offer three warrenties past the manufacturer warrenty and since the car is getting a little older, I'd like to know your opinions on whether they are useful and save you money and hassle in the long run?

I heard that the lights burn out quite quickly. In Canada we are required to have Daytime Running lights. In the US it is not law, so does anyone know how to turn these off (so i can turn them on only at night and save the lifespan of the lights!)???

I'm looking forward to being apart of this forum family as it seems like a tight knit group of people.

I apreciate all your candid and honest comments in advance.

dave
 

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why do you say that?

I am currently in the same position as you. I feel that you need to know the background of the car and make sure all warranty issues and software upgrades etc have been taken care off.

The car I am looking at has 63K on it, 4 years old, and I feel that by then everything should be worked out with the bugs the '03 had. hopefully :confused:

The guy I am buying the car from has been honest to me and told me all the problems he has had with it, and what has been fixed. The car was in the shop once a month for the first 30K mi, but it hasn't been in the shop for the past 30K.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed it will be another 100K before anything besides routine maintenance goes wrong, but who knows....
 

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I absolutely love my '03..

Sure there are quirks.. But it really is the luck of the draw (as with all cars) You could get a good one that gives you almost no problems.. Or you could get one that will drive you totally insane... :)

If it's just the little crap going wrong i'd still go for it.. Transmission / Computer / Major Engine problems are the ones I'd look out for..

Good luck!
 

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Morel said:
Sure there are quirks.. But it really is the luck of the draw (as with all cars) You could get a good one that gives you almost no problems.. Or you could get one that will drive you totally insane... :)

If it's just the little crap going wrong i'd still go for it.. Transmission / Computer / Major Engine problems are the ones I'd look out for..

Good luck!
what quirks have you had problems with?

I hear only the auto transmissions have had problems, and the software upgrades took care of the computer. As far as major engine problems, I haven't heard of any
 

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robhurlburt said:
what quirks have you had problems with?

I hear only the auto transmissions have had problems, and the software upgrades took care of the computer. As far as major engine problems, I haven't heard of any
Well Quirks, like the computer reporting errors on the CID that well... Aren't there once and awhile (no biggy, just clear um) My @$%$# Coolant cap apparently leaks - The dealership said it's a known thing, but won't give me a new cap. (!!) just little things..

And the engine/transmission/computer is just a general suggestion for any car really.. those things are the biggiest PITA to fix.. :)
 

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2003 Arc (Linear equivalent in US), 4 years old, 105000km. Only problems I have had have been a flat battery, blown rear brake globe and replaced volume control on steering wheel. Nothing really. Still a blast to drive. My wife and I fight every week as to who is going to drive the car for the week. As of Oct 2007 83% of 2003 owners on Saabcentral rate their car as good to excellent. Only 4% rate their 2003 as being poor. 79% would either consider, probably buy or definitely buy another 9-3 based on their experiences. I think that is a pretty good endorsement.


Rate your Saab
 

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Ive got two 5spds ~#28000(gas) and #57000(diesel), both over 90K miles. Other than replacing original battery two years ago on diesel, have only seen minor probs like "steering lock malfunction" occasionally on really hot days. But it checks itself and says its OK. The gas shows a throttle position code, which seems more like a throttle cleaning issue, as when the car is driven daily, that goes away. Make sure the parking brake lever and driver seat belt issues have been resolved. All-in-all, among the best Saabs(out of 20+?) ive owned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys...

I appreciate your responses guys.

The Saab is considerably cheaper than a 03 Jetta (fully loaded though~ but still the Saab i nicer) and with more kms.

The Saab has 67000kms and is a manual transmission.
There is also an extended warranty left on the car until early 2009 so I could just go for it and if I have too many problems with it, sell it.

I understand the quirks and stuff and the recalls and I think they've been checked over (I'll take a closer look at the Warranty checklist posted on this forum too), and I've seen the history of the car and it doesn't seem too bad (but that's only what's been recorded... there could have been things replaced and fixed that are not written down).

thanks guys keep em coming!

dave
 

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Really my only concern on them at this age would be the auto contamination and this is an MT, the rest is irritating bugs and glitches that can be fixed or realistically should have been fixed.

Go for it.
 

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I owe a Linear and I have a questio for you; is there a big difference between a Linear and an Arc&Vector all of them of 2003? Here there are units for 14.000-16.000€ and I see no big difference in the price.

VW is not the same as in the 90's, I am involved on this brand and know lot of people with electronic bugs, problems with the turbo, the AC-Compressor, the powered windows, alarm...

Related to SAAB most of mecanical problems are with diesel units, the 2.2TiD and the new 1.9TiD, but gas engines are reliable as far as I know.

Other issue are noises comming from the doors, the squeaky brakes, the ****pit, suspension clacks and so on. Electronic bugs as well, powered windows, CD reader failures, AC actuators broken, windscreen with noise due to plastic trims...13 times went to the dealer in 3,5 years.
I think that all these cars with reduced productions need several years to solve issues that other mass production cars will do in less than 1 year.
Fortunately the handling of the car compensates these bad moments, but I honesty thing that the car is becoming old faster than I expected from a SAAB.
 

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Seeing that the 2003 model was the first year, it's going to be the most problematical. However, most of the issues should have been resolved by the dealer - things like software updates, fading doors handles, etc. I wouldn't be alarmed by a big stack or repair receipts as long as they were early in the cars life.

My advice would be to buy the latest model you can, with the most amount of service records. In other words, like anything, get the best example you can find. I love my 2004 and would gladly buy another. It had some minor growing pains but after the first year or so everything has pretty much been sorted out.

Of course, it's a European car so it's going to have European-car reliability (read: not the best reliability) and European-car repair costs (read: larger repair bills). If you want an easy car to own and live with, a Japanese car is probably a better choice. Of course, there is going to be a trade off because the Japanese tend to focus more on reliably than driving characteristics.

Don't overlook the most important aspect of owning a Saab (or almost any other make for that matter): a good service center. I lucked out with my dealer here and they have been great to work with but in other areas of the country, many people aren't so lucky. I also have a very good independent shop near by so when the car is our of warranty, I'll have two shops to choose from. Take some time and do a little research around your area to see if there are good shops. Your ownership experience and overall satisfaction with the car, no matter how good or bad the car is, can really be effected by the service center so choose wisely.
 

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Based on what I've seen, Saab parts costs don't seem to be out of line with what I'd expect to pay for Ford parts, for example.

Saab dealers probably do mark parts up more and charge more for labor than do Ford dealers, but I generally either do my own work or take it to my mechanic, and buy the parts from online sources.
 

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brianl703 said:
Based on what I've seen, Saab parts costs don't seem to be out of line with what I'd expect to pay for Ford parts, for example.

Saab dealers probably do mark parts up more and charge more for labor than do Ford dealers, but I generally either do my own work or take it to my mechanic, and buy the parts from online sources.
I have a Ford the same age as my Saab and the Ford services are generally more expensive than the Saab's. I haven't noticed the Saab costs to be anymore expensive than any other car I've owned. In fact the most expensive car to maintain that I owned was a Toyota Camry. Big money pit that was. $300 for a replacement key fob, $100 for the Saab. But I live in a different economy to you guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
thanks guys...

I bought the car. I'm happy with it too (so far). I also was able to get the extended warranty for a year and a half which should take care of some of the problems if they come up.

I'll have to post pics at some point. It's the base model but it's in good shape.

The car is quite heavy (i didn't notice when I initially test drove it) and I'm liking the safe feeling you get in it.

I'm sure i'll be posting more and reading all those threads on fixing and perhaps modifying the car!?
 

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i absolutely love my 03 vector !!


bot a 03 linear first (before I read up on SAABS), but wanted the added features, look and sportyness of the vector/Aero.. so I had 2 Saabs for a while (1 month, yes i was lucky my friend bot the linear and he loves it).. Found my vector in Penn... Drove 10hrs to get it in the 03 linear, it was supposed to take 14hrs to get there.. had a friend with me, we had a nice drive on the way home.. 2 Black Saabs going 95mph thru the mountains..... it was GREAT...
 
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