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Discussion Starter #1
I am THIS close to making a decision. One is a 2001 9-3 with 24,000 miles and Saab certification. I can knock money off the price if I don't go certified, but a 2001 Saab needs warranty protection, right?

The other is a 2002 with 42,000 miles and no warranty once the B2B expires soon.

Both look good, run good, have clean CARFAX reports.

What would you do? 2001 with lower miles, or 2002 with higher miles? No difference between them structurally or mechanically I don't think, based on research....

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
also, on these cars, the automatics are 4 speed units. are these "sealed" units like VW that require no fluid changes? (that makes me nervous). or does the auto transmission have a specfied fluid change interval?


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Discussion Starter #3
no one wants to offer any input?

would you get a 2001 9-3 with 23,000 miles or a 2002 with 42,000 miles, both automatics.

are the automatics in those serviceable with regard to fluid changes or are they sealed?
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To me it would depend on the price difference, is the difference drastic? But if they are comparible I would go with the 2001. Saabs become a bit pricey to maintain over 50k(at least IMO), so you would be hitting that pretty quick in the 02, plus having a warranty certainly does not hurt.

I picked up an '02 with around 55k on the clock, but I knew it would not be the cheapest car to maintain going in, and the price was a lot less than anything certified and lower mileage, plus it is a second car. Basically if you need a car that is your daily driver with reliability and/or that you are unable to afford repairs for, you will probably want the '01. I have already had a problem with my '02 that required it to be in the shop for a couple days, but I have another car so it was no big deal, had I not it would have been a bad situation.

As far as the auto tranny, don't quote me on this, but I believe the fluid is servicable, but I have a manual tranny so I am not totally in the know about the auto.
 

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thanks for the reply. the 01 is a little bit more, but it has less miles, and is Saab "certified", so hopefully that bodes well for the car. the 02 is nice though too, but ya, it has had more wear and tear.

if you don't mind me asking (if you don't think it will scare me away from Saab, haha), what went wrong with your 02?

know anything about the automatics in these cars? good units?

thanks again.
 

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We'll apparently the automatics in these cars are rock solid, so I doubt you will have any problems there.

As far as my problems:

The problem that it had to go into the shop for was that the air conditioning compressor clutch bearing went bad. From searching these forums, it does not seem to be that uncommon of a problem. Although it was not something that was under warranty, the place I got it from wen't out of their way and took care of it for me free of charge.

After switching to full synthetic I got an annoying leak coming from the rear main seal of the engine. It is not a large leak, and also in the last few days has seemed to die down. I have read that sometimes when you switch from semi to full synth the full will expose small leaks that were there because the full synth can really work it's way into the little crevices. Like I said it has started to really slow down, and I have not had a drip reach the ground in a few days. But to note, I have not noticed any significant oil loss in the month since I performed the oil change, so as many say "no loss, no leak". I would like to be able to replace the seal, but the problem is the main seal cannot be replaced without dopping the transmission($$$$), so at least in the case of a manual, the rear main seal is generally replaced when replacing the clutch. Therefore I will just hold out till I need to replace the clutch unless it becomes a massive leak. This again, is not too uncommon of a problem. I would definitely check this out on any car you plan to purchase before buying it. Drive it around and then stop and check for any oil around the seals. You should be able to check this by just lying down and sliding in under the car a bit, just watch the exhaust so you dont burn yourself. I actually did check before purchasing my car, but probably did not notice it because it was on semi-synth and was probably far less noticable then.

This is not to scare you off, but just give you my experiences. But IMO, if you want a completely worry free car get a late model used Honda Accord or something(yes I know all cars can have problems), but those cars are boring, saabs arent, and to me are worth every penny.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks Doug. just so you feel better, my old 2003 Accord V6 was the most troublesome car i owned. so Saabs can't be much worse :)

i figure with the 01 Saab, it is certified, so any problems i have would get fixed by Saab.

the 02 is nice too. i could get an extended warranty through my credit union on that one.

ugh! getting one of them, just can't decide!

luckily we have a few places here in Northern VA/DC that specialize in Saabs and Volvo's, so after warranty service shouldn't be too hard to find.

the Saabs are just seeming to be great for carrying things, and too bad for new owners, their resale stinks, so i can get a $27k new car for around $13k! that is great for us used car buyers!

i am excited and nervous at the same time. oh well, i will check in once i decide. oh, should the cars be using full synthetic? what does the dealer use? the 01 was serviced at the dealer, as was the 02. i noticed the 02 had one oil change interval of 10k miles! it was a lease car. i know that is technically "ok", but is that bad for future engine reliablity if it happened only once?
 

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If they both have service records I think you should be ok no matter what. As far as the 10k oil change. Of course yes, this is in spec, but we all know that 10k oil changes are not the best idea, and that in the case of these saabs, sludge issues seemed to happen to people doing this that lived in colder parts of the US and canada. Being that you are in VA/DC and that the 10k only happened once, I doubt you will have a problem. I think most of the sludge issues happened in the northern US and canada because of the extremely cold temps at times, combined with a lot of stop and go driving.

As far as what oil to use, if it was serviced at the dealer it was most likely mobile1 full synthetic 5w30. In my case, I speculate it was on semi before I got it, but I could be wrong, it could have been full. The thing is the previous oil filter was not a saab filter, and looked like something used by an oil change shop or something, so who knows what they put in it, so I just assume the worst.

If you will be doing your own oil changes and have a membership to BJ's wholesale or some other type of wholesale club, I highly suggest you check it out. I am able to pick up 6 quarts of mobile1 full synth 5w30 for $25. Most other stores it's about $6 a quart. A lot of people here will recommend 0w40 or something like that, which is great, but the problem is in my area it's hard to find anything other than 10w40 or 5w30. In the summer I just change my oil more frequently and stay with 5w30. I may start doing 10w40 in the summer and 5w30 in the winter, not sure yet. Although I for sure cannot find any 0w40 in my area, I think that is mostly found in the northern US and canada.

Either way I think you will be happy, and with full service records you should be fine. Although getting an extended warranty with the credit union if you get the '02 may not be a bad idea. Also, if you don't mind me asking, what is the price difference between the cars? Before you decide though, just remember to check everything out thoroughly. Even the little things like the stereo and cd player. Even if the air is on, check the windows, check the sunroof, etc. I know sometimes if someone is in the car with you, its hard to remember to do these things. Also one thing I always check is under to trunk liner to make sure there was no water damage, the last thing you want is a leaky car. I have owned a lot of hatchbacks/5doors and a lot of times they can develop leaks into the trunk, especially if the car was in a minor accident that was never reported and a panel was replaced.

Enjoy!
 

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I am a strong beleiver in the Saab Certification Program. My extended warranty paid for itself many times as I had lots of work done. The dealer is getting reimbursed from the warranty place the same that they would from a customer, no questions asked. Needless to say, they are very eager to do work for you.

And the lower miles of the 01 sure is nice.

Is the 01 an SE? If not then I would personally probably take the 02. But not everybody is like that.
 
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