Last post on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:08 PM
You are in the Saab 9-5
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Saab 9-5, Sedan
#1761 of 2237 Saab repair costs versus others
Sep 16, 2004 (7:53 am)
I currently drive a Volvo, and am looking to replace the car with something new. I thought that I'd naturally end up with another Volvo but decided to visit the local Saab dealership (although I've always found Saab pricing to be extremely high). I was impressed with a 9-5 Arc and upon leaving the dealership, told that I could get any remaining 2004 Saab at $7,000 off MSRP ... sounds good to me. After discussing this, all my friends are saying not to buy a Saab because repairs and parts are hugely expensive. How true is this compared to other luxury\near-luxury brands?
#1762 of 2237 re: Saab repair costs versus others
Sep 16, 2004 (9:33 am)
The first year (1999) 9-5 had lots of electrical problems and recalls relating to the ECU and throttle body. However, these were addressed in subsequent years and right now most of the consumer organizations (CR, Kiplinger) rate the 9-5 among the highest of all the European brands for reliability and good repair records. We've put 36,000 miles on our 2002 model without any problems. The car is truly a delight to drive.
Regarding Saab pricing - pay no attention to sticker prices. In the last 3 years since I started tracking, there have ALWAYS been incentives on the 9-5 from a low of $3,000 to a high of $7,000 depending on the specific model. Incentives usually spike high in August and September as Saab is trying to clear out the old model year cars. So figure out the invoice, subtract the incentive and you have a better target amount for the real sales price.
Sep 16, 2004 (10:06 am)
i am looking at two Saabs 9-5's. both 2001 models. one 4 cylinder automatic with 39k and one SE V6 with 41k miles. i like the SE V6 better looks-wise.
i can't get a good answer from anyone (including various Swedish car shops) about which car will be more reliable. i hear the V6 was used in the Catera - that car couldn't have been less reliable from what i understand. does that translate to Saab 9-5?
also, the V6 has service records from the dealer, but it only was maintained at 10k intervals. replaced a battery and a fuse. is 10k stretching it on a turbo engine? i also understand the V6 has a timing belt that needs replacing at 60k, and that even though it is out of warranty at that point, GM replaces it under a warranty? anyone confirm that? and what are Ignition Cassette Modules? i hear the 4 cylinder has ONE, and the 6 has TWO. i understand they can go bad.
thanks for any advice you have. which would YOU buy? the 4 or the 6? both automatics.
#1764 of 2237 Re: Saab repair costs versus others [cerebus]
Sep 16, 2004 (3:32 pm)
An extensive survey done here in Belgium by the consumer association shows that Volvo is the most expensive in repairs. But Saab is close second !
However, the survey also showed that both Volvos and Saabs parts had the highest longevity of any cars including Toyota, Lexus or Mercedes.
IOW, brakes pads, exhausts, etc last longer.
The survey also showed that Saabs generally break down less often than Volvos.
Saab was ranked the 3rd most reliable brand after Toyota and Honda.
#1765 of 2237 Re: question the V6 or the inline4 [justin]
Sep 16, 2004 (3:47 pm)
The answer is very simple: the 4 is a much better engine.
More reliable, better design/engineering, better gas mileage and more power.
The 6 is GM Europe product engineered at a time when GM Europe was poorly managed, and was consistently blamed for a general lack of quality.
The inline 4 is a 100% Saab engine, a proven design know for its bulletproof quality and longevity.
Ignition cassette can go bad, buy a spare one.
Most ignition cassette last well over 100K , but occasionally, some give up much earlier.
Very easy to replace, a DIY job.
Make sure you only use properly gapped NGK sparks plugs, replace the sparks plugs often to keep you ignition cassette from failing.
Sep 17, 2004 (5:55 am)
thanks! so, what IS an ignition cassette? what does it do? where does it go? under the hood? if it fails while you are driving, does the car leave you stranded?
thanks very much!
#1767 of 2237 Direct Ignition Cassette
Sep 17, 2004 (6:24 am)
The Direct Ignition cassette sits on the top of the engine and looks like a flat plate with the words "Direct Ignition" in raised letters. This unit contains ignition coils for each spark plug and replaces the conventional distributor. While many current vehicles use separate ignition coils for each spark plug, the Saab unit has them connected in a one-piece "cassette".
The DI is easy to remove when replacing plugs - simply remove 4 torx screws and unclip the low-voltage wire lead. Grab each end of the DI with the "handles", give it a gentle pull and the whole unit is out.
A DI is fairly reliable but can fail on occasion. Probably no worse than other makes (ask a VW owner about failed coil packs). The conventional distributor on my old Passat failed at 60K and left me stranded on the highway, too.
We've had NO problems with our DI in 36K miles with our 9-5 Wagon. Many have reported (on another BB) well over 100K with no problems. One consideration is to keep your plugs properly gapped, as too wide a gap causes resistance/heat buildup in the DI which could lead to failure. I replace/gap my plugs every 10K miles, which is overkill, but as the cost of a set of NGK plugs is less than $8, I figure it's cheap insurance.
Sep 17, 2004 (6:44 am)
thanks! so, this is helping me. i will narrow my search to 4 cylinder models. in the 2001 9-5, it appears their are two 4 cylinders. both the same, with different turbo's i am guessing? also, if the DI dies, does it leave you stranded like my VW coil issues did?
i am looking at the "lower" models. the "aero" kits are a little too intense looking for me.
i also like the wagons, though they aren't too easy to find.
so, with the 4 cylinder, in the 2001 model year, what else do i look out for? automatic transmission is solid?
THANKS! i am seeing pricing from mid $16s for models with 41k miles, up to mid $20s for models with 30k miles. all dealer pricing.
#1769 of 2237 for Justin
Sep 17, 2004 (7:07 am)
Ahhh - so you know firsthand about VW coil packs!!! (
Yes, if a DI fails the car will not run. When you take delivery of your car, put in a new set of plugs with the proper gap and you should be fine, given the general good reliability of the DI system.
In 2001, the Linear 4 cyl has a Garrett turbo, the Aero has a Mitsubishi turbo. Each uses a different ECU.
The Saab 9-5 uses an Aisin-Warner auto trans, as do some Lexus models. It's perhaps one of the best in the market.
If you could swing the bucks, the 2002 models have a 5-speed A-W auto, improved suspension and more engine HP in both the Linear (185) and Aero (250).