Last post on Nov 20, 2006 at 3:24 PM
You are in the Saab 9-3
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Saab 9-3, Coupe, Convertible
Sep 15, 2001 (12:41 pm)
Hey fellow Saabers!
I just traded out my 1999 9-3 SE auto for a silver 2001 9-3 SE manual...What a difference!!! I never really appreciated manual until now! The power difference is amazing not to mention the increase in fuel economy.... I should have gotten manual before, but I guess I needed to learn from my mistake.
I was also how amazed at how much the dealer got for my car. I thought I was going to eat the trade-in, but instead I was a little above break even. Not bad!
Anyone else out there in Saab land driving a manual? Any advice? Hills are still my achilles heel, but I am getting better...
If any one is looking to get a Saab, I definitely recommend my local dealer (Sewell 800-352-2002) and sales guy (Mike Larkin). They are definitely the best!
#166 of 533 GBrianK--re Saab manual
Sep 17, 2001 (8:33 pm)
I couldn't exactly tell from your post, but am I to infer that you're currently learning to drive stick on your new Saab? If so, do yourself and your new car a favor: buy an old, cheap *beater* (Hondas and Toyotas are the easiest) to learn stick. I would never want anyone to learn stick on a brand new car. You might, I don't know, burn out two clutches in 54k miles or something. BTW, I've had two older Saabs with manual transmissions, both original clutches lasted over 100k.
Sep 18, 2001 (6:32 am)
Actually, I learned how to drive manual several months ago but haven't been driving one on a daily basis until now. I have been relatively careful these last few days and haven't stalled. My shifting could use a little more refinement, but my best friend and the salesguy both concurred that it takes time. Since my driving habits have changed (no full throttle starts) and most of my time is spent on the highway, I do not believe that I will burn the clutch out.
#168 of 533 Saab Clutches
Sep 18, 2001 (3:14 pm)
I couldn't help butting into the conversation to say that our 1987 Saab 900 has the original clutch at 180K miles. After owning two Saabs over the last 16 years, I've never been thrilled with Saab's notchy shifting, but the rest of the car's positive points make up for it. With proper care and maintenance you should get a lot of mileage out of the clutch and transmission. Good luck.
#169 of 533 Saab manual transmissions.........
Sep 18, 2001 (4:12 pm)
......do take a bit of getting used to, but they were better than VWs of the day (though the reverse up and to the left is nice on VW). I don't know if this is still the case. I've always liked the way Saab clutches engage anyway.
#170 of 533 9-3 advice
Sep 18, 2001 (7:15 pm)
I am new to the Saab experience and am wondering about reliability. I am interested in replacing my Honda Accord EX with something fun to drive. I had a great test drive and am seriously considering a purchase of a used (1999) 9-3 with manual transmission. The Honda had bullet proof reliability, but boy was it boring! Loved the feel of the 9-3 and all of its great engineering. Our other car is a 98 Volvo V70 AWD and its reliability has been spotty (just purchased extended warranty) I am a back yard mechanic and enjoy like to do the basics my self. Any and all advice would be much appreciated.
Sep 20, 2001 (10:30 am)
Yeah, I traded in my Honda Accord for my first Saab. What a difference! Honda's are definitely reliable, but sure are boring. For the duration of ownership of my 1999 Saab 9-3, I had only two problems with the car (both of which were not defects, but damage caused by external variables).
First, my antenna was bent by the car wash attendant. He was poking along listening to Tejano music while cleaning the car and left the radio on when the car went through the wash. I watched from the viewing window in agony as the antenna was bent back.
Second, the right rear door's control rod (rod that connects the external handle to the lock mechanism) was disloged from its housing. This was done by my friend slamming the door as hard as he possibly could.
Other than that, the car was a gem!
Sep 20, 2001 (10:44 am)
IMO, the '87 clutch system is apparently a more robust design than what's in the 94- NG's.
But note that I said "system".
In neither of my Saab clutch failures was the problem attributable to the clutch's pressure plate. Nor to User habits/driving styles. Both times, it was a binding and seizing in the actuation system, most likely attributable to a defective bearing or bushing design.
I believe that I mentioned that my 3rd clutch had different part#'s than the 2nd, which had been done in 1999. This says that Saab has running Engineering design changes coming through their logistics support system between 1999 and 2000.
Logically, its expensive to obsolete and supersede parts. These running changes signal a recognized shortcoming...the old designs weren't good enough...that needed correction. It is also not hard to put 2+2 together and realize that this redesign infers that all pre-2000 Saab NG's are technically suspect for the reliability of this particular subsystem. I suspect it is more time based than mileage, so IMO, don't be at all surprised when we hear of 9-3's hitting the same failure mode when they turn 3-4 years old.
Please understand that if I had only had one isolated repair incident, I would accept it as "bad luck" and get on with life. But it hasn't been just one...there have been three, summing to an outlay of $4600 before I even got to 50K miles. Now explain to me why I should even consider buying another one.
#173 of 533 clutches--Huntzinger
Sep 20, 2001 (2:47 pm)
HH, Sorry I broke in on this subject thread without reading your experience with Saab clutches etc.I can understand your despair with your Saab. Yes, I believe the 1987 Saab was an unusually good year. Unfortunately, in the 1990s Saab reliability was spotty, at least by Consumer Reports ratings from the years 1993 through 1997.
As I mentioned, I have never been enamored with the "throw" of the Saab stick. Someone equated it to driving a school bus. And I agree the problem must be in the design that necessitates a fairly long cable run. However,I am surprised that Saab hasn't improved the ease of shifting markedly over the years. Last year I test drove several new cars, including a Passat and a Saab 9-3, and the Passat won hands down in driveability. As it turned out, we ended up buying a Subaru L station wagon, largely from financial considerations, and it has been an excellent car.
Sometimes the only thing left to do with a trouble-plagued car is to cut your losses and trade it in on something more reliable. Last year we did just that with a troublesome '93 Ford Taurus. If you are looking for a sporty car and space isn't a problem,I would recommend taking a look at the Subaru WRX that just received rave reviews in Car and Driver. In any event, best of luck. -- Jon W.
#174 of 533 Sticky throttle cable
Sep 25, 2001 (12:42 pm)
I have a 98 9-3 turbo 2-dr. Throttle cable has been binding some lately. Have taken it apart and lubed it up and that worked for a couple of weeks but the problem has returned. Seems to be worse when engine is warm. Any ideas?