Last post on Nov 20, 2006 at 3:24 PM
You are in the Saab 9-3
What is this discussion about?
Saab 9-3, Coupe, Convertible
#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?
#175 of 533 Clicking noise in rear of my 2001 SE 4dr. w/auto
Sep 25, 2001 (4:33 pm)
Have heard the following noises in my new saab.......(now w/1700 miles
a) a clicking/pusling sound when I apply the brakes...
b) doesn't take bumps well.......rattles in the back.......(dealer originally installed a few wahsers in the back seat to help the noise.but returned)
c) brakes squeak when applied only in reverse.......
Anybody have something similar????????
#176 of 533 dstrau RE: clicking
Sep 25, 2001 (10:28 pm)
Greetings again Dstrau....I have noticed some similar things with my SE some of which I might be able to help you with.
a)Clicking when applying the brake....I think this is the interlock with the transmission...You hear the noise coming from the shifter (auto) when you brake...not sure that this can be fixed but try raising the volume on the stereo...its pretty good in the SE
b)Rattle in the back....first make sure the headrests are completely stable...if they are not locked then they tend to rattle....if this does not work try placing foam under the seat hinges.....if this helps then you can have your dealer fix the hinges....it may also be coming from the hatch area which they found on mine and I thought it was coming from the seat. Try looking on Saabnet.com for fixes for rattles by doing a search under the bulliten boards...lots of useful info on there.
c)Brakes sqeaking...1st I would try blasting the wheels with a garden hose to clean out the brake dust...most of the time its just due to the dust accumulating
Hope you are enjoying your 9-3 SE as much as I am..6700 miles right now and no problems.
#177 of 533 anyone know when the 2002s arrive?
Oct 01, 2001 (10:48 am)
Oct 01, 2001 (11:12 am)
2002's should be here anytime now....
#179 of 533 in time to "Keep America Rolling?"
Oct 02, 2001 (7:16 am)