Last post on Nov 20, 2006 at 2:24 PM
You are in the Saab 9-3
What is this discussion about?
Saab 9-3, Coupe, Convertible
#483 of 533 Differences between 1999 and 2000 Saab 9-3
Aug 24, 2002 (6:59 am)
I've never owned a Saab yet am now seriously considering buying either a 1999 or 2000 9-3. Obviously the 1999 is a lot cheaper (about 25% less than the 2000 model), however, I'm wondering about the reliability and quality difference between the two model years. I know that 1999 was the first year of the 9-3 and heard that it had some snags that were worked out by 2000. Is this true and if so, what were they?
#484 of 533 Differences Between 1999 and 2000 Saab 9-3
Sep 12, 2002 (9:37 am)
NAT15, I looked at several used 9-3 base and SE in March 2002 and the quality varied greatly. I then got distracted with a deal, $16,500, on a 1999 9-5SE with 51,000 miles. The car was looked great until I did a cold start and the car smoked for five minutes. The dealer said, "We can't find a problem and the smoke is within spec." Yeah, right.
Labor day weekend I bought a 1999 9-3 SE High Output Five Speed with 48,808 miles for $13,900 at Z and W Mazda in Princeton, New Jersey.
Back to the 9-3. I drove approximately seven examples with mileage from 34,000 to 57,000 miles. Let you ears, eyes, feet and fingers tell you about the car. You should drive as many examples as possible to get a well rounded feel for the car.
Try to look at the owners manual and service book from Saab in the glove box. Call the original dealership and ask for service and very politely ask about the service history of the car. Find out what the original "In Service Date" was on the car. That's the day the four (4) year warranty began. Depending on the mileage and "In Service Date" you might still have some Saab USA warranty left on the car. You might even find the owners names written in the manual or service book. Get their phone number from some on-line white pages. Call them and ask about the car.
Do your ears hear excessive squeeks and rattles. You will know what's typical after a few test drives. Some are typical of the breed.
Do you see lots of scratches, I always check the bottoms of the doors to see if the previous owner scraped the door on high curbs and sidewalks. While you're down on your knees check the drain holes in the bottom of the door for clogging and or rust. Check the consistency of the gaps on the doors, trunk and hood. If they're not consistent you know body work was done. Is the front air dam area dented and scratched from running into curbs and parking lot blocks. More dents and scratches indicate a sloppy driver and car that might have suspension or steering system damage. The same goes for the alloy wheels. Inspect the air filter. No tools required. Dirty filter equals negligent owner. Are the tires worn evenly. Dismiss a car with unevenly worn tires. Front wheel drive cars NEED balanced tires and alignments are critical. Nothing is more annoying than a shaking steering wheel and a car that constantly pulls to the side. Ask the salesperson to back the car out of the parking space. Watch the tail pipe. Anything more than a moment or two of exhaust smoke and you may have a expensive repair. After swapping seats with the salesperson, turn the steering wheel all the way to the left and drive in a circle then turn the wheel all the way to the right and drive in a circle. If you hear any clicking or clacking noises the CV joints are shot. Walk away from the car.
How's the pedal action on the clutch and brakes.
Stomp the brakes. Do they grab and sop or does the pedal go to the floor.
The trouble with manual heating controls breaking on the base models
and wanting leather & heated seats kept me away from base models.
I could go on but this is a good start and I have to go back to work.
#485 of 533 Saying goodbye to my Saab
Sep 24, 2002 (9:52 am)
In another 2+ months I will bid my beloved 2000 Saab 9-3 Base model farewell. I got a call from Saab saying that they would call me in the next 2 weeks to schedule an appointment to come and look at the car for lease end inspection purposes. This car has provided 3 years (close to it) and almost 36,000 miles of reliability and fun.
The car was brought to the dealer twice for unscheduled maintenance, but my problems happened to coincide with scheduled service intervals.
At 500 miles I noticed a squeak in the FR suspension. I brought the car in for the free 1000 mile service and the problem was diagnosed as a bad strut and was replaced at no cost to me.
5,000 mile service was performed
10,000 mile service was performed
At around 18,000 miles I was swallowed up by a pothole while swerving to avoid a taxicab. The RF suspension was making all sorts of strange banging noises. I brought the car in and the problem was diagnosed as a cracked strut and busted thrust bearing as well as a bent rim. While the suspension was being repaired, I had the 20,000 mile service performed. The dealer covered the suspension pieces & their labor under warranty. I had to eat the cost of a new wheel and the 20,000 mile service.
30,000 mile service performed.
There are so many things I like about the Saab and I would reccomend it to others. I love the Turbo 4 engine, the heavy european steering, the taut suspension (yes, even in the base model), the versatility of the hatchback, the thick leather, the comfortable seats, the thick leather, the thick paint and sheet metal... I could go on for a while.
I do have a few questions for those of you who have returned their cars that they leased from Saab Credit.
Somehow, I must have had a rock hit my front left fog lamp on the highway. The light still works, but some pieces of the lens broke off. The glass is super-thick BTW. Can I replace this part myself?
My rear bumper is pretty dinged up from parking on the street here in NYC. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get charged for that, but I'm not sure.
My Saab's replacement was purchased about 5 months ago. I found one of the last remaining 2001 Honda Prelude Type SHs in the country. Hopefully there will be another Saab in my future. I'd consider the 9-5 Aero wagon if the time ever comes.
Nov 21, 2002 (8:25 pm)
Does anyone know how many yellow viggens were sold in the US? I had a Saab salesperson tell me he had 1 of 3 in the country and I just find that hard to believe!
Nov 22, 2002 (4:11 pm)
I can't imagine a salesman lying about something like that! : )
#488 of 533 Are there any NEW Saab 93 2002 4 dr hatchbacks left?
Feb 22, 2003 (9:57 pm)
I would like to get one. my 2000 93 just got totalled by a maniac. Any idea where i might be able to get one of those unsold 2002/2001 934 dr hatchbacks?
#489 of 533 Good cleaner for dash?
Feb 22, 2003 (10:12 pm)
Has anyone found a particular cleaner to work well against the slightly textured plastic on the front of the instrument panel and console (same stuff on the knobs, too)? Preferrably one that leaves it looking the way it started, without adding a fake sheen.
Feb 24, 2003 (5:06 pm)
303 Aerospace Protectant--for vinyl and rubber. You can buy it over the internet, also they have a list of retailers on the page. Their carpet cleaner is also very good.
Another product I like is Pinnacle Vinyl and Rubber Protectant. Available from internet retailers. Do a web search.
Plexus is good for clear plastic (instrument panels, etc.) Meguairs also has products for clear plastic.
#491 of 533 Buying a 1999 Saab 9-3. Any advice?
Mar 22, 2003 (12:21 am)
I am in the process of buying a 1999 Saab 9-3 SE 4 door hatch back.
Anyone have advice of what to look out for mechanically and otherwise?
I remember in the 80's everyone talked about problems with turbo's and "Coking". Is this still an issue or has the problem been resolved?
Any advice for turbo owners?
Anyone who owns this car care to reply with likes/dislikes, etc?
I value all feedback. Thank you in advance and have a great day!
May 20, 2003 (2:50 pm)
I had just read in the Friday business section of my local newspaper that GM is trying real hard to boast sales. GM had given all of there employees 2 coupons that they can give out that would allow them to receive the s plan discount. Has anybody used the s plan to purchase a Saab and do you really get a good deal by using it. Secondly, if any GM employee would like to give one out I would be happy to take it off of your hands.