Last post on Mar 09, 2013 at 7:46 PM
You are in the Saab 9-3
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Saab 9-3, Sedan
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Apr 21, 2009 (9:56 am)
We have a 2003 9-3 Linear (42k miles) which is really a fun car to drive (my wife particularly loves it). But I've almost had it with maintenance issues. Mechanically the car has performed almost flawlessly, but the lesser issues have begun to kill us.
Here's what's gone wrong over the years:
1. 2003: TCS module went bad, replaced under warranty.
2. 2004 or 2005: many burned out headlight bulbs, followed by damage to the lamp wiring harness in front (charred and melted wires). Replaced under warranty.
3. 2004-2006: balky sunroof. Repaired several times. Still takes several attempts to close. I've basically stopped using it.
4. 2008-09: Leak behind drivers seat soaked Amplifier1, which first made popping noises then finally died. Dealer estimated $1,200 to replace. I'm dealing with a SAAB radio guy to have it fixed more cheaply.
5. 2005-2009: plastic delaminating from dashboard in several areas.
6. Last week: Fuel gauge died.
I'm pretty sure I've left something out here, but that's the gist of it. Until recently I felt that these issues were minor enough (as irritating as they were at the time) to not change how I feel about the car overall. After the last few months, though, I'm beginning to have serious doubts and am actively thinking about selling the car. What will be next?
#3289 of 3342 Re: Reliability [markmcdonough1]
Jun 11, 2009 (7:27 pm)
I have a 2003 9.3 Saab arc. I too had numerous problems, including the need to replace my transmission - $4,000. Luckily, I had purchased the extended warranty.
Admittedly, the dealer has been very good at taking care of anything and everything that was needed at no cost. I too love this car, particularly the design of the dashboard. I'm afraid I am going to have to trade it in for a different brand, however. Recently, my rear brake pads/rotors needed to be replaced after only 17,000 miles. The first time, I had gone 45,000 before needing them replaced. I was told that Saab changed the composition of the pads. They did replace the pads only for me this time at no charge, but I cannot afford $500 to replace pads and rotors every 17,000 miles. This coupled with my extended warranty being up next January tells me it's time to trade it in.
#3290 of 3342 The straw that broke the camels back
Jun 12, 2009 (12:51 am)
I had a 2003 Saab 9-3 linear up until this February with the odometer reading in at about 90,000 miles. I purchased the car for $17k at the end of 2006 with 58,000 miles on the odometer. The car had the following problems: surfacing to knobs was rubbing off (by the time of purchase), passenger side vent broke, rear brakes replaced twice, front brakes replaced once, check engine light came on about 12 different times, the cruise control stopped working, the exhaust system apparently broke twice (the motor that takes the exhaust out of the engine or something to do with the turbo, either way it was about $2000 to fix both the problems), front lights went out about 3 times each, brake lights went out 2 times each, tail lights went out once, the gear selector fell apart, the airbag failure warning came on twice, the brake failure warning came on once, it failed to reverse on one occasion, the radio and climate control lighting went out twice, the alloy came off of the wheels despite taking meticulous care to clean them regularly, the front passenger window motor broke, the bumper was too low so that I would end up smacking the front of the car on most driveways and parking lot entrances. There was more, but I can't even remember it all at this point. In the end, after putting far too much money into repairs, I traded it in for - get this - $2000. THERE IS NO TRADE IN ON THESE CARS. I know it was a high mileage car, but yikes. I loved this car, but it was not meant to be. The trade-in value was officially $3500, but they said that it would cost them $1500 to haul it and file papers with the auction house since they could not sell it on their lot. Save yourself a headache. If you love Saabs I would say lease one, although if they don't make it through that may not be an option. Good luck to everyone. Sincerely, j.
#3291 of 3342 Re: What is effect of Saab "bankruptcy" on resale values? [harmiclir]
Jun 12, 2009 (12:45 pm)
Since the new owners, Koenigsegg, are just taking over, it might be a while.
GM may still service them, or not.
Unfortunately, this is the first time I was able to pay cash for a new car--haven't had real problems, and now this.
I think we all need to be prepared to practically "give" them away.
I'm also interested in what everyone thinks or knows. Thanks
#3292 of 3342 Looking for advice on extended warranty.
Aug 02, 2009 (2:14 pm)
2005 Saab 9-3 2.0T Sedan. 48, 000 miles. The factory warranty will expire in the end of Aug 2009.
The dealer is offering bumper to bumper extended warranty:
$1,680 for 2 year or 24,000 miles, plus $200 deductible each visit, or
$2,125 for 3 years or 36000 miles, +$200 deductible each visit.
I have owned this car for less than 1 year and have been to dealership 4-5 times for little mechanical or electronic problems here and there, including window won't come up, check engine light was on, lights burn out, door rattling noise, radio problem, AC vent broken, taillight losening, antanna crack, taillight falling, etc.
I like the driving experience this SAAB has brought to me. But the little problems are annoying. Has anybody experienced any more severe/expensive problems for a 7-8 years old 9-3? Should I buy the extended warranty? Or should I just sell this car and get a more reliable car?
Any thought will be welcomed! Thanks.
#3293 of 3342 Re: Looking for advice on extended warranty. [yuyund]
Aug 02, 2009 (2:42 pm)
Whatever you do, don't go with a "dealer" warranty. The only warranty of value is a GM warranty that would be honored in any dealership in the country.
If you have a "dealer" warranty and your car breaks down in another state, forget about it. Also, i once had a dealer warranty and the dealer went out of business.
If it is a GM warranty be careful. For example, brake work is not covered by the warranty, nor is something like a clutch rebuild on a manual, they are all considered "normal wear and tear".
Getting a gm warranty is a crap shoot, it may be worthwhile if the engine or powertrain goes.
#3294 of 3342 Maintenance Costs and Reliability for '07-'08 9-3
Aug 16, 2009 (5:29 pm)
I'm very interested in buying a used '07 or '08 SportCombi but have some concerns about reliability and maintenance costs once the warranty expires. I checked Edmunds True Cost to Own and noticed that the projected maintenance costs decrease significantly from the '06 through the '08 models. Combined maintenance and repairs over five years for the models are as follows: 2006 $10,428; 2007 $8,170; and 2008 $5,619. Any idea what accounts for this? Consumer Reports doesn't rate the '06 models very highly, but say the '07's are "average" for reliability. I'd like to keep the car for 7-10 years ideally. Is there really a difference between the '07 and '08's in maintenance or are they just too new to really know yet? Any advice would be appreciated.
#3295 of 3342 9-3 Reliability
Sep 04, 2009 (6:18 pm)
I have had two recent Saabs. My 2005 9-3 2.0t small turbo had few problems except needed rear brakes at 20,000 miles. Other than that, a few bulbs burned out..but that was it. The car got great mileage and was very comfy. Handling was not great. The car leaned like crazy in turns..very disappointing. It felt like they left out half of the suspension. Had the car into Saab dealer for this problem. They insisted that they found no problem but kept the car for 10 days. VERY STRANGE. I had no intention of leasing another until drove the 2008 2.0T. What a difference. The car handled much better, was much faster with large turbo and 6 speed manual. Best of all with loyalty, the car cost me $229 per month. How could I turn that down? So far,car has been perfect..no problems. I'm sure the car will need rear brakes again and will argue with my dealer about that. Car is quick, comfy, handles decently, gets 25 mpg, has good brakes. It is a BMW?..No..but let's see you lease a Bimmer for $229/month. NEVER buy this car..lease it. Let them fix it..not you.
#3296 of 3342 Re: 9-3 Reliability [beep7]
Sep 04, 2009 (6:37 pm)
Thanks for the input. I heard that GM discontinued leasing for '08-'09 Saabs, but I guess that was wrong. Sounds like a good deal - I can see why so many people lease Saabs rather than buying them. I prefer to buy a low-mileage used car and drive it into the ground, but the repair costs are the one thing I worry about with Saab. Buying used seems like a good deal because they depreciate so fast the first couple of years. I don't know why anyone would throw 30-40K at a new Saab unless they've got $ to burn.
#3297 of 3342 Re: 9-3 Reliability [jgoodrich]
Sep 06, 2009 (2:47 pm)
The 08's had 4 years free maintenance. the 09's 3 years. They use synthetic oil and can go 10k between oil changes. New 2.0 9-3's are discounted heavily. Wouldn't be afraid to buy one -- if you maintain it well you shouldn't have any major problems for many miles. Engines and transmissions apparently are solid. Used ones have the potential for big repair bills and that seems to be a big concern of yours so you might want to pass on that option. Unless you find a real gem with a great repair history. Happy hunting.