Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 22:59:21 +0000
From: Paul Appleyard <>
Subject: Re: Is Saab's Reliability a thing of the Past?

Saabs are no longer reliable. In 1994, I bought a second-hand G-registered 9000i. This was an excellent car and when the time came to replace it, I decided to buy another 9000. I bought another second-hand 9000 (a 1993 L-reg 9000 CSE) in March 1997, from a Saab dealer, with full service history, warranty, the works. The ACC didn't work. During the year there were a number of other problems (for example, with the alarm). A number of times during 1997, the car went to the Saab dealer where they attempted to investigate the fault. On one occasion, I was asked if I actually knew how to use ACC since perhaps I had not understood its operation correctly. Every time I got the car back they claimed they had solved the problem and on my first long journey it would still be there. As the end of the warranty period approached, I decided that the dealer was incapable of solving the problem and decided (foolishly) to buy another Saab 9000. Again, I chose a second-hand 9000 CSE (1994 L-reg) from a Saab dealer and handed over my money in March 1998. This was delivered to me with (among other things) a warped wheel, a hole in the exhaust, a cracked rear brake light, a nearly bald tyre and an engine that spluttered. Remember - Saab advertising says that they run all second-hand cars through a large number of checks, even the courtesy lights. Guess what - the courtesy lights didn't work properly either (and still don't!). The faults were repaired - I was happy. I had a car that was running and actually kept me cool in the sunshine (although perhaps I had just learnt how to use the ACC correctly). Then, when sitting in a traffic jam in Paris in the middle of August, the ACC stopped working. Completely. It was repaired. Since then, the headlights have failed, the radio has cut out, the hazard lights stopped working, the back seat was ripped when the rear- window was replaced (because it didn't work properly), and so on. (I may have forgotten some, but these are the things that immediately spring to mind). Undeterred, I was happy that at least all the problems were being sorted out and I would have a reliable car (remember, Saab build their cars like they build their aircraft, and we know how well built aircraft have to be). Then on 24 Feb 1999, my car went to Reading Saab for a "routine" 60000 mile service (12,000 miles after I bought it) and MOT. I asked them to take a look at a noise (squeak) which happened upon pulling away, and a leak in the boot. The routine service cost me over 800 because a number of "wear and tear" items needed to be replaced (I accept that tyres and break pads wear out, but question whether I had really worn out so many items in 12000 miles). The bill would have been higher still because a number of warranty items also needed to be replaced. They didn't have time to investigate the problems I had reported. On 26 February, The car went back in for the problems to be investigated (at least the squeak was covered under warranty). I was told the gearbox needed to be removed and that the clutch ought to be replaced because it would be cheaper for me in the long run. This may be true, but if the car were reliable, it is quite possible that I wouldn't have needed to think about the clutch for quite some time. Yet more money down the drain. I am convinced that I will have another problem soon - why should I stop having problems now? The text above is similar to something I wrote to Saab UK. They haven't answered yet - I can only assume they are too embarrassed to admit the cars they sell are rubbish. So, to answer your question, Saabs are not reliable. However, when you have had a good moan about it, take it out for a drive and put your foot down. Very therapeutic! In article <01be63ea$f075c660$1801a8c0nopsaman>, adrian c <acolombininopsamcom> writes >1989 Saab 900i >Owned from 90 to 160,000 miles (7-10 years old) >No problems other than replacing one brake caliper > >1995 Saab 900i >Owned from 86 to current 102k miles >Big end gone- engine now replaced with a 10k miler >Gearbox oil seal leaking >CV Boot leaking >Heater resistance package blown >Exhaust Blown >(All since last SAAB dealer service 12k ago) > >Car has a full dealer service history, at considerable expense. > >I have driven Saabs for last 4 years and always swore I'd never drive >anything else. >I dont know if I'll still feel the same when its pay up time! > >Is my car a lemon? Should I get shot of it as soon as possible or should I >take the view that I've had everything done now and should be safe enough? > > -- Paul Appleyard Corresponding member of the ATA

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