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Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001 00:34:33 -0400
From: "Kenneth S." <nimrodnopsams.com>
Subject: Re: 900 S - Questions


Peter OConnor wrote: > > I have an opportunity to buy a 900 S 5 speed, 60,000 miles, 1996. $10,000. > Is this a good car, i.e. reliable after 60,000 what's likely to go wrong - > what should I check out. > Thanks > Peter My suggestion is that you have the car checked out by the local Saab dealer before you buy it. It may cost you $150 or so, but it will be money well-spent. I bought a 1996 900SE from a local Ford dealer in January (67,000 miles). I think I've got all the bugs out now, with most of the work paid for under the warranty. However, it was a huge hassle while it lasted, particularly since the Ford dealer couldn't do the work, and I had to get the money out of them to get the work done at the Saab dealer. The following items needed to be put right on the car that I bought: (1) Left front strut rebuild -- to cure a major rattle. (2) Persistent problems with the check engine light, ultimately cured by having the wiring redone. (This was a lot of trouble to track down.) (3) Replacement of idler pulleys and drive belt. My impression is that this needs to be done around this mileage on most 900s. (4) New exhaust system, which cost about $600, approximately twice as much as a replacement system on a U.S.-manufactured car, according to Midas. You may also want to look at the Magliozzi Brothers CarTalk website, which contains extensive owners' comments on most vehicles of various vintages, including this one. They have a link to the technical service bulletins issued on various models. The car that I mostly drive is an MX5 Miata, and I cannot say enough good things about that car, which is fun to drive and extremely reliable. I cannot be as enthusiastic about the Saab, but now that I have the bugs out, I'm happy with it. I particularly like the luggage capacity in the Saab, as well as the hatchback feature, which is very practical. The Saab's climate-control heating and AC controls are FAR too complicated and overly automated, but nearly all of the other features are high-quality. I've seen complaints in this news group about Saab dealers, but my experience has been favorable.

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