Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 04:36:22 +0100
From: "dave" <>
Subject: Re: Three years with my 1999 9-5 SE V6

Why don't you get an old "classic" like the one above the better models are fast,in amazing condition,will do 300k with a little TLC and you'll be the envy of everyone for having such hip car,usual SAAB attributes apply. "Robert Levandowski" <> wrote in message > Early next month, the lease ends on my 1999 Saab 9-5 SE V6. This was my > first Saab. Unfortunately, my financial situation right now prevents me > from keeping it, or from getting another new Saab right away. However, > as soon as I can, I'll be getting another one! > > WHAT I LIKE > ----------- > The car is incredibly sporty for a four-door sedan. When compared to > other "performance luxury" European sedans, it's a lot cheaper for the > same class of thrills. It's easily capable of three-digit speeds on > country roads which are literally paved-over historical horse paths. It > clearly communicates with the driver, giving plenty of notice that > you're pushing too hard before you "hit the wall." > > The interior ergonomics are generally excellent. Saab lives up to its > marketing hype. At first, I found the seats a bit hard to get used to, > because they encourage a very upright posture. Now, I find American > cars very uncomfortable to ride in, because their seats are all designed > for slouching. > > The sound system is excellent as factory systems go, providing a > balanced sound with deep, accurate bass. > > There's attention to little details. For example, the windshield washer > reservior is very large compared to other cars I've owned. When the > "washer fluid low" message appears, you can add an entire gallon of > fluid... which means that you don't wind up with a half-empty jug > knocking around the garage. Another example: the car will automatically > turn on the windshield defroster and rear defogger when the car is > started and the outdoor temperature is low. Thus, when it's snowy out, > all you have to do is reach in and turn the key, then grab your snow > brush and set to work. Once the car is swept off, the glass will be > well defogged, and the car will be at or near your desired temperature. > > Power ventilated leather seats are something that you will never want to > live without once you've had them. > > It's a very safe car -- see below. > > WHAT I DISLIKE > -------------- > As much as I love the car, there are a few nits. > > Some of the maintenance costs are higher than necessary. For example, > the windshield wiper blades are not readily available in replacement > packs at chain auto-parts stores in my area. Saab does not sell > refills, only new wiper assemblies, at a fairly high cost. However, > since the GM buyout, the cost has come down considerably. Also, since I > have had the car, the headlight wiper blades were redesigned in a way > that makes them much more durable and effective. > > The interval wiper adjustment is a glaring error in the car's > ergonomics. It is very difficult to adjust the interval without > removing your hand from the wheel. If you shorten the interval because > it is raining harder, the shorter interval won't take effect until the > next previously-scheduled interval wipe. > > The Traction Control System can be overly sensitive. This may cause > problems in two situations: > > * When trying to turn into traffic ("right turn on red," for example), > if the road is not dry and clear of sand, the TCS may activate if > you accelerate too hard, potentially cutting back on the throttle > input. In some circumstances, this can cause tense moments, if > the traffic you're merging with is moving faster than it appeared > or the loss of traction was unexpected. It's my opinion that the > TCS is over-agressive about reducing the throttle in this situation. > > * On a steep incline, if a patch of ice is encountered, the TCS will > reduce power even beyond the point where the car can maintain its > forward momentum. This can potentially cause the car to slide > backwards with a loss of operator control. This is an unusual > situation, but if you have a steep driveway that is gravel- > surfaced (and therefore difficult to plow) in a wintry climate, > and icing is a possibility, you should make sure the car has > true winter tires or chains, and be prepared to press the TCS > override button quickly. The position of the TCS button may make > this difficult in an emergency situation. Ideally, the TCS would > take incline into account, and allow some degree of wheel slip if > it detected minimal rear-wheel rotation, drive wheel slip, low > outdoor temperature, and a steep uphill incline. > > The cupholder is really neat, but if there were some way to make it just > a little bit bigger, it would fit a standard 20oz soda bottle. > > FM radio performance degrades noticeably when the rear defogger is > activated. > > REPAIRS > ------- > I consider the car to have been quite reliable. It has never broken > (due to a manufacturing or design fault) in a way that has stranded me. > Most repairs were conducted quickly and competently by the local > dealership. > > 2,340 mi: Passenger side exterior mirror glass popped out of the frame > while parked, shedding its ground clip. Replaced under warranty. > 5,623 mi: Moulding on the side of the driver's seat, where the memory > seat buttons are, breaks loose. Replaced under warranty. > 9,816 mi: An intermittent problem with the air conditioning blowing hot > air through the rear seat vents and cold air through the panel vents is > addressed with a firmware upgrade to the air conditioning controller. > Covered under warranty. > 11,675 mi: Intermittent air conditioning problem returns. Dealership > now has tech bulletin from Saab regarding this problem, and makes a > modification to the airbox to resolve a design issue. Fixed under > warranty. > 13,595 mi: Left rear door squeaking due to lack of lubrication. Fixed > under warranty. At the same time a connector between the starter motor > harness and engine wiring harness was retrofit with a missing seal, > apparently as part of a service campaign, no charge. > 15,000 mi: The hood emblem delaminated. Replaced under warranty. Two > recalls were performed at this time: The engine computer PCB was > mounted with faulty rubber grommets that could leach corrosive chemicals > (third party parts issue). A wiring harness in the trunk for the > optional CD changer was reworked to eliminate a risk of chafing that > could start a fire. Both issues fixed at no charge. > 16,000 mi: The trunk latch binds up during a particularly cold spell of > weather, requiring a hard slam to close. Repaired under warranty. > 16,000 mi (approx): The driver's side seat heating switch becomes > intermittent. It had an internal short. Replaced under warranty. > 16,905 mi: The air conditioning head unit crashes and refuses to boot, > then operates intermittently. Diagnosed as internal electrical fault. > Replaced under warranty. > 16,950 mi: Passenger side low beam headlight requires replacement. $13 > at AutoZone, a very easy do-it-yourself replacement. > 16,975 mi: An accident causes approximately $15,000 damage. See below. > 17,020 mi: While driving the newly repaired car, a loud BANG! is heard > during hard acceleration, and then the car loses power and stalls. It > refuses to start. Dealership determines that their body shop failed to > install a hose clamp on the air intake hose where it attaches to the > turbocharger, causing the hose to slip off. This totally confused the > engine computer. Reinstalling the hose and attaching the proper clamp > resolved the issue. > 18,013 mi: An engine noise turns out to be an air conditioner evap hose > rubbing against the fan belt. Temporary repairs are made until the new > part arrives from Sweden. Repaired under warranty. The seat-heater > controls stop lighting up; two burned-out bulbs replaced under warranty. > 22,394 mi: Center and passenger-side windshield washer jets become > intermittent. Inoperative check valves replaced under warranty. > 23,398 mi: The sunroof binds up intermittently when opening, and > something is rattling in the headliner. Broken wind deflector arms > replaced under warranty. A few days later the sunroof refuses to close. > Inspection shows that one of the clips holding the new arms in has not > been seated properly into the recess intended for it. Pressure applied > with the screwdriver from the car's toolkit snaps the clip into place, > restoring proper function. > > > MAINTENANCE COSTS > ----------------- > Costs include NYS/Monroe Cty 8% sales tax. > > Oct 8 1999 Wiper blades, front $ 55.08 > Feb 4 2000 10,000 mi service $ 84.90 > Dec 4 2000 Wiper blades, front and headlight $101.52 > Sep 18 2001 20,000 mi service $153.85 > Nov 2001 Wiper blades, front (approx.) $ 38.00 > > > ACCIDENT > -------- > I had one accident which caused substantial damage to the front of the > car, rendering it undriveable until repaired. The damage to my vehicle > was approximately $15,000. I sustained absolutely no injury in the > collision, not even a bruise. The car sustained no frame damage. It > was fully repaired and doesn't seem to show any reduction in handling. > It is obvious to me that the car could have sustained a far greater > impact without causing major injury to me. The Saab reputation for > safety is well deserved. > > SUMMARY > ------- > Compared to previous domestic and import vehicles I've owned, the Saab > has been mechanically reliable and inexpensive to maintain. The > performance is excellent. I would definitely recommend this car to > others.

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