Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2003 10:05:12 -0400
From: "Kenneth S." <>
Subject: Re: should a buy a saab

Johannes H Andersen wrote: > > Linus wrote: > > > > My wife has been wanting a convertible for some time and I was > > planning on getting her a late 90's model Mustang. I came across some > > listings for some mid 90's Saab 900 converibles and am pretty struck > > by that European styling and image. Doing a little research, I see > > that a lot of people have major complaints with reliability. > > > > I'm currently driving a 91 F150 with 150k+ miles and my wife has a 97 > > Explorer approaching 100k. The explorer has been flawless in > > reliability and the F150 not far behind. I'm not used to shelling out > > money for a vehicle that needs frequent repairs and would be pretty > > upset if that turned out to be the case. What can I reasonably expect > > in purchasing a well maintained Saab 900S with 100,000 miles on it? > > Are there people here with similar model year vehicle that can claim > > little or no repair needs? > > Unfortunately, no one can guarantee that any car of 100,000 miles will be > perfect, so the questions are premature before you've seen the car that you > want. If you want certainty, then buy a new car. I have a well maintained > 1993 Saab 9000 CSE. It's a joy to drive, so the important thing for me > is that the car drives perfectly; any necessary repairs gets done along > the way. So far it hasn't been major, but still has to be budgeted for. > > Things such as battery, brake pads & discs, CAT, clutch, exhaust (muffler), > gearbox overhaul, timing chain, tires, water pump, wiper blades are normal. > Expensive if needed all at once, yet bearable if spread over the mileage. > > Johannes > I've just spent $1,500 to have a new evaporator core in my 1996 900SE, about $1,000 of which was the cost of parts. The central locking on my car doesn't work properly. During the 3 years that I've owned this car, I've had persistent problems with the check engine light. A new exhaust system cost about twice as much as the exhaust system on a U.S. car would have cost. I have invested a considerable amount of money and time on keeping this car running. Perhaps I have a sour attitude, but I would say there very certainly are reliability problems with Saabs of this vintage. There ARE reliable used cars, but Saabs of this vintage aren't among their number. I have owned quite a few reliable used cars, and the other car I currently own, a Mazda MX-5 Miata, is one of them. (In fairness, it appears from Consumer Reports that current model Saabs are more reliable.) I like the looks of Saabs, and they are supposed to be the safest cars on the road. But mine has been a serious disappointment.

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