Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 00:06:04 GMT
From: "James Sweet" <>
Subject: Re: Early 90's Saabs - reliable?

<> wrote in message > Hi James, > > Is there a high mortality rate on Saabs with automatic transmissions? > My wife doesn't drive a manual, so I'm wondering if it's better to stay > away from automatic Saabs altogether. > > Han. > They use ZF automatics which in my (and apparently many others) experience are not the most dependable slushboxes out there. Some Volvos used a ZF box which was a notorious achilies heel on them, I replaced one myself that was shifting funny and beginning to slip with only about 100k on it and that was the second transmission in that car. Another thing you'll likely find (try driving one first, maybe it won't bother you) is that the automatic is a poor match for the Saab 4 cylinder engines, it doesn't like to let them rev into their power band and it saps enough power that especially if you have the AC on you'll probably find the car quite gutless. The turbo models are better, but couple turbo lag to slushbox lag and it's excruciating when pulling out into traffic. Doesn't make much difference on the highway but around town you'll sure notice it. Note that my experience applies to the classic Saab 900's, I have very little exposure to the post '93 GM-made Saabs so I don't know if the transmission is any different in them, though even with the newer ones the vast majority I see on the road have manual gearboxes, not sure if this is due to the automatics failing and causing the cars to be scrapped or due to the manuals selling better when new.

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