Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2005 01:16:33 GMT
From: Serial # 19781010 <nonospamom>
Subject: how to buy a used 9000 CSE

Saabs depreciate so quickly they can be the best buy in the used euro/luxobox market. I got a 93 9000CSE turbo, 5 spd, leather, wood, 140k for US$3500. I put in about $2500. for clutch (failed at ~160k), starter, tires, exhaust, CV boot, ACC blower, heater core, voltage reg., engine mounts, cruise switch, CV boot, door lock motor, tie rods, oil pressure switch, various fluids, filters & doohickeys. I've since put on about 25k miles with no problems. Where else can you get a luxury car for ~$6000. that rides great, looks good with tons of room when you want to pile in friends or for that antique you want to lug home? The room of an SUV the practicality of a wagon, the ride of a sports sedan (almost). No, it's not a BMW, big F'in deal; it's close enough. I drive it in the real world not the race track. And it's always fun to skoot by BMWs as they spin their rear wheels in the snow. Saab - the intelligent person's BMW. 9000 vs. 900 I don't get the idea of the 900. Less room than a 9000, a touch better gas mileage, about the same price. No thanks. The "classic" pre-94 900 had a distinctive look but it's nothing special in terms of reliability OR safety despite Saab's reputation. How could the Saab brain surgeons leave out a rear wiper??? How to buy a 9000 Get the last generation: 93-98 (98 was the best year). Get the hatch; much more practical. The top end Aero is not really worth the extra $. Don't be a baby, get the manual 5 spd. Better gas mileage, better performance, more reliable, more FUN. I never drove a manual till I bought my first car. Drove it home from the dealer; stalled only once. A manual becomes automatic after about a week as they say. Replace the spark plugs RELIGIOUSLY at 12k miles or risk losing the Direct Ignition cassette ~US$350.) They tend to go unpredictably. I carry a spare. Easy to replace. There are certain failure trends to expect. At ~100k miles: the ACC blower motor goes. Not cheap to replace but as long as you're in that area do the heater core too. The engine mounts start to get mushy. Replace them or replace the tranny. Replace the plastic shifter collar & spring. The exhaust should be about shot. 150k miles: The clutch on my 88 9000S went at 125k miles, on my 93 9000CSE at 155k. Somewhere in there you should replace the clutch AND hydraulics. Some say to replace the timing chain others say to wait till you hear a rattle. You decide. Probably a good idea to replace the starter & alternator brushes. Smooth sailing from here on........... A good strategy is to get a high mileage car where these issues have already been addressed. Keep in mind a Saab is not a Toyota or Honda. It's only as good as your mechanic. If you want to go broke use a Saab dealer. I suggest you find an independent specialist. If you're in the NYC area I HIGHLY recommend Roland who owns Swedish Saab repair on Atlantic & Classon in Brooklyn (917) 543-5438, (718) 622-3838). Highly competent and scrupulously honest. How often can you say that about a car mechanic? Have him check it out BEFORE you buy it. You're welcome. -G

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