Re: Considering my first Saab 9-3, what should I know? - Saab 9-3SS Bulletin Board - Saabnet.com
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Re: Considering my first Saab 9-3, what should I know?
Posted by dlh [Email] (more from dlh) on Mon, 2 Dec 2019 08:46:22
In Reply to: Considering my first Saab 9-3, what should I know?, Brian, Sun, 1 Dec 2019 12:20:21
Odd. Many posts by "Brian" on a variety of topics, all indicating he owns a Saab. Maybe he meant he's just considering his first Saab ragtop? At any rate, here are a few fragmented thoughts re Saabs and Saab convertibles: (I've been driving Saabs 30 years, and have owned numerous Saab convertibles. Current driver is a 2008 Lynx Edition convertible with a manual 6 speed. Extremely rare car and a hoot to drive. Literally anywhere I go someone will come up and comment on the car. It's a real looker.)
First, you must really like the cars a lot. Whether for the styling, comfort, longevity, safety, whatever. They are a pain in the ass to own. Many things on Saabs are unlike other cars, and leave you shaking your head. Example, for most electronic diagnosis, you must go to a dealer or a Saab-specific shop. The scan tool for Saabs is made for Saabs only, and only available (at considerable cost) to Saab shops. So for me, anytime I need scanned, it's a 130 mile drive to the nearest Saab shop (former Saab/Volvo dealer, now Volvo only). Recently my ignition switch malfunctioned and would not release the steering wheel lock no matter what we tried. Solution? A 130 mile ride on a flatbed tow truck to the dealer where it took all of one hour and 400 plus dollars to replace. Plus the tow charges, which after my auto club mileage limit for tows was $150 extra! It's things like that which cause many people to run away from Saabs, but for me, those type things are merely occasional inconveniences.
As for engines, I love the 2.0 and 2.3 Liter fours. Nearly indestructible. (Just check for sludge in the pan if you buy one) I'm not very familiar with the V6, but it spooks me so I avoid them. Used to be tou could get Aero trim with a four cyl., but the last couple years of production the Aero trim came with V6 only. What a shame. So my Lynx edition ragtop wasn't even available in Aero trim, which I felt was a huge mistake on Saab's part. Most anyone springing for the cost of a Lynx would be happy to pay a bit more for the Aero package.
When buying another Saab, I always look for one with maintenance records. I always do a thorough inspection, as you would with any car. I look at the cosmetics to determine if it's truly been cared for or just cleaned up/detailed for sale. Many think this is silly, but if I'm looking at a car, and it doesn't have a matched set of all 4 tires, I'm out. In my opinion, anyone who will get cheap on replacing tires is someone who will also cut corners on other maintenance issues. I want a car, preferably one owner, where the owner can tell me the car's history. If I check Carfax and see several owners, I run away from that car. Too many questions.
Final thoughts: If you do buy a ragtop, look carefully and inspect thoroughly. Always use Carfax religiously. Talk to the seller at length about the car's history. If it's on a lot, ask for the previous owner's name and location so you can call them. If the dealer says no, or the car came through an auction, odds are it's not a car you'd want. And join Saabnet and support the site. It is the single most valuable resource available for Saab owners, bar none.
Good luck with your search, and one last thing- if you do find one and buy it, ask the seller if the happen to have the wind screen/air deflector that mounts in the car right behind the front seats. It makes top down driving 100% more enjoyable and comfortable. If you have to buy one, do so, you'll be glad you did. And don't get a cheap aftermarket one (especially the one with plexiglass instead of a screen. Get the official Saab OEM version. A bit pricey, but worth it.
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