Advice on buying a 2002 Saab 9-3?

 
Old 01-09-2009, 03:19 PM
  #1  
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Default Advice on buying a 2002 Saab 9-3?

I am new to Saab. I am former Chrysler addict looking to break my addiction. I drive 120 miles a day, all highway. My old 1996 Chrysler LHS land yacht got 30 mpg on the highway on a good day.

I have the potential to get a 2002 Saab 9-3. I am looking for opinions on reliability and such, things to look out for, etc. I know to use synthetic motor oil and hope this one had it regularly. I will hear by Tuesday at the latest how it checks out.

So, tell me why I should switch to Saab. I'm open.


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Old 01-10-2009, 11:07 PM
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Default RE: Advice on buying a 2002 Saab 9-3?

Several reasons to go SAAB.

1) You will be driving a rather unique car.
2) You can drive it conservatively on your 120 mile trips and get 30-36mpg and still have the ability to pass anything in the blink of an eye.
3) The hatch will hold an amazing amount of stuff.
4) It will be MUCH more fun than the Chrysler ever was.
5) SAAB seats are the most comfortable I have ever ridden on. If you drive 120 miles per day, you will GREATLY appreciate that. I have taken 5-6 hour trips and have actually gotten out of the car feeling refreshed. I know at least one person who turned a SAAB seat into an office chair.
6) There is a tremendous community of SAAB owners that inhabit this and other forums. They are a great asset in appreciating and maintaining your SAAB.

As for reliability, things to look out for, etc.
1) Like ANY car, if you take care of it, it will be very reliable. There are many SAABers around with over 200k miles on their cars.
2) They are quite easy to work on, so if you can DIY even some things, you can save money and have the pride of knowing that you did some of the work yourself.
3) Like the Chrysler 2.7 V6 (and others), the engine can have sludge issues. This can be lessened greatly by the following; make sure that PCV revision #6 is installed and change oil religiously with a good quality synthetic oil. I use Shell Rotella Synthetic 5W-40 along with NAPA Gold 1515 filters. These filters are larger than the stock filter and allow me to put a full 5 qts. of oil in the engine rather than the 4 liters with the stock filter. Up here in Wisconsin, I change oil every 5k miles from spring to fall and every 3k miles in the winter. Cold starts and short trips are brutal on oil.
4) The ignition system on SAABs is unique and quite innovative. However, the device called a Direct Ignition Cassette (DIC) can fail. There was a recall on them, see if yours was replaced. A good SAAB mechanic will be able to tell.

My '01 SAAB 9-3 base is my first SAAB and I love it. Smooth, powerful, unique and a lot of car for the money!
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:28 PM
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Default RE: Advice on buying a 2002 Saab 9-3?

Yeah dont buy one. Look at the reviews on every website you can find, and look at all of the issues all of these people on this forum are having. I've had mine for a month. Having no problems with it what so ever, but I am currently searching for something to trade it in for.
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:59 PM
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Default RE: Advice on buying a 2002 Saab 9-3?


ORIGINAL: swedestsaab2006

Yeah dont buy one. Look at the reviews on every website you can find, and look at all of the issues all of these people on this forum are having. I've had mine for a month. Having no problems with it what so ever, but I am currently searching for something to trade it in for.
Why do people come to forums? Do happy people with a perfectly working car come to forums? No, disgrunted people with a broken car come to forums asking advise. This is the reason there are so many problem threads. Take BMW, Audi, VW, etc, they ALL have bigger problems that saabs do. A saab is cheaper to fix if you don't take it to a dealer and it's way simpler than all those german cars. Don't judge a car by how many posts about a problem there are on a small forum. Consider the population that buys saabs. A population that in general wouldn't come to a forum to advice, but would rather let the dealer take care of everything....
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:52 PM
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Default RE: Advice on buying a 2002 Saab 9-3?

I own a 1999 Saab 9-3 SE convertible. In 2001, I bought my first Saab 9-3 SE convertible. What an excellent automobile. The first car was my wife's and she loved it. The only reason we sold that car was we moved to Alaska and did not want it destroyed driving up the Alcan Highway.

Last July, I got the opportunity to buy a Saab 9-3 project. Basically, it needed an engine swap. It is coming together good.

The Saab 9-3 is an extraordinary car that is scary fast. I can assure you the car is capable of reaching 100 mph very fast. The turbocharger makes it haul a$$. And the car is easy to work on and spare parts are easy to find. It is a really good looking car, too.

Do your homework before you buy...check edmonds.com, KBB.com and NADA.com and see what the book value is. Subtract 15% from the private party value if you are buying from a private seller....5% if a dealer.

I recommend the Saab. However, if you cannot work on the car, you may find it expensive to have serviced. As an average car mechanic (and excellent aircraft mechanic) I find the Saab very easy to work on.

good luck
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:09 PM
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Default RE: Advice on buying a 2002 Saab 9-3?

Listen to what people on this thread are (and aren't) saying. It has problems, just like any other car, but it's easy to work on. However, maintenance is expensive if you don't DIY. So a major question you may want to consider is how much time you'd be willing to commit to learn the car and save money. My experience under a hood has been very limited thus far but I'm trying to improve my knowledge base. If it's only reliability you want, I'd say look to get something Japanese since they usually do better with that. But I'm still trying to get up to speed by the time I get to my destination in one of them. And if maintenance money is an issue, look for something still under warranty, though cost will probably be a wash - you'll just be paying it up front instead.

On the other hand, the positives are all true. It is a FUN car to drive...I still get the same thrill from spooling up my turbo in 3rd that I did the day I test drove it. It's unique, a bit quirky. I like the idea of driving something about which others comment "You know, I don't think I've ever actually been IN a Saab..."

Good luck in your decision!
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:20 AM
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Default RE: Advice on buying a 2002 Saab 9-3?

Plus when you throw your friend the keys you'd have a very good reason to laugh at them when they look for where to stick the key in...
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:55 AM
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Default RE: Advice on buying a 2002 Saab 9-3?


ORIGINAL: Roto

Plus when you throw your friend the keys you'd have a very good reason to laugh at them when they look for where to stick the key in...
[sm=guilty.gif]
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:30 PM
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Default RE: Advice on buying a 2002 Saab 9-3?

LOL that actually happened when I took the SAAB for a test drive.. was looking for the ignition... I was dumbfounded when I saw it in the middle... like huh?
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:03 PM
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Default RE: Advice on buying a 2002 Saab 9-3?

ORIGINAL: Roto


ORIGINAL: swedestsaab2006

Yeah dont buy one. Look at the reviews on every website you can find, and look at all of the issues all of these people on this forum are having. I've had mine for a month. Having no problems with it what so ever, but I am currently searching for something to trade it in for.
Why do people come to forums? Do happy people with a perfectly working car come to forums? No, disgrunted people with a broken car come to forums asking advise. This is the reason there are so many problem threads. Take BMW, Audi, VW, etc, they ALL have bigger problems that saabs do. A saab is cheaper to fix if you don't take it to a dealer and it's way simpler than all those german cars. Don't judge a car by how many posts about a problem there are on a small forum. Consider the population that buys saabs. A population that in general wouldn't come to a forum to advice, but would rather let the dealer take care of everything....

Ditto. you won't find a car currently manufactured, that doesn't have a forum somewhere on the internet of people griping about how much of a POS it is or how the manufacturer should fix all of their problems. Honda, BMW, Mercedes, Toyota and any other so called "dependable car" are no different than any other.
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