1999 SAAB 9-3 Convertible 2.0 turbo from North America




Wow! I wish I'd seen this site before I bought my '99 Saab Convertible. Seeing that it only had 86,000 miles on it, and knowing that Saabs "last forever", I thought it would be a good buy. More things have gone wrong with this car in the 3,000 miles I've owned it than any other car I've ever owned and driven for over 100,000 miles!

The convertible top works sometimes. Sometimes it doesn't.

The passenger window used to close so slowly that I didn't think it was going to make it. Now, with nothing even being done to it, it closes faster than the driver side.

I had a repair done to it that stopped it from shaking when I was accelerating between 0 - 30 mph ($400); now it's shaking when I get to 50-55 mph.

The other day, I put power steering fluid in it because it was squealing. I filled it up, and the next day it was all gone - on my garage floor. We cannot find the source of the leak, so I guess it'll have to go into the shop for that.

The front passenger seat was moved back one day to allow more leg room, and it's been stuck there ever since. Now no one can sit in the seat behind it because the rear of the front passenger seat goes clear to the front of the back seat. There's not even enough room to get in there and look underneath. (I got on the Internet to see how to take the seat out when I found this site).

The middle vent knobs only move side to side, they do not go up or down - they're locked up for whatever reason - just like the passenger seat!

The day before yesterday it wouldn't start. No trouble with it before or after that experience.

It needs to have the engine mounts replaced. I had a Jeep Cherokee that had almost 300,000 miles on it and it never needed new engine mounts.

I know I haven't mentioned everything, there are too many! After I get the seat fixed, if I can, I'm selling this thing. I am serious, there is something new wrong with it almost every day. It is the most temperamental car I've ever known (except for maybe my Chrysler LeBaron Convertible I had years ago). I guess I'm lucky that my problems haven't cost as much as the rest of you, but it sounds like it's just a matter of time before it does.

General Comments:

It's a beautiful car and I love looking at it, but I'm not enjoying owning it very much at all. It's breaking me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th November, 2010

1st Dec 2010, 12:08

Well, I didn't want to be the proud owner of my Saab 900 SE Turbo. When I got her (him probably) it just went over the 100k mark.

In one year, since I've owned (it) I've replaced the fuel pump twice, and that was within a 4 month period; the fuel filter, radiator (all the hoses), serpentine belt, water pump, idle pulley.

Every other week, it's a new issue, and I've not left the city in fear of more problems.

I took a chance last week and took a drive up north, only to have the Turbo gauge suddenly hang at the top of the White area and would not move. The drive back home (54 miles) it sounded as if the muffler had fallen off. But once I got into the city, it somehow sounded normal again, despite there being a small hole in the rear muffler, which patched up nicely 3 weeks ago.

I miss my Chevy Chevette at this point, which I drove to the grave at 220,000, only because it became too dangerous entering the highway at 35mph, and that's when I floored it.

I love this car, but after all I've invested into it.. it's tough to depart.

Oh - did I mention, the shifter (at the tranny) was also replaced, including the gear box? I suspect the timing belt, starter and catalytic are the next culprits, so I've ordered those items now just in case. I think I've gone mad frankly.

15th Dec 2011, 08:50

Did you ever solve the problem of the turbo gauge hanging at the top of the white area? I now have this problem on my 2002 9-3.

3rd Jan 2012, 06:04

Turns out it was just a clip on the waste gate, which allowed the waste gate to just flap about, and all boost pressure just disappeared down the exhaust. All fixed now.

1999 SAAB 9-3 SE 2.0 turbo from North America


My next car will be a SAAB, for as long as supply lasts


New alternator at 156,000 miles.

New catalytic converter & muffler at 236,000 miles.

New AC compressor at 121,000 miles.

New AC evaporator at 133,000 miles.

SID panel pixels stopped displaying 189,000 miles.

Hatchback hinge dampers replaced at 210,000 miles.

Three bent wheel rims over 5 years time.

General Comments:

Car is fast and handles well. Great highway cruiser. Smooth and quiet.

Great gas mileage, 31 MPG highway.

Classy styling, rich and solid interior.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd February, 2010

2nd Feb 2010, 17:48

In case you hadn't heard, the sale of Saab to Spyker is on, so hopefully you will be able to buy Saab cars for a long, long, time.