2003 SAAB 9-3 Linear 2.0t (low pressure turbo) from North America
Lucifer himself surely built this by hand. Least reliable car I've owned in 20 years
Several items replaced before my ownership such as seat belt tensioners (which are failing again). I do not have the full list in front of me.
Power steering pump 70k km.
Emblems worn before I picked it up at 65k km.
Strut mounts replaced at 75k km along with several other suspension components that should not have to normally be replaced prematurely.
Squeaks, rattles and vibration noises (throughout the life of the vehicle).
Headlight modules and connectors replaced at 85k km.
Engine block replaced 100k km, GM replaced with a Used engine! (Which failed, see below).
Engine block replaced again at 112k km (coolant leaking into block due to engine replacement (used engine!).
Engine block replaced third time, along with new heads at 112k km.
Oil leak, not repaired properly 115k km.
Airbag sensors failing (no airbags), since 120k km. Too costly to repair, still failing.
Oil leak, not repaired properly 118k km.
Door lock failure, replaced at 120k km.
Oil leak, not repaired properly 123k km.
Wheel bearing replaced at 125k km.
Oil leak, not repaired properly 127k km.
O2 sensor failed, replaced at 125k km.
Oil leak, not repaired properly 130k km.
Fuel sending unit replaced at 135k km.
Oil leak, might finally be repaired 135k km.
The list goes on in between these items but I surely can't recall everything.
Total cost, out of pocket: approx. $10,000 Cdn in three years. Total including GM warranty repairs in three years: $44,900 (not including the cost of wheels, brakes, maintenance or the purchase price of the car - these are repair totals only. See below for more details).
The stress and aggravation this car has put me and my wife through cannot be described in words. My throat closes up and my eyes begin to swell when I think of how much time and loyalty I have wasted trying to get this horrible car to stop going into the shop. There is always a light on. The average service visit is every 6 weeks and this is compounded by the fact there are no longer any Saab dealers within 60km.
The key issue above is the engine replacements between 100-112k km. These replacements were covered under GM extended warranty, but were unnecessary from the get go. The novice GM service technicians dropped a piece of spark plug into the cylinder head during routine maintenance. The next day they determined they screwed up and decided to replace the engine. However, the replacement was from a wreck and as a result it failed as well. The dealership closed in the meantime and I had to bring my service elsewhere. After nine visits to the new dealer who did not want to take on the task, they closed as well. Months later another dealer was able to replace the engine, but not until after the car was gone for six months.
After all was said and done, the total bill was around $21,000 for the third and fourth engines. Approximately $18,000 more than the car is worth. This is a perfect micro example of the poor decision making at GM which caused their demise in the first place.
I always wanted a SAAB and I regret the decision with every last molecule in my being. The check engine light is always on and went on again yesterday. I pulled over and began to sob (read: Saab). I can't take this anymore, but I have sunk too much time and money into this vehicle to give up! I must try and drive it into the ground, despite the fact it already has about 300 miles of rubble and dirt on top of it so really there's nowhere else to go.
Bottom line, I shall never buy another GM product again, specifically a SAAB. Good luck to those who purchase a new SAAB by Spyker. Honda or Toyota here we come!!!
Oh, but it drives well and looks good when it's not in the shop, leaking oil or at the bottom of the next cliff...
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 9th August, 2010
9th Aug 2010, 18:46
GM offers many good cars. Saab is not your average GM model.
9th Aug 2010, 20:21
Why on Earth would you spend so much money fixing a car that is obviously never going to run right? I understand liking a car. I had a car that I actually really did like (it was a '95 Dodge Neon. In Canada it's called the SX 2.0. It was a horrible piece of crap, but when it was running it was actually a lot of fun to drive). I eventually gave up on repairing it and bought a more reliable Toyota Corolla (although it's not quite as fun to drive, it's never once failed on me). Eventually you need to just throw in the towel on some things. Never get attached to a piece of metal, because ultimately that's all a car is: a piece of metal.
10th Aug 2010, 12:39
The question needs to be posed to GM. I agree with you.
The money I spent out of pocket was over a period of 3 years, with gaps in between long enough to justify "Well, if I fix this, then the car will be fine". Then further down the road, the deeper one gets before realizing "Hey, I've spent a lot of time and money" over an extended period that you don't know whether or not you should turn back.
Nobody has a crystal ball, but I suppose one could argue you can learn a lot about the future from past experiences...