Did all 7 of those Saabs have so many miles on them at the times they started breaking down?
"..a Volvo isn't a Saab! They may both be Swedish, but not the same! You should know that, especially if you were a Volvo mechanic!.."
Did I say Volvo is a Saab? Where? Please give me the exact quotation. Saying "That applies to Volvos as well" does not justify your presumption that I said Volvo is a Saab and "they are the same".
Please read carefully before leaving comments and don't put words in my mouth that I did not say. I know the difference between them up to the single bolt and sensor, and as I said, Volvo is more reliable and I still buy them, but only up to and including the 940/960. The later ones are JUNK, thanks to Renault.
"..so sad to hear an ex-Volvo mechanic couldn't sort out a car with only 102K mileage."
I DID NOT WANT to sort that out. I value my time. That was the last drop that ended my patience with them. I know that a devoted fan, just like you, would still choose to be in denial that Saabs are grotesquely overpriced, poorly designed and cheaply built cars, despite the overwhelming evidence - just look at the statistics of Lexus recalls/repairs and the same data for Saab/Volvo. Even Top Gear, being as European-biased as they are, confirmed that European cars have almost 100 times more workshop visits due to design/quality issues compared to Japanese cars. That's why SAABs are flooding eBay at the bottom of the price range with comments like: doesn't start, gearbox problem, overheats, stalls intermittently and so on. You name any fault - SAAB has it!
All of my Saabs were below 100K when I bought them. One was 64K, another 78K, then 83K and 91K - the rest I don't remember exactly. It is not wear and tear problems that cause them to stop working - it is poor design and build quality.
An ignition cartridge can last a week, or 10 years - but the problem is - you can't trust it. You have to carry a spare one in the boot. How pathetic is that. That is what exactly bugs me about them - that you just CAN'T TRUST THEM. In Australia, it is dangerous, you can die within few hours if you are stuck in the desert. When I have to drive across the desert, I take Subaru or Honda, not Saab, because they betrayed my trust so many times.
In a funny way, Saab and Volvo's miserable reliability serves me well, as I sell lots of Saab/Volvo parts on eBay, as those European freaks keep breaking down. Idle control valves, speedos, window switches, steering racks and pumps, AW70/71 overdrive solenoids - you name it - everything fails. How many Japanese cars do we see with non-operational speedometers? For the 240/940, it is a common problem.
Volvo 740/940/760/960 heater blower fan... what a monstrosity of a design... no bearings, positioned to collect leaves and water, resulting in all kinds of noises and trips to a mechanic ($$$) if you can't fix it itself. Is it what you call European design? I used to rip mine out and replace those bronze rings with proper sealed ball bearings. They only cost $14.50, but last forever without any noise or seizure. Why Volvo couldn't do it in the first place??? So much respect for their fans and loyal buyers.
SAAB 9000 clutch slave cylinder, positioned so that you have to pull the whole gearbox out to get to it. Even FIAT with their CROMA (same car, type 4 platform) were smart enough to put it ON TOP of the gearbox. Even FIAT!!! How pathetic is that...
The list goes on forever.
By the way I had all type 4 cars, liked the 164 and Croma the best. The Croma was a turbo manual though, good power. I will write report on that one soon.
Ah, maybe someone wants me to comment on Saab/Volvo ABS? Why not? How many of you people sold your Volvo or Saab because the ABS failed and was way too expensive to fix?
Gearboxes, stuck in "trip home" mode? Anyone heard of Toyota doing that? But, surely, Toyota is too boring.
Umm, Renault only worked on the 400 range with Volvo... Volvo do not share engines with Saab (as per your original review) and yes, things do go wrong with them.
Japanese cars do indeed tend to be more reliable as long as you like a car with no character!
I've got to say nothing has gone wrong with my last 3 Volvo's (all younger than the 940 era), with my current V70 (2005) up to 296k miles, so I can only say that mine have been SUPER reliable, unlike two of my friends who have Japanese cars (1x Honda, 1x Toyota) who have now switched to Volvo, as their cars both regularly had problems - perhaps OLD Japanese cars were good, as recent ones aren't so good. They can't believe how comfortable their Volvo's are in comparison, and how much nicer they 'feel'.
At least Volvo also take safety into consideration, which is the main reason I drive them.
I have read few of your reviews, and it looks like you have passion for unreliable cars. It would be helpful to have a list of cars you owned, so anyone looking for cars can buy anything, but avoid your listed cars ha ha. Good reviews man. I think you should buy a Toyota Corolla; even then I think you may have tough luck? LOL.
What's so big about a Toyota Corolla? They are just as unreliable.
Saabs do NOT share engines with Volvos. That comment alone tells me all I need to know about the bias in this review. If you were a mechanic with knowledge of these cars, you would know that the only Saab out there with a Volvo engine is the Saab Viggen fighter jet.
Follow up on my SAAB review.
Since the Saab's departure (yes!) I bought a Eunos 500. Made in 1996, traveled 92000km. Older, cheaper car - paid $750 for that. I bought it as a temporary car, as the Saab failed on me unexpectedly, but I can't find any reason to replace the Eunos, as it has proved itself to be a very comfortable and reliable car, and a real pleasure to drive.
I've had it for over 6 months by now. Put over 20,000 km on it, as I live rural and drive a lot.
I used to have Eunos 800 Miller Cycle and loved the power, but got sick of Lysholm supercharger unreliability (changed two in six months). Lucky, 500 doesn't have one.
What went wrong so far? NOTHING! Nothing at all. It will need new brake pads soon (normal wear and tear) and I replaced both boot gas struts, as they were already on their way out when I bought the car. Struts, genuine and new, set me back cool $1.95 for BOTH on eBay + $6.50 delivery.
Replaced battery clamp, as previous owner lost one - free from a wrecker. They laughed at me when I offered to pay for it.
High performance bulbs by PIAA and Philips - I love good bulbs, especially with my driving done almost at night.
Synthetic oil - the engine is in such good condition, that it still can use synthetic.
Previous owner installed hardcore yellow Bilsteins in it, so it feels awesome on the open road, just what I need.
Bye bye, Saab! Hope you rot in hell. No regrets.
I know, if I kept it, I would have said goodbye to thousands of $$$ by now.
I just read that Saab is planning to re-start production of cars in Sweden. Now with Chinese partnership.
What an atrocity!
The world has gone mad.
Or just Saab.
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