20th Jun 2008, 11:44

This may have already been said, but visit www.saabcentral.com and navigate to the 9-5 forum. Everything has been discussed there and will educate you on this car. Sludge issues, repairs, preventative maintenance, etc.

23rd Jun 2008, 00:41

OMG I can't believe we found this site! Our wonderbah SaaB 9-3 2000 just died on us. We were looking at rebuilding the motor and found nothing. I just wanted to say thanks to all that have commented with sound advice...

We won't be buying another SAAB any time soon...

29th Jul 2008, 15:29

It is only by chance browsing on anything related to SAAB 93 SE 1999 that I stumbled on this page. I live in London (UK) and bought mine only 2 years ago. it has clocked now about 96000 miles and runs fantastic! I am very happy with my old banger. I was horrified to read all those stories on engine ceasing, sludge, etc and wonder how you got on in the end.

2nd Aug 2008, 00:16

Oh dear, I wish I'd come across this sooner. I thought it was either the fault of the bushfires or the fault of the company servicing the car. The engine of my 2001 Saab 9-3 soft top seized at around 60,000 km and they tried to tell me it was lack of service.

Now to my dismay it seems there was a costly design flaw that the company and dealer were hiding from me. I suffered hugely because I couldn't do without the car, but could not afford the repairs either - went into a very bad financial state as a result. It cost me $AUD12,000 for a new motor. The funny thing is, at the following service the mechanic told me the sump was full of sludgy oil. So I don't know what went on.

Also had to buy a new sid because the one in the car broke. Seems Saab has a lot to answer for.

I've still got the car because it's the most comfortable car I've owned and it won't be replaced until more fuel efficient cars get cheaper and faster.

11th Aug 2008, 14:29

Like many people who posted on this blog, I am the proud owner of a Saab 93 whose engine has no compression. Zero. Saab HQ turned me down for assistance and the dealer wants a $1000 to tear down the engine so they can tell me what exactly the cause may be. Is there a cheap way to determine if oil sludge is the issue? What is a car like this worth to a junk dealer? It's a 2001 Saab 93 SE with 98000 miles that is otherwise in great condition.

9th Sep 2008, 09:44

Hi! I have read through many of these comments and am horrified by most of them. I however have been pleased to see a few people happy with their Saab. These have been owners of 1999 SE's. My boss would like to sell me his 199 SE Convertible. It is in excellent condition and he has had to do minor repairs to it over the last 3 years. I know he has replaced the long piece when you open the hood where everything connects. It has 115,000 miles on it and he is asking $5,000.00 is this a really bad thing to do? I am not sure if the issues you have all listed exist in the newer Saab's or if I should be leary. I have a college student that will be driving it.

Thanks for any help...

15th Sep 2008, 23:35

I think $5K is a good price for a 99 SE, assuming all the maint has been properly done. Also, Check when it was manufactured, in the beginning half or later half of the year. The ones manufactured in the later half of 1998 (which were sold as 99s) were built using the B205 engine, which is an OK engine, but its best to get one with the B204 engine, which is the original Saab H engine, and those were used in all the 9-3s manufactured in Jan through April of 1998, they were also 99 models. That engine is bullet proof and doesn't have the oil sludge issues like the B205 engine.However, even the sludge issue can be resolved with proper maintenance. I have a 99 9-3SE with the B204 engine and High output turbo, I have done ONLY routine maintenance, and I drive it rough, and Its been super reliable, even now with 152,000 plus miles!

9th Dec 2008, 21:21

I have owned a Saab for over a year. I am 17.

I change the oil. I do not take it to a shop because I do not trust anyone but myself dealing with my car, unless it is a big problem.

I have changed the oil every 3 months because that is what I have been told to do, so anybody complaining about why their Saab has gunk or problems relating to oil changes, it is not the car, it is your unwillingness to pay for SYNTHETIC oil, not going in to get an oil change regularly, or just being lazy. Do not blame the car.

I love my car and I take good care of it. It is a 1999 Saab 93 SE. Do not blame the car, blame yourself.

11th Dec 2008, 10:59

I also have a Saab 9-3 SE 1999. It's a fantastic car regardless of what I've seen on here. I have had the car several years with only minimal issues, which were maintenance related. I drive the car like a race car, change the oil every 4 to 5K, have never had a sludge issue and I have 160K on this car. I do know that mine has the B204 engine which is the same as the older 900 models but with upgrades, and these engines are bullet proof!

12th Dec 2008, 10:16

I own a 2003 9-3 with the 205hp 2 liter turbo.

My 9-3 has been a fine reliable car, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another.

I know plenty of other very satisfied Saab owners, some who have put well over 100k miles on their Saabs.

I think it is a shame that Saab may not survive, now that GM is having so much difficulty.

2nd Jan 2009, 00:21

I own a '99 9.3 SE with 85k on it. I found this web site the other day and was shocked to find so many engine failures.

I have owned a '74 '99, Sonnett, '88 900, '89 9000, '94 900, and '97 900 turbo, prior to my current car. I like Saab for the performance and the fact that once they leave the car lot, the value drops like a rock. Having owned all the above mentioned Saabs; they, like many other cars, are not perfect.

I have used Walmart 5-30 full synthetic or Mobil 1 and good oil filters, and changed every 2-4k miles with the occasional use of Marvel. I also change trans fluid every engine oil change. Changed the oil today and flushed the pan with mineral spirits and drained into a clear container due to all of the input from this site. Found some soft deposits, but no hard carbon deposits (the stuff you find when the oil is burned).

I plan to drive this car as I have all the others; with no mercy.

If you have a Saab in the Bay area with a smoked engine, I may be a buyer.