30th Dec 2007, 23:18

I have just developed an unusual problem with my 2000 9-5 Aero. I had it into the dealership, but they weren't able to diagnose the problem - apparently the problem didn't appear during their test drive. The car develops a severe shudder through the Steering column and the gearbox after driving for approx 15 minutes (only happens after car warms up). The Steering wheel shakes violently from side to side. However, I can accelerate out of the shudder and it also disappears temporarily after I turn a corner. Ruled out the tires/rims and alignment - changed the winter set over to the summer set and had an alignment done. Also, don't believe it's related to the brakes or rotors because it happens at speed. Shudder continues even if I shift into Neutral and coast. Dealer did a visual check and couldn't find anything obvious. Appreciate any advice?

Bill, Toronto.

1st Jan 2008, 02:38


Have you checked the engine (or motor) mounts? If they split you can get some vibration, even shudder, through the steering wheel.

3rd Jan 2008, 19:47

Appreciate your feedback. I spoke to a mechanic yesterday and he also said to check the brake calipers and motor mounts. I pulled all the calipers last night and reset, but haven't driven very far to see if the problem has cleared. Will let you know. Thank you.

15th Jan 2008, 20:03

Well, I have spent the past half hour reading all of these reports, and I am another one whose engine bit the dust from sludge. I have a 2001 9-5 wagon. The red oil indicator went on. We stopped to check the oil, added more, talked to a service attendant who said everything was fine. Then on the way home from a three-hour drive, the car engine kept running, but the accelerator died. After towing the car to the dealer, the dealer said that the engine was seized and that it is probably from a lack of oil changes. I did change the oil regularly. The car has 101,000 miles on it. I am having the car towed to an independent repair shop highly regarded in Woodbury, CT. The dealer said to buy a new car and that the car had no value whatsoever! Then when I said that I was having it towed, the representative at the dealer gave me some options with replacement, used engines. I still am taking it to the independent auto repair place. How much can I expect to pay for a used engine?

29th Feb 2008, 13:18

I found this site while doing research in preparation to buying a 2002 Saab 9-5. Thanks to the time each of you took to register your comments, I will not be doing so. Thank you for keeping me from making a very big mistake.

9th Mar 2008, 11:06

I have a 2000 9-5 with 104,000 miles. My average cost of repairs since I purchased the car half a year ago is $1000 per month. It is in the shop pretty much every week or so. Every time you fix something, you get maybe a few days, and then another light will fire off, or worse, none will fire off and a part will simply fail. I am scared to drive the car. It spends most of its time in the garage. When it works, I love it. I love driving it. I have already eclipsed what the car is worth in repairs. I am seriously considering getting a Hyundai.

26th Mar 2008, 06:23

Sorry to say that we are also likely to never buy a Saab again. Bought our current 2000 9-5 SE at 45K miles from the original owner. In under 2.5 yrs, we've had to replace some exhaust parts (intermediate pipe, muffler), brake pads/rotors, turbo charger, water pump, remove pulley/seal aluminum front cover (?), some ignition/fuel maintenance parts, filters/spark plugs, serpentine belt, and ABS module. All of the above was done through local mechanic for ~$7K. Right now, the car is at the dealer to diagnose/fix a coolant leak that our mechanic couldn't resolve. Not sure if will fetch much more than $6K in a resale (now has 67K miles)! Altogether, I figure the total ownership cost - resale has worked out to ~$500/month during my ownership!!! Should have leased a BMW!

7th Apr 2008, 13:09

I own a 2001 9-5 Saab Aero. Fortunately I bought it with an extended warranty 3 years ago. I have had the following replaced: water pump, radiator, Ignition Cassette module 2x, 2 batteries, heads fails and replaced 2x, etc. Now the car shutters for no reason once on my morning drive and once on my drive home (around 60 miles round trip). It feels like someone stops then quickly releases the gas flow. Today at a red light, it stopped completely. I was able to restart it, but I had taken it to mechanic last month and they couldn't find any reason for this stutter and the car drove fine for them. Has anyone else had this issue and what did you do about it? I really do want to keep this car, but...

24th Jun 2008, 16:43

My first 2 Saabs in the 80's and 90's were awesome. When I bought my first new car ever, the Saab 9.3 Arc, I was thrilled! That was 2004, and since then I'm so disappointed. It's at the shop right now, A/C went out yesterday (Texas, 98 degrees) and today wouldn't start at all. I've replaced all front headlights twice, the battery 6 times, put coolant in it myself, at least every other month (dealer couldn't find a leak).

From the beginning the alarm would go off when driving, and the doors will lock, unlock randomly at will. Have replaced key battery 3 times, moonroof software reprogrammed 2 times, radio replaced and all of the icons disappear on the dash. As I drove down the highway last year, the knob flew off the stickshift and it was scary and difficult to shift gears. Then it happened again after repair. The emblem on the front turns out to just be a plastic decal that washes off at the car wash. It's been replaced several times.

What I love and will miss, the way it drives when its having a good day. It's awesome to drive and I love it, but I need a car I can depend on. It has 46,000 miles, I'm afraid all the little problems will soon get BIG.

Sadly, SAAB is not the car is once was. I will have to trade it for a more boring but safe ride. Have had no response from my calls or letters to SAAB, and the local dealer left town without warning!!

1st Jul 2008, 16:17

This site has been very informative- I am on the verge of buying a 2001 9-5 SE (6 cyl.) with 60k miles for $6,500.00. This car appears to be very well maintained with one older owner. But I have to say after reading so many troubling comments, I'm having strong second thoughts... Engine Sludge, blown head gaskets, turbo issues, multiple electrical failures etc. has put the fear of God into me. Has anyone put together a "check list" of what to check for if buying a Saab out of warranty? Thanks in advance. Before I abandon my Saab fantasy I figure I'd ask..


2nd Jul 2008, 10:46

Before you "abandon" your "Saab fantasy" I think you should know that there are plenty of very satisfied Saab owners out there.

I certainly am one of them.

My Saab (a 2003) has been the best vehicle I've ever owned.

It is very reliable and delightful in every way.

I would suggest that you do a car check on the history of the vehicle. Have it checked out by a qualified technician and if all is well enjoy it! If the vehicle has not been abused & has been properly maintained, it should be a very enjoyable car for you.