27th Jul 2008, 21:20

Just for the record, I have a '99 Saab 9-5, 106,000 miles. I have owned it since new and its been pretty much a peach of a car. I keep driving it because it keeps on working and not causing me problems and I think its the most "environmentally friendly" thing to do (ie, not buy a new car every 3 years). Not to say its never been at the dealer or in for repair and yes my headlamps blow too often but some repairs after nearly 10 years are to be expected. It needs brake work now for instance, for the second time - to be expected.

I've always figured that if you can own an older high mileage car, whether Toyota or Saab or Pontiac, and put no more than $1500 or so into it per year you are making out well. There is a good Saab specialty independent mechanic shop nearby that I trust which is a definite asset.

So not all owner's experiences are bad. I'm certain that the nature of this site is generally to attract those who have had problems so readers need to be aware of that. Its good to read about the sludge problem, which I was not aware of. I will have that cleaned out. My one problem with the car is that, at idle with the AC running during warm weather only, it lurches and stalls if not given some gas. It has done this since 40,000 miles and I've had it at the shop 3x but no fix. Its bothersome but a little gas, opening up the carburetor I assume, helps prevent stalling. Its smooth anywhere over 10 mph and has been a reliable car to own for 10 years.

31st Jul 2008, 23:24

Hello, unlike many of you, I have not had any major problems to my 1999 Saab 9-5 with 91000 miles. Only the battery died and it needed new brakes, but remember that happens to every single car out there, no matter what make it is.

I've had the car for 2 years now, changed the oil every 3 months or 3000 miles, and still no problems.

To be honest, I think it is just careless owners, cause I know many people that do not change the oil, or even bother to take a look at their car's engine.

9th Aug 2008, 18:23

I own a 2000 9-5 "money pit edition". I bought it new from the dealer. It may be nice to look at and fun to drive, but it's a total drain on my wallet.

I have had issues with the LCD screen (radio, time, etc) and have replaced it twice. It is out again now but I refuse to replace it again.

The radio control button on the steering wheel went crazy & randomly changed.

Had to have the transmission rebuilt about 5 years ago.

Headlights constantly burn out.

Key remotes don't work.

Alternator replaced.

Serpentine belt failed.

Replaced the water pump twice.

Just last week the master cylinder went out & had to be replaced.

Today the front passenger side window went down and never came back up.

The check engine light is on but no one know why?

The thermostat went out about 3 months ago & had to be replaced.

There have been more repairs... those are just a few highlights.

As much as I want to continue to like my SAAB... I wish a big wind would blow it away & I would never have to look at it again.

17th Sep 2008, 18:41

I just bought a 1999 9-5 model from a private person. Within a week's time it has cost me over $500 fixing the rear brakes. Now the dealer is telling me the head gasket needs to be replaced because old one could be either leaking or oozing out...

The pixels on the SID UNIT are are broken. You can hardly make out what they read. I am tempted into getting a new one or even a second-hand, but when I went to my local SAAB dealer, they say it would cost me $780.

Now my AC won't even blow cold air unless I drive like a maniac.

I have to admit with the rest that the car is a monster on the road! It drives really good. But after reading all your comments, now I am left sweating out. I am considering not to change the AC since we are getting into cold season. The car has only 142xxxkm. About 86xxxM.

I am now expecting another problem.

Does anyone know where I can get another SID UNIT other than in our SAAB dealership? Apparently we don't have a lot of them here.

23rd Sep 2008, 10:16

If you Google Saab SID, you will get a few sites where you can get a re-manufactured unit or send yours out for repair. You can even find saab9-5.com, which explains how to repair one yourself; don't know if it works, had mine replaced under warranty.

24th Sep 2008, 11:09

I found a site http://blog.saab9-5.com/?p=8 that showed how to fix the SID unit step by step, and it still never worked. My SID unit has broken connections from the circuit board. I have to say it's the worst technology that a company like SAAB would use to make their SID unit. I guess the only other chance I have now it to ship it to a place I found in MA for $135. I hope this works out. Thank you for your advice...


1st Oct 2008, 21:43

I bought a 2001 9-5 about sixteen months ago. At the time, it had about 62,000 miles on it. The seller was the original owner, and the car appeared to be well maintained. I had it inspected, and everything checked out well. Still, I bought an extended warranty for protection.

At about 72,000 miles, the engine light went on, and the fuel pump had to be replaced. At that time, I was told by the Saab mechanics that it was pretty clear that the previous owner had never done one iota of required maintenance, so I spent about $1500 bringing fluids and filters up to par. After this, things went downhill. In the past five months, I've had a coolant leak (which was not easily diagnosed), replaced the water pump, and had the air conditioning fixed after it started blowing warm air. (I live in South Florida, so not having functional air conditioning is not an option.) Most of these problems have been at least partially covered by the warranty, but I have forked out quite a bit of money for uncovered items, not to mention the cost of renting cars while this one sits in the shop.

Just over a week ago, I was doing errands locally, and I noticed the "fill coolant fluid" message on again, and the car started smelling like it was on fire. Fortunately, I was about two blocks from home and I immediately parked the car and had it towed to Saab the next day. The diagnosis was that the overheating caused the cylinder heads to warp. Tonight I was told that the warranty company denied the claim. The dealer has promised to try and work on getting it covered. I am not optimisitc about this working out in my favor (the language in the warranty is of course vague and open to interpretation). Does anybody know what I can expect to pay for this repair? I know it will be in the thousands, but I know dealers inflate prices at any opportunity. I still owe about $6000 on the loan and have no choice but to make the repair. After that, I am getting rid of the car.