1st Feb 2009, 22:17

I bought a 1999 9-5 back in 2003 with 69k, and also have had a miserable experience with the car. I am now at 150k and am on pace to replace the turbo for a second time due to repeated coolant leaks that have ruined the turbo. It basically looks like a big blue smoke screen coming out of the rear when I start it up in the morning.

Some of the other notable problems are:

- SID pixel issues on both the ACC and temp/clock display.

- Blown serpentine belt + pulley (twice, with second breakdown last Friday)

- Headlights burning out constantly, seemingly once every 8 weeks, sometimes more frequently.

- Steering wheel controls have broken twice now due to a faulty clock spring, a $400 repair. (this also affects the airbag function unfortunately)

- ACC blend door broke, which has created the problem numerous owners have quoted on this site and is the culprit behind the inability to adjust the temp. Mechanic quoted a price of $1.2k alone in labor.

- SERVICE THEFT ALARM - warning comes up constantly now, and even sets the alarm off at random times in the night. Apparently there is a LiION battery soldered into the theft alarm circuit board (front wheel well) that only lasts a few years. I will have to have it replaced.

- Replaced hood emblem 3 times now @ $35 each, seems to chip apart each and every winter.

- Replaced both fog lights due to shattering (prob normal for a car with fog lights with highway driving however)

- Sunroof won't close due to a broken clamp on the wind deflector, I got it closed finally and haven't opened it in 2 years.

- Sun visors sag.

I paid $10.5k for the car and have probably put $5-6k back in, it's a disgrace. Sadly I love the way the car looks, it's a blast to drive and the seats are super comfortable. If not for the terrible reliability this would be my favorite car of all time. I will definitely not buy a Saab again due to all the problems. While I still have 1.5k left on my loan, I'm hoping to make it through the rest of this year and then trade it in for something reliable like an Accord.

2nd Feb 2009, 13:21

I, too, have a SAAB story. I own a 2001 SAAB v-6 Aero. It is very fun to drive, but annoying to fix. I've fixed headlights, taillights, 2 batteries, serpentine belt, 2 heads, 2 ignition cassettes, 2 radiators, pixel display on radio, (I haven't fixed the security system yet), etc. -- only because I bought an extended warranty that covered all this with a $50 charge per repair -- thank goodness. Now my warranty has expired at 97,000 and my driver side window will not come down!!!

Does anyone else have this problem and know how much this is going to cost me?

22nd May 2009, 12:53

I don't think you have a 2001 9-5 Aero V6. The 2001 Aero has the 230HP 2.3L turbo 4cyl. That's the car I have.

Overall my experience has been OK, not great, not disastrous. Just got back from a $1250 repair at 151K miles, consisting of water pump, idler pulley, and throttle body.

I'm now on my 3rd throttle body. I'm also on the 3rd DI cassette. I've replaced the ABS controller once. Replaced the rear shocks once (but early in the car's life). 3 engine mounts replaced. Had the crankcase blow through modification to guard against sludge. Replaced rear high mount stop light which overheated and melted its housing. Replaced the fuel pump once with broke a small plastic clip, sending fuel spilling all over. But Saab only sells the whole fuel pump rather than a cheap clip. Finally, I've got the SID problem, but I'm putting up with missing pixels for now.

The most aggravating problem is unfixable excess camber on the rear wheels, mostly on the left rear (they basically lean inward too much, riding on the inside edge). Amazingly the car has no alignment adjustment for this common suspension item. It would cost some $3K to get the rear suspension into alignment, so I put up with frequent tire changes and rotations. You can buy a lot of tires for $3K. The car still drives and tracks well, although toward the end of life the tires tend to make noise from uneven wear, and I've blown a few letting them stay on too long.

Saab has been awful with recalls. DI cassette and fuel pump were recalled after I paid for my own repairs. I submitted receipts, called them, never refunded for anything. Finally I gave up, too much trouble to get them to pay.

Still, I've put over 150K miles on the car and it looks good and drives well. And all repairs are for more minor components, no tranny, engine, cooling, braking (except normal pads/rotors) or exhaust system repairs yet (knock on the fake wood dash).

11th Jun 2009, 10:40

Wow.. scary because, I owned 3 pre GM Saabs, (2 900's, and 9000) they were like tanks - great in the winter.. every option worked.. Obviously brakes and other things to keep them going, but never engine, trans, or electrical seemed to go. We kept them as a great second car. Safe for our kids etc...

Haven't owned one if a few years, Now we just purchased a used 1999 95 V6 3.0 SE (135,000 km). We have owned it for about 4 months now. It has cost us over $2500.00 for timing, ignition coils - in the last 4 weeks. The SID computer has gone, the headlights blow, the drivers seat went crazy with the memory setting and had to remove the connection, and it rattles on the highway now. Saab was such a great car - I should have done my research.

Put a complaint email into GM - got a call back. They asked for the VIN number - gave it.. "no recalls should be a great car". I mentioned some of the research I had just done - they said they don't look at blogs, they do all their research through GM dealers.. people just complain, I explained, people complain on their own time, about something they bought because they wanted to purchase it, not to complain - to warn others. Her attitude on the phone was terrible, didn't get it at all, didn't care.

Hope this helps others looking to relive the Saab car again - doesn't look good if touched by GM. How much should our taxes go up to get some quality back in Saab?

1st Jul 2009, 20:08

SAAB dealers (assuming there are any left) should post the sign - "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here..." over the door. Own a 1999 9-5 with 75k miles. Feel compelled to add my tiresome list of repairs, all the usual suspects (DI cartridge, tensioner pulley, heater bypass valve, SID x3, throttle, head gasket, window rollers twice, literally dozens of headlights, etc, etc)

BUT... there's just something about the car, peppy to drive, classic styling has held up well and the interior is really well done, and mileage continues to be lovely (35mpg on the hi-way, after 10 years).

To those considering buying one, a couple of thoughts:

1. Stick with the 4-banger, they seem to dodge a few of the problems (sludge) that crop up more on the bigger engine and the mileage is simply spectacular

2. Drive gently, this is a hi-way car and hard stop/go traffic will eat it up

3. Don't believe everything a dealer tells you. like others, I've had the periodic blue smoke for about the last 3 years, was told to replace the turbo, decided to wait. It has not gotten any worse - in fact, a little better!