1984 SAAB 900 S 2.0 SOHC 8v from North America
Comfortable, but expensive to maintain
Complete braking system, it took two weeks in the garage waiting for out of town parts to be found and shipped in. Parts and labour $900, and that's with used front calipers.
Lots of electrical problems, but I fixed most of them myself.
Two starters, three solenoids and eventually the teeth on the flex plate wore down. The starters on 84 and earlier cars are under the exhaust manifold, and the solenoids don't like all that heat.
Front shocks $70 each, but reduced to $50 with mechanics discount.
Drive shaft assembly and trans seal $150 and $9.
All belts $40, plus $50 for labour, because the mechanic had to use a torch to heat up the alternator bolt until it was red hot and then use vice grips to remove it. I couldn't remove the bolt myself, and the two alternator belts are on the outside of the other (s) or I would have replaced them myself.
Spark plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor,
O2 sensor $149 I replaced them myself.
Plastic fuel lines from fuel distributor to injectors $20 used, and I replaced them myself.
Transmission leaks and band adjustment, a lot of Ford type F trans fluid.
The car was an American model with 110 HP instead of the 118 HP the Canadian model without a catalytic converter.
I paid $500 for it "as is" after the owner took me to a garage down the street, claiming the car only needed a tune-up and front brake pads. After buying it, I found out the last owner also owned the garage the mechanics rented. The mechanic's were honest with me when I showed up after buying it. They were the only garage in the whole city that would work on old SAAB's, and gave me the parts for cost (including their discount, and yes I price checked parts at several parts stores).
The car drove great after sinking all that money and work into it. But starter and trans problems meant I had to take it off the road. Because the synthetic oil completely drained of the cylinders the engine seized. I was looking for a rust free good runner to fix up and used the old one for parts, but these cars don't stand up to the rust belt to well.
These cars ride much better at highway speeds than around town. Probably because of the heavy and slow steering.
The sunroof, heated front seats, folding rear seat and large trunk are great.
I was getting 20 MPG city and 25 MPG highway after the tune-up.
Stay away from models with the Borg Warner three speed automatic.
You need to do a lot of your own work and or find a good mechanic that will work on these cars if you're considering a classic 900.
Look up The SAAB Depot and The Saab network on Google.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 10th July, 2009