1996 SAAB 900 S from North America
Comfortable, but that's it... terrible runner
This vehicle had problems since the week after I bought it. To begin I will say that I do my own simple mechanic work, and the things I can't handle or don't have time to go to the shop. That being said, I gave it a thorough inspection upon purchase, and everything seemed fine. The way it ran after the first week, I expected to find duct tape holding things together!
Somehow, miraculously, the car had no problems for a week, and then noises began. The clutch blew after about a month (manual transmission).
The A/C compressor jammed up, which disables the entire vehicle.
Changing the serpentine belt, which on a regular Japanese and even American vehicle should take under an hour, took about 4 hours... A SIMPLE BELT CHANGE. This belt change had to take place in a Meyer's Grocery Store parking lot, with myself, a friend, and even a certified mechanic, although admittedly he was not experienced with SAAB vehicles. But, this adds to the worthlessness of the vehicle. Any car that requires a mechanic special training just to work on their vehicles should be avoided for obvious reasons.
This car ended up costing me as much as I paid for it in repairs. Sold the car for a massive lost. I will never- I repeat- NEVER purchase another European-made vehicle again, too finicky, awkward quirks and problems, and very cheaply made.
The things you would expect a luxury car owner to pay attention to are spot on with these types of vehicles, though. The heated leather seats and little pieces of trim are well built and look sharp... but the buck stops there. The rest of the car, which a luxury car owner would not pay attention to, such as reliability and random parts falling off (such as mirrors and headlights falling out), are common in these vehicles if you read other reviews.
THERE IS A REASON YOU DO NOT SEE MECHANICS DRIVING THESE CARS. Anyone can afford a used luxury Benz, BMW, or SAAB, but no one should dump the money to attempt keep one running.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 27th May, 2009
27th May 2009, 11:23
I find it interesting that you would not buy another euro-mobile. I have owned nothing but european cars, Audi, VW, Peugeot, BMW and all have been very low maintenance and high quality. Parts cost more, but you don't change them over and over again.
There is a reason the American car manufacturers are in trouble, and it boils down to quality and being too expensive for what you get.
By the way, you bought an old New Generation Saab 900, so it was bound to need some help at some point.
27th May 2009, 13:42
You buy a 10 year old Saab with over 100,000 miles on it, and then you not only bash the manufacturer, you also bash all European cars.
Give me a break!
Saabs and most European cars are very nice vehicles, maybe if you bought one made in the current millennium, you would find that out for yourself.
29th May 2009, 02:29
Anyone buying a 10 year vehicle with more than 100k miles should be expecting to do major repairs on it...
How can you bash on Saab, and all euro cars based on 1 obviously not taken care-of car?
I bought a 2005 Saab 9-3 3 months ago with 50k miles on it and it runs like a charm, didn't have ANY problem on it so far. These cars are real good and they're well worth their price.
27th Feb 2013, 14:16
The serpentine belt is easy to change if you know what you're doing. In fact, because of the automatic tensioner, it is one of the easiest systems to change a belt on. I can do mine in under 15 minutes. Here's how:
1) Release tension on the tensioner pulley by inserting a 1/2 breaker bar into the tensioner slot and push back towards the windshield.
2) Slide the old belt off.
3) Run the new belt in, following the old path, leaving the idler tensioner pulley (the one you just pushed back to take the belt off) for last.
4) Push back on the automatic tensioner and slide the belt over it.
5) Release the tension, smile, have a cold beer, and enjoy the 185-240 HP horsepower!