Saabs are good if they have been well maintained from the start, and not missing any maintenance will help the car's overall reliability.
You just have to be really smart on what 900 you end up choosing LOL. My friend has a 9-3 Viggen and it's SIIIICKK. Never had 1 problem, but that is because he has taking extreme good care of it.
Just treat it right from the start and there won't be any surprises.
I own a 1997 Saab 900 S, the non turbo. I can say I've had a few problems to fix myself. First the starter was iffy when I bought it used off the guy, you would have to jam the shifter between 3rd and 4th to get it to turn over. I got this fixed at a costly 400 (blown starter pin).
After that my back drivers door refused to shut unless you played with the lock latch inside the door, another costly repair.
Mine also burns a little oil and smokes in the morning, white smoke not black however, im working on fixing that right now.
All in all, A Saab can be an amazing car, I love to drive it, and I love the looks, but it needs to be taken care of, something I am willing to do as I am now hooked on Saab regardless of the problems I have had. I believe once I have all these little things taken care of, and I take care of the car every step of the way, it will be a great car in the long run. I know plenty of people who has had classic 900's passed 400k miles before they died.
Good luck fellow 97 Saab'er.
I just bought a 97 Saab 900 SE a few months ago. Everything seems to be running just fine until last night. I cranked up the car and tried to back out. I could barely turn the steering wheel. I thought it was the power steering but it checked out to be fine. I have no idea what to do. Any suggestions?
Also, I had the same issue with the back passenger door latch. I tried to shut the door one day and bang!!! It would not shut. After I took a screwdriver to it, I have not had any problems with it.
With reference to your power steering loss, I think it could be your auxillary drive belt. If this is the case, change the guide pulley at the same time. They are a bit tricky to do (trust me, I fix cars for a living). Failing that it could be a duff lower arm joint. Hope this helps ya bud :-)
I have a Saab 900 SE automatic. I purchased this car two years ago with 90-some thousand miles. It was a one-owner car with serious cosmetic blemishes: paint fading, seats all ripped, dirty, small rust spot on drivers-side wheel well under door. Mechanically the car had the frustrating typicals: idler pulley was shredded, idler pulley arm was cracked, engine mount broken, air conditioning compressor seized, warning lights on...
Bottom line is that I bought the car for $1500, invested about $500 in parts. I put on a new bracket for the idler pulley, replaced the idler pulley, found an alternate serpentine belt and routed so the air conditioning unit is bypassed, replaced one engine mount and ignored the warning lights.
My car now has 155,000 miles on it with no issues. I drive 100 miles per day round trip to work using this car and it's great. Typically I operate at speeds between 65-100 mph on the highway with ease. This car is tight, responsive and handles wonderfully.
The bottom line is that these quirky cars are over-computerized. If you can tolerate annoying check engine lights, I'd say do it. If the car runs; drive it.
This little car also delivers continued 30mpg consistently at excessive speeds. I think it's a great car for the person who is not looking for perfect.
I have a 1997 Saab Turbo. The battery went dead four days ago, so my car has been sitting and I put a new battery in it. The car will turn over and just won't start. What could be possibly wrong?