27th Oct 2005, 08:45

It seems that your troubles all stem from the lack of maintanence. Serpentine belts should be changed at every 50,000 miles. The belts themselves are rather inexpensive, and can be bought from most aftermarket parts stores for under $50.00 (US). Hoses too should be checked regularly, as all hoses are prone to break down over time. If you flush your radiator once every other year you will extend the life of the hoses some. I would not discredit the SAAB vehicles for the problems you've had. Their quality is above most american cars. I personally have had excellent luck with my '97 900s which has the four-cylinder with a manual transmission--no turbo.

7th Apr 2006, 09:11

Hey man I feel you. I have a 97 900se and although I too love the styling and the speed I've had many problems with this car. The turbo failed at 60k, The ignition switch was replaced twice. The computer failed on the car 800$, I can't tell you how many times I've had to replace both tires and rims. The low profile/aluminum wheel combo is just plain impractical for real world streets. Currently the car is in a garage getting ready for its second engine replacement. And while they're at it I suppose I'll have them replace the transmission as first gear has not been working for some time now. I too am considering a Lexus is300. They have a Saab look to them without the unfortunate reliability issues.

4th Oct 2006, 16:46

I have a 1997 Saab 900 SE Turbo and it has a 167000 miles on it and it still runs fine for me.

8th Oct 2006, 20:42

Yeah I also have a 1997 se turbo, the only problems I've had is the coolant sensor, and I have a leak in the wiper fluid hose. theres 170k miles on it and turbo is still good.

10th Nov 2006, 16:03

I was just given a 1997 900s 2.3L with 230k miles. The previous owner had the radiator hose blow out and the serpentine belt went at the same time. Before that she had problems with the car as well and spent a lot of money on little things up until the hose and belt went.

As a mechainic/D.I.Y I find the car is easy to work on and parts are expensive. Though you have to give credit where it is due the car has 230k miles and still runs strong with the original motor and transmission. I am/was having a similar issue with this Saab as the original poster with the car dying at random and I feel it is or was the ignition switch. The car is fairly simple to work on and everything is well thought out for disassemble, repair, reassembly.

4th Jan 2007, 13:51

My 1997 Saab se turbo. is driving me nuts. I replaced the alternator, the starter and belts and the ignition switch and coil are fine. All the lights turn on in the car, but when its time to ignite I get nothing??? what can I do? ;- (

5th Jan 2007, 09:48

Sorry to hear that fellow Saab 900se owners who are experiencing troubles.. dont blame the car its either a lemon or the driver(s). Saabs themselves are innocent.

I live near Sherman Oaks, CA and if you need a great Saab Certified and Experienced mechanic let me know. He is so honest and a real SAAB professional. Has his own independent Saab shop after 15 years working for Saab. So if interested, all S. Californian Saab owners post your desires here for response.

28th Jan 2007, 16:59

I have a 1997 900 turbo convertible. I purchased it used and I still love it. But... The passenger seat electronic adjustment switch has never worked and my drivers side just quit working. Is this a common problem? Any suggestions.

Also have a quirk with the high beams. When I start out in the morning, the drivers side high beam does not work. After driving for about 15 minutes, the problem solves itself and the high beam works normally for the remainder of the day. Again, any thoughts or suggestions?

28th Jan 2007, 18:39

I'm thinking of buying a 1997 Saab S. It only has 68000 km on it so that seems good, and I test drove it today and was very satisfied with handling, comfort, etc (although I did notice a bit of a lag when I hit the gas pedal)... but by what everyone is saying, it sounds like I might need to reconsider! Are the problems only with turbo cars, or are Saabs in general just expensive to maintain?

6th Feb 2007, 13:24

I have a 1997 Saab 900S Convertible.

I love the car I have had to change a few things, but it was always under 200$ nothing too bad. However the heat is not working in it. Also I cannot change wee the air flow comes from. Is there any where I can buy new knobs after-market and any suggestions on what may be wrong with the heat.

Still love my car. I really only drive it in the summer, but I had a problem with my primary car and need to drive this for a few days and noticed that the heat was not working.

14th Mar 2007, 11:37


I have a 1997 Saab 900 S Convertible. I LOVE IT! However, I too have had many issues in the 7 years I've owned it, despite regular and thorough maintenance and gentle driving. A few of the issues: serpentine belt, pulleys, fuse short (fog lights no longer work), convertible top engine needed to be replaced, clutch cable defective and split, etc. I just took it in today and it sounds like I'll need to have the head gasket replaced. I noticed with interest what an earlier responder wrote: my coolant has been leaking for the past two winters - but ONLY in the winter. Does anyone have any insight into why this would happen in the colder weather, and how this could affect head gasket? Thanks for any advice... despite these issues, I still love my Saab! (130K miles and counting...)

21st Apr 2007, 18:43

I would very much appreciate learning about the certified Saab mechanic in the Sherman Oaks area. Can you post that info?

27th Apr 2007, 20:40

I have a 97 Saab SE Turbo Convertible. It has been garaged winters (NY state - lots of salt here). It has an auto transmission, and no serious problems yet. I've only done oil changes and basics (brakes, tires, coolant flush, serpentine belt as recommended). Is there any other preventive maintenance I can do to keep away from the problems some others have had? Is it more likely that mainly the bad occurrences cause people to post comments? I would buy another Saab; in fact I'm considering when my van finally bites the dust (128K and counting), I'll buy a used Saab sedan to drive year round up here. By the way, I talked to another pleased owner and he has run synthetic oil in his and has racked up high miles with no problems.

30th May 2007, 07:54

My daughter insisted I purchase her 1997 Saab 900SE Turbo when she moved to Germany. This was her second Saab and she will likely never buy anything but a Saab in the future. I have used the car to commute about 110 miles per day and it has about 209,000 miles on it. It is originally from the Northern Virginia area.

In short, I love the car. It has been extremely reliable and I must admit that I keep it almost exclusively in "sport mode" and really enjoy the zip and nimbleness of this car. We have spent a bit of money in keeping everything working, but nothing out of the usual and nothing that cost very much. It drives today just like it did when I bought it. There are lots of nice features, but the thing I like best is the way this car handles. Oh...I am also amazed at the stuff I can haul in this car. With the seat down and the back cleared out, it holds lots of lumber, furniture, or whatever.