1997 SAAB 900 SE from North America - Comments

20th Sep 2008, 14:48

To me it sounds like a lot of the problems happening with everyone's Saab is either poor driving and stuff that just happens. If you beat the crap out of your car, the turbo is going to go, you are going to have to replace tires, fix all the crap that breaks at 150,000 miles.

Take it easy and be nice to your car. I have had mine for years and never ever had a problem with it, sold it to a friend that drove like crap, and he is now replacing the engine.

29th May 2009, 17:41

You all know the real problem with your cars is that GM bought out SAAB and they are no longer the cars they used to be.

30th Aug 2009, 22:05

My husband and I bought a 1997 900 convertible with about 79000 miles. Immediately after we bought it, my husband had the brakes relined, replaced the serpentine belt, and changed the oil. Can't remember if there were more things or not. It started to blow smoke out the tailpipe, it was diagnosed it needed an oxygen sensor which we had put in. We had no problems after that.

I sold it just recently, it had 83,000 miles on it. The person that bought it said it is blowing smoke again and was told that a seal was broken and oil was getting into the turbo. He also added a few things that he said was wrong also. Does this sound right? He expects me to be responsible for it. Does anyone have any suggestions?

25th Nov 2009, 18:25

I have a 1997 900 SE Convertible. The turbo spools all the way deep in the red with 93 octane. I can't get enough of the turbo! I want to get the ECU upgrade and some other performance stuff, intake, exhaust, boost controller, blow off valve etc.

This beast is a tank! had her up to 147! Topped out and still solid, but a little scary.

YES, I have had problems, but you pay for the driving experience when things are going right.

When things go wrong, they add up. Fuel pump and crank position sensor both went at the same time. Then a few months later water pump, flex pipe, and clutch cable again. Not to mention brakes, tires, fixed an oil leak, and I know I'm forgetting more... BUT you can't beat the feeling of the turbo, top down, and revving past daily drivers. This thing is a rocket!

20th Dec 2009, 23:56

Hey every one, I just bought a 1997 Saab 900s. I had the car not 24 hours before it started making this loud knocking in the head. I tried to get it back to my friend's house so I wouldn't be stranded on the road, but we didn't even make it a mile before it stalled out. It would start up, but every time I shifted it would lose all power and stall out, and the knocking just got louder and louder... This is my first Saab and I love it from the drive home from the sellers house, but I never expected something like this, any ideas on what the problem could be?

Tomorrow I'm taking the head off to make sure everything is kosher underneath...

15th Apr 2010, 23:47

Thank you all for your comments. Your experiences, suggestions, warnings, remedies and overall genuine guidance has assisted me in passing up the purchase of one svelte looking silver Saab convertible. I only felt this way once before, when an exceptionally great looking blond scared me more than she enticed me.

It was a good decision then and a better decision now... this car truly scared me away. Au revoir le Saab. 6459.

7th Sep 2010, 18:49

Wow! What a diversity of remarks about the Saab 900! I am thinking of buying a '96 "P" Reg Saab here in the UK. The outside and inside is immaculate, but from the comments, I can see that either you love the car or are disgusted with the problems. When I used to visit Sweden for work regularly, I always rented a Saab 9.5, and have NEVER experienced such a wealth of power in a car before. But this Saab 900 scares me with what has been written on this site! Next time I write here, I hope to have a success and love story! Wish me luck!

19th Sep 2010, 16:59

I have a 1999 SAAB 9-3 SE turbo.

I love it to death, so fast and smooth, even though it has 193000 miles and drives like new. It still smells new. I got it from an middle age lady who loved it to death.

I've had my first problem. I had it for 10 weeks and the flexpipe by the turbo broke so I can't drive it unless I want to kill it. The parts are over 500 dollars and I can't afford it, so it sits still. Does anyone know where to get parts cheap, I can't find them anywhere?

The key is to replace things before they need it. SAAB are just as good as BMW.

GM owns it, but they have nothing to do with the engineering for them. It is still made with very high quality parts.

9th Aug 2011, 19:55

Hi I think I am having the same problem you had with a Saab that I just bought. Did you find out what caused the noise? Please email me the answer at goodmind64@hotmail.com

Thanks. My name is Erastus.

20th Jul 2012, 09:48

Update... it is now 7/12. The car has been a money and labor pit; it has been one thing after another. Water pump, countless switches and electrical issues, coolant leaks, vacuum leaks; I could go on and on. There is always at least one thing wrong with this car, and usually multiple things. I have so much invested that I feel forced to fix it.

8th Jun 2014, 16:07

You may have a bad direct injection cassette AKA "coil pack". If yours was made before June 2003 (if I recall), it is prone to (intermittent, then outright) failure. The ones made after that will never quit. You can get a used one for about $100. It is super, super easy to replace. Just minutes.

Or you could have bad plugs/incorrect replacement plugs. Also super easy to replace.

Or you could have a dead fuel pump. This is a little harder. I followed a stupid tutorial that told me to cut a hole in the sheet metal under the back seat to get to it. I could have died doing that ("KA-BOOM!"). The right way is to safely jack the car up, put it on a block system that will not crumble (cement blocks crumble), empty the gas tank, drop the gas tank... no wait - have a professional do it. Get my drift?

I replaced all three of those to get my wife's car running when we bought it.

Hers is a '97 900 SE that had sat for 18 months before we got it. I knew we would have trouble because of that. We sank $5000 into it over the next two years, half of that because of bad work by bad mechanics. But once we sorted all that out, it has been a pretty good car for an old car. And it is a pretty easy car on which to work.

I am online because her first problem in more than a year happened last night - overheating, probably due to a bad $10 coolant sensor.

Other common problems: O2 sensor (like all other cars), front broken coil springs (okay, that should not happen) and those damned crummy 16" rims. But these cars can last a long, long, long time. Lexus makes great cars, but you don't see many 15-year-old Lexus 300s, do you? You see a lot of 15-year-old SAABs, even though Lexus out-sold them. What does that tell you?

8th Jun 2014, 16:14

You likely have a failing bulb. Pretty easy to replace. Don't touch the new bulb with your skin as your skin's oil will damage the bulb. While you are at it, replace the other side, too. Very cheap, very easy. If you still have the problem, then bring it to a reputable, real SAAB mechanic. Don't waste time on general car mechanics. They will mess up your SAAB because they don't understand them.

P.S. - please don't be one of those people that buys those blue super-bulbs. Those things are too bright and should be outlawed.

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