16th Nov 2010, 12:28
To the previous poster - do you not think that you are being a bit too critical? A car is designed to be used. SAAB or otherwise.
I understand that being fussy may get you a nice car, but you will waste so much time looking for the 'ideal' car. My Volvo has a cigarette burn in it, but the car still works and I can't fault it. Would it really be worth me spending 6 months finding the exact same car without a burn? What's the point? Any car can break... it's a car!
My Volvo hasn't, it must be noted, caused me one seconds grief and it's great. Complete with the burn!
24th Nov 2010, 06:37
If that "cars are to be used" comment ("to previous poster") refers to MY posting, I just can't see how it's relevant, but thanks anyway. I think some of us know the difference between use and abuse, and I have driven some cars harder than your average driver, in earlier years and it always shows... cars have spirits, and those spirits record the life and death of the auto.
I received the 1996 back today... This car drives very well, has its new clutch properly done (that is... the flywheel machined as well.. it only takes a very little wear to have a juddering clutch... foolhardy not to have it machined whilst gearbox out.) I bought this car off photos and it had service history. No "lesser" drives the same as the Carlsson or Aero, as their chassis preparation is quite different, but with a Bilstein kit this car would be a very nice driver... everything is smooth and the car feels fresh. The two earlier owners were fastidious it is quite obvious.
The interior is really very good and the body too other than one dent in bonnet. There's an electrical fault for me to sort out... being that the headlight wipers are on all the time and the electric drivers seat isn't working. The car has had two owners and was well maintained up to 2008 known... The cigarette lighter and ashtray have never seen a cigarette... I simply will not buy any car I know has been driven by a smoker. The early life of any car I am well convinced sets its future.
My 900S which went into limp whilst parked in the Saab service drive (like the workshop do you??) is awaiting a part... The TCS motor for the 900S should arrive by tomorrow and we'll see what happens then.
This car is in very good condition, but its 2 years or so in storage are always??...
My Cosworth has been on blocks for 7 years now, and that means those good tyres will be useless as far as I am concerned when I arrive back in France... they will not be distorted, but will be aged. Cars like SaaB turbos should have a full tyre refit within any 2 years in my view. When changing tyres, the new ones go on the rear not the front, and that's compulsory in France... it has nothing to do with "driving wheels", it's about rear wheel skids and the accident toll from them. It's not a matter of choice, an accredited tyre place over there does what their law says, not what we say. Changing all hydraulics, <2 years, is another safety "must".
Those who have driven in Europe will know that you cannot drive a car on the road unless insured, and that current insurance document MUST be displayed in the pouch made for it... and on the windscreen. That's a situation long overdue in Australia. In France the Government doesn't muck around, and will tell insurers to pay up.
In closing, it is slightly eyebrow raising to find that the "SAAB" fold-out leather wallet to hold the manuals etc is made in Thailand. Surely the Swedes could do better than that!
On "use and abuse"... Using a car sensibly and reducing stress is like using any piece of machinery wisely. One can tell a lot about car and driver by the smell and appearance of the car, even if you can't meet its owner-driver. Driving cars fast can be done easily and well, or become a sort of vandalism. At the end of the day, you get the results of abuse and it costs money and reliability. A good start is leaving cars that are not cared-for, with their owners. You cannot make a tired and abused car into a "silk purse", and new carpets and whatnots simply signal that the car is unoriginal and probably abused..
24th Feb 2011, 09:14
As far as the 900 is concerned, and said on this site to be better than the 9000, and have no problems, the manual gearboxes are notoriously weak in the Turbo, especially the Aero. Best to replace them with 91-93 box.
The cars are cute, but the V6 has some real problems... I spent $3500 on one for my son. I went away, and when I came back, the motor had no compression. The belt wasn't broken, but who knows.. bent valves... I could weep!!..
The worst aspect of the 900 is the weak connection to the firewall of the steering rack. It often breaks off the firewall. The repair is around $2000.
As with all Saabs these days, the replacement rack seals are not worth "spit", and we cannot get OEM's. I am told that if you put on enough of an act, SAAB will pay the rack remounting, as it was a major drama... Saab will repair the car even as far back as say 1987/88 I am told by mechanics, but you have to push. Much of this drama is the driver. I have no doubt that racks breaking off the firewall is owing to people doing stationary wheel turning and putting a lot of stress on the rack.. that's no excuse, and nor is the fact that the problem continued right through the 9-3's. This isn't a safety feature... the rack cracking off as you drive!!
Gears pack it in, but so also do the diffs... not worth repairs... buy another box.
The 900 is a great highway car, but there is no excuse for these defects, even if caused by idiot, engineeringly challenged incompetent drivers... whether you or someone before you. For me the entire concept of the FWD car is ludicrous (I own 4)!! But that aside, the inability to replace motors or gearboxes with something better (the 2.3 by the way is a superb engine) really is a pain.
The 9000 is a first class car if not abused. The 9-5 and the 9-3 are much lower quality, but the 9-3 is a prettier car than the 900... tragically. You would be forgiven for thinking that Saab expertise and GM's budget would start by CURING the "age" faults.
I have a white 2.3 Carlsson, but have to admit the trionic cars are extremely rapid (including my midnight blue 234E Anniversary, on which I recently replaced its turbo). I have one only black Aero and one champagne CSE, and they are all lovely cars.
The trionics are much more economical than the other models, and noticeably easier on fuel.
My suggestion is at this time of Saab's life; store and occasionally drive the car, and buy something else as an everyday car. 9000's are magnificent, but always seek tell tale signs of an abused one... turbo noise or smoke, things not fixed, dog or cat hair... some who makes their Saabs a hair nest won't even clean the car for sale... that says a lot!
If there's water rather than coolant, drain the radiator and look at the rust situation in the water, but in a nutshell, don't buy it. Make sure it's all there underneath too, and don't buy anything with cut springs.