Should I buy a Saab 9-3, and what do I need to know before doing so??
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Thread: Should I buy a Saab 9-3, and what do I need to know before doing so??

  1. #1
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    Should I buy a Saab 9-3, and what do I need to know before doing so??

    This is my first post here, so hi the everyone

    Having had a recent prang in my current car (the less said about that the better ), my hunt for a new vehicle has begun somewhat prematurely! We've just had our first child so I've been eyeing up estate (station wagon) cars for some time now. I've always liked the shape of the 9-3 and having heard the recent news regarding Saab's demise, I figured I'd look into buying one s/h. However, there is something niggling me that this is a bad idea!

    I've looked at a few now and I think I've settled on the 1.9 TiD Vector Sport [120] 5dr Diesel Sportwagon. I need a diesel as I'm doing approx. 50 miles a day to and from work (mainly fast roads, some traffic) and I'd prefer a manual to an automatic as I need decent fuel economy. Most of the ones I've looked at have >110k miles or more on them for around the 3500 mark. You can pay a bit more and get an 80-90k car for 4000+. Most are 55 or 06 plates. The Vector has all of the mod cons and the nice leather seats, and as I'll be spending plenty of time in it, those things will be useful.

    So, I guess my questions are:

    - Is a 9-3 good for >150k miles? I hope to get a good 3-4 years out of it doing 10k miles a year. Is this achievable?
    - Are parts widely available? ('running parts' and the more obscure stuff)
    - What is reliability like? What do I do if something major breaks? Are Vauxhall (GM) covering spares/repairs?
    - What are the common faults that I should be looking for?
    - I heard that keys and the 'steering lock' fault can be big issues on this car? Is this true or is it one of those internet myths?? Is there anything else to be worried about?

    If there is anything more I should know before parting with my 'hard earned' then please let me know. I had a Saab 9000 a few years ago and it was a cracking motor, I'd love to own another Saab!!





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  3. #2
    Saabisti justjase's Avatar
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    Re: Should I buy a Saab 9-3, and what do I need to know before doing so??

    Quote Originally Posted by CrashEd View Post
    This is my first post here, so hi the everyone So, I guess my questions are:- Is a 9-3 good for >150k miles? I hope to get a good 3-4 years out of it doing 10k miles a year. Is this achievable?- Are parts widely available? ('running parts' and the more obscure stuff)- What is reliability like? What do I do if something major breaks? Are Vauxhall (GM) covering spares/repairs?- What are the common faults that I should be looking for?- I heard that keys and the 'steering lock' fault can be big issues on this car? Is this true or is it one of those internet myths?? Is there anything else to be worried about?If there is anything more I should know before parting with my 'hard earned' then please let me know. I had a Saab 9000 a few years ago and it was a cracking motor, I'd love to own another Saab!!
    Hi Ed, welcome to SC. In my opinion the saab diesel should be good for 150-160k miles (if looked after) my bro in law has a 2005 plate that's done 130k and it sounds better than mine @78k!.common faults we could list all day, as with many makes of diesels. main things to watch for (in my opinion) are; DMF / CSC & clutch - EGR valve - water pump - alternator - front and rear wishbones/ bushes - etc etc.... i'm sure lots of people on here will add to this list but don't let this put you off. i love my car albeit expensive to maintain (at the minute).

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    Re: Should I buy a Saab 9-3, and what do I need to know before doing so??

    Hi Jase, thanks for posting. Forgive my ignorance, but what is the DMF/CSC? I heard that the clutch is expensive to replace

    Do you find parts easy to come by?

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    Super Moderator aerojon's Avatar
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    Re: Should I buy a Saab 9-3, and what do I need to know before doing so??

    Welcome to SS.

    if you are doing long journeys,motorway miles & 14k mls+ a yr then diesel,if not petrol..
    Last edited by aerojon; 03-12-2012 at 09:48 AM.

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    Re: Should I buy a Saab 9-3, and what do I need to know before doing so??

    Quote Originally Posted by aerojon View Post
    if you are doing long journeys,motorway miles & 14k mls+ a yr then diesel,if not petrol..
    Is the petrol Sportwagon any more reliable than the diesel?

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    Saabisti justjase's Avatar
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    Re: Should I buy a Saab 9-3, and what do I need to know before doing so??

    Quote Originally Posted by CrashEd View Post
    Hi Jase, thanks for posting. Forgive my ignorance, but what is the DMF/CSC? I heard that the clutch is expensive to replace Do you find parts easy to come by?
    DMF = Dual Mass Flywheel CSC = Concentric Slave Cylinder Yes they can be expensive and yes they will fail - i got a quote from saab for these recently - 1300 ! luckily i know a saab indy who said they can supply and fit for 700.

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    Super Moderator aerojon's Avatar
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    Re: Should I buy a Saab 9-3, and what do I need to know before doing so??

    2.0 ltr petrol is a cracking engine.. imo

  9. #8
    Saabisti justjase's Avatar
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    Re: Should I buy a Saab 9-3, and what do I need to know before doing so??

    Quote Originally Posted by aerojon View Post
    2.0 ltr petrol is a cracking engine.. imo
    i'll second that! my 2003 aero was a dream compared to the TTid i have now (although 24mpg wasn't the best)

  10. #9

    Re: Should I buy a Saab 9-3, and what do I need to know before doing so??

    Welcome to SS,

    I am currently on 78k with my 05 1.9TID 150,
    Having had the car typical issue - replaced alternator and battery
    General service items - Belt, water pump, oil changes, filters etc
    The gear box is now borderline Fukd barely getting into drive anymore so this is going in to have this replaced which I am not looking forward to when it will come in at nearly 2k,
    Passenger window has issues again regulator has been replaced before haven't had chance to look at this again yet
    rattles on the front end believed to be the anti roll bar drop links which can be brought for 16 on ebay each two bolts even I should be able to fit this

    Haven't had any issues sourcing parts at all since owned the car (2009).

    Things to look out for -
    If diesel and above 70-80k make sure belt/water pump has been changed if not use this in bargaining the price and get it done as a priority - Don't take someones word for it either it will be extremely expensive if they have lied and it then goes.
    Coil springs prone to corrosion then splitting


    If you like your music listen to the stereo before you buy as they are a nightmare to upgrade -
    Aim for the Green/black monochrome screen which normally will indicate a 7 speaker system and there will be an amp under passenger seat if there are no door speakers it won't be a 7 speaker system.
    Or the nav unit which will have either 7 or 13 speakers.

  11. #10
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    Re: Should I buy a Saab 9-3, and what do I need to know before doing so??

    Quote Originally Posted by justjase View Post
    DMF = Dual Mass Flywheel CSC = Concentric Slave Cylinder Yes they can be expensive and yes they will fail - i got a quote from saab for these recently - 1300 ! luckily i know a saab indy who said they can supply and fit for 700.
    Ouch! Maybe I should be looking for one that has had its clutch recently done...

    I've noticed that the few I've seen have had their alternators done, so I can now see why you mentioned that. I heard that keys and electric problems associated with them can be an issue. Is a spare key a 'must'?

    Quote Originally Posted by aerojon View Post
    2.0 ltr petrol is a cracking engine.. imo
    Maybe the petrol version could be worth looking at as well then? 24mpg is a bit on the low side though. Howevery petrol is (slightly) cheaper these days.

  12. #11
    Super Moderator aerojon's Avatar
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    Re: Should I buy a Saab 9-3, and what do I need to know before doing so??

    Quote Originally Posted by justjase View Post
    although 24mpg wasn't the best
    i can live with that,beats having to look at a eml light because the egr valve is clogged & needs cleaning agaaain,dpf full message on the sid, or a rattle coming from the dmf or the swirl flaps have decided to stop working(new inlet manifold if these go completly)..

    mine goes that low in the city,mind u i never go above 4 or sometimes 3rd gear,but on a run with cc set at around 65-70 i'm getting around 44-46mpg..
    Last edited by aerojon; 03-12-2012 at 10:14 AM.

  13. #12

    Re: Should I buy a Saab 9-3, and what do I need to know before doing so??

    Is a spare key a 'must'?
    This article maybe of interest - http://www.saabscene.com/forum/threa...ly-has-one-key

  14. #13
    Super Moderator aerojon's Avatar
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    Re: Should I buy a Saab 9-3, and what do I need to know before doing so??

    make sure when you buy as deano points out make sure there is a minimum of 2 fobs that work with unlock the car also check that the hard key/s supplied with the fob unlocks the passenger door..

    to remov e the hard key press on the saab emblem on the fob & pull.

    my dealer has fobs in stock now,picking one up 2moro..

  15. #14
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    Re: Should I buy a Saab 9-3, and what do I need to know before doing so??

    Quote Originally Posted by deano93tid View Post
    Is a spare key a 'must'?
    This article maybe of interest - http://www.saabscene.com/forum/threa...ly-has-one-key
    Hmm, seems as though a s/h Saab diesel could be a gamble. But then I guess you'd have the same with any Audi/BMW. Two keys looks like a must. Although it's good to know that you can get hold of blanks and fobs.


    Quote Originally Posted by aerojon View Post
    make sure when you buy as deano points out make sure there is a minimum of 2 fobs that work with unlock the car also check that the hard key/s supplied with the fob unlocks the passenger door..

    to remov e the hard key press on the saab emblem on the fob & pull.

    my dealer has fobs in stock now,picking one up 2moro..
    Let us know how you get on with the fob. Would be interested to know the cost and what is involved.

  16. #15

    Re: Should I buy a Saab 9-3, and what do I need to know before doing so??

    It would be much easier for you to find a car suitable with 2 keys than it will to source a blank and have it coded.

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