9-3 Reliability? - Page 3

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Thread: 9-3 Reliability?

  1. #31
    Saab Newbie
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    Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

    Thought you might be interested to know...I took my car in for a clutch change recently and the mechanic casualy asked me if i was interested in getting my bulkhead strengthened at no cost as there was a recall on all 9-3's! I wasn't even aware of any problems.

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  3. #32
    Saab Nut Nicko's Avatar
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    Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

    Hello Gaznod

    so the garage (is the garage a dealer?) offered to strengthen it for free ?! Did they mention whether or not Saab were financing the operation?

    I just rang my dealer, Bell & Colville, nice people and a long standing dealer, they said there had been no recall but they had been sent documentation on the issue by Saab??
    My car is going to see them on Saturday morning as I'm not sure if it's the 4 new recently fitted Pirelli P Zeros tramlining that are making the car feel strange or if something has just come adrift in the chassis...watch this space

  4. #33
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    Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

    [ QUOTE ]
    Hello Gaznod

    so the garage (is the garage a dealer?) offered to strengthen it for free ?! Did they mention whether or not Saab were financing the operation?

    I just rang my dealer, Bell & Colville, nice people and a long standing dealer, they said there had been no recall but they had been sent documentation on the issue by Saab??
    My car is going to see them on Saturday morning as I'm not sure if it's the 4 new recently fitted Pirelli P Zeros tramlining that are making the car feel strange or if something has just come adrift in the chassis...watch this space

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Muggins will be very interested to find out the results as well. The 9-3's handling never really inspires that much confidence in any case. My own occasionally throws in the odd wobbly. There is a decent bend on the A23 at Handcross, one of the few left on this road, that throws the car every time. The old 900 8v turbo could whizz through without any problem at all. The 9-3 just never seems to do the same thing twice.
    I reckon Saab should do the decent thing and recall the lot unless they end up with another Lancia type performance on their hands.
    The other side of the coin is that Saabs are selling well, to new customers. Perhaps the loyalty factor is no longer relevant to the company now it is truly a mass manufacturer; us old fuddy duddies are history perhaps?
    Any thoughts?

  5. #34
    Saab Nut Nicko's Avatar
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    Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

    Agreed that they should do the right thing, also that they are selling sufficient new cars not to worry about their old customers. Will they DO the right thing though? From my (and others') experience it seems the answer must be no

    My car went to Bell & Colville the reputable dealer near me. I rang and mentioned that I wanted it checked, since I had been experiencing some anomalies that did admittedly coincide with fitting new P Zeros all round.

    When I got there I was confronted initially by a woman whose attitude was akin to that of a bulldog chewing a wasp telling me I had to pay to even have it checked. I informed her that this was a known fault and I was not informed that I would have to pay when I rang and that I only wanted it checked. I then spoke to one of their chief technicians who was very helpful and knew what he was talking about - he checked it and said that there was a tiny amount of movement (I could not see anything) but nothing to worry about - he had seen the proper failures and thankfully mine was not one of them. His verdict was that the more rigid sidewalls of the new tyres were the cause of the strange symptoms I was experiencing.

    It is an eye opener though to know that the car was built with this fault - It is very disappointing to know that Saab have such a dismissive attitude to this design flaw

    Nicko

  6. #35

    Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

    Hi,

    Just come from the Main Dealer for a service. Asked them to check steering as there was a creaking noise coming from the column. Initially they said that there was nothing wrong with it but when I went to collect it, there was a note on the service form that the Bulkhead was cracked.

    Like most of the other posts in this thread, the service manager said that this was not uncommon and that there was a 'kit' to fix the problem. I have left them to contact Saab about paying for the fix (he advised that this should not be a problem). I will keep you all informed.

    BTW car is a 2001 93t SE (150BHP)

  7. #36

    Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

    Hi,

    Its April 1st and I've just had a call from Squire Furneaux Saab informing me that Saab have agreed to pay for the entire Bulkhead repair (and no it is not an April Fool!) no arguing no nothing . Am booking it in as we speak.

    Guess they do have some sort of customer satisfaction charter after all!

    Cheers

    Mark

  8. #37
    Saab Junior
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    Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

    Ravey Glad to hear you have got joy without a fight.

    Out of interest how many miles have you covered and do you drive her hard (the car )

  9. #38

    Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

    Hi Jagger,

    Have covered 56500 miles and although the car is not modded, I get the most I can out of her (meaning, yes, I do drive her quite hard)! Given the relative clean bill of health (apart from the BH crack) at the recent service, an upgrade is now on the cards

  10. #39
    Saab Nut Nicko's Avatar
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    Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

    Ravey

    well done you
    I wasn't impressed with Bell & Colville's dogmatic response to me when I presented them with mine, luckily it's ok

    Nicko

  11. #40
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    Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

    Ya but Nicko don't you find it of concern that yours could be one of the unlucky (few?) in the future - I certainly do.

    Ravey's has been more fortuneate than some with getting it solved without any problem. But his car is only a babe which has just been run in!

  12. #41
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    Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

    Quite..
    Despite being a 99 model year my car has only covered 60,000 miles; which is to my mind very little.
    It seems that everyone is aware of what is after all a pretty dire problem, one distincly safety related. Coupled with an engine mount failing in the cars first year of life does make me wonder as to the overall integrity of the design.
    If Saab come clean and pay for all the bulkheads to be 'fixed' then the cash strapped company will have a huge bill.
    If they hedge the issue and only pay when forced to they take the risk of getting a reputation of being an unfriendly company. As the company has now well and truly entered the fleet market this may be a risk worth taking. Most of the vehicles concerned are getting on in years, especially as viewed by the image concious fleet sector. Many of those now buying Saabs will probably have them for only a year or two, any long term problems being passed onto the used sector.
    Saabs have never retained their value too well and if this problem becomes general knowledge that situation will not be helped.
    It will be interesting to see which route the company takes.
    ps I have learned a lesson though and now immediately look under the bonnet of any car I have in mind to buy; in order to ensure that the steering rack at least is mounted on a separate sub-frame.

  13. #42
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    Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

    I have sold hundreds of used 9-3's of all types, hatchbacks, convertibles, and coupes, to the best of my knowledge only one vehicle has latter developed a cracked bulkhead and that was very recently, this car was a 2000 X 9-3 5 door, which Saab fixed and bore 100% of the cost themselves without any argument, as they should!

    My point is that though this is a problem, it simply does not affect that many cars, yes if you are unlucky to have a car that develops a cracked bulkhead then you will not be best pleased, but the odds are that you are quite unlikely to come across the problem in the first place! However it seems to be a certainty that if you do have a car with the bulkhead cracks problem, you will find this website and you will post your opinions on it! For if one thing is true about the people who buy Saabs, it is that they have opinions!

  14. #43
    Saab Nut Nicko's Avatar
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    Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

    In reply to Jagger/Grumpy

    Jagger yes it does worry me - my understanding is that there is a small amount of movement in all classic 9-3s/GM900s.

    Griffin I hope you're right, this seems to me to be a design flaw and one that Saab should take on the repairs of whereever it is found without argument, and not play games with owners to see if they can get away with it, which is what they set out to do with me - luckily mine seems alright. It is a lottery whether or not your car will be affected though isn't it ...and aren't all car owners opinionated?!

    kind regards
    Nicko

  15. #44
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    Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

    Nicko apparently it is not a design flaw, it seems to be a material flaw, that is why some fail and most don't, this seems to be an issue with the steel used to make the bulkhead, not the way the car was designed, a good batch of steel, no problem, a bad batch which is why only some cars get the problem. However there are factors like the use of non standard wheels etc, that can exacerbate the issue.

    Saab have been pretty good about this, if there are no issues that may have contributed to the problem they pay up, the parts on most of the repairs come to about £30, the rest is labour, but apparently on some the cost the parts needed comes to quite a lot more as the cracks can be more extensive. You have to remember that many of the 9-3's affected are now 7 and 8 years old and the GM900's can now be nearly 12 years old. The fact that in most cases Saab pick up the tab without an arguament would seem to me very fair, of course these things should not happen, however the reality is that they do!

    Saab owners are definately more opinionated, thats why this forum is so good!

  16. #45
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    Re: Saab 900/93 Bulkhead separation

    [ QUOTE ]
    Nicko apparently it is not a design flaw, it seems to be a material flaw, that is why some fail and most don't, this seems to be an issue with the steel used to make the bulkhead,

    [/ QUOTE ]
    The reports do not read to me that it is a material flaw - from the reports it would appear that it is seams splitting and welds failing.

    But whether it is a design flaw, material flaw, faulty machinery or shoddy workmanship I think it is probably something that none of us would have anticipated would occur to a Saab or any car for that matter. I cannot recall hearing of any other car in recent production which had a fault where it could fall appart.

    Rusting or general failure is one thing but this appears to indicate that the 9.3 is basically not structurally stable around the bulkhead area and threfore it's structural integrety cannot be relied upon.

    If Saab did not believe it was a failing on their part they would not have agreed to pay for any part of any of the repairs. I find it very disappointing that they have tried and probably suceeded in some cases of bullying some owners into accepting that part of the Saab failing is the owners responsibility and only paying for a proportion of what is obvioulsy a hefty repair cost.

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