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2003 9-3 Vector
Build Date: 6/03

1. Before picking up the car - One of the computing units need to be replaced while making Tech II changes that I requested - Delayed picking up the car.

2. First day - One of the keys just stops working, not a battery issue. Key is reprogrammed. Works fine.

3. First month - Passenger Seatbelt sensor not working. Brought car in 2x for this problem. First time sensor was adjusted. 2nd time sensor is replaced.

4. Second month - car is brought in for replacement passenger sensor AND the locking system no longer locks on drive off. This is where the dealer really screwed up. When I get my car back after 2 days, I start to drive away and I get an SID message "security system failure - please contact Saab immediately". Apparently more computers needed to be replaced. My service center seems to have difficult in applying the necessary Tech II changes. They keep my car for a total of 10 days. A case number was opened at SaabUSA which mentions the car's reliability and local dealership's ability to correct the problem promptly in addition to letting the car out with a major problem (without checking it).

5. Current - The other key that I have been using (not the one that was reprogrammed months ago) just stops working. Replaced battery and still doesn't work. Another problem is the trunk door release button is not working. This problem however, I can probably attribute to the tinter who had to remove door panels to apply felt strips to prevent scratching. Bringing in the car early in the new year to get 2 new keys.

In all, I am not impressed with the reliability of this car. I leased an Acura CL-S just before getting my 9-3 which I believe was in the shop less than a handful of times in the 3 year span that I have had the car. Already, in the couple of months that I owned my 9-3 it has been in more times (for problems) than any of my other previous cars put together.

Right now, I am a little gun-shy about my car. Always in the back of my head, I am wondering what is going to go wrong next and more importantly....when.

That's my story (so far).
 

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Thus far, nothing noteworthy has occurred that's required a "special" trip to the dealer.

The only annoyance has been a defunct OnStar system that requires me to make a special trip tomorrow morning and hang around two hours while it gets retuned.

What better time to have my Euro OEM 18" wheels mated with my new tires
 

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No major problems to report here. Just the normal rattles and buzzing that the dealer fixed. I had to get my clearcoat resprayed on my hood, roof and trunk lid. SAABUSA removes the wrapping on the cars at the ports. So the cars sit out in the elements. So the acid rain etched through the clearcoat. The dealer took care of it. Its good as new now.
 

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06/03 2.0t Arc 5spd - 6000 miles

No problems
No rattles
No stalls
No bugs
No hassles from the dealer - only been in once for the 30 day.

Badges come loose in in hot weather. Tossing up whether to remove them or not.

Only gripe is that things like aux-in, blue-tooth, nav, TEL2 are all unavailable. Oh the stereo sucked, but I fixed that.

Best car I have ever owned by far.
 

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I have an '03 Arc with an 05/03 build date. 4500 miles to date, and no real problems - it's been a pure joy. I've had the rattles, which were real bad at one point but seem to have mostly fixed themselves over time. The only thing I've had to take it in for was the passenger side rear view mirror auto-down stopped working - definitely nothing to be too concerned about. I've been slightly frustrated with some of the interesting software, um, peculiarities, such as the fact that the radio forgets its preset whenever radio data comes in, and the [expletive deleted] we get in the US with trying to get the DRL's disabled without giving up the fog lights and having comfort close, but in all it's been an awesome experience for me, and the minor problems/annoyances I just chalk up to the chance I knew I was taking in getting a first model year car.
 

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I have a 10/2002 build 93ss.

Except for rattling and buzzing (first year model blues), otherwise, a real blast to drive!

 

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11/02 2.0t Vector Automatic - 10000 miles

1. Air conditioning /cooling didn't work. That was obvious with the first hot day. Service spotted out that there was a faulty fuse (not blown) from the factory. Fuse is actually for the fans in the radiators and if not OK air conditioning doesn't switch on either.

2. Front suspension had strange noises occationally. That was sorted out by service. Something was done with springs.

3. One key stopped working recently, works ok for starting the car but no response for unlocking/locking. I suppose first thing is to check the key battery.

Generally the car has been very good (and the first item was just unlucky and the third item can possibly be cured with the new battery). However there are few things which I would hope Saab made better:

1. Manual seats don't have front edge height adjustment and that is possibly the most annoying thing. With electric seats there is no problem.

2. Petrol tank should be bigger (at least automatic is a bit thirsdy in my opinion).

3. Basic 4-speaker audio is a joke (you need at least 7-speaker version for bass).
 

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04/03 build US ARC. to date 7500 miles, picked up on 05 june 03.
Service issues: was in for 30 day check up, software updates, DRL adjust to ROW, door locks on drive off, etc
2nd service was for brake pad replacement, replace broken smartslot cupholder, software update to increase RPM at idle.
Overall, my build quality, lack of rattles, superior drivability, I am very happy with the car.
A caveat though, my parents next door neighbor picked up a 04/03 build Arc a few days after I got mine, and he has had a few rattles. From what I have read in the other forums, and hearing from others, it appears that for some reason, it is the luck of the draw on whether the 9-3SS is tight or loose.
 

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28 k miles
1.8t Arc cosmic blue/grey leather es2/7
born 11/02
problems so far ....
seat broke ! (i'm a lfa ) the lumbar adjuster is u/s and still waiting on a part from swedeland
battery..duff cell immobilised us on the morning of my son's graduation..what a panic !
had alarm gremlins ... it has gone off randomly when driving and advised to take to dealer straightaway !!...problem went away and has not come back
dte kept going screwey but fixed at second attempt at servicing...

no other probs to report
very pleased with what must have been one of the first production cars ...I had expected a lot more trouble..
get about 35 mpg at the mo....(imperial)
the dealer is [expletive deleted] btw....
my wife loves it !!
 

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Wow, looks like I have the inauspicious privilege of having the most problems (so-far).


Well, at least my car doesn't rattle!

I wonder how the 9-3SS is doing statistically (with regards to customer/problem ratio)?
 

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17K DOM - 12/02

Rattles were a big problems but that was history
Wind noise entering the cabin when >90km/hr when ACC is on recycling mode.

Otherwise the engine and transmission is surprisingly good!!

Lets hope thing stay that way Except for the wind noise!!
 

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2003 US Spec Vector - Silver
JR - Air Filter
Euro Rub Rails
All speakers changed and bass tube added.
Comfort close enabled (Had to beg dealer )
Next mod - 18" if someone would make one's I like.

Problems:
A few door rattles that I fixed myself that sometimes come back.

The major problem I had was a 1" play in the steering wheel. Dealer though I was crazy. I had to write a letter to the CEO and then they contact the dealer to finally address the issue. After three times to the dealer, they found some steering bolts not torqued down correctly.

Overview:
Nice car, but not my Audi A4. Not sure if I would buy another one. Can't beat the looks of the Saab, but the build quality of the A4 and the dealership response was much better with Audi. Probably will have the car for another three years, so looking to do as many mods as I can afford.
 

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Apr 2003 Vector 2.2 TiD, Cosmic, ES 3-13, convenience pack, heated seats, Xenons, folding mirrors

Had it since October 2003 (swapped out my high-mileage 02 Aero Estate), now at 11K miles (I ve done 4K) and only problem I've noted is the Sat Nav telling me distance in metres one day and yards the next. I can live with that

The 45mpg is pretty neat too
 

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03 Linear, nearly 16K miles since last January.
Launch, Sport, Touring, 5 speed

After a few trips to get the front end clunk fixed (it was a prevalent issue on Sport Pkg equipped early run cars), not much else to report. Essentially, new struts were to be installed to compensate for the shorter springs of the sport chassis. The oil pressure sending unit was replaced during the last oil service. Dealership is, as has been for a long time, wonderful.

Besides a few oddball warning lights (the clear button works wonders) nothing else has broken or needed to be replaced.

Very happy with her. I'd like to say that if I did it all over again, I would, but since my car is no longer sold exactly how mine is equipped, I dunno... I can say our 9-5 will be replaced by a 9-3 Vert when the time is up.

As this is the latest in a string of Saabs for our family (we also have an 02 9-5 Linear), I'll say that while Saabs interior "feel" is not up to par with some competitiors, it does outshine them in overall quality that lasts.
 

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93SS Aero, Black.
Aquired 26 March 03, Milage 27500 to date.

Problems to date:
1. Handbrake locked on (at a set of traffic lights!!!) on the second day of ownership.

2. Minor creaks and rattles, but they have tended to sort themeselves out--mostly.

3. Bloody awful 4 speaker stereo-wish i had heard it b4 i bought the car. Two expensive to upgrade now--thought saab were having a laugh when i asked about upgrading to the 7 spk package £££ a few mths ago.

4. Had to top up oil twice -approx 1.5 litres in total.

5. Keep getting "Coolent level low-top up" messages on SID--res is at correct level..

All in all a very trouble free 9 mths of motoring, very happy with my first venture into a Saab. Even the consumption comes in at an aveage of 29.5mpg (with very spirited driving) a lot better than my previous car nissan 200sx. The engine does feel and sound better with age...

regards all
 

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2003 9-3 Linear with Launch with Sport Package.
Build Date: 9/02

Here goes:

1. Hood misaligned. 68 miles. After delivery I noticed that the hood was misaligned. The gap above the headlights was not even across the front of the car. The dealer Techs did their best, but it was never really fixed. Now the hood is so torqued that when you pull the hood release, the hood pops up like a spring.

2. Loose front grill vents, hood still misaligned. 508 miles. Grill replaced by dealer. Hood not adjusted as there is only "limited adjustment."

3. Out of alignment and wheels out of balance. 2949 miles. Could not align as they did not have software for alignment machine. Wheels balanced.

4. Out of alignment. 5538 miles. Tires were feathering. Dealer performed a four wheel alignment.

5. Steering wheel clicking noise, peeling of shifter cover plate. 7697 miles. Onstar installed at this service (service reminder reset by tech, very difficult to explain at later date for time for service). Could not duplicate steering noise. Replaced shift cover plate.

6. Steering wheel clicking noise, drivers door lock switch inoperable, program door locks on drive. 8493 miles. Steering column replaced. Door lock switch re-connected. Door locks programmed.

7. Steering wheel lock errors, parking brake cable slack, driver side door rattles. 9389 miles. Tech removed and adjusted steering column. Removed door panel and installed foam tape. Adjusted parking brake cables.

8. Steering wheel not centered, driver side door handle broken, clicking noise from steering wheel. 11420 miles. Replaced power steering gear. Replaced driver's side door panel. Alignment of rear end.

9. Heavy steering at low speeds, passenger door rattles. 12224 miles. Could not duplicate steering feel. Installed foam tape to door panel.

10. Heavy steering at low speeds, Onstar failure messages, many steering immobilizer failure notices. Rotate and balance tires. 13224 miles. "Tech road tested vehicle and several others-could not duplicate concern at this time" for steering issure. Could not find onstar fault codes. No fault codes found for steering immobilizer "recommend turning steering wheel to unlock before starting car" (funny). I paid for the tire rotation and balance ($50). I already had rotated them myself at about 7k.

11. Heavy steering at low speeds, wanders off-center steering, side bolster of rear passenger side seat loose, intermediate service. 14366 miles. No alignment performed, told me that it was due to low tire pressure. Re-attached seat side bolster. Performed intermediate service. As part of the service they rotated my tires back to where they were at 13k miles. When I talked to the service advisor, he told me the tech said the back tires were better than the fronts and that's why they rotated them. It may be likely that the alignment is bad and is causing the steering problem, and irregular tire wear is confirming this.


I used some of my records to remember this stuff, and I even left some out if you can believe it.
 

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Saabee-
it seems your techs are throwing time - theirs and yours- at a problem without going to the root: I'd bet most of your alignment issues, etc are directly related to the Pirelli tires on this car. (Sport pkg equipped)
The Pirelli tires weren't bad when very new; however, they quickly tuned into a Jekyl and Hyde: great grip while throwing you all over the raod, finding every undulation and ride in the road.
By 8K I noticed the tires were begining to wear excessively; by 16K (now) the center rib is smoth, yet the outer edges are normal. Pressures are checked every week, BTW.
I had the car aligend once, thogh it was a bad job, and rechecked at another center. Everything was tight and correct.
 
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