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GM 900 Reliability?

75482 Views 70 Replies 50 Participants Last post by  biggestgerbil
Ok now its time to make a GM 900 reliability list, as I am considering buying one for my whife!

Please post our inputs!
1 - 20 of 71 Posts
About time too!

1996 900S 2.0 n/a auto, 47k miles.

Only owned it 6 months. Nothing too bad just a few gripes...

(a) Suspension clonks/pops (covered endlessly before here). Only apparent on my car doing 3 point turns on uneven ground and only then under braking. Dealer checked - no faults found.

(B) Headgasket oil leak. Bolts re-torqued - no further leak (so far )

©Stuttering at idle only on warm engine (now gone). Possibly caused by condensation in tank (plastic)and/or bad fuel. Handbook advises carb spirit during winter months. Fuel injection cleaner helps too. Don't run tank too low.

(d) Blocked rear washer jet

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NG900 V6

Cambelts and tensioners - replace belt and have tensioners check religiously every 30,000mls otherwise it could be an engine transplant.

Traction control unreliable but unlike 9000's doesn't stop you driving if it packs up (and it will!)

Door locks prone to sticking but can be cured with occasional application of WD40.

Otherwise mine's been bullet proof.
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1994 S Turbo
Currently - 87,000 miles and modified.
Purchased last year at 68,000.
Rear exhaust box failed soon after purchase.
DI Failure at 71,000.
Clonk on front suspension when purchased - traced to split bump stop this year.
Heater control thingy/connector missing when bought - replaced.
Water/washer pump packed up about 2 months ago -replaced.
Annoying steering wheel shake at 70+mph - ongoing and even though wheels balanced twice.

That's about it.

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Oh Forgot!

Exhaust downpipe - failed at the flexible joint.(costs a packet on the V6)

A/C needs recharging

Power steering pipe failed

Top mount bushes needed replacing

Rear brake cylinder needed replacing.

Serpentine belt shredded.

Oh and the washers stopped working this morning!

Bought Aug 2001 @ 72,000 mls
Now 133,000 mls
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my 900 V6 and 9-3 aero have both been pretty bulletproof, except for an ac compressor failure on the V6 at 78000 miles, pretty long but these things go often and when they do they go with a bang both in the car and on your wallet!

however a 1996 900S 2.0 n/a auto recently bought for my mother .... displayed near exact same problems as specified in Al900S post, in addition to a fuel-air mixture fault, which will result in the unit being replaced at a cost of around $500. Can result in the car not starting at all at times.

Lastly again on the v6 intermittent rear brake light failure reported on onboard computer but thats a short, or wrong bulb or something on the rear.. a minor issue, and i cannot stress enough how important it is to do the belt changes frequently on the V6

Generally if the cars been well looked after its np.
97 900S (non Turbo)

Much of the following info. has already been posted on the '9-3 Reliability' forum, but perhaps worth including here

I have a late 97 900S (non Turbo) which I have owned since mid 2000 and has now completed 71,000 miles. It passed its MOT today (this will be the 4th consequtive MOT without any problems).

Prior to that the car was owned by a close relative who bought it at 6 months old as an ex-demonstrator with remainder of the premium 3 year saab warranty included.

The car was main dealer serviced for the first 3 years of its life and then serviced by myself since then.

Problems to date:

Hatch struts changed at 3 years due to leakage (just before warranty expired).

Its now on its 3rd set of tyres (these will be replaced @ approx. 75,000 miles).

Front brake pads, auxilliary drive belt and idler pulleys replaced @ 66,000 miles.

Rear exhaust box failed at about 60,000 miles, so had a 'Cat. to rear of car' replacement made and fitted in Stainless Steel by 'Longlife Exhausts'

Diaphragm in head lamp washer non-return valve failed @ 68,000 miles - repaired using a thin rubber disc cut by hand.

Couple of replacement brake lamp bulbs fitted during life of car.

Rear brake pad back plates have an annoying habit of corroding and causing the pads to seize in the calipers, necessitating removal and cleaning of the pads. This has now been cured by removing the pads, grinding approx. 0.5 mm off the top & bottom edges of the pad backplates and then refitting the pads.

Water leak around hinge plate for petrol filler flap @ 60,000 miles. Cured by removing screws holding flap in place applying silicone sealant before re-fitting.

Fitted Aftermarket Towbar & Electrics (including Isolation Relay System) @ 35,000 miles.

Supplementary rear springs fitted (they fit inside the standard springs)at 65,000 miles to assist with towing a caravan.

Apart from regular service items (its servied every 6000 miles regardless)there have been no other problems.

No serious problems to date, I'm either lucky; or perhaps which I believe as a Development Engineer in the Automtive Engieering Industry, routine servicing; as specified by most of the vehicle manufacturers is now too infrequent. I will continue to carry out a major Service every 6000 miles!!!
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Until the beginning of this month I had a 1998 900S. As for reliability: excellent the best car I have ever had. Sold at 79,000 miles after 18,000 in only one year.

Only had two things done:

1. New central exhaust section

2. New engine breather pipe, very cheap item.

Apart from that, a truly excellent car and feels quicker than my newer 9-3 2.3 litre.

Highly recommended.
'98 900SE Turbo
These faults over 60,000 miles and 2 1/2 years:

Aircon compressor (warranty)
Headlamp wiper motors (warranty)
Rattles from loose connections under dash (warranty)
Notchy, stiff gear selector (£100 @ dealer)
Exhaust middle and rear sections (£150 @ dealer)
2nd gear synchro (£300 @ indie)
Power steering pump (£70 reconditioned unit + DIY fit)
Auxilliary drive belt (£8 + DIY fit)

I'm not that technically or mechanically minded, but with Haynes manual in hand and next day delivery by numerous indie parts specialists, believe that I can successfully maintain and service my 900 apart from really major engine/gearbox problems.
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As there were only 8 replies to this as opposed to 31 for the 9-3, am I to assume that the 900 is more reliable or just that there are fewer of them left on the road

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1997 900s - currently 62,500 miles

53,000 - Power steering pump failure (replaced)
54,000 - Rear hatch hydraulic struts started to leak (replaced)
59,000 - Headlamp washer motor gremlins - both sides (still unfixed)

All told it's been a very reliable motor so far. Still rattle and squeak free, and very quiet when cruising.

Mark P
OK let's put this posting in the right place now .... List of things that have gone wrong with my '96 2.0i NG900 XS over the seven and a half years and 138,000 miles that I have owned it:

A/c compressor clutch went within 3 months - classic early life failure, replaced under warranty. Replacement has lasted OK since then.
Squeaking brakes: I think this is the parking brake shoes (NB the parking brake uses hub brakes) - has received attention over the years, sometimes it goes away for quite a while.
Two/three recalls - one seatbelt-related (I think) another clutch cable bulkhead bushing-related.
Distributor rotor broke - have heard of this happening to others.
New exhaust centre box and rear box at about 5 years/104K miles.
I decided to replace the shock absorbers at 5 years - the existing ones were not evidently leaking or damaged, but were on their way out.
Had problems with the aftermarket immobiliser resulting in new ignition switch, new ignition relays and new starter motor.
Idler pulleys replaced at 115K miles, having been noisy for the previous year or so. Aux belt replaced at the same time
The front fog lamps were hit by stones within months of the car being purchased - can't be bothered to replace them as they are so expensive.
Battery replaced at 6 years old - sudden death syndrome.
Alternator replaced at 6.5 years as it had been making a "bearings heading south" noise for a few months. The alternator shaft was bent.
The radio aerial is now playing up.
Have the intermittent missing SID problems - not worth fixing
Suspension clunks - I suspect that the bushes need doing - although there have been occasional clunks (some quite worrying!) for a long time which were investigated and nothing untoward found.
Had a new radiator and a/c radiator and condenser following stupid accident (ie my fault!)
Clutch is the heaviest that I have EVER experienced but it is still on the original. However I have had the occasional horrible clutch burning smell when manoeuvring rearwards into parking spaces on hills.
Occasional rattle from trim.
Occasional squeak (possibly from seat)

I have added a towbar and reinforced the rear springs with "autoballan" inflatable inserts. I don't tow frequently (10 times in all), but the spring reinforcers are brilliant when the car is overloaded with wine, beer and water.
The car has always been regularly serviced using Mobil 1.
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If it wasn't for Saabscene help here, I'm not sure if I would have kept my car...the best new/old car I've ever had.

As parts break down on my 97 900SE Turbo...,
I tend to purchase the best hi-performance mods as replacements. All of which started after spinning the crank due to a clogged oil return strainer by replacing the engine.

Currently at 188,000 miles, she's had a lot of parts replaced due several service advisories sent out by SAAB.

New front struts, top bearings, bushings, and spacers got rid of the clunk on small bumps @ 175k; replaced rear struts @ 168k; temp & recirc sensor replaced on a/c @ 182K; replaced bypass/diverter valve twice, once using a bosch valve @ 155k, then using a hyperboost valve @ 168k; replaced air filter using k&n filter; replaced exhaust with 2.5 stainless; replaced cat with race cat, and downpipe with 3 inch; replaced cable clutch with hydraulic @ 182k; replaced clutch & pressure plate @ 182k;

Got the fever/virus for improvements then; replaced intercooler, replaced rusty hollow rear rollbar for a larger solid steel roll bar @ 180k; the ecu with stage 3; brace for steering improved the car getting rid of torque steer.

Now that we've renewed our vows, I think I'll keep her...planning on a body kit and another paint job for her.

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'94 900 SE Turbo


No major problems, except for some gearbox problems. Last year bearings have been replaced, now the third gear synchromesh is giving up the ghost.

First owner has had more trouble: new engine and gearbox.
96 2.0T Sensonic Convertible.

Pretty good so far except for the Pulleys on the drive belt system.

SID failures.

HiFi controls become inoperative -usually cured by a £25 clean-up done by a specialist car electronics firm.

Alternator squealing on start up.

I'm desperately hoping that the Sensonic doesn't give out!

where do you guys go for parts and upgrades ?

Hirsch? Abbotts ? Neo Bros ? Anywhere else and how do you rate them ?
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I've had parts from Neo Bros and Hagstrom Saab. Both have websites.
Hagstrom are cheapish for new parts and are very happy to talk you through any problems.
Neo Bros, in my experience, have less idea what they're on about but are cheap for reconditioned parts, of which their stock is comprehensive.
If anyone is in any doubt as to the long term reliability of GM900's check out this ad from the Auto Trader!!!

1996 SAAB 900 2.0 S Turbo 3dr Sensonic Coupe
Black. cloth trim, ABS, Alloy wheels, Central locking, Electric windows, Driver airbag. 475000 miles.
£3000 .

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Not that they don't reach that sort of mileage, but I'm guessing that's a typo
I did rather assume that. Be interesting if it wasn't though!
97 900 2.0L - Highly modified


battery x2
DI pack
ignition switch
clamshell exhaust clamp
O2 sensor
headlights x6
tires (Bridgestone S03s) cold flatspotting


Optima Red Top SC34R
K&N Filter Panel
DIY intake funnel
B235R (Viggen) Intercooler
Forge FMDV004 Atmo Ram Dump Valve
Saab SS Cat Back
Throttle body transition casting port & polish
Cylinder head port and polish
Hose Tech SVH
Maptun Stage I ECU
Joe P MBC XZ [series installed]
Swedish Dynamics Kevlar Clutch
Thermostat Hack
Zimmerman Crossdrilled Discs
EBC Greenstuf / Pagid Pads
Swedish Performance Group 9 Teflon Lined SS Flex lines
Motul 600 DOT 4
Bridgestone Pole Position S-03s
Swedish Auto Specialties 22mm Rear Swaybar
KIC Innovations Steering Brace
Powerflex Polyurethane Bushings
B+G Sport Suspension Springs
Bilstein HD shocks
KYB Upper Strut Mounts
Monster Power Cabling
Eclipse 8233 (3.5 coax dash)
JL Audio XR650-CS (6.5 mids + tweeter doors)
JL Audio VR690-CS (6x9 rear)
JL Audio 10W3-D4 (10" sub)
Eclipse 3242 amp (200Watts x 4 mains)
Eclipse 34230 amp (550Watts x 2 sub)
1 Farad Cap
Clarion DC625 (6 disc changer)
Factory Head Unit
Custom 8pin DIN preout to Monster Ultralink RCA
Peripheral Low Voltage Trigger
Llumar Centaur Tint (35% front, 15% rear)
Semi De-badged
Smoked Side marker lights
Carbon Fiber B Pillars
Autometer Ultralite A/F and Boost Gauges
Saab Leather Shift Gaiter
Saab Leather Shift Knob
Deleted Rally Flaps
Reinforced trunk floor
Uniden SRD9900SW
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