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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

I have just sold my car (mazda mx6) and am looking for a family car that will keep the smile on my face. I shortlisted a few cars and a saab is on that list. I have approximntely 4-5k to spend. I think I can get a good 9000 for that (although a v high mile 9-5 might be just in budget).

The question is, what are the major things to look out for. Would a 120k car still be good for another 100k without too many problems? Which model (CD or CS) and what spec and engine are the best. I have heard that the auto's aren't up to much, so would be looking for a manual. Obvious things like head gasket, timing chain and brake fluid I can check (or get a saab specialist to look over).

Many Thanks

Jonathan
 

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dont know a great amount about saabs myself except driving them of course but i own a 9000 cse i believe this is a better quality car especially the interior i think if you are looking for a cd or cs the e at the end adds things like leather interior and overall better spec although dont quote me youre in the right place to get the info from though and the folks here are 100% helpfull if it helps i live in the manchester area youre welcome to take my 9000 cse eco for a spin to give you a feel it is an auto however and not as mint as some...good luck and get ready to be bombarded with loads of info.
 

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Stupot is right about the "e", don't rule out an auto as they are fun, my 2.3 is still pretty quick. Manuals do tend to be better on fuel though. You could probably get an Aero for the money you have, 2.3 Full Pressure Turbo with 225hp and all the goodies.

At 120k the car is just run in, mine has 204k now and running sweet. You've already listed the main things to check for. Make sure you see the engine start from cold, look for smoke, and when it's warm rev the engine quite hard to check for turbo smoke.

Good luck
 

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You should get an early 9-5 for that sort of money. I have a 9-5 and it's very nice to drive. Comfortable, fast enough with the Saab speciality of low-down torque.

Choice of three engines 150hp 2.0 litre & 170hp 2.3 litre low pressure turbos (lpt) and a 230hp high output turbo (HOT). I wouldn't expect to find a HOT to fall within your price range yet. Not a huge difference in performance between 2.0 and 2.3.

SE spec adds foglights, wood dash, alloys, climate control to base model. But these can be added later. As can cruise control and other options.

Automatic very smooth and economical; over 35 mpg possible on a run at a steady 80 mph.

Only downside is perceived high cost of spares but there is a fairly active market for the alternative supply of parts. Also a lot of independent service and repair specialists.

Saabman has a 2.0 (now upgraded) which has done around 150,000 miles without problems, but I'll let him tell you the details.
 

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Hi Digsy,

You'll get much more car for your money if you get a 9000. A 2.3T (200bhp) Anniversary (run-out model with two tone leather wood steering wheel and all the goodies) at 80k miles is valued at £4330 in excellent condition as a trade in. So you should easily be able to get one of these with some hard negotiation.
If you dont actually want an auto I would stay away from them (I have a 2.3T manual and auto) as they are more likely to break than the manual.
Also stay clear of any with traction control - big bills if it goes wrong. Head gaskets on turbo engines can be expected to go between 100k - 150k (I'm getting ready to do my two in the next year or two).
 

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Welcome Digsy!

There's obviously plusses and minusses whichever way you go, and although the 9-5 is a more refined and comfortable car I thnk with your budget I'd go for the 9000. You'll get a car that's more loaded and, noting your comment about a family car, the versatility of a hatch. A 9-5 in your price range is likely to be a base model that's had a fairly hard life IMO. Age is not a problem for Saabs; the 9000 in particular is a very hardy beast if looked after well.

Leather seats are very practical for resisting dirt etc. and as long as cared for regularly will far outlast velour.

Other things to check/ask-
-has the DI cartridge been changed
-possibly timing chain (120k plus)

As for which model, the 2.3LPT (170hp) is the best bet IMO. You get very good economy, and a reasonable amount of performance. Being an LPT, the engine and box will have had an easier life than a FPT, and you can always fit an aftermarket upgrade later. The LPT is also more insurance friendly.

The auto box is an acknowledged weak point on 9000s, especially FPTs. If you really wanted an auto, then go for an LPT.

Main dealer or good indy service record is important, if only to know that the correct synthetic oil has been used.

[edit] I forgot to add that I think Saab will still sell you a mechanical warranty on any car up to 6 years/120000 miles.

Anti-corrosion is also 6 years so it's worth giving it a good check over to look for any potential problems that can be fixed.
 

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Welcome to Saabscene, Jonathan.

£4-5K should get you something nice in a 9000. Just a word about trim levels - I wouldn't rely in the "E", as it doesn't necessarily mean leather seats, etc. A lot of these were options and one of my CSEs has cloth seats (which I prefer). I've seen a CSE without climate control too. However, you are more likely to see the goodies on a CSE/CDE.

I'd say assess each car on its own merits as far as equipment is concerned.

The CD/CDE are the saloon version and are very comfortable, having the softest ride of all 9000s. However this has its downside, as it rolls a bit more on corners than the hatchbacks if you're into sporty driving (although my CD still handled pretty well) and the self-levelling shocks on the rear are more expensive to replace than the standard ones when the time comes. I had no end of comments from passengers on the excellent ride in my CD.

One good thing about the CD is that if you fancy modifying the suspension, the bodyshell is stiffer than the hatchback so handling potential is pretty good.

I don't like auto boxes, although I bought a CSE auto for my dad to drive - the first auto I've ever owned. I can drive it a lot more smoothly than any of the manuals, but that might just be down to my driving. I did a bit of research before I bought that car and came to the conclusion that a full Saab service history, along with the lower-torque 2.0 light-pressure turbo engine (EcoPower) gave it a good chance of survival. The car had 100K miles when I bought it and the gearbox works flawlessly.

Which brings me to another thing - service history. For the price range you're looking in, you ought to be able to find something with a full Saab dealer service history. Saab specialist stamps in the book are probably OK for the last few services, but if it doesn't look like it's been serviced properly then I'd pass it up, especially if it's an auto. Beware if it's been serviced by someone who doesn't specialise in Saab, as some things on the 9000 need to be done properly. For example, the wrong spark plugs (even the wrong make of spark plug) or the wrong plug gap can cause it to run badly and long-term can damage the ignition cassette, which currently runs at around £150.

As well as a tuned 9000 Aero, which certainly puts a smile on my face, and the auto, I also have a manual CSE 2.0LPT which I find great fun to drive. For maximum fun, of course, you want the 2.3T (don't confuse with the 2.3t light-pressure turbo) in manual form.

While test-driving, don't worry too much if the steering feels a bit vague, and "floats" a bit at speed. New wishbone bushes will usually sort that out and they're cheap and easy to fit, although it can be used as a lever for the selling price. Foot to the floor in 3rd gear or higher to see whether it misfires under full load - usually spark plugs or ignition cassette, although if it hasn't been serviced properly, you could suspect a clogged fuel filter (should be replaced at approx. 100K mile intervals).

If the speedo doesn't work, seriously consider walking away. It could be a cheap repair (a connector or a new gear for the sender) or it could involve removing the gearbox to replace the speedo drive ring gear on the differential. I was lucky enough to pick up my CSE just after it had had this repair done, so at 137K miles, it had a reconditioned gearbox.

If it's a turbo, then after the test drive, try reversing it into its parking space and note any smell of burning oil as you reverse into the exhaust fumes. Then leave the car idling for a few minutes while you look around it. If the exhaust emits a burning oil smell, the turbo oil seals could be on the way out. Probably around £400 at a specialist, depending on the turbo (the manual Aero and some other very late 2.3Ts had a bigger turbo and 225hp).

I can't think of anything else offhand (and I'm supposed to be writing a 9000 buyer's guide
), but I had no worries at all about buying a 9000 with nearly 140K miles on it and it's going well.
 

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I'd totally agree with Bill, I bought my CS 2.3T auto with 185K on the clock, it has now done 204K and still runs superb. The only thing I find is that round town the auto is thirsty, a lot of this is probably my driving style as well, I like to use the Turbo
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi all and thank you very much for the advice, gratefully received!

I have just bought (well put a deposit down, need to make balance this weekend) on a 1998 9-5. 2.0 lpt SE. midnight? blue, sandy colour leather, climate, elec all, fogs etc etc full SE spec. 90k on the clock, saab history (well enought stamps and the bill for the last service.

Total price? £4800. Boy am I smiling


So expect to see me on these boards plenty.

The only issue is that some of the pixles on the radio and climate control are faded or out. I know this is a common saab fault, will it cost much to replace?

Thanks again

Jonathan
 

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It's not a mechanic sort of thing.

The problem with the SID display is that there is a thin ribbon connecting strip between the printed circuit board and the display itself. It is generally agreed that the problem is that the connections at the end of the ribbon are going open circuit. Since there are dozens of parallel "wires" in the ribbon each about half a millimeter apart, you won't fix it by soldering.

I fixed many of the missing pixels by taking out the SID ( It can be prised out, but it's easier to remove the radio and press the SID out from behind) and taking the cover off (Torx screws) unscrewing the display from the circuit board and refixing it with a wide rubber band trapped under the display and on top of the ribbon connectors.

This fixed most of the missing pixels. I have yet to get round to trying to increase pressure on the display end of the ribbon.

So far I get a lot of missing pixels when I first start up in the morning, but as the interior warms up the display improves.

There are bulbs in there. Small ones in holders that undo with a quarter turn, but they're there to give general illumination, so you should see all pixels available even if one bulb goes.
 

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Welcome to the wonderful world of 9-5's digsy!

You'll find as already mentioned the display panels aren't well known for reliability in the 9-5's...
But if you follow sgoulds instructions you have a good chance of saving £160 for a new sid, and if its gone anyway theres no harm in trying is there?!

Let us know how you get on!
 

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You don't mess about Digsy! I make that less than two days between asking about a car, then buying one! Certain board members take months of deliberation before buying (not mentioning any 9-5 Aero owners beginning with "H" )

Welcome to the board by the way
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi km

thanks for the welcome.
I didn';t really ave a choice, my car is going to day, so i needed to get another one quick. When I saw this one for 4995 with everything on it that I wanted (leather climate, manual, 2.0 se spec, right colour etc, I jumped at it. Its not as quick as my last car, but its good.

Does anyone know what the going rate for an extended saab warranty would be?

Thanks

Jonathan
 

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Digsy
Are you ***sure*** the Saab is slower than the MX6?. I made the same change as you - MX6 to 9000 2.0lpt auto and I find that my average speed has gone UP . OK the acceleration is not so blastful and I miss the high revving V6 but the plus side of far more reliable handling - especially in the wet - more than makes up for it. Another plus is that I don't have trouble with boy racers in souped-up esgrots anymore - they don't try to race when I'm so far ahead anyway.

Mike
 
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