27 February 2012, 20:13
2004 Saab 9-3 purchase advice
A co-worker is looking at buying a 2004 Saab 9-3 Linear with 108K miles. Besides the basic equipment and technical info, I don't really know what to look for when buying an earlier used Saab 9-3. Any thoughts?
28 February 2012, 19:05
Rear Upper Control Arms - Place Foot on RIM on bottom - grasp tire tread from top and pull push action. If you feel movement the arms are bad. Usually north of 100K these wear out. Also you can tell they are bad if the tires are feathered or cupped on the inside tread of the rear tires.
Tie Rod Ends - loose (pot holes mess these up). Cheap part -easy to replace yourself. Alignment reccomended - not always needed.
Jack up the wheel - check 3 and 9 for play.
Over bumpy roads rattle in front end - usually sway bar end links
Clicking on turns - brake backing plates on front need holes enlarged
Binding in front steering with popping noise - broken springs and or bad strut bearings. (Saab Special Coverage warranty may still apply - 10 years 120K on springs).
Coolant leaks - look beneath and focus on the passenger side well. Water Pumps are popping up more and more - and they suck to do - special too required.
Spark Plugs over due @ 100K - use the OEM NGK plugs
All Filters (Engine Air and Cabin Fresh Air) likey are needed. Engine Air good for like 60K and the Fresh Air Filters last between 10-30K depending on driving, area and where it's parked.
Also - 04' will not have the water barrier shield over the fresh air filter unless it's had a water leak fixed This was factory 06' and up.
Lower air shields are usually busted up and they will take out the wheel liners too - all 3 are not uncommon.
Wipers not parking - wiper trans/motor units (backordered from Saab)
Radio's In-Op are usually from the AMP1 under the driver's seat. A few hundred dollar fix...
Brakes and tires are obvious - check inside brake pads if you can. Earlier cars like 2003-2005 like to wear rears out faster then fronts - also the inside pads could be 1/2 of the outside pads depending on the vehicles driver habbits.
Any questions just ask - I know these cars inside and out.
29 February 2012, 14:18
Thanks so much, I forwarded the info. I also copied your post to Saab 9-3 Buyers Guide for future reference.
07 December 2012, 12:32
Hello, Jeff, I am a bit late, but just recently membered to this forum, and now being stuck to bed sick home, having nothing specials todo: so reading all previous threads,... And such came to you:
Originally Posted by Burnsside42
I have recently bought a 2007 European 9-3 1.8t SS-Linear, with merely 30000Kms on the ODO, and performed a Gas-conversion to that LPi-system from Vialle. Now after yet some months driving this vehicle, things I notice are worrying me.
As for example, a whinning noise from inside the tranny in the Driverside at the Front-Left wheel.
It comes from that protruding part near the wheel-drive-axles outgoing flange.
Oil level is good, and it is only noticable when decelerating slowly to come to stop at traffic lights!
Engine noise will overwhelm this in other situations. And is very hearable with the wheels from ground in gear running.
Any idea on this? Bearing? Real BiG issues? Its my first Saab, however NEVER noticed such on my previous vehicles?
Another thing I get worried about is the clutch plate, althrough no slippery, good acceleration (nothing special, only 150Hp)
HOWEVER, it simply cant be driven pleasant at slow traffic speeds in town,etc... At higher speeds and on highways it does
the ride well comfortable. I just cant drive it at a slow pace, without humping/bumping,...
As, if I had to control a 1000Hp in first at 15Kmph. But this aint such a power-bomb?
So after numerous vacuum leak searches, sparks, solely on gasoline,etc...etc...
I'm getting afraid, the dual-mass flywheel principle, somehow hides an almost worn clutch plate pritty well. J
ust tried to bleed, the entire clutch-control valve, with proper fluid, because it came out very dirty;
anyhow at no avail.
I hope you have any thoughts on these?
Everything is simple ,regarding time spend
12 December 2012, 17:33
Well - here in the USA we don't have any 1.8 engines in our Saab's - but as for a Trans noise - I would start with a fluid change. Drain and fill with some quality Red Line shockproof fluid or quivlent. See if the noise lessons or goes away. I do not know if the trans is the same as the 2.0T cars or not. We have had little problems with them here in the states. As for the clutch issue - I know there have been pressure plate problems with the 2.0T cars at times here. Not common, but not unusual. The pressure plate basically starts to come appart or chatter. Perhaps this is all related to the noise you hear too. Could be a bad throw out/slave cylinder in the clutch making the noise. Hard to diagnose some cars without seeing them and driving them - even more so for a car over the big pond and a model I have never seen before.
Best of luck - feel free to ask me again for more help, I can do what I can with what I know.