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  1. #1
    Sean
    SLCraft's Avatar
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    15 Nov 2012
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    Saab(s)
    2001 Saab 9-5 3.0T
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    Question First Time Saab Owner taking advice on 2001 Saab 9-5 3.0T

    I consider myself an enthusiast and have owned many cars, mostly BMW and VW but a smattering of everything including several Volvos. My last car, a 2001 S60 Turbo started having auto transmission slippage and it was a warning to let it go.....fast. I found a 2001 Saab 9-5 3.0t with only 111k miles on it in really nice shape. I have already taken it to the local Saab shop here in Richmond (Twin Starr) and realize that the big 120k service is coming which requires timing belt, water pump, plugs, filters, and tensioner among a few other sundries. I know this is pricey but if I suck it up, I should get 200k out of this car. I have been reading blogs and most anything I can find on my car and this is what I have found out.....please chime in with factual info/experience etc.

    1 The 3.0T was a GM engine and the turbo was added for Saab application. It was used in the US Saturn and Catera. It is not a super reliable nor is it a shitty engine. It makes a nice noise and has more than adequate power for me with minimal turbo lag. i realize the turbo's go in these cars, but when? How much are they to repair?

    2. There seems to be a common thread about water pumps also going. Is it do to inferior OEM manufactured units made of plastic? Can I guy a better aftermarket and not have to keep replacing them? What do I need to look out for?

    3. It seems like there are a ton of lights out in the dash, what is up with that? The seat heaters control knobs, power lock switch, PRNDL console selector, light switch, at least one on the Auto Climate control and the whole area behind the tach. This is a huge pain in the ass from just a labor expense as I am not a shade tree mechanic. Advise on this? Experience?

    4. Automatic Tranny - Lots of posts about black fluid. Since the car has 111k miles I am SURE it is quite due for a service and have no idea if it was done at 60k either (crossing fingers it was) There is talk of doing multiple flushes to get it back to looking "pink" again, this seems excessive.....is it true?

    5. ANTYHING else I should keep my eye on? Thanks from a SAAB Newbie who loves cars!

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  2. #2
    Saab Enthusiast
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    11 Nov 2012
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    57
    Saab(s)
    2003 9-5 Aero wagon
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    Hi, the V-6 is ok just got to do the belt on time, if you dont it will fail,rollers fail and the belt jumps bends the valve. not good. 200k shouldnt be an issue IF the car was serviced well. The turbo will last a long time ,but if lof's were late it wont. The trans is ok if it was flushed, I would look at the fluid and if it is black ,be careful it might kill it. It uses Dex3 would have it drained and refilled at the least. Does it drive ok? DI's were recalled and should have been done by now. Mine is just shy of 187k now. It was well maintained,was the dealer owners car. 111k isnt much for the year so I hope you have service records. Good luck with your Saab.

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  3. #3
    Saab Enthusiast
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    11 Nov 2012
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    Saab(s)
    2003 9-5 Aero wagon
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    Oh you can have the trans flushed all at once but wouldnt do it if the fluid is black , drain and fill first. Heaert valve leak but thats an easy fix.

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  4. #4
    Sean
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    15 Nov 2012
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    Saab(s)
    2001 Saab 9-5 3.0T
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    Thanks OSG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldsaabguy View Post
    Hi, the V-6 is ok just got to do the belt on time, if you dont it will fail,rollers fail and the belt jumps bends the valve. not good. 200k shouldnt be an issue IF the car was serviced well. The turbo will last a long time ,but if lof's were late it wont. The trans is ok if it was flushed, I would look at the fluid and if it is black ,be careful it might kill it. It uses Dex3 would have it drained and refilled at the least. Does it drive ok? DI's were recalled and should have been done by now. Mine is just shy of 187k now. It was well maintained,was the dealer owners car. 111k isnt much for the year so I hope you have service records. Good luck with your Saab.
    I have a local Saab guru and had the car gone over. He said that I was due for a TBelt at 120k, so soon and that was also the "big service" which includes plugs, filters, trans flush, and water pump. It is going to be about 1200 bucks and he told me it was actually better to do water pump with TBelt as you have to pull components apart and it opens space to do the Tbelt. He said that transmission fluid was not black. So, finger's crossed. I do have a lot of dash lights out, so would like to address that at some point and I know it is a lengthy operation. The car is, overall, amazingly solid and drives nicer than my S60 with a bigger car feel and the ride is very well sorted. I just had them put a Neutral Safety Switch on and will have to buy a new alarm horn soon as I am now getting that fault on the SID.....ugh....used cars are just that, used. ha ha!

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  5. #5
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    30 Jul 2010
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    Saab(s)
    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    You can often save a lot of money by doing some maintenance and repairs yourself, especially with Saabs. But you probably already knew that. Changing the timing belt is not something I would like to do myself but other things like changing filters and fluids is pretty straightforward, especially with help of others and tutorials by many members.

    These are solid and quality-build cars though so they last for a long time with the proper maintenance. Welcome to the site and good luck!

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