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  1. #1
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    2004/2005 Wagons

    Hi everyone,
    I've been considering getting a new car and have caught Saab fever. I'd really appreciate opinions on the following - have been reading the forums but direct advice is always welcome.

    There are a few 04/05 wagons in the area, 110k-120k miles under $6k. I like th older consoles and understand these postdate the oil sludge problem.

    I live in Manhattan (and have access to a garage). I also kayak a lot and this car would mainly be to take my boat and friends to other locations, usually <200 miles away. A couple of times a year I'd drive to Maine or Virginia, about 600-800 miles roundtrip. I figure that's OK if I keep up the fluids and maintenance.

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  2. #2
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    100K miles for an 04/05 9-5 with 2.3T engine is just broken in and they can go many more miles. If there is a good service history with the car and it is in good shape, it should last a long time. The sludge problem was fixed for 2004 and up but regular oil changes with full synthetic is always important for these engines.

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  3. #3
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    Thanks. I suppose I need to hear that. Most of the car guys I know IRL are shaking their heads vigorously when I say I've got Saab fever.

    Hopefuly I'll test drive this weekend, if Joaquin doesn't wreck it with the weather.

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  4. #4
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    So here's a minor update - I thought I'd posted this.
    The wagon I went to check was a dog. I took it to a mechanic (they were not the seller) and they came back with . . .a lot, high points being: rusted exhaust through and through, broken right rear suspension, one broken engine mount, airbag and hazard light on (apparently, that's one combined code). So I took a pass on that.

    I did take a look at some of the cars they had on the lot. There are some other bargains on the market - the first one I drove a month ago seemed alright, but I suspect it might have some issues too. That was an 04 Arc wagon, automatic.

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  5. #5
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    It's a hit and miss with used cars. I almost bought a 2004 9-5 with 80K miles I found online and it turned out to be something similar to what you found. Rusted exhausts, rattles everywhere, funky interior smell an djust an overall bad feel of the car.

    I also found a 2005 with 100K miles that was in great condition for its mileage. It really all comes down to how a previous owner took care of the car and the palce it's from. Cars from the Northeast USA are often well worn because of the winters and conditiion of the roads they have been driven on.

    My best advice is to be patient and buy the best you can find, even if it is an higher price than average. Good luck!

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  6. #6
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    I test drove the 2005 Linear estate. Seemed OK, and I haven't totally forgotten how to drive manual.
    It's been one owner, <10k/year miles. I'm liking that. The oil was only recorded as being changed at the 30k and 54k marks, and most recently when the dealer bought it. Opinions on that? Maybe the guy was DIY oil change?

    I understand Saabs use timing chains rather than belts. New concept to me but I get it - I take it chains are generally preferred.

    I'm pretty stoked about this Saab. It's hitting most of the notes I started with - wagon, manual, seems in good shape. CD and stereo work. Even the James Bond cupholder is intact. What's the point in owning a Saab otherwise?

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  7. #7
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    Timing belts have to be replaced every 60K miles and timing chains generally go for 200K+ miles. The 2.3t in the Linear has 185hp and the Garrett turbo usually needs to be replaced after 100K miles. But could last longer. Look for a puff of blue smoke at startup to see if the seals are going bad.

    Perhaps oil was changed at a quick lube place. Or the owner (could be a woman too) changed him/herself. Or not.

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  8. #8
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    Well, I meant to wait till I could take some decent pix but here it is: I bought the 2005 9-5 wagon. I gotta say I'm happy with stick and it was brilliant driving back on 80/95 and across the GWB. Lower gears are a little trickier than the high ones and I get some knocking sometimes after shifting, goes away once up to speed. Can't wait to drive it again. I'll be back at the dealer in a couple of weeks to pick up the plates when they come in. Park Ave Saab in Mayfield, NJ for those curious.

    it's the Linear trim, which is OK but feels modest after driving some Arcs. I'm curious about the following:

    Can OnStar be added back in after-the fact? I was kinda interested in that after driving a sedan that had it installed.
    Similar with auto-dimming and compass rear-views. I'd pay to have those features installed.

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  9. #9
    Saab Enthusiast XLR99's Avatar
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    '04 9-5 Aero Wagon, '90 900
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    Congrats on the new car!
    No clue about OnStar, but I'd imagine you can add the homelink/compass mirror pretty easily. I see these for sale on Ebay for ~50ish, and was thinking about putting one in another car.
    Anyone know if the proper connectors are part of the harness already in the ceiling? Even if not, there's already switched power up there (I'm using it to power a V1 currently).

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  10. #10
    Frank
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    Onstar in the first generation Saab 9-5 is not compatible with the current system they have so it won't be of much use. Not sure if a GM dealer can fit a newer version but I assume it will be quite expensive.

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