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  1. #1

    Join Date
    18 Jan 2013
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    Just purchased my first SAAB. (2003 9-3 Linear 2.0t)

    [FONT=verdana]I recently purchased my first Saab, albeit through ebay. I was in the market for something under $4000, roughly 100k miles, sporty, and practical. I had a few models in mind, Golf, Mazda 6, etc. However, I ended up purchasing a 2003 Saab 9-3 2.0t online.[/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana]You can see the car here: Saab : 9-3 2.0T | eBay[/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana]A little about the car:[/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana]I paid about $3200 after TTL and the gas to go pick it up.[/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana]It has roughly 130,000 miles. The carfax reports 2 owners and quite a bit of scheduled maintenance, although not all of it. Never reported in any accidents. Non smoker, and the dealer claims its free of rust. The interior looks to be in pretty good condition, but the dash buttons have all faded. I was told this is very common in most saab's from the GM era.[/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Now that I've had the car for a few weeks here's a sitrep of what I know:[/FONT]

    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]--The front right low-beam headlight is out. (Using my high beams)[/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]--I'm afraid there is a problem with the front suspension. There's a knock and squeeking if I go over anything like a speedbump or pothole over 10mph. Maybe it's just an old cheap suspension?
    --There is a loud squeel anytime the radio is turned on. I think it's coming from the rear speakers. I'm not sure how to fix this with the electric mesh network that goes throughout the car in these models.
    --Occasionally the "lock-system" will fail and I get a notice on the dash.
    --The plastic at the base of the gear shifter is loose and comes up when I enter into reverse. But I simply just push it back down.

    Any feedback would be appreciated. I still haven't taken it to have a mechanic check it out, as family emergencies have recently come up. What should I have the mechanics look for and what should I be weary of? I'm not entirely educated on the subject and would like to keep from getting too ripped off.

    I think a mechanic in the area said he would look over the car for $50.

    Thanks!
    [/FONT]

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  2. #2
    Jeffrey
    Master SaabTech/Moderator Burnsside42's Avatar
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    25 Oct 2010
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    Saab(s)
    - 86' 9KT - 95' 9K Custom CS - 06' 9-3 Sedan - 06' 9-3 Combi - 08' 9-3 TurboX -
    Thumbs Up:   2
    Congrats on the purchase - check this post out, it may answer MANY of your questions. If not - just ask!

    http://saabworld.net/f8/saab-9-3-buyers-guide-24606/

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  3. #3

    Join Date
    18 Jan 2013
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    Roughly how much could I expect to pay if I wanted to do the following

    Replace Tie-Rod ends.
    Replace Sway Bar endlinks.
    Replace Springs.
    Replace Struts.
    Replace Spark plugs.
    Replace Engine and Cabin Air Filters.
    Replace Low-Beam Headlights. (Both)

    And assuming the squeel when the stereo is on is just some crossed wires or a bad ground. A fix for that as well?

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  4. #4
    Jeffrey
    Master SaabTech/Moderator Burnsside42's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    - 86' 9KT - 95' 9K Custom CS - 06' 9-3 Sedan - 06' 9-3 Combi - 08' 9-3 TurboX -
    Thumbs Up:   2
    Quote Originally Posted by David Fish View Post
    Roughly how much could I expect to pay if I wanted to do the following

    Replace Tie-Rod ends.
    Replace Sway Bar endlinks.
    Replace Springs.
    Replace Struts.
    Replace Spark plugs.
    Replace Engine and Cabin Air Filters.
    Replace Low-Beam Headlights. (Both)

    And assuming the squeel when the stereo is on is just some crossed wires or a bad ground. A fix for that as well?
    Tie Rods typically are .5 labor each (w/e local rate it) Plus an alignment - here it's $90 for an alignment
    Sway Bar End Links are anywhere from .5-1.0 labor - depends on WHO is doing them. I usually like to take .8 pair or .5 each. Parts range from $40 pair to $100 pair
    Springs are about 1.5 a side (labor the same for struts if done the same time)
    Spark plugs are about .8-1.0 4 cylinder's Plugs are $5-10 each.
    Cabin filters range from .3-.5 (about $20-$40 part)
    Engine Air Filter are about the same labor/costs as the Cabin.
    Low beam (H7) bulbs are about .3 and run about $10-20 for quality bulbs. (each)

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  5. #5
    Frank Wulfers
    Administrator
    Join Date
    30 Jul 2010
    Location
    NW Michigan, USA
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    Saab(s)
    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
    Thumbs Up:   31
    Spark plugs, cabin and engine air filters are usually easy to do your self with just a few basic tools. And you can often can buy parts a little bit cheaper elsewhere so that's an easy way to save some money.

    http://saabworld.net/f69/cabin-air-f...placement-259/
    http://saabworld.net/f69/saab-9-3-sp...lacement-2743/

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  6. #6

    Join Date
    18 Jan 2013
    Posts
    3
    Thumbs Up:   0
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Wulfers View Post
    Spark plugs, cabin and engine air filters are usually easy to do your self with just a few basic tools. And you can often can buy parts a little bit cheaper elsewhere so that's an easy way to save some money.

    http://saabworld.net/f69/cabin-air-f...placement-259/
    http://saabworld.net/f69/saab-9-3-sp...lacement-2743/
    Awesome. I really appreciate the feedback here. Everyone here has been really helpful.

    Not sure if anyone looked at the auction webpage. I paid a little over $3200 for this car and it's going to be my only mode of transportation for a while. Are there any big expenditures I can look forward to in the near future? I've read that typically SAABSs have always been mechanically reliable but the electronics are usually a bit "wonky". I can already get a sense of this, the car itself seems to drive great (minus the front suspension) and the electronics have already been throwing me for some curves. For instance even after clearing the track and greasing the rails on the sunroof I still couldn't get it to close. I found that there is an override built in. If I hold down the window lock button while closing it, I can force-close it. Is this typical? Am I going to hurt the sunroof by continually doing this? I like the idea of my sunroof, but I don't want to use it too much on the off-chance that one day it decides it wants to stay open forever.

    I've started getting a "lock-system failure" message on the dash when I start the car, and although the occasionally malfunction they still seem to work properly. My remote entry still works fine every time. The only things I've noticed is that now if I pop my trunk before I unlock my car, the alarm will trigger. Also, the driver side door will sometimes not unlock when I go to get out of the car. Is this something I should be worried about or have looked into?

    Also, like I talked about earlier the whine/feedback that comes over the speakers when the stereo is on.

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  7. #7
    Tim Schlose
    Saab Enthusiast Abarth's Avatar
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    19 Mar 2011
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    2007 9,3 Aero S/C
    Thumbs Up:   0
    The eBay add you referenced stated that the cr has Xenon headlamps, if this correct the bulbs are more expensive and the cause of the low beam problem could be the lamp, the HID ignitor, or the HID ballast. These all are expensive, the Bulbs are D2S Xenon's and Hella or Phillips are over a $100 each new but there are deals like:Hella Xenon Headlight HID Ballast Kit Set Germany 5DV00829000 Igniter Bulb | eBay

    Tim

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  8. #8
    mdb99@bellsouth.net
    Oh! I Get It Now Mike Brennan's Avatar
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    21 Aug 2010
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    Williamsburg, Va. and Cedar RIver Mi.
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    01 95 Aero and Wagon, 09 93 Combi and an 08 95 Combi
    Thumbs Up:   7
    It seem so many get the 03 9-3 as their first Saab. They had sooo many paoblems.

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  9. #9
    Saab Enthusiast Tweek's Turbos's Avatar
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    19 Nov 2010
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    Northern VA
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    Saab(s)
    '11 9-4X, '07 9-5 Combi, '99 Viggen, '88 900t, '87 ASFT, '85 SPG, '72 96
    Thumbs Up:   1
    The suspension clunk could be a busted spring. This is a common issue with those cars.

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