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  1. #1

    Join Date
    28 Sep 2013
    Location
    Arizona, USA
    Posts
    2
    Saab(s)
    2003 9-3 linear
    Thumbs Up:   0

    Saab cars nightmare to work on?

    I bought a used 03 9-3 Linear about a month ago. There were some light issues, but I bought the car anyways because the drive and handling was great.
    I finally have time to get it to a mechanic to fix a small oil leak, and I got a shocker.
    The mechanic found the leak, showed me the underneath of the car and said he will need access to the inside of the oil pan to fix it. In order to do that he showed me all he had to remove in order to get to it. My reaction to that was " what in the world were the engineers thinking!" and he agreed with me, said those cars were very difficult to work on.
    Very costly repair but I love the car so it will get fixed.

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  2. #2
    Mike
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
    Join Date
    30 Jul 2010
    Location
    Rochester, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,986
    Saab(s)
    1973 96
    Thumbs Up:   1
    Most cars aren't designed to have an oil pan removal be an "easy" thing. Sure, in some cars it can be done sooner than others, but you'll typically have to do a bit of shuffling with any modern car to get the oil pan to drop.

    On a 9-5 it isn't too hard of a job, and can be done with some ramps and won't take up too much time, even for a first timer.

    The NG900/9-3 isn't bad either, but it does require subframe removal. It sounds scary, but it really just means more bolts.

    Out of all the cars I've worked on, my 900 is one of the easier ones. Ever heard about timing issues and the required preventative maintenance for a 1.8t VW engine? If you can find a competent mechanic that is familiar with Saabs, that would be the best bet to begin with. There are often many short cuts that can be taken if the mechanic is experienced with the repair or maintenance required.

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  3. #3

    Join Date
    28 Sep 2013
    Location
    Arizona, USA
    Posts
    2
    Saab(s)
    2003 9-3 linear
    Thumbs Up:   0
    Thanks for the info. You're probably right, later model cars get more complex I guess.
    Not easy to find a Saab mechanic in Phoenix Arizona. So I opted to take my Saab to an imports auto shop.
    There is also a couple of Cadillac dealerships that service Saab. Not sure about it. I'll investigate.

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  4. #4
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Jul 2011
    Location
    Ansbach, Germany
    Posts
    1,524
    Saab(s)
    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
    Thumbs Up:   2
    Where in Arizona are you?

    In Phoenix try Swedish Auto Works, they specialize in Saabs and Volvos.

    A few more in AZ, I can't say they are all Saab experts: http://www.saabshops.com/saabshops/arizona/

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    Now: '00 Saab 9-5 Aero Combi - '89 Peugeot 205 CTI - '91 Peugeot 309 GTI
    Gone: '87 Saab 900i - '95 Saab 900 SE Turbo

  5. #5
    Jeffrey
    Master SaabTech/Moderator Burnsside42's Avatar
    Join Date
    25 Oct 2010
    Location
    Point Pleasant, PA
    Posts
    1,316
    Saab(s)
    - 86' 9KT - 95' 9K Custom CS - 06' 9-3 Combi - 07' 9-7X Arc - 08' 9-3 Convertible - 08' 9-3 TurboX -
    Thumbs Up:   3
    FYI - Saab's have some of the easiest oil pans to remove on cars. The cars with AWD are harder always. Japaneese cars are usually the worst - but Ford has always made it very challenging too.

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    European Motor Services, LLC - Point Pleasant, PA 18950 - www.europeanmotorsvc.com

  6. #6
    Marty Jackson
    Saab Addict Finding41's Avatar
    Join Date
    17 May 2013
    Location
    London Ont. Canada
    Posts
    640
    Saab(s)
    Sadly a Volvo XC90
    Thumbs Up:   1
    I got both my Saab's because the PO's thought the cars were too hard and too expensive to fix! They did not do any investigation!
    My 03 Aero wagon needed a 3' piece of exhaust pipe ($30) and some light bulbs to safety! Car purchase price $1200!
    My 04 Arc needed breaks, a tie rod end, Light bulbs..., and the blower fan didn't work. (the Po was quoted 10-12 hrs at $65/hr to fix the fan. I cleaned the plug contacts from under the hood and the fan is fine!
    Car purchase price $500!
    The 04 Arc is costing me more now... I blew a piston and misdiagnosed it as a blown head gasket... Replaced the gasket... Now it's apart again waiting for parts. (I took it apart... And I'm fixing it... I'm a mailman and a contractor... Not a mechanic.) The only "special" tools I needed were a Torex socket set, valve compressor, (only needed to do the valves and a cylinder hone and piston ring compressor. (only needed for a major engine overhaul) $90 total!
    I got instructions on how to fix these things form this and other Saab forums. I used these forums before I purchased a Saab too! (type a common problem into the search box.... Do this on other car forums. ( I was looking for a Ford Focus Wagon for my wife when I came across Saab wagons.(I didn't know Saab made a wagon...) I compared common problems and pricing. Now I have two (kick butt!) Saab wagons.)
    I've worked on other cars I've owned and the Saab's aren't any harder. I think I got dumbed down by the other cars and start thinking about how they are fixed... To me a Saab makes sense when I think about how it goes together and comes apart.
    Parts for these cars are no more than any import parts I've seen. (Unless you are in Canada ware the parts are 500 times more expensive! I just order from the USA.)

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