- Buying a Saab 9-3 with 157k on the clock – madness?
Looking to get a new car, I only do c 5k miles a year so refuse to spend more then 1k on a car. Spotted a 2001 Saab 9-3 Turbo for £850 but with 157,000 miles on the clock. It does have an almost full service (1 stamp missing) history and 1 year MOT.
Would it be madness to buy it?
edit: wrong forum, sorry 😳Posted 6 years agonickfMember
So long as you’re prepared to throw it away if something massive happens, and it looks/feels/drives OK. Buy it.
Only if private though – if it’s from a dealer I’d forget it. With something this age and mileage, you want to be able to assess the owner. If they’re s slightly nerdy owner who can reel off all the service items done, buy it. If they look at you blankly or look poor (and thus probably have the spent minimum on the car to keep it alive), walk awayPosted 6 years agoGnnrSubscriber
IMHO its overpriced for the year and mileage.
I recently scraped a 2000 reg 2.0 9-5 estate, fuel costs were huge.
They do cost quite a lot to look after, the engines are good so the high miles shouldn’t be a problem. The turbo is a low pressure version unless the car is an Aero model.
If you could get the price down to £5-600 it would be a better buy. Stay clear at the asking price.Posted 6 years agostevemtbMember
I sold a 1998/9 9-3 diesel with 150k+ (I think) about 2 years ago, for £600. Nothing wrong with it really.
SAABs tend to be pretty well looked after and go on for a while. That was early GM stage though, think that one will be a Vectra under the shell, mine was based on the Cavalier but I loved it.
If everything works and it seems to have been well looked after it’s probably worth a punt – I’d try to get it for nearer £700 though. There’s plenty out there with less mileage that’s not been looked after that will be worse buys.
Years MOT is a good sign but doesn’t guarantee anything. They don’t have any interest if there’s a whine from the gearbox or the turbo is sounding on it’s last legs….Posted 6 years agoPJM1974Member
Once upon a time, this would have been an extremely safe bet. All of my Dad’s Saab Turbos were easily sold on with stellar mileages.
However, the 9-3 of that vintage is a Vauxhall Cavalier or Vectra depending on the bodystyle and aren’t built to the same standards.
If you have a good, cheap and trusted specialist nearby then you could well have a nice car. If not, scrap it at the first sign of any mechanical nonsense.Posted 6 years ago2unfit2rideSubscriber
I would say walk, Saab’s are expensive to run, but then people that own saab’s tend to look after them. It’s just one of those cars, like Lexus, that tend to be well maintained so you could get lucky.Posted 6 years ago
I would also say the most telling point of a car of that age/price would be the tyres, if they are cheap/non matching or well worn then don’t walk, run!
Buying a Saab is madness
I also own an Intense so by your comments on an earlier thread it’s a perfect match 🙂
the most telling point of a car of that age/price would be the tyres
That’s a good tip, cheers.
32mpg if its a full turbo
That’s more than I’m getting just now from my 2.0 mundeo.
It’s probably unlikely I’ll get the car but I’ll take a look at it anyway. Always fancied owning one.Posted 6 years agocoolhandlukeSubscriber
I drove my 9-5 to 154,000 miles. Sold when turbo went.
Other than that it was fine. £600 for the turbo though.
I have driven some courtesy cars (from the specialist dealer I used to use) that had mega mileage on. A 9000 with 230k on it, and a 9000 nudging 280k!
Saabs are a hoot IMO, my 9-3 light pressure turbo went like stink, was comfy. Handling more for A roads and motorways though.
I miss my Saabs.Posted 6 years agoMartynSSubscriber
If there is any blue smoke when you start it up the turbo is probably on its way out, walk away.
If the car has warm when you get there I.E its been started and run already, I’d be suspicious. They tend to just smoke on a cold start
Turbo is about 650..
The Light Pressure turbos were much more fragile than the full pressure/high output ones so its worth finding out which one it is.
Don’t know if you can find out the history of it, if its been a motorway car than its had a much easier life than a taxi..!
If there is a good specialist near you, thats a help.
Remember Saab are now bankrupt, spares shouldn’t be a problem though, its mostly GM bits
My 9-5 estate needed a turbo, but that was the only big thing in 6 or so years of ownership.
I got 25mpg round town 32-35 on M’way but its a much bigger car than the 9-3.
If its in good nick why not? I still reckon Saabs are quite an unusual choice, I liked mine!Posted 6 years agoNorthCountryBoyMember
Worked as a mechanic for saab for 7 years.
They are better than some for reliability worse than others.
Things that go wrong… (some of these may well have been replaced by 157k miles.
Head gasket usually about 120k
Clutch 100 / 120k miles
Gearbox bearings 100 k up expensive listen for wineing on overdrive rather than actual crunch into gears.
DI ignition unit if its the red ignition unit on the cam cover. i think these were improved,at one point 50& faliure rate.
Timing chains these wear and start to rattle if not replaced along with guides and tensioner they break and bend the valves. Ouch!
Turbo… these are actually a lot more reliable than people say, if the cars been well serviced with regular oil change and air filter change. The cars from about the mid 90`s were fitted with Mitsubishi turbos very reliable.
Check also for corrosion on the metal oil pipes for power steering and engine oil cooler.
I have had a few Saabs the lowest milage one I bought with 135K on it still one of my favorite cars sold it with 185k on it. Had another with over 200k on it.Posted 6 years agosteviegilMember
TBH its worth a punt as they are great engines. My vectra has the same engine and if looked after they are nigh on bullet proof! To give you an idea, i have averaged 32Mpg over the last 5 years and 60k and apart from servicing its been great. As said above, make sure the chain has been changed, they do stretch and over time become noisy.Posted 6 years ago
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