- Saab me up
2 things to check for – The sump design meant that they could sludge up even with oil changes and that caused the turbo to wear, look for any smoke when revving from cold if there is I’d walk away if not good news but even so drop the sump and replace the strainer and always use fully synthetic oil. Aeros are heavy on front tyres and brakes/suspension so check for knocks, uneven tyre wear and so forth.
I loved mine it was a cracking car and excellent on the motorway.
Lots of info herePosted 2 years ago
Yes, as long as it has a full service history, or has been owned by an enthusiast, or you intend to drop the sump, get it cleaned and take the rocker cover off and clean in there too.
The 2.3 engine needs fully synthetic oil as it runs hot. Semi synthetic breaks down too easily, causing sludging. I always changed my oil every 5000 miles. 5 litres of synthetic is under £25, and a filter is less than a tenner. It’s an easy job.
Joolsburger is partly right – the oil breather is the problem rather than the sump itself, but with a 2004 it should have the revised breather already fitted. The sludging of the sump actually ends up blocking the pickup tube and starves the top of the engine (and turbo) of oil, eventually killing it.
A sump drop and clean is under £200 at a garage that knows what it’s doing. Not worth doing yourself (IMO) as it’s a pain to get at all the bolts.
Rear tyres worn in “steps” points to the bushes.
Um, what else… They’re a heavy car so do wear suspension parts, but front bushes are not too expensive. Check that there’s no excessive rattle from the chain. Check that it’s not hard to start from cold, and that there’s not lots of smoke from cold (often valve stem seals). As it’s the Aero, give it a razz in 3rd, 4th and 5th, and check on lifting off that there’s no smoke (worn turbo, and a few hours to fit a replacement, excl. parts costs). Anything else is just usual checks on a 13 year old car – check the gadgets work, bodywork for rust, usual stuff.
I disagree that parts are expensive. Some engine parts are, but wear items are not, especially compared to BMW, Merc and Audi.
They’re a reliable and long-living car if looked after (isn’t everything?) and the only real quirk is keeping the engine fed with synthetic oil every 3-6000 miles.
I’ve had 3 Saabs (2 9-5 Aeros) and would have kept my last one had my circumstances not changed. Email me if you fancy a chat.Posted 2 years ago
Fantastic information so far many many thanks. Cars are not at all my strongpoint so happy to hear everything. It has been owned from new by the same guy who is an enthusiast I guess yes, he worked for Saab in Sweden and it has a full service history .
What’s it like economy wise ? Will be driven in the snow a fair bit too and I’m wondering what it is like for overtaking?Posted 2 years ago
38ish on a motorway?
24.5mpg average here. Which is a big improvement on that V6 4motion that I had a few years ago at …13mpg.
There’s too much power for the chassis but hey, it’s great and sublime. The stereo on mine (Harman & Kardan) is great. All this for buttons.
There’s a chap who can take the bhp/torque ^^^^ for £120.Posted 2 years ago
Howsyourdad1 ask to see a receipt for a sump drop, or price in a discount to have it done somewhere. I’m not a cynic but I wouldn’t trust a selling garage salesman to actually carry out a ‘free’ job essentailly.
Jonny- I am interested but it’s more than I was looking to pay as I mentioned. I’ve been stung once by stanchion wear on 350’s (there’s a thread on here that I started and I ended up with a new csu) and im currently running cappucino 350CRs with a faint stanchion line on the back of one leg already.
Harrythespider, didn’t you own a Vectra? …funnily no one’s cracked that old joke yet..Posted 2 years ago
Will be driven in the snow a fair bit too and I’m wondering what it is like for overtaking?
The autobox has a winter setting that makes it a bit better in snow.
In normal auto it can feel a bit lethargic but in Sport mode it’ll take off like a scalded cat! I drive mine in manual a lot (buttons on the wheel) and you can pretty much overtake anything. The autobox is reputedly stronger than the manual.
Like everyone else said – the ’04 model should be free of the dreaded sludge problem. Make sure the rear springs aren’t sagging.
Gotta be one of the best £ for £ used performance car bargains out there. Limited top speed of 155 and rocket-like mid range acceleration. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Plus you can fit a washing machine in the boot – without even folding the seats down.
I’ve had 9 Saabs inc 6 Aeros in various guises and this has been one of the best.Posted 2 years agoLord SummerisleSubscriber
Had 9-5s for years.
currently have 2 Aeros – a 52 aero estate and 03 aero saloon (picked up for £500 as it had 186,000 miles on the clock to replace an MOT failure jag)
from the 03 reg they had the uprated oil breather system. Aeros should always have been run on fully synth (the main issues where with the 2.0t low pressure turbo engines where they where originally specced to run on semi synth)
both of ours are Auto – the 03 has the better gearbox of the two – as it has 5sp drive & manual override with paddles on the steering wheel (gear selector goes D(M)L. the 52plate has the earlier 5sp auto box where the gear selector goes D,4,3,L. it also feels slightly longer in its gearing, its slightly slower than the later car.
both cars we are averaging 30mpg (approx 400-420 from a tankful) tho long journeys we get closer to 500 miles out of a tank (thats with the air-con on and cruise set to 70.)
as for bikes in the back – the estate will comfortably take 2 bikes without taking the wheels off.
seats are the best for long journeys = so very comfortable.
ps. Hora – i’ll go with the car’s choice on highly reving 2nd or mid range 3rd – the engine gives peak tourque about 2250rpm – anything over 4500rpm and the power is tailing off. the only time it’ll tend to deny you dropping down is when it’s likely to just be too high in the rev range to do anything.Posted 2 years agodekadanseMember
Agree about the sluge/breather system issue – Aeros are least effected due to synthetic oil and perhaps better owner care (due to it being an Aero!) but it was a disaster for Saab’s more lowly petrol engines – nearly wrecked their hitherto good engineering record.
Suggest a manual gearbox will give you better take off and better fuel consumption – and IME more reliable/less fault prone.
Also suggest an estate – will swallow 3 bikes whole!
But all-in-all, 9-5s were the last well made Saabs. Saab management refused to toe the GM bosses’ cost cutting/corner cutting line. Thus they make a far better 2nd hand buy than 9-3 sports saloons/sportswagons – with these…..everything falls to bits after a while. 1.9 diesels and electrics particularly prone. Avoid unless as cheap as chips and with service records which tell you cambelt/waterpump, clutch/flywheel, inlet manifold, EGR valve, etc have all recently been done.Posted 2 years ago
Hi, had been meaning to update. We bought it and are very pleased. It is immaculate . Very impressed with the power and acceleration, although it’s pretty ‘classic’ in it’s style. Light brown leather interior , cd multi changer in the boot, comedy gps etc. Love all the little smart touches, cup holders and it oozes quality. Drove it home from where we bought it in southern Sweden on empty mountain roads and it felt like I was in an advert .
Also drove it through Trondheim where the Saab factory is saw an appaling T shirt 🙂 sorry mods , sure you’ll remove it ..
Posted 2 years ago
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