Saab service and repair stuff

Two points here:

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Firstly, via email from Ronald:

I’m considering to purchase a 1988 Saab 9000 for my first car but I don’t know much about car mechanics.

I’ve heard from some people that maintenance cost for Saabs is expensive if I don’t know how to do the service myself, is this true?

I’m with you, Ronald, in that my car shudders if I so much as think about picking up a spanner. I’ve had to pay people to do 99% of the work on my car since, well, forever. As a matter of fact, our 1994 Saab 9000 is in for its 200,000km service today, so I’ll let you know how it goes.

Whilst Saab parts aren’t the cheapest around, they’re not the most expensive either. I’ve owned two Toyotas in my deep dark past and they certainly weren’t cheap when things went wrong. I’ve found that for your common items like hoses etc that Saabs are pretty much on par with most manufacturers. If it’s a big item that goes ‘bang’, well then you’re up for a bit more than a local car (assuming you’re not in Sweden, which if you were I’d have hought you wouldn’t need to write this).

Get a car with a good history and maintain it regularly and you maximise your chances of not having to cough up for anything major.

Anyone else’s experiences are welcome in comments.

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And Aussie Saab owner emailed me today about an online survey he was asked to complete recently. It covered any recent genuine Saab servicing he’d had done and there was reportedly plenty of room for extended feedback about the experience.

As he pointed out to me in the email, the interesting thing is that while the intro etc was from Saab Australia, the survey originated out of the UK, hopefully an indicator of a global effort to look into service standards and customer feedback.

Anyone else done one of these recently?

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3 Comments

  1. My first (and current) car is a ’90 900S. It’s been pretty reliable in the 50,000 miles that I’ve had it.

    The problems I’ve had with it, and parts I’ve had to order (It’s 16 years old. Did you expect it to be flawless?) were no huge deal. Like any other car, it’s just a car after all.

    You’re biggest issue is just finding a mechanic to look at it sometimes. The word “Saab” tends to scare them away.

  2. I haven’t found servicing costs too expensive with my 9-5. I use an independent SAAB specialist and not an authorised service centre.

    If you ask your local SAAB Club they will know who the independents are and can refer you on. You will save a lot of money, actually talk to the person who services your car and support a local business.

  3. The best advice to keep costs down that I can give (having a 1999 9-3) is to find a good independent shop first. Then look for a dealer or authorized garage as a backup. The reason is simple, the independent garage will have more leeway (used parts, reconditioned parts, rebuilding the damaged part, etc.) in the repair, whereas the dealer will be much more inclined to do the “by-the-book” repair as called for by the manufacturer (which is almost always “replace with new part”).

    It’s often the difference between buying something like the entire automatic antenna assembly (motor and all) when a simple replacement mast will bring the same result.

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