I got this query in my inbox. I have no first-hand knowledge that could help, so I thought it’d be a good idea to post it on here. I know there’s a bunch of Saab clubs around Asia, so I’m hoping that someone, somewhere in Asia might be able to lend some insight.
Our writer is Richard F, and his story is as follows:
Good afternoon from Hong Kong.
I am directing this SAAB question to you because I cannot get a satisfactory answer locally and am not sure who else to ask. If you can’t answer it, can you please direct me to someone who can?
We are recent arrivals in Hong Kong. About four months ago we bought a low mileage SAAB 9-5 2.33T SE 1999 sedan second hand. We had it checked first and were told that it seemed fine except for the air conditioning unit which needed fixing. We got that repair discounted from the price.
We’ve since had a lot of trouble with the car: the air conditioning again, electricals, and a couple of other large mechanical repairs (things I don’t understand). We’re now hearing, from former HK SAAB owners and others, and also from our mechanic, that SAABS do not to well in Hong Kong; in particular that they’re prone to electrical and other problems in the Hong Kong heat and humidity. We’re wondering whether this is true. Certainly there are fewer SAABS here than other good quality European cars. We have friends who drive Mercs and BMW’s who don’t seem to have problems. Our mechanic says that Japanese cars are the best bet in HK conditions.
We like the car and don’t want to get rid of it if it isn’t necessary; but if it’s unable to cope with conditions here we can’t afford the cost and inconvenience of constant repairs.
Could you (or someone you can recommend) comment on the issue I’ve raised? Is there any reason to think that SAABS would cope less well with HK conditions than other European (or Japanese) cars? Is there evidence that they don’t cope well here? If there is, are there precautions we could take to protect the car (it is kept in a car port, but not a garage)?
Any guidance you can give will be much appreciated.
As mentioned, Richard had the car tested prior to the purchase. I’ve already asked if the person who assessed it had any interest in the sale of the car, which wasn’t the case.
As there are a number of Saab clubs in regions with similar climates, I find it difficult to believe that it’s just an issue with local conditions.
Hopefully someone will have some experience with this. Please leave your thoughts in comments.