Saab long-term report

On the SAAB blog I have already read many exciting and entertaining stories. As a business long-distance driver in all directions within Europe, I would call my relationship to a vehicle more sober and benefit-oriented.

Saab 9-5 chrome frame
Saab 9-5 chrome frame

Nevertheless, the slogan "SAAB - more than a car" hits the core, which is why I came to SAAB.
SAAB used to be something special. I felt the brand was innovative long before I drove such a vehicle. It was with side impact protection and down-sizing engine "green" and "safe", long before these topics were standard for other manufacturers. The image was neutral and classless.

1993 I bought the first SAAB 9000 2.0 i (131 PS, manual switch without turbo). This has received a retrofitted wood dashboard, the original has landed in the nursery with our son to play. He has become a fan of SAAB at a tender age.

I drove this SAAB without problems up to 283 km and then resold it. Then I no longer wanted to pay the cost of a vehicle of this class and in 000 bought a station wagon from a German manufacturer. This vehicle was very comfortable, but it left a very bad impression in terms of quality, consumed too much petrol and oil and had a lot of annoying defects.

That's why in September 2000 I switched to a SAAB 9-5 2.3 LPT Combi with automat and 170 HP. The car was a demonstration car with 20 km. With 000 km, the SAAB at Hirsch was tuned to 50 hp and equipped with Hirsch rims because the performance with the automatic transmission was too weak for me.

After tuning, the vehicle could be driven quickly, confidently and stress-free even on long journeys, and it kept up well with other strong premium vehicles. Based on the driving performance, I assume that the guaranteed performance has been achieved with certainty. According to the speedometer, over 250 km / h were possible, but I rarely drove the absolute maximum because the chassis and the brakes in the LPT version were actually not dimensioned for it. In Germany in particular, however, the car was often driven at> 200 km / h for hours at night.

In 2007 I sold it with a defective turbocharger to a SAAB fan with 255 km, who replaced the turbo and checked the car and is back on the road with it. On snow, the car was too strong and heavy in heavy conditions despite the winter shift, the performance was difficult to control with the automatic transmission, since the vehicle had no traction control and no lock. Over the whole time I needed an average of 000 L petrol / 8.4 km, to get over 100L I had to drive over 9 km / h in Germany. With a filling of the 180L tank, into which 75 L could fit when fully filled, I could regularly drive more than 83 km. The tires lasted 900 - 45 km, and despite the front-wheel drive, there was no question of a tire eater. The first brake pads were replaced at 000 km, the second pads and the first discs were due at 50 km. The rear shock absorbers were a weak point: they had to be replaced at 000 km. At 124 km, these were replaced for the second time on goodwill by SAAB. The airbag lamp in the dashboard has lit up 000 times, the workshop has fixed the error several times and finally replaced the wiring harness.

After 3 visit the damage was repaired, SAAB has the 3 here. Visit taken on goodwill. One service in the garage had a controller replaced at the expense of SAAB because an early series was faulty.

Saab 9 5 I
Saab 9 5 I

Apart from maintenance, the vehicle did not need anything else (every 2002 km until 20, after that every 000 afterwards). The oil consumption was not measurable up to 30 km, then increasing up to approx. 000L per 200 km. That probably had to do with the defective turbocharger and the extended service intervals from 000 km. If the intervals were kept correctly, the Turbo would probably have held. Why SAAB has not solved this misconstruction with the oil sludge and the short service intervals for so long is still not clear to me today.

The velor seats of the SAAB were very good despite their conservative appearance and were not worn out even after long use.

In 2007 I again had a 9-5 Combi, but fully equipped and bought the Aero version with 260 HP, sunroof and automatic. This has a much better chassis, more direct steering and much better brakes. It seems to me that the weaknesses of the first generation have generally been remedied in the context of model maintenance. The risk of oil sludge was (finally !!) eliminated and a service interval display was installed. In practice, there have been intervals of almost 30 km. (That makes a saving of approx. 000 CHF on 6000 km compared to the predecessor!) Nothing rattles. The dashboard looks a bit cheap on the surface, the fittings have become a class more modern.

This vehicle has now spun around 8 km after a good 280 years and has never let me down. Approx. 000 km of this was done with the attached caravan (24 kg) in several countries and over the Swiss mountains. The front brake discs and brake pads were replaced at approx. 000 km, the rear ones are still from the original equipment. Apart from a defective sensor for the automatic height adjustment of the xenon headlights and a clattering sliding stream, there were no defects.

Both defects were remedied by the SAAB garage on guarantee. The engine is dry and has never needed oil between service intervals. The 5-speed automatic transmission Sensotronic is somewhat sluggish, but does not cause any problems and is also thermally very well secured for trailer operation. In addition, an oil cooler is installed as standard. The gear oil was changed at 110 and 000 km. At 230 km the ignition box was changed after an error message.
For the caravan operation, I have retrofitted the level control with the Sachs Nivomaten back.

For the built-in navigation system no more map updates are available since 2010. Because the DVD reader in 2012 went bad and the device did not interface with an I-Pod, I replaced it with an Alpine INE-W925R. The device is connected to the phone with access to contacts and the bus system of the vehicle.

A phenomenon is that the aperture around the device with the new device is no longer warm and the gasoline consumption has dropped measurably. (1-2dl / 100km) That may be due to the built-in fixed hard drive of the new device, which works like an SSD card on the PC.

The cruise control has at some point set the function and the fuel gauge was very inaccurate. Both could be repaired neither by the workshop nor by the electrician. With the help of Orio, the workshop replaced the tank and the gasoline pump including the float and measured the cruise control without finding a fault.

A mechanic abroad (identified by the SAAB blog) then took on electrical problems and solved part of it. The cruise control did not work because of a cable break in the engine compartment and could be repaired. In addition, an oxidized wire harness was found and replaced in the front piggeries, which is why the xenon headlights were in the lowest position.

However, the fuel gauge is still inaccurate. A test with a fuel pump-like year from an 9-3 has resulted in a perfectly functioning fuel gauge. Unfortunately, he did not have a new fuel pump or a replacement in stock. The petrol pump was therefore after returning from my workshop with the help of Orio still an 2. Times replaced, with the same result.

Orio says after my repeated complaint I should contact the SAAB workshop, the workshop says that they have done everything, apparently there are problems with the new gasoline pumps. I do not spend any more time here.

Consumption is between just under 7 liters at a constant 100 on long journeys on the motorway and 15-16 liters when driving a passport with a caravan. On the flat, approx. 11 - 13 lt / 100 km is required with the attached caravan. The average consumption is 8.1 liters. The 235/45 17-series tires last 40 - 000 km.

Compared with the products of the competition, the facelift with the chrome goggles is a somewhat outdated design, current vehicles have automatic transmissions with 6-8 gears, direct injection, and other features in the multimedia area. SAAB's image has also suffered from GM and the uncertainties of the past.

Because the seats are still the best I've ever had for long journeys, the vehicle is still very reliable and I can regularly drive around 1000 km on one tank of fuel, I will probably drive this SAAB for as long as possible. My friend trusts the vehicle> 400 km. It shouldn't be me if he stops, I'll make it possible. He has already reached more than 000/2 of this with almost no problems.

All in all, a successful vehicle for people who can handle a turbo and do not want to drive mass-produced.

Saab reader cup 2015
Saab reader cup 2015

Thanks to Thomas for his Saab story! Do you also have something to tell about Saab?

The story of an unforgettable holiday, a restoration, the first contact with the brand from Trollhättan or simply why Saab is part of the automotive life. Whatever it is, write us. We reward every publication on the blog with an exclusive one Saab reader cup!

10 thoughts on "Saab long-term report"

  • blank

    Hello Thomas!
    On the whole, I can confirm your experience. I have the same aero only as a sedan. The qualitative impression in the interior is much worse than my predecessor (9-5 Aero Bj. 2001). Everything creaks and cracks somehow, the sunroof also makes strange noises. Amazingly, the "old man" did not have this. The chassis and steering crack like old frameworks. According to several workshops everything is fixed (bearings, bushings, coupling rods, wishbones, shock absorbers, etc.) !! ??
    I can also confirm your consumption. I drive on average with 9,0 liters on 100 kilometers then no 250. The brakes are unfortunately undersized. They are quickly overwhelmed and the discs distort and rub.
    Despite this, we love our Saabs, and hope they will last a long time.

  • blank

    I already have the beautiful car (9-5 SC). Also the same 17 ″ rims ...

    Now I would like to have the same range and the same consumption values ​​as described in the article for both 9-5 ...

    • blank

      The consumptions correspond to the facts and are measured according to the tank bills in the bookkeeping, not according to the display. Both vehicles were / are driven almost exclusively on long-haul routes. Of course, consumption is correspondingly higher for lead fuselage, but is rarely higher than 9L in the mix.

      Only 140km / h to drive through today's traffic density is nowhere nearly possible, which makes then on the mix little, if in between X times 200 km / h driven.

      With the Aero, consumption is a little lower from the start than with the LPT and has dropped slightly after 100 km. On short trips, the consumption is between 000 and 9L.

  • blank

    For me, the fuel gauge has recently spun. Morning: quarter full, afternoon: Reserve, during the return then sometime full quarter again. Because the DTE ad has spun along (from 180 km on 90 in the afternoon on 150 during the return trip), I'm assuming a misfire in electronics.

    However, has repaired by itself.

    • blank

      I already stopped with our 9-5 SC, although the DTE display showed 35 km ...

      • blank

        Well, the DTE is completely dependent on the position of the accelerator pedal - you should never rely on that alone. I also came down to that area once. I didn't stop there, but you noticed that two petrol pumps could only build up a little pressure. If you take the tank volume (72 liters) and the amount filled (70 liters) as fixed points, then you can calculate what was still in there ...

        Incidentally, the clock has a quirk, apparently owed to the tank shape. In the range above half full the watch runs slower than the consumption, between half and quarter full faster.

  • blank

    Wow! Great report, great written. Many Thanks!

  • blank

    Finally a post about the beautiful 9-5er on this page. Gladly more of it! (Otherwise I write)

    • blank

      We gladly accept the offer… 😉 We don't have the 9-5 I in the blog team, otherwise it would be a topic more often.

  • blank

    I want to say nothing but I have the feeling that just the 9-5 station wagon is searched more and more often. I mean now since 2004 and will not be given.
    Yes, we already had some stress with him, but now he just rolls perfect.

    There is absolutely no reason to trade it.
    It is always a nice feeling when you can get back into your 9-5 after a short drive with other cars / brands. 😉

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