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Saab 900 (1993 - 1998)

Last updated 22 May 2018

 
2

Buying Guide

Good

Most UK SAAB Specialists listed by postcode:  www.the-saab-specialist-register.com

SAAB parts and accessories in the USA: www.saabusaparts.com

Self-help group www.saabscene.co.uk

Bad

Cavalier base meant disappointingly soggy steering, handling, roadholding and ride quality and a bulkhead prone to cracking arounf the steering rack mountings.

Comes a bit more alive with turbo, but spins its front wheels readily and still not a car you'd ever choose for handling finesse. 

Average performance in NCAP crash tests. 

In June 2001 SAAB was rated by Motor Warranty Direct as Britain's joint 4th most expensive out of 22 marques for used car warranty claims. SAAB had above average warranty repair costs in 2003 Warranty Direct Reliability index (index 122.61 v/s lowest 31.93) www.reliabilityindex.co.uk

Watch

Cavalier based with bulkhead mounted steering rack, so not a true 'SAAB'. By 2006 cracked bulkheads from the strain of the rack working against the subframe mounted wheels had become a serious problem. Listen for steering creaks and look for cracks around steering rack bulkhead mounting points, a £700 job to repair. Abbot Racing of Spinnels Farm, Manningtree (tel: 01255 870636) have a means of mounting the rack more rigidly, and also replacing the soft rubber suspension bushes which not only solves the problem but makes both Cavaliers and SAAB 900s steer and handle much better. http://www.abbottracing.net/product.php?id_product=429 Rack brace also supplied and fitted by www.twostroke.co.uk for £275. 

Timing chains of 4-cylinder Saab engines need clean oil or can give problems at around 60,000 miles. (GM V-6s have belts, best replaced at 60,000 miles.) Clean oil also essential for turbo life. Turbos best run on fully synthetic.

Petrol engined SAABs with 4 cylinder SAAB engines prone to sludging up of the oil feed to the balancer shaft sprocket. Essential to change the oil and filter every 5k miles, to flush the old oil, and to drain from the sump plug. Do not siphon the old oil out or you will leave sludge in the sump.

Put the car through a £70 check at a SAAB dealers, then buy a used Saab warranty. 

Make sure aircon blows cold if fitted. 

Make sure reverse gear selects easily as some 900s have developed internal gearbox and gearbox linkage faults, possibly associated with the SAAB reverse gear ignition lock. 

Petrol engined SAABs with 4 cylinder SAAB engines prone to sludging up of the oil feed to the balancer shaft sprocket. Essential to change the oil and filter every 5k miles, to flush the old oil, and to drain from the sump plug. Do not siphon the old oil out or you will leave sludge in the sump.

Recalls

1994 (VIN R2000001-R2028886): delayed braking action.

1994 (5-door-VIN R2000001-R2022754): cracking of driver's seat rails.

1995 (VIN R2027373 to S2009903 and S7000001 to S7013081): welds missing from seat frames.

1997 (1996-97 build: 21,661 cars): corrosion on the throttle housing can cause a sticking throttle. Relevant parts to be replaced with brass items which cannot corrode.

4-10-2001: 4,109 900 hatchbacks and convertibles recalled because build up of static may set off passenger airbag. Grounding wire to be fitted between airbag module and car body.

11-7-2002: 569 SAAB Towbar kits recalled because tow ball can prematurely detach itself from rest of assembly. All towbars to be modified, then replaced at a later date once supplies are available.

7-4-2003: A capacitor in the front airbag may short circuit possibly leading to inadvertant deployment of the airbags. Check the airbag control module and renew where necessary.

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