"I bascially like SAABs (I previously owned a '85 900T for over 17 years) and I currently have 85,000k miles on my 2000 SAAB 9-5 Aero (5spd. man, Eibach lowered springs, Bilstein sport shocks, K&Ns). and the 9-5 Aero is a very enjoyable car to drive. The handling, performance, comfort and utilitarian package makes it a very good family sedan with a sporting flair. It is great for long distance drives and can easily cruise at 75-85 mph (or faster) all day in great comfort and control. The car has a roomy passenger compartment and a spacious, flat trunk that makes long travel a breeze.
But over the years, this is not been a very reliable car and the 2000 model year is very problematic, leading to unexpected failures and expensive repairs. And please note that my car is very well maintained and I consider these failures due to poor design, bad implementation, marginal parts or all of the above.
Here's list of some of the problems that required replacement/repair (total repair bills run in the thousands):
1. Direct Iginition Module (SAAB grudgingly finally had a recall after I already made the repair, and they took forever to reimburse me).
2. Throttle Body failure (car will barely run and go into "Limp Home mode").
3. Brake Master cylinder (pedal to the floor).
4. AC Compressor (failed on a vacation trip in 103 degree heat wave).
5. Serpentaine Drive Belt/pulleys (failed in 30k miles after maintainence replacement).
6. Power Streering Hose failure.
7. Heater By pass valve failure (huge coolant leak).
1 Theft Alarm replacement warning (when the back up batterey runs low in the sealed alarm module, the alarm will go off inadvertantly at ANY time as a friendly reminder; and that can mean 2a in the morning. The battereies are not replacable and the entire module needs to be replaced. Very stupid design Saab/GM).
2. H7 headlight bulbs burn out at an alarming rate and I do not even run them in the daylight mode. Plan to buy extra bulbs by the dozen. There are electrical gremlins.
3. SID (display) pixels die a quick death (and the module should be replaced). I've had it repaired but it is going out again.
4. Oil consumption (1 qt. M1 every 1200 mi), I'm afraid to find out where it is going.
Looking back, this has not been a good value nor a good experience. Underdelivering on the reliability, a high cost of ownership and overall a very poor value. I regret my purchase and I could in no way endorse the 2000 9-5.
Happily, SAAB's marraige to GM is over, and they can finds their way back to their core values and start building great cars again."
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