Problems With SAAB Cars (8 Most Common Issues)

Irrespective of your vehicle make, you will face some challenges, and it is crucial to note that some owners face some problems regarding different years and models.

Saab is renowned for manufacturing incredible vehicles, and they are strong. If you are planning to buy a Saab car or already own one, you need to know what you are likely to face with your preferred choice of model.

Saab models have common issues such as oil leaks, coolant loss, and ignition problems.

The automaker has excellent reliability ratings, but this vehicle’s consistency is problematic. For instance, the 9-3 model is renowned as one of the most miniature reliable vehicles in the automobile industry.

This article will provide the most common issues with the Saab models.

1. Anti-Brake System, Engine Stalling, and Loss of Coolant

The Saab 9-3 is known for several problems, such as an anti-brake system, coolant problems, and an abrupt stopping of the car engine.

Drivers have also complained about rotten wiring that causes the traction control and anti-brake system to fail. Once these features have a problem, it makes driving on wet surfaces risky.

The issue of excessive coolant loss results from the porous engine block of the 9-3 model. In the absence of a coolant, it can lead to the overheating of the car engine and damage the engine.

It is better to engage the service of a competent mechanic to check your engine block.

Another problem the drivers of the 9-3 model face is that the engine stops suddenly. The cause of the problem is traced to the direct ignition cassette or the spark plugs.

2. Oil Leaks, Throttle Body Failure and Ignition Cassette

The 9-5 model is renowned as a reliable midsize sedan from the Saab production line. However, it has common problems, such as the throttle body, oil leaks, and ignition cassette issues.

The role of the ignition cassettes is to provide electricity for the spark, and these cassettes are situated on the crest of the spark plugs.

However, when the ignition cassettes fail, it may lead to engine stalling, damage, or the motor not coming up.

Excessive internal oil pressure is also responsible for constant oil leaks, a common problem with the 9-5 models.

Some drivers of this make even complained that the positive crankcase ventilation kit on the 9-5 engine failed to address the issue.

The 9-5 model also has throttle body issues. The throttle body controls fuel and air flow to the car engine, and you may need to replace it once there is a problem.

3. All-Wheel Drive Problems, Sagging Suspension, and Trunk Problems

The major problem of the Saab 9-7x model is a floppy rear suspension, which causes the back of the vehicle to be too close to the ground.

It is important to recalibrate your suspension sensors to resolve the problem.

Drivers also complained about the malfunctioning of the all-wheel drive, which switches on the all-wheel drive without warning.

4. Defective CV Boots and Failure of the Ignition Switch

There is no perfect car, and the Saab 9-2X is no exception. Some of the drivers of this model have reported issues with their CV boots. These are the components that prevent water and dirt from entering the axle joints of the vehicle.

Once water and dirt enter the axle, they can cause damage, and it requires money to fix this issue.

Despite having excellent ratings on reputable car reliability sites such as J.D. Power and others, you must consider problems with the Saab models.

These include complex sourcing of the original parts when there is a need to repair. You may need to spend more money to get the actual body parts, which usually take time to find.

You should also read about problems with SEAT cars if you like the brand.

5. Thumping Noise While Turning

The 2002 9-3 model is not a perfect vehicle, as seen in magazines or TV commercials.

Some owners have complained about an awful thumping sound while transiting on rough roads, loss of engine coolant, and anti-lock brake system issues.

6. Fuel Level Sensor Issues

Some Saab owners have complained about their fuel level sensors going from full to zero. This is a sign of a problem with the sensor and gauge.

7. Electric Throttle Body Failure

The electric throttle body is the component that has a small rotating part meant for controlling the airflow to the engine.

When there is a blockage of airflow, it causes the engine to overheat. These problems are common in the Saab 9-3 and 9-5.

8. Suspension Problems

Due to the setup of the Saab vehicles, one of the mounts linked to the steering wheel deteriorates pretty fast.

Car owners say the steering wheel produces an unpleasant sound, and if the issues are not resolved on time, the noise will last long.

Make sure to also read our article about problems with Vauxhall cars

General Pros and Cons of Saab Cars

Here are some pros and cons of Saab cars:

Pros of Saab

  • Great Mileage
  • Turbocharged engine
  • Power Steering
  • Low maintenance fee
  • Above average reliability score

Cons of Saab

  • Anti-Brake System, Engine Stalling, and Loss of Coolant
  • Oil Leaks, Throttle Body Failure and Ignition Cassette
  • All-Wheel Drive Problems, Sagging Suspension, and Trunk Problems
  • Defective CV Boots and Failure of the Ignition Switch
  • Thumping Noise While Turning
  • Fuel Level Sensor Issues
  • Electric Throttle Body Failure
  • Suspension Problems

What Do the Reviews Say?

Saab earned an above average reliability score of 4.0 out of 5.0, and that is commendable.

Despite earning this score, it did not make the Repairpal list of the 32 most reliable auto brands.

You do not have to spend much on maintenance as the annual maintenance cost is around $526.

If you plan to own a 9-3 model, you are assured of an energetic turbocharged engine, awesome mileage and firm steering wheel.

However, one of the problems of Saab is that its spare parts are hard to acquire. Since the handover of the brand to General Motors, the reputation of Saab had gone down the drain.

Please also check out our article about problems with Saturn cars.

What’s the Resale Value of Saab Cars?

Model Approx. Miles Price
2005 Saab 9-2X 126,000 $4,995
2011 Saab 9-3 87,102 $13,888
2000 saab 9-3 convertible 61,900 $14,995


Are Saabs Reliable? | Copilot Search

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