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Old 03-15-2014, 02:59 PM   #1
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2003 9-5 Aero Wagon... advice on possible purchase

Considering purchase of a one owner 2003 9-5 Aero Wagon with 47,000 miles, dealer asking price of $8,900.

Service record is available but I have not reviewed this yet. You can see the car at the dealer site.

With these low miles I am thinking that things to check or expect to have to invest in likely are different than for a car of this age with normal miles.

I have never owned a SAAB.. this car would replace a 1997 Audi A6 Quattro sedan with 170K miles. I'm willing to spend another $2K or so if needed after purchase to guarantee (as much as possible) reliable service over the next few years. I've owned the Audi since 2000 and would like 10 years from the SAAB. Is that likely?

FYI, the place selling this car is also where I bought the Audi in the long ago. Also where most of the Audi service has been done since then.

Comments or advice from people experienced with this model car are appreciated.
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Old 03-15-2014, 03:14 PM   #2
 
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That's REALLY low miles, so I'd first try to verify the mileage.

If that checks out, have the service folks drop the oil pan to check for sludge. (You don't say where you are, but short trips in cold weather are a major cause of sludge.)

Make sure that the latest PCV update has been done. The Audi guys likely won't know what that is, so you should find a competent indie Saab mechanic for your pre-purchase inspection.

Those are the two big things; others might offer a few other suggestions (although with that few miles, there shouldn't be much concern about suspension, bushings, mounts, coolant bypass valve, etc....)
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:01 PM   #3
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Thanks for your note. The car is in southeast Michigan, so cold indeed in the winter. When I see the service record I should be able to verify mileage as well as at least frequency of oil changes if not type of oil used. And I'll be curious to see if the mileage is evenly distributed across the life of the car.

In my case, most of the driving will be highway and thus my expectation of relatively long life at least equal to the 170K on my Audi.

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Originally Posted by mike saunders View Post
That's REALLY low miles, so I'd first try to verify the mileage.

If that checks out, have the service folks drop the oil pan to check for sludge. (You don't say where you are, but short trips in cold weather are a major cause of sludge.)

Make sure that the latest PCV update has been done. The Audi guys likely won't know what that is, so you should find a competent indie Saab mechanic for your pre-purchase inspection.

Those are the two big things; others might offer a few other suggestions (although with that few miles, there shouldn't be much concern about suspension, bushings, mounts, coolant bypass valve, etc....)
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:10 AM   #4
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Those low mile pre 04 can be a great deal if there is no sludge. You absolutely must have the pad dropped before you buy. Those few miles with the wrong maintenance can leave a lot of damage.
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:51 AM   #5
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that is super low milidge for the year, the most important thing would be to give it a full fluid/filter/vac line/ plug change on the entire car, doing this along will go a long way to ensure a long and healthy life.

dropping the pan takes about 2 hours, and is cheap insurance, while you are in there, it is also good pratice to replace the o-rings on the oil pickup tube, and crossover tube. Cheap parts, and easy labor with the pan removed/deassembled ONLY use anarobic sealer when resinstalling the pan, all other sealer will cause issues.

To bad is not a manual trans. stick shift wagons are awesome
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:47 AM   #6
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Consequence of sludge in the oil pan...

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Originally Posted by Mike Brennan View Post
Those low mile pre 04 can be a great deal if there is no sludge. You absolutely must have the pad dropped before you buy. Those few miles with the wrong maintenance can leave a lot of damage.
This might seem a silly question but I've never owned a turbo car before.

If when dropping the oil pan there is sludge present... is that also indicating actual or potential damage elsewhere in the engine that is not immediately evident? Or only that the sludge should be cleaned from the pan to prevent future damage?

I am assuming that sludge in sufficient quantity will decrease lubrication elsewhere in the engine and, depending on how long it has been "sludged," will have already caused excessive wear. And so the purpose of dropping the pan is not so much to clean the pan as to reject the car. Correct?

Thanks to everyone for the continuing advice.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:48 AM   #7
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That is correct. You might get a clean engine and if so you are good to go. Our turbos love Mobil I 0-40 especially the Garrett units your car will have. Other guys use other oil but the Saab factory engineers came to like the 0-40 Mob I. Early non Aero's 9 5's had incorrect oil change schedules and did not call for full synthetic oil plus the PCV system was no good. A lot of short tips with long change intervals and bad PVC system killed off my Saabs early. You can fix all of this easily if you motor is not sludged.
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:08 AM   #8
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And here is everything about sludge every new 98 to 03 Saab owner should know about.
Let's talk about sludge! - SaabCentral Forums
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:48 AM   #9
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it is not necessarily so much to reject the car as it is to catch and rectify an issue before it becomes a serious problem.

with that low mileage if there is sludge it most likely isn't a large quantity and cleaning it out and doing the pcv update will definitely longer extend the life of the engine.
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Brennan View Post
And here is everything about sludge every new 98 to 03 Saab owner should know about.
Let's talk about sludge! - SaabCentral Forums
Mike, thanks much for this fascinating link that is telling me more than I might imagine about the sludge issue and how to survive it if not already present.

Tomorrow I'll be driving past Ann Arbor and will stop and have a chat at K & N Automotive that seems a highly experienced Saab service spot. If I buy this car (can't drive it until Saturday) I'd have them change every fluid (and belts if they recommend) just to start off as "new" as possible. Will learn the cost of that to add to the initial purchase price. And get their opinion on parts availability for the next 8 to 10 years.

With the low 47K miles now, this still does seem a potential good purchase. Wagon models are difficult to find from Audi, I don't care for Volvo styling, and I'm not interested in a BMW version. And this car will get much better highway mileage than my Audi A 6. (No sludge problem on the Audi at 172,000!)
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