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Old 02-12-2016, 03:00 PM   #1
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Considering a 2011 Sportcombi

My daily driver is nearing the end of it's life, so I've been toying with the idea of getting into another SAAB. Plus having a newer car will let me focus on my SPG restoration. I test drove a few today, including a couple different 2011 9-3 Sportcombi's with differing trim levels. Both were the 2.0 turbo with 6 speed manual transmission, leather interior, sunroof...etc. I really enjoyed the cars, and am close to pulling the trigger. Although I searched the forum a bit, I still had a few lingering questions:

1. Are the 2011 models Spyker built SAABs or end of GM inventory? Is there a difference?

2. Neither car had the optional bluetooth, but do have the aux in. Is this a stereo or mono input?

3. I read that models manufactured between 2007 and 2010 can potentially have an issue with intake valves prematurely wearing out. Is this year range accurate, or does this also include 2011 models?

4. Are there any particular issues or surprises with these cars?

Appreciate any feedback to help me make a decision.
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Old 02-13-2016, 11:50 AM   #2
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No such thing as Spyker built cars in this country as far as I know. 2011 is the last of any US Saab and that makes them a GM product even if GM didn't warranty the 2011s after the sale of Saab.

I have had three 9-3s, 04-08-011. All were great, all reliable.
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:35 AM   #3
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Could someone with a CarFax look up this VIN for me:

YS3FA5MY0B1304570
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Old 02-15-2016, 06:39 AM   #4
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The only thing strange I saw on the Autocheck was this:

04/08/2015 CANADA Auto Auction AUCTION ANNOUNCED AS ACCIDENT REPAIR

PM me if you want the full report, Autocheck still reported it as having no accidents.
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The only reason it took all day to install was because we couldn't keep our dicks out of each others mouths.
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Old 02-23-2016, 07:22 AM   #5
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Aux in is Stereo. I use a BT inout on it for hands free voice/text and streaming BT audio. Works great

Any 2.0T from '07-'11 could potentially have the intake valve problem. Only time and mileage will tell. A cold compression test after 60K (especially if the car lived in a colder climate) will start to show the story of valve wear. Symptoms include misfire codes, difficulty starting from cold on cold days, poor gas mileage, and rough idle when the car isn't warmed up.
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Old 02-23-2016, 07:36 AM   #6
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I did the valves on an '08 and it still had good compression when it was cold in the early stages. As the weeks went by and it got colder, it would take 2mins to start the damn thing. The valves are not a difficult job, just time consuming.

8valvegrowl, have you ever encountered issues with reversing the camshafts by mistake? The camshafts are almost identical, have no distinct markings and the alignment tool will fit on if the cams are reversed! My friend had to change 2 more valves after changing the 8 because the cams were swapped and they touched the piston once it was running. Strangely, you could rotate the engine by hand and nothing would touch so he thought it was all good, but as soon as the lifters had oil pressure the clearance wasn't there anymore. Whoops!
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Old 02-23-2016, 07:53 AM   #7
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I haven't run into that problem personally, but I could certainly see how it could be done! They are virtually identical looking.

My buddy marked the intake camshaft when we did mine so there wouldn't be any confusion.

Total bummer in having to yank the head off right after getting it buttoned up.

Were the pistons OK?
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:02 AM   #8
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I haven't run into that problem personally, but I could certainly see how it could be done! They are virtually identical looking.

My buddy marked the intake camshaft when we did mine so there wouldn't be any confusion.

Total bummer in having to yank the head off right after getting it buttoned up.

Were the pistons OK?
Little nick in the left most piston, my buddy was ready to give up. The impact snapped a bolt on one of the cam gears too so he thought it was all over. Car is running fine now, gets driven daily but just started to use oil. These 2.0T car's have failing turbos or what? About 110k miles.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:51 AM   #9
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Hrmm, I have 112k now, and did the valves around 90K. No change in oil consumption other than maybe a very minor leak.

The TD04-14T is a pretty durable turbo. Glad it's running pretty well.

Mine has some sort of vacuum leak or something, I keep getting P0171 Lean codes. It's running decently, but lacks a bit of pep and gas mileage is going down again (since it's clearly dumping fuel in there like crazy). Always something....too cold to be poking around with vac lines, so I've just been taking it easy on the car.
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Old 01-23-2017, 09:39 AM   #10
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Somewhat reviving this thread. I managed to keep my Passat going almost another year, but time is taking it's toll. Considering purchasing something newer again that I don't have to worry too much about (which will allow me to focus on the c900 instead).

Looking at another Sportcombi...this time a 2006. I checked the book on the asking price and it looks reasonable. It's the FWD 5-speed version, and roughly 96k miles on the clock. Here's the posting:

Mercedes in Kitchener - Saab Of KW Mercedes Benz

Since it's a 2006 I suppose I won't have to worry about the valve problem, and it's got the 2.0T which I am assuming is using Trionic 7? Any opinions on this model and year range would be appreciated.
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Old 01-23-2017, 09:58 AM   #11
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I don't know much about the 9-3 SS but I do know that those cars are t8
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:02 AM   #12
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I don't know much about the 9-3 SS but I do know that those cars are t8
Ah interesting....so is there individual coil over plug setup on T8, or is it a DI cassette as with previous engine management?
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:05 AM   #13
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T8 uses the individual coil over plug.
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:06 AM   #14
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Why not consider a 9-5 wagon? that's still a good old saab engine. b235 t7, same as the viggens.(if you buy a 4 cylinder car) You just have to keep an eye out for the sludge in the crank case/oil pick up screen.
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:10 AM   #15
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Why not consider a 9-5 wagon? that's still a good old saab engine. b235 t7, same as the viggens.(if you buy a 4 cylinder car) You just have to keep an eye out for the sludge in the crank case/oil pick up screen.
Mainly due to lack of availability. Whenever I search for older SAABs, I mainly find rusted out NG900s or OG9-3's. The wagon's don't seem to be very common in my area for some reason.
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Old 01-24-2017, 04:43 AM   #16
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The 2.0 is a pretty reliable motor. With 10 years and 100k on the clock, it's a lot like any other car in that some moderate stuff will need going through - belts, pulleys, suspension. Believe 06 had the more updated GM interior with less troublesome displays etc so you should be alright there.
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Old 01-24-2017, 05:21 AM   #17
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I have a friend with a 2008 2.0T that burns so much oil, we think it needs a turbo. This car also had the bad intake valves as well. Also, the early 9-3SS broke front springs didnt they?
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Old 02-02-2017, 01:44 AM   #18
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Pretty good prices on the website, when i will need to change my saab, i will try to search here. But i`m curious about taxes and payments when crossing the Canada borders, maybe one in Canada will also make a deal for me.
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