1999 9-3 Convertible pre-purchase inspection - The Saab Link Forums

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Old 04-26-2009, 07:58 PM   #1
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1999 9-3 Convertible pre-purchase inspection

Picking up a 1999 Saab 9-3 S convertible tomorrow (weekend car for the summer and 20 year old daughter will use when home from college). Anyone have any comments on what I need to consider when taking to the mechanic for the pre-purchase inspection tomorrow morning?
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Old 04-27-2009, 08:51 AM   #2
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The A/C compressor pully wil scieze and throw the belt ,it did on my wifes 01. I did the bypass, I'm sure others more knowalgeable will chime in later
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:16 AM   #3
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The late, great Boneriffic had the 2001 version of the car you're looking at.

He also had some problems with his convertible.

His epic thread is here.

Other things he had to do to the car are here.

Also, the hydraulic system for the manual top is sometimes a pain, from what I understand, and can be pricey to fix. Just FYI.

Otherwise, good luck and welcome to the 'link.
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aireeca View Post
Also, the hydraulic system for the manual top is sometimes a pain, from what I understand, and can be pricey to fix. Just FYI.
Second that all the way. My father is a saab master tech and he sees problems with top hydraulics very frequently. Sometimes it can be an inexpensive fix, but the systems are very complicated and, like aireeca says, can be really costly to fix if broken. If I were you then, I'd try the top a few times just to be sure.

Good luck
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:08 AM   #5
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My uncle bought a 99 vert a year ago with 100k on it. I basically picked it out for him and he's loved it ever since buying it. He picked it up as a "throw away car" expecting to only get a year out of it. He was renting a car every week and we figured that he'd break even in a few months if he bought a car.

He has a long commute, lends it to my younger cousins when ever they are around and generally hasn't done anything to it. Every so often I steal the keys and change the oil. The car has not missed a beat while he's driven it, though he's the type of person who would miss an oil light going off in his car.

I have noticed the convertible top to be a bit finicky when I use it. There have been several times when it throws an SID warning and I need to reverse whatever it was I was doing and try again. I don't think my uncle uses the top much.
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:12 AM   #6
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From when I was researching Saab convertibles it seems you are better w/ the hydraulic systems than the electric ones...

As for the A/C mention that is a fluke thing, and by no means localized to convertible models.

A Saab/Volvo convertible are generally decent deals and very safe cars. They are no different from any other modern convertible with regard to care/maintenance. The same things on the hardtop versions apply to the convertible as to what to look for. Be sure that all operates well with the top and take it over a decently bumpy road to see how the cowl shake is on the car.

Another car worth mentioning and often missed is the Volvo C70.
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liketheword View Post
As for the A/C mention that is a fluke thing,
The AC pulleys tend to poop the bed in the 75K-95K range. I can count about five that have gone bad for people around here in that mileage range within the last two years including mine.

You'll know it by the scream from the belt. Mine only really howled when I shut my automatic climate control off on a nice day, so fiddle around with having the AC on and off during the test drive

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and by no means localized to convertible models.
Very true. The disease afflicts them all.

Last edited by aireeca; 04-27-2009 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:40 AM   #8
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Ball joints, they are permanently attached to the controll arm and not very cheap.
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can be prone to failure due to increased localized stresses in the hole penetrations
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