1996 900S with 111K miles - what to know? - The Saab Link Forums

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Old 06-16-2009, 04:58 AM   #1
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1996 900S with 111K miles - what to know?

Hello everyone,

Car Information -
Year: 1996
Model: 900S
Trans: Automatic
Mileage: 111,000

I have a friend who can buy this car for $700 and he was asking me if it would be a good car for him. Being I don't know anything about the NG900 generation I figured I would see what you guys had to say.

Please keep in mind that the main thing my friend wants is a reliable and cheap-ish to fix/maintain. As far as I know he is not one to turn wrenches so you might want to consider that if something does go wrong he will need to have myself or a shop fix it.

The only problem that the current owner has noted is that it does not start and has said that this is because the starter has died. It was estimated that it would be about $300 to fix that.

As I stated before, I don't know anything about the NG900 series. Are their typical problems? Can any shop work on them? Parts expensive? How are the automatics? Timing belt?

Thanks,
Ian
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Last edited by saab90089; 06-16-2009 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:28 PM   #2
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To buy or not to buy...

It's most likely the non turbo 2.3 engine which was on Wards list of the ten best engines a while ago. Think it's 150 HP with nice torque. Had one with a 5 spd. and got great gas mileage. Get all the info on the history of the car- oil changes, repairs, 90K tune up, etc. Like any car, proper maintenace is very important. Find a good independant shop and have them take a look at it. They are good cars. Check for rust or rust repairs on the bottom of the doors, the fenders, the seam at the rear fenders, and the trunk. That's a good price and if it's a good car, I'd consider small repairs kind of routine for that price and age. Low miles, parts are pretty easy to find. Good Luck...
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:27 PM   #3
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To buy......(cont'd)

Just cut and pasted this from Saab Central:
Purchasing a used Saab can be a coin toss. Reality is that Saabs are very good cars as long as they are taken care of correctly. More often than not people who purchase high end cars just can't afford them regardless of who makes them. Above all things the number one thing to look for is whether or not the individual changed the oil at 5000 miles MAX. We know that some of the recommended service intervals are 10,000 miles but we have seen so many engine issues because of this that we flag any oil changes longer than 5000 miles. Everyone says that oil can last 15,000 miles etc... That may be true but not every car is designed with the type of oil change interval in mind. Most cars have exhaust components right below the engine oil pan which basically cooks the oil in the pan. This heat alone can be catastrophic to the life of engine oil or transmission fluid. You can pull the dipstick out and look at it closely. If it is very dark color (brown) at the base of the dipstick then that is a good indication that the heat has gotten to the dipstick enough that it has baked the oil in the lower part of the engine as well.
You can count on having some issues with Saab ie.... DI Cassettes, Belt pulley issues, Fan speed resistors, SID unit failures etc.. but in the grand scheme of things they are excellent automobiles if maintained correctly
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:07 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback bobg450.

I will try and do some research on the 2.3 engine. My main concern was if it had a t-belt (being GM engine I assumed) then that probably needed (needs) to be done at like 60? 90? and more then likely never got done (as most people don't do it). I assume that could be an expensive job.

The starter issue I thought COULD be the DI (assuming the 2.3 had the DI) or the starter (111K seemed young for a starter). Again, potentially expensive item.

I realize any car has the potential to be expensive on maintance but I was a little more concerned because I know with the classic900 if you can not do your own work this potential turns into a reality quickly.

ian
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saab90089 View Post
The starter issue I thought COULD be the DI (assuming the 2.3 had the DI) or the starter (111K seemed young for a starter). Again, potentially expensive item.

ian
i had a parts 96 saab 900s 2.3 n/a auto ..... mine uses a distributor .... i have a butt load of parts kicking around if u need any send me a pm

and 300$ is pretty hefty for a starter ... just get it rebuilt for 80$ ish ... works like new
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:40 AM   #6
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a no-start could be a lot of things... I have the same exact car, only mine is a '95. The engine is great - I've had mine for over 100k miles(had 20k on it when I bought it), and have seriously not done much to the entire car besides reg.maintinence stuff. Fuel pump at 90k, extremely minor suspension/steering maint., and replaced the ignition lock cylinder. This car has literally been 99% trouble free - and runs like a champ. the 2.3 is a great, strong motor.
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