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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Really shitty week... radiator cracked & need to replace it, the hoses, and the water pump. $1800 at a mechanic i trust. paid a bunch of cash to tow it from middle of nowhere.

basically im tight on cash cuz im going away to school n will be living on my own

THE QUESTION ISSS
Should I put this $1800 into the car and keep it or part it out?

got new this summer ($):
-lowered (150)
-new custom exhaust solo preformance (700)
-hid's (100)
-new rear rotors &breakes (500)
-new spark plugs, cleaned throtle, and restarted the ecu or some shit, replaced belt pully (500)
-sound system (800) 6x speakers, amp, 12" woofer, all infinity except amp and deck
-front brakes and machined rotors (250)

spentso much cashonthis car this summer but i really cant afford 1800 to repair...

I really need a car but I don't know what Ishould do... Keep my first car which i love or part it/trade it for a new one. :evil:


thanks for input/letting me vent
 

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Can you do the work yourself? That would be my first choice. How much is the car worth to you? Over $1800? Is everything else ok with the car? If you part it, how much will your spend on another car to replace it?
 

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Its suspect that all this went at once.

I'd find a new mechanic. They are abusing your trust. They see the work you put into it, I'm sure.

You may need a new Radiator, or you may need a new hose, or you may need a new waterpump.... But needing all at once with no previous issues... Come on. You buy this?

You can do all of that yourself too. A radiator is a couple hours, a waterpump is 2 or 3 and hoses... ?
 

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Its suspect that all this went at once.

I'd find a new mechanic. They are abusing your trust. They see the work you put into it, I'm sure.

You may need a new Radiator, or you may need a new hose, or you may need a new waterpump.... But needing all at once with no previous issues... Come on. You buy this?

You can do all of that yourself too. A radiator is a couple hours, a waterpump is 2 or 3 and hoses... ?
Water pump took me 4 hours or so. You need to remove belt, power steering (which was a bitch for me), then the wp, refit all... took me around 4 hours. Part of the problem was refitting the hoses onto the TD04.

1800 is stupid. Like Nick said, all 3 at once? I smell bullshit. Get a used radiator. If that doesn't work, get used hoses from a pick'n pull. Lastly try the wp. This will be um, 300 bucks maybe? Plenty of hours but experience is good.
 

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Man, I know exactly what you're talking about. I have over 3 grand now into my car this year (fuel pump, wheels, clutch and trans 2x, radiator and fan...)

Radiator job isn't too bad, just takes a bit of patience to get it to sit correctly. How'd the rad crack? That usually doesn't just happen out of nowhere...in my case a piece of transmission punctured it:mad:
 

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Radiators are cheap - the labor on one is where it comes into play.
Water pump rebuild kits are $80
Hoses are a good idea - but if they are not leaking or swelled - they are not needed at this time, but keep an eye on them.

I would ask your mechanic to take into consideration your finacial situation and that you want to fix the car - but need to fix ONLY what is needed right now. Tell him you'll bring it back for the rest as soon as you have the funds - see what he comes back with. He does not want to loose the business - any sale is a good sale usually.

Figure the radiator is a 3 hour job - and often times it takes longer when things don't come apart as they should X 80hr = 240 + parts of $235 give or take = $475

Water Pump is a 2hr job on ng900 or 4.5-5hr on 9-3 book time...$160-$400 plus parts of rebuild pump $80 = $240 - $480

Hoses should be cost only since they would be off already;
4876215 Lower Radiator Hose $6
4964789 Upper Radiator Hose $9
4961074 Heater Core Inlet/Outlet Hoses $15 + Labor of $80 = $95

Worst Case = $1065 + tax IMHO
Best Case = $825 + tax

Forgot - there's also the 1 hour Diag he's going to want... $80 right there added to the above :)
 

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How many miles on the car? Year/model?
This would be helpful. Sounds like you're in a real pinch. Parting the car isn't going to make you money, plus no car in the end. Selling it as is will most likely lose you a pile of cash too, plus no car. Buying a cheap beater= money pit. Realistically this car (or your mechanic) has got you by the balls and you're pretty much going to have to fix it and run it. 1800 seems steep to me, but I'm not familiar with your market either. Shop around and try to find a better deal. It's a car and in the end it'll always beat you and your wallet. Start with a CAA membership, you're down $320 already, and a membership woulda covered your tow (think I paid $90 for 1yr AAA+, and they offer the + membership immediately now, used to be a 1yr wait to upgrade)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the input fellas.

The car is a 99 9-3, 202,000km

I wouldn't be able to do the work myself as where i highly doubt my mechanical skills.

The rad cracked on the bottom from high pressure or some shit... it was leaking coolant very slowly for a while before that and I had a stupid mistake of driving it with very low coolant in mid winter for a few days before I relised so that possibly could of done it? but that was like 10 months ago.

it was leaking near the water pump or dripping down there aswell and he said some shit about something along the lines of coolant leaking into someplace where it combusts and its been a long time issue cuz rad cracking is a rare case he said he only sees like 4 a year. the mechanic i goto is Aktive Motors and the dude is Christian Skovbjerg, hes got over 30 yrs experience with saabs.

I'm thinking I could purchase the parts myself and ask them to install it?

The thing about the car is that I go to school 450km away from home and I drive down to see my girlfriend every 3-4 weeks so reliability is a must for me cuz it gets me to school work and family.

oh, and its my first car so I love it like its my child.

Used rads... is that a reliable choice?
Hoses - I could buy myself but I need car fixed by sept. 2nd
Water pump - Shouldnt those have to be replaced every now and then anyways?

all I need out of my saab is one more year till I finish school and then I will be buying a brand new car.


Oh and he said something about retightening my head gaskets or some shit aswell, I guess I can take that off the bill too.

Thanks for allthehelp!:oops:
 

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According to his sig he has a '99 9-3.

I did the water pump on my '99 in about 2 hours. Hoses took me about an hour (the worst ones were the damn heater core hoses...all the front of engine hoses would take about 20-25 minutes)

Find a new mechanic.
 

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Used rad = temp fix... pay once, get it done right - and they have a warrenty on new parts...

Buying parts yourself could save you some money - but any break you wanted to get from the shop will be out the window.. shops make a little profit off the parts - they have too, it helps make up for where they can shave the labor costs and the time it can take then over what they are paid (meaning if the job ends up f-ing them and taking twice as long as quoted - then they eat that extra time)
Best bet - like I said above - call them back and tell them your situation, a good shop will work with you and come down considerable to get your business. Otherwise - call around and find a reputible shop who will do the work for less - this is called price shopping - and tell them the same deal - and what's up. Any Saab shop right now would jump over hoops just to get a customer, heck - call the stealership!

Another trick with a dealership - get the over the counter price, then call the parts department and tell them your situation, SOMETIMES you can buy the parts from the dept directly for less - and have the dealer install them - they still make their money and you can save a little more on the parts end.

START MAKING CALLS - GET OFF THE DAMN COMPUTER - It's not going to fix itself this time...
 

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Used rad = temp fix... pay once, get it done right - and they have a warrenty on new parts...

Buying parts yourself could save you some money - but any break you wanted to get from the shop will be out the window.. shops make a little profit off the parts - they have too, it helps make up for where they can shave the labor costs and the time it can take then over what they are paid (meaning if the job ends up f-ing them and taking twice as long as quoted - then they eat that extra time)
Best bet - like I said above - call them back and tell them your situation, a good shop will work with you and come down considerable to get your business. Otherwise - call around and find a reputible shop who will do the work for less - this is called price shopping - and tell them the same deal - and what's up. Any Saab shop right now would jump over hoops just to get a customer, heck - call the stealership!

Another trick with a dealership - get the over the counter price, then call the parts department and tell them your situation, SOMETIMES you can buy the parts from the dept directly for less - and have the dealer install them - they still make their money and you can save a little more on the parts end.

START MAKING CALLS - GET OFF THE DAMN COMPUTER - It's not going to fix itself this time...
Isn't everything a "temp" fix;). Yes a new radiator will be better than a used one, not arguing that, but if he is financially limited, then so are his options.

I completely agree with what Burnside says about trying to work with the shop. Most shops want business, period. If you offer to take it somewhere else or have it done yourself due to overly high cost, usually they will work with you. If they don't work with you, then you know they are purely after your money, find a new mechanic.

Good luck man, call around, get quotes from other shops, arm yourself with knowledge(like what burnside posted about the expected time exct.) and you will be better at arguing your point.
 

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get a radiator off of radiatordealz on ebay, they have a bunch of user names on ebay but its all the same company, do the work yourself. with basic hand tools and the use of this forum and others you could do everything yourseld for less than 500 and a couple hours of your time.
 

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$1000 discount?

Not too bad in Canada.

They think SAABs are gold there. Going to McGill for college taught me more about fixing my own car than anything else. The indies and dealers think SAABs are $&#@ing Porsches up there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah they really do :\

I'd love to work on my own car for major things but I have no garage nor tools.

Soon as I'm done school it's another story.

Thanks once again.
 

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$1000 discount?
Not too bad in Canada.

They think SAABs are gold there. Going to McGill for college taught me more about fixing my own car than anything else. The indies and dealers think SAABs are $&#@ing Porsches up there.
My impression is that most folks up here think Saabs are plain weird and the majority of mechanics outside the large urban areas won't even touch them.
Here on the east coast, I don't see very many Saabs around. And trying to buy a C900 that's not rotten/abused/neglected/overpriced seems impossible.

your tow cost $320? do you have AAA in Canada? $70-80/year for 100 miles of free towing. worth its weight in gold
We have CAA...same thing. I think I pay $100 per year for their mid-range coverage. Includes roadside assistance for lots of problems, up to 160 kms per tow (unsure if limited tows per yr), etc etc.
 
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