SAAB Quality Since GM?

To open a can of worms.
I've always been a big fan of Saabs, possibly due to my perception that they were substantially engineered and innovative.
I especially like the 9000 series.
What I want to know, is whether that reputation for rock-solid build quality has been maintained since GM took over?
For instance, the 9000 had a chain-driven cam-shafts, which I always considered rather a better solution than belts, as failure usually means a lot of work.
What do you guys think?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 27 Aug 2005 18:14:56 +0100

Steven,
Good question!
I think we need to address this.
This is what Saab needs right now, "better" build-quality.
Customer perception truly believes that quality has nosedived since 1993/1994.
SG
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve Wade wrote:

Uhuh. Very nice car.

No.
See the comments regarding such simple things as squeaks and rattles. I have 2 squeak and rattle free 9000s that are both over 10 yrs old. Not bad eh ?

To put it mildly !

I reckon 'real' Saabs were better engineered and built. GM appears not to understand what Saab is about I'll venture.
Graham
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
As a saab tech.. everytime we see something GM involved, we cry..
extremly bad
Mike

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

One word - BEANCOUNTERS !!!!!!
Teleman
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve Wade wrote:

Not a particular good example. The 9-5 also has chain-driven cam-shafts.

An Auto Express consumer survey earlier this year bore that out. It covered 50,236 people and 100 different cars. The reliability and build quality was disappointing, perhaps because other manufacturer have made huge progress. As a 9000 CSE owner, it feels rather strange to say that about a Saab!
The good points (always mention the good points) were that 9-5 ranked 2'nd in comfort, 16 in performance, 17 in practicality, 17 in ease of driving, 18 in ride.
The 9-3 ranked 10 in comfort, 27 in braking, 28 in performance.
The rest I better not mention :-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
">

This seems to suggest that at least one core value is still intact - which is nice to know..
So assuming there was a lead time before the bean-counters did their damage - what would be the latest 9000 a true Saab man would contemplate?
Best regards,
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve Wade wrote:

You might want to avoid the V6 9000s ( rubber cam belt ). Otherwise any 9000 is just fine. They didn't get GMised ( other than the V6 engine which came from Vauxhall )
Graham
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

9000
Anecdotally at least, the GM V6 unit seems a bit suspect, as two persons of my knowing have had major problems.
Its the sort of thing which can't help but start a prejudice.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

came
of
Is there a V6 in existence that doesn't have a bad reputation? There seems to be a few good inline 6's, but many problematic V6's out there from every manufacture I can think of that's offered one. Not to mention they almost invariably are less powerful with poorer fuel economy than a turbo 4, while having the increased complexity of a V block without the huge torque of a V8. The worst of both worlds.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
James Sweet wrote:

The biggest Vee you can get in a transverse drive vehicle typically though.
Personally, I think Saab turbo'd 4s are great !
Graham
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

every
while
I suppose it is possible that the very advantage of a V6, its compactness, might actually be its Achilles heel, in that heat and forces have less material to disperse into, while also being less rigid. There might be harmonic value with a V8 also.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
What about the Buick 3800? Bulletproof, great fuel efficiency (30mpg in a full-sized car with automatic trans), great torque and power. Great engine.
Or hell, I have a Saab 900 SE V6, 1994 model. Whatever people may say, it is a car that drove 190 k miles through the Northeast and still remains rust free (some bubbling near rear wheel well) and overall seems to be in excellent condition, even the leather and steering wheel. The only problem is I can't get it to start. But the engine turns over fine.
Oddly the engine has about twice as much oil in the crankcase as it should (the dipstick is way up...) although this is fresh clean oil, not like if a headgasket blew.
If I ever had the time to diagnose the thing, I bet I could drain the oil and it would fire up...
I don't know where all the complaints of unreliability of any Saab post-C900 or 9k come from, but really these cars are solidly made and durable. Do the power steering racks go every 100k miles? Do the gearboxes grenade themselves at 120k? Do the dashboards show more crack than a plumber after 10 years? Do the headgaskets blow every 150 k miles? Do the frame rails near the front suspension mounts hold so much mud and crap that they rust out and render the car a piece of scrap metal after 15 years? Do the wiper linkages break and leave you with no wipers just that day when you need the wipers on HI just to barely see anything while driving 20 miles per hour on an Interstate? Oh and heater valves and crumbling wiring and...
Don't get me wrong at all - I love the C900. My personal car is a 1990 Turbo. I also have a 1989 900 turbo, a mint 1990 900 S, a near-mint 1992 900 S (the 3 of which I'd like to sell) and also a 1987 SPG I've been stealing parts from. They are great road cars that are a joy to own, and even - work on. The 900 SE isn't technically mine either.
And the C900 is a very well put together car. How many other 20 year old cars do you see going about their business? A few Mercedes but that's it... And they are very resistant to rust, comparitively speaking.
But I can't go out and say that anything else produced by Saab is a junk car.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
And for those who complain of V6 timing belts and turbo direct ignition cassettes, let me say that:
The timing belt is scheduled for 35k miles. If you change the tensioner to the new style, the interval becomes the standard 100 000km figure as any other timing belt car (like a 9-5).
The DI cassette will usually go 120 k miles and costs less than a transmission...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My big complaint with the DI cassette is not the frequency of failure or even the cost, but the manner in which it fails. I can think of very few parts in any car that both fail with such frequency *and* result in completely disabling the vehicle with no warning at all.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I agree. The DIC shouldn't even be a replacement item. GM's various distributorless ignition setups (since 1984) have proven to be pretty much trouble free and will last "forever" much like any other solid-state electronics. Why is Saab's version so very different?
However Saab has promised NHTSA that the new revisions of the unit are "good" and much more infrequent replacements. But still...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
geez I am getting confused with too many gmail accounts...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Because the're too much clever electronics is in that DI cassette ?
As an electronics designer, I'd like to know what the typical failure mode(s) is (are). I'll bet there's something(s) straighforward that's fixable by design.
Graham
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pooh Bear wrote:

The failure is related to the heat and lack of cooling possibilities when mounted on top of the engine. I took mine apart, the insulation in one of the coils had burned through, I guess it short circuited.
It also help if you diagnose any overheating problem immediately, i.e. don't drive round with the temperature gauge at 3/4 mark. It must always be at a healthy 1/2 mark.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Johannes wrote:

With the way the cooling systems were designed in the late 80's early 90's, I would guess that you are probably right on the money about the overheating being related to DIC failues. I mean, it doesn't make any sense to me that you would use an 89 degree C thermostat, and use a thermosensor switch in the radiator that first turns the fan on at 87 and doesn't put the fan at high speed until 92!!
How did the designers suppose that we were going to cool the engine down (and regulate it) to 89 degrees with > 92 degree coolant at the outlet of the radiator?
And this most certainly was not a GM design issue...
--
-Fred W
Toys for sale, Hey get your toys here:
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.