2003 Saab SE 93

I have an opportunity to by this car, it has 59600 miles on it. My only fear it being a saab, the routine maints. will be costly? How many miles will a Saab get if it has been taken care of… I know the family who bought it new and have used it as a fun car, all routine maints have been done… My fear i will only get 100,000 before i start having a lot of problems since it is a 4 cyclinder… they want 11,000…thoughts?

I suggest you check the reliability ratings of this vehicle before you take the plunge. If you want the car my advice is to find a mechanic who specializes in Saab vehicles.

Following the maintenance schedule religiously will help you get the most out of the car. How long it will last is anyone’s guess, but good maintenance always helps.

You can research whether the price is fair on web sites such as KBB, Edmunds.com, AutoTrader.com, etc.

Since the car is known to be properly maintained that is a plus. 60K is low mileage on 6 to 7 year old car, another plus.

The fact the car has a 4 cyc engine has little to do with how well it holds up beyond 100K miles. If it has a turbo charger it is very important to use high quality oil, preferably synthetic, for the turbo to last beyond 100K without needing replacement. Turbo’s are expensive to replace.

Saab’s, like most cars can last well beyond 200K miles if they are maintained properly. That means following the mfg’s guidelines in the owner’s manual as a minimum. You can expect a few repairs on a car from years 5 to 10 of its life. An alternator here, and an AC compressor there. So you have to budget for some repairs, $200.00 a month should cover you if and when something breaksdown.

From years 10-20 more things fail and some are more expensive. Now you are into radiators, condensors, heater cores, transmissions, drive axles, etc. The repair budget needs to increase accordingly to $400 a month. These budget numbers do not include the stuff that normally wears out with miles driven, such as brakes, struts, tires, and normal maintenance such as oil changes. At this point in a cars life you should be able to pay for the repairs and upkeep because the car is paid off with no monthly payments to a finance a bank or finance company.

If you pay $11K and are strapped for the money to continue to maintain the car and handle the costs of repairs then the car maybe out of reach. A car with 60K miles which has been maintained is still likely to need new brakes soon, perhaps tires, hoses, serpentine belts, and some front suspension parts. A good inspection by a mechanic can tell you the condition of these components. Yes, all the service required to keep a Saab going is more than a comparable American car and about the same as a Japanese car.

Get the inspection and see what the car needs for the next 6 to 12 months. If it is a lot of stuff requiring $1,000 or more negotiate the price with the owner. It sounds like a good car, but with 60K miles and 7 years old it needs something. People sell cars for a reason and when they are running perfectly and have new tires, brakes, and a recent tune up they usually keep the car.