Saab 9-5 Wagon

My aunt is selling a 2000 Saab 9 5 Wagon with 85,000 miles on it and says she will give it to me for $3,000 (instead of selling it for around $4,500, which is what the blue book value is). She says that the car runs well and is in great shape except for a dent in the front bumper. I would like a new car, but have heard that Saab’s are expensive to maintain and repair and don’t have a lot of extra money lying around to sink into maintaining an expensive car. Does anyone have any idea how much I should expect to pay in annual repairs? I am thinking if the annual maintance/repairs was around $1,000, then that would be within my budget, but if I had to put 2K or 3K into it each year, that would be too much. Any suggestions?

If your aunt GAVE it to you, it would still be an expensive and DIFFICULT car to maintain. It’s 10 years old, and an orphan vehicle, and with a Saab, anything can happen and will likely be expensive.

I would graciously decline her offer.

You will probably average $1,000 per year in maintenance and repair. That means some years will be a few hundred and some years will be closer to $2,000. But that’s with almost any car this old.

There are Saab people and then there’s everyone else. Are you a Saab person? If so, this may be the car for you. If you’re more into ultimate reliability and low operating cost, you might want to look for another brand.

$3,000 may seem cheap, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Before you buy the car, I suggest you make the acquaintance of a good Saab mechanic. You’ll become best friends, and he’ll appreciate your help when it comes time to make his boat payments.

Your aunt may or may not have maintained the car properly, but perhaps you can view the service receipts to see if the trans fluid was changed etc.

$3,000 is a decent price, but she wouldn’t get “book” value for it anyway. She isn’t giving you any great deal.

It is impossible to predict future repairs costs. Still a Saab will be well above the normal costs of maintaining a Honda or Toyota. First it has a turbo charger. Great when the cars are new because you get more power from a smaller engine. Bad when cars get older because a turbo needs special care (frequent oil changes every 3 to 5K miles and should be with full synthetic oil). If the turbo motor didn’t get special care a new turbo is very expensive, ie $2,000. These motors also run hot in general and can sludge up if not given frequent oil changes with high quality oil.

The trans could be ready to go, just due to age and miles, and that is a $2,000 bill minimum. So, you might have a year of just normal stuff like tires, brakes, oil changes. Then you will have a year of new radiator, new trans, new turbo, etc. that could easily go into the $5,000 range.

Hard to tell, but I’d budget about $2,000 a year to keep an 11 year old Saab on the road.

They are pricey to repair.

I think $1500-$2500/year is a reasonable figure to keep it going. My brother has a 2001 Aero 9-5 and it has turned quite expensive as of late. I think his love of the car is wearing off but his wife needs a new car also 2000 Pathfinder with 220k and lots of rust and ugly paint.