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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    kinda halfway twixt NH & CO
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    776

    Blown head gasket on near vintage saab 9-5. Fix it or what?

    I got the 2000 9-5 in 2013 with 37k miles for $3,300. Saabs are fine. No need to disparage the car that GM fucked up, but I digress. It has had a few issues but nothing major. 180k miles now. Original clutch and low pressure turbo. Always synthetic oil. Shop says $2k-$2.5k to fix depending on what they find. Shop is a bit less pricey than most that are oriented to the nice German cars that dentists and lawyers like. I like those cars too but my budget is more lift-op than orthodontist, but I digress. The Saab has had recent radiator, brakes, starter. It has two sets of wheels with ok snows and new non-snows.

    The alternative to fixing would be to replace it with another very cheap car. After mostly German cars I would be ok with boring but there's no such thing as a Camry, Accord or Fuzion wagon. I don't want a Subaru. Is the Ford Freestyle (Taurus) wagon horrible? Is an Element a sucky car? Are Volvos too fucking expensive to take care of? Get another old Saab and use current one as parts car? I don't want high center of gravity, don't need AWD. Part of me wants a 5 series wagon but I'm trying to be realistic.

    Thanks in advance for thoughts, wit, sarcasm, failed attempts at humor.

    My gut says fix it

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    5,183
    Don't fall for the sunk cost fallacy. Just because you replaced a bunch of stuff recently doesn't mean other stuff won't break.

    I'd sell it. Saab parts are going to get worse and worse to find / more expensive when you do.

    Don't get a Volvo (I've had the Volvo wagon, if you enjoy 1000+ repair jobs for piddly shit then go for it).

    Element does not suck in functionality wise but has no soul. It's a toaster.
    Live Free or Die

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
    Posts
    11,294
    wondering when my 2008 9-5 wagon will give up the ghost myself. 160K on the odometer now.

    you bought for 3300 years ago, now its a 2500 repair minimum. Sounds like a bad deal to me. I'd move on. Im sure some mechanic type will come buy from you and do repair themselves.
    http://www.firsttracksonline.com

    I wish i could be like SkiFishBum

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    driving past the Stop and Shop
    Posts
    2,878
    20yr old car w/ 180k on original clutch and many NE winters? That a vehicle that’s definitely on borrowed time. If you were a Saab enthusiast and into turning wrenches I’d say you might be able to make the math work for a couple of years if you don’t do a lot of miles. But the next big $$$ repair definitely puts you in the loss column.
    Damn, we're in a tight spot!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    17,794
    your gut sez you want it but the repair is > the car is worth and you get paid < a dentist ?

    dump it and buy something boring
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bottom feeding
    Posts
    7,014

    Blown head gasket on near vintage saab 9-5. Fix it or what?

    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    just outside the bubble
    Posts
    1,149
    My life, and wallet, got a lot better when I ditched a Ď00 9-5 I had. What a money pit that thing was. Like every month something was breaking. Fun to drive but not worth it.
    It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. ĖErnest Hemingway

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    kinda halfway twixt NH & CO
    Posts
    776
    ugh. Boring is wise. Have almost always had interesting and/or fun euro cars. Parents had CitroŽns from mid 60s to late 70s, then a couple of Lancias. I had a bunch of VWs including a Syncro, a Peugeot 404 (one gen newer than Columbo's), a BMW 2002 (pre-stigma but big bumpers) and my second car was a '64 Dart Convertible with push button tranny.

    Ready for boring Asian or American that is no fun to drive. What's cheap to own but also cheap to buy? and isn't too small...or too big? that is a car. TIA

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    on the banks of Fish Creek
    Posts
    1,101
    Elements awd stops working at 45 mph.....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,462

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    In a van... down by the river
    Posts
    3,597
    Quote Originally Posted by MakersTeleMark View Post
    The rebuilt engine and transmission seem... odd for an Accord.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,462
    Quote Originally Posted by skaredshtles View Post
    The rebuilt engine and transmission seem... odd for an Accord.
    You think hard shells are ... odd for a taco.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Bozone
    Posts
    195
    Quote Originally Posted by charlesj View Post
    I got the 2000 9-5 in 2013 with 37k miles for $3,300. Saabs are fine. No need to disparage the car that GM fucked up, but I digress. It has had a few issues but nothing major. 180k miles now. Original clutch and low pressure turbo. Always synthetic oil. Shop says $2k-$2.5k to fix depending on what they find. Shop is a bit less pricey than most that are oriented to the nice German cars that dentists and lawyers like. I like those cars too but my budget is more lift-op than orthodontist, but I digress. The Saab has had recent radiator, brakes, starter. It has two sets of wheels with ok snows and new non-snows.

    The alternative to fixing would be to replace it with another very cheap car. After mostly German cars I would be ok with boring but there's no such thing as a Camry, Accord or Fuzion wagon. I don't want a Subaru. Is the Ford Freestyle (Taurus) wagon horrible? Is an Element a sucky car? Are Volvos too fucking expensive to take care of? Get another old Saab and use current one as parts car? I don't want high center of gravity, don't need AWD. Part of me wants a 5 series wagon but I'm trying to be realistic.

    Thanks in advance for thoughts, wit, sarcasm, failed attempts at humor.

    My gut says fix it
    Find a junkyard B205R HOT to put in it.

    I had a 2002 9-5, 5sp, the above motor. Very fun daily driver..

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    29,077
    Vintage is primarily a word used to refer to wine that has increased in value with time, but not your old car, particularly.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    In a van... down by the river
    Posts
    3,597
    Quote Originally Posted by MakersTeleMark View Post
    You think hard shells are ... odd for a taco.
    Those things are an abomination.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,462
    Quote Originally Posted by splat View Post
    Vintage is primarily a word used to refer to wine that has increased in value with time, but not your old car, particularly.
    Also to sell used clothes at high dollars.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    17,794
    Maybe 10 yars ago I read a consumers report artical on motorcycle reliabilty where they had surveyed the owners of new motorcycles to find out which brands had the most defects as delivered

    suprisingly the very worst bike by a bunch was BMW followed by HD, whereas the Japanese bikes had way less defects on new bikes and their defect rates were all about the same

    strangely enough in spite of the problems BMW owners loved their bikes

    while the japanese bikes owners had way less problems but didnt like their bikes near as much

    i think this ^^ might be the difference between good and boring
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    kinda halfway twixt NH & CO
    Posts
    776
    XXXer, that's funny and true. I had several airhead BMW bikes and my first four stroke road bike was a Laverda twin. I am likely going to get an Asian or 'Murican car, more boring for sure. Will have to find fun on two wheels.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    3,692
    You can’t digress twice in the same OP.
    That’s a double negative and thefore the whole post is invalid.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,681
    Run from the Saab. They used to make cool little cars that were sporty and fairly reliable, but somewhere they lost their way and started making money pits that sap your soul and bleed you dry.

    I had one. Not the same model as yours, but a Saab. Best thing that I did was when I finally stopped pouring money into it and sent it off to the junk yard.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    763
    I tend to agree with this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rideski View Post
    You canít digress twice in the same OP.
    Thatís a double negative and thefore the whole post is invalid.
    Also, there are a lot of Camry Wagons and a 1996 is basically as new as your SAAB.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    779
    Charlesj......you've recorded/watched way too many euro dreamcar for the scientist commercials...

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1,921
    Just go all in and buy a used Sienna mini van. It does the car thing better than everything mentioned. Reliable, power, and room for putting your ski boots on inside.

    Once you get a mini van you realize how much better than wagons they always have been.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    27

    Blown head gasket on near vintage saab 9-5. Fix it or what?

    Having had a Saab story myself (06 93 wagon manual that had a grinding 5th gear 155k) I can tell you that I sold mine to a guy who wanted to swap the trans and make it a project car. I could have done the labor myself, but I wasnít just going to do a clutch job. ďWhile youíre in there....Ē was the kiss of death. Because Letís face it, every part that you have to remove to get the clutch out is mostly original, and you donít want to bolt any original wear items back on. You arenít far from needing a clutch, and you should consider doing it along with the other work.

    Head gasket isnít as big, but still a major, and unless the bottom end is perfect, you should do a complete junkyard motor with low miles. Suddenly thereís a myriad of new parts that youíre also buying and installing. itís a whole lot easier and cheaper to do all of the maintenance when the car is already apart. But it also means you are now upside down in a car thatís worth maybe $1500. If you want to keep it to 300k then maybe itís worth it, but Iíd say dump it.

    My 98 Volvo v70 t5 manual wagon was still kicking ass at 255k miles, wasnít any more expensive than my 93. Neither were cheap to own/maintain compared to the many Hondaís Iíve owned, but definitely more character in those cars.

    Replacement? If your budget is tight and you donít mind a smaller car a Toyota Matrix/Pontiac vibe and Mazda 3 are nice small hatchbacks. The Prius V is bigger than you think, but very boring. Thereís nothing wrong with a Subaru wagon, especially the H6 outback and legacy wagons. Loved my wrx wagon, but was expensive to own as my Saab or Volvo.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Driving2VT
    Posts
    3,039

    Blown head gasket on near vintage saab 9-5. Fix it or what?

    I was also bled to death years ago when I bought a 2005 (?) 900SE Turbo. A car I could afford to buy (used w low miles) but quickly could not afford to maintain. I agree the $2.5K is likely a cover charge for more headaches ahead. You got your $ worth from this one. Move on.
    I now have a 2012 Volvo XC60 T6, just crossed the 100K mark and havenít had to put too much into it. Havenít found Volvo to be near as expensive to maintain as the Saab or othersí experiences here. YMMV.
    Obviously cheaper options out there but as of now my next car after driving this one into the ground will likely be another Volvo
    Uno mas

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