You are here: Used Car Expert > Saab > Saab 9-3 > Fault Guides

Used Saab 9-3 Fault Guides

Used Car Expert Fault Guides tell you the common Saab 9-3 faults and wear items that can become problems and big bills for their owner.

Independent research indicated that using our fault guides to check a car before you buy it can save you an average of £300 in surprise bills and hidden problems.

That's because our Saab 9-3 fault guides are written so that anyone can understand them – even if you know nothing about cars and have no tools. For every common fault, we tell you what to look for, what it means and what it costs.

Select your Saab 9-3 fault guide:

Saab 9-3 (1998 - 2002) Fault Guide
Saab 9-3 (2003 - Present) Fault Guide


Saab 9-3 (1998 - 2002) Fault Guide

View Saab 9-3 (1998 - 2002) Fault Guide

We know of 13 SAAB 9-3 (1998 - 2002) faults which our fault check guide makes it easy for you to spot and avoid.

  • 4 engine faults
  • 2 suspension wear items or faults
  • 3 interior problems
  • 1 bodywork issues
  • 3 recalls

Here's an example fault on the SAAB 9-3 (1998 - 2002)

What to look for:

Open the bonnet and look for a reservoir of water connected to the radiator at the front of the engine. Look through the side of the reservoir for tear marks on the side of the plastic above the water line. Also look for witness marks in the plastic which suggest it has been under undue pressure.

What it means:

If you see these symptoms, the head gasket stretch bolts need to be re-torqued.

What to do

Negotiate a £400 discount or have the repair completed.


Register to have full access to the SAAB 9-3 (1998 - 2002) fault guide.

Registered users also get access to our regional price guides, cars for sale email alerts, and many other benefits to help you buy a safe, reliable used car at a great price.


Saab 9-3 (2003 - Present) Fault Guide

View Saab 9-3 (2003 - Present) Fault Guide

We know of 13 SAAB 9-3 (2003 - Present) faults which our fault check guide makes it easy for you to spot and avoid.

  • 4 engine faults
  • 3 suspension wear items or faults
  • 3 interior problems
  • 1 bodywork issues
  • 2 recalls

Here's an example fault on the SAAB 9-3 (2003 - Present)

What to look for:

On the 1.8 litre petrol engine, check the paperwork to ensure it has had its cam belt change. The cam belt should be changed every 36,000 miles or 3 years.

What it means:

If the cam belt is due to be changed, do not drive the car anywhere. If it fails it could do expensive damage to the engine.

What to do

Negotiate a £300 discount or have the repair completed.


Register to have full access to the SAAB 9-3 (2003 - Present) fault guide.

Registered users also get access to our regional price guides, cars for sale email alerts, and many other benefits to help you buy a safe, reliable used car at a great price.


Overall score:  (1)
Add your rating: