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#1 2016-12-13 22:20:50

Alvee
Member
Registered: 2016-12-13
User Number: 39200
Posts: 2

Saab 9-2x Linear Reliability

So a little over a year and a half ago I bought my first car, a 99 Subaru Outback Legacy @ 196k miles, but it had gotten a rebuilt '01 engine @ 80k miles due to the previous owner blowing the original from not adding enough oil in between changes. Fearing the same fate, I have been thorough in adding a qt every other time I refueled and made sure to stay on top changing my oil. Less than a year in I had already spent another grand on replacing a radiator and fixing a leak in the gas pipline. Another six months and the engine just blew. The guy I had looking at it said it was the oil, but I refuse to believe it, even if it may be true hmm . $3600 to rebuild the engine or $3000 to replace it with only a 30-day warranty and now I'm looking at getting a new car.

I loved my subi. It was just my size and style and my favorite to drive, even if it suffered from extremely weak hp.  Also, something about the cheap jap interior warms my heart, maybe it was the god awful cup holder or the climate controls that worked half the time XD. I even self-installed an entire brand new audio system (sub in the subi XD).

But the already costly repairs and more so the blown engine has kinda traumatized me, and quite frankly I don't think I could trust another old outback, or even another old Subaru right now for that matter. So I was torn, but then I came across an ad for a Saab 9-2x Linear for $6k w/ 80k miles. I've always secretly wished that my outback was manual, and have heard tremendous things about the 92x's abilities in winter conditions (I live right in the middle of the good ol' mountains of CO and snowboard weekly). The very close relationship between Saab and Subaru is what has me the most excited. On the flip side, I really don't want to mess with all of the same oil/other issues that I experienced with my Subaru. I've heard about this thing's reliability but I heard the same for my outback sitting in a lot rn...


TL;DR

So my question is, what are the most common issues with this thing, at what miles will they start to appear, and how costly are they? What should I look for when I go check it out? How much should I be expect to be putting into repairs on average every year, and how long will it last me? Currently finishing my senior year and I'm looking at heading to Montana State next fall, could I expect it to make me through the next four years with minimal headaches?

Thank you guys in advance big_smile

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#2 2016-12-14 07:27:03

itsnotmeitsyou
Potato, Patreason...
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From: San Antonio, Texas
Registered: 2011-07-31
User Number: 5779
Posts: 2230

Re: Saab 9-2x Linear Reliability

Don't be mesmerized by the Saab badge.  It's just a 2005/2006 Impreza wagon.  You can do better than 6k for a Linear.  Look at what same year/mileage Imprezas are going for and then take off about 2k to get the regular price for a 9-2x.


2005 Saab 9-2x Aero:  More than you've had done to your car.
2015 Forester XT Touring

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#3 2016-12-14 07:40:41

whalecliff
Member
Registered: 2015-11-01
User Number: 34032
Posts: 139

Re: Saab 9-2x Linear Reliability

This car is a Subaru. You should treat it as if it is a 2005 Subaru Impreza, with slightly better handling.  This will be prone to have all of the same problems as a 2005 Subaru as it is mechanically a 2005 Subaru. Even most of the body is the same as a Subie. 

You should be able to snag a linear for pretty cheap. I got my 2005 Linear with 137xxx miles on it for around $4K. I overpaid for it.

Known issues with this car, head gasket leaks are very common with this engine, even swapped engines will be prone to this. Valve cover leaks and oil pan o-ring leaks are also things that often can develop over time as you approach 100xxx miles and beyond. The Power steering pump sometimes develops a link whn one of the O-rings at a connection point goes bad. It's an easy fix though. I'm sure there are other things, but those are the common things that come to mind.

I bought a 9-2x Linear a little over a year ago. I have spent a fair amount of money fixing it, and it has spent a good chunk of time in the shop over the past year.  This isn't because the 9-2x is a bad car or unreliable: I didn't properly inspect and vet the car before I purchased it. I could have and should have negotiated for a much cheaper deal or not purchased it at all.  At this point in time, the car is mechanically sound and drives great. That being said, I've invested significant amounts of time and money to keep it on the road. 

Take it to a shop you trust for a Pre-purchase inspection. It's a real thing, and they will do a much more thorough job than you. Make sure they test for a head gasket leak. If the car is coming from a Northern state, make sure it is thoroughly checked for rust. Make sure the oil is checked for metal particulate and that the coolant is checked to see if it ok, or if someone added a head gasket leak fix to it. Have the power steering pump, alternator, and battery checked out.

I think most people here will attest to the fact that these can, and often are, very reliable cars. Make sure you do your homework and purchase one. Do not trust yourself to do a thorough inspection.


'05 9-2X Linear stock SOLD
2015 Ford Focus Hatch

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#4 2016-12-14 08:39:47

krazykarguy
Worst ninja editor, ever.
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From: South Carolina
Registered: 2007-04-06
User Number: 1944
Posts: 8153

Re: Saab 9-2x Linear Reliability

You put a quart of oil in the engine every other gas fill up??? You probably hydrolocked the motor with oil. 1 qt of oil usage every ~600 miles is horrifyingly bad.


2005 Aero 5MT
2014 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6MT - Sterling Gray Metallic

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#5 2016-12-14 12:26:59

ikbrown
long live R0LO!
From: Fair Oaks, CA
Registered: 2011-10-06
User Number: 6094
Posts: 4943

Re: Saab 9-2x Linear Reliability

arrow-up Yea that's pretty scary... I can't tell if it's worse if he added a quart of oil every other fill up just cause even if the level was full, or if it was legitimately eating that much oil. I think the first scenario.

To your questions, I echo what everyone else said - the Linear is essentially a nicer looking 05 Subaru Impreza wagon. It has the same motor and issues as the subies of that year. Do you know if the timing belt was changed? That is a fairly large maintenance item that should be taken care of asap, costs in the range of $600-900.


2005 Saab 92x Aero 5MT | The basic mods, Stage 2.04
1968 Dodge Charger 383 | WIP, restored almost everything but body work
2014 Subaru Forester | Wife's car

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#6 2016-12-14 13:01:00

scoobysaab
Forum Dummy
From: SW Michigan
Registered: 2014-11-18
User Number: 25152
Posts: 83

Re: Saab 9-2x Linear Reliability

I'd say if you have to add more than 1qt between every oil change (5-7k for me) you are having some very serious issues, or at best a really bad leak


2006 Linear AT

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#7 2016-12-14 18:53:54

Alvee
Member
Registered: 2016-12-13
User Number: 39200
Posts: 2

Re: Saab 9-2x Linear Reliability

Thanks you guys. Checked the carfax but didn't see anything about previous issues, however no evidence of a timing belt replacement or head gasket replacement too for than matter. Will ask about it when I go check it out Friday, and also thanks for the pre-purchase inspection recommendation. I'm definitely going to look more into that xD. Also thanks for pointing out that its practically a Saab branded 05 Impreza, definitely more than I thought it was.

PS
My mechanic said the oil eating is a common issue for old side injection engines like the one in my subi and recommended that I checked every time I filled up, and added when needed. Turned out to be about every other fill up (~500 miles), which he said wasn't too uncommon. I had always questioned it, but I'm not the expert so I just believed him :P maybe my mistake.

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#8 2016-12-15 14:11:20

Bryan
why don't you remember my name?
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From: Western WI
Registered: 2007-01-14
User Number: 1768
Posts: 10180

Re: Saab 9-2x Linear Reliability

Alvee wrote:

Thanks you guys. Checked the carfax but didn't see anything about previous issues, however no evidence of a timing belt replacement or head gasket replacement too for than matter. Will ask about it when I go check it out Friday, and also thanks for the pre-purchase inspection recommendation. I'm definitely going to look more into that xD. Also thanks for pointing out that its practically a Saab branded 05 Impreza, definitely more than I thought it was.

PS
My mechanic said the oil eating is a common issue for old side injection engines like the one in my subi and recommended that I checked every time I filled up, and added when needed. Turned out to be about every other fill up (~500 miles), which he said wasn't too uncommon. I had always questioned it, but I'm not the expert so I just believed him tongue maybe my mistake.

That's a LOT of oil consumption.  I only burn off when I'm on longer highway stints, or higher speeds/RPMs for longer periods of time - then it's about a 1/2 quart for 1000 miles or so, tops.  ~220k on the OD, been running full synthetic since I got it (almost, practically) new.

Could be plugs not torqued properly - some oil likes to creep out over time, could be a leaky gasket, could be a motor about to cut loose, could be any number of things that aren't right...because that's a lot of oil use.


I'm cold, and there are wolves after me.

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#9 2016-12-15 19:25:15

snowphun
Member
From: Central CT
Registered: 2005-11-09
User Number: 890
Posts: 224

Re: Saab 9-2x Linear Reliability

Sounds like a newer FA engine Subaru, they drink so much oil SOA had to settle a class action suit. Their stance has long been that 1 quart per 1k miles is normal, which of course is a load of bs.

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#10 2016-12-16 09:02:27

krazykarguy
Worst ninja editor, ever.
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From: South Carolina
Registered: 2007-04-06
User Number: 1944
Posts: 8153

Re: Saab 9-2x Linear Reliability

arrow-up OP notes that the oil drinker was a '99 Legacy.


2005 Aero 5MT
2014 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6MT - Sterling Gray Metallic

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#11 2016-12-16 12:24:22

whalecliff
Member
Registered: 2015-11-01
User Number: 34032
Posts: 139

Re: Saab 9-2x Linear Reliability

Regardless of previous vehicle issues. Your new Saabaru should not be drinking oil like a camel stocking up before crossing the desert.  Most people here would recommend checking it every other time you fill up; you probably don't have to do it that often, but it's a good way to stay in tune with your car in case you develop a leak or begin having any other engine trouble.

Also, again DO A PREPURCHASE INSPECTION. If you're not familiar with the car, it's hard to check everything well and know what is and isn't normal.  Don't be me a year ago. Also, a pre-purchase inspection would allow you to confirm whether or not the car needs new timing belt/water pump.  Honestly, most pre-purchase inspections will pay for themselves in terms of negotiating/headaches prevented.


'05 9-2X Linear stock SOLD
2015 Ford Focus Hatch

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