I’m looking for some Saab selling advice. A couple of years ago I convinced my girlfriend that she would love the functionality and performance of a 2002 Saab 9-5 turbo wagon (5-spd)… perhaps in some small part because I wanted one myself. As she fell in love with the Saab I grew to hate its constant need for attention and respect its ability to find new and creative ways to fail.
Now that I convinced her to upgrade to a 2009 Jetta TDI wagon, I have to figure out how to unload the Saab. The problem is, aside from some typical small problems, this car has an emissions leak (causing a check engine light) and needs a Direct ignition Cassette, (currently preventing full boost mode). I’ve devoted a lot of weekends to this car so most of the gadgets work and it looks great, but I figure no one will touch it with the current problems… Because I wouldn’t.
My question: is it worth the money to invest another $200 – $300 for the DI cassette, which *should* solve the lack of boost? And how much should I be asking/expecting on the open market? It now has 120K miles and will be sold with the evap leak because fixing requires dropping the fuel tank and that aint gonna happen. To make things slightly worse, we live in a town that requires emissions compliance before allowing vehicle registration, so the new owner has that to look forward to.
Oh yeah, the sooner you can weigh in on this, the better, as the new (used) Jetta is already in our garage and the Saab needs to be gone ASAP.
As a Lincoln-Mercury fanboi with no brand-honest prospects in the (near?) future, it pains me to see a turbo, stick, SAAB wagon in search of a new owner. But you couldn’t pay me to own it, either. You need money, plenty of time on the forums, or a very worthwhile SAAB independent mechanic to make that beastie worth owning. Tragic.
So should you spend the money to fix that check engine light, so it will pass emissions? Yes, unless the cost spirals out of control. Your $300 budget sounds totally worth it, except you have no interest in fixing that leaking evap emissions thing. Therefore the light will stay on, emissions won’t be passed, value plummets. So let’s run some numbers.
Taking a wild guess at your 9-5’s options and overall condition via Edmund’s appraisal tool, I’d say you’d be lucky to get more than $4500 on a private party sale, and good luck getting over $3000 on trade-in/wholesale. This is assuming you clear all engine codes and the rest of the SAAB is good for an inspection. And assuming you remain a resident of a fly-over state, not one of those SAAB friendly places on the coast.
The SAAB’s transaction price if you don’t clear the codes? I donno…and maybe who cares? At what point does a loss of 500-2000 dollars really hurt you? Is time more valuable than money? Are you on the fast track to a promotion, bonus, etc? I’d recommend going to a few dealers and seeing their cash offers. If you leave infuriated, well, maybe you should fix that heap so it will pass the emissions test for the next owner. If you kinda shrug it off, just dump it on craigslist for a little more than the dealer’s offer…fingers crossed on that.
Perhaps you should make a friend in California? Or Oregon? Massachusetts? You see my point.
Oh and by the way, I’d sincerely recommend an extended warranty for that Jetta. But you probably already knew that.