"SAAB Specs." by 9riGqrvL


									                                  Jan., 1993                                              We mechanics also have a bad and sometimes well-deserved reputation for
                                                                                      being dishonest profiteers, and working under that kind of stigma has always
                                                                                      been stressful for me personally.

         SAAB Specs.
                                       of                                                  But like other respected professions, there are many, many of us who go
                          SAAB Specialists of Spokane                                 home every night knowing we've done our level-best for our clients, having put
                                E. 1211 Francis                                       their best interests ahead of our own. That is a legacy of professionalism that I
                             Spokane, WA 99207                                        am happy to share with my sons, and to celebrate with you.
                               ( 509 ) 487-3308
                                                                                      The Feds will Tune your Car for you...whether you like it or not....
                                                                                           According to the federal government, Spokane is a dirty city, Carbon
From : john, mike, and dan ...
                                                                                      Monoxide-wise. Part of the problem is the local topography and the popular use
                                                                                      of wood heat in the winter, but their focus after Nov. 1992, is Automobile
Greetings ! Saab Friends;
                                                                                      Exhaust, when "Oxygenated Fuel" will be required in wintertime. This means
                                                                                      for our area, in most cases, our gasoline will contain 10% Ethanol. I recently
     Happy Holidays! Thank You again for allowing us to serve you and your
                                                                                      attended a seminar on Oxygenated fuel and learned a great deal of helpful
Saab's needs in 1992. The Saab repair business has been much slower this year
                                                                                      information in dealing with the coming changes.
than last, and in spite of the slower economics of the day, we take this as a
                                                                                           The problem, as the Feds see it, is that too many of our vehicles (older ones,
testimonial of the effective diagnostics and major servicings we have provided.
                                                                                      primarily) waste fuel through poor fuel mixture control and engine efficiency,
We hope you will continue to support us in our "Ounce of Prevention"
                                                                                      resulting in excessive CO. This includes both carbureted and fuel injected
                                                                                      autos. Most of the offending vehicles have what is known as an "excessively
                                                                                      rich" mixture, meaning there is too much fuel being mixed with the air, and
    About "SAAB Specs.".... This is a periodical Newsletter keeping our
                                                                                      when this mixture is combusted in the engine, excessive carbon monoxide is the
Friends informed of the latest Doings of Yours Truly, Saab Specialists of
                                                                                      result. Even with catalytic converters to help reduce emissions, many older
                                                                                      vehicles, and those not designed well or kept in good tune actually run better
                                                                                      with a rich mixture, so the Feds are not relying on customer awareness to
     If this is "Junk-Mail" for You... If you no longer own a SAAB or do not
                                                                                      address the problem, but rather have decided to "lean" your fuel mixture
wish to be on our mailing list for SAAB owners, Simply mark "Refuse" across
                                                                                      through your gas tank.
the front and put it back in the mailbox. The Post Office will return it to us and
                                                                                           The program will probably be effective, as it has been tested in other cities,
we'll take your name off the list... simple as that! Thanks.
                                                                                      but not without some sacrifices, ironically, by those who are doing the least
     Bulletin Board...
                                                                                           Well maintained vehicles with computorized fuel injection and catalytic
     1977 Saab 99, 2dr,4spd, Overhauled engine,Refurbished and Full major
                                                                                      converters such as Saab (1978 and later) will actually be penalized in more
Servicing; Dings on exterior, good paint and pristine interior. $2000 with 3 mo.
                                                                                      running problems, slightly less fuel mileage. 1985 and later Saabs with LH
50-50 Warranty (6 mo. on engine), An excellent and safe choice for that
                                                                                      Jetronic Fuel Injection (16 valve models) have such precise, computor
teenager in your family. (Studded Snow Tires not included)
                                                                                      controlled fuel injection systems they will experience slightly harder starting
     1972 Saab 99, 4dr, 4spd. 71,000 original miles! This little Saab is a Jewel!
                                                                                      and idling problems when cold before the oxygen sensor warms up to tell the
Falling into the hands of the wrong repair shop, the motor was fatally damaged
                                                                                      computor to adjust the mixture which is too "lean" for smooth running.
and we had to overhaul it. All serviced, this 99 is incredibly clean and in good
                                                                                           We have been working on cures for these symptoms all summer and have
shape, with years and years to go. $2000 with new Michelins.
                                                                                      devised some adjustment routines which mitigate these symptoms to a good
      Family Updates... What's new with the SAAB Specialists? Since last
writing, Chris has found a new job with my friend Dick Leighton at Leighton
                                                                                      General Precautions for Everyone...
Motors in the Valley. We simply didn't have enough work to sustain the four of
                                                                                           Oxygenated Fuel (for us, Gasohol) has less thermal energy per gallon than
us and I was pleased that Chris could continue his career with a shop that shares
                                                                                      gasoline, so don't be alarmed if your fuel mileage goes down just a bit.
our ethical standards. We will miss him.
                                                                                           Fuel Filters will have to be changed more often at first because of the
      Matt and Stacey Lippis and Frank Schwieterman also returned to school
                                                                                      corrosive properties of the Ethanol which will attack metal, plastics and other
and are all doing well. We really had a good time this summer with all seven of
                                                                                      materials which normally operate well in gasoline. It remains to be seen if
us working together, (and playing computer games) but I'm also enjoying the
                                                                                      breakdowns will occur, but it is suspected that older vehicles with metal gas
comparatively slower pace working with my two sons and partners, Dan and
                                                                                      tanks will have the most problems. We are told newer vehicles are built with
Mike. I feel priveleged to work with them and enjoy their company on a daily
                                                                                      materials more compatible with alcohol.
basis. In short, we're all doing well and hope each of you are having a similar
                                                                                           Other casualties will probably be failures in the Gas Guage Sending Units
life experience.
                                                                                      made of plastic, Fuel Inlet Screen assys, and various hoses. We are going to be
                                                                                      inspecting these components on some of our customer's vehicles, so feel free to
25 Years of being a Saab Specialist...                                                call and get an update.
     1992 was my 25th year as a Saab Repairman and also Anne's and my 25th
wedding anniversary. I've been in the auto repair business nearly all my life,        Our Recommendations....
actually, having begun working for my dad, who was also an Independant                      I believe it will be good preventive measure to Change the Fuel Filter now
Garagekeeper, when I was in grade school. I have worked as a sweep, a parts           if it hadn't been replaced within the last year, and Inspect the Fuel Inlet Screen
cleaner, an apprentice, line mechanic and service manager, and for the last 20        Assy on all Saabs with metal tanks at the same time. Another good idea would
years, an independent Saab repair shop owner.                                         be to carry along a spare fuel filter if you're planning a trip.
     Looking back on all those years, I find little to complain about or regret. It         For those with 16 valve Saabs experiencing cold startup and idle control
has supported our family, and given me the opportunity to make hundreds of            problems, we have learned to perform adjustments to the Air Mass Meter and
friendships with good and interesting people. Working on Saabs has always             Temperature Sender, as well as Cleaning the Fuel Injectors with our new
been intellectually stimulating for a compulsive "fixer' as myself, and afforded      Injector Cleaning System, (8 valve models would also benefit) and making
me a daily menu of something new to learn.                                            adjustments to the Automatic Idle Control System (AIC). Because of the very
     Auto repair is often dangerous work, and exposes one to many unhealthful         small tolerances in an injection valve, the slightest deposits will interfere with
work risks. Walking on a cement floor each day takes its toll on one's bones,         proper spray patterns and with oxygenated fuel, cause exaggerated problems in
and years of asbestos dust and the strong cleaners, solvents and other toxic          performance.
materials that we must use are some of the sacrifices involved in being the
person you think of when having car troubles.                                         Nines...
     If you're a Do-It-Yourself'er, you will probably enjoy and profit from                  Engine Analysis:            Preferably every 7500 mi; at least Annually.
subscribing to Nines, the official newsletter of the SAAB CLUB of NORTH                      (Full Scope Analysis)       (Includes Fuel, electric/electronic control sys's.
AMERICA. The magazine offers a Treasure-Trove of SAAB Lore and
Information, Technical Articles and Mail Order Savings on Parts. If you want                 Scope Fuel Pump(s):          After 80-90,000; ck. every 6 mo.
to help yourself with your SAAB Care, Subscribe to Nines... A year's                         Service Cyl. Head:           8 v. motors: every 2 years
subscription costs $29.00 ($25.00 renewal).                                                                               16v. motors: once in lifetime.
We have Subscription Forms at the Shop, stop by anytime.                                      Wipers/Washers/Lights: Checked every time in.
Saab Safety is also up to you...                                                              AC Service:                 Ck. operation annually.
     I have commented on Saab's Safety record in every newsletter because I                   Cooling Sys. Svc:                Inspect / Test / Pressure Test every 7500 mi.
believe it to be the foremost reason for driving a Saab. Active Safety                        Generally Speaking, that's most of it. Nearly everything listed in Saab's
(maneuverability and reliability) and Passive Safety (crashworthiness) are the           complicated Maintenance Manual -- and much more -- is included in this list,
main reasons for my choosing to repair and maintain Saab automobiles for the             one way or another. In most cases, these listed items, done on time will
past 25 years, and why I like the Swedish company, SAAB. They really do care             maintain your Saab to standards far above Saab's minimal requirements, and are
about the people who drive their cars.                                                   the routines we have learned to be essential for your Saab to perform safely and
     Saab's great safety record should not be taken for granted, however, and is         reliably for as long as possible. The trick is in organizing everything so that all
not only due to the quality of its design and construction. Part of that record is       is done at the proper time, with nothing omitted and money not wasted
based on a higher standard of maintenance, proper tires, and an alert, intelligent       duplicating something that is not yet due. This is why our Repair Bills are
attitude when driving the Saab.                                                          usually 2--3 pages long, listing every service routine, every repair, every nut and
     We devote such emphasis on safety and reliability and long-term                     bolt we fiddled with, along with detailed Notes about the Saab, and upcoming
maintenance that many of our customers assume that if their Saab is in our shop          needed maintenance or repairs. Keeping detailed records of service work is
once a year, or whenever they happen to need some repair, that it is somehow             ultimately the least expensive way to maintain your Saab. In our computor, we
magically touched by our attention to these concerns and leave the                       have a special program for sorting out the maintenance we have done so that we
responsibility entirely to us without authorizing the necessary time required to         can see what is due at what time. This way, each time you visit us, we usually
look the car over thoroughly in these areas.                                             have a detailed list of the maintenance jobs that are due.

     Maintenance is More Than Marketing... There is a great deal more to                      What can you do? Bring your Saab to us every 3000 miles or 3 months
safety and vehicle maintenance than what the TV ads have trained us to expect.           for an oil and filter change. We'll perform a Safety Inspection from top to
Oil changes, Tune Ups, Tires, Shocks, Brakes and Mufflers are marketing terms            bottom, making minor adjustments necessary and tell you if any other service is
that give oversimplified answers to comprehensive maintenance needs.                     needed. We keep detailed records of all repairs and maintenance we do so there
                                                                                         will be no unnecessary duplications. We'll road test your Saab and be able to
                                                                                         take its pulse, possibly noticing something important you may have overlooked
    COMPREHENSIVE MAINTENANCE...                                                         or not been aware of. We'll moniter your service records and be able to let you
          ...looks at the whole car, routinely, dealing with specific part               know in advance of upcoming servicings and repairs.
replacements at intervals based on their service life, performing needed
inspections, adjustments and service routines in an organized, methodical and                 How much will it cost? Usually around $40-$50. Considering that 1/3 of
efficient manner. It is the way aircraft are maintained. It is also what a SAAB          the repair work we do could have been avoided by proper maintenance, and that
needs to keep it performing like a SAAB.                                                 a great deal of our repair work involves re-doing a shoddy repair job by a
                                                                                         previous shop that didn't specialize in Saabs, the net cost of our maintenance is
Here is an Outline of what we have learned to pay attention to:                          probably less than $.00. How's that for a Super Deal!

Fluids:                                                                                  NOTES... If you wish, here is space to record the mileages and dates of when
    Oil and filter:  Change every 3 months or 3000 miles. (Should                        the Maintenance Routines on opposite Column were last done.
                     incl. Lower Insp., Lube Svc, Safety Insp. Ck Water
                     Pump; Road Test; Engine Performance if Necessary.)                           Routine                     Miles/Date Done             Next Due
    Gearbox Oil:     Change every year; inspect magnet for metal particles.              Oil and Filter
    Auto.Trans:      Varies; Change Fluid Annually, Ck.Final Drive @6000                 (Incl. Inspections/Minor
                     Clean Auto Trans screen.                                            Svc.)
    Brake Fluid:     Change every Two Years.                                             GearBox Oil
    Coolant:         Change every Two Years.                                             ATF Changed
    Power Strg. Fld. Change every year.                                                  AT Screen Cleaned
                                                                                         Final Drive Oil Ck
Filters:                                                                                 Final Drive Oil Chng
     Air Filter:      Change Annually
                                                                                         Brake Fluid Change
     Fuel Filter:     Varies: 1yr; 2 yrs.; 4yrs; depending on model.
                                                                                         Coolant Change
     Cabin Filter:    Change when clogged: Affects Window Defrost.
                                                                                         Power Strg. Fld Change
Parts Replacements:
    Spark Plugs:    Usually changed Annually, unless has special plugs.                  Air Filter Change
    Oxy Sensor:     8 valve models, 30,000 miles; 16v, 60-80,000 miles.                  Fuel Filter Change
    Cap / Rotor:    Only when needed; usually last 80,000.                               Cabin Filter Ck'd
    Thermostat:     Change every Two Years with Coolant.                                 Repl. Wiper Blades
    Water Pump:     Change when needed; usually every 4 yrs. Plus                        Ck. All Lights
    Belts:          Change every 4 years.
    Brake Pads:     Inspect every 6 mo.                                                  Spark Plugs
    Exhaust System: Inspect every 6 mo.                                                  Oxygen Sensor
Service Routines:
                                                                                         Water Pump
    Quick Lower Inspection, Safety Insp. and Lube Service:
                             Performed with every oil change.
    Road Test:               Whenever possible with other maint.                         Ck. Brake Pads
    Suspension Ball Joints: Lube once/or when needed; Ck every 7500 mi.                  Ck. Exhaust Sys.
    Steering Rack:           Lube Once; Ck. Bellows every Oil Change.                    Svc. Susp. Joints
    Annual Inspection:       Optional: Top / Bottom Ck incl. Eng. Analysis               Svc. Steering Rack

Annual Inspection                                                                              Next, engineers estimate the maintenance needs of a new model without the
Engine Analysis (Scope)                                                                  benefit of 'years-down-the-road' experience in what is going to fail or wear out
Scope Fuel Pump(s)                                                                       or need attention in that particular model. It is the independent repairman such
Scope Oxy Sensor                                                                         as myself that has the advantage of seeing cause and effect and modifying
                                                                                         maintenance plans to avert unnecessary obsolescence or failure. In many cases,
                                                                                         we do a better job than the engineer planned.
Service Cyl Head :
                                                                                               Finally, using the Maintenance Booklet most car manufacturers supply
(Retorque Head Bolts once;
                                                                                         doesn't work well because it is a jigsaw puzzle without an overview of the
Ck Camchain & Tensioner
                                                                                         individual components' or systems' needs. Each servicing is a piece of the
 8v: Ck. Valve Clearances.)
                                                                                         puzzle and the technician and owner has to depend on the previous technician
Cooling System Svc.
                                                                                         having done all the prescribed jobs properly and on time to fit the necessary
Air Conditioning Svc.                                                                    pieces together. To compound matters, most dealerships tear out the page
How Much is a Tune Up? ...                                                               listing the needed maintenance routines for the technician to follow. The owner
     There isn't a day that goes by when I don't get a call asking "How much is a        ends up with only a stub stating that a "xxx mile servicing" was performed, and
Tune up?" I usually begin by stammering, because in all the years I've tried to          has no means to know just exactly what was done or wasn't done, making the
answer that question, I've never been able to answer it !                                next servicing in line nearly meaningless. It's like painting by numbers, but
     A "Tune Up" once referred to replacing ignition points and condensor,               every time an individual piece is colored in, then it's erased and we can only
spark plugs, air and fuel filters and adjusting the carburetor on almost any car         hope that it was painted properly. The entire picture will never be seen or
engine. Things are not so simple anymore. In many ways, ignition tune up has             understood, and that is precisely why our Maintenance Program is light years
been eliminated; there are no points and condensors anymore. There are no                ahead of Saab's.
carburetors either. So besides changing filters and spark plugs, what do we do
and what does it cost?
     Today, the correct answer is as complicated as Computers and Fuel                   Let's Have a Little Respect for the 9000!
Injectors, Turbochargers and APC Transducers; Overboost Switches, Ping                        I know... to some of you, the 9000 just doesn't look like a Saab! For me,
Sensors and Automatic Idle control Regulators; Air Mass Meters, Temperature              the 99 didn't either, when the 96's were around. Then the 900's seemed strange
sensors, Valve clearances and Head Bolt Torque, Oxygen sensors and                       and somehow "Un-Saab-Like" compared to the 99 EMS. Now, the ugly face of
Frequency Modulator Valves; Cold Start Injectors, Throttle Switches, Thermo-             prejudice has emerged again, and I admit it too... the 9000 seems stained with
Time Switches, Vacuum Pulse Switches, Logic Relays, Timer Relays, Pulse                  yet another sin of impurity! Even Saab admits to making more of a 'generic'
Relays; Volt Drop, Ohms Law, Frequency and Duty Cycle, Pulse Width, AC,                  Saab for the general public when they first introduced the 9000.
DC, MilliAmps, MilliVolts. Digital Meters, Infrared Analyzers, Oscilloscopes,                 But they soon learned the error of their ways and realized people who buy
Function Generators and Amp Probes.                                                      Saabs want the unique qualities that have distinguished them for 40 years, and
     Impressed? Well, that's the answer! Usually, modern engine systems don't            generics in these days are better left to the experts in Japan, Germany, and the
have many problems, but the boys and I deal with these terms and tools each              USA.
and every day, just to keep your Saab running smooth, clean and efficient.                    Today, Saab appears to have gotten back on track and is leading the
When do we check the Ping Sensor vs. the Oxy sensor, and how often? It's all             automotive engineering world again in safety and efficiency engineering with
part of the expertise we develop working with them on a daily basis. But how             the 9000. Consider the fact that the 9000 has the best safety record in Sweden
much is a tune up? I don't know exactly...somewhere under $100...                        where consumer protection is a national policy; pyro-technic seat belt
Uh..Well...You see that's not the right question...                                      tensioners; unparalleled crash and rollover protection; and now, the 1993 Saab
                                                                                         with Trionic Engine Control is the only gas powered vehicle to pass 1999
But... How Much $ is a Servicing?                                                        California air pollution standards! This 9000 can be driven from Los Angeles to
     Here, we can be more specific. The last page of this Newsletter is a                New York with less total pollutants emitted than a lawnmower emits in only one
customized Service Estimate Sheet, either for an 8 valve 99/900, a 16 valve              hour's operation!
900, or a 9000, detailing the most important Service Routines, their service                  The new 9000's lines are smooth, long, and elegant, and the front end once
intervals and approximate cost. Some items need only be done once in the life            again is remarkably Swedish in my opinion. Saab is boasting even more body
of your Saab, others, every 4 years (60,000 miles); others at 30,000 and so on.          and crash reinforcement...all steps in the right direction. With Automatic
On the lower portion of the sheet will be other repair jobs and routines (incl.          Braking System, Air Bag (still regrettably only on driver's side), Traction
average costs) commonly associated with maintenance.                                     Control, and the larger, balanced 2.3L engine, it's quite a package. Even
     If we've been taking care of your Saab, we can sort out all past maintenance        without these refinements and high-tech systems, the 9000 is a superb handling,
records and print out a sheet telling you when you are due for what, and help            extremely hot and smooth automobile.
you to know what it will cost to service the Saab. If we've not done all the prior            Having said all this, we are truly grieved to hear that 1993 will be the last
service work, bring in the service records and we'll help you sort through it.           year for the 900 as we know it. For you Diehards, one should still be able to
Using the Estimate Sheet, you will have a pretty good idea of what your costs            buy a used 900 and keep it going well into the 21st Century.
will be and /or how to maintain as best possible within your budget.
     The best thing you can do to help is to tell us what your problems are, and
your maintenance budget, and bring in whatever service and repair records you            Did You Know... Technical Tips
have. We'll tell you how we'll go about solving them and what we think are the           ( For those interested in previous Tips in old Newsletters; we can copy the old
maintenance areas needing attention. After doing this ground work,                       Letters for $0.25 each )
maintaining your Saab is pretty simple, acutally, and the mysteries and jigsaw
puzzles found in your Saab Maintenance Manual will disappear.                            Before Changing the Battery, Turn the Radio Off...
     Comprehensive maintenance of this kind is less expensive in the long run,               Microprocessors in modern radios can be damaged if the battery is removed
because you will have engaged your "family mechanic" to have a vested interest           and replaced and the radio is left On.
and responsibility toward you and your vehicle, and together, we will be able to
maintain an overview of the vehicle's service record and avoid the costly                Clean your Injectors and Valves with 'Real' Injector Cleaners...
duplications and omissions that in my opinion, account for a big part of your                 Adding a fuel injector cleaner every 6 months is a great idea, but before you
Saab's repair bills.                                                                     buy that cleaner from your parts store, make sure it does not contain alcohol.
                                                                                         Alcohol cleaners are ineffective and can cause more harm than good. We have
So What's Wrong with Saab's Maintenance Program???                                       been using cleaners from Germany, produced by Lubro-Moly. They work well
     Several things, actually. First, Saab is under competetive marketing                as a maintenance item. In cases of extremely fouled injectors, we mix these
pressures to require only the minimum maintenance requirements for their                 same cleaners in much higher concentrations in a pressurized container, disable
models, to get favorable reviews in consumer comparisons for operating costs.            your fuel system and run the engine on this mix for about half hour. It works
Dealers have little incentive to demand a higher degree of maintenance quality           extremely well, usually resulting in much smoother idle, ease of starting, power
as they are frankly more interested in selling you a new Saab than helping you           and fuel economy.
keep yours for years and years. These two economic factors almost amount to
"planned obsolescence" for many components on the automobile, and this an                Fuel Pump Diagnosis... We invented it...
industry-wide reality involving all auto manufacturers.
     Ever since the mid-70's, fuel pump failures have troubled me. The pumps                  Engine Oil: 15/40 is still an excellent grade for winter, though some
in Saabs are located inside the gas tank; they cannot be disassembled and                models do better with 10-30.
inspected; they are too expensive to replace routinely; and they can fail without             Coolant: Should be good for at least 40 deg. below zero for corrosion
warning after 90-100,000 miles, though many last longer. The problem had                 protection.
become acute by the mid-80's on the older 99's and I remember always having a                 Windshield Wipers and Washers: Both are equally necessary. Change
spare pump to lend someone going on a long trip, just in case. All we knew was           your blades and service the washers, fill the reservoir.
that after 100,000 miles, they could fail at any time. The only diagnosis tool                Defrosters: Never use the 'Recirculate' function of your ventilation system
available was a volt- ohmmeter, which was very unreliable.                               while defrosting windows, instant fogging of windows can result.
It wasn't until 1988 that I was able to connect the fuel pump to our new                 Use The AC in extreme cases. 9000's do it automatically. Some early 900's
oscilloscope and trigger the sweep precisely to show a electronic pattern of the         too. When you need quick defrosting on those foggy, rainy times, turn your AC
fuel pump on the scope screen. It didn't take long to notice the difference              on, turn the Heat full on, and in Defrost Mode, you'll be amazed how well it
between new and old pumps, good ones and failed ones. Since that time, we                works. ( The Air Conditioner super cools the air and removes moisture, then the
have had great success projecting the life of the fuel pump and routinely analyze        heater turns it into hot, dry air to defrost the windows.
it during servicings or engine analysis. If your Saab is over 90,000 miles, or                Rear Defrosters: Many older 900's have electric rear window defrosters
over 8 yrs. old, we should scope the pump and see how it is doing.                       that no longer work. Short of fixing the problem, a towel over the window at
                                                                                         night will keep the snow and ice off, and give you a headstart with your heater
                                                                                         to warm up the interior before driving. Using your AC will help here too.
What Else Can Go Wrong??...                                                                   Lights: Winter accidents happen when people don't see the road surface
     Besides the many components and systems we check during regular                     OR each other while encapsuled in their 4-Wheeled Igloos. Keep a towel handy
maintenance, and the fuel pump dilemma described above, experience has                   and wipe off the Headlights and Tail Light Lenses before taking off. Your
shown that the one failure that puts people off the road in the modern Saab              visibility and other driver's ability to see you will be increased 100%.
(most European cars, for that matter) is failure of the Electronic Ignition                   Emergency! Keep a 6v. Lantern Light with a red flashing lens feature
Module. We replace about a dozen each year. Usually, they fail abruptly on               behind your seat. In case you have to get out of the car at night, other drivers
startup with no warning. Most failures occur during extreme hot or cold                  will be able to see you! Keep the gas tank near full.
weather changes. Half of the Saabs towed in with this problem had just been                   Tools: Good Spare Tire, Jack and lug wrench. A sleeping Bag to keep you
driven to the store or gas station, running perfectly. When the owner tried to           warm in case you're stranded with a few candy bars and juice. Jumper Cables.
leave...the Saab cranked over fine but wouldn't start. A quick check of the              A good Flashlight. An outer work garment of light, reflective color, gloves and
ignition system, revealed no spark and in the case of any Saab, (or VW, Audi,            Emergency Road Markers / flares in case you have to change a tire.
BMW), the ignition module was the culprit. I have tried to buy these modules
at wrecking yards so that people could buy one inexpensively (new, they are                   Cellular Phone a Handy Tool...
over $120), but found the wrecking yards have none, even though the same                      This may be the best tool of all. In case of a problem, get off the road and
module fits most of these Euro-cars. This alone confirms my suspicions of their          call someone to help you. The phones are below $100 with a $25 monthly fee.
high failure rate. If you can pick up a used module, Do It. They're easy to              Good Security while traveling at night in Winter.
change and may just come in handy some day.
                                                                                              "Morning Sickness" problems on cold mornings....
                                                                                              Owners of older 900's and 9000's may find an annoying uneveness in their
Winter Safety...the main points.                                                         power steering on a cold morning. This is the phenomenon we affectionately
                                                                                         call "morning sickness" and in chronic cases, the only repair is replacement of
     TIRES: Especially with a Saab, there is nothing like STUDDED SNOW                   the steering rack. Most symptoms, however, usually disappear after a few
TIRES ON ALL FOUR WHEELS. Having a front wheel drive Saab can                            minutes of running, when the Power Steering fluid warms up a bit. Before
actually be a liability sometimes without proper tires. The problem occurs               taking off, turn your steering wheel several times left and right until the
because you can be 'pulling' yourself down a slick road quite easily (and often          symptoms disappear. On icy roads, this uneven power steering can be
faster than you might otherwise be going) even with poor tires because of the            dangerous in that you lose a feel for the road surface beneath you. In extreme
FWD and the Saab's unique weight distribution and balance. If something                  cases, you will be tugging on the wheel to get around a corner, when the power
happens to interrupt that seemingly stable situation, say someone up ahead gets          steering will abruptly begin to work and sometimes pulling you into a curb.
in trouble and you have to slow down or brake quickly, you find yourself not             The power steering is very important to the handling of the Saab, even when
with "FWD", but with "FWOOC" (Four-Wheels-Out-Of-Control.) Without                       driving straight ahead. It is your touch with the road. So.. warm up your PS
ABS, (88 on 9000's, 89 on 900's) , the spelling of your SAAB can quickly                 Fluid and change it annually to keep your Saab driving like a SAAB.
change to SOB, and that $275 you could have spent on four studded snows
becomes the best bargain you could imagine. If you are determined to only use                 Attention, 99 / 900 FastBack Night Drivers ...
two studded wheels, put them on the back axle for better stability when                       The Tail Light Lenses on 99 / 900 FastBack Models are notorious for
stopping. Siped All-Season Tires work reasonably well if the tread is new, but           attracting dust and mud to the inside surfaces of the lens and severely limiting
in emergency situations fall far short of the traction of studs, the best Winter         the brightness of the Tail, Signal, and Brake Lights. Earlier models are "Under-
Protection you can buy.                                                                  Lit" even when clean, so removing and cleaning the Lenses may increase your
                                                                                         visibility to other drivers considerably. Call us if you need any help or advice
     Driving Habits: Use the FWD. Start a little slower in the turns and                 on cleaning your Tail Light Lenses.
gradually accelerate, pulling yourself around the corner. Saab's characteristic
'understeer' allows for powering around a turn and this is the best way to utilize       Scandals in the Automotive Industry...
the FWD. If the front wheels skid excessively, even after turning the steering                If you watch "20-20", you may have been as shocked as I was to hear of
wheel more sharply under slight power, then sometimes abruptly letting off on            how Domestic and Japaneese Manufacturers have knowingly been producing
the gas pedal will cause the Saab to oversteer and bring the rear wheels around,         cars with inadequate Roll-Over Protection since the 70's. Because of lax
helping you to keep from skidding into the other lane. Another method of                 regulations in U.S. Dept. of Trans. Safety Laws, which the manufacturer's
initiating oversteer is to brake while applying power, but don't try this without        lobbies weakened in the early 70's, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota and others have
some practice in an open parking lot! The Balance of a Saab is superb, if you            been saving $10-$20 per vehicle in metal costs by not reinforcing the roof
learn to use it. Remember, except for excellent crash protection, when braking           pillars sufficiently to protect occupants during even the most gentle vehicle
you're little different from any other car on an icy road. The best assurance of         rollovers. According to "20-20", tens of thousands of Americans have been
roadhandling on ice is DRIVING SLOWLY on FOUR STUDDED SNOW                               killed or permanently disabled because of this substandard manufacturing
TIRES.                                                                                   practice to save money. In contrast, European Test Standards are much more
     Tighten those Belts... The safety record of the 9000 seat belt pretensioners        stringent and realistic, having test vehicles undergo being dumped off a type of
("Exploding Seatbelts", last newsletter) has alot to offer 99/900 owners also.           Locomotive-Sled-Platform at high speeds and tumbling sideways several times.
That extra looseness in the belt can spell additional injuries in an accident, so        The article featured a Saab, Volvo and Peugot in this test. The Saab 9000 was
after buckling the belt, firmly pull the portion of the belt crossing your chest         shown in a violent multiple rollover at high speed, and the car actually bounced
upwards towards your door. This will take up that free play and increase your            into the air off of the roof with no structural damage to it! Ford, GM, Chrysler
security in the belt.                                                                    and Toyota refused to be interviewed but wrote that some models were stronger.

"20-20" implied that the laws will probably be changed for the better in the near
     The Wrong Seat Belt May Also Kill You... "Street Stories" reported a
scandal involving Domestic Seat Belt Latches. All Domestic Seat Belt Latches
involving the Center Release Button (most common on Ford and GM and
Chrysler) become easily unlatched during side impacts, when the latch is hit by
the occupants hips. Inertia opens the latch, allowing the belt to release and the
occupant to be set free in the collision, resulting in ejection from the car or
interior collisions. Again, the manufacturers knew of the defect long ago, but
chose not to improve it because of cost. One safety engineer for GM was
interviewed who stated he was ordered to insert a screw into the belt latch so
that it wouldn't fly open during the DOT safety tests. Ever noticed how those
SAAB belts you wear aren't like any others?... Now you know why.
     If you have a domestic car / truck with Center Button Release seat belt
latches that fit next to your hips, I suggest installing a 2-3" foam cushion
between your hip and the seat belt latch when buckling up. If the "inertia"
theory is correct, the foam rubber should dampen the side acceleration of the
latch and help prevent it from opening under impact. It may make the

 Thanks for reading! Please Drive Carefully. Until next time, we remain, your
          SAAB Specialists! John, Dan, and Mike.


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