SU Q&A #2 – The answers (part 1)

It’s time for the ‘answers’ bit of the Q&A process.
Lots to get through this weekend, so here we go…..
ctm | July 31, 2009 3:15 AM | Reply
Does you wife paint Saabs? πŸ™‚

No. She does a mix of landscape stuff and animal stuff.
Her latest thing has been painting emus. She’s currently working on two emus riding a tandem bike.
2-don | July 31, 2009 4:19 AM | Reply
1) does Elkparts deliver to the US? I’ve had my eye on some Hirsch upgrades :-)!!!

Elkparts deliver everywhere! I’m currently waiting on a Speedparts air filter and new front badge for the Monte.
2) how do you get around the tire pressure monitors when you replace wheels on a newer SAAB? Do I have to use the GM ones that come stock, or can I use some other ones supplied by the tire vendors? If I need the stock ones, does SAAB parts or any other site sell them?
SaabUSA Parts does indeed sell the genuine sensors and it’s hihly recommended you use the genuine sensor as it has to talk to your car’s computer system. Why save $10 a sensor and risk something not matching up?
I asked our resident Saab master tech and college professor, Tedjs, about these items. Here’s what Ted had to say:

If the car is being used in U.S markets the system cannot be ‘disabled’ – however in other markets the system can be placed in what is called a ‘winter driving mode’ in which no sensors are in any of the wheels. The system will only do this if it does not hear a signal from all four wheels and will automatically deactivate itself as it assumes snow tires and wheels have been installed on the vehicle. Unfortunately for U.S. consumers – if the vehicle were driven with no sensors they would have an error message on the SID during each key (drive) cycle.
With that said I will assume the car is in U.S. market. If an aftermarket (or replacement) wheel is being installed on the vehicle I would definitely stick with an OEM (Saab) tire pressure sensor. The system essentially reads each tire (or tyre) via a radio frequency which is transmitted to the control module (mounted in the rear of the vehicle). The sensors transmit information on pressure, temperature as well as rotation direction – so using the proper part is critical for proper operation.
Additionally if a new sensor is installed on the vehicle for any reason, the vehicle needs to learn the new sensor since they all do not transmit at the same frequency (this allows the system to differentiate between wheel positions on the vehicle – and not to pick up false signals from other vehicles). The sensor needs to be learned to the vehicle using Tech 2 when being replaced – although I think you can drive the vehicle for 20 minutes (after the vehicle is off – ignition key in lock position – for over 15 minutes) to learn the sensor. A scan tool is generally the preferred method since I have heard of issues on other vehicles with learning new sensors.
The biggest problem I see with these systems is damage to the sensors during tire replacement and large changes in temperature causing the system to send a false low tire message. We can thank Ford Motor Company for them being mandatory here in the U.S. since it was determined that a lot of the tires that failed on the Explorers we not properly inflated during the Firestone tire fiasco that happened years ago.

3) how many hours of sleep does Swade get? :-). He is always working/blogging?! LOL!
Not enough. Usually 6-7 hours a night at most.
SaabKen | July 31, 2009 4:34 AM | Reply
I’m still curious (and wee bit confused) about the full line of powertrains to be available on the 9-5. AFAIK from Swade’s articles and sources, the top engine will be a 2.8T V6 upwards of (or exceeding) 300hp.
Left Lane News reports the 9-5 will also get the 3.6L in the current CTS and ’10 Buick LaCrosse. Is this true ? Will it be NA or turbo ?

I don’t who LLN’s sources are on that engine. That may happen, but the biggest engine I’ve heard about so far is the 2.8T. I’d be really disappointed if Saab put a N/A engine in the 9-5.
In my experience, a lot of motoring websites, especially when it comes to cars related to GM, like to look at other GM cars and apply what’s there to the model they’re looking at. It’s a reliable method because of GM’s track record of badge engineering, but it’s by no means authoritative.
If I write something here and describe it as being factual, it’s because I’m confident in the source. I’m very careful about this. If it’s rumour then I’ll say so. From what I’ve heard, the car will have the Saab TTiD diesel engine, and petrol engines from 1.6turbo ranging up to the 2.8T V6.

Razvan | July 31, 2009 5:15 AM | Reply
Suppose you win a prize which consists of one of these cars: BMW M3, Audi RS4, Mercedes AMG C65 (or what is the name of C class AMG), Lancer Evo X (some FQ UK version with 300+ HP) or Turbo X (manual transmission :)).You are not allowed to sell the car for 4 years :). What you will choose, and why. I’d like an answer longer then because it is a Saab :).
What about something similar, with RS6 estate and some future 9-5 aero estate?

I think it’s fair to say that the cars you’ve used in your prize pool there (Evo an exception, maybe) are probably considered to be a class above the Turbo X in terms of being higher power, performance and luxury.
That being the case, I’d probably take a look at re-sale and what I’d feel happier with over the journey. I’ve got a feeling it’d be the RS4. It flies a bit more under the radar compared to the M3 and Merc, is reputed to be a great handler and well appointed.
I assume that in this fantasy world, I’m still running this blog and getting to drive new Saabs from time to time πŸ™‚ After 4 years I’d use the decent resale value on the RS4 to buy a 5 year old Turbo X, do some tweaks, and take a holiday in Trollhattan.
Sapan | July 31, 2009 5:31 AM | Reply
When Will we see Hirsch in the USA ?!?!?!

The last I heard from Hirsch about their US ambitions was a few months ago. They were getting on with compliance testing for the US market and all was going well.
I have no doubt they’ve probably completed that process by now. It would be my educated guess that the current uncertainty with future distribution channels for Saab would be behind the delay.
Once the Koenigsegg transaction is completed and distribution is more certain, I’m sure we’ll hear something.
WooDz | July 31, 2009 6:05 AM | Reply
If SAAB offered you the position to head up a Corporate forum to serve as a channel for after-sales service and latest news, would you re-locate to Sweden to do it, even it meant that your breaking news will be on SAAB’s terms only and all speculation and Djup Strupery would become censored?

That remains the dream, and yes, I’d love to move the family to Sweden to do it.
The site I’d envisage would have news and interaction at it’s core, but would have several other components that drew on the history and technical knowledge present there as well.
The loss of Djup Strupe wouldn’t be an issue because what Djup Strupe does is occasionally enable me to break inside news first. In the type of site I’d want to put together for Saab, that would be happening all the time: Saab’s news coming from Saab. It would be the central news source for Saab worldwide.
peter | July 31, 2009 6:06 AM | Reply
What kind of software or application runs the site? I like the interface – clean & simple to use. If a little slow when posting. Must be the distance/bandwidth to OZ maybe. I’m in the US East Coast.

The site uses blogging software called Movable Type.
There are more flexible and more user-supported packages out there, most notably WordPress (which I used to use) but I’d swear by the Movable Type platform. It’s very robust and indexes really well for search, which is one of the primary keys to a successful website.
Me | July 31, 2009 6:41 AM | Reply
If you had a free wish from the SAAB engineering department, what would you like that they develop in 2Years time? I don’t mean a car, but some-kind of car-gadget you always wanted.

Actually, I have to divert your question and relate it to a car. This is primarily because I’m not a gadget person.
What I’d love to see from Saab, from a selfish perspective, is a pure drivers car. Revvy engine, turbocharged, lightweight, heaps of character. A car that talks.
But that’s just me.
I think too many conveniences and gadgets make people lazy, to be honest, though I understand the appeal of them.
oistein kjensli | July 31, 2009 7:47 AM | Reply
Hi! I’m in summerholiday modus, so may be I have missed some info, but I can’t see that the new 9-5 has been announced with AWD on the diesel engines? That would be a big mistake. Hope I’m wrong…

I think someone mentioned in comments to the original Q&A post the other day that an automotive magazine has stated that the TTiD4 badge photographed by all those car magazines stood for all-wheel-drive. Some people have also contended that it would just designate the four cylinder engine.
I don’t know for sure, but I’ll be quite surprised if they can’t combine XWD and diesel in this car. It’s an all-new architecture, after all, and I’m sure they know this is a wanted combination. Especially in the wagon.
tonyvee | July 31, 2009 8:27 AM | Reply
Do you know for sure if anyone with any power within the K-SEGG group reads this blog or they just think its just stuff (see thats using a nice word)

Per | July 31, 2009 8:33 AM | Reply
Have you had any contact with any K-Segg people at all ? And you wrote this at 3:00am, shouldnt you be asleep ?

I haven’t had any direct contact with people from Koenigsegg at all, so I don’t know if they’ve read the site, nor if they do, what they think of it.
I don’t want to blow my own horn here, but SU (and TS before it) has a four-year long record of quality Saab coverage, being first with the news and more than that, being accurate with the news. I think TS and SU also provide a pretty good, positive environement for Saab fans to hang out.
I would hope, therefore, that if Koenigsegg have seen the site, that they’ve enjoyed the coverage it’s provided. I think we’ve been pretty fair in dealing with them and the other prospective bidders for Saab, and I think the site shows a genuine, heartfelt love for the brand.
Karen | July 31, 2009 9:18 AM | Reply
What would you do if GM handed Saab over to Magna/GAZ/Sberbank in exchange for keeping the Chevrolet joint ventures in Russia and resolving the Opel intellectual property disputes? (something very political is going on when IKEA suddenly makes nice with Russia)
Ok, if that is going to explode your avatar’s brain :), do you ever have Saab dreams when you do sleep?

As with the scenarios provided by some sections of the press during the Saab sale process, I’ll do a nudie run if your complex scenario comes to pass.
I rarely ever remember dreams. But funny you should ask this as I recently had a dream of riding Simon A’s 9-5 in my old home suburb in Melbourne. We drove by a tiger that was scratching it’s back on the road, though Simon didn’t see the tiger and got out of the car when we pulled up. The tiger approached, looked through my window, which was when I woke up.
That was just two nights ago. Strange.
Mike900 | July 31, 2009 10:11 AM | Reply
1) Technical question –
Is there a way that your web site could alert its members as to when someone replies to a comment they’ve posted? Kind of like a litte “you have 2 replies” notification when we log in to comment.
2) Non-technical question –
How awesome are Saabs? Kind of rhetorical.

At the bottom of the comments form is a check box that you can click in order to subscribe to comments for a particular entry. Every time a comment is left on that entry, you’ll get an email. You can also unsubscribe in that system as well.
How awesome? Very. I helped a friend move house today, with several hatch-loads of stuff going back and forth in the Monte.
Courier van with a black leather interior and high-output turbo. Awesome indeed.
Robin M | July 31, 2009 10:23 AM | Reply
Would you like to see Saab do funky colour interiors again?

I’d love to see some deep reds and blues. My first blog was called Green Interior in honour of the Saab 99 Turbo I owned at the time and I’ve always loved Saab’s old, funky interiors.
It might prove hard to do in a modern market, but the interior is such an important factor in a car.
Neil | July 31, 2009 10:47 AM | Reply
How are you able to write so well and in such a short period of time? Every time I try and write a comment or an email it takes me a long while to get the wording correct in order to convey the meaning.

Thanks very much for the compliment!
I nearly failed English class in Year 10 at school (my father passed away that year, so I was distracted) and I vowed to get better. It took a while.
I discovered reading at around age 23 and devoured books for the next 5 years. I guess some of what I read rubbed off.
I am not, by any means, anything more than an adequate writer. But I do try and string words together in a manner that makes sense.
ColorCode252 | July 31, 2009 12:46 PM | Reply
SW, Two questions:
a) What is your favorite snack?
b) Do you like coffee or are you a tea drinker?

I never drink hot drinks. Or beer. Just an occasional scotch and dry. I know alcohol wasn’t mentioned, but the question involved drinks and most people’s minds drift to that.
Unfortunately, I developed a taste for Coca Cola at an early age and my penchant for that particular recipe persists to this day. I call it Vitamin C.
Snacks – Potato chips and chocolate biscuits. Terrible, I know.
GWC | July 31, 2009 1:08 PM | Reply
Somehow you manage to maintain this site and hold down a “day job”. I can hardly keep up absorbing your work and it obviously takes much more effort to create … so, just what is the “day job” that supports, and provides time for, this nasty addiction of yours (in general terms of course)?

I don’t want to provide specific details about my employment situation, but I do hold a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a double major in accounting and managment from the University of Tasmania. I also hold a CPA qualification.
Now you can see why I need a decent hobby.
Danni | July 31, 2009 2:19 PM | Reply
Since this bog’s reach transcends geographical boundaries and is irreverent towards the powers that be, is it possible to write for a global audience including what will be made available in each market with its associated difficulties of time zones, currencies and management cultures?
In southern Africa, Saabs are positioned as premium and GM made the mistake of marketing the product in selected premium channels only when they had the occasional chance to and that never really exposed the product to the wider masses who are well-heeled to afford the product. Only Saab nuts would for instance know where the dealer was located. As an example, whilst owning 2 9-5s in 2005, I never got an invite to new product launches, but a work colleague driving an Opel got one.

I don’t have the resurces or time to segregate as much as you indicate in your first paragraph, Danni.
The availability of regional information through a central portal is something I’d love to do as part of a global site for Saab, as discussed above.
The improvement of organisational commitment to customers should be a big priority for a new Saab under Koenigsegg. It’ll take some time to sort out, but hopefully it will happen.
till72 | July 31, 2009 2:38 PM | Reply
Tell us your five all time favourite songs…


But that could all change tomorrow…..
Brendan | July 31, 2009 3:07 PM | Reply
Swade, when are you coming back to the BBC and have a drive of Jose’s Turbo-X?

I’ll hopefully be swinging through Sydney around mid-late September.
pekko | July 31, 2009 3:54 PM | Reply
when we get full specs for europe and prices of ng9-5?

If Saab get their way then it will be at 1.30pm on September 15, from the stage at Frankfurt.
Dippen | July 31, 2009 5:01 PM | Reply
1, Any plans for more Eric Geers interviews?
2, Is it ok to listen to psychobilly and drive a Saab cab?:)

They guys and girls at Saab are all either on holidays or working flat out on the Koenigsegg deal and getting ready for a new Saab operation. I don’t think they’ve got time and I don’t think they’d have answers for much of what I’d like to ask at the moment. We might have to wait until the K-Segg deal is stitched up, when I’m sure there’ll be plenty to talk about.
I’m not sure I’ve ever heard psychobilly.
Andre | July 31, 2009 6:46 PM | Reply
He, will we meet us in Frankfurt (IAA) to see the new 9-5???

That might be a bit tough. I wouldn’t go just for the car show. I did that last year in Detroit and the highlights of the trip were 1)meeting Bob Sinclair and a bunch of LA Saabers on the way there, 2) Meeting up with Greg Abbott and a few Detroiters, and 3) Hearing Kid Rock say “This is Detroit, we don’t just buy shit, we make shit” (please pardon the language).
The show itself was a bit of a letdown, to be honest.
Never say never, but it’s a tough trip and I’d need to do a lot more than just see the car show to make it worth what is effectively 3-4 days in either airplanes or airports.
Martin | July 31, 2009 6:48 PM | Reply
Hi Swade.
My question: I liked your expression “Driving a SAAB is not expensive, it’s an investment in future memories” so much that I use it as my signature on the German Saab enthusiasts website (and I have marked it as a quotation from!)
Is that okay for you? πŸ˜‰

Anything I write here is free for use elsewhere with a proper attribution (quote and link back to source).
I’m just pleased you found it worth remembering πŸ™‚
Joe Lobo | July 31, 2009 8:44 PM | Reply
I am surprised Richo hasn’t raised his ugly head yet especially the comment on driving a Turbo X in Sydney. Is it true that Richo is the illegitimate brother of Shannon Noll ???

Richo is my illegitimate father. And I love him so.
Roadant | July 31, 2009 9:35 PM | Reply
1. Are there any countries SAAB is planning to pull out from? (in terms of selling/ dealerships …being in South Africa, am very concerned as I am still working towards my very first SAAB!)
2. Are we ever gonna see the Aero-X?
3. Diesel technologies, who are they working with for future models, I believe Peugeot and Audi are the leaders, any collaborative efforts in the future?

1) I really don’t know. As mentioned earlier, the dealership and distribution issue is one that K-Saab will have to address pretty quickly and chats I’ve had with Saab dating back as early as March or so indicate they’d identified this.
Obviously, as a separate entity from GM, they will find it hard to have the same global reach. But I’d be surprised if they pulled out of somewhere like SA. Hopefully they’ll attract an importer that treats the brand and its customers better.
2) The Aero-X as a production car? I don’t think so. We have Koenigseggs for that sort of aspirational stuff now πŸ™‚
3) VM Motori were working on a new V6 diesel for GM but the pin was pulled on that project when times got tough. I don’t have any hard information, but I consider it likely that Saab will look for partnerships with Fiat on diesel in the future, purely because of past relationships. The Italians and Swedes seem to work well together.
Thanks for another bunch of great questions. There are a few more answers still to come. I’m awaiting a little more information that I had to write away for.
Q&A will be back again in a few weeks from now.

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