Sunday Night Snippets – motor show edition

A mate of mine in Sydney has posed an interesting question…..

As my brand new 93 2008 Bio-Power reaches 37,500 km service I wonder how many running hours the engine has actually done.

Driving in traffic in a big city (Sydney), I am conscious of idle time and change my oil every 7,500 kms.

Being a boat enthusiast, running time is monitored through a hour counter.

Buying a second hand car is difficult at the best of times, but knowing engine hours as well kms travelled would assist in pricing and help with servicing intervals, I’m sure.

The obvious question is whether or not people would find them of interest, and why don’t car companies fit them?

Thanks Ferd!


Motor shows have been happening here, there and everywhere.

The Brussels Motor Show was on a few weeks ago now, but a Saabnut from Belgium named Jim wrote in to thank his dealer for taking him along to the show. Jim’s dealer took him there in a new Saab 9-5, from his dealership in Herentals and at the show, they toasted Saab’s future success.


The Portland Auto Show was on in Portland OR, last week and Luis V cleaned up his car (I like a show of pride prior to a car show trip) and drove down to Portland to check out what the show had to offer.

This was no small effort as Luis lives a few hours away and as headed into the show hall, he was under the impression that Saab wouldn’t even be there.

As you know, Saab are picking and choosing their auto shows this year and the national body is only supporting a few larger shows with official displays.

Luckily for Luis, Garry Small Saab jumped in and provided a Saab display at the show.

They had six cars on diplay, two 9-5s (Black and Java), two Saab 9-3 sedans, one 9-3 SportCombi and one convertible.

Great to see a dealer stepping up to the plate like that. Other dealers contemplating it should know that it certainly makes a difference. This appearance made Luis’ day!


I wish I’d known earlier so I could spread the word, but the Washington DC Auto Show was on over the weekend, too. I think it finishes today.

Seems like Saab are there, as well. From Flickr.


Many of you won’t understand a word of this video, but the pictures might still be of interest. Here’s the immaculately clean underside of a Saab 9-5 Aero.


24 thoughts on “Sunday Night Snippets – motor show edition”

  1. Is this a video from Discovery China’s new show, Reverse Engineering? ..sorry, couldn’t help…

    Anyhow, the display at the Portland show looks great, and so does the photo from Washington, massive hats off to the photographer. The juxtaposition of the “women” sign in the second Portland photo is… interesting?

    • Bravada, it is in any case a good video about the HiPer Strut and the H-Arm rear suspension. It is a pitty that I don#t understand what he says.

  2. That Java 9-5 is just soooo amazing. All respect to Gary Small Saab for doing this. And I couldn’t help to laugh a bit with the “Gary SMALL Saab” sign on the 9-5.. hehe.. a small 9-5.. 😉

  3. In reference to the “hour meter”.. my 2006 Silverado has one… part of the Driver Information Center (DIC)

    • Our 2008 Hyundai Sonata’s have them too.

      It would be nice to know how many times a second-hand car has been ‘thrashed’, and yes, how many stop/starts it’s had.

      • I am sure it would be a good diagnostic tool as well to display amount of start / stop cycles, average distance driven with start / stop cycles… amount of times Wide open throttle and time spent at WOT… but as far as second hand cars… dealers might be inclined to find ways to manipulate those figures.

  4. The engine hour meter is a simplistic indication of engine use. In boats it is in the past the only indicator of useage. However , just as with the Saab, marine engines are computerized and there are many other variables to help determine when the oil should be changed.
    The service interval is more of a function of work done by an engine, so monitoring total fuel consumed can be a better simplistic indicator. This is common on newer marine diesels, but not seen on cars (to my knowledge).
    Ayway your Saab should indicate the oil life based on all the above and many more factors, so you should not just pick a mileage interval for oil changes

  5. The real analogy of engine hours isn’t marine; it is aviation.

    Hightlighting that would add some value to the born from jets metaphor. Aviation grade tool sets in the trunk would also be nice.

  6. I went to the DC show, SAAB had a very nice display, although it was sort of small. One of each car (including 9-4X) but no 9-3 SC, but they had a 9-3X. It seemed like a lot of people were checked out the SAABs.

    • No,
      Saab is still offering OnStar services with the current line-up.
      It will be interesting to know(follow) if Saab pretends to keep the contract with OnStar for the NG9-3.

  7. im happy to see saab making a push in portland. when i was there i saw so many saabs, especially older ones in great condition.

    • This photo has been taken in Puttgarden(Germany). The guy bought 2.376 beer doses.

      The real problem is, he can only get 5l of beer into Norway.

      • Well, if these are 6-packs of .33 litre per can then he only needs to fit another 1.183 people into the car to get it all into Norway without nary a trouble.


  8. Onstar is not only still with Saab,it’s expanding into available aftermarket installation for the general market.

  9. I’m intrigued about the mileage/running time/stress metrics that an engine can track. Of course, this leaves all of the other mechanicals outside but they’re probably covered by understanding mileage/location/road conditions etc. As far as I know, its best for an engine to get up to temperature and then run consistently – which favours country or motorway driving. Hence the common claim in 2nd hand car adverts – “country mileage”…. From my laymans perspective, it does seem like there would be a nice link to aviation if SAAB could display more about the engines metrics to the owner. I guess they are aready visible to a technician.

    However, if someone with more technical knowledge of SAAB engines and or the data that can/cannot be used could take up this topic, that would be great.

  10. Great job Gerry Small Saab Portland, That is the true oregonian spirit. Pulling off the show just by themselves is a big effort. Hope to see even more Saabs on the roads next time I visit Portland and my gearheaded friends at ODOT and Atomic Auto (Saab specialist and SUHRT supporter in Portland)
    First time on PDX autoshow for me was back in 1982 I was so proud to let my host family see Saabs from Sweden. Biggest memory was the Olds Hurst with the lightning rods….
    Also first carshow for me with beautiful women showing the cars, unheard of in Sweden at that time…..

  11. Just two little notes:
    1. That brown-ish colour is Java? It looked almost black or purple-ish on other pics… amazing and it looks great with a tan interior! Very warm and inviting looking interior!
    2. The more I see the Aero’s front end, the more I wish SAAB would use it on all trim levels; it looks so much better than the Linear and Vector’s front bumper =)

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