Washing and cleaning a Saab

Much like the question about Turbo X tyres a few days ago – and I should add that Colin has purchased some new rubber and saved a bunch of money, too – I received a question about car cleaning.

This comes from Brian W:

I recently purchased a 2009 9-3 from Saab of Milford in Conn. USA. I was just wandering if you have ever posted a segment asking your blog followers what cleaning products they use on their Saabs. For the first time in a long time, I have the desire to clean my own car (because I love the car) and have been using “Mothers” products for the past 2 months.

I would love to see what products your loyal blog followers use on the exterior, interior, and tires.

I have to confess that I’m a total goose when it comes to this stuff. I’ve had the same bottle of Meguiars carwash for a number of years and I use their polishes as well, but not very often.

I’m not the guy to speak to when it comes to this sort of stuff. But I know that some of you are. I’ve published enough Saab O The Week photo over five years to know that we have some very accomplished detailers here.

So, what say ye?

Saab Turbo X tyres

Here’s a query for the rare few who managed to pick up a Turbo X.

It comes from Colin C, a Turbo X owner from Townsville, in northern Queensland, right here in Australia.

I need to get some replacements and would like to know what other X owners may have done, what tires they bought, if in fact they have needed to replace them already.

The local prices are nuts so I will possibly buy from overseas and bring them in. Even just doing this could save me around $800.00.

I love the X but I do need to check myself sometimes, especially when highway driving and passing multiple ‘Mexicans’ with caravans and RVs who seem to love doing 80kph in the 100 zone.

The car has done around 42,000 kms now and the tires should be good for maybe 2k more at the most. I have the 19″ rims with the PZero Nero Tires.

If there’s anyone with a suitable recommendation, please feel free to enlighten us all in comments.

Saab Washer Fluid and Maptun Air Filter – done

Tonight I managed to squeeze in a couple of the jobs I told you about last night – fitting the Maptun air filter and filling up with the Saab washer fluid.
Maptun Air Filter
It was definitely time to change the stock filter as it was quite dirty at one end. As expected, the Maptun unit fitted straight in and I was off for a drive.
Once again, like the BSR open unit I had before, there seems to be a slight increase in urgency, though that may be psychological. I did take the car on a good sprint before changing over, though, and another one straight after. I therefore think my conclusions are reasonably objective as I was driving in the same conditions both times.
Any increase is marginal, at best. Still, it’s good to have it in there and know that I won’t have to think about it again for a while.
The other good news is that the irritating noise that got me to pull out the BSR unit hasn’t made a return with the Maptun unit. One thought that crossed my mind with that noise is that it could have been a minor split in an air hose somewhere and the noise was accentuated by the increased airflow. It hasn’t returned, though, so I think I must have got one made late on a Friday afternoon.
The BSR unit feels solid and there’s no splits anywhere as far as I can tell. I’ve heard good things from everyone else about them but unfortunately it just doesn’t seem to have worked for me. I’ll definitely miss the noise.
Saab Washer Fluid
The Saab washer fluid comes in a concentrate form and costs just A$10 here, so it’s very good value for money.
This is pretty clever stuff, actually. The fluid concentrate has got a high alcohol content. This will not only prevent your washer fluid from freezing in the winter, but it also means quick, streak free drying when you actually use it. The fluid has a lubricant in it, too. Modern Saab washer systems have a one-way valve in them and the lubricant in the fluid keeps this valve in good working condition.
Oh yeah, and it cleans the glass pretty darn well, too.
The before shot from my little snap test this evening:
And the after shot…. pretty clear though a few stubborn spots remain as this car hasn’t been cleaned in some time (and I need to clean the inside glass, too)
The part number for the Saab washer fluid is 12799116 and if you quote that to your local Saab accessories place, they should be able to put their hands on it pretty quick. At $10 here in Oz, it’s pretty cheap and I imagine it’s equally good value where you live.
Though there is one issue……
A note to Saab about this fluid bottle
This is a concentrate, but I couldn’t find any instructions on the bottle as to the right ratio I was supposed to use to mix it.

I looked in my owner’s manual and whilst it recommended the use of the genuine Saab fluid, it didn’t mention a ratio, either. It just said to follow the instructions on the bottle (or box). The washer fluid reservoir is 4.7 litres so I just guesstimated that around 300-400ml would do the trick
I received my bottle as you see it there. Maybe when you get it over the counter it comes in a box with the instructions printed on it.
I think it’d be a good idea to have the mixing instructions on the actual bottle, too, because there’s a distinct possibility that some buyers would throw the box away after opening it.
Just a suggestion.

Help needed! Timing gears for Saab V4

If you’ve been reading this site (and TS) for a while, then you’ll have heard of Drew B. He’s another Saab nut here in Tasmania, probably the nuttiest of all, actually, as he’s got a fleet of Saabs like few others.
He’s having some trouble with one of them at the moment, though, his yellow 1973 Saab 95 wagon.
The V4 engine’s timing gear got stripped about a month ago and sourcing a new set is proving rather difficult.
Here’s what we’re looking at.
The interesting thing about this gear set is that unlike the alloy gear at bottom-right, the other two of those gears you see are made of a dense fibrous material. This is how they were originally manufactured.
As you can see from the images, the fibre gears have finally stripped after many years of work, and it’s these fibre gears that Drew is trying to replace.
You can buy new gear sets for the V4 easy enough. It’s a Ford engine, after all, and there are a lot of parts still available out of Germany and in other markets, too.
Those replacement gear sets, however, are made out of alloy rather than the original fibre. Whilst the alloy gears might be a bit stronger in the long run, they’re also reputed to be a lot noisier, which is one of the reasons Drew would prefer the original fibre gears.
The other reason he’d prefer the original parts is …..well……. because they’re the original parts. That’s what Drew does, and it’s why his cars are so good.
V4 timing gear set.jpg
If you’ve got any leads on these original gear sets, please feel free to pass them on in comments or via email directly to me.

Is my Saab warranty still valid? Yes.

I’ve been getting a few comments come through the blog and a few emails coming through my inbox asking about Saab warranties. These are typically from people either considering buying a car, or people who have one that’s just a year or two old and still covered by warranty.
The uncertainty is fair enough. GM plan on selling Saab or closing the brand down if a buyer can’t be found. With that sort of fate on the horizon, it’s understandable that people would be worried about their Saab warranty.
Everything that I’ve seen so far points to the fact that all Saab warranty work will continue to be covered by General Motors for the full term of the warranty. They sold you the car with a warranty attached and they have to honour that warranty as long as it’s in effect.
In a mailout to US customers, GM Premium Brands group chief Mark McNabb said the following:

To current Saab owners and loyalists, be assured that all warranties on Saab vehicles remain valid. The warranty for both new and Certified Pre-Owned Saab vehicles are provided by GM and remain intact. GM will support continued availability of parts and service. Prepaid scheduled maintenance also remains in effect on all current product offerings.

In an interview at the Melbourne Motor Show last week, Saab Oz chief Parveen Batish had this to say:

But, again, to emphasise that as far as customers here are concerned, we are GM Holden, we are selling cars under that umbrella, and every car that we sell is completely warrantied and guaranteed – just as it always has been.

He mentions Holden by name as that’s the umbrella group for all of GM’s brands here in Australia, but in the context of the interview he’s talking about Saab and Hummer.
Bottom line: Your warranty is provided by General Motors and they are obliged to honor the warranty and service agreements attached to the car they sold you.
The normal weasely exceptions apply and make sure you use a dealer with a good service reputation, but at the base level: everything I’ve seen says you’re covered.

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