The blog is a medium for the Saab community and lives from comments and suggestions from readers. Also test reports and experiences in daily life with Saab are welcome. Max has had his Saab 9-5 converted to E85 operation. He starts with his article.
Gasoline prices are skyrocketing, and everyone is looking for an alternative or solution somewhere. Some leave their car or just drive like "somewhat older people" in our society to save every milliliter of fuel.
Fortunately, we drive Saab. The Swedes discovered a cheaper alternative to conventional super fuel very early on - the E85. However, BioPower models are in great demand on the market and rarely, finding a correct model is almost impossible - not to mention the costs. So I started looking into conversions.
That could not be that hard, after all, the BioPower models have the same engine block. After some search I came across SKR Performance in Paderborn. Mr. König, the owner, specializes in the vehicles of the Saab brand and in conversations I immediately realized that the Saab Feeling lives in him. To convert our 9-5 from 2001 (as well as all Saab with the B205 / B235 engine), only a software change is necessary, he informed me.
However, he also told me that a conversion in daily short distance (distances below about 8km), because of the additional consumption, meaningless. Of course, I also asked about the risks that would bring a conversion.
Saab has installed another tank and fuel lines on its BioPower models, as E85 is a fairly aggressive fluid. However, in the conversations with Mr. King, it came to light that I do not have to worry much about it as long as I move the vehicle regularly. In addition, I have read / heard of some others who have been riding for several thousand kilometers and years without problems with E85 - which confirmed me Mr. King. To note there was still that I drive the first 5.000km about the engine protection, if possible not with full throttle, as to solve by E85 some gasoline deposits. So there was no hesitation for me.
Since Paderborn is not exactly a stone's throw away from Frankfurt, I decided to give our Saab 9-5 an additional performance cure - when I'm already there. Fortunately, SKR Performance was very flexible in terms of schedule and spontaneous, so I was able to drive to it on a holiday. Where else is there such customer service.
Arrived in Paderborn we started immediately. He connected his notebook to the vehicle electronics and started reading. This was followed by the modification of the software. After about an hour, the new software could then be re-recorded. Subsequently, only other spark plugs had to be installed and that was all.
Quite incredulously, I asked if that was really all. Mr. King affirmed it and we did a test drive. Unfortunately, you did not notice anything of the increase in performance, as a hose - responsible for turbo pressure - had somehow unnoticed on our Saab 9-5. After we had finally discovered and corrected the error, it went again to test drive.
And you notice the increase in performance significantly. From 185 to about 220 PS and now also E85 capable - so more power at lower fuel costs - as well as the original BioPower models. Unfortunately, there is no E85 gas station in Paderborn, so I just fueled E85 at home.
And as you felt, you felt nothing ... you can tell no difference. The vehicle has only the full power with E85 or Super Plus, which is also noticeable in comparison to E5 operation.
Now we drive about 2 weeks with the vehicle with about 12 liters / 100km - without any problems. Only the cold start takes longer and the engine speed is immediately higher than in E5 mode. This is normal because E85 is not as ignitable as E5 and the vehicle is in the max. Injecting crowd. After a short drive, however, everything is completely normal - except for the smell of the exhaust fumes, which always reminds me of some street alcoholics.
Text: Maximilian Pradl