Saab youngtimer in winter. A self-experiment (1 / 2)

The 1. November 2016 came just as abruptly as every year the 24. December ... Unfavorable only that exactly on this date, the majority of my Saabs moved into the winter quarters - and only a single car with valid approval in the carport was.

Saab 9000 in winter

Not that I did not see this situation coming my way. And it's not that there was no choice of younger Saabs as an alternative that I just had to sign up for. But other things demanded more attention, and suddenly he was there, the 1. November.

And there was only one Saab 9000 in the yard.

Our Anna project, Year 1998. In the Youngtimer through the winter? Why not, I heard myself say, and reflexively came from Saab friends the answer that the 9ooo for the cold season is too good a shame. An 9000! Ironically! For years denigrated as Fiat, the classic winter car of the community par excellence. And suddenly pity comes up. The times have changed.

With cheap winter tires through the cold season.

I am a confessed Michelin fan. On all my Saabs are, without exception, the tires of the French assembled, out of pure conviction and many years of experience. But I have little time in November, an exciting and demanding project was in the starting blocks, so it must be quick with the tire choice.

On a well-known portal I find winter tires from Kumho, Cheap tires for the self-try to drive through the winter with a Youngtimer. Just under 50,00 € per piece, I have not been so cheap since I bought my first set of winter tires with 18 years. In my hangar, I get a set of alloy wheels and get the ugliest set of wheels we have. 5 meters away, on a rims tree, store great 9000 Turbo rims. But I see that only the next day and annoy me about myself.

A few 100 meters away from the hangar is a workshop that always helps when a Saab needs to be prepared quickly or an oil change is due. She assembles the tires, and as soon as I pick up the 9000 I feel the vibrations of disapproval over my low-priced purchase. The tires are not bad in itself, says the workshop master. But I will not have any fun with it. Point.

And so it is. The Kumhos drive like bricks, but do their job. In snow, they bring a good traction, the behavior in wet conditions is acceptable. But the braking distance is longer and the ride comfort is beyond discussion. In short, the tires, combined with the ugly rims, will spoil my fun all winter.

Saab Youngtimer on long distances at home.

A Saab is a Saab. And a Saab is a long-distance vehicle. It has always been, especially on the 9000. It's cold, it's wet. So what? The seat heating warms, the air conditioning is perfect and better than some modern cars. The seats are sufficiently comfortable, and if I set the cruise control to highway-directional speed, then the on-board computer forecasts ranges that Frankfurt-Trollhättan and even further allow.

The Saab rolls relatively quietly through the area. The legendary 2.3 liter turbo has power reserves in abundance. Highway and Saab 9000, that just fits.

The 9k was built for the trip. He's annoying me in the city. Like all the big sedans that were designed in the 80 years, it has a wasteful turning circle. One tends to ignore the problem when driving the 9000 only occasionally. But he's my exclusive car for months now. And at the latest there the fun stops. Long distances yes, inner cities if possible no.

Saab 9000 and light and vision.

In winter, light plays a big role. The 9k has as an old car H1 light, which corresponds to the Bronze Age lighting technology. Nevertheless, the yield is amazing. Its box-shaped headlights, in combination with the large reflectors, are exactly what a good H1 headlamp must have.

In addition, the headlights are new. New glasses, new reflectors make the difference to the old, perforated lenses and matte reflectors that many vehicles have after 20 years. Unfortunately, the good originals of Hella sold out for a long time, there are only replicas. These will not last for 20 years, but they bring light, visibility and safety to a fair course. (Orio Art. Number 32019340 and 32019341)

For the first few weeks Anna and I are doing well. The Saab does what he should, he is versatile and I discover his abilities. But then the defects hit and it begs the question of whether one should really move an old Saab in winter. To be continued in part 2.

13 thoughts too "Saab youngtimer in winter. A self-experiment (1 / 2)"

  • Hello Tom, I bought 2015 9000 as a winter car, first to make my convertible disappear into the garage for the cold and wet months, but also to fulfill the old dream of a black 9000.
    My conclusion: excellent winter car without failures, quick heating and now much more than "just" my winter car ...

    Unfortunately, my wife will not be warm with this "old" car in her eyes and he will probably have to give way to another car next winter

    Incidentally, I drive Conti tires and am very satisfied with it ...

    LG sneaked

    • As we share experiences: Even with us, the 9k is not a pronounced women's car. But an "old" car.

      • Hi Guys!
        Since I have other experiences to collect. Our first Saab was an 9000 CSE. He caused the Saab virus to my wife and me. Meanwhile, I am restoring an 901 and my wife can not wait to drive him.
        Will then of course only a weekend car, but is quite useful as a "daily driver". He is wonderful to decelerate.
        Greetings to all Saab drivers

        • Tastes are different, and that's a good thing. An 9k can already infect for Saab! Keep on having fun!

  • Wow!!! An Anni with less than 150k kilometers. Where do you find something like that? Extremely cool !!

  • Hello Tom !

    I've been driving a 9000 2.3T as a winter car for six years now.
    And if it comes down to me, it will be at least once again so much. I just can not imagine a more comfortable and reliable car.
    Defective? Sure there's one or the other small defect as with any car that is driven. But strictly speaking, there were actually peanuts considering the age of the car (21 years) and the current mileage (290tKm).
    I can only say it again and again: For me, the late 9000 is next to the late 99 the best car Saab has ever built.


  • On snow, the 900 is far superior to the 9000. But without snow, the 9k is simply uncomplicated in everyday life.
    Your assessment of city and Lanngstrecke I share absolutely. Driving in the city is simply no fun at all. Not with the 900, with the 9000 much less and the 9-5 is again a bit unwieldy. But for the city, there are subways, bicycles and soles ... so that's not bad.
    The light in the 9000 is not bad. Is not it also in the preface lift with the H4. I find general overvalued light - even in the Snow White with its sandblasted after 600.000km lenses and stumofen reflectors I see at night on winding country roads more than enough. Anyway, this winter has been enough to keep from rushing into a boar slaughter ... Saab has already understood the importance of good night design in the 80ers. An unobtrusive instrumentation, dimmed dimly, and the eyes can adapt to the darkness.
    With a bright instrument lighting or even many bright displays as in the vast majority of modern cars they do not. Then of course you need more light outside in the street - and hide all the other ...
    Night panel is more effective and socially acceptable than xenon and LED. Unfortunately, nobody understood except Saab nobody.

    Other topic:
    Hopefully you saved the car before winter ... these things are not growing anymore ...
    : )

    • Of course the 9k was well conserved. The Frankfurt area is also not particularly dangerous in terms of the use of road salt.

      • You lucky ones!

        Snow White must be roasted despite FF every three years ... The A9 is extremely salty.

  • Cool report. We also drive our 9000 Anni from 1997 in winter. If you do something preventive with the rust and do a sub-floor wash in the spring, I see no problem. He definitely makes fun and the most important thing feels safe.

  • Hi Tom,
    I think you spoiled your fun with the cheap tires themselves. I have always had little fun with Michelin's winter tires and have driven them as short as possible. Unpleasant tires make no fun on 900 / 9000!
    Now I drive on Joe since good 60TKm Vredestein Quatrac 3 (they were new on the purchase, so go) and I'm super happy with it. Consumption, ride comfort and wear at least on Michelin level. Since this winter was again largely with us, I drove them through, all right. After the good experiences I have bought for the Talladega Quatrac 5, which are also doing very well. Especially the smoothness in the Quatrac is awesome.

    With the women and the 9k there seem to be exceptions. When I came home after the wild accident with the bent Joe, my wife stood in front of it and the tears ran! I was surprised.

    But true, city traffic has never really been fun with an 9k, they want to run ...
    We have just made an Italientour, 3200Km with a lot of highway, but also mountains, Italian old town streets and highways, there he was back in his element. Everything was super comfortable to drive - on long journeys at home!

    • That's right. The cheap tires were deliberate risk. A self-experiment for our readers, so to speak. That they bring so little comfort has surprised me, however. Next week the 16 Michelin will be coming to the 9k, then the world is alright

  • With us there was a lot of fresh snow last winter (it has snowed all day and the night almost permanently) u. I had the fun to do a "fresh snow test drive" with my 2 cars, at night from about 0 - 2 clock on umgeräumten u. practically empty side roads in our province:
    The 9k 2,3 FP-Turbo (over 200 PS) was safe u. quiet on the road (even 100-120 km / h were no problem at all - I already mentioned empty roads?), cautiously accelerate u. then right in 4./5. Gang drive, heating comforting warm, great sound (I have the original top system with Cass./CD and sep. Amplifier) ​​u. comfortable seats - I could have driven for hours through the snow and the snowy night ...
    The 9k has something that is called "cocooning" in German - you just feel safe
    (Almost no longer exists in today's stylish boxes -> Information overkill)

    Who's still interested:
    The test vehicle after that was an old SLK (R170), with 2,3 compressor very similar motorized, but were due to electronic problems all safety features (ESP, BAS, etc.) failed, not even ABS he had more:
    a blatant contrast to the 9k, I had to be hell-bent on keeping it on the road, a little too much throttle - even in the 4.5.6. Corridor! - u. He wanted to cross, but had fun on a supermarket parking lot drifting exercises!

    By the way, the 9k was also in the parking lot, but only with handbrake u. not so elegant -> clearly safe front-wheel drive
    I must confess, however, that I was already glad to have brought home the SLK again intact, well sometimes you need with 50 even more courage ... ;-))

    Topic light u. Mature of the existing comments:
    Have in the 9k (EZ 96) Osram H1 Night Breaker - make better light than the old xenons in my SLK!
    However, the modern headlights are the only thing I envied today's cars, good visibility is important

    The topic of tires is m. E. completely overestimated:
    I ride on both cars (now in winter) at least 10 years old winter slippers, I do not know what kind of brand, I do not care
    certainly "customer times" with good, new tires would be better, but we're not racers ;-))
    have all been slowed down in good time u. out of a curve, I have not come out the last decades either
    and today on the A9 I could keep up with 200 very well with the latest E-Class (really ugly) ...

    Dear Saab greetings


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