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

November 1, 2016 came just as suddenly as December 24 every year ... It was just unfavorable that the exact majority of my Saabs entered the winter quarters on this exact date - and there was only one car with valid registration in the carport.

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, Built in 1998. In a youngtimer through the winter? Why not, I heard myself say, and reflexively, Saab friends replied that the 9ooo was too good for the cold season. A 9000! Of all things! Denigrated for years as Fiat, the classic winter car of the community par excellence. And suddenly there is pity. 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.

I find Kumho winter tires on a well-known portal. Cheap tires for trying out yourself, driving a youngtimer through the winter. Almost € 50,00 each, I haven't been on the road that cheaply since I bought my first set of winter tires when I was 18 years old. In our hangar I get a set of aluminum rims and catch the ugliest set of rims we have. 5 meters further, on a rim tree, there are great 9000 turbo rims. But I don't see that until the following day and I'm angry with myself.

A few hundred meters from the hangar is a workshop that always helps if a Saab needs to be quickly made ready to drive or an oil change is due. She mounts the tires, and as soon as I pick up the 100 I feel the vibrations of disapproval because of my cheap purchase. The tires are not bad in themselves, says the workshop master. But I won't have any joy with it. Point.

And so it is. The Kumhos drive like bricks, but do their job. They provide good traction in snow, and behavior in wet conditions is acceptable. But the braking distance is getting longer and driving 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-haul vehicle. Always has been, and this is especially true of the 9000. It's cold, it's wet. So what? The seat heating warms, the air conditioning is perfect and better than in some modern cars. The seats are sufficiently comfortable, and when I set the cruise control to the recommended motorway speed, the on-board computer predicts ranges that enable Frankfurt - Trollhättan and beyond.

The Saab rolls around relatively quietly. The legendary 2.3 liter turbo has power reserves in abundance. Autobahn and Saab 9000, that just fits.

The 9k was built for travel. In the city he annoys me. Like all large sedans designed in the 80s, it has a wasteful tropic. Driving the 9000 only occasionally tends to ignore the problem. But it's my exclusive car for months now. And that's when 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.

The headlights are also new. New glasses, new reflectors make the difference to the old, perforated lenses and matt reflectors that many vehicles have after 20 years. Unfortunately, the good originals from Hella have long been sold out, there are only replicas left. These won't last 20 years, but they bring light, visibility and security for a fair course. (Orio item 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 on "Saab youngtimer in winter. A self-experiment (1 / 2)"

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    We had a lot of fresh snow last winter (it snowed almost permanently all day and night) and I allowed myself the fun of doing a “fresh snow test drive” with my 2 cars, at night from about midnight to 0 o'clock in the morning on cleared and closed rooms. practically empty side streets in our province:
    The 9k 2,3 FP turbo (over 200 hp) was safe u. quietly on the street (even 100-120 km / h were no problem at all - did I mention empty streets?), cautiously accelerate and. then in the 4th / 5th Drive gear, heating comfortably warm, great sound (I have the original top system with cassette / CD and separate amplifier) ​​and comfortable seats - I could have driven for hours through blowing snow and the snowy night ...
    The 9k has something that is called “cocooning” in modern German - you just feel safe
    (There is almost no more with 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 stark contrast to the 9k, I had to be very careful that it stayed on the road, a little too much gas - even on 4.5.6. Corridor! - u. he wanted to cross, but had a lot of fun drifting in a supermarket parking lot!

    With the 9k that was also possible in the parking lot, but only with a handbrake and the like. Not nearly as elegant -> clearly safer front-wheel drive
    I have to admit, however, that I was really happy to have brought the SLK home unharmed, well sometimes you still need a test of courage with over 50 ... ;-))

    Topic light u. Mature of the existing comments:
    Got Osram H9 Night Breaker in the 96k (EZ 1) - 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
    surely “customer times” would be better with good, new tires, but we're not racing drivers ;-))
    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 was able to keep up with the very latest E-Class (really ugly) up to 200 ...

    Dear Saab greetings


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    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 that's right, city traffic has never been really fun with a 9k, they want to walk ...
    We just did a tour of Italy, 3200Km with a lot of motorway, but also mountains, Italian old town streets and country roads, so he was in his element again. Everything was super pleasant to drive - at home on long journeys!

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      That's right. The cheap tires were a conscious risk. A self-experiment for our readers, so to speak. However, I was surprised that they are so uncomfortable. Next week the 16 ″ Michelin will hit the 9k, then the world will be all right again 🙂

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    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.

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    On snow, the 900 is far superior to the 9000. But without snow, the 9k is simply uncomplicated in everyday life.
    I absolutely share your assessment of the city and long distance. Driving in the city is simply no fun at all. Not with the 900, much less with the 9000 and the 9-5 is even more unwieldy. But for the city there are subways, bicycles and shoe soles ... so that's not bad.
    The light in the 9000 is not bad. It is also not in the pre-facelift with the H4. I think light is generally overrated - even in Snow White with its sandblasted lenses and dumb reflectors I see more than enough at night on winding country roads. In any case, it was enough this winter not to rush into a wild boar rot ... Saab understood the importance of good night design as early as the 600.000s. Unobtrusive instrument lighting, dimly dimmed, and the eyes can adjust to the darkness.
    They don't do that with bright instrument lighting or even lots of bright displays like in most modern cars. Then of course you need more light outside on the street - and blinds everyone else ...
    Night panel is more effective and socially acceptable than xenon and LED. Unfortunately, nobody understood except Saab nobody.

    Other topic:
    Hopefully you preserved the car before winter ... after all, these things don't grow back ...
    : )

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

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        You lucky ones!

        Despite FF, Snow White has to be roasted every three years ... The A9 is extremely salty.

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    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.


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

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    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: an excellent winter car without failures, faster heating and now much more than “just” my winter car ...

    Unfortunately, my wife is not warming up to this “old” car in her eyes and it will probably have to give way to another vehicle next winter

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

    LG sneaked

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      We share our experiences: Even with us, the 9k is not a downright women's car. But an “old” car.

      • blank

        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.
        Of course it will only be a weekend car, but it can certainly be used as a “daily driver”. It's wonderful to slow down.
        Greetings to all Saab drivers

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

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