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

Anyone who moves an old car should have a certain tolerance and willingness to repair minor defects themselves. A Saab youngtimer also has some surprises in store, especially if it is used in everyday life.

Anna in the winter. The Saab loves snow and ice

The defects are striking.

The first weeks are up Anna project unproblematic. Well, somehow I'm wondering what I'm doing here. I'm not sure if old enthusiast cars belong on the road in winter too. But I would never admit that to family and friends who are suspicious of the project.

The 9000 seems to be on my side. He fights well until the defect devil appears. First, a central locking motor gets out. Not 100%, but every now and then and more often. Locked or not - that's the question.

I don't like the games and I hate it when something doesn't work. So I exchange the defective part. It's quick and can be done by a layperson. Instructions will follow soon on the blog.

A few days later, the next defect comes as a surprise. When the high beam is activated, it lights up red in the pictogram. Red is not good I think. But the high beam does what it should. It glows. All right then.

The game repeats the Saab with me for a few days. Red pictogram. But great high beam.

I don't understand what my car wants from me and my car doesn't understand why I'm not responding. The 9k is losing patience with me and radicalizing itself. A headlight finally gets out, but only in high beam mode. The low beam continues to work.

Why is it? Cheap headlights, broken bulb? No, the lamp module is defective and will be replaced. Since then there is silence and the Saab rolls on as if nothing had happened.

Saab and cold and snow

Winter brings some really cold days. The temperature sometimes falls below minus 10 degrees Celsius. That doesn't impress the old Saab in the least. But on the contrary. The turbo likes cold air, and you have the feeling that the Saab lets the Swede hang out. Most of the time it is attached to the Calix heater and then starts up with ease. The automatic air conditioning blows its mild breeze for the first few meters, it couldn't be better. Only the seat heating needs some time before the warmth can be felt. Good, thick leather was still used in the 9000. That also has disadvantages.

On such days the 9k creaks in the entablature and one senses his age. But traction on snow is in a class of its own. The engine and transmission package, which rests compactly on the drive axle, ensures good forward movement. Without electronic helpers on the way. the Saab likes snowy, uncluttered roads. He is Swede through and through.

Saab and versatility

The 9000 comes from a different time when cars were built for purposes and not to satisfy vanities. He spoils with space without end. You can travel comfortably with 4 friends and luggage, and you can load the trunk so full in the hardware store that SUV owners are green with envy. And, unlike simulated off-road vehicles, you can pull real trailers. No small hardware store toys, but things for real men. What attracts attention when you are out and about with a youngtimer and a two-axle vehicle, fully loaded with furniture. Or just transport a ton of gravel.

The Saab can pull 1.8 tons, and it does so with flying colors. Its detachable towbar ex works is child's play to use once you have looked through the system - or have found the instructions under the spare wheel cover.

Youngtimer in the winter. Yes or no?

An old car is and remains an old car. Nevertheless, he was reliable, without serious defects. But after 400 kilometers in the 9000, my back hurts. Because I'm no longer 20, and the Saab is almost 20. And I sense that the Saab loses much of its magic when used daily. The attraction of the particular is lost when using a car every day. Moreover, he is to me, after months in self-experiment, too bad a winter car. I fear for his metal when I get stuck in a hectic rush.

On the other side, cars like the 9000 were built for driving. Not just in good weather, but for everyday, robust use. To use a product as long as possible, to maintain it, is resource conservation and lived sustainability. And beyond the mainstream, who wants to tell us something different.

How do you see the readers on the blog? Should Youngtimer on the road in winter, or would they be better off in dry halls? I'm looking forward to the answers.

Saab youngtimer in winter. Is that possible?

  • Yes! Because they were built for that. (76% 132 Votes)
  • No! Old metal should be saved. (24% 41 Votes)

Total Voters: 173

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26 thoughts on "Saab youngtimer in winter. A self-experiment (2 / 2)"

  • An 9000er for me was the best Saab Man has built.
    Great, great to drive. and always ready for action. These cars can and must be maintained well but can be driven all year round. What would be said about leather is synonymous 100% correct. Never has Man used such a Kwalitaet leather anymore.

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    Do you want to ski or drive in winter?

    I have a 9000 that was showing signs of the years when I bought it. It is technically maintained and protected from further deterioration if possible (as far as this is possible with almost exclusively winter operation) - and driven as a winter car.
    The other - almost as good as new - 9000 did not have to endure any salt from the first owner and I will spare him that as much as possible. Just like the convertible and classic cars.

    If you consider what costs a new car, would be the alternative from winter and summer Youngtimer probably still the cheaper (because loss of value-free) alternative. And the far more sustainable too. The resources that a new car consumes during production have to be traversed by a young-timer in the factory.
    And if it is then as reliable in operation as in this report (which I can fully confirm from experience), this option seems to me to be the only logical one, at least for me!


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    If you own several Saab, it might make sense to assign one of them to winter service. Otherwise, I plead for the salt-free time to preserve the value of the bodies. My two H-plates do not even see wet! This strategy helps me maintain the brand in the street, because winter is more accident-prone. If Borgward or drivers of other lost brands had consistently moved their cars in the winter, then today, virtually all of them would have already died out.

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    Thank you for the honest and comprehensive report.

    I also think that rare or high-quality Saab have nothing to look for in winter.

    Actually, every Saab is worthy of protection, but as other people have written before me, Saab feel particularly comfortable with ice and snow.

    I myself drive a 98 9-3 in daily use. It's an 2,0i with my own converted Aero Interior.
    A few years ago, in December, I was yelled at by a stranger in a parking lot about how I could do that. He was of the opinion that the Old Swede was too bad for the winter.
    So here are the opinions.
    I can fully share Tom's experiences. Only those who like to ventilate the hood and do a bit dirty, should drive Youngtimer. Of course, the beauty suffers over the years as well.
    Therefore, my opinion: If your Aero is too bad for the winter, buy yourself a simply equipped all-rounder and you get saabig through the winter.

    PS Michelin Alpine are the best winter slippers for the Saab.

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    Hello Tom

    I am amazed that no more defects have occurred. In and of itself, a 9000 is the perfect fit for winter operation. Lots of space, comfortable travel, front-wheel drive, Swedish construction (Calix) ... and yet I was the first to save my 9000er winter operation and put it to winter in my first year of ownership. In the next 2 weeks the 9000 will find its way back on the road and I hope that the winter break didn't hurt it ... I'm not really sure whether after 5 months of downtime everything is still doing as it should or whether it is for now lots of colorful lamps light up ... actually a 9000 is a long-haul car ...

    • I'm confident about that. Our 9k in the hangar are only sporadically moved and do not mind that. The electronics are more robust than you would expect. I keep my fingers crossed for the start of the season!

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    I would tie it to the state. if I drive a Youngtimer in the winter. The better the condition, the less I would be inclined to do so. Or, in other words, the more valuable the SAAB, the more I would leave it in the underground car park.
    If I look at the vote, that is not the opinion of the majority

  • The orange LampControl part in the relay box is just not a relay, just electronics.
    And there are “cold” soldering points (connector board with electronics board).
    Have already solved at least 5x such quirks.
    Should you know before buying overpriced spare parts.
    Greeting SAAB 9-5 2.3t driver Klaus

    • Maybe you should put it this way: Throw away nothing, because a repair is worthwhile. And if it's just the re-soldering on the board?

      • Right Tom,

        re-soldering is (for me) no problem.
        You just have to make the troubleshooting, for example when the main beam does not work on one side.
        Find a right car but it is worthwhile to find mistakes.
        And subsequently ventilated front seats to install and wire etc.

        Greeting SAAB 9-5 2.3t driver Klaus

  • I think Tom wants to lure us out of the reserve and provoke us.
    For me, the 9000 has not lost its charm since 28 years, and after driving in other cars, I'm always happy when I'm in my 9000.

    Of course, at the age of some components have exceeded their expiration date. I also know that with the light and climate relays, or exhausted carbon brushes on the interior fan. But these are peanuts compared to modern cars. If you listen to how often a climate relay switches, the lifetime is phenomenal! Not to mention the practicality of everyday life, I know the building market scenes (also with trailer). The looks are great.

    For me (with 195 cm), the seats are still the measure of things, because no one can get it. The leather seats in the 902 are also top. If I have a hard day in the garden or similar behind me and the back logs in, I drive to relax for an hour 9000 or 902. I always say therapy trip to it! Helps me really.
    One leg last week was 900 Km, I'm tired but exhausted.
    On the first few meters in winter I sometimes think too, old car. Once everything has operating temperature, the sounds are gone and the world is fine.

    • If so, my operation would be successful. The back pain but stay. What may be in an almost 20 year old car yes, and probably more on my even older back.

      • That's too bad because it spoils the whole trip. Is that in your other 9000 (eg the beautiful blue Anni) that way?

        • Not really. In the midnight blue everything is better, although it is (actually) the identical seats. The mileage is similar, both were built on the same day in Trollhättan. And even more comfortable I feel the old plush chairs in the CS.

          • There they are again, the different characters of the 9000 that you described some time ago. The beige seats are from ELMO and the black ones from BoW, is that possibly the reason? Have these suppliers built the whole seat (upholstery), or just supplied the leather upholstery? I also notice a difference with my two, but he does not make such a negative impression on me. I've always pushed it to the higher mileage of BoW seats, but it may not be.

            • GM sold the Saab seat production to Lear in the early 90 years. The then made all Saab seats to 2011 in Trollhättan.

              ELMO plays in a different league than BoW, which is already noticeable in a direct comparison. ELMO leather is luxury, BoW very good leather but much less valuable. The seats themselves should be identical. However, one can not rule out differences in the Saab madness in the 90 years also differences.

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    Hi Tim,

    thank you for your interesting report about “Anna” ……… .. of course the 9000 and all other young timers are built to use them every day …… .I have been driving a 2016 in his favorite discipline “long distance” and with growing enthusiasm since December 9000 I am happy about the versatility of my “silver fish” …… once with 125 km / h, cruise control and under 9 ltr. Consumption and then the revving of the “real turbo” when the colleagues from the TDI parliamentary group are back in my trunk and carry out their “headlight flasher test” although it just doesn't go on in front of me and I can then simply feel it when accelerating in the right traffic conditions How your jaw drops further with increasing distance from them ………… .All this and much more could not be experienced if you only drive around the church tower on Sundays with the freshly washed youngtimer in the sunshine.

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      Sorry for the typo, TOM !!

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    Why should normal utility cars like a Saab 900 and 9000 or 9-3 and 9-5 remain idle in winter?
    Then you see even less Saab in the street, at some point only at meetings. With a sonnet makes sense because of the not so good everyday life and its real rarity. But already a 99 is a great winter car.

    Keep the Saab on the road as much as possible in recent years, where cars with combustion engines are still allowed and affordable to maintain. That will look different in 20 years, more and more electric cars will drive.
    Do not wait until your Saab are only museum pieces but use the time now.

    • At the moment, the vote shows a clear trend for winter operations.

  • Hello Tom and dear Saab community, First of all it's great to drive the 9000 in winter. If I would do it with mine too, but since it has already been refurbished like sheet metal, I only dare to do it in the salty time. But I drive a 9-5 Aero SC from 2002 all year round, it's not that fresh anymore. In any case, I am an advocate of driving old vehicles (Saabs as long as possible) for known reasons…. So keep going…. many greetings from Thuringia

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    A great article, great!
    Since you get excited about more young, old and new timer.

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    Hi Tom,

    I drive only 9000er in winter and can not imagine anything better.

    For me, the charm does not fly, even if my 91er CC had locked me this winter because of an icy door lock. At the moment I cursed quite a bit, but then after thawing all the locks were neatly looked after. I would have to stop before the winter.

    And to the LampControl I say only that in the modern cars much more electronics is in it, which can fail. That's almost whining at a high level.


    • That's whining at an extremely high level

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    Very well written! That speaks from my heart ... A 9000 is a cool car and it always will be.

  • A Youngtimer loses its appeal when you drive it daily. Or not. I've been driving Saab for 25 years, from 99er to 900, 9000, 9-3 to 9-5. Also, I drove 2 Winter 9000er and I have to admit that sometimes you look at life through the pink Saab glasses. But an 9000er is more than a car. Never has a winter car been so much fun as my 96er 9000 2.0 do with Hirsch controller. 286 tkm, velor seats with great lateral support and perfect seat heating, torque to grin. No tax looping like a new Golf. It was a nice winter. A very beautiful.
    Meanwhile, an 2002er 9-3er has succeeded him. 185 PS, 240 tkm, a "GM". No, it's not 9000er, but a great car. It accompanies me every day, undeterred pulling its tracks and giving me a sense of well-being as only a Saab can. I do not know how he does it, but he does it. And I can only say that he does not lose, but gets more and more attractive the more you drive him. He was also built as a car and I am glad that he does not satisfy my vanities. Because he does not scratch the surface, but touches me deeply in the heart. Day after day. I'm breaking up now because I have to go right now. And I'm looking forward to it. And how. Saab: more than a car!

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