My first car, or how I've been infected by the Saab virus

Most of us will remember, when asked, their first car, which they had in their teens. For some it's been a long time, in my case it is still quite tangible, because three years ago I was sitting in the car excitedly with my father, because I wanted to look at a 900II SE, which was within my tight budget.

Saab cockpit. Picture: Jonas

The previous owner looked a bit puzzled when we arrived at the parking lot with a 9-3 sports suit and he realized that not my father, but a fresh 20er would be interested in the car. When I saw the 900II the case was already over for me, I got in and a ride through my childhood started as I grew up with this model.

Of course, I bought the car despite minor defects, rust spots on the rear of the wheel arch, Check Engine on, pixel error in the SID, exhaust not fresh, but I did not care. A little later I was sitting in my first car and was proud to be able to overtake my dad for the first time on the motorway like Oscar! Also, when my parents thought that the car would fit in with me, I was of course overjoyed and a bit proud and so I drove cheerfully through the countryside for the next few months and already prepared to go on vacation by car ... ..but it should not be.

Half a year later, I wanted to have an oil change made, so it was good that in a large workshop chain, we probably all know * AT..hust *, a good offer was made. Said and done. Maybe 300 KM after the oil change, the engine died and my 900II SE only smoked, was noisy and did not move anymore ... later came out that I was given wrong oil and was extremely flayed.

Unfortunately, I was stupid and resigned myself to a prize for which every reader would probably kill me, from my vehicle. What remained were memories of the short time and of my childhood.

When I was still in elementary school, my parents bought their first Saab, a 900II without any knickknacks, for me a highlight at that time, because I got all the freebies and a small model 9-3I (which I still have and with my Saab keys stands). I associate many happy memories of vacations with this car.

One year later we drove to pick up a fir tree in the Sauerland, it was snow and it was very slippery on the mountain and my father struck with the rear fender a wall, a loud bang and the tire burst and in the fender was a big dent and totally scratched. My comment as a small second grader was then: "That's probably the most expensive Christmas tree we ever had!" The laughter was great and forgot the grief and my father, the magician, has repaired everything within a few days on their own and even the workshop has not noticed that there was ever something. A Saab is just a tank.

Once we drove to Denmark in the summer vacation, after many hours of driving and search (Navis there was not), we finally found our house, all wanted only fast in bed, unfortunately, the entrance had an archway and we bicycles on the Top, roof. It came as it had to come ... bicycles with their carrier torn from the roof, the roof looked terrible. My dad conjured again, as I feel in retrospect, but when we went back, everything was again as new. That was the prelude to the most beautiful vacation I've had so far and I'll probably never forget that. Swedish steel.

The last trip was the 900II of a winter, when we drove back from the Alps after a great ski holiday ... a strut broke on the way back, but the Saab brought us with broken strut still 600KM home safe. Which car can do this today? =) His successor was a bit wistful, a second-generation 9-3 as a sports suit (which my father still drives, once Saab, always Saab :-)).

Enough of the excursion into my youth. So my 900II 2.3 SE had breathed its life and gone. There I was without a car and slowly I thought that I would probably buy any old cucumber next, but two years later, last fall, I rummaged on one evening and there I discovered him, an 9-3I 2.0T SE, same color, same rims, same features as my 900II (which I still mourned afterwards). Unfortunately, this was in Leipzig, 500KM and I had no car. I called a friend the next day and he actually agreed to drive me there, and friendship is always good for a surprise! Car dealer called and the next morning it was about 5 clock in the morning to Leipzig.

There he stood now, you could see that he stood for a long time, but this time I knew what to look for. Usual slight rust spots on the wheel arch in the back, downpipe was almost through etc. But for 900 Euro I could not resist to take the 270000er.

The most amazing thing for me was that all the electronics worked flawlessly, even the Sitzheitzung!

When boarding, I realized again, what distinguishes a Saab from other cars. Sitting in an S-class, you feel like a luxury hotel, modern, comfortable, but somehow sterile. If you sit in a Saab, then it's like sitting in your cozy living room, the car seat is unrivaled in terms of comfort and everything looks a bit quaint ... you sit in a Saab, you come home (that's how I feel at least ), this sense of security and security is simply priceless!

After we had arrived in the vicinity of Wuppertal and I looked through the papers, I noticed that the previous owner lived in Wuppertal and gave him in Leipzig in payment. Funny that I then brought him from Leipzig back to Wuppertal =)

Last week, the TÜV was in the house, this time I brought my Saab to the (former) Saab Center Wuppertal, because of my 9-3 I did not want to part with my 900II. Nevertheless, the shock was great for a student that would cost the repairs for the MOT, 2000 Euro. Exhaust, brakes, handbrake, wishbone and carrier ... the list was long. In my mind, I gave up this Saab, but this time my parents came on the scene. My mother called me and told me that they would do the repair, as I needed a) a car for work and college and b) because the car suits me so well and they know how much I enjoy my Saab.

At this point I would like to thank my parents, even if they may not read it.

And now my 9-3I is awake, with 280000km, in front of my house, taking me to work and university every day. After the repair he runs, as far as I can tell, like new! Sure, there is always something to do in an old car, but I will certainly do that, certainly with the help of the community! I suck up all the information like a sponge, which I can get on the subject of Saab. Although the street vendors often try their little cards, I do not part with my Saab, because I associate so many good memories of my childhood and adolescence with this car, even though a Saab is never easy and has cost me many sleepless nights , But the dream of 9-5NG remains =)

That was my story of how Saab has been with me all my life, I hope you liked my story and that a young pound (24) has been infected with Saab! =)

Best regards to The Team, the great community and my parents! =)

Greetings from Jonas!

Thanks to Jonas for the Saab story! That's what one of our exclusive is for Saab boarding files on the journey. Do you also have something to tell about Saab?

The story of an unforgettable holiday, a restoration or any other event in life with the cult brand from Trollhättan?
Whatever it is, write us. We are looking forward to it!

18 thoughts on "My first car, or how I've been infected by the Saab virus"

  • blank

    Hello Jonas,

    Great story and I guarantee you, Saab will not let you go as long as you want it and you want to perform.

    Here then my story which was also published here on the blog

    Also I did it again last weekend and bought myself a Saab 9-3 II convertible year 2005.

    Despite my employer (VAG brand), despite my wife's incomprehension, I drove 800 KM towards Munich on a very early Sunday morning to keep this good piece alive and to stock up on the Saab Spirit (which, by the way, is really available for me) .

    In this sense, nice rest weekend you still


  • Nice story! And the dark green color is just beautiful!
    Always good drive

  • Thank you very much for the nice comments! I am really happy!

  • Very beautiful story, the arc of childhood on the first car to the present exciting, and very entertaining, personally.
    And the feeling of sitting in a Saab and coming home / feeling in the living room really is something special about our car.
    Respect for the purchase at 270 tkm after the bitter experience with the 902 !!! The next 230 + tkm are yours ..

  • Cool story and written with a lot of heart. Welcome to the community and have fun with your 9-3er. I feel the “Welcome Home” feeling every time I drive my Saab….

  • Very nice story Jonas. I am always happy that even young people get infected. Miene Daughter (22) is also there for five years and hangs on their two 9-3I. However, it also has a history in the family with her
    Very accurate is also your description of the seats and the ambience in the SAAB.
    Apparently you are talking to the 900 II / 9-3 I series, I think that's good.

    To Rolands question: The purchase of such an old car is of course always risky and an investment like Jonas TÜV preparation you always have to plan. The purchase price hardly plays a role here.
    Many traders are reluctant to pay SAAB and usually only want to pass it on as quickly as possible. That way you can make quite unplanned bargains. More important than the price is the condition from below, interior and of course reasonably reasonable service intervals. Even a few miles are not always advantageous, as there is often danger in the engine.

    Now again to the synthetic oil: My gang of four is now 19 and three times 20 years old. The 19-year-old 9000 CSE has been using fully synthetic oil for the rest of his life (1st hand), the 900II convertible 2,3i was converted when it was bought 15 years ago. I changed the second 9000CS when I bought it a good four years ago (now I have run 64.000km with it). And last but not least, I changed the 900 II 2,0T in winter after buying it at 205.000 km - runs just as easily as the other three!
    Of course you have to pay attention to the specification in the technical data and do not fill in a crap. I use Valvoline Synpower 5W40 and have been very satisfied with it for many years. No sludge, no deposits, the engines run nice and quiet and do not leak.

    • Hello GP362, respect and congratulations to your Saab gang !!! (I have always appreciated your expert comments for a long time)
      But I think it is brave to convert an engine to fully synthetic at 200+ tkm. In my experience, the function of these “run-in” engines is guaranteed by the existing residues due to the existing mechanical wear. But as Berlin noted in 2345: “an eternal discussion”. Of course, I would not have any concerns about your 1-hand CSE ...
      Have fun with the great collection that will last many, many years ..!

  • blank

    Great story Jonas! Thank you, the reading was fun!

  • Great story Jonas. Wish you a lot of joy with the car.

  • blank

    Thank you for this heartfelt story! Good luck with your SAAB!
    Sometimes it is the conspiratorial "irrational" things that make the salt in the soup of life ...
    Great, you had the courage to buy a car whose manufacturer is no longer produced!
    May the SAAB accompany you for a long time ...

  • A shame about the 900II ... is now rare like anything else ...

    Oil change and AT ... really doesn't seem like a good idea.
    A few days ago we were at the car recycling company to convert an interior from a beautiful 9000 CDE and the AT ... invoice was still in the door shelf of the car ... next to it was the diaknosis of a SAAB partner: engine damage as a result of the wrong oil (synthetic oil ).

    • That would be a first if a Saab engine should suffer engine damage by a synthetic engine oil.

      • blank

        Some say so, others say so. Going for fully synthetic oil on an 20 year old engine is at least courageous if it has never been driven with it. Old and eternal discussion.

        • With courage that has nothing to do. I drive a 0W40 Mobil1, from (uprated) 87er 901 Turbo to gehirschten 9-3I CV in all my Saab. All vehicles have reached the 300tkm or reach them soon. None of the vehicles had this oil from the beginning. Synthetic or not is actually completely irrelevant. Much more important is the change interval. Only the cleaning additives of some synthetic oils can be a problem, as it helps after Umölen but easy to remove the oil pan and clean including sieve thoroughly.
          Incidentally, the 0W40 is the recommendation of the 901 Pope par excellence.

      • 902 2,0i with current 299.879 km: It runs like before 20 years ago, maybe a bit mechanical, wants speeds, is economical (only an apparent contradiction), still rumbles roaring on GPS 198 km / h (meanwhile rare !!!). But when the engine gets cold, it leaves its place in the downward gradient of gravity .. the compression seems to hold him in the cold due to wear of the connecting rod and bushing no longer, but for a handbrake was invented!

        If I would now (!) Fill in fully synthetic 5W 30 for the first time, the mineral filler would be replaced, and the 300 tkm remained unfinished. So I'm looking forward to the next 200 tkm.

        I recommend, no matter what the guys of the (off-label) workshop say: Never switch to a thinner engine oil than the original recommended ..!

  • Hello Roland! Well, 270000 km is a relatively high mileage and you have to pay attention to a few things, especially with such cars, when buying and afterwards. For 1000 euros you can be lucky and find a reasonably usable copy, like me, but you still have to invest a lot of money so that the Saab does not give long pleasure. Those who can screw a little bit have a small advantage, but the community is extremely helpful, which means that even laypeople can avoid or fix many problems. My experience at the Saab Center Wuppertal was very positive! Even if the focus is on Subaru, the old masters are always happy when a Saab comes in. The spare parts supply is still relatively easy, especially for the 900II and 9-3I, and usually not particularly expensive. As the workshop foreman said “it just retracted * wink *”. If you are interested in a Saab, just ask, I'm sure many will be happy to give you tips on what to look out for!

    What has grinned me? Well a lot can be found in my letter. It is a matter of the heart that contradicts a bit of reason. It's an honest car, it's an old car, but it's a Saab.

    I have had positive experiences with the old Saab dealers, but I can only speak for myself and my parents. Maybe others can share their experiences with us.

    Best regards


  • Dear community and especially Jonas,
    I liked to read your love letter. And now (as an 51 year-old never-Saab owner) I have a basic question, because I would like to have a Saab myself, but I could never afford it. What drives someone to buy a car with 270.000km? Even as an everyday car!
    Is an 1.000 EUR more expensive 900er or 9-3er really an option?
    And ... how much would you trust the old Saab workshops if you showed the car there for the “purchase check”? Or who else would you hire for such a check of your object of desire?
    Thanks to you and who knows - maybe a Saab will soon be at my door.
    lg. Roland

  • blank

    Thanks Jonas for this nice story! My 17 year old son is about to get his driver's license and dreams of ... a 9-3! After he has spent his entire life in the 9-5 sports suit that we bought when he was born. A few years ago he occasionally complained about the old, unfashionable car - now he thinks driving SAAB is just cool.

Comments are closed.