The Saab 9-3 II is the faithful workhorse of the scene. He enjoys, you look from the convertibles and the Turbo X, (still) no cult status. The station wagons and limousines are the most modern solution, if you want to move a Saab in everyday life. The youngest specimens are now 7 years old, the big model care is already 10 years back. The question is: invest or consume?
The question is concrete, because at our 9-3 SC with its 7 years and almost 100.000 kilometers something has accumulated. Need for action exists, although the Saab checkbook is maintained. The last major inspection took place this spring Bamberg In addition, the 9-3 also got all-around new brakes from the Orio Regal, promoted quite a few construction sites to light.
Starting with the seat heating, which did not work anymore, the air conditioning with small weaknesses, to the wishbones with the side rails. And then there's the rust. Slight beginnings of this on the subsoil, although the 9-3 had received an additional treatment in the year 2011 immediately after its delivery.
7 years, that's a magic number. Saab first owner then separated from their vehicles, says Ralf Muckelbauer. The first shortcomings occurred, time for a new car. If I did too, someone could deliver me a Saab model 2019.
Invest or consume?
Wishbone with side members are TÜV relevant. Seat heating and climate are comfort. The rust? These are visible approaches, but they do not call for immediate action. You can drive on, use the car - and that for several years. At some point, the rust is a threat, then either a welder helps, a lot of money, or the TÜV divorces. As a big unknown remains the condition under the wheel arches. Does the 9-3 SC rust there, too? I know specimens before and after the facelift, which are rusted from the inside out.
If you add up the costs, then everything adds up to an 4-digit amount. And in principle I have three options now. The consumption version: Only let the wishbone, the TÜV in the autumn waves the Saab then. The comfort variant would be in addition to invest in heated seats and climate, or in sustainability mania also to have the rust approaches eliminated.
The 5-years carefree package
Oh yes, there is also version number 4. Buy a new car. One with 5 or even 7 years warranty. A carefree promise for half a decade or more, which I can exchange for the next carefree after expiration. Tempting, except for a tiny hook. It would not be Saab anymore.
Basically, I am unwilling to invest in the spring. I consoled Ralf Muckelbauer with the hint that I have to think now. I remain unusually indecisive for the next few weeks. Mark, who drives much more miles than me a year, has long since switched to the other Swedish brand. He lives well with that, Saab remains for him free time and hobby. Somehow the desire for something new, uncomplicated lives in me. Saab driving has not become easier in recent years. On appointments in the workshops you wait longer and longer, the spare parts supply mutates again and again to the challenge. Sure, everything has gone well so far. But do I need that?
The discussion extends over weeks. In the family and with friends. The opinion remains always confusing. One pleads for a new car, the other suddenly falls in love with the ice blue headlights of the 9-3. All this does not help. Of course, my behavior is utterly illogical. I invest time, material and money in my 9000 fleet. Everything is done to keep the classics on the road. But in a relatively new car, the willingness decreases.
The word from the poison cabinet
On the other hand, this is precisely the poison that has spread the car industry for years. Cars are only consumer goods. As well as smartphones, computers, textiles. They should be consumed over a defined period of time, please speedily. Cars are only transport solutions, not more, which are exchanged for the next solution after a short period of use. In the best case, the old product ends up in export, and new cars roll over the streets. An apparent infinite loop that runs faster and faster.
The word sustainability stays hidden deep in the poison cupboard, and nobody dares to put it in your mouth. Sustainability, longer service life, that would be less consumption, less production, less profit. No board, no politician who has even a sense of survival dare to tackle this issue. It would question too much. Growth and quarterly figures remain (still) the standard of our society. Presumably, we need more than a dozen hot, dry, super summers, so the courage to rethink grows.
Long service life for the environment
The blog writes about life with the cars of a brand that no longer exists. Without any socio-political claim, it never existed here. Nevertheless, and the longer I think about my problem, the sustainability comes to the fore. The Saab still drives well and comfortably, he could do that for many more years. The largest CO2 emission was, as with any car, during its production. The longest useful life for our planet is better than permanently consuming it again.
The decision is made, it is invested. Not only the TÜV relevant things are done, the comfort and sustainability chapter is served. The 9-3 comes to Bamberg, where it stays for a few days. The topic of rust is of interest, Ralf Muckelbauer drives the full program. What he and his coworkers found, and whether the 9-3 precaution is advised, I write in the next few days on the blog.