The end of a business trip

Wednesday evening. Rush hour traffic and only 2 kilometers to go home. The car in front of me brakes, the traffic comes to a standstill. Then that was it for me! The engine of the Saab dies, with my last momentum I save myself in a parking lot. Off, over! The end of a business trip. How could it come to this?

Stranded, the end
Stranded, the end.

Four days ago. On the way for the blog.

It's Sunday, I've taken a few days off for the blog. On the way north to collect ideas and topics for the next few months. I like these days when the schedule is not as tightly structured as usual. Every kilometer in the Saab is a pleasure, and my preferred touring car is the 9-3 I Aero. Reliable down to the last screw, convenient, fast, compact. The weather is still fine that day, but a mighty low pressure area is waiting for me over northern Germany.

The Saab purrs north, until shortly after Hanover the world is still in order. Then the cockpit flickers, ABS, brakes, TCS light up for a moment. Spooky. Unsettling. But only for a fraction of a second. In the direction of Hamburg there is traffic jam after traffic jam, the flickering comes at ever shorter intervals. After a stop at a friend's house, the 9-3 Aero completely loses its composure in the Hamburg building site mess. The cockpit lights up like a Christmas tree, I head for the next rest area and call for advice in Kiel. Markus Lafrentz taps the ABS control unit or the throttle valve, but says I can drive on carefully. And indeed, I reach Kiel in a cautious crawl.

Error memory empty, all right?

The next morning the problems seem forgotten. The weather is wet in northern Germany, but the Saab runs as if nothing had happened. The reading in the Kiel workshop brings an empty fault memory, and the throttle valve or control unit diagnosis remains in the room.

What to do? Leaving the Saab behind in Kiel and driving on with a rental car - that is out of the question for me. Saab dates without Saab? No option. I choose the risk, start for Hamburg the next day. And again the 9-3 is playing his game with me. With a deceptive reliability he drives from Kiel to Hamburg and through the city. Only after my appointment does he show his problems. The cockpit lights up, the familiar game. Nevertheless, I drive on the motorway in the direction of Hanover. The trolls in the car show their self-healing powers, the displays switch to normal and everything works as usual. Still, I don't want to risk anything anymore. With the help of Google's AI and a little human instinct, I drive around the traffic jam just before Hanover and reach my destination without any further incidents. And I'm looking forward to the last day of the trip.

The next morning. Problems? Which problems? The Saab seems to have forgotten them. A car with character and tough. My appointment is 90 kilometers away, I drive cautiously. The not so young Swede shows any abnormalities. Even later, when the last 300 kilometers of the business trip are on the highway, it remains inconspicuous. I have a certain basic trust, but I am deliberately cautious about it. Drive slowly, your inner voice admonishes, don't stop anymore! Even when hunger plagues, because when it runs, then it runs.

A little highway philosophy

If you have been deliberately defensive on German autobahns for a few days, there is enough time to watch your fellow human beings move around. The good news: It fits in with the emerging discussion about a general speed limit: It feels like more than 80% of road users are traveling between 120 and 140 km / h. The introduction of a general ban will be of little benefit to the environment, but it will do very well in active action.

The representatives of the concrete industry in their Audi A4 and A6 used to be conspicuous, but their number has noticeably decreased. They are replaced by the drivers of those SUVs in full-fat level, who preferably come from Ingolstadt or Wolfsburg. In the Kassel mountains, they mercilessly shoo every small car that hesitantly ventures into the far left lane, back behind the Mercedes Sprinter that they actually wanted to overtake. The 2.5 tons of sheet metal-turned mistake in the China design are apparently only to be moved by their drivers in sports car mode in order to express the consequent disdain for any conservation of resources.

Who drives Saab, who is lonely on the way. The gray mass of faceless SUV gets more and more from year to year. In keeping with the coming of the individual traffic age, they seem to anticipate the uniformity of new times. Why do you drive something like that? Because the neighbor does it too? A feeling of freedom and adventure? Or just happiness in the crowd? Skoda brand ambassador Mimi Fiedlerdriving a Kodiaq SUV says: Just because I like to park where I want. Curbs are an option for me, but not really a demarcation, Thanks to Mrs. Fielder for your help. We learn: Because powerful curbs limit our options, you need to overcome them an SUV. Point. Glad I did not know that before. Read in the colorful booklet 40 / 2019.

Sad, but there are bright spots! For a few minutes, a Lancia thesis with Paderborn certification shares my path. Good taste beyond the crowd. We are lonely. But not alone.

The end of a business trip

The Saab holds out. Amazing! In the past few days I have seen vehicles stranded on the side of the road again and again. Much younger than my Saab, primarily from Audi and at around 4 to 5 years old, not exactly old. But the old, sick car is holding on, and when I finally leave the A3, I realize that it is not doing well. There are only 2 kilometers to go home when we escape to a parking lot and roll out.

Stranded what to do My wife saves me, I reload my luggage, but don't want to leave the Saab where it is parked. Too dangerous because it's a place where cars tend to lose parts. The ADAC towing service would be around the corner, but I am neither a member of the association nor do I want to entrust my car to anyone. I call in Frankfurt to, Gerard Ratzmann sends me a towing.

Dragan Beljan is coming (Tel: 0176 - 61401721). A really good decision, because he knows where a Saab has its ignition lock and knows the history of the ignition key and reverse gear. He drives a lot for Saab Frankfurt, and mostly it's restorations that he takes to the paint shop or accidental damage. My 9-3 Aero is his first Saab to be stranded with a defect. It's not an Audi, he says.

In the Frankfurt workshop then the diagnosis that was to be assumed: It is the throttle. Gerard Ratzmann would install a used one. I would be mobile again, but I have time. He ordered a new part, because the Saab business trip is now only at the end.

The summary: In four days much experienced, many exciting topics and suggestions for the blog collected, which will bring us over the winter. My brave little Saab has proven with 20 years on business that you can count on him. Yes, and Saab Service Frankfurt has shown once again that mobility does not depend on the age of a vehicle.

30 thoughts on "The end of a business trip"

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    SUV bashing

    The biggest problem of the discussion seems to me to be the annually growing blurriness of this marketing label. It has long been possible to imagine everything possible and impossible under an SUV….

    The term and genre (freely translated, useful for the sporting activities of the driver) were originally invented to open up new target groups. These were people who wanted to be able to spend their surfboard, a kayak, a mountain bike or whatever close to a natural and less frequented location, even without a vehicle suitable for expeditions. Or just those customers who would like to purchase this image of an active lifestyle ...

    So vehicles were created for the road that could sometimes be different. Station wagons that had 13 to 22 mm more ground clearance and all-wheel drive (about a 9-3X) ...

    In the meantime it has long been the other way around and even traditional off-road vehicles (such as a Land Rover Discovery) are offered with 2-wheel drive or younger manufacturers of SUVs (such as MB, Audi and BMW) even boast about coupés and their lowering. Others boast of records on the Nürburgring (Alfa), which were expressly achieved through less ground clearance and the waiver of all-wheel drive ...

    Who wants to bash or do something for what reason?
    The principle, form follows function, is at least canceled.

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    @ Uli Beitel

    Thank you, that's interesting information! As you know, I'm not that big 😉 SuV fan, so I couldn't and can't get anything from the 9-4X and 9-7X. For me personally at the time, I booked it as “the end justifies the means” or “ingratiation to the mainstream as a contribution to the survival of Saab”. But it's all a matter of taste and, as we know, didn't help. 🙁 On the other hand, I always found the SportCombi as a 9-3X, which is not an SUV, to be a funny alternative for Saab fans in the mountains.

    I am now very excited about the completely new, small 9-2X. How much of it is Saab, how much Subaru? In the interior it doesn't look saaby. But exciting thing - let's see what Tom writes about it. .... Maybe I'll never watch him again live in Kiel. 🙂

    Have a nice weekend with all Saab friends!

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    @ Ebasli, 07.10.19, 1: 49 pm

    In addition to the three all-wheel drive versions with more or less Saab content (9-2 X, 9-4 X, 9-7 X) there are two more, largely unknown “Saab”:

    - Saab-Lancia 600, intended as a successor to the Saab 1980 in 96, pure badge engineering, since apart from the emblems it was a Lancia Delta. Was quickly removed from the Scandinavian sales program due to unsuccessfulness.

    - Badge engineering the other way around: Cadillac BLS, largely based on the Saab 9-3 II, just as unsuccessful as the 600, disappeared from the program just as quickly.

    In the US auto magazine “Car and Driver” when the “Saabaru” 9-2 X was presented, it was called “the best“ Saab ”that was ever built”.

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    Thank you Tom for this sad and positive ending article. Pleasing, that the throttle valves could be replaced! So this beautiful SAAB 9-3 is preserved! 🙂
    I know the “nerve stuff” along the way well enough ... Unfortunately, it didn't end so well for me. 🙁

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      The development is not very positive yet. The throttle is new, the patient still has complaints. Sequel follows!

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    Good morning,
    very nice experience. I use my 9-5 Aero mitlerweile again as a company car. Very reliable 😉
    600km long distances across the republic are not an issue… ..It's just fun to read in the faces of the “everyday vehicle drivers” ”

    I have only had good experiences with the angels in yellow with my Aero.
    Wouldn't like to miss this service anymore ...

    Always good drive

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    There are no beauties, that's right! 🙂

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    @ Gosh

    ... but they are ugly! 😉

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    The comment above referred to Ken-Daniel. Somehow the answer function is currently not working properly, the answers may still not appear in the right place.

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    But it is probably something else, if you buy a car for extra, to be able to park asocial on the sidewalk or to be able to thunder with delicacy without regard to losses. And the height of simplicity and recklessness is to cite this as the reason for driving an SUV in the big city.

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    The article I think great, except for the SUV bashing, that I can not understand. Should everyone drive what he considers important and right. I myself have never had an SUV, and never will ever get one. But what's happening with respect to SUV is completely superfluous. SUVs do not warm the earth and they are not more dangerous.

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    I may be driving the 'wrong' routes or at inconvenient times, but in my experience the motorways are so full that nobody can drive as fast as they want. Often it is not even possible to achieve a recommended speed of several minutes.

    I notice the larger SUV especially in construction sites, where they like the self-understanding of the driver like to populate the left 2m lane, but then do not dare to drive past trucks. What I understand, but what annoys is the fact that even after minutes drove behind a truck drove there apparently not the knowledge matures to release the left lane for those who dare to overtake.

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    Well anti-social sidewalk parking is not only available for SUV drivers, but also for sedans, station wagons and sports cars. It's easier with an SUV, if it is still a model with ground clearance and not just 20 Zöller has mounted. As for the dislikes of SUVs here, I wonder what the Saab fans would say if there were today Saab, and there would be SUV variants of 9-1, 9-3 and 9-5. It would certainly find some buyers who would now drive a Saab SUV, while probably the supporters of the classic Saabs would say that's no Saab anymore, just as the old 911 drivers say about Cayenne and Macan. The 9-4X would certainly have had a lot of potential and even many 9-3Kombi owners would like to have an 9-3X.
    Thankfully, the 9-3 Aero is back, still a very nice car.
    I'm curious about the story of 9-2X.

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    It's true, SUV is a buzzword and this reservoir now ranges from small cars to monsters. You can't lump them all together ...
    But the 250 are actually not that rare anymore and even the 250+ have long been old hat. Porsche explicitly advertised it when the Cayenne was introduced. “At that time” it was climatically already 5 before 12. A frowning comment doesn't seem too exaggerated to me ...

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    With such an experience, of course, you can subjectively understand this very well - but all our Saabs are permanently active as lifeguards, and not just the handful of 9-7x. Saab Planet receives reports every week that another Saab has saved its owner's life and that in such an accident nobody, including the police, could believe that the driver got out alive. In most cases, the occupants are almost uninjured. Which, in a figurative sense, can unfortunately no longer be said of the Saab. But then he did his job in the best possible way.

    Safety has always been the essence of the Saab brand. I still fondly remember a video that was linked here a long time ago on the blog, in which two wonderfully crazy Englishmen dropped a Saab and a BMW of the same year of manufacture from a crane upside down from a height of about 10 meters. Nobody would have survived in the BMW, the roof was flat. The Saab's passenger cell was undamaged. Great thing! In any case, you certainly don't need SUVs for safety - which usually represent an increased safety risk for other road users.

    No offense, but I'm also pretty sure that there would not have been too many Saab SUV's without the bankruptcy of Saab. The Saab fans have always had a distinctly different taste and tastes than the mainstream!

    On the report on the small 9-2X am also very curious! Great, what the Kiel always organize everything!

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    Since I had a déjà-vu with regard to my 9-5NG (transatlantic), which had a stand in the local workshop for a large part of this summer. Same game as above, always followed by excited tinkling and sudden loss of performance. Two workshops said after reading out the diagnosis error memory: “Throttle valve”, once the previous owner had already exchanged it, it was exchanged again (new part again) and there was silence for a few days. Until the “fun” started all over again! :-))
    Lastly, according to Kay Greenfield, the only choice was to change the controller or harness. The harness-of course for the US version- was replaced first. Since then, peace is restored. How long? I hope for 20 years, then I'm 86 years and then it does not matter.

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    ... to be honest Herbert, most SUVs can't go 250 km / h and very few drive it. And a lot of what is sold today under the fashion name SUV are small vans with all-wheel drive. And if SAAB had continued, we would probably have had to make friends with a high proportion of 9-4x. But unfortunately I'm biased because I owe my life to the 9-7x. I also notice that I am more relaxed in the 9-7x than in the 9-5NG.

    I'm looking forward to the article from 9-2x!

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    Damn beautiful, this car. For me, a 9-3 I is the youngest 900, even if its name is different ...

    I am full of anticipation for the results of this bio trip and collection of topics. What appeared at the foot of the blog as a Twitter teaser (including “9-2X OMG”) whets the appetite for upcoming posts.

    The statement by Mimi Fiedler is really rarely clichéd (not to say stupid). The self-determined lady of today thus likes to overcome curbs and practices with pride and confessing in recklessness. AHA!

    Tom's observations on the SUV-populated fast lane fit well into the picture. The joke is that they are now optimized for that. From the ground clearance former SUVs is left with many SUVs nothing more. Mimi Fiedler will sooner or later get stuck on a (board) rock.

    As far as a speed limit in D is concerned, my clear conscience of driving pleasure has gone a long way since I have to make do without E85 (with ingenious 105 octane).
    The Mimi Fiedlers and their godfathers annoy me. If you push me in an SUV sitting at 250 Km / h or more off the left lane, I'm just stunned at how ignorant one can be about consumption and CO2 emissions, human, environmental and traffic safety.

    It is true that a general speed limit adheres to the pale connotation of symbolic politics and a less efficient measure on a global scale. But it would be one. It would even be a cost-neutral emergency measure. And there are environmental or transport policy (unfortunately) not a single counter-argument.

    There are a number of reassurances from economic and fiscal self-interest. For example, if it means from the Ministry of Transport, how many miles of the German road network would be without speed limit. I'm in the (communications) industry and I know why who says what.

    Hand on heart, who drives the entire road network of his hometown (including all game roads, dead ends, Tempo 30 zones and one-way streets), before it goes on the highway? The simple truth is that in D much more miles are driven on the BAB than one would like to admit.

    The savings potential of the BAB to CO2 and traffic victims is regularly put into perspective and reduced, so that there are still good reasons for fat crates and high consumption of mineral oil, other resources and in the future also rare earths.

    Again, hand on heart, according to the rule of thumb that a 10% higher speed requires 30% more power, anyone can skip what a subscriber in the left lane is wasting. At least my Saab adheres meticulously to physical laws ...

    It can be moved with 7 liters of comma X or even three times on an unlimited BAB - depending on how our ladies and gentlemen from the ministries for the environment, economy or finance would like it. It would be nice if they slowly knew how much fossil and refined crude oil they want to see burned in the left lane. Or simply allow alternative fuels again ...

    In any case, 250 km / h + X in a fossil-fuel-powered SUV is an absolute no-go for me and I find it strange that this is exactly our present day. Mimi vs. Greta, advantage Angelika. You don't always have to understand everything ...

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    Perhaps Saab Frankfurt would have been an alternative for me when I broke down my 902 Turbo Cabrio after my “business trip” from Holland (INTSAAB2019) back to Switzerland, when I was lying on the A3 after my break at the Fernthal West rest area because of a defective ignition lock stayed.
    The thought went through my head. But on a Sunday afternoon probably not very promising.
    Unfortunately, the kind man of the towing company was on the way for the ADAC, demolished my front spoiler when loading and unloading so strong that it must be exchanged.
    On the decision of my insurance, whether the damage is taken over, I wait now for almost 5 weeks!
    The ignition lock has now been repaired and is working again. (Costs approx. 350 euros, costs of new bumper skin with spoiler - Viggen / Aero Design - over 2000 euros!)

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    The full-fat SUV section is simply delicious! I'll quote that (with the responsibility of course) ...
    Hits exactly the point - perfectly formulated!

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    Aaaahhh! Now I've got it - that's the 9-2, which I have never seen before !! There are things - a Saab that I had never heard of before! I'm looking forward to the report!

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    A very exciting report with a good ending for the faithful silver friend, great!

    In addition, I got to know some new formulations for me, which I will immediately adopt enthusiastically into my active vocabulary, such as “SUV in full fat level” and “2.5 tons of sheet metal-turned error in China design” - wonderful! 😉 Most of these bullets come from Gothenburg and Dingolfing.

    An incredible sentence from this “brand ambassador” too! What recklessness, arrogance and ignorance towards other, weaker road users that the curb is supposed to protect (pedestrians and possibly also cyclists). I can give the lady tuition in parking in tight parking spaces in large urban areas!

    One question: What kind of strange, large “air outlet” across the hood of the black 9-3 II in Kiel? Or just a reflection? (Unfortunately, it is difficult to see on the tablet.)

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    Yes, that also makes me increasingly bothered that something often does not work ... .but I want to continue to drive SAAB, .. also on business!

    Tom, why not write something about the 9-2x next to your 9-31, which smiles like he wants to say: I'll give you some turbo air with my scoop so you can make it home!
    How many are there in D?

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      The course of things we can not stop. Unfortunately.

      The 9-2x Aero is coming, the report goes into production the next few days. A very fun car by the way!

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    Good SAAB Entertainment with drama on Monday!

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    Nice report. The DK problem just comes with age, the insulation of the wiring dissolves in crumbs. One of three DK has already been overtaken, the rest follows. Then probably the next 20 years rest with DK error. Nice that the mistake was so easy to find and fix.

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      That reads well. More 20 years rest are a good perspective!

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    Yes the DKL. I know from the 9-5 ago, there it was already due. That's just the way it is with old cars. Nevertheless: well written, thank you!

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