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?
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.