Do you know the old car trap? No? Here's how it works: a man or woman enthusiastically buys a classic or a youngtimer. He shows a horrible driving behavior. You think that is completely normal. Back then it was 30 years old. Back then, they couldn't build trolleys. Seriously?
Again and again I meet people who fall into the old car trap. Often it is young Saab fans who drive their first 900. Full of enthusiasm, although the Saab with its completely finished chassis staggered through the curves like a steamer on the high seas. It was like that back then ... then you think, and how should you know better? When the Saab was built, the young owner wasn't even born. So how does he know how the 900 felt when it was new?
The old car trap is not just a problem for young people
The old car trap is not a privilege for young people. It also affects the elderly, and I am now one of them. 50 plus, and you should be rich in experience at my age. My 9-3 Aero is a nice car, I like to drive it. From the beginning he had two or three oddities, but they lost them over the years and with the increasing use of new parts. But one thing he has still retained. It runs restlessly when stationary, at traffic lights and when idling. When engaging the reverse gear he jacks up briefly, somehow strange.
Does it have to be like that? I admit, I didn't know the 9-3 I as a new car. So I have no possibility of comparison. But I have friends and acquaintances who also like and drive this model. Among them are two Aero with identical year of manufacture, and they show exactly the same symptoms. A restless idling and rocking when shifting into reverse gear. If 3 out of 3 vehicles do that, we end up with 100%. And the thing is right. They couldn't do better then.
And I already fell into the old car trap
The workshops do not notice anything either. How could they? I do not report any special incidents and the test drive after the inspection is carried out by a younger mechanic who also did not know the 9-3 as a new car. The matter is also not dramatically conspicuous, but to a certain extent bothersome to me.
March 2020. The Saab is due for the main inspection. Normally he is in Bamberg and Frankfurt wait, I split the 9-3 between the two workshops, so to speak. Currently, due to the corona problem, Frankfurt is 100% in control. Before the appointment, the Saab comes on the lift, a quick visual check whether everything is in order. It is, but only almost. Something is due here. The vibration damper at the bottom left. Does he rock when he engages reverse gear? I confirm and sense an expensive repair. Does the gearbox also have to be removed, I ask half in joking?
It doesn't have to. The spare part with the number 4356184, the engine mount or vibration damper is inexpensive and quickly installed. Driving a Swedish exotic is affordable, which is confirmed again and again. The TÜV is not an issue and the running culture of the 9-3 Aero from then on is a revelation. A silky smooth idle, no more rocking when engaging reverse gear. Now, at the age of 20, he is driving almost like a new car.