Almost every year when summer comes, the same game. One of my old Swedes refuses to cool. In 2018 it was the 9000. A new air conditioning compressor was needed. And this year? Since the Saab 9-3 Aero (2001) plays its game with me. The temperatures are rising – inside and outside. Cooling? There is not any. This isn't going well.
It annoys me, and it's one of those moments when a new car comes to mind. Luckily, the ideas don't last long - they disappear as quickly as they flare up. Of course I could now go to a Bosch service or to ATU. Both are barely 5 minutes away from me.
But as a loyal Saab customer, of course I'm moving with the 9-3 Frankfurt. Around 60 kilometers there, 60 back. What not to do for the brand! Especially in Corona times.
Air conditioning leaking? No environmental messes please!
Air conditioning systems in older vehicles are a hot topic. Their substances are harmful to the climate, you have to be careful with them. Of course, the coolant evaporates if the Saab has been in a collection for years and is only moved sporadically. But that's more the exception, not the rule.
What makes me angry, however, are other things. In sales announcements, not only at Saab, you can read “Air conditioning must be filled”. Of course it has to. And just as naturally, the refrigerant quickly escapes into the atmosphere and damages it. Leaky air conditioners in classics and classic cars are maintenance backlog and defects that cannot be tolerated. Anyone who has to refill every 1 or 2 years simply behaves irresponsibly.
We get to the bottom of the lack
Saab Service Frankfurt acts in an exemplary manner without having to go into the subject and its explosiveness. It is clear that the deficiency must be investigated. Contrast medium is poured in and I roll off the yard again. A few days later, the contrast medium has spread throughout the system, the leak is searched for. The search is quick, the deficiency is found quickly. An air conditioning line is corroded, not unexpected after 20 years of everyday use.
Replacement is available in Sweden, the new part quickly arrives in Frankfurt. The exchange is not a big deal, the subsequent search reveals no further defects. The air conditioning is no longer leaking, summer can come. In the 9-3 Aero, with its fairly large window areas, it is a must. Without does not work, the Saab should not be a moving sauna.
It is important, not only in the interests of the environment, to carry out a general check when refrigerant is lost. Simply refilling is not an option. Old cars are sustainability. But they must not become a climate mess.