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Topics - Steve McF

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The driver's seat of my 56 reg Aero has seen better days especially the base, which looks like it had a cigarette burn and poor repair.

So I was wondering that if I can get another seat cover from the same type of car, ideally from a passenger seat, can the leather cover be taken off the base and be swapped onto my driver's seat?

Just found this, which is quite interesting, if perhaps nothing new for the seasoned 9-3 owner!!!

Just saw a post on Facebook for a guy selling his 55 reg 9-3 Aero which looks a great car apart from rust in one of the rear arches.

This has started on mine but I have tried to stop it with a temporary sanding down and a liberal application of Bilthammer Hydrate80 before Christmas.

Seems to be under control, but I want to get a bodyshop to sort it once and for all. I was quoted around 180+VAT per side,  which seemed ok to me.

Question is what triggers rust in these areas. Is it stone chips? The flange around the inner edge of the arch seems to start to go, and then it creeps round under the paint onto the outer panel.

So since getting the chains done on the Aero, I thought I'd use it for work for a few days, now that I don't feel concerned about chains breaking etc.

So this evening I popped out to my ukulele class (no, seriously!!), and afterwards took a long round trip home, taking in country roads, a bit of the M40 and so on....well sometimes you just have to!!!

Since having this 9-3ss, there is always the temptation to compare it to the 9-5 I had years ago, and which I sadly traded in around about the time this beast was about to hit the road for the first time with owner number 1 in Scotland!!

I've always felt the 9-5 was the better car, more solid, smoother comfortable ride, great cruiser and suitably fast, even though it was just a 150bhp Ecopower with velour seats. That's not to say I didn't like this 9-3 - it is just a different beast, and different experience.

So let's have look into this a bit more:

9-5 the better car? Well, maybe overall, but it's a bigger, more expensive car, probably aimed at a different sort of buyer, so they are not going to be the same.

9-5 is more solid? Well, maybe, but let's not forget, I had my 9-5 from when it was 3 years old to when it was 6 years old, and I was only the second owner. The car did from 51,000 miles to around 75,000 during the time I had it. Now this 9-3 has had a life!!! It is 13 years old, had 4 owners before me, and now had 96,000 on the clock. It's a much older car than my 9-5 was when I had it, so there will be more rattles and knocks etc, but actually, it's not doing too bad!!!!

9-5 was a smoother, more comfortable ride? Well again, maybe. But my 9-5 had 16" wheels with bigger tyres for a softer ride. It also had what must be the equivalent of Linear/Arc suspension rather than Aero, so more softly sprung. This 9-3 is the Aero, and has the stiffer sports suspension. And thanks to a previous owner, 18" wheels rather than the standard 17". So the ride might not be as soft, but crusing on the motorway or A roads, it's still very comfortable.

9-5 was suitably fast? Yes it was. I didn't rag it, but I knew that if I wanted to overtake something I could, comfortably. The power was in reserve, but I used it when I needed to. This Aero though, is a very different beast - much faster and more responsive, even without a Stage 1 remap (which I do still hope to do at some point).  Again, I don't rag it or abuse it, but I can drive it more spiritedly than I do our other cars, because it is fast, and faster and lighter than my 9-5.

And as the 9-3 is not my main daily driver, when I do choose to take if for a blast, it's because I actually enjoy driving it, and look forward to driving it!!!! I have been amassing bits and pieces to improve the car -  front splitter, folding wing mirrors, 314mm front brake upgrade (discs, back plate, refurbed bigger calipers), front wing to replace the one with the poor paint finish etc. As well as the remap, I hope to get a bodyshop to sort those rear arches out (which I have temporarily halted the rust with the application of some Hydrate80 just before Christmas). Now that the chains have been done, this project Aero has only just begun!!!

Is this a mid life crisis car? Mmmmm, I leave that for you to decide :D : :D But it is the fastest car I've ever owned....and it's a Saab, which takes me back to when I bought my 9-5, because it had a sort of exclusivity about it ;)

Now that the chains have been done, I decided to take the car to work this morning - I have not used it  since I picked it up on Friday.

As I started it, there was a thump/knock noise as it fired. Just a single event, not a repeated knocking. I suspect they have had to disturb the engine mount on the driver's side to access the chains.

Any thoughts? It didn't do it before I had the chains done.

I'll drop WMSS a note to see what they think....may be something simple.......

I had a set of 314mm front brake calipers refurbed and electroplated ready to go on the car at such time that I have to change the front discs.

I now have a set of rears to do the same with, but Big Redd tell me that the rears are alloy, and cannot be electroplated, meaning I can't get the same silvery chrome finish I have on the fronts.

What can I do with these rears, and will it look a bit off with shiny electroplated ones on the front, and anodised ones on the rear?

Cleaning and Detailing / Tired paintwork
« on: 10 March 2019, 08:37:00 PM »
Hi all,

so my paintwork does come up a treat when I polish the car (which has not been very often so far!!). But I have never used a clay bar - not even sure what one is - but I gather they really clean up the paint a treat, and then when you wax/polish, the car really looks good.

I suspect that the previous 4 owners have all been using the car wash more than the hand wash, and so the paint work can look a little roughed up with minute scratching.

I made a start at trying to stop some rust in the rear arches from progressing by sanding it down and using Hydrate80 on it, so at some point I want to get the car to a bodyshop to tidy it all up.

Is there anything I could get a quote on doing to improve the paint/lacquer finish? I guess a relacquer will be horrendously expensive and not worth it......

Does anyone know if the later 9-3 steering wheel (similar style found on Dame Edna 9-5s) will fit a Pre facelift 9-3ss, and if the original airbag will fit the new wheel?

Also would it need Tech2 after fitting, or is it plug and play?

Myself and the missus need to do a PPI reclaim before it is too late.  However, over the years, I have switched mortgages, credit cards, and bank accounts many times, and I no longer have a lot of the paperwork for a lot of it. We also had a new car finance agreement a while back, and I cannot remember who it was with. And that's just me - then there is the missus's accounts/credit cards and loans etc.

I'm not too bothered about one of these companies taking a fee (the lower percentage the better of course), if they do all the running around and tracking down all my cards/mortgages/loans/bank accounts from through the years. I don't have time to guess all the companies I'd need to write to, on the off chance I may have used them some years back, and then actually write to each and every one!!!

So has anyone used a PPI claim company they were really happy with, and who didn't charge the earth for the service?

My outside temp display has been playing up. Well not the display, but the temp seems to be less than acurate,  showing 60 deg C. However, when I got home tonight, it had ceased to register any temperature at all!!!

Possibly related, or maybe not, I cannot get hot air out of the blowers unless I set the temp to "Hi". If I select 27 deg C or less, all I get is cold air.

What is going on there then?

Found a polo shirt in the drawer I'd not worn yet this weekend.....

Time to run it in ;)

OK, so if it does get really icey and treacherous, and I have the choice of two cars to get me to work, which should I go for?

The 9-3ss 210bhp Aero with wide 18" wheels, or the trusty Peugeot 107 with narrow 13" or 14" wheels?

I've had the Saab about 13 months, and the 107 for about 8 years. Never had a problem with snow/ice in any car I've ever had :) But they've all been front wheel drive.
Not like those Jag and BMW drivers I've seen wheelspinning on the slush and going nowhere!!!

Well I've been using Jet for work this week. Today it was very cold when I got to the car park so ran the engine whilst I scraped the ice off the screen.

I could definitely hear what I can only describe as a slight regular gonging (Notting Hill Carnival steel drum) noise coming from the engine that I suspect is chain/ tensioner rattle. It was more noticeable than I remember, though not a total disaster.

When I got home and the engine was hot, I got out of the car to listen and the noise was gone.

So now I want to get it investigated and sorted, so interested in any Saab specialist recommendations in the Warwickshire/midlands area. I have used Hallam & Sutherns before but they are 50 miles away from me. Similarly WMSS, albeit a bit less far. Someone has suggested a place called Ashby Garage, but I don't know them.

Can anyone recommend a specialist I could try?

Well it's been a tad windy today, and earlier I heard a bang and went out to find one of the wheelie bins had been blown over sideways down the side of the 9-3, between it and the wall. Luckily, the bin did not come into contact with the bodywork, and all was well.

However, and hour or so later, we went out to the Qashqai to take my son to football. The Qashqai was parked in between the 9-3 and the Peugeot 107, and as my son opened the passenger side door to get in, the wind took it, and slammed it against the front wing of the 107, denting it, and chipping the paint off :(

So that's 2 cars with dodgy driver's side wings - the 9-3 has poor paintwork on that wing as someone has attempted to paint it themselves and done a poor job, the 107 driver's wing had previously been repaired, and the paint finish not great, and now it's dented!! Ironically, the Nissan has had to have the driver's side wing repaired a couple of years back, after she had an altercation with a post!! So it's the unluckiest panel on each of our cars!!!!!

Was just reading about head gasket failure on a Saab Facebook group. Is this a common thing with any of the engines the 9-3 had?

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