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Topics - Steve McF

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I've posted on here about this before, but I noticed that the idle speed seemed to fluctuate at idle in traffic. I think this is due to the a/c and cooling fans coming on and off. But at some speeds (probably normal idle speed around 70rpm ish?), I would get vibration through the seat. This was also fluctuating in nature, and someone suggested it could be my balance chain....which I knew needed doing as it had previously been reported as being noisy from cold start.

I had the chains done, and I'm not sure if this seat vibration is any better. It is still there, and the idle speed still fluctuates.

On another thread I've just started on here about suspension and startup knock that I get, could it be that one of the engine mounts/bushes on the driver's side is actually the route cause of all these "issues"?

My gear lever gaitor is a bit worm. Functional, but looks a bit rubbish.

So I wondered how easy it is to change it, especially as it has the collar that you have to pull up to select reverse.

I was a bit concerned when on another thread on here, it sounded like a fellow Saabie was having to destroy the gear knob just to get it off. I assume the gear knob will have to com off to get a new gaitor on?

I've mentioned this before on here, but my 2006 9-3ss B207 2.0T Aero has a knock from the front right side of the car when going over speed ramps. I get a similar knock when I start the car - like a single thud or thump as the engine fires up.

I had the car in with WMSS for chains a few months back and asked them to check this too. They couldn't find anything wrong - even the damper top mounts were OK.

The year before I bought the car, previous owner replaced the droplinks and anti roll bar bushes for MOT. I think he'd done coil springs too.

So could this be a knackered engine mount, or perhaps the exhaust downpipe hitting something? How many engine mounts are there on the driver's side if the car? There is the one you can see by the suspension turret, but is there another at the back of the engine at the bottom onto the subframe?

The car is in for MOT next week, so I have my fingers crossed. But if I have some idea, I can point my mechanic (who isn't very enthusiastic about Saabs anyway!!) to where the issue might be!!!

So I have the manual non heated front seats in my Aero.

I'm not too bothered about the heated seats, but did they ever make non heated electric seats? And if so, are they a straightforward retrofit?

Our satnav screen got cracked when it got crushed in the centre console. It still powers up an displays but the touch screen is cracked and won't respond.

I've been quoted around 45 quid to fix it, but you can buy a second hand one for less.

Has anyone has a satnav seen replaced cheaply, and any recommendations?

Or do I just go and get a new one :0

Well this weekend I have been mostly:
- hoovering out the car
- washing the mats with a carpet cleaner
- refitting a rear lamp lens that fell off yesterday
- cleaning out the aircon system with Clima Doktor foam cleaner in all ducts, including around the fan behind the pollen filter (including fitting a new pollen filter)

Going to nip out in the car to get petrol in a bit. Keen to find out if I've finally got rid of the old mini cab smell that I thought was cigarette smoke in the headliner and carpets.

Hi all,

I noticed that my bonnet release cable near the latch is looking a bit raggedy on my 2006 ss.

Someone suggested that the cable is in two pieces. One section from inside the car to the battery box, and another section from there to the latch.

Where can I get the section to the latch, and anyone know how easy it is to change?

Has anyone used or bought a carpet cleaner to clean the carpets in their Saab?

If so, any recommendations?

I saw Robert Dyas have a hand held one for only about 40 quid which has good reviews, but has a fixed wide nozzle, so I suspect may not get into all the corners and nooks and crannies.

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, 09:37:00 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......

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