SWEDISH MOTORCAR SERVICE
Your Saab Specialists in Spokane
1211 E. Francis - Spokane, WA 99208 - (509) 487-3308 **(see bottom of pg)
TECHNICAL TIPS & NEWS
We have published over a hundred
Use the Right Fuel for your SAAB (One Page Flyer- word.doc)
The following are examples previously published, and new Tech Tips and Alerts not yet published.
For the complete collection, click on "Saab Flyers" and "PAST Newsletters".
Winter Driving tips are published in the 96-97 Newsletter.
The Simple Basics of Preventive Maintenance…
Every 6 months: Oil Service (using Full Synthetic Oil 5-40 (newer models use 0-40)
Specific Saab Inspections Top and Bottom as per our comprehensive list.
Our 10,000 Full Inspection Service +
Monitering Serpentine Belt System and Automatic Trans Fluid.
Every 2 yrs:
Oil Service + Annual Service + Cabin Filter
& Air Filter- Removal
of Belt system and Check Pulleys. See Note
Below for V6 Timing Belt
Every 4 yrs: ... ALL of the ABOVE + Brake & Clutch Fluid, Power Steering Fluid, Thermostat- Coolant- Repl. Serpentine Belt- Inspect, repack or replace Pulleys, Scope Fuel Pump, Ck. Water Pump, Service Cylinder Head (Re-torque Head Bolts etc. ) Ck. Camchain condition. (V6 models require Timing Belt replacements every 60K for 3.0L and 35K for 2.5L.
AC Retrofits much Cheaper... Now you can Retrofit your older Saab to the new Environmentally Safe Refrigerant (R-134a) at much reduced costs. This will help you to stay cool this summer, and upgrade your Saab at the same time. Consulting many sources, we believe it is safe to now retrofit your existing AC system to the new refrigerant with a minimum of expense. For many of you who have not kept your AC systems operating over the past years because of "freon" leakage, this may be just the right fix for you.
There are two methods we recommend.
Adaptive Method: For systems with questionable compressors or other problems, where eventual failure is a possibility, we recommend the "Adaptive Oil" method of retrofit, where adaptors are installed, a special adaptive oil added and the system is simply charged with R-134. This method should cost approx. $200.
Of course, any AC repairs needed, such as failed fans, relays, thermostats, leaking hoses etc., will be additional. We will try to evaluate each system on and individual basis and advise you of the best way to proceed, and what may be needed.
If your system has chronic leakage, as many older Saabs do, inexpensive recharges, using R134 will be available to you every year following the Retrofit. ( the average R-134 system contains $25 worth of refrigerant, but the average R-12 (old type of freon) contains $225 in refrigerant alone!
Don’t Jumpstart a totally dead battery…
If your battery dies completely-
meaning that there is absolutely no indication of power when switched on,
it is best to charge the battery first before jumpstarting. If this is not
possible, then first ‘charge it’ slightly with the jumpstarting vehicle, by
connecting cables and running the engine until the ‘dead’ battery shows some
sign of life. Only then will it be capable of protecting your many on board
computers from the strong surges of voltage produced by the alternator on
startup. If not sure, have the vehicle towed home or the shop where it can be
charged properly and tested.
Winter Technical Tips:
Synthetic Oils work well in winter.
For the longest engine life, always use the heaviest grade of oil that will work for the temperature range of the season. Too high of viscosity, especially with mineral oils, (using a 20/50 in winter, for example) may affect starting and delays startup lubrication. Too low of viscosity improves starting, but does not cushion engine bearings adequately. Older engines with ‘worn in tolerances’ will not build an adequate hydrodynamic wedge above the bearings with lighter oils, and they will eventually be flattened, producing a noticeable bearing rattle. This will shorten engine life by upwards of 75,000 miles.
In my opinion, DO NOT USE any 5W30 or lighter Multi-grades in our Winter Climate. For summer, use 15W Multi- (15/40-15/50 etc).
Unfortunately, most new manufacturers are recommending and using the 5W multi-grades. We strongly urge you to use no lighter than 10/30 oil in wintertime, and avoid 10-40’s. Because of the superior Flow Characteristics of the Mobil 1 Synthetic Oils, we are finding excellent results with a 50% blend of 10/30, and 15/50 Mobil 1 Synthetic Motor Oil. For summer, use 15/50 Synthetic. Change synthetic oil every 5000 miles; change mineral oil every 3000 miles.
Sticking Ignition locks will Ruin your Starter…
Owners of pre-GM 900’s must be careful of spilling coffee, soda, even snow and other debris into their ignition key lock located in the center console between the front seats. The sugars will congeal, or the moisture will freeze in winter-time, preventing the starter switch to "spring back" to the "ON" position when starting. This could keep your starter motor engaged, destroying it in a few short minutes.
Being aware of the starter switch ‘snapping’ back to "Drive" or "On" position is all that is needed to prevent this very common problem. Simply turn the key backwards and have the lock cleaned and lubricated ASAP. On early 900’s, the "Brake Fluid" light will be on while cranking, so this light can also be used to check if the Starter Switch was disengaged after starting.
Wax your Door Seals to prevent Sticking… Spraying Pledge or other furniture wax on your Door Seals (especially 9000’s & newer models without rain gutters) will help keep Ice from sticking at the seals, possibly locking you out of your Saab on a cold winter night!
Old Batteries May Damage expensive Electronics, engine management and safety system computers, and audio systems in your Saab! Some tips:
Weak Power Steering may adversely affect your ability to steer on Ice. When the Power Steering Rack is worn, it causes an uneven steering when cold, which usually improves as the fluid warms up. If there is any unevenness when warm, the Rack should be replaced. Not only does the power assist help one to steer, but it continually senses steering forces while driving and makes slight power compensations to stabilize the steering. With worn power steering, the driver cannot ‘feel’ the ice or traction the front wheels are dealing with, making it less safe.
Shock Absorber Bushings also play an important role in traction and steering stability. With the ultra-high quality shocks found on Saab, often all that is wrong with shock absorber action on pre-GM 900’s is worn out lower bushings on the front shocks. We have excellent replacements for $12.
In no case should you ever replace your Original Equipment shocks with the cheaper, domestic after-market brands sold by department and parts stores or tire shops. Even new, they are usually inferior to worn OE shocks.
Clutch Hydraulic systems often fail in wintertime, because of fluid leakage from old seals and metal shrinkage during cold temperatures. If your clutch pedal feels limp, or has excessive free play when cold, beware of crashing into reverse gear. First select a forward gear and test the clutch first.
Replace Old Fuel Filters to save your Fuel Pump.. Fuel Filters should be changed every 2 years. A partially clogged filter restricts fuel flow, shortening the life of the fuel pump dramatically. Winter fuel (oxygenated with Ethanol) can easily clog an older fuel filter with water absorbed by the ethanol. Replacement is cheap insurance for a $400 fuel pump!
We monitor all of these items & more in our Oil Service Inspections
Jumper-Starting a Battery is Dangerous!
Sparks occurring while connecting or disconnecting jumper cables can ignite explosive gasses in the battery.
to a Grounded, Engine or Chassis Bracket.
( This is when the sparks occur. ) Always Use Safety Glasses.
Summer: Batteries, Cooling Systems & AC
More batteries fail in summer than winter…
Old Batteries and sophisticated electronic and computer managed systems in a Saab DO NOT MIX! Some tips:
Summer… The temperatures inside the cooling system can reach 260 degrees, with pressures up to 18 psi. As hoses age, small fractures grow internally, and may burst under pressure. If the coolant is lost completely, the engine will radically overheat, resulting in expensive, if not fatal damage.
We monitor Cooling Hose condition by looking for swelling, pinching the hose for internal fractures near the clamps, and paying close attention to the hoses subjected to the most heat. This strategy has worked pretty well, but after 10 years, it may be wise to replace any suspect hose.
The Pressure Cap, Coolant, Thermostat, Water Pump, Belts, and Cooling Fan operation should also be checked, especially in Summer.
We monitor all of these items & more in our Oil Service Inspections.
R12 refrigerant still available for AC… Though expensive, R12 is still available for older Saab AC systems and we recommend using it. There is always a risk of refrigerant leakage with any older system, but we recommend retrofitting the system to R-134 only if the AC compressor has failed and needs replacement. Retrofitting requires dismantling the old system hoses, flushing the old oil throughout, and installing new seals. R134 has a smaller molecule and will leak more easily in older systems not designed for it. Retrofitting to R-134 is not required by law.
Best not to Pressure Wash the Engine…
There are dozens of sensitive wiring terminals under the hood going to the Engine Management Systems, Air Bag, Anti-Lock Brakes, etc. While cleaning the engine area is sometimes necessary maintenance to help engine cooling, prevent battery corrosion damage and hose failures from oil saturation etc., the waterproof boots covering these sensitive conductors of electronic information cannot withstand the rigors of a pressure washer. In models over 4-5 years old, the protective coverings rot and are no longer even waterproof. We use special cleaners and rinse engines with a gentle nozzle to avoid getting water into the most sensitive connectors. Even using these precautions, moisture will often invade a terminal connection, sometimes activating existing corrosion caused from battery gasses, and a we will have to trace and clean the affected terminal.
MORE TECHNICAL TIPS IN... PAST SAAB NEWSLETTERS
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