Your Saab Specialists in Spokane

             1211 E. Francis - Spokane, WA  99208 - (509) 487-3308 **(see bottom of pg)






Dec., 1991

SAAB Specs.



SAAB Specialists of Spokane

E. 1211 Francis

Spokane, WA 99207

( 509 ) 487-3308

From john, mike, dan and chris...

Seasons Greetings ! Dear Saab Friends;

We hope 1991 has been a good year for you and your SAAB and look forward to assisting you with your maintenance and repair needs in 1992. You may have heard about us... we enjoy working on SAAB's! Our rates are very reasonable and our service, second to none!

About "SAAB Specs." This is the first of what we hope to be a periodical Newsletter keeping our Friends informed of the latest Doings of SAAB, and Yours Truly, Saab Specialists of Spokane.

If this is "Junk-Mail" for You... If you no longer own a SAAB or do not wish to be on our mailing list for SAAB owners, Simply mark "Refuse" across the front and put it back in the mailbox. The Post Office will return it to us and we'll take your name off the list... simple as that! Thanks.

Bulletin Board...Have a Saab FOR SALE? Looking for one to Buy? Or something else of interest to SAAB Owners...Let us Know, and We'll publish your one or two-line Ad, No Charge.

1978 Saab 99, 4dr,4spd,AC,Rebuilt from ground up; $2800 with 6 mo. 50-50 Warranty. Call John, 487-3308

Roots...a Saab specialist story... Where did SAAB Specialists come from? 1967; John and Anne Lippis, just married, (and penniless) move to Colorado Springs, CO. John, who has had previous experience working on "Foreign Cars' finds employment at a SAAB and Triumph Dealer, thinking he'll enjoy working on English Sporty Cars. Boss (Bob) tells John in one week or less he'll realize which cars are truly the "Sporty Ones". Bob is right. Two months later Anne and John are on their first Winter Rally in a 3 cyl. Saab 96 Monte Carlo, having the time of their lives driving 250 miles across the Rockies on snow and ice. Months later, we buy our first SAAB, a 1978 Sonette V-4, serial #523.

1969: John is offered a job at a Saab / Alfa / BMC dealer in Santa Barbara, CA. Job Accepted, John and Anne move to SB with one cat which becomes four during trip. Later that year, Danny is born.

John later becomes Service Mgr. at T.I.P. Imports, one of the oldest Import dealerships in U.S.

1971: Mike is born.

1972: Dealership Owner retires from business and John and Anne open "John's Imported Car Service", afraid to name business "SAAB Specialist" for fear of not having Saabs to work on. John was wrong, but also enjoys working on an occasional Alfa or BMC motorcar.

1974 Matt is born.

1982: John convinces only employee, George, to open Saab Repair Business also: George opens Motorcar Servicing next to John and subleases 1/2 of building from John. John and George take care of most of the Saabs in Santa Barbara and several others from LA area, San Francisco, and a few Die-Hards from Oregon and Texas.

1984: Stacey is adopted from Taegau City, South Korea at age of 2 1/2 yrs.

Nov., 1984: John and Anne close "John's Imports", say farewell to many friends and move family to Deer Park, WA, to introduce children to "Living Off Of The Land" before kids are grown and gone.

1985 1/2: Lippis family is broke again, (spent too much on "Dream Farm") and having discovered "living off the land" costs money!. Anne must go to work to support family while John resumes career, now as "Precision Car Care"; again afraid there are not enough Saabs to support a "SAAB Specialist" (i.e.; Maytag Repairman Syndrome).

85-89: Family raises Hay and Cows on 40 acres. with antique John Deere farm machinery. John becomes "The Saab Guy in Deer Park", and teaches an experimental "Auto Diagnostics" class at Riverside High School part time. Dan and Mike begin Saab repair apprenticeship with John. Anne returns to College for a Master's Degree in Social Work.

1988: Dan and Chris graduate High School. Dan tries WSU Vet. School but finds college life doesn't suit his needs; and satisfies his rancher instincts on a 20,000 acre cattle ranch south of Ritzville, nearly single-handedly feeding several thousand cattle through the worst winter in decades. Later Dan becomes a Repair Tech. for Ingham Phipps Radiators.

1989: Chris goes on to Spokane Comm. College for his degree in Automotive Technology.

Mike graduates and goes to work for Dad; we become quite a team.

1990: Dan returns to work with John and Mike to work on Saabs. We become an even better team. Plans are made to move into Spokane.

1991: The bank resumes ownership of our farm so that we may borrow necessary funds to open "SAAB Specialists of Spokane".

June: Chris joins us after having graduated near top of the class, on his way to further education in Automotive Engineering.

Anne has her Degree; Matt is a Junior in H.S., Stacey plays the clarinet in the fifth grade.


(P.S. Moral of Story: We're a family business proud of a family tradition of Honesty, Integrity and Putting Forth Our Best Effort, Always. We offer the best service on Saab's, ; Anywhere.)

Saab Convention...

You Should Have Been There! This year's annual National SAAB Owners Convention was a huge success and a great surprise for me, never having attended such an event. Held in August at Crystal Mountain Resort near Mt. Rainier, over 350 Saab owners and enthusiasts came from all over the U.S. to bask in the High Mountain Sun, educate themselves with the many technical seminars, enjoy the good food and dinner events, ride the ski lift to the "top" and be literally showered with gifts from Saab and other sponsors. Eric Carlson, the great Swedish Rally Driver was there and gracious enough to talk to anyone who desired his acquaintance. The Outgoing President of Saab USA, Bob Sinclair, introduced new company leaders and designers and we were given quite a show of upcoming SAAB plans for the future. Test Drives in several models were available, including the 9000 model which set the World Record at 100,000 Km at a sustained 130 mph.

We usually shy away from such events expecting to be bored to death by SAAB "extremists" and other zealots who think the world revolves around their SAAB. But we were very pleasantly surprised to find that almost everyone was just-like-us, and had the same kind of fears. Hmmm, you know, there was an interesting theory put forth about Swedish Astrophysical Evolution....


We were also given complimentary copies of NINES, the official newsletter of the SAAB CLUB of NORTH AMERICA. Again, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed. For those of you who would enjoy knowing more of SAAB goings-on, I heartily recommend it. A year's subscription costs $29.00 ($25.00 renewal). The Mail-Order opportunities alone in the Newsletter will offer more savings on parts and accessories than the annual subscription. Stop by for a Membership Form anytime.

General Motors Ownership of Saab ??...

You may have heard... GM has purchased 50 % or so of SAAB. True, but SAAB and GM both assure us Saabs are to remain the unique Thoroughbred they have always been. A long time friend of mine, who works for Saab USA, testing upcoming models , told me he's pleased with the GM/Saab marriage as it will enable SAAB to better compete on the world market where the need to keep pace with ever-changing technologies continues to threaten the existence of smaller auto manufacturers. For GM is the promise of more diversification and technical innovations spawned from a small but daring manufacturer. I commend GM on a "smart buy".

Saab Safety...

Early SAAB design was influenced in no small part by Saab's success on the European Rally Circuits in the 50's-60's. Rallying often involves driving at max speeds for a thousand or more miles, using the race car to protect you from whatever is encountered. Often the cars are rolled over many times in a single rally. Trees, poles, and other roadside geology are often used to bounce-off-of to keep the vehicle on course. In the early 70's, Saab's stunning successes in the Baja 1000 off-road race began to establish their reputation as a tough car which protected its occupants. Saab's are designed with "active-safety in mind, where the driver is able to maneuver out of trouble if need be, but in case of collision, their "passive -safety" is equally impressive. Older Saab national advertising included rolling a Saab several times down a mountain side, whereupon the driver started up and drove away; and dropping an inverted 99 suspended on a shop ceiling. The windows didn't even pop out.

Personally, I am very proud and thankful to say, "In these past 25 years, I've not known of anyone to be injured in a Saab crash." Let's keep it that way.. OK?

Did You Know... Technical Tips

Can you say.. "Hygro-Scopic", Mr. Rogers..?

Brake fluid is Hygroscopic; that is to say, it absorbs water. In our climate the brake fluid will absorb enough water to cause rust inside your brake hydraulic system, ruining expensive parts such as master cylinders and calipers. In extreme cases, the excessive water will boil in the brake system during hard braking and may cause a spongy pedal or worse. Make sure your brake fluid is changed every two years. Try this experiment: Fill a small glass with water. Now slowly add the brake fluid. You may be amazed to see how much fluid you can add without overflowing the waterglass. Tip: Water alone can clean up spilled brake fluid. Wash off clothes and paint or plastic surfaces immediately with water.

Gas Line Antifreeze?

Speaking of fluids mixing with water..., what is popularly known as "Gas Line Antifreeze" is actually alcohol. If put it in your gas tank, it will react with the water accumulated in the tank from condensation, and help the water to be mixed with the gasoline and be burned in the engine. Problems sometimes arise when gas tanks are kept low all year long, causing excessive condensation inside. Winter-time rolls around and the owner pours one or more bottles of "anti-Freeze" in the fuel tank. The alcohol reacts with excessive amounts of water and the resulting mix will barely combust in the engine, causing strange running problems. The answer: Keep your tank above half when able, and if you feel you must add the alcohol, add it two or three times a year, preventing the excessive buildup of water. WARNING: Make sure the "anti-freeze" of your choice is "Isopropyl" alcohol' and not Methanol or Ethanol. These alcohols can harm fuel injection components, mainly neoprene seals, and even destroy aluminum fuel lines. Excessive alcohol in fuel is also known to cause engine oil seal deterioration. ( Compliments of Chris Loran, BS,MS, 1979 900, 151.7K )

"Gasohol" may give your SAAB indigestion... So-called 'Gasohol' is a blend of approx. 10% alcohol and 90% gasoline. I have seen evidence to indict certain blends for harm done to fuel system components, (fuel pump check valves, gas tank sending units, fuel hoses ). Blends with Methanol are the most detrimental, depending on the concentration. Ethanol is less reactive but excessive amounts in the fuel mixture should be avoided as well, I believe. Isopropyl is the least reactive of these. The extreme climate changes in this country evidently require seasonal changes in the blending of gasoline, and alcohol is part of that blending. As helpful as it may be for fuel conservation, I believe the current blending of fuels with alcohol in our area accounts for more than its share of bizarre running problems and needed fuel injection repairs. I'm told Chevron Fuel has the lowest amounts of alcohol and Conoco one of the highest. These are my opinions only but I've heard other complaints from friends in the trade. I expect later models to be designed to account for alcohol and may already be doing so. JL.

Check the coolant voltage??

Besides checking the freezing point of anti-freeze solution for winter protection, we also measure the "voltage" of the cooling system. The engine, radiator and coolant form a weak battery. If the system produces more than .5 volts, the corrosion inhibitors in the coolant have deteriorated and massive corrosion may result. Change coolant every two years. We recommend SAAB lo-phosphate coolant for extra protection of aluminum engine components. Always mix antifreeze with water in a solution no stronger than 70/30. Pure anti-freeze "freezes" at 6 deg. F.

Oil Changes: I have noticed over the years that the people who have the best engines, usually change their oil often. Other factors such as tuning, mixture, maintenance, service load also contribute; but changing the oil often is very sensible. We recommend changing oil every 2500-3000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first. Change oil filter every other time. (6 mo., 6000-7500 miles) Best Grade for this area: 15:40 CD.

Change the Transaxle Oil, Please...

900-9000 Gearbox Oil Changes: In all 99/900 models, the gearbox oil should be changed annually, to remove small metal particles from the oil which are crushed between other moving parts and cause accelerated gear and bearing wear. We are also able to "read" the magnetic drain plug of its attracted metal and gauge the condition of the transaxle. The Saab 9000, and '90-'91 900's, however, have no provision for draining and changing the gearbox oil. (The Gearbox Drainplug has been deleted. ) To circumvent this "oversight," (in my opinion) we remove the speedo drive gear or sender from the 9000 transaxle and siphon the oil out. Late 900's can be drained by removing the rear transmission cover. As far as I know, we are the only SAAB repair people going to this extra effort to save 900 and 9000 gearboxes from premature obsolescence. Three cheers for SAAB Specialists!

Inflation - Recession - Economic Disaster !!... These words do grab our attention during the holiday season, and besides that, they sell newspapers and give us plenty to worry about if we're a little short on worry. Looking around the world, however, makes it difficult to ignore also how fortunate we are to live in this bountiful country. We wish you a Happy and Reflectful Holiday Season! and again...Thank You!


Send mail to john@saabspokane.com or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2000 Swedish Motorcar Service
Last modified: March 02, 2012