Saab service stories

Yesterday I posted a video about pre-delivery inspections. In the video, the technician was calmly and quietly going about his job, making sure your new Saab was all up to standard. Looked fantastic.

I received the following in comments to that video. With the author’s permission I’ve removed his remarks from the comments section and I’m posting them here.

The writer is a Master Saab Tech who I’ll keep as anonymous for the time being. It makes for very interesting reading. Further communication with the writer indicated that this isn’t meant to be a specific criticism of Saab or GM. It’s an industry thing. Perhaps it differs from company to company, but what’s below is his experience as a Saab tech, working in several countries around the world.

Those companies that don’t do so well in quality surveys may want to rethink their benchmarks. It sounds like another case of beancounters gone wild.


Haven’t watched this yet,too busy. I’ll let it stream a while and watch it later.

I must let you all know something about the industry though.

In my 15 years in the trade i have never ever seen any technician do a thorough P.D inspection or service inspection to the manufactures specs. Never.

You look at your service coupon, even for a minor service it requests the tech to inspect things like headlight alignment, wheel alignment, steering and suspension bolt torques,etc etc. Change the oil, clean the filters, scan tool test and wash and road test. All this in under one hour.

It is impossible to do any of the services in the quoted times, and this is what the manufacturer recommends and the service manager uses as a stick to prod you with.

Warranty repair times are even worse. E.G i can pull a complete dash out of a new 9-3 fix the rattles and put it back together ,clean it and set everything up in about 3 hours, which is hyper quick. The warranty time is 1.5 hours and that is all we get paid for as a dealer.

So ergo, the customer pays for a 1.0 service and that is what they get. It’s not the technicians who miss things like tightening bolts to recommended torques etc. It’s a case of if we did what we were meant to do we would all be sacked because we would be lucky to pump out 3 services a day at about 60% efficiency. And the industry bench mark is 110% efficient.

That is the main reason I left the industry. I just couldn’t take that kind of shit anymore. Now I just work as a consultant and mainly do very difficult complex electrical issues or NVH issues. These usually have no time frame on them, so you can get the job done to your own satisfaction and not to someone elses unrealistic time expectations.

Man, I could go on and on about this. I should write a book about it one day.

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  1. I have to say I kinda agree with the author of that piece, most franchise dealerships that I have worked in do not fully complete the PDI, ive even worked in a dealership that the valuators did a “PDI” as part of the cleaning of the car, joke or what. Currently there is 45 point check sheet that MUST be completed in full for a 9-3SS and I have to say hand on heart at our dealership it is completed time to spare. We are allocated 3 hours by Saab and paid at a labour rate that is good to complete the work. To be honest normally it’s completed in 2 and a half hours so it works out quite well overall. I do not mind the engineers spending time to complete a full PDI because at the end of the day it’s the last chance well in the case of the 9-3 that we will see the car until its 18,000 mile or 2 year service, so on the off chance that a robot was on a bad day it gives us a chance to examine the car and if god forbid something was left lose it WILL be picked up during the PDI. So even if it took 5 hours to PDI the car I would still do it because at the end of day in a matter of speaking someone families safety is in my hands and that’s why I never rush a PDI.

    As regards Warranty the author is 1000% correct the set labour times are a joke, when it come to rattle on a 9-3 dash I will never do a thing with, I know there are annoying but what ive found is if you try and fix one you will always create another. The set labour time for work inside the car are bad but at least they are relatively clean and usually in the original condition, but when it come to out side the car where years of rain, mud and overall crap has built up around nut and bolts there is about the same chance as snowball hitting the devil as getting it done in twice the set labour time.

  2. 3 hours for a p.d is lucky.
    We only get 2 hours and that includes full customisation.And i have fixed every dash rattle i’ve encountered without leaving another behind.

  3. Saabologist, It’s funny, but as I read this over once again this morning I can’t help but read it with an accent in my head.


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