The month of 9000 lovin has been a fantastic success. I’ve got a bunch more photos to post tomorrow, but that’s tomorrow……
Right now I’d like to give you all some forewarning that May will be the month of Saab mods loving. Have you got a modified Saab? We want to see it and hear your story!!
Send your pics and Saab modification stories to me via email.
To kick us off, I thought I’d ask the guys at Hirsch what are the best mods for the money, and what should we all be wary of when contemplating some mods.
Bear in mind, these guys are Saab’s official tuners. As a result of their official tuner status, they mainly deal with newer Saabs and have to design their performance upgrades in a manner that preserves the customer’s original factory warranty.
Recommended pre-checks before upgrading:
The car should still be covered by new car warranty. Upgrades of older cars with more than 100000km or older than three years no longer covered by factory warranty is not recommended.
This is not to say that upgraded cars only live for three years – with a correctly designed performance package and regular maintenance, there is no major change in the vehicle’s life expectancy. However, over time, the powertrain components are exposed to normal wear and tear, and several already existing minor faults that have gone undetected with the original software and hardware might suddenly become very obvious when installing a performance upgrade on an older car and taking the car for a test drive. To avoid the unpleasant sudden revelation of how many components are in fact more or less defective on a seemingly perfectly maintained and operational car after a few years, we recommend only installing performance upgrades on the beautiful new Saabs, and let older cars age gracefully.
Recommended first upgrade:
Software performance upgrade. Good value, suitable for all driving styles and driving conditions. Remember to re-register the car using the type approval documentation provided by your upgrade supplier, and inform your insurance company after installation.
All upgrades that are legal and come with appropriate type approval documentation can be considered safe for the passengers, the environment and third parties. Upgrades covered by Saab factory warranty can also be considered safe for the car. The upgrades should be designed for the intended use. Do not install racing components on road cars or vice versa.
Upgrades that offer good value for money:
Thanks to economy of scale, the best value is offered with a comprehensive importer-installed performance package when buying a new Saab. Many Saab dealers and importers offer special edition models including a balanced performance package with for example engine upgrade, suspension upgrade, dual exhaust, wheels and brakes as well as a few interior touches, effectively transforming a new 9-3 or 9-5 to a worthy competitor to a new Audi or BMW, but to a significantly lower cost.
For Saab owners currently not in the market for a new top-of-the line car, the most fun for the money is delivered by a road-legal, good quality software performance upgrade.