Saab Stories

There’s a whole collection of Saab stories out on the web this weekend.

Maybe you’ve got one of your own?


Andy Rupert, former 900 owner and hatch-anthem composer, meets another Saab owner at a friend’s place.

After the meal, Gary P. introduced himself. We immediately found a common bond in that we had both owned Classic 900s in the past…..At the end of our conversation, I was struck with how quickly two complete strangers could be “united” by a similar experience. I’d never met the guy before, but we carried on a conversation for 15-20 minutes as if we’d known each other for years.


The York Daily Record, out of Pennsylvania, has a number of Convertible stories now that the weather’s possibly getting better in the northern hemisphere. Anyway, what’s a bunch of convertible stories without a Saab or two?

Allison Becker, 26, of West Manchester Township, drives a Saab 9-3 convertible. On a recent weekend, the weather was more than perfect for a drive with the top down, so she decided to take a shopping trip to Harrisburg.

“I quickly learned how to kill the coolness factor of a convertible,” she said.

Becker, her mother and her grandmother were cruising to the tunes of the Dave Matthews Band on Interstate 83 when all of a sudden, Becker said, the music was interrupted by a flapping sound, similar to the sound of a plastic bag waving in the wind.

Becker’s mom said, “What is that flapping sound?”

Becker looked in her rearview mirror expecting to see a loose paper in the backseat, but instead, she saw her grandmother sitting in her rain bonnet.

And for the C900 drivers…..

Scott Simonds, associate director of student affairs at Penn State York, drives a Saab 900 convertible.

“And I love it,” he said. “Especially in this weather.”….

…. “Convertible drivers are a unique bunch,” he said. “You have to be prepared to pull over at anytime and learn to watch the weather forecast faithfully.”


And an oil story from Canada that makes me think we should all check out and be satisfied with what’s being used in our cars. A little trust could be a dangerous thing.

Thanks Dave L…

I purchased my first Saab in December 06 (06 Saab 93 Aero 2.8L) and wish to update your readers on something interesting I came across. I am one of the few people that reads his manual page for page and when I went for my first oil change I noticed that they were using Mobil 1 5w-30, I immediately asked why they were not using Mobil 1 0w-40 or Saab Turbo Oil 0W-30 or any oil meeting this viscocity and the GM LL A 025 standard as per the manual.

They stated that they are approved to use this oil for Saabs by Saab Canada. I let them go ahead and that was that. About two weeks later I started researching this claim and found that the Mobil 1 5W-30 does not meet the stringent long life GM LL A 025 standard. Upon contacting a fantastic Customer Service Manager she researched it and found out that Saab Canada had changed the standard a few years back but had not gotten the news out to the Dealerships. I validated this by contacting every dealer in Alberta (about 6 dealers) and they all used the Mobil 1 5W-30 and all were unaware of the new standard.

Not that Mobil1 5W-30 is a bad oil, on the contrary it’s a very good oil, but not designed for long life use as per the GM LL A 025 standard. Use of this oil may cause you a sludge problem and premature wear down the road, as the additives they use in the 5W-30 are about 30% less than the 0W-40. (additives is the expensive side of motor oil)

My recommendation: The only oils in Canada that meet all the GM LL A 025 criteria are Mobil1 0W-40, Motul 8100 0W-30 and ELF 0W-30. I currently use the Motul 0W-30 oil, an ester based oil that has given me great fuel economy and a great product.

So know what your dealership uses and read your manual!

Good advice.

But it does bring to mind the question: What mileage do you change your oil at? And what mileage should you change your oil at?

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  1. About the oil, you’d also be surprised by how much bad advice their is on the Saab forums. Newcomers ask “Is brand X 5w-30 OK to us?” and the answer is usually “Yeah, any good 5w-30.” No mention of oil change intervals or extended life additives or anything. Very few oils meet that spec, and you even need to be wary about some manufacturers that claim to meet it. I won’t mention the brand but, one company doesn’t put that GM LL A 025 spec on their containers but, when questioned say, “Yes all our oils meet that spec.” It would be a shame if you needed lubrication-related warranty work and Saab said “No it doesn’t meet the spec.”

  2. Being that this is about Saab stories, I thought I’d mention this one in the International Herald Tribune that unfairly claims that Saab and Ovlov are bad CO2 emitters:
    “Out of loyalty and a love for comfort, most Swedes stick to these national brands even though Volvo was bought by Ford, and Saab by General Motors, in the 1990s. Throw in Swedish government incentives to buy local and you’ve got a high carbon mix.”
    The reason Sweden emits higher CO2 than other European countries is stated right in their article. Swedes love to drive bigger cars (including BMW, Merc, Audi, et al.). Saab is fighting as hard as anyone to bring down CO2 emissions and, size for size, their cars have always been among the cleanest in the world. I think this guy just doesn’t like Ovlov and Saab.

  3. Ted I don’t think the article is ‘anti’ Saab or Volvo but it raises interesting points. The issue is that Sweden is unique in that neither manufacturer offers a small car – in Germany VW has the Polo, Opel the Corsa. The French have the Clio, The C3 and the 207. The Spanish have the Ibiza. The Czechs the Fabia and so on. The Swedes have no home grown alternative. Swedish cars have increased in size thus increasing weight and Co2 emissions They are not concentrating on reducing Co2 but rather on switching to bio fuels and some cynics see it as more preparing for the increasing scarcity of oil than protecting the environment. The issue is smaller and/or lighter cars. Take the aluminium Jaguar XJ its the same size as a 7 series but weighs the same as a 5 series. Ok aluminium will not be material of choice for every car but the principle is sound – lighter does not just mean smaller or less luxury.
    The big push in the rest of Europe is for more fuel and weight efficient vehicles and regardless of the truth or otherwise of global warming, lighter fuel efficient vehicles will benefit us all. It is not enough for the Swedes to use bio fuel and then put their feet up and say well we have done our bit. They must do both.
    All new vehicles should have engines that shut down when stopped in traffic – can you imagine the fuel wasted every day in traffic? Running the ancillaries (steering, water pumps etc) electrically will reduce Co2, fuel consumption and increase power outputs. The EU is asking manufacturers to work smarter and the y don’t like it (the whole industry not just GM and Saab). Its like seat belts – when they were told to install them it was the end of the world but yet here we are today.

  4. Jon, good points. Being an old Saab 96 lover, I keep looking for Saab to make a smaller car. I hope the 9-1X is the one I’m looking for.

  5. I have taken the advice of others and do six monthly oil changes as I do fairly low mileage.

    I will say, however, that using the correct oil does make a difference, particularly in fuel economy.

    Before buying my preloved 9-5 aero the dealer carried out an oil change at my request. It was only later I discovered that he didn’t use a fully synthetic oil.

    After I had the oil changed at the next service to fully synthetic pennzoil the highway driving mpg went from 30 to 38! It’s almost criminal to get that kind of mileage out of a car with that much power.

  6. At 5,000 miles (07-9-5) I asked my dealer about an oil change and they refused/declined, advised against because the manual stipulates 10,000 m oil changes. I went along with it, but I’ll be sure and check that the replacement oil meets specs. Thanks.

  7. The 10,000 mile oil change is interesting as I’ve always been recommended to change it every 3000 miles. The manual of my Jag calls for 7500 mile intervals and I’m thinking that the C900 was supposed to be 6000 miles. Strange.

  8. I live in El Paso — in the desert. I just bought a 1990 Saab 900 from Colorado — where it gets cold. I am changing my oil. What viscosity of oil should I use?

  9. Rich: I live in Los Angeles, specifically in one of the inland valleys, specifically in the hottest place in Southern California except for the deserts (it’s routinely in the 100’s Fahrenheit in the summer).

    I run 20W-50 dino oil in my C900 (because I hear if you just start using synthetic after using dino you get lots of new leaks through seals or something. Don’t know if it’s true and now that I just changed my head gasket I might go to synthetic).

    In my wife’s OG9³ I run Mobil 1 15W-50 Extended Performance (15,000 mile) Fully Synthetic. Now, I’d never actually try to run the thing for 15K miles before changing the oil, of course…

    I don’t know much about oil but I understand if your car is never in sub-freezing temps and your climate is hot-biased you should run the heavier weight oil.

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