1991 SAAB 9000 Carlsson from Australia and New Zealand - Comments

23rd Nov 2010, 05:02

Preening myself in not having the faults other rage about.. I noticed a fuel spot under the 9000 car... is that mine?... After two re-locations I thought "what's afoot"... OK, I recently changed the oil, but... leaking?...

In the meantime, the 900S had to go to SaabCare for the 4 minor rego items to be checked; they are very thorough. I parked in the drive and waited their pleasure. (I forgot to say that the "creep" facility had expired with the gearbox reco o that has to be raised...) Started it... TCS light on!!...limp mode!! WHAT!!... all I did was park it there after a trouble free drive.

The minor rego things were fine, but now this (weep)... I left the car there and found a TCS motor in Sydney, and hope that's the fault! Apart from the noisy tappet, it's a great car, but I suspect my son wants a Commodore, so it will probably hit eBay!...The years of storage might have some background, but those who deal with these cars told me they are a damned good model... and I can buy a really good replacement engine for $1200... I drove the courtesy car home, it ran well too, but how long before mine is fixed?... Guess the arriving of the TCS motor will perhaps give a better idea.

I slid my arm under the Carlsson, as it is so low, as they are, looking for this oil leak... the engine is clean, maybe it's the gearbox, smells a little that way, although it seems to be dripping from what looks to me like a water drain under the chassis!! Did I spill some oil?... more to see. The tyre wear showed perfect alignment two weeks ago when I had two new tyres fitted to the rear (as should always be done), but am taking it to be checked tomorrow as routine. I have been driving Saabcare's courtesy 2.3 auto... a very different feel from my Carlsson.

Anyway... lo and behold, whilst squinting at the underside of the car seeking the leak, I saw two chassis bolts (around mid front door area, but at the monocoque) on the same frame piece were almost completely out... only "in" or holding by a thread, and clearly have been that way for some time. One of two highly regarded, expensive professionals didn't do their QA properly a year or two ago.

Fortunately the car has been little used and no damage done... but this is the sort of thing we pay mechanics to make sure doesn't happen... yes?? For me it means getting it on a hoist now and checking everything is tight. I had confirmed by a SaaB serviceman that the headlights being turned on instantly stalling the motor is not unusual, and agreed the problem lies typically in the ignition contacts.

Energy is so massively wasted by those who dramatise the fuel and oil use in our vehicles, yet where are the places to simply pour our used oil into, where are the collection stations for old car parts to be recycled for old vehicles stripped and restored in Turkey and Africa and Vanuatu (sorry... they don't actually fix them in Vanuatu, they just pay a small amount and drive around in their lethal trucks and cars)... aircraft dumping huge fuel loads, rockets using massive quantum of energy, sent to outer space to look for better place for the rich to exploit and to live, war materials being made and used in mass exterminations, vast quantities of oil seeps the deserts, gas is burned seemingly endlessly at every oil and gas production plant, ships which relentlessly claim "accident" when yet another sinks or discharges crude into our already ruined sea environment. Beaches like Balmoral are "swim at your own risk"...so polluted are they.

Australian energy is ripped out of the ground and remorselessly flogged, as though there is no tomorrow, to countries with seemingly no plans other than to swamp the world with cheap artifacts and unfeedable people. Growth is the mantra chanted to hide the fear of facing reality. The reality is that we are supporting crimes against humanity... yet through all of this, the good old SaaB holds its head up and is able to say "if I am a lemon, at least there's no hiding it!!... but if I am a good one, I earn your adulation and love"... or is it all just masochism.

One can buy a much cheaper to own Holden VX or that other thing beginning with "F"... but somehow, unless in police trim where they look magnificent" there's something decidedly unspecial about the for all their SS stickers and westy braggadocio, V8 supercars and loud noises, and driver drunks and hoons. Somehow SaaB owners with sad stories manage to make up or are compensated by listening to, excuses!! The Viggen which should have been Gleesons "how sweet it is" fell over... the X turbo seems a whizz. Owning a SaaB says "I am a man of discernment... even if that discernment is psychotic". Someone wrote words to this effect "people have all these troubles and expenses with Saab problems and service... I do my own and have never a problem". One wonders which one has the problem (LOL!!) but seriously... I simply drove my 900S to a repair shop and it broke down. I asked "do you have a "destructor" beam across the drive??"

The 900S is a very advanced motor car... but the point of my energy story is this... everything is computer controlled, and therein lies the problem, electronic components, especially electronic capacitors, dry out or fatigue, or get significant dry solder, and though one can buy capacitors these days of great quality, electrolytics are still around.

I have to seriously wonder, looking at the hundreds of billions in service fees paid around the world, and all the infrastructure needed, all the fuel wasted in computer and sensor faults, the waste of precious metals in computers,... would we not be truly better off going back to carburation, simpler cars, easy to fix.?.. We can seal protect pollution devices and still leave a car one can own without having to sell the house.

As a commitment to the SaaB psychosis, I am presently looking at buying a 900 Aero... when the 9000 is probably a better car, simply because that 900 shape and connection still remains in that model... the 1993 year model is said to be the best of the, others say the 1986 is the most desirable and quickest... the 9-3 a better car many say, but I guess one day in my dotage, if not there already, certified in every SaaB purchase receipt, I'll be able to roll out the Carlsson and the Aero to the "OhoohhhAhhhhs" of nuclear powered platers... should live live so long? The great thing I suppose is that as the rare ones will hold their price better, the less rare might leave a cannibal's larder of everyday spares.

My 1996 full pressure CSE 9000 should have new turbo clutch properly done and flywheel machined, and rego check done this week, new 205 tyres all around will follow just because the others have a couple of years on them. Curiously its air conditioning works!... one of SaaB's seemingly most unusual features. My 195/96 900S will hopefully not sink into the Lethe-wards of costs... hard to imagine it will as it drives so well, brilliant car and passed a very stringent blue slip examination with a couple of minor defects (new washer motor, reversing light, tiny rust to original muffler... replaced; new NGK's, semi synthetic oil, Auto redone... one faulty solenoid caused a limp mode and probably led to its storage prior to March 2008... but the transmission oil clean as a whistle. The neutral safety switch was cleaned and re-adjusted just to give it all a fresh start...)

Aye, but what to keep and what to sell?...I muse somberly over that issue...... and I am reminded of Hamlet when his SaaB packed it in his despair was so great he spake "to be? or not to? be, THAT is the question. Whether to brave the slings and arrows of Saabfortune..." and on quoth he.

Cheers, Tony.

10th Apr 2011, 08:33

Stuart from Tasmania. About to get hold of my first SAAB, and it's a 1991 9000 Carlsson 2 litre. Can anyone help with the turbo spec's of the Australian delivered cars? I'm led to believe we didn't get the high pressure turbo's here?

Any Australian officianados out there know how many Carlssons came into the country?