Do it yourself maintenance- Saab

I have heard so many arguments on the subject of maintenance. Some people argue that nothing more then what is in their Saab owners manual is needed. I don't think this is always true. You may find in your manual it says you can go up to 10,000 miles before you change your oil. Well... you can and I've seen people go even further. However, this is not what I advocate, I don't think of my Saab as "disposable". An average person buys his car, drives it for 3-5 years, maybe puts 80,000 miles on it, and trades it in while putting as little maintenance into it as possible in order to keep his factory warranty. However, we are not average we are Saab Drivers. What you see in your owners manual is a minimum. I'm not interested in just doing the "minimum" I would like to keep my Saab in perfect shape. I have made up a list of stuff I do on my car and they are all things you can do in your own garage or have a tech do for a reasonable amount of money.

First thing is I change my engine oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles depending on how I've been driving. If I've been doing a lot of freeway trips I'll go to the 5k mark. Usually I do city driving, living in San Francisco my car spends a lot of time running but not putting on miles. This is why I go as low as 3k, so you have to evaluate your own driving habits.

During the oil change I have a regiment I adhere to - I always use Saab filters. I know there are quality aftermarket filters, but make sure you know what you're getting. While doing the service, I also (with a turkey baster) syphon most of the fluid in the power steering, brake and coolant reservoir and refill with fresh fluids. This is not in place of changing the fluids, I just like to get a little booster inbetween changes. Other things to check are: tire pressure (don't forget the spare), lights, trans fluid level, brake pads, tires, cv boots, wipers/ washer, and lube door hinges. This can be done for under 20 dollars and a Saturday afternoon once every 3-4 months - not bad.

I usually put about 12k a year on the 9000. Saab suggests changing fluids at a greater interval, but I do it once a year. I change the trans fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, and brake fluid (if you don't know how to bleed brakes bring it to a mechanic).I also at this time change my spark plugs or at least regap them if they still look good. Other items I change are the fuel filter(always use new seals), tail bulbs and the fresh air filter for the heater/Air con. At this time I inspect the engine air filter and blow it out with compressed air or replace if needed. You can do this for about 100 dollars. Once a year you hardly notice it in your budget, but your Saab sure will have a longer life.

Of coarse, this is all on top of what Saab recommends and not in replacement. These type of things are what lead to driving your car into the 200,000k plus mile range. Now, your driving habits will vary from mine but adjust these types of items with the model you have, and you will have an above-average maintenance schedule of your own

(This article is meant to educate a consumer,or as a guideline for professionals. You can cause serious damage to your vehicle and/or cause yourself injury. Only those qualified should attempt repairs. I do my best to assure that the above info is correct but take no responsibility for any damages incurred.)


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