People who know me, understand that I tend to get obsessed with new hobbies. The most recent of which, has been working on my Saab 2002 9-3 hatchback.
This is my first car with a turbo. My first car that I feel like goes vroom. Out of the factory it gets 205bhp. With a stage1 tune, new air filter, and no mods, it gets 260bhp.
Being a 14 year old car as of this posting, it has its fair share of problems. I mostly lucked out. This car was purchased in Baltimore for $1000 and with a nearly complete service history. It’s only had two owners and has less than 140,000 miles on it.
The first owner, was the DoD. There’s a sticker right on the front of the windshield. Inside the Carfax, there is evidence of the rigorous maintenance performed for the first 12 years of this cars’ life. Every 6 months it was taken to a Saab dealer for scheduled maintenance. It never failed a single emissions test or reported a leak prone to so many Saabs.
In March of 2014, it was purchased by a 55 year old north-east Baltimore woman from an auction. That was the last notice of maintenance on the Carfax. It failed the past two years of emissions tests in Baltimore. There are numerable scratches and dents across the car. The cup holder is broken.
Most people wouldn’t note this as a major downside but Saab cupholders are a thing to behold and they don’t do well with American sized drinks.
I like to think of any of the damage to the car as attributed to the second owner.
Bought in Baltimore
I bought the car from this woman’s nephew who was keeping it on his business lot for her and posting it to craigslist. It had been sitting for 6 months, rusted rotors, dead battery, door was stuck.
A quick trip to AutoZone for a new battery, and to the gas station for half a tank of 93 octane instead of the low-end fuel the second owner used was just what the Doctor ordered. I was able to drive 100 miles back to my home in Pennsylvania with only minor clunks and rattles.
The list of work I have done to it so far, is quite extensive.
It was at this time, I decided to name the car Börk.
All that having been accomplished, and the car is not currently drivable. The front wheels had started wobbling around turns. I took a weekend and found a cascading series of problems the front suspension assembly. It has turned in to a two month project fueled by stubborn determination.
I can say for sure, when I get the car driving again, I still won’t be done with it. When I regain confidence in the car, I’ll start replacing bigger things. New intercooler, new turbo, engine tuning.
I still swear I am not a car guy, I am a jet guy.
- Inspect Brake pads
- Calipers are less than ideally responsive. Preferred upgrade to aftermarket rotors, pads, and calipers. 3/27
- Inspect Brake rotors 3/26
- Inspect/adjust Parking brake - done 3/26
- Inspect Battery -Done 3/26
- Check the engine firewall. 3/28
- Check fluid level Brake master cylinder 3/30
- Check fluid level Windshield washer 3/30
- Inspect Exhaust system 3/26
- Inspect Seat belts 3/26
- Inspect Automatic transmission fluid 3/27
- Replace Cabin air filter - Done recently by technicians
- Perform Road test 3/26
- Inspect Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) - How would I even check this?? 3/28
- Check backup lights 3/29
- Check the car doesn’t move forward or backward while parking brake is engaged. 3/29
- Headlights & fog lights
- Driver side brake light stuck on. (flicked it, all better!) 3/30
- Replaced Headlight relay, high-beams work now 4/10
- Inspect Coolant 3/31
- Get AM/FM bluetooth transmitter to fill cigarette plug. 3/31
- Properly affix the tag to the car. - Currently Ziptied
- (nothing wrong with zipties), keeping this fix.
- Check Wiper/fluid 3/30 - (need to unclog passenger side, but passable)
- Change Airfilter 3/31
- Replace Sparkplugs 3/31 - Manual says 0.95mm, internet says 1mm gap, take pictures.
- Install new oil cap 3/31
- Adjust Headlights & fog lights 3/31
- Clean A/C drain hose. Condensation drains. - Drips as normally expected.
- Check License Plate Lamp
- Inspect/rotate Wheels & tires 4/6
- Tires inspected, are crap. Added to the “desires” list.
- Tested by driving relatively hard on them.
- Driver side high beam bulb out. -replaced Relay 4/11
- Inspect Brake lines, hoses & connections 4/11
- SID buttons are sticky. - Through use, slowly becoming unstuck. 4/12
- Replace Oil filter 4/22
- Plug is round. Need to get it off.
- Change Engine oil 4L 4/22
- PCV valve 4/22
- Zipties holding the muffler on to the car, replace with metal zipties. 5/14/2016
- Plastic ones are holding on just fine.
- Inspect Steering operation, tie rod ends, steering gearbox & boots 5/19, needs repair
- Replace Shocks. 5/31
- New Rotors and brakes. 100% complete 5/31
- 5/14/2016 Front rotors and brakes done. Rear, coming up.
- Replace Ball joints tie-rod ends 6/10
- Replace Control Arms/bushings 6/10