Friday, December 19, 2008

Damn big rigs!

Well, I'm back. Of course, it's only to bitch about spending more money on the Saab. This time, however, it's not Vig's fault. While driving the other day a big rig idiot decided he wanted to be exactly where I was. Since two solid objects can't occupy the same space (at least not in this reality), I had to swerve fiercely to the right to avoid getting crushed. All the while, Jonah's in the backseat watching birds (the top was down) and talking to himself—ah, the obliviousness of youth!

To prove my theory that two solid objects can't occupy the same space, there was a kindly curb corner where I was trying to be. Right front wheel, meet curb corner. Curb corner, meet right front wheel. I pulled over into a parking lot (which was conveniently there) and when I was finished cursing and screaming, got out to check my wheel. Curb 1-Vig Wheel 0.

I guess I'm lucky that my tire didn't blow. The wheel has bent in and my alignment now sucks. After a lot of internet searching, I finally found my wheel online. Of course it's discontinued, but my luck has held out and I think I'm getting the last one on the planet. It's even local (Miami, but that's close enough) so I'm hoping it will arrive on Monday (12/22).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Now that's a rag taap day!

In my last post What if it rains? I pondered over those brave souls who challenge the weather gods and drive with their tops down when the sky looks threatening. Not I. I'm a wuss. My birthday, however, did provide a brilliant rag taap day:




Fluffy little clouds, playing with the sun. A little spirited driving, with some good tunes. On the way to my birthday massage.

That's livin'!

Friday, September 12, 2008

What if it rains?

I'm a Nervous Nellie. If I see even the threat of a cloud in the sky, I won't put my top down. I'm so paranoid that the sky will open up and the flood gates of heaven will be released. There go my seats. There goes my electrical. Etc., etc., etc.

I'm always amazed to see those brave souls who drive with their top down, no matter what. Threat of rain? Who cares! Monsoon? We'll be fine! I just couldn't do it. This was the sky yesterday afternoon:



I saw, not one, but TWO different Mustangs drive by me with their tops down. Maybe owning a Mustang makes you more of a daredevil. (I think it makes you just like everybody else, but what do I know?) I do know that with a sky threatening to open up and dump, there is no way my top's going down. I like to be topless on those nice days where the sun shines down and really elluminates my assets.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Breaking the 4k mark (and NOT in a good way)

The list goes on. Here's where we are to date (the items in blue are the latest additions):

$ 16.00 8/29 new right low bulb
$240.00 8/29 install new hand brake (p & l)
$150.00 8/29 replace oil sending unit (p & l)
$302.00 8/29 labor for installing AC compressor
$212.47 8/26 refurbished AC compressor (eBay)
$253.00 8/11 new microswitch and shear pin (p & l)
$ 76.84 8/08 new left corner light (eBay)
$108.59 07/08 new battery
$ 81.25 7/08 used DIC (eBay)
$361.54 7/08 2 new tires, oil change
$ 67.79 3/08 oil change
$164.08 3/08 new front tire
$107.87 09/07 new ACC control panel (eBay)
$ 91.96 7/07 program keyless, new HLs
$455.76 7/07 new tie rods, check vert**
$ 37.84 7/07 keyless remote (eBay)
$ 26.95 7/07 keyless remote (eBay)
$113.57 5/07 oil change, new wipers
$ 51.80 5/07 new spark plugs
$164.08 4/07 new rear tire
$209.47 1/07 serpentine belt and idler pulley
$224.33 1/07 replace inter. pipe/ctr. muffler (labor)
$360.00 1/07 inter. pipe/ctr. muffler (parts)
$209.67 12/06 replace front brake pads
$ 60.93 12/06 oil change
$125.00 8/06 new third brake light

And the grand total is: $4273.79

Do you think we're done yet? If you said "yes" you'd be wrong!
  • I still need a new front bumper (quoted at $1390.89, p & l).
  • The fuel filter appears to be the original. It looks like the PO didn't bother with the suggested 60K maintenance (I'm shocked!) so I will need to dish out $499.95 for this service.
Of course, this is as of 8/30/08—wanna bet I add more to this list before the year is out???!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

No news

Since my iPhone is buggering up, I couldn't call today to see how the maintenance was going. I'm assuming they didn't get the AC compressor...but I'll call using hubby's phone in the a.m.

Keep your fingers crossed...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Revenge of the Saab: Part 3

Just got the call. Yep, new AC compressor which is fine since that's what I was expecting. What I wasn't expecting was over three hours of labor!!! $301.40 for the labor alone. No, that doesn't include the parts. The actual compressor is going to run me $200 for a remanufactured one on eBay (includes s & h).

And the hits just keep on coming...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Revenge of the Saab: Part 2

I love my guys at SC. They are always so helpful. I was ready to take the engine apart and put in a shorter belt to bypass the AC compressor. Then reason took hold. While they may be equipped with a massive garage and every tool imaginable, I do not. So, I patiently waited until my indie guy opened at 7:30 this morning and called him.

While he may err on the side of caution-with-a-helmet-and-a-life-preserver, he said call your insurance and see if a tow is covered (I have roadside assistance). It's covered. Tow-boy Rob (I'm not sure he was old enough to drive, let alone drive a huge flatbed tow truck) showed up about 3:00 to take the car to the shop. My heart stopped and I almost pee'd myself when he got out of the car and it started to roll backwards (for those of you who follow the saga, we have no handbrake right now). He righted it and everything was peachy-keen.

Guy at Swede Central confirmed that the Vig made it safe and sound. He'll be confirming its diagnosis tomorrow morning.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Revenge of the Saab: Part 1

Well that was short-lived. The top may go down now, but that doesn't matter if I can't drive the damn thing. Yep, more problems. About a week ago I started hearing this kind of grumbling sound coming from the right side of the engine. It was intermittent so I made a mental note to have my mechanic look at it when I go in to have the oil sending unit replaced (which was going to be in the next week or two).

Hop in the car this morning—the sound is no longer intermittent, nor is it quiet. It's now a full out, constant rumbling. And LOUD. So, instead of taking mom home, I get to stop by Tire Kingdom to see if they'll check my belts and such (mom is sure it's a belt or a pulley problem). Of course, TK is packed and the counter guy says it'll be about 45 minutes until they can take a look. I decide to wait. Maybe it's because I'm cute (or he just wanted me out of his hair), but the next thing I know they pull my car into the bay. There were some moments of panic when they couldn't find the tire lock. Lucky for them, they still had it from when I was in there a few months ago getting new tires! Boneheads...

Anyway, after about 30 minutes, Johan diagnoses the problem: AC compressor, specifically the bearing:



After quoting me $900 for a new one (yeah, right. have you guys heard of eBay???), I said thank you very much for the diagnosis. I'll be driving home now, with the windows down and the air most definitely OFF. Johan recommended not driving really until it's fixed so now I'm nervous. I'm going to head on over the SC and see what they have to say.

To be continued...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Still cruisin' along

Went to get some cerveza last night. It was a beautiful evening, under the moon and the stars. I would know, since I had to put my top down for the 20 minute excursion!

Topless rocks!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Just cruisin' along

It's been 6 days since I reported a working top and a sunburn. It's a good thing I drove to Daytona with the top down on Sunday—it's been rainy here and I haven't been able to put the top down since. This was a bummer, since my brother Matt was in town for a few days. He's yet to ride in the Vig with the top down.

I guess he deserves it, though, after saying he really wasn't a Saab fan. I showed him, on the highway, why it's not a good idea to dis my Saab. ;-p

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm topless!!

Went to the mechanic on Friday and he fixed the mangled microswitch, tightened the lines, and found out that my shear pin had busted so he fixed that too. He even gave me the circle frame for the back seat light. This makes me much happier with my car. :)

Check it out:








I was so giddy about having a vert that works, I lowered it for a 10 minute trip to the grocery store! We also went to Daytona yesterday (Sunday). Lesson learned: when driving for 45 minutes, with the top down, on the way to the beach, when it's 94, wear sunscreen. :) That's why I look like a boiled lobster:



Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Here's what's on the horizon...

I've been catching some crap (in a good way) about my Viggen ranting. I suppose that's my own fault. :) With all of my complaining, I haven't mentioned how much I love to drive my car (when something isn't falling off). I even responded on the forum to someone inquiring about whether or not they should buy a 9-3:

If I was able to do it over again, I would not have bought this particular vehicle. I would have held out and waited until a better Saab 9-3 convertible presented itself. However, I do not regret my decision to purchase a Saab 9-3!"


I am committed to this car, and am doing everything within my financial power to fix what's broke. You've seen what's been done. Here's what is on the horizon:

$253: new 5th bow microswitch—at least my top will be able to go down, it's been broken since last July. I go to have this fixed on Friday. Yay!
8/8 THIS IS COMPLETE! THE TOP NOW WORKS. :)

$200: new oil sending unit. This was diagnosed last year, however, it's been difficult for me to go ahead with this as the part is only $20. The rest is labor. You do the math.

$175: new hand brake. I haven't had a hand (parking) brake for over a year, either. It rusted through and snapped. Good thing you have to keep the car in reverse to get your key out of the ignition.

$800: new bumper. Since this is cosmetic, it is low on the list. I'm thinking of selling one of the kids—I found a used bumper for $500 but just can't eat that expense right now. Who should go, Zachary or Jonah?



$6: new backseat light cover. The little clip that holds it in placed snapped, and superglue only lasted a month. :) Finally! Something for my car that costs less than $50. Woo hoo!



$60 EACH, unpainted: 2 jack point covers. These are little covers for the sides of the car, where the jacks go when the car is being elevated.
  1. What a nutty little thing to need.
  2. Why are they not on my car?
  3. Why don't the side skirts come with them??

So that's what is on the horizon. It will take months for the lower-end items. And the bumper? Well, that's going to take an act of god. :) Here's to the small successes:

  • a new DIC from eBay—installed myself
  • a new left corner light from eBay—installed myself
  • a new 5th bow microswitch—indy to fix on Friday

Let's start there. Next month, a new oil sending unit. Stay tuned...




Saturday, August 2, 2008

What Vig has cost me...

...since 8/22/06

While I'm afraid to add this up, I'm interested to see how much $$ I've put into Vig. My buddies at SaabCentral say it's well worth it—I'm skeptical.

**Normal maintenance updated, based on feedback from my buddies at SaabCentral (and yes, they say it's well worth it!) There are a few items that Saaboheme, whose opinion and feedback I value, listed as normal w & t, but with which I must disagree.

I have split the difference with the tires. Two new tires in 2 years, cool. Four new tires in 2 years when I drive about 8-10k miles a year, not cool.

I also did not include the center muffler nor the intermediate pipe as "normal" w & t. These were rusted through, which I don't consider "normal." :)

Whether normal w & t or not, the total is still the same—$3100 in 2 years. I still feel that's excessive.

$ 76.84 8/08 new left corner light (eBay)
$108.59 07/08 new battery
$108.59 07/08 new battery
$ 81.25 7/08 used DIC (eBay)
$361.54 7/08 2 new tires, oil change
$361.54 7/08 2 new tires, oil change
$ 67.79 3/08 oil change
$164.08 3/08 new front tire
$107.87 09/07 new ACC control panel (eBay)
$ 91.96 7/07 program keyless, new HLs
$455.76 7/07 new tie rods, check vert**
$ 37.84 7/07 keyless remote (eBay)
$ 26.95 7/07 keyless remote (eBay)
$113.57 5/07 oil change, new wipers
$ 51.80 5/07 new spark plugs
$164.08 4/07 new rear tire
$209.47 1/07 serpentine belt and idler pulley
$209.47 1/07 serpentine belt and idler pulley
$224.33 1/07 replace inter. pipe/ctr. muffler (labor)
$360.00 1/07 inter. pipe/ctr. muffler (parts)
$209.67 12/06 replace front brake pads
$209.67 12/06 replace front brake pads
$ 60.93 12/06 oil change
$125.00 8/06 new third brake light

And the grand total is: $3099.32

The items in blue are things that are normal maintenance and expected, and the ** includes an $85 labor charge to look at and diagnose my vert. How's this for wasted money—the diagnosis was a brand new hydraulic pump to the tune of three grand. Turns out it's really just a microswitch, for $253. Needless to say, I will not be going back to Euro Specialists any time soon.

How's that for an eye-opener. And we're not even done, folks. Come on back to see what's comin' up...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Saab Blaag, here we go!

I've started this blog, because I desperately need a place to vent and sometimes (rarely) rejoice, about my 2000 Saab 9-3 Viggen turbo convertible (aka, Vig). My good buddies at SaabCentral Forums always get an earful—but I need an outlet where I can just let loose and complain—they get sick of that after awhile. :)

So, let's talk Saab. First, this is what my car should look like:



Beautiful, eh? Below you will see what my car actually looks like:

Click on the image for the full-size view. Notice the need for a bath, the duct-tapped left corner light (this is a recent development), the scraped up, mangled bumper, and the top—in it's permanent, raised position. Not quite the beauty queen she should be, eh? Well, I'm trying to fix all of that. Read all about it in future posts! :)