Six Amazing Stuff You Might Not Know about Saab 9000
- Did you know that the Saab 9000's body was co-designed by Italian automobile designer Giorgetto Giugaro, the 1999 Car Designer of the Century, who later became an Automotive Hall of Famer in 2002? Giugaro's creativity led him to design some of the world's luxurious cars, such as Alfa Romeo, Audi, Ferrari, and Porsche, among others. He was also the designer behind select Nikon camera bodies, Apple prototypes, and even a unique pasta shape called "Marille."
- The Pan-European programme EUREKA Prometheus Project, which stands for Programme for a European Traffic of Highest Efficiency and Unprecedented Safety, made Saab come up with a notable 9000 prototype that has a center-mounted joystick in place of the typical, accident-prone steering wheel. This modification was deemed to be safer to the driver's face and body than the traditional steering wheel in the event of an collision. This particular Saab 9000 was featured in an episode of Top Gear, a television series in BBC.
- If you were a fan of Jim Henson's The Muppet Show, then the seats of the Saab 9000 could be quite familiar to you. Saab's head designer Bjrn Envall got his inspiration for the 9000's seats from a certain episode of the famous television series entitled "Pigs in Space," which was a parody of science fiction programmes and serials.
- Four years before the Saab 9000 ended production, a limited edition "Aero" was introduced by Saab as its most powerful car ever. It had a 225-hp version of Saab's 2.3-L B234 engine, and can accelerate from 50 to 75 mph faster than a Porsche Carrera 4 or its Ferrari counterpart. Sadly, the reign of this powerful Saab was short-lived as its production also ended in 1997.
- The Saab 9000 is part of the Type Four chassis-a common front wheel drive platform-together with models such as Fiat Croma, Lancia Thema, and Alfa Romeo 164. These cars have similarities, which made them able to interchange their parts. However, the Alfa Romeo 164 was the exception, which only shared the same chassis as the others.
- Did you know that the Saab 9000 was the first large car that was ever imported to the United States according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency? This is despite it being shorter than the Saab 900.
Saab 9000 Common Problems
The first large car ever imported to the United States, the Saab 9000 is known to be not one of the worst cars, but neither one of the best. Although its production ended too soon, second-hand 9000s are still widely used today. For prospective Saab buyers and owners, here are some of the common problems that they might need to take note about their cars:
Among the several common problems of the Saab 9000, one of the mostly complained is the cruise control failure due to a faulty pedal switch. The problem starts when the switch becomes misaligned or broken, which causes it to malfunction. This could also be caused by a cracked cruise vacuum hose or a defective cruise control module. A failure in the cruise control system could lead to a possible crash.
Valve cover gasket
Oil leaks around the spark plugs and smoking engine compartments are usual sights in a Saab 9000. Another common problem with this model is an oil leakage or smoke coming from the valve cover gasket. This could be attributed to a gasket that has worn-out over time due to several factors as temperature and age. The gasket becomes too loose or too tightened that it can no longer function correctly. When this happens, replacing the gasket is the only way out.
Manual shift joint
Long-time Saab 9000 owners know that having a loose manual transmission shifting pattern is a very common problem of their vehicles. This problem usually occurs when the rubber part of the manual shift joint becomes worn-out and separated, making the shifter lose track of the real shift pattern. The manual shift joint should be immediately replaced to keep this problem from happening again.
Unfortunately, the Saab 9000's engine is also prone to overheat due to a common head gasket failure. A failed gasket could also lead to worse problems such as coolant contamination, engine smoke coming from the tailpipe, and the presence of oil in the coolant expansion tank. This simple problem could lead to a number of issues that can compromise the Saab 9000's performance.
How do I reset the anti-theft mechanism on my Saab 9000? My car would not start. Help!
Every vehicle that is equipped with anti-theft mechanism is programmed to resist its unauthorized use. A security light flashes to signal its activation. As a result, the vehicle would not really start up. However, there are chances when the anti-theft mechanism itself acts up and victimizes the rightful owner of the vehicle. It is either the security system fails to recognize the key or the ECM detects faulty resistance from the key. Hence, a few attempts to starting it up fail. You should know that the security system is complex, and basic troubleshooting such as attempting to clean the ignition switch lock cylinder may not work. The best option for you is to take your car to the dealer so they could diagnose the problem and eventually reset the security system.
My Saab 9000 has been acting up lately. It would crank during start up but takes a while to fully come to life. For twice in a row, the engine just stalled while I was on my way to the convenience store, which was only a five-minute drive from my place. Same thing happened—cranking during start up and engine comes to life only after a few tries. What is wrong with my car?
One of the most annoying things that could happen to you is a car that would not start as it could totally ruin your day. First and foremost, there are a few important factors that could be at play. First, do you have enough fuel? Do you keep track of your fuel consumption? It could be that your fuel gauge is not properly working. Second, is the security light flashing? It could be that the anti-theft mechanism has been activated. Third, have you ever thought of your car's battery? How old is your car? Older vehicles are susceptible to a discharged battery. To check if the battery is almost drained, you could turn your wipers on. Slow-moving wipers indicate that the battery may be discharged. Apart from this, you would hear a clicking noise when you attempt to turn the ignition on, but it does not have enough power to start the engine. While the engine may power up after a few tries, it would continuously give you the trouble of stalling. So, better have your car checked immediately.
My headlights are not working, but the fog lamps are fine. I do hear a clicking from the relay under the hood but still the headlights are dead. Could it be due to busted bulbs?
The main reasons for faulty headlights include busted bulbs, loose bulbs, bad headlight relay, a blown-out fuse, and a switch or wiring fault. If you know how to work around opening the headlight casing, then you can always try replacing the busted bulbs with new ones. If they light up, then your problem is solved. But if it does not, then you should see a professional mechanic to inspect the wirings under the hood.
The Rich History of the Saab 9000
Swedish car maker Saab’s foray into the executive car market was represented by the Saab 9000. Because the Saab management wanted to create a car that won’t cost too much during production, the company teamed up with other manufacturers, namely Alfa-Romeo, Lancia, and Fiat. The goal was to come up with a vehicle equipped with interchangeable parts from these brands. For the vehicle’s design, Saab collaborated with established car designers Bjorn Envall and Giorgetto Guigiaro. Known for its build quality, reliable performance, and durability, this vehicle was in production from 1984 to 1998.
1984: Saab 9000 CC
Launched in 1984 but introduced in the US in 1986 as a five-door liftback, much of the Saab 9000 CC’s appearance is similar with other Type Four platform vehicles: the Lancia Thema and Fiat Croma. As a matter of fact, Fiat Croma doors can be installed on the 9000, although they feature a lighter construction. The first model was equipped with a 16-valve, inline-four engine and a water-cooled, double overhead camshaft (turbo-charged).
1988: Saab 9000 CD
In 1988, a sedan version was released with the CD on its nameplate. For this version, the front-end was restyled. The grille’s and headlamps’ edges were smoothed out. The front sloped outwards, which was in contrast to its predecessor’s more upright front end. The end result was a more aerodynamic front end. But just like its earlier version, the CD model was also built with seats that feature designs based on a Jim Henson sketch “Pigs in Space” from The Muppet Show. A limited edition—CD Griffin—was launched in 1991. This lux version features a unique eucalyptus green paint, rear window blinds, a walnut trim, and a separate AC system for the rear seats.
1991: Saab 9000 CS
The Saab 9000 CS is a restyled liftback model that was introduced in 1991. This version features a lower front fascia, a new grille and headlights, and a modified rear end. A high-performance CSE edition was also released. Both CS and CSE versions were equipped with a 2.3 L, inline-four engine.
1993: CS Aero/SPG
In 1993, the CS Aero/SPG model was introduced. Hailed as the fastest and strongest Saab vehicle ever manufactured, it was equipped with a 2.3 L turbo engine. This was supported by 16-inch Super Aero wheels and a modified ride height for better handling.
To commemorate Saab’s 50th anniversary, the Anniversary model was released. Engine options were either a 2.3 FPT or an LPT engine. Its Aero-style body kit was complemented with eight-spoke alloys, making this version one of the most uniquely designed Saabs. The plush interior consisted of asteering wheel with wood inserts, standard leather seats, and backrests with an embossed Saab aeroplane logo, a nod to the brand’s aviation branch.
Although production ended in 1998, the Saab 9000 continues to attract buyers, especially among second-hand consumers. Its highly durable construction and performance reliability make the Saab 9000 one of the best cars produced by the company.