Sunday, March 30, 2008

How to Get Perfect Fluid Levels

The SAAB 9-5 has some of the hardest to read dipsticks. The markings can be confusing and the fluid seems to end up on parts of the stick that you know doesn't reflect the fluid level. Personally, it leaves me doubting my level readings.

I use my fluid vacuum and a clothes-pin to get the perfect level after a fluid change or top off.

Start by refilling or topping off the appropriate sump as normal. Add a little extra fluid so it is just slightly over-filled. Less than a quarter quart is plenty extra.

Line the end of the vacuum tube with the max level line on the dipstick you are using.

And then clip the clothes-pin on the vacuum tube where it lines up with the top of the dipstick seal.

Put the vacuum tube into the sump, stopping when you reach the clip.

And then start sucking out the extra fluid. The vacuum pump will stop when the fluid level is correct.

Monday, March 10, 2008

SAAB Secrets: Spare Tire Edition

“On the outskirts of every agony sits some observant fellow who points.” Virginia Woolf

I discovered this morning, as I was leaving for work, that I had a flat tire. Unless you've had a flat tire on your SAAB you probably don't know the color of the spare tire. It's 'clown car' red. Sure, it's done as a safety feature, but I think there was some malice thrown in there too. Why not put some salt in the wound of having a flat tire by giving the car a bright red spare.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Photo Shoot

It's almost spring, the weather is almost nice, the sun is almost shining, the car is almost clean, sounds like it is almost the perfect morning to take some photos.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Remove and De-badge SAAB 9-5 Name and Model Emblems From Trunk

Not everyone wants to de-badge their car. That's fine with me, I tend my own knitting. There is nothing wrong with the brand and model badges on the back of the 9-5, but I really do love the way the trunk looks with just the blue SAAB emblem in the center and no other identification.

It is easy to remove the chrome SAAB and 9-5 badges from the trunk ( or boot) . The results are really clean and I think it makes an improvement. The chrome letters and numbers on the SAAB trunk always looked cheap to me and they were great at collecting gunk (as you can see in my 9-5 emblem's "before" picture). I decided to remove the offending parts, leaving only the center emblems to identify my vehicle brand.

To start the de-badging process I used my wife's hairdryer to heat up the emblems. It only took a minute and the letters were loose enough from the heat that they could be pulled off with my fingers. You might want to use dental floss if you have some tougher chrome letters than I did. I think it helped that the foam tape underneath was eight years old.

Next I used a combination of thumbnails, WD-40, paper towels, and a plastic wedge to remove the foam tape and adhesive residue. This part isn't hard, it just takes patience and some muscle. After all of the residue was removed there was an outline of the numbers and letters left on the trunk. I used a clear coat cleaner from Myguiar's to remove the lines without damaging the paint. Everything came clean and there is not difference in paint from the newly exposed parts compared to the rest of the trunk.

I also like the idea of people not knowing what kind of car I have. SAAB is a very rare make in my area. Yes, a few might recognize it as a SAAB from the body shape or the logo, but even less of those will know the model. I want people to see my car and wonder what kind it is.

While I didn't have problems with paint fade (eight years old, but white paint and garage kept), I would caution people that might have discoloration due to weather and time to only take one emblem off at first and check to see what the paint under the area looks like. You might have to stick the emblem back on if the paint is too drastically changed.