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Saabotage- the AS 900. Possible swaps?

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Did one of my regular trips to Scotland in this today, and after banging on about the MPG’s I thought it was time to finally man up and calculate the MPG’s with a brim to brim... This was 99% motorway, at a steady 60-70, minimal traffic,

 

The results......

 

31.

 

Not bad until Jim Bell pointed out that an AX AVERAGES twice that.

 

So I’m afraid there’s nothing new to report here: still really nice. Still really thirsty.

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Oh...my previous one which was an 8v managed an average of 23mpg through the whole time I owned it.

 

Didn't realise they changed the gearknob - it's square on the earlier cars...cast out of a huge chunk of aluminium so bloody freezing in the winter.

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Did one of my regular trips to Scotland in this today, and after banging on about the MPG’s I thought it was time to finally man up and calculate the MPG’s with a brim to brim... This was 99% motorway, at a steady 60-70, minimal traffic,

 

The results......

 

31.

 

Not bad until Jim Bell pointed out that an AX AVERAGES twice that.

 

So I’m afraid there’s nothing new to report here: still really nice. Still really thirsty.

 

That sounds pretty good to me, too... My 900s were all thirsty and they were manuals...

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A couple of previous owners have reported some

Squeaking from the back wheels, which it’s been doing fairly consistently during my ownership.

 

Judging by the hot passenger side rear calliper, its a sticky brake. Vantman- didn’t you replace the callipers twice already?? That makes me wonder if it’s a ballooning brake flexi or something

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So I’m afraid there’s nothing new to report here: still really nice. Still really thirsty.

 

My GM900 with the same engine but a manual box and better aerodynamics has never returned more than 34mpg during my visits to the continent.

 

So yeah, they're thirsty beasts !

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A couple of previous owners have reported some

Squeaking from the back wheels, which it’s been doing fairly consistently during my ownership.

 

Judging by the hot passenger side rear calliper, its a sticky brake. Vantman- didn’t you replace the callipers twice already?? That makes me wonder if it’s a ballooning brake flexi or something

 

Yes,it had two nearside rear calipers and a flexy hose in my ownership. Lack of brake effort on pre mot inspections prompted replacements on both occasions. The squeaking from the back wheels could be a handbrake cable issue.

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Yes,it had two nearside rear calipers and a flexy hose in my ownership. Lack of brake effort on pre mot inspections prompted replacements on both occasions. The squeaking from the back wheels could be a handbrake cable issue.

Thanks!

Hmm the near side rear disc was definitely really hot in comparison to the other brakes. I’ll admit to thinking that the handbrake was on the front on these though I haven’t checked yet

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On a long trip it’s partly the gearing and transmission losses on the autos on these (no lock up torque converter and a bit old school)- my t16s manual would do 36-37 mpg at 60-70 with 70 approx 2600rpm, all my LPTs with shorter gearing always seemed to struggle to top 30 over the same sort of conditions. I had a rare 900 t8 injection inter cooled (forget the correct nomenclature) 2 door (with the apparently less aerodynamic flat front) with the longer legged ratios and that would do about 34 (although it’s a confusing picture as the manual box ratios can be further tweaked by changing an intermediate set of final drive gears)

 

#former Saab 900 mentallist

 

Ps the 900 is looking great!

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On a long trip it’s partly the gearing and transmission losses on the autos on these (no lock up torque converter and a bit old school)- my t16s manual would do 36-37 mpg at 60-70 with 70 approx 2600rpm, all my LPTs with shorter gearing always seemed to struggle to top 30 over the same sort of conditions. I had a rare 900 t8 injection inter cooled (forget the correct nomenclature) 2 door (with the apparently less aerodynamic flat front) with the longer legged ratios and that would do about 34 (although it’s a confusing picture as the manual box ratios can or further tweaked by changing an intermediate set of final drive gears)

 

#former Saab 900 mentallist

 

Ps the 900 is looking great!

Yeah I was reading about the autos in these, it’s from 1965 and seemingly mostly used in Yanks. No wonder it’s all smooth and lossy.

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That mpg is hilariously bad though, the E46 Ken had did nearly that around town and that was a tank with an auto box. But would still love one.......

 

It's probably about the same as my CR-V. The last BMW I had (an E30 325i manual) did 16 mpg about town...and the auto 520i I had was awful too. I don't think this Saab is outrageous for what it is. None of the big/premium german/swedish cars of the era are going to be economical. Too much steel in them.

 

My two 900s were definitely a case of just fill them up and try not to think about it too much. They are very heavy cars and the engines are not exactly high tech.

 

I test drove an auto 900 a few years back. Was hugely tempted until I tried it. It was painfully (almost dangerously) sluggish off the mark. Put me off the idea. It was probably an earlier car, and maybe had issues, but their reputation has never been brilliant. Saying that the manual box in the 900 is a weak point, too. I'd like to have a go in Jack's and see how it compares with my memory.

 

I wouldn't sweat the mpgs too much - to some extent it probably is what it is, just fill it up and enjoy it. Obviously it's worth fixing broken stuff, but it's always going to sting you at the pumps.

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It's probably about the same as my CR-V. The last BMW I had (an E30 325i manual) did 16 mpg about town...and the auto 520i I had was awful too. I don't think this Saab is outrageous for what it is. None of the big/premium german/swedish cars of the era are going to be economical. Too much steel in them.

 

My two 900s were definitely a case of just fill them up and try not to think about it too much. They are very heavy cars and the engines are not exactly high tech.

 

I test drove an auto 900 a few years back. Was hugely tempted until I tried it. It was painfully (almost dangerously) sluggish off the mark. Put me off the idea. It was probably an earlier car, and maybe had issues, but their reputation has never been brilliant. Saying that the manual box in the 900 is a weak point, too. I'd like to have a go in Jack's and see how it compares with my memory.

 

I wouldn't sweat the mpgs too much - to some extent it probably is what it is, just fill it up and enjoy it. Obviously it's worth fixing broken stuff, but it's always going to sting you at the pumps.

Petrol possibly but my derv V70 averages 42mpg around town and can (just) crack 70mpg if I drive like a granny and 60mpg on a run is normal. My old Passat petrol estate managed 45mpg on a run. Saab’s seem really bad on fuel, I remember a trip with my old boss in the early 90s in his 9000 which was gorgeous but never registered over 25mpg even at 80 on the motorway.

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Petrol possibly but my derv V70 averages 42mpg around town and can (just) crack 70mpg if I drive like a granny and 60mpg on a run is normal. My old Passat petrol estate managed 45mpg on a run. Saab’s seem really bad on fuel, I remember a trip with my old boss in the early 90s in his 9000 which was gorgeous but never registered over 25mpg even at 80 on the motorway.

 

Not really fair to compare diesels... besides the V70 is much more modern so it ought to be better... I doubt if you compared to a Volvo 240 there would be much in it. At the end of the day the Saab 900 is a (developed) 60s/70s design and they were massively over-built for both a long lifespan and mega safety - quite a bit heavier than a Passat from the same era. 9000s even more so. A Passat is just slightly bigger Golf, really.

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Not really fair to compare diesels... besides the V70 is much more modern so it ought to be better... I doubt if you compared to a Volvo 240 there would be much in it. At the end of the day the Saab 900 is a (developed) 60s/70s design and they were massively over-built for both a long lifespan and mega safety - quite a bit heavier than a Passat from the same era. 9000s even more so. A Passat is just slightly bigger Golf, really.

hmmmm, even still my old 240 got closer to 30mpg on average and 40ish on a run, the 740 which is closer to the age (the 240 was an old design when introduced - just a tart up of a previous model really) easily averaged over 30mpg and could get closer to 50 is driven like a granny. Wish I still had that one.

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hmmmm, even still my old 240 got closer to 30mpg on average and 40ish on a run, the 740 which is closer to the age (the 240 was an old design when introduced - just a tart up of a previous model really) easily averaged over 30mpg and could get closer to 50 is driven like a granny. Wish I still had that one.

 

I dunno man... if you look at Fuelly then typical average MPGs for 240s seem to be closer to 25. Some people do a bit better but... If anything Saabs seem to be slightly more economical (more like high 20s), but being a low tech auto when most are manuals Jack's is bound to be worse.

 

http://www.fuelly.com/car/volvo/240

http://www.fuelly.com/car/saab/900

 

In any case, they are what they are, old, heavy petrol cars with low tech engines, 31mpg isn't outrageously bad IMO, especially for an auto it's in the ballpark of what I'd expect. And as HMC points out it's probably the gearbox that stops it being much better on a run. Would be interesting to see if Jack can improve the MPGs by fixing stuff, but I doubt it, much.

 

I suppose it depends what you're used to. I've had a succession of "not brilliant on fuel" family cars, but then I don't do mega miles so it doesn't really matter. The worst have been the 6 cylinder beemers, but the current CR-V is crap too. We mostly have autos (my wife likes them) and you pay the price at the pumps. The 205 is pretty good, but then it weighs nothing!

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