HEADLAMP/HEADLIGHT BULBSSome 9-3 cars have bi-xenon lights and some use H7 bulbs. When buying my car, I debated whether I wanted to spend a few thousand more to buy an Arc model, which had optional Bi-xenon lights. The Arc model also had ACC (automatic climate control) instead of the manual controls that I prefer. The Arc model also had a more intricate wheel design which is harder to wash brake dust, fake looking wood on the dashboard, and a sunroof, which I think always has a potential to leak after several years. I decided to get a Linear model. The U.S. Linear models are better equipped than Linears in many other countries, having standard equipment such as allow wheels (not plastic wheel covers), a dashboard cup holder and leather seats.As far as headlight bulbs, I have used the Sylvania SilverStar, Hella (made in India), and the regular Sylvania. The SilverStars lasted only a few months. When I have more data, I will report it. I plan to or have used the following bulbs:Sylvania Osram OEM Saab: Made in Germany. The illumination of these bulbs were good. Both low beam bulbs used lasted nearly the same duration so at least the data collected seems like it is consistent. Based on my estimation, the bulbs that I used lasted 565 hours and 573 hours.Sylvania Silverstar H7ST: Made in Germany, published life 1350 lumens /- 12%, 85 hours life. This bulb, compared to the Sylvania Osram OEM Saab and Hella HLA-H83145031, emitted slightly whiter light, but not too much whiter. This bulb has a short life. In my experience, they had an average lifespan of only 4 months. Based on my estimation, the bulbs that I used lasted 100 hours and 73 hours. In the future, I am considering to use this bulb only as in the high beam light.Sylvania H7 BP Halogen 64210LL: Made in Germany, published life 1350 lumens /- 12%, 520 hours life. I was not able to compare this bulb with the Sylvania SilverStar because both of those burned out before I put in this bulb. Based on my estimation, the bulb that I used lasted 401 hours.Hella H7 HLA-H83145031: Made in India. Works well. Based on my estimation, the bulb that I used lasted 467 hours. I have two more of these that I have not used yet.PIAA Xtreme White Plus: Made in Japan. I have two of these that I have not used yet. GE 58520U Longlife H7: Made in Hungary.Philips: Made in GermanyBRAKE FLUIDThe service interval for changing brake fluid is every 4 years. I am not certain whether this interval was raised from every 3 years to avoid including it in the free maintenance program offered by Saab Cars USA for 3 years.BMW and Mercedes Benz has a 2 year brake fluid change interval. It used to be every 3 years in Saabs but now it is every 4 years.DOT4 brake fluid is specified. This has a higher boiling point that DOT3 brake fluid. DOT5 brake fluid cannot be used. Available brake fluids include:Motul RBF 600: This is very expensive DOT4 fluid. It costs about $15 for a 500 cc bottle ($30 for 1 liter or 2 bottles). The boiling point is 420 degrees F (wet) and 593 degrees F (dry).ATE Super Gold: This is less expensive DOT 4 fluid. It costs about $15 for a 1 liter bottle. The 388 degrees F (wet) and 536 degrees F (dry). The fluid also comes in blue color intended to make it easier to see when new brake fluid is starting to pass through the bleeder nozzle. ATE fluid comes in a metal can, which is supposed to keep moisture from entering better than plastic bottles.Castrol LMA: This brake fluid costs about the same as brake fluid sold in retail stores. It costs about $4-5 for 12 oz., which is about $12 per liter. It has a boiling point of 311 degrees F (wet) and 446 degrees F (dry).Some people like Ford brake fluid. However, it is only a DOT3 fluid. The reason some people who race their cars like it is because it is not only inexpensive but has a high dry boiling point. When racing, the brakes can be applied very hard many times, necessitating a high dry boiling point fluid. However, the brake fluid is not kept very long to pick up moisture. Ford Heavy Duty DOT3 brake fluid has a wet boiling point of only 290 degrees F, which may be a more important figure for everyday motorist who only change brake fluid every 2 years or less often.Castrol makes a DOT4 brake fluid that is much more expensive than Motul. It specifies that it cannot be mixed with other DOT4 brake fluid.I currently use ATE Super Gold DOT4 brake fluid.MOTOR OILSaab specifies motor oil that meets the GM-LL-A-025 specification. In Europe, there are many oils that meet this, in part, because of the many Opel and Vauxhall cars that also has this requirement. In the U.S., there are few motor oils meeting the specification. Saab Cars USA says that if one cannot locate a GM-LL-A-025 oil, to use an oil meeting A3/B3 specifications. Not too many oils meet this, either.Oils available in the U.S. meeting the GM specification include:Mobil 1 0W-40. This can be found at many auto parts stores including Schucks, Advance Auto, and NAPA. Locally, it costs $6.99 for 1 quart at Schuck's $6.27 at Wal-Mart (5/09)Castrol Syntec 0W-30 European Formula. It seems that this can only be found at Autozone. It is made in Germany. Autozone occasionally has a $29.99 special for 5 quarts and a K&N oil filter.Total Quartz Energy 9000 0W-30. Not too many places sell this brand. It comes in a 1 liter bottle, which is handy since Saab 9-3's require 6 liters of motor oil (6.3 quarts). I would like to try this brand.OIL FILTER (pictures to be added)Saab 12579143/Hengst E630H, made in Germany. Factory installed oil filter.GM 93175493 (Adam Opel AG)/Hengst E630H Energetic, made in Germany. Filter has 71 pleats. This filter is no longer available. Appears to be the same as Saab 12579143, which is no longer available. GM 12605566 (GM Europe Aftersales)/Hengst E630H02, made in USA. Filter has 56 pleats. This filter supercedes the above two.Saab 24460713/Purflux L264A, made in France. This is the filter for 2003 and 2004 model years. The oil filter cap and oil filter changed in the 2005 model year. The old design had a bypass valve which activated at 80 psi, instead of 100 psi. The Purflux filter has 49 pleats arranged in a zig zag fashion.Purolator Premium Plus L15436 fits. Some report that Purolator oil filters are of good quality. Once, I saw this sold on sale at Pep Boys for $1.99 with a $1.98 rebate, making it cost 1 cent and about 11 cents after sales tax.FUELOn many message boards, there is a raging debate about gasolines. Different brands have different proprietary additives mixed into the base gasoline stock. I think this is the major difference between brands, if one believes that there is a difference.Some people value buying a Top Tier listed gasoline. Top Tier specifies standards agreed to by BMW, Volkswagen Audi, General Motors, Toyota, and Honda.Most brands, including 76 and Chevron say that the additives in fuel is the same across different octane levels. For example, Chevron adds Techron to 87 octane fuel in the same concentration as found in 92 octane. However, Shell says that it adds more V-Power to premium gas. Since I change gas brands periodically and because octane requirements are higher in hot weather, I use Shell during the summer and Chevron during the winter. I don't normally use 76 gas because the stations that sell it are more expensive.In my area, brands of gas sold include Arco, Chevron, 76, Shell, and Safeway. Texaco has only a very limited number of stations, only 2 that I can think of. 7 Eleven, Costco and Sam's Club also sell gasoline.A few stations have a common pump that dispenses all grades of gasoline (not diesel). There is some residual fuel from the previous person's purchase. Because of this, when I mix gas, I buy higher octane gas first then add lower octane gas. So I might pump in some lower octane gas when buying premium but eventually I get all the premium gas I bought when pumping the lower octane gas that I pump second.My car requires 90 octane fuel. I suspect this is because in Europe, mid-grade petrol is 95 octane, which is approximately 90 octane when converted to the RON AON/2 system that is used in the U.S. Since only 87, 89, and 92 octane is available, I sometimes mix gas to obtain 90 octane, especially in the winter.In Washington state, there are 5 oil refineries. BP (Arco) and Conoco Phillips (76) are in Ferndale, not too far from the Canadian border. Shell, which also supplies Chevron, and Tesoro, which supplies Seven Eleven and Tesoro stations, is in Anacortes, about an hour drive north of Seattle. There is a small refinery, U.S. Refinery, in Tacoma.In Miami, there seems to be many different brands, including Chevron, Citgo, Hess, Exxon, Shell, Texaco, Mobil, Sunoco, BP, Conoco, Valero, Murphy USA, U-Gas, and others. WINDSHIELD WIPER FLUIDI rarely use windshield wiper fluid. If you do, make sure that you buy fluid that does not freeze. I saw some at a dollar store (where most things costs $1) that had a freezing point of 32 degrees F (0 degrees C). Of course, if you live in a hot climate, this cheaper fluid is suitable. Where I live, it rarely gets to 32 degrees but it can on rare nights during the winter.TIRE TREAD LIFEWhen selecting tires, tread life is not an important consideration. However, I am trying to calculate if the treadlife figures correspond with my own experience. Recently, I found data from my 1990 Saab 900, which I no longer have.That car came with Pirelli P8 185/65SR15, which were discontinued in the early 1990's after being sold for about 10 years. A small patch of steel cord wore through even though the rest of the tire had plenty of tread. This tire and the other front tire was replaced at 14,728 miles. The two rear tires were replaced at 15,260 miles.The replacement tires were Pirelli P6 195/60HR15. I don't know the treadwear figure. Could it have been 400? These tires were replaced 25,898 mi. and 26430 mi. later.The next replacement tires were Yokohama AVS Intermediate 195/60VR15. These were the best tires that I had until I got Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 235/45R17 97Y on my Saab 9-3. The Yokohama tires lasted 20,879 mi. and were quite worn when replaced. I don't know the treadwear number but they might have been 180.The next replacement tires were Dunlop D60A2 JLB 195/60R15 87H. This tire had a treadwear number of 320AA A. I used them about 12,000 mi. when they had about half of the usable tread left.Based on this incomplete data, each 100 treadwear figure is roughly equivalent to 10,000 miles.Based on current tire wear on my Goodyear Eagle F1 Assymetric, I believe they will wear out to the wear bars at 22,000 miles. Their treadwear rating is 240 making each 100 treadwear rating roughly equivalent to 9,000 miles.TIRE RECOMMENDATIONSAlthough it doesn’t snow very often in Seattle, snow clearance is extremely poor. The city opposes salf use and doesn’t clear most streets, even the hilly streets. As a result, I prefer dedicated snow tires rather than using all-season tires. Since I have snow tires, I use summer tires, not all-season tires, in the spring, summer, and fall.My criteria for tire selection are:1. Country of origin. I am open to buying tires from many countries including, but not limited to the United States, Australia, Thailand, United Kingdom, Finland, Brazil, Mexico, France, Italy, Japan, etc.2. Treadwear. This is not too important, but I prefer to buy tires with a treadwear rating of at least 100. Only a few tires are less than 100, such as the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup, which is an 80.3. Traction rating. I prefer AA. This is the straight line traction in wet and dry. Some performance tires perform very well in dry conditions but are not the best in wet, resulting in an A rating instead of AA. I will consider A ratings.4. Temperature rating. A rated tires are so common that there’s no excuse to buy B rated tires.5. Brand. I have a personal preference for the following brands: Dunlop, Pirelli, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Michelin, Continental, Nokian, Yokohama, Bridgestone, or Firestone. Gislaved, Vredstein, Fulda, Uniroyal, General, Sumitomo. Toyo, Cooper, and Avon are also acceptable.6. Probably not run flat tires.My choices for tires include:Goodyear Eagle F1 AsymmetricContinental ExtremeContact DWMichelin Pilot Sport PS2 Snow tiresNokian Hakkapeliitta RContinental ExtremeWinterContactMichelin X-Ice Xi2Bridgestone Blizzak WS-60 I am not interested in all-season tires but if I were, I might consider:Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole PositionContinental ExtremeContact DWSGoodyear Eagle GTDunlop SP Sport Signature (if on a stricter budget)
INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHANGING THE CABIN AIR FILTER (FRESH AIR FILTER)
1. Park the windshield wipers vertical or remove the right wiper. To park the windshield wiper, turn the ignition to on, then off and immediately push the windshield wiper stalk down (one sweep mode).
2. Remove the right (when facing the car, it is left) plastic rivet by pushing in the center.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHANGING THE CABIN AIR FILTER (FRESH AIR FILTER)1. Park the windshield wipers vertical or remove the right wiper. To park the windshield wiper, turn the ignition to on, then off and immediately push the windshield wiper stalk down (one sweep mode).2. Remove the right (when facing the car, it is left) plastic rivet by pushing in the center.