Wednesday, April 22

2008 Saab 9-3 - My First Lyft Uber Vehicle

2008 Saab 9-3
I was kind of thrust into driving rideshare because I had to buy a newer car when my last one broke, and then I left my job because I kind of broke, which left me with bills to pay (for the car) and the ability to pay those bills by driving. The problem is that with an older Saab, you're going to have to set aside money for the repairs. So even though my 2008 Saab 9-3 has been OK, I would not necessarily recommend it as a Lyft or Uber vehicle. 

Early Problems
I didn't pay a lot for my 2008 Saab 9-3, and it looked very clean, so I wasn't expecting that the weird tire noise was a wheel bearing rather than just a mismatched tire. I fault the dealership where I bought the car, since any test drive by a mechanic would have revealed the issue. I was just too dumb to realize what the sound was. The car also had problems restarting when it was hot outside, which I learned was more of an annoyance than real problem: just feather the gas and you're good (or get the latest update installed by a Saab/Cadillac dealer). A final problem I had right around the time I started driving rideshare was the ignition coil. One went bad, so I bought a set of four cheapo ones.

2008 Saab 9-3 interior back seat
Good Times
People like my Saab when I use it for rideshare. They'll say how nice the interior is, how new it seems, and how clean it is. Leather helps, and so does a vacuum. Some people ask what kind of car it is, where Saabs were made, and when they stopped being made. Others will tell stories about knowing someone who owned a Saab. Some riders had fond memories or riding in Saabs with parents or other relatives. Some considered buying one. And a very small percentage might say they've owned a Saab of their own. Mostly, however, it's a decent conversation starter compared to a Nissan Altima or Toyota RAV-4. The back seat is roomy enough, though the low stance did make it a bit of a challenge for some riders. 

Hazy Future
I wanted to keep the 2008 Saab 9-3 as my rideshare vehicle, but things aren't looking great for the car. I had to replace the upper radiator hose T connector. I was told there's an oil leak, which is apparent every time I look at the driveway. And now there's a weird sound in the transmission. Luckily, I was able to avoid overheating the car when the upper radiator hose T snapped. while I was driving, and there's a chance the oil leak is just an valve cover gasket leak and that the transmission just needs some fluid. However, based on the past, I'm going to assume the future holds plenty of fixable moments for the 2008 Saab 9-3. Most of my fixes so far have avoided visits to a mechanic, but that will change, and that's when the fun of owning a Saab tends to wear off. There's a reason why the government rates mileage at about $.60 a mile, and repairs will catch up to you.
2008 Saab 9-3 interior front seat

2008 Saab 9-3 silver

2008 Saab 9-3 steering wheel

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