Bear with me, this car is old and dangerously close to death.
I have a 1998 Saab 900 SE Turbo convertible, it’s adorable and I love it.
My boyfriend is disgusted by the fact I own a Saab (he drives a bright blue, uncool, base model car just for the gas mileage and manual transmission…).
So, I do typically choose fashion over function which may be why I’ve loved this car for so long, but things haven’t been going well lately.
The car only has about 110,000 miles on it- my mom only used it to drive to and from the country club during the summers back in Mn, she gave the car to me (for FREE!) to bring out to Los Angeles when I started Veterinary school… and things really went down hill (with the car) from there.
I spent a year attempting to fix an elusive coolant leak and eventually resolved to just fill the coolant tank about 1-7 times a week, then the transmission fluid started leaking, then the oil, and then my check engine light, ABS light came on, and speedometer quit functioning… so I went to a Saab mechanic (I think the owner is Swedish or Scandanavian or something so I assumed things would go great).
They gave me an estimate for 2000$ to do the following:
- Replace Transmission mount which had collapsed
- Replaced the transmission seal
- Replace the CAM sensor in the engine which was no longer working (crank shaft sensor?)
- Replaced the leaking water pump
- Rebuilt the ABS module
- Replaced the brake pads which were non-existant and rotated the tires (oops)
They only charged me 1750- probably because I’m Dutch- which looks deceivingly similar to Scandanavians.
I blissfully drove 20 miles home - it ran better than ever with no caution lights on which was so much more relaxing.
I parked it. Went inside, did some stuff… and went back outside 30 minutes later.
The car wouldn’t start.
The engine couldn’t turn over, similar to a dead battery but I had not left anything on AND the car had been running for a while so the battery shouldn’t be dead (in my opinion).
I didn’t have jumper cables so I locked the door and borrowed my boyfriends car.
The next day I went to Nebraska (where I still am) to spend 2 weeks on a beef cattle rotation without addressing the potential dead battery.
After a few days in Nebraska I realized I should probably attend to the “dead” battery so I asked my boyfriend to obtain a jumper box thing and to get the car running before I returned.
So my boyfriend accepts the task knowing that my car starting will also improve his life-
but first things first- unlock the car… THE CAR WON’T UNLOCK!!!
The key will break before it unlocks the door. The fob battery died years ago so I manually lock and unlock the car. It can turn the lock direction, but not the unlock direction. This is a brand new problem. The car wasn’t locked at the mechanic when I picked it up which now in hind sight makes me a bit suspicious.
Now I’m stuck in Nebraska panicking about what to do with this car, I need it running before I return but it won’t even open! Perhaps this is the cars way of officially giving up on life- locking out all human life.
The mechanic claims he fixed everything that was wrong and at the time told me that if I fixed all of it, it would run for at least 2 more years (until I graduate)…
Is there anyway this is his fault? Why can’t I unlock my car? If I get into my car by some miracle without damaging it, what do I do if it is not a dead battery. I really feel like the mechanic should be held responsible, no?
What if I secretly want another Saab?