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  1. #1
    Saab Fan
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    Saab(s)
    '11 9-5 Aero XWD
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    New Car Break-In Question (Long road trip involved)

    Seeking advice, just purchased my third Saab, an '11 9-5 Aero XWD with under one hundred miles on it. However, I need to drive it 2000 miles to get it from point of purchase to my home. I decided against paying a transporter. The first 1000 miles of the trip is basically flat, but then I will hit some mountainous terrain. I've read a recent Popular Mechanics article about changing oil after 20 miles and then at 1000 miles, but I'm wondering if I can make the trip back without an oil change without harming the car? Also, I know it's advised no steady speed for the first 1000 miles, which pretty much rules out cruise control and makes for a long trip. Does anyone know what the Saab manual says about breaking-in the vehicle? I pick the car up in a week and would like to not destroy the car during it's maiden voyage. Thanks for your advice.

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  2. #2
    Scott Hutchings
    Too much to do, no time! SaabScott's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    2009 9-7X 5.3i
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    First off, congratulations on your purchase! I am very jealous (of the purchase AND the drive you get to take with it right away!!!).

    I wouldn't be too concerned that you will hurt the car. I can't speak for the PM article, but I have never heard of doing that before ... seems VERY extreme to me. I would think that you would be fine waiting to change the oil until you get home. As for cruise ... you can still use it, just vary the speed (accelerate and decelerate) every so often. Keep in mind that the engine is a tried and true design and I can tell you that when I borrowed a Turbo-X press car a couple of years ago, I didn't baby it at all ... and I got it after it had been pretty severly abused by some crazy Saab club at a meeting with Saab Canada at one of the local dealers ... and the car was just as good.

    Don't over think it and enjoy your drive!

    And post LOTS of pics once you get it!

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  3. #3
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    Modern engines are made with very small tolerances so changing the oil before the first scheduled oil change isn't needed. This story goes back many, many years ago when engine parts actually had to wear a bit before they would actually work as designed.

    I picked my new 9-4X a couple of weeks ago and was a bit concerned about the break-in on the 500 miles drive home as well. I mostly had it on cruise control but at times I shifted from automatic to manual mode and up and down shifted 1 or 2 gears while still going the same speed. At least this will give the engine and transmission some difference in rpm some of the time.

    Below is the engine break-in guidelines from my 9-4X manual. I think it will be pretty similar or exactly the same as for the 9-5. As Scott mentioned, don't worry too much about it. As long as you don't seriously abuse it, you should be fine.

    Congrats on the new Saab and enjoy the drive! Nothing better than to buy a car far away from your home. Where are you going to pick up the car?

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  4. #4
    Jay
    Saab Addict Hirsch's Avatar
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    11 Mar 2011
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    Saab(s)
    07 93 SC Aero 6spd
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    Yeah, I broke almost all of those rules in the first 1000 miles. Except for the trailer towing. I had to replace my rear brakes at about 26K miles.

    Congratulations on the purchase!

    I'm going to go with Scott on this, based on personal experience. I had about 200 miles on my 07 9-3 Aero(same engine as yours, 2.8T V6) when I took it on a 2000 mile round trip from Denmark to Italy and back. The majority of the driving was on the Autobahn, and most the tales of wide open highways with unlimited speeds are exaggerated. Some exist, but most are just like any highway anywhere in the US. Congestion around the cities, construction, lots of trucks. Italy was a nightmare of stop and go traffic. In those 2000 miles and 1 month I had my car in Europe I probably experienced just about every driving condition imaginable, from the cool, wet Danish summers, high heat in Italy to torrential rain in Germany to a massive Italian traffic jam.

    I've got 56k on it now with no major issues. The coolant tank was replaced under warranty, as was the ignition switch last year.

    The engine comes with Mobil 1 Synthetic Oil, 5000 miles is what a dealer will recommend for oil changes, but the owners manual says you can 10K. In my opinion, changing it before 5K is just a waste of money.

    The only time I've heard of changing the oil after the first 100-200 miles is when you've rebuilt an older High Performance engine. That's just to make sure there's no metal in the oil.

    You're car will be fine. Have fun, enjoy the drive, take lots of pictures and come back and tell us about it!

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  5. #5
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
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    Saab doesn't use any special break-in oil. They use or used to use Total Quartz Energy 9000 0W-30, I think. If they used some sort of special break-in oil, I might want to keep it in longer. However, I did my first oil change at 1800 mi. The classic 900 recommended it at 1000 miles but the 9-3 doesn't mention it.

    Consider taking the country roads instead of the interstate highway for part of the trip, especially if it takes you to historic points of interest. Stop very often, even if only for 3 minutes. I retraced the path of Lewis and Clark for a while. I stopped by where their expedition had their only death, in Sioux City, Iowa from a ruptured appendix. I also saw where they stopped in South Dakota and Livingston, Montana. By taking some of the country roads, you'll have to slow down slightly when passing very small towns, which will help you vary your speed.

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  6. #6
    Saab Fan
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    '11 9-5 Aero XWD
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    Thanks for the quick responses. I will try to post some pics when I return. I am getting the dealer to put mudflaps on the car to protect it a bit from gravel bits, but I am concerned about the lack of a spare tire. Anyone know if a regular, full size 18" tire will fit in the wheel opening in the trunk AND allow for the cargo cover (or whatever it is called) to remain flat above it, or am I stuck with a donut as a spare? Dealers have contradicted themselves, so I am not sure what to believe at this point. Going from Illinois, Wisconsin, my original home state of Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and finally into Oregon.

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  7. #7
    Saab Fan
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    Saab(s)
    '11 9-5 Aero XWD
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    Spare tire

    So....apparently a full size 18" will NOT fit in the opening - which means I'm stuck with the Saab spare tire kit which is sized 125x 75Rx 17. The wheels on the car are 245x 45R X18. The car is a XWD. Is it safe to operate this 17" spare on this vehicle with the other 18" wheels???

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  8. #8
    Mike
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
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    1973 96
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    The XWD system can spin the wheels at variable rates and speeds, so you'll be fine. It's not great for a long long trip, but it won't hurt anything.

    Also, they wouldn't give you a spare wheel that is unsafe.

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  9. #9
    Saab Fan
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    '11 9-5 Aero XWD
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    That's good to know, although the dealer is basically liquidating their Saab inventory-so they may give (or sell me) just about anything to make me happy and sell me a car. After reading the latest on InsideSaab, I'm definitely getting extremely cold feet on such a major purchase.....

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  10. #10
    Saab Addict
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    10 Mar 2011
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    new jersey usa
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    08/280/xwd & 09/210/xwd
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    tires and oil?

    The big question is what kind of rubber do they put on the 18" XWD? Is it at least run flat?

    Regarding oil, I would do a stop by a Saab dealer at the half way point since honestly, I feel that this sudden need for or actually the lack of an early oil change comes suspiciously with all of the industry hype about covering the first oil changes free.

    Yeah right?

    Suddenly we launched into some modern techno black hole that changes the physics of metal on metal contact? I think not. But what it did do, is free up one bay that would be doing a "freebie" or making money for them (nothing in life is really free), but as a feel good thing for you to sleep better if anything, doing one stop along the route will make you feel better about your new baby.

    Me? I go hot and cold (between anal retentive and give a rats), on a lot of these things. True the oil today is better and does not suffer the "shear" of the old oils but when you look at the cost of one oil change and filter versus what you are saving (since you traveled 2,000 miles to get this car), just for piece of mind what the heck.

    PS, if you are not on run flat, you should be. The "kit" was just a plug and repair tool to push the plug in wasn't it? And remember that a can of Fix-a-Flat will destroy the pressure sensor with a single squirt. That will be one costly "repair" and the last thing I need in life is to be locating a minor puncture to stuff it on some muddy back road at night. I'll stick to the 17" inch wheels so thank you for setting my thinking right (think Cool Hand Luke heah), really you do not want to run a Haldex with different size rubber. just enough to get home a few miles? That is a maybe that is best left to those who have really done that and sank or swam .... guess work is not a good idea on this one.

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