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  1. #1
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
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    1999 9-3SE (2013-2015), 2005 9-3 (2005-2013), 1990 900 (1990-2003)
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    Comments about dealers, independent repair shops, chain store repairs, etc.

    No particular question here, just random thoughts about dealers and other car places. Let's start with dealer repairs.

    Warranty repairs are nice in a way. They are free. Bring the car in and sometimes borderline warranty stuff is repaired free and work that is clearly warranty related is free. Free maintenance is actually figured into the price of the car so very low mileage car owners get less of a benefit.

    One thing I don't like about dealer service is that the advisor writes up the order, often just a sentence or even a phrase. Then the mechanic has to figure it out. If it is a refrigerant leak in air conditioning, that's easy to communicate. But a rumble, squeak, and other symptoms might be better explained in person.

    Another thing that I don't like about dealer service is that some waiting rooms are so plush, it's scary. I was in a Mercedes dealer once. Plenty of entertainment and snacks and drinks. A BMW dealer has bottled water with the BMW label!

    One thing I like about dealer service is some dealers have plenty of parts. Not always true, one dealer had to order what I thought was a common part. Another good thing about dealers is that you can browse the showroom and see the new cars. Loaner cars are also sometimes available. That's like an extended test drive. However, I've never had a Saab loaner because my car was quite reliable. I did get a loaner when I brought my father's car (of a different brand). One more good thing I like about dealers is that when the dealer is stable, they keep selling cars, in this case, Saabs. I've had the misfortune of living in a city with no dealer. It can be inconvenient.

    to be continued...

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  2. #2
    Joe
    Third Saab's a Charm Warren Demontague's Avatar
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    2010 9-3SS 2.0T
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    I usually go to the dealer simply because they give out loaners. Because of work, I can only bring the car in at the end of the day when they don't have time to work on it, so it has to be kept for a day anyway. I need a car, so the loaner works out. And as a bonus, the last two times I took it in, I got a brand new 'vert and a Mercedes C300 to drive around.

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    - Joe
    2006 9-3SS Arc 5-speed
    2004 9-3SS Linear 5-speed (RIP)

  3. #3
    Jeffrey
    Master SaabTech/Moderator Burnsside42's Avatar
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    - 86' 9KT - 95' 9K Custom CS - 06' 9-3 Combi - 07' 9-7X Arc - 08' 9-3 Convertible - 08' 9-3 TurboX -
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    Dealers have their place - but I vote for the Indy (bacause I will be one next year) lol I also worked for a Dealership for a number of years, so I still boast "Dealer quality care, but without the middle man pricing" b/c I perform on site vehicle care to my select customers I retained when I left the dealership.

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    European Motor Services, LLC - Point Pleasant, PA 18950 - www.europeanmotorsvc.com

  4. #4
    Mike
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burnsside42 View Post
    Dealers have their place - but I vote for the Indy (bacause I will be one next year) lol I also worked for a Dealership for a number of years, so I still boast "Dealer quality care, but without the middle man pricing" b/c I perform on site vehicle care to my select customers I retained when I left the dealership.
    Want to open up your shop a little further north?

    Overall, I go to a Indy guy. He is super nice, does good work, is very fair, and won't throw parts at something to fix it, but he isn't a Saab guy at all, mostly American cars. His lack of experience on Saabs sometimes shows, but he'll always fix his errors at no cost to me, and in a timely manor. None of his mistakes are drastic, but one was close when he ran the serpentine belt the wrong way, but managed to get it so everything still spun the correct direction... that was a puzzler. I only use him when I don't have the time, or it's a job I just don't want to tackle. I've never gone to a dealer. I went there for a part I couldn't find anywhere else, and it was $12 for a little rubber gasket about the size of a quarter... my last trip there.

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  5. #5
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave 37 View Post
    One way that indies save on expenses could be in labor. The dealer seems to have people to wash cars, drive cars around, etc. They often don't have fancy waiting rooms, either.
    The dealer is also more expensive because we expect a large modern building in an expensive area on a main road, sparkling showroom with all amenities, a receptionist and service writers to welcome us, large inventory of new cars and loaners, an accessory shop and preferably a tall Swedish blond greeter serving gravad lax with akvavit.

    Independents usually just do repairs and maintenance and in a smaller building in a different, less expensive part of town. Same work but different experience. You pay for the dealer extras.

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  6. #6
    Jose Luis
    Saab Addict jlrSAAB's Avatar
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    Thumbs Up:   0
    I use to go to the dealer for service. nice.

    I just want to say:
    Congratulations to the creators of this wonderful forum and with nearly 500 topics and 2475 posts in a short period of time. Congrats again.
    now I'll settle for seeing the structure of the forum, I don't dare not stain with my spelling due to language barriers.
    after work tomorrow I will see what I can do and learn about.
    only to say thanks to give me the opportunity to learn more about the Saab family.

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  7. #7
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    I don't dare not stain with my spelling due to language barriers.
    Don't worry about that José. There shouldn't be a language barrier at all. We can perfectly understand what you're trying to say. To be honest, I find your writing interesting, believe it or not. You're doing just fine.

    Thanks again for the links you sent me earlier and welcome to SaabWorld.

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  8. #8
    Jose Luis
    Saab Addict jlrSAAB's Avatar
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    2007 93 Aero 2.8 V6
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    sorry, going back to the thread,
    in Spain dealers service are also expensive more than independents workshop garages but all depends of material of goods used:
    is it the same oil?, I will say: no. the more expensive is the oil.
    dealers use long-life oil and for labor time cost is lower... Independents Workshop use synthetic and the labor time cost is higher.
    dealers take care of your car, they know more about the updates&recalls for free.
    in this year I have replaced the battery in Saab dealer for cheaper than in Opel dealer. Good to know than Saab dealer take care of customers.

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  9. #9
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
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    Thumbs Up:   25
    Recently, another Saab 9-3 pulled up behind me at the gas station. The driver was a 50-ish woman. I wanted to know if she knew a good Saab mechanic since I have little experience as my car is never in the shop. She said she goes to the Subaru dealer in a northern suburb. That dealer doesn't even sell Saabs though another dealer in town that is owned by the same company used to sell Saabs, but not since around 2008. The Subaru dealer in the suburbs likely doesn't have anyone that works on Saabs. It's like if I just brought my car to a Honda dealer. The other car isn't a 9-2X, it's a 9-3. Very funny choice of dealer.

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  10. #10
    Saab Enthusiast Yarvis's Avatar
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    06 Feb 2011
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    2010 9-3 XWD
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    Have to plug a great indy shop in Charlotte, NC named THe Swedish Garage, Inc. www.swedishgarage.com While on vacation a few days ago I thought I heard metal on metal rubbing. The owner, Jamie Cleaton was kind enough to call me as soon as he could and told me to bring her in as soon as I could. Knowing I was on vacation he wanted to make sure it wasn't anything serious so I drove right over. After removing the wheels and checking the pads and rotors (almost 22k on them) we determined that a small stone chip or piece of gravel had gotten in between the brake pads, the rotors and the heat shields. (this is a first for me, but has happened once before to my wife while the car was under warranty) Obviously, this is poor design on SAAB's part if this can happen so frequently or at all for that matter. Jamie didn't charge me a red cent eventhough I was expecting a charge. According to him, he didn't fix anything so why charge me? Such honesty and integrity is truly missing from todays car shops and mechanics. I urge all of you in the Charlotte area and just over the border in South Carolina to bring in your SAAB or Mini (yes, he works on them also) to a shop who will take pride in his work. BTW, the shop is one of the CLEANEST shops I have ever seen PERIOD! I am not affliated or being paid to promote this shop, do yourselves a favor and check for yourself, you won't be disappointed I'm sure.

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    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." ----John Lennon

 

 

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