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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I've had my Saab a week now and here are my impressions (came from a '99 Miata):

It's a well-sorted out car with some sophisticated touches (the fade up and fade down of the dome light, for example). It's not as fun to drive as the Miata, and the simplicity of the Miata was more reassuring. There's just something about all of the bells and whistles (the night panel, the lights, the shift up light, etc) that kind of festers in the back of my mind. I tell myself, don't look for trouble, but I can't help it. What does help is that the car has been extremely well-taken care of. However, I have no service history. fortunately, I don't have electric seats, cruise control or automatic climate control. I'm much happier having less to worry about.

As far as driving goes, the Miata was obviously a sports car and this is a sporty "family car". So it just can't be nearly as fun to toss around. The steering is a bit vaguer than the Miata (but I'm sure it's much tighter than if you came from some comparably sized US-made car). Having said that, it's a nice car to tool around in. It's quiet (I miss the buzziness and throatiness of the Miata). It's reasonably curve-worthy, although it doesn't track precisely. I find myself making small course corrections in the middle of sweepers. That feels odd after coming from the almost perfect trackability of the Miata.

Things to get used to - the key thing is no big deal. What has been hard to get used to is having to put the car in reverse the very last thing. I used to leave my Miata in first, since that was the gear that I was usually in after downshifting to a stop. It feels weird to have to wait on the top. I'm used to just flopping the tip down, which I could do sitting at a stoplight if I wanted. The clutch has a lot more play in first gear than I'm used to. Took me a couple of days to get the clutch/accelerator in sync. another thing that I've had to get used to is the much lower RPM of this gearing. The Miata used to hit 4100 at 80 mph in 5th. The Saab is almost 1000 lower (IIFC - it is at least 500 lower). It's not a bad thing, just a weird thing. I didn't think the cupholder situation could get worse than the Miata, but I was wrong. What were they thinking? I'll bet it was to discourage eating and drinking because of the safety factor. If so, just leave them out completely. Don't tempt us with fake cupholders.

Would I have liked the SE model? Possibly. Certainly wouldn't mind more power or wood accents or better suspension. But as I said, I'm glad that it doesn't have the fancy-schmancy climate control. There's just something Mazda-esque and comforting about the dials. I don't mind the car thinking for me in some things, i.e. turning lights on and off automatically. But I'm not so braindead that I can't adjust the temperature by hand.

Things I like over the Miata that I haven't mentioned - the first is the lack of a hood support. Second, being almost forced to used synthetic means that I'll have fewer oil changes a year. I like the more solid feel to the doors (the Miata had a slight tinny sound when shutting the doors. I like the heated seat. And I like the ooomph when the turbo kicks in. The Miata always felt quick, but more in a nimble sense. The Saab feels more powerful. I like the all-windows button. I like the fact that I have a built-in alarm system. I only wish the remote had come with it. I only got a single key. I was going to get a remote until I got a price for it and a price for a spare key. I think the spare key is more important than the remote for me, especially at those outrageous prices.

Anyway, here's the new car. The only things wrong are the lack of a hood badge, which I will get taken care of sooner rather than later, a balky remote mirror switch and the driver's side window washer not working properly. All in all, the car has been really well cared for from a visual standpoint so I suspect that the mechanicals have been pretty well sorted out as well.

Well, I was going to post pics, but still can't get it sorted out. I don't how the rest of you do it. What works on other vBulletin forums doesn't want to work here. So here's the gallery link:

http://www.pbase.com/teleburst/saab
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Looks nice! Welcome to the link!

to post an image you need these tags before and after;


example;
I tried that, using my pBase url, but it didn't work. The link that you posted has a "prefix" and a "suffix" that I don't get when I pull up the page. Where did the ic.2 and KcYLE2DG come from?
 

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Welcome! Looks like a good car.

For the key buy one of these used from eBay....



Go to the dealer, and for 30 or so dollars they can order you a new blade cut for your car. Transfer the remote from the old blade into the new blade and then have the dealer program it for you (they will most likely charge $50 for this).

This kill to birds with one stone, you get a spare key and a remote.
Use the key that came with the car as the spare.
It is in your best interest to get a spare before you loose this key, because it will cost a lot more in the end (even if you find a used TWICE module and key).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Welcome! Looks like a good car.

For the key buy one of these used from eBay....



Go to the dealer, and for 30 or so dollars they can order you a new blade cut for your car. Transfer the remote from the old blade into the new blade and then have the dealer program it for you (they will most likely charge $50 for this).

This kill to birds with one stone, you get a spare key and a remote.
Use the key that came with the car as the spare.
It is in your best interest to get a spare before you loose this key, because it will cost a lot more in the end (even if you find a used TWICE module and key).
Programming is actually $80 from the dealer here in Nashville.

No problems with the dealer programming such a device? And how do you transfer the blade? Does the remote simply come apart in half, leaving a channel for the blade to fit in?

BTW, the dealer told me that the key itself has to be programmed as well. Seems like a new key was over $200 with programming. Does replacing the body of the key with this "remote" body take the place of the cost of the programming (I assume that the plastic body of the key has a chip in it that has to be programmed)? And I wonder how much a blank blade is and how much it costs to get cut. I probably need to call the dealership and clarify some of these issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think I saw that someone said remotes can't be "reprogrammed" to a new vehicle - that it is tied to the original vehicle and only the original vehicle. First of all, is this true? Second of all, if true, does this only apply to the OEM fob remote? Wouldn't it also apply to a used key remote if it were true?
 

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Deez Nutz
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Welcome!

There are a few current Miata owners on here as well, myself included. Such great little cars. I'm going to put about 100 miles on mine today as a last hurrah for the season up here in MN.

Link to a couple pictures of my 1994.

And keys can be re-programmed, unsure of the rest, as I never have had to deal with it personally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Welcome!

There are a few current Miata owners on here as well, myself included. Such great little cars. I'm going to put about 100 miles on mine today as a last hurrah for the season up here in MN.

Link to a couple pictures of my 1994.

And keys can be re-programmed, unsure of the rest, as I never have had to deal with it personally.
Boy do I envy you. Today is a perfect day here in Nashville for a Miata cruise. Not a bad day for the Saab either, but I don't really want to take the Saab out on the twisties. Here's my late, lamented '99 Miata:





I really thought that we'd share 180,000 miles (or 200,000 for that matter). The Miata was stolen at 179,xxx miles.

Oh yeah, I meant to write "Nice ride ya got there"!
 

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Deez Nutz
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Wow, that sucks! I don't hear about them getting stolen too much!

It's tough for me to compare the Miata and the 9-3, because pretty much the only thing they share is the ability to put the top down.

I think you should take the Saab out anyway...just plan to go slower. :)

If you want to keep the car a bit more flat, check this out.

Biggest bang for the buck mod, hands down.

If you can find another stock bar, you can double them up. Search for "doublestack" I did that on my first 9-3, and it was pretty nice.

Basically, the 9-3 is a very flexy chassis, so it's never going to handle "great", just "ok"

That's what happens when you have a hatch opening you could park a miata in...or in your case, a convertible top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm still curious how I do the key swap on an integrated remote like you find on eBay. If the key blade is actually blank as most of them are, can any key cutter do a duplicate of my current key? And if the key can be cut directly on the blank, can I use anyone or does it have to be the dealer? If a new blade has to be ordered and cut by a dealer, how do you swap it with the blade that came with the remore? Does the remore itself come apart and you just place the blank in a channel between the two halves?

And finally, as long as I have the original key, I don't have to worry about the TWICE system, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, just used up my first tank of gas. I got 22.38 mpg combined using Shell 89 octane (up to 10% ethanol). It's only 1 mpg less than what my trip computer says. It's been dropping rapidly from when I bought the car. I think it said something like 26.3 the day I bought the car, which I really doubted was what I was actually going to get. I'm hoping that the trip computer lines up with the actual usage by the end of this tankful.

The second (current) tank is an independent dealer who sells non-ethanol gas. I'm interested to see what kind of mileage and performance I get. I'm eventually going to try all three grades of gas and compare them. I'm going to use two tankfuls for each grade to establish a fairly accurate baseline. My next two tankfuls are going to be 87, one will be Shell and one will be from this non-ethanol station. Then the next two will be 93, using both stations as well.
 

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You open the key on the back. The same thing you do to replace the battery.

Once you open the back, the whole remote can be taken out of the key body. This is the expensive part. You can have the dealer order a whole new key body cut for your car. You would put the remote from the key you bought on ebay in the new key body.

If you do wind up buying a blank all in one key from ebay, you will have to find a locksmith with a sidewinder key machine. Some higher end locksmiths will actually have a machine that can cut from the key code. The key code originally came from the dealer on a plastic tag. If you don't have this the dealer can look it up via your VIN Number.

Here is a pic of the key all taken apart which I stole from some dude's website.

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You open the key on the back. The same thing you do to replace the battery.

Once you open the back, the whole remote can be taken out of the key body. This is the expensive part. You can have the dealer order a whole new key body cut for your car. You would put the remote from the key you bought on ebay in the new key body.

If you do wind up buying a blank all in one key from ebay, you will have to find a locksmith with a sidewinder key machine. Some higher end locksmiths will actually have a machine that can cut from the key code. The key code originally came from the dealer on a plastic tag. If you don't have this the dealer can look it up via your VIN Number.

Here is a pic of the key all taken apart which I stole from some dude's website.

Thanks for the info. If I order a new key body from the dealer, will it be a "remote body", or just a molded "handle" like the one that I've got? If so, I wouldn't be able to transfer it. I guess what I'm asking is did Saab provide both a key fob and/or an integrated remote key? I assume that the dealer would at least be able to cut a new key from a remote key with a blank blade for a cost.

My other option is to get a key fob from keyless.com. that runs $44.95 and I'll have to add $80 for the programming. How much would a simple duplicate key be (if there is such a thing)? the dealer told me that a duplicate key would also have to be programmed. Were they assuming that there was going to be a remote integrated with it or is there some sort of programming that has to be done to allow the car to recognize the spare key even if it's only "just" a key?

Basically, I want to do the cheapest thing in order to get both a remote *and* a spare key.

I hope that I'm making myself clear.
 

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Buy the all in one key from ebay. Take it apart and bring the wrong key body to the dealers parts dept. Tell them you want to order the exact same thing just cut for your car. It should cost around $35. It will probably take a few days for the part to arrive. When it comes in, bring the guts (the remote/battery/back cover, it's probably a good idea to have a new battery too) with you and install it in the new key body.

The dealer will probably charge you around $50 to program the new key.
You need to make sure that you have every other key you have for the car for all of them to work.

Total cost = $85 plus whatever the ebay cost is.

Here, this is a used one on ebay for $10 right now
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/saab...ptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Buy the all in one key from ebay. Take it apart and bring the wrong key body to the dealers parts dept. Tell them you want to order the exact same thing just cut for your car. It should cost around $35. It will probably take a few days for the part to arrive. When it comes in, bring the guts (the remote/battery/back cover, it's probably a good idea to have a new battery too) with you and install it in the new key body.

The dealer will probably charge you around $50 to program the new key.
You need to make sure that you have every other key you have for the car for all of them to work.

Total cost = $85 plus whatever the ebay cost is.

Here, this is a used one on ebay for $10 right now
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/saab...ptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories
Thanks.

Our dealer charges $80 for programming. So it's going to be $115 just for the dealer cost.

I only have one key currently and it's just a regular key. I'm supposed to have that when everything else gets programmed, right?

I wonder if they will charge me a single programming charge for programming everything together or whether I have to pay $80 for the fob remote and an extra key. I guess I should ask...
 
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