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Date: Fri, 01 May 1998 19:39:12 -0500
From: Robert Sklar <>
Subject: Re: Timing chain

nils.hedenstierna wrote: > Recently the timing chain on my brother’s SAAB > 9000CD 2.3 broke. The car is a 1991 model with 88150 > miles (141830 km). All the valves were bent, with > the possible exception of a few of the intake > valves. In addition, the chain had knocked a hole in > the valve cover. > > There was no rattle or any other noise indicating > that he chain was worn. Also, one would think that a > chain should last more than 88000 miles. Most > manufacturers recommend a change of timing *belts* > at 60000 miles, which means that most belts will > actually last considerably longer (I once forgot to > replace the timing belt in my old Nissan Sentra, and > it broke after almost exactly 90000 miles). > > The repairs, done at a shop in Gothenburg, Sweden, > totaled 3150 U.S. Dollars (24390 Swedish Kronor) > including tax. The labor was 840 USD and parts an > impressive 2310 USD, although this includes a few > inexpensive part such as belts that were not damaged > as a direct consequence of the breakage of the > chain. > > When I called around for estimates I spoke to a > mechanic in a shop with a lot of experience in SAAB > repairs, and he said that this problem was common. > He also said that SAAB had improved the chain in > April 1993. > > My question to the group is if anyone has > experienced or has heard of the same problem? > > If this problem is as common as the mechanic > indicated, I think SAAB should try to help its > customers to deal with SAAB’s mistakes by prizing > the parts reasonably. > > Klas O. F. Hedenstierna > I recently (approx 6 months ago) purchased a 1990 Saab 9000 5-door Turbo with approx. 80,000 miles on it. I had it inspected by the local private Saab shop I have been using for the last 15 years (Petersen Automotive, Skokie, IL). They said that the car was in great shape, but due to its mileage if I bought it they recommended that I replace the timing belt as a precaution. A new timing belt was about $300 installed. I thought that was cheap insurance. I guess I was right. Robert Sklar

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