Date: 07 Nov 2001 15:19:55 GMT
Subject: Re: Purchasing a Saab

Kenneth S. <> pressed random keys until the following was produced: > I'm afraid I just don't get the point about the Saab key, although I've > heard this story about the safety angle before. I suppose it's just my > own stupidity. While my 900SE was in the shop recently, I was driving a > rented Chevrolet Malibu. The Chevrolet's ignition key was in the > dashboard, instead of in the steering column. Well, you have to look at the function of what an ignition key is. Sure, it turns on the coil & power to the systems, and sends power to the starter, if you have the right key and turn it. However, it also does a few more things. On many GM and Chrysler cars, it acts as a shift-lock and/or steering-lock mechanism; even if you hotwire the car, you won't be able to shift or steer, which makes the car harder to steal (only marginally so for some of those poor designs, though). In addition to the electrical switching that the Saab key does, it also locks the gearshift lever from being moved. Last I checked, the gearshift for the Saab is on the floor - so, if you want to lock the mechanism, it makes sense to have the unlocker close to that which you are locking. > If there is a rational > safety objection to the steering column, why not put the key for Saabs > there, instead of between the seats where it is likely that something > will be spilled into it at some stage? If it was only an electrical thing, then sure, the dash would work just fine - like they had until about 1968. After that, they went to locking the gear shift, which at the time on the 96-series cars was on the steering column, and on the 99-series cars was on the floor. > I'm also puzzled about why, if > positioning the key between the seats has a safety advantage, no other > automaker (as far as I know) does this. Because they don't care as much? Seriously - Saab does a lot of things that nobody else does, just because of their design philosophy. This is one of them. They were doing FWD long, long before it was "popular", had seat belts as standard decades before others, and so on. From a mechanical and safety standpoint, it's a superior location. Spillage? Well, don't do that. > The mirror on my 900 is, of course, adjustable. It's just not > adjustable ENOUGH for the U.S.-standard flat driver's side mirror -- > unlike other cars I have driven. Is there perhaps something physically wrong with your particular mirror? I've never seen this complaint from anyone else. Dave Hinz

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