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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I noticed a strange phenomena - I'm hoping someone can help me out with a weird issue.

My son has a 2009 Saab turbo wagon. He has been out of the country for a year, working in Singapore. The vehicle has been parked in an outside, unheated garage in New York state. I had it hooked up to a trickle charger, but other than making sure the gas tank was full, we didn't do anything special.

I just visited and started the vehicle. It was rough for a few seconds and then everything seems to be working fine. I had to add air to the tires, of course, but while they were low they weren't too bad. He intends to replace the tires upon his eventual return in another year.

After backing the vehicle out of the garage, I noticed something very strange. On the pavement on both sides of where the vehicle had been parked were strips of corroded metal. It looks like they might have been part of continuous strips about 6 feet long, but now were broken into many short pieces. They are about one-half inch wide and fairly thin - maybe a 1/16th of an inch. I confirmed that they are steel with a magnet.

Can anyone help me answer what this might represent? It wasn't present before the vehicle was parked there - I know because I swept the floor myself.

Any insights would be appreciated.

ThomF
 

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I would get under the car with a good strong light and look, and for that matter, move the car back to the exact same spot to duplicate the origin.

The only place I would anticipate rust would be on the rotors. It's also possible that the calipers had frozen too. I had this happen to a fairly new 900 classic when I got a jeep and let it sit for 6 months.

You really need to run it and move it because the fuel will turn to "varnish", the tires flat spot and even cylce the air conditioner so seals don't dry. Fresh fuel is a must. Letting it run for ten minutes every week or two.

There are ways to put cars up for long term storage and you do things like fogging the cylinders with the plugs out ... what is happening also is that with each temperature change (if the tank is below 3/4 to 1/2, is that small droplets of water form and then collect at the bottom of the tank and that wreaks havoc throughout the fuel system.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Advice

Getting under the vehicle with a good strong light is good advice. When it finally stops raining here and dries out a bit, I'll do that.

I thought of the possibility of the metal coming from the brakes, leaving a trail as I backed it out. But it seems to be a LOT of metal for that. The brakes seem to be working well without any squeals, etc.

My son and his family will be back in the US for a month and then heading back to Singapore for another year at least. I should probably try to get out here every few months and take it out. But, then again, it's just a vehicle. The wear and tear on me coming out here from Wisconsin would probably exceed the damage of long term inactivity on the Saab.

I'll let you know if I find out anything else when I inspect it further.
 

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Thom, ouch! All the way from Wisconsin? He should get a neighbor to look in on the car or at least put it up properly for storage especially if he's going back again.

Like I said, that usually means fogging the engine and even blocking the car to take the weight off.

I would especially worry about the fuel system. It's almost better to sell the car than sit idle for a few years.
 

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Thom, ouch! All the way from Wisconsin? He should get a neighbor to look in on the car or at least put it up properly for storage especially if he's going back again.

Like I said, that usually means fogging the engine and even blocking the car to take the weight off.

I would especially worry about the fuel system. It's almost better to sell the car than sit idle for a few years.
+1 I agree completely
 

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But the 09 Aero's came with the TX engine, self leveling (if it was XWD) and a few other features. Essentially the 09 XWD was the same as a TX. My 08 does not have the eLSD but the 09 may.

Not to be too much of an alarmist but the other thing I would do would be to critter proof the car.

I would put, even though it will smell for a bit, and have to air out, a few small bags of camphor (moth balls) ... poor little moths right .. no seriously, under the seats, one in the trunk and another in the air filter.

That sounds nuts but on a few occasions with stored cars I have found mice in the car, on a old restored Mercedes that sat for the winter, the air intake was packed solid with nuts, seeds and dog food, and worse they will take a liking to the the taste of plug wires. Yep, we were fighting ground hogs on a few cars when they took a liking to the wires. It would only take a few minutes to toss a few around just make a note on where you put them.

Good luck ;ol;
 

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I noticed a strange phenomena - I'm hoping someone can help me out with a weird issue.

My son has a 2009 Saab turbo wagon. He has been out of the country for a year, working in Singapore. The vehicle has been parked in an outside, unheated garage in New York state. I had it hooked up to a trickle charger, but other than making sure the gas tank was full, we didn't do anything special.

I just visited and started the vehicle. It was rough for a few seconds and then everything seems to be working fine. I had to add air to the tires, of course, but while they were low they weren't too bad. He intends to replace the tires upon his eventual return in another year.

After backing the vehicle out of the garage, I noticed something very strange. On the pavement on both sides of where the vehicle had been parked were strips of corroded metal. It looks like they might have been part of continuous strips about 6 feet long, but now were broken into many short pieces. They are about one-half inch wide and fairly thin - maybe a 1/16th of an inch. I confirmed that they are steel with a magnet.

Can anyone help me answer what this might represent? It wasn't present before the vehicle was parked there - I know because I swept the floor myself.

Any insights would be appreciated.

ThomF
I don't know what your rust is from, but PUT STABIL in the fuel, like NOW. It will save your son a lot of grief.
 

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Aspen's right but have the neighbor add another bottle about 7 or 8 months into his stay. I'm bad when it comes to reading labels but even Stabil has a shelf life once it's put in.
 

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The biggest danger is the "special" blend of gas that our moron the Govenor allowed to be signed into law here in NY. One of the reasons I paid $3.49 for Premium in NJ last week and $4.19 here in NY yesterday is that instead of joining other states with a blend of gas made to supposedly help cut emissions in heavily populated states, NY agreed to it's own exclusive one. Wonder who's palms got greased there....

Anyway, from what I am reading, this blend breaks down much faster then the other ethanol blended fuels. The local small engine repair guys said it's great for him, as he was replacing carbs on snow blowers this year as they get so gunked by stale fuel it is more cost effective for him to just replace them....



Sean
 

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I would suggest to your son when he comes back next month to sell the car. He's asking a lot if he expects you to drive to NY every now and then to look after his car. I drive from MN to CT about twice a year, it's not fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Saab Owners

Well, my first observation is that you Saab owners are a dedicated breed! I appreciate the advice - not sure if my son will act upon it, however. He loves his Saab, but is so swamped with work and family the car takes second fiddle. Probably appropriately so.

To answer one of the questions, the 9-3 has a 2.0T label on it, which I assume is a conventional Saab turbo model.

I'm still left with the mystery rust issue. It finally dried out a bit in New York (Peekskill actually) and I attempted to investigate further. I still can't see anything amiss. In fact, the underside of the vehicle looks great!

Of course, there is a lot of plastic covering the metal in the areas under the doors. I probed with my fingers to see if I could find evidence of rust, but it all seems good. I tried to get some photographs, but couldn't get a decent focus.

I could send a couple of photographs of the rust pieces, if it would help. Is it possible to upload photos to this site.

I would need to get the vehicle on a lift to inspect it decently, but don't have time for that. I will be leaving on the weekend. My son gets back from Singapore for a short visit in another 2 weeks. Hopefully he will get a chance to take the vehicle in to the dealer.

Happy Independence Day everyone!
 
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