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Discussion Starter #1
So I need a daily driver and I was looking at a 1990 Saab 900 before my current car decided to spin a bearing. I am just about on the brink of buying that Saab I just need to pay and transport it. Now, what will it be like as a daily driver? I'll be driving it in New York winter which is a shame. I attached a picture of the car but here's a little bit more.
92-year-old owner
He's had it since 2001
140k miles
Freshly rebuilt transmission
3-speed auto
This car might as well be a showroom car
It seems like a great car and I imagine the auto would hold up half decently but I want some more opinions. Also, how will it handle winters in NY?
 

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If you want it to survive in the long term, get under it and rustproof everything you can. A wax- or oil-based treatment like Fluid Film, applied yearly, will go a long way to keeping it alive in the salt stew that is New York roads in winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you want it to survive in the long term, get under it and rustproof everything you can. A wax- or oil-based treatment like Fluid Film, applied yearly, will go a long way to keeping it alive in the salt stew that is New York roads in winter.
Consider it already done I have kinda planned to do all that sort of work to the car. My question is mechanically will it stay alive?
 

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Sure, why not? As long as the basic mechanicals are sound there's no reason to think it will spontaneously surrender once winter hits. Throw a set of snow tires on and enjoy it.
 

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Check for a leaky top. Mine is shot and just rains water if it's not covered (I'm in Stamford, CT with a 93 vert). I don't drive it in the winter since I have a daily, so I can't comment on how it rides, but I would assume it would be great in the snow since it is from a snowy country. Also, keep in mind it's a 30 year old car so it will have problems. If you have a garage, most repairs will probably be fairly quick and easy. But old rubber and plastic just starts to go bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sure, why not? As long as the basic mechanicals are sound there's no reason to think it will spontaneously surrender once winter hits. Throw a set of snow tires on and enjoy it.
I kinda figured. I am just concerned because I am an Ohioan and my brother who has lived up here all his life says I need a truck to survive the winters. I figured some good snow tires on a C900 would do quite well. I know its an 80s car but what amenities do I have with the thing? I don't expect/want much past heat and ABS.
Check for a leaky top. Mine is shot and just rains water if it's not covered (I'm in Stamford, CT with a 93 vert). I don't drive it in the winter since I have a daily, so I can't comment on how it rides, but I would assume it would be great in the snow since it is from a snowy country. Also, keep in mind it's a 30 year old car so it will have problems. If you have a garage, most repairs will probably be fairly quick and easy. But old rubber and plastic just starts to go bad.
I'll give the car the once over when I'm up to buy it. I kinda figured the sweds would know a thing or two about snow. As for minor repairs, I was originally going to buy the car as a learn how to wrench and tune-up to be some sort of race car. But I have a feeling those plans will be on hold.
 

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You can't go wrong with a Saab 900 classic in the snow.

They say it is one of the best /most fun cars built for the snow.

If you do have an accident.....you will live as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You can't go wrong with a Saab 900 classic in the snow.

They say it is one of the best /most fun cars built for the snow.

If you do have an accident.....you will live as well.
I really hope you are right. I have never been through one of these New York winters before and my brother is making it sound like anything that isn't 4x4 or AWD will be terrible. Any tire suggestions and how long does it take to adjust to these New York winters my brother says it will take years of driving in them to get used to it.
 

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Where are you from and where in New York are you now? Down here (Stamford CT, 45 mins east of NYC), the snow is not all that bad. A bad winter will give 6 or 7 days with snow on the roads. The norm is only a couple. And if you are a decent driver, it really doesn't present much of an issue (aside from a 90 year old go out and driving 3 MPH). You can slide a bit, but not too bad. And FWD keeps you in control pretty well. But when I head out in the snow, the first thing I do is lock them up before the end of the street to test the snow. Sometimes is slick, sometimes no so much. All my cars have all seasons on them and never really have an issue. And I kinda like the sliding thing (do it on purpose if there are not to many cars around). Oh, and keep in mind, braking is bad thing in the snow. If the tires are spinning, they are just sliding. Light brake and foot off the gas to slow down.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Where are you from and where in New York are you now? Down here (Stamford CT, 45 mins east of NYC), the snow is not all that bad. A bad winter will give 6 or 7 days with snow on the roads. The norm is only a couple. And if you are a decent driver, it really doesn't present much of an issue (aside from a 90 year old go out and driving 3 MPH). You can slide a bit, but not too bad. And FWD keeps you in control pretty well. But when I head out in the snow, the first thing I do is lock them up before the end of the street to test the snow. Sometimes is slick, sometimes no so much. All my cars have all seasons on them and never really have an issue. And I kinda like the sliding thing (do it on purpose if there are not to many cars around). Oh, and keep in mind, braking is bad thing in the snow. If the tires are spinning, they are just sliding. Light brake and foot off the gas to slow down.
I am in Allegany county so right along the PA border. I figured a c900 would be a decent winter car. But my brother really, really hates Saabs and is telling me not to buy one. I was going to slap on some true winter tires. From what I have experienced with Ohio winters and understood there is a sweet spot in your brake where your not unsettling the car and the brakes aren't locking up but you're on them and slowing down. I figured driving slow and having some good tires I would be set in that car.
 

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Tell your brother to buy whatever he wants, and you'll buy whatever you want.

Don't overthink this. Put four decent snows on the car and at the first snow go find an empty parking lot and figure out how the car behaves. Pay attention, don't overdrive the car or the conditions, and you'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Tell your brother to buy whatever he wants, and you'll buy whatever you want.

Don't overthink this. Put four decent snows on the car and at the first snow go find an empty parking lot and figure out how the car behaves. Pay attention, don't overdrive the car or the conditions, and you'll be fine.
Ok thank you I plan to buy the car anyway but I would be lying if I said he isn't making me nervous. I'm still looking for tire recommendations if you or anyone else has any. I only really want to spend 100 per tire.
 

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When I had my pick of cars to drive home (55 miles) from work, I took my 900 with 4 studded snow tires to drive through 7" of snow. It went straight on slippery roads better than the 4wd pickup.
I'd get the studs on 185/65-15 tires
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Nokian or Blizzaks are always a good bet.
Yeah, I'm looking at tires now I can get some decent priced Nokian's by the looks of it. God tires for non-SUV/trucks are so much cheaper. I mean in general 50-100 bucks per tire versus 100-200 per tire.
When I had my pick of cars to drive home (55 miles) from work, I took my 900 with 4 studded snow tires to drive through 7" of snow. It went straight on slippery roads better than the 4wd pickup.
I'd get the studs on 185/65-15 tires
Am I wrong in thinking that my contact patches matter more than the drivetrain layout?
 
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