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A friend has been using a well-known garage chain in the UK for some work on her 93 Convertible. This is a 2009 model with 99,000 on the clock.

I'm no mechanic but usually know when someone's giving BS.

She was told a new clutch and gearbox was required and proceeded with the work. She was also told that a new timing belt and water pump was required but that this was a separate job on a very different part of the engine. Is there any reason why, in the course of these jobs that the cowling and central console around the gear stick would need to be removed? (It was loose after they looked at it and hasn't been replaced very well.... the gearstick knob fell off as soon as she got it back and they said wear and tear)

In the course of other things a pollen filter was replaced. If this is replaced incorrectly could it lead to leakage in to the cabin? Eg. Excessive water on the floor.
The air blowers stopped working at this point too.
They reported that the wet floor is not the filters but have put new air filter in?
Muck had built up in pool underneath blowers and now is cleaned. Another new pollen filter has been fitted as that had got wet with the water damage.
Then the car breaks down with error message ‘traction control failure, contact service’.

Is all of this just an old car or is it the result of bad workmanship and a cascade of failures where one could have led to the next?
 

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Water in cabin because they probably broke the seal around the filter housing during filter installation.

traction control error, maybe or maybe not from something related .

gear box knob is definitly related to gear box work..

timing belt and water pump, is it diesel ??

above all of that, clutch maybe wear and tear, but why the gearbox was replaced !!!!!
 

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A lot here to digest...a clutch is a wear item that will eventually need replacement but 99K isn't a lot of miles. A transmission/gearbox isn't a wear item and shouldn't need replacement unless damaged somehow. But, if the driver isn't particularly good with a clutch or grinds gears then I suppose anything is possible.

All 2009 9-3 gasoline convertibles have a timing chain and not a timing belt. The chain should last the life of the engine assuming regular oil and filter maintenance. The water pump can be considered a wear item but it is an expensive repair requiring lots of components be removed or moved aside. It is true that both the timing chain and water pump are on the right side while the clutch and transmission are on the left side. Can't comment on the shifter or console issues - unless the shop removed the interior panels to determine where water was entering the cabin.

Water infiltration into the right side footwell is a common issue where the cabin air filter housing seal under the hood (maybe the cowling that you are referring to...) fails, allowing water to enter the fresh air intake, flooding and rusting the blower motor and eventually causing it to fail, while also flooding the right side carpeting and floor. I assume the UK-spec (right-hand drive) cars have the same set-up. The permanent solution is to remove the failed foam seal and apply a liberal bead of RTV silicone in its place.

No comment on the traction control issue.

The youngest Saabs are now approaching 10 years old but with regular maintenance and needed repairs they are engineered to last a lot longer. I own three 10- and 11- yr. old Saabs with a total of nearly 500K miles and recently sold a 20-year old Saab with almost 300K - none of them has ever needed an engine to be opened-up. So, maybe hers is a lemon? Or, maintenance wasn't done? Or, the shop isn't particularly good diagnosing or repairing Saabs?
 

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Timing chain and water pump are not done as wear and tear items, they r only should be touched if they have issue..
Gearbox replacement is a big question mark..
 

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Agree. Should have said that a water pump does wear out and a leak there is a symptom that it's failing.

One of my 9-3s had a leak from the o-ring between the pump and tube that runs to the thermostat housing. I was relieved that it wasn't the pump...but the labor to replace a $1 o-ring was nearly the same as it is to replace the pump!
 

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Cabin filter compartment have drain hose which have flap on down end.
Your mechanic is either very lazy or really ignorant about this drain.
You can clean it yourself or (what I do) tell mechanic to finish job properly.
 

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be surprised how many owners of vehicles completely forget about the scuttle drain(been fitted for decades) till there is swimming pool underneath the screen and in the car..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone... they're still trying to get out of admitting responsibility for this and claiming that we should have emptied the drain. The Tech was a non-Saab specialist and probably didn't know about it.

I mentioned compensation and he asked me to pick a number. I didn't I'm going to get some advice on that too.

It's also handy that this national garage is situated in an isolated town and my partner and I are off to the Mayor's Ball in a couple of weeks. I told the garage Area Manager that I'd LOVE to have good things to say about his garage. I even told him I could get him a ticket! He was interested until he realised what I was actually saying.

Thanks all. Hopefully I'll get a satisfactory resolution.
 

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When you (or mec) replaces cabin filter, drain needs ALWAYS checked/cleaned.
 

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the drain should be checked regardless...and yes it's down to the owner/driver to make sure these are kept clear..i check my drain every 2-3 months,friend checks theirs every 10-14 days due to the fact they park underneath trees..
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You're saying there's no fault on behalf of a mechanic who didn't check when replacing a filter and dumped any water in to the heating system?
 

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the drain should be checked regardless...and yes it's down to the owner/driver to make sure these are kept clear..i check my drain every 2-3 months,friend checks theirs every 10-14 days due to the fact they park underneath trees..
Gotta be honest, she only knew it was there when they asked if she wanted it to be replaced. I've never even heard of it, let alone know it needs to be checked every fourteen days. I don't know about cars. THat's what I rely on and pay experienced people for. WHo shows you this stuff?
 

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You're saying there's no fault on behalf of a mechanic who didn't check when replacing a filter and dumped any water in to the heating system?
Drain needs checked/cleaned always when you (or your mec) replaces cabin filter.
 

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I tore the flap off. Is something supposed to be able to go up it? No. Over engineered to fail.
 

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scuttle drains have been fitted on cars since the 80's,should have been more specific doesn't need to be checked every 2 weeks but like I said they park underneath trees,this time of year leaves turn to mush(ergo blocked drain)..

Water in cabin because they probably broke the seal around the filter housing during filter installation.
you can't break the seal..
 
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