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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I intend for my recently-purchased 2008 9-3 SC to be a 3-season car. I live in south central PA and we do occasionally get some snow and they put salt on the roads. This car is basically rust-free and I would like to keep it that way.
I unfortunately do not have indoor storage for it, so the big question in my mind is to get a car cover or not. We live in the woods, so the issue is keeping leaves and such from composting in the nooks and crannys. But on the other hand, I have read that covers can abrade the paint and trap moisture. Any thoughts?
Next, the manual has a list of things to do for long term parking that make sense to me, but the list includes "drain the washer fluid reservoir and hoses". Why would that be necessary? It's not going to go bad over the winter. It's not going to freeze (assuming it is wash fluid, not water).
 

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Can you find a self storage facility somewhere nearby? My main concern would be mice getting into it if it sits outside for a long period of time.
 

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Agree about mice inhabiting it. There are plenty of places they’ll settle under the hood as well as on top of the fuel tank.

In my case, my 9-3 sat in my paved driveway for only a couple days at a time. They nested on the tank and chewed the corrugated plastic EVAP lines making a couple of very tiny holes - but enough to set an EVAP leak code so it failed inspection.

I had to drop the tank to locate the leak. I epoxied and sealed the hose and covered both hoses with split wiring loom so they could chew on the sacrificial loom and not damage the EVAP lines.
 

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2001 9-5 SportCombi 2.0t SE auto-4
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Just had a similar discussion with EdT, and this is what I had mentioned:
You will have to deal with moisture one way or the other, since "breathable" is a term which is leaving lots of space for definition as I have experienced with "breathable" covers for our bikes.
Place one or two dehumidifiers (the kind you can dry in a microwave, on a radiator etc.) in your car and check them regulary. Another tip is to place a number of those floating noodles under the cover - they improve the climate by allowing more air circulating, and the space might even save the metal being dented by smaller hail stones, chestnuts etc.
With a good cover with an inner microfleece (or similar) layer, the risk of chafing the paint should be small. If you have the space, you might want to consider of getting a portable shelter or tent. Wash the car and let it dry before putting on the cover. If possible, apply some car wax. Apply some silicone or deer tallow to the door seals. Squeeze a bit of antifreeze into the key slots of the doors.
Vacuum the engine bay, remove all the leaves, twigs and other debris.

I wouldn't go through the ordeal of draining the washer fluid but making sure it's at least not freezing at -15 - -20C° (which is also recommended for the daily use in the cold season - think of the wind chill).

Apply at least 0.5 bar more pressure than recommended to the tires. If you want, get those thingies (don't know how they are called in English):

Take out the battery and store it in a frostfree place. If this is not possible, I recommend to buy a battery pulser/refresher/jogger and/or a charger which has a trickle charge mode. To avoid losing the settings, a memory save might work:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Agree about mice inhabiting it. There are plenty of places they’ll settle under the hood as well as on top of the fuel tank.

In my case, my 9-3 sat in my paved driveway for only a couple days at a time. They nested on the tank and chewed the corrugated plastic EVAP lines making a couple of very tiny holes - but enough to set an EVAP leak code so it failed inspection.

I had to drop the tank to locate the leak. I epoxied and sealed the hose and covered both hoses with split wiring loom so they could chew on the sacrificial loom and not damage the EVAP lines.
I have had something similar happen on a different car that was a daily driver. I guess there is some increased chance if it doesn't move for a long time, but it could happen regardless. We have had mice in a garage also; the door does not seal perfectly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just had a similar discussion with EdT, and this is what I had mentioned:

With a good cover with an inner microfleece (or similar) layer, the risk of chafing the paint should be small. If you have the space, you might want to consider of getting a portable shelter or tent. Wash the car and let it dry before putting on the cover. If possible, apply some car wax. Apply some silicone or deer tallow to the door seals. Squeeze a bit of antifreeze into the key slots of the doors.
Vacuum the engine bay, remove all the leaves, twigs and other debris.

I wouldn't go through the ordeal of draining the washer fluid but making sure it's at least not freezing at -15 - -20C° (which is also recommended for the daily use in the cold season - think of the wind chill).

Apply at least 0.5 bar more pressure than recommended to the tires. If you want, get those thingies (don't know how they are called in English):

Take out the battery and store it in a frostfree place. If this is not possible, I recommend to buy a battery pulser/refresher/jogger and/or a charger which has a trickle charge mode. To avoid losing the settings, a memory save might work:
Danke for the detailed information. "Tire Saver Ramps" seems to be the english name: Tire Saver Ramps – Low Profile Curved Vehicle Storage Ramp Set, 2 Pk | eBay
Had never seen the memory saver device, that is also interesting.
The manual recommends glycerine for the door seals. Probably a good idea to do that occasionally even if not parking for a long term.
 

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Mice can be an issue but these cars are decently sealed so mice shouldn't be able to get inside. I park my cars outside beside my house, and have not had mouse issues there. But the mousetraps in the house gets a mouse a week or so! I guess I shouldn't curse the neghbourhood feral (?) cat for sitting on the convertible roof. It sheds fur on the top, but maybe it also keeps the mice away.

A good car cover won't hurt your paint. It's important that you get one that fits snugly (but not tightly), so that it doesn't come loose in wind. And yes, a car cover will keep needles, leaves, sap etc from your car.

Inflate the tires maybe up to the maximum on the sidewall.

I like to change the oil last thing before winter, so the oil sitting in the crankcase is fresh and has no acids etc.

I leave my NG9-3 unlocked under the car cover, and the battery installed. I think this prevents excessive drain on the battery, which I charge up every couple of weeks. When I took the battery out for winter, when I reinstalled I had a lot of steering column lock failures and key not accepted. There was no permanent issue (and I have access to a Tech II), however the plan of just leaving the car and charging periodically seems to work fine.

When I get a warm spell and rain has washed the salt off the road, I will take the car for a 20-30 minute drive, with at least some at highway speeds to thoroughly warm it up. That keeps seals lubricated.

Fill up the tank and throw in a bottle of gas line antifreeze if you want. In my experience, modern sealed gas tanks have little condensation. There's no need for Sta-Bit or anything else given that the car will sit only until spring is here.

You may want to put on cheap or crappy wiper blades, assuming you have good ones on the car. I do that; also I have a set of usable older tires on steel rims that I install, taking off the good performance Michelins/ on alloys.

I don't understand Saab's recommendations about washer fluid. Put in some good -40º fluid, run the front and rear washers, including headlight, until you are sure the good stuff has pushed out any old summer fluid. It will be fine sitting like that.
 

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I intend for my recently-purchased 2008 9-3 SC to be a 3-season car. I live in south central PA and we do occasionally get some snow and they put salt on the roads. This car is basically rust-free and I would like to keep it that way.
I unfortunately do not have indoor storage for it, so the big question in my mind is to get a car cover or not. We live in the woods, so the issue is keeping leaves and such from composting in the nooks and crannys. But on the other hand, I have read that covers can abrade the paint and trap moisture. Any thoughts?
Next, the manual has a list of things to do for long term parking that make sense to me, but the list includes "drain the washer fluid reservoir and hoses". Why would that be necessary? It's not going to go bad over the winter. It's not going to freeze (assuming it is wash fluid, not water).
I have 3 vehicles that I don’t drive during the winter months. I’m fortunate in that I can store them inside my garage/work shop.
I always make sure I fill the fuel tank completely with ethanol free gas and a few ounces of Stabil 360 before storage and run the engine a solid 5-10 minutes before settling in for the winter.
Also a good practice as mentioned earlier to put in fresh oil and filter.
Hook up a Battery Tender and all is good.
Been following this protocol for 20+ years and never an issue come spring when I fire them up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mice can be an issue but these cars are decently sealed so mice shouldn't be able to get inside. I park my cars outside beside my house, and have not had mouse issues there. But the mousetraps in the house gets a mouse a week or so! I guess I shouldn't curse the neghbourhood feral (?) cat for sitting on the convertible roof. It sheds fur on the top, but maybe it also keeps the mice away.

A good car cover won't hurt your paint. It's important that you get one that fits snugly (but not tightly), so that it doesn't come loose in wind. And yes, a car cover will keep needles, leaves, sap etc from your car.

Inflate the tires maybe up to the maximum on the sidewall.

I like to change the oil last thing before winter, so the oil sitting in the crankcase is fresh and has no acids etc.
I just had it changed, so that's good.
I leave my NG9-3 unlocked under the car cover, and the battery installed. I think this prevents excessive drain on the battery, which I charge up every couple of weeks. When I took the battery out for winter, when I reinstalled I had a lot of steering column lock failures and key not accepted. There was no permanent issue (and I have access to a Tech II), however the plan of just leaving the car and charging periodically seems to work fine.
Thanks, good thought. It doesn't get that cold here, I will just leave it on a tender.
I don't understand Saab's recommendations about washer fluid. Put in some good -40º fluid, run the front and rear washers, including headlight, until you are sure the good stuff has pushed out any old summer fluid. It will be fine sitting like that.
Me neither, I think I am not going to worry about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have 3 vehicles that I don’t drive during the winter months. I’m fortunate in that I can store them inside my garage/work shop.
I always make sure I fill the fuel tank completely with ethanol free gas and a few ounces of Stabil 360 before storage and run the engine a solid 5-10 minutes before settling in for the winter.
Also a good practice as mentioned earlier to put in fresh oil and filter.
Hook up a Battery Tender and all is good.
Been following this protocol for 20+ years and never an issue come spring when I fire them up.
Ethanol free gas: another good suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to all.
I am going to modify the list in the manual to skip the washer fluid draining, and add a fill-up of ethanol free gas, battery tender, and get a good-quality cover.
 

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2001 9-5 SportCombi 2.0t SE auto-4
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Mice can be an issue but these cars are decently sealed so mice shouldn't be able to get inside. I park my cars outside beside my house, and have not had mouse issues there. But the mousetraps in the house gets a mouse a week or so! I guess I shouldn't curse the neghbourhood feral (?) cat for sitting on the convertible roof. It sheds fur on the top, but maybe it also keeps the mice away.
I would be more afraid of martens, but luckily, it seems that the cars of our neighbours are more tasty to them. 😁

I leave my NG9-3 unlocked under the car cover, and the battery installed. I think this prevents excessive drain on the battery, which I charge up every couple of weeks. When I took the battery out for winter, when I reinstalled I had a lot of steering column lock failures and key not accepted. There was no permanent issue (and I have access to a Tech II), however the plan of just leaving the car and charging periodically seems to work fine.
Apart from the usual drain, very low temperatures are contributing to wear out batteries. Good for you if you have the opportunity to charge it regulary - those who can't may want to take them out though (you should see our landlady getting on the brink of a meltdown whenever she notices someone using the outlet in the garden although it's us tenants paying for the electricity used...:rolleyes:).

I don't understand Saab's recommendations about washer fluid. Put in some good -40º fluid, run the front and rear washers, including headlight, until you are sure the good stuff has pushed out any old summer fluid. It will be fine sitting like that.
When it's really cold, it doesn't matter anyway as the lines and nozzles will freeze.

Another general tip: don't use the parking brake unless you really have to. If possible, apply some grease or fluid lubricant to the open cables, links etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Apart from the usual drain, very low temperatures are contributing to wear out batteries. Good for you if you have the opportunity to charge it regulary - those who can't may want to take them out though (you should see our landlady getting on the brink of a meltdown whenever she notices someone using the outlet in the garden although it's us tenants paying for the electricity used...:rolleyes:).
Wir müssen ordnung haben! (please excuse any spelling/grammar mistakes, I spoke German fluently when I was in kindergarten, but that was a long time ago). Fortunately, I can run an extension cord to the car and put it on a tender.
When it's really cold, it doesn't matter anyway as the lines and nozzles will freeze.
I suppose, but does it really matter, 2 days vs 2 weeks or 2 months?
 

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I've gone through a few car covers for my 2004 93 Arc convertible, which spends most of the time outside. It's a trip car, not a daily driver, so I keep it under a cover year-round. In my experience, the car covers you buy for around $100-$150 with the fleece lining are junk - they won't last more than a season or two before the sun just eats them away. The best one I've found is by Weather Shield. It was ridiculously expensive at around $500, but it's now on its third season, and outside of some slight color fading, is still going strong. It's made of what seems to be a thick nylon with elastic at either end and no fleece lining at all. It's breathable, stays on in the wind and so far has caused no rubbing on the paint. I do keep a good coat of wax on the car, though.

Like others here, I take it out and drive it on nice days to warm it up and recharge the battery (along with my own).

John Francis
Rolla, MO
 

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I suppose, but does it really matter, 2 days vs 2 weeks or 2 months?
Depends on the outside temperatures and the nozzles themselves...I had cars which lines and nozzles didn't froze for days even with nighttime temperatures of -10°C, and I had cars which refused to wash the windshield after a night with slight frost.

I think that Saab was afraid that owners (especially in the US) might forget to fill up the washer tank with antifreeze, somehow something gets broken and then it goes all down south in front of a judge.
It's like with the warning "don't put small animals in the microwave to dry them". ;)
 

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When it's really cold, it doesn't matter anyway as the lines and nozzles will freeze.
It will freeze on the windshield, yes, because the alcohol evaporates leaving the water "filler" behind. I have never had it freeze in the nozzles or lines. Coldest I've seen on SID is -28º, although below -20º is pretty rare. Yes, I use -40º washer fluid, and in January/February -45º if I have it.

Another general tip: don't use the parking brake unless you really have to. If possible, apply some grease or fluid lubricant to the open cables, links etc.
Yes! I think Saab recommends the same thing.

You might get the pads rusting themselves to the rotors anyway. Try to shield the wheels from rain and snow. A nice drive in a warm spell helps avoid seizups there.
 

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Just had a similar discussion with EdT, and this is what I had mentioned:

With a good cover with an inner microfleece (or similar) layer, the risk of chafing the paint should be small. If you have the space, you might want to consider of getting a portable shelter or tent. Wash the car and let it dry before putting on the cover. If possible, apply some car wax. Apply some silicone or deer tallow to the door seals. Squeeze a bit of antifreeze into the key slots of the doors.
Vacuum the engine bay, remove all the leaves, twigs and other debris.

I wouldn't go through the ordeal of draining the washer fluid but making sure it's at least not freezing at -15 - -20C° (which is also recommended for the daily use in the cold season - think of the wind chill).

Apply at least 0.5 bar more pressure than recommended to the tires. If you want, get those thingies (don't know how they are called in English):

Take out the battery and store it in a frostfree place. If this is not possible, I recommend to buy a battery pulser/refresher/jogger and/or a charger which has a trickle charge mode. To avoid losing the settings, a memory save might work:
I vote to get it off the ground, cover it, wax coating the underneath, trickle charge the battery, and dryer stayic prevention cloths or mothballs everywhere and esecially the engine compartment.
 

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I found that mothballs just make the car smell more like mothballs, masking the smell of the mice that happily lived in the car beside the mothballs.
You can avoid that by keeping a cat inside the car. Minor disadvantage: after a while, the interior smells like a litter box.;)

On a serious note, most rodents and also weasles, martens etc. don't care much about smells as long as they don't signal an actual danger or competitor. Sometimes special repellents work, sometimes not.
 
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