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Took my 99 9 3 SE for a test drive after new clutch, lots of bleeding to get it working, adjusting linkage and thinking all was good. Car shifted like brand new but then something must have become disconnected because I lost shifting. Tried to align shifter on the side of the road but it didn't work, so I suspected that the side I couldn't see from up top had loosened. No big deal I thought. I'll have it towed home, jack it up and see what I find. Tow truck came; it was the kind that has a part that looks like a fork lift that goes under the car, and then holds the front wheels up. Not what I expected at all. I asked if that kind of tow truck was okay to use on Saabs like mine and the driver said yes. Unfortunately I listened to him and he broke my oil pan. My suggestion is that if you ever need a tow, make sure it is a flat bed. I am going to see how they plan to make this good. Does anyone have a guesstimate about what the cost would be to have a new oil pan installed?
 

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Is the towing company not responsible for the damage they caused? It seems pretty negligent on their part to destroy part of your car like that. I've had three Saabs towed with that type of tow truck, and they were all fine. The last time I had a car towed, I watched the guy hook up the car pretty carefully because it was a 9-5 that still had the rare lip spoiler and I didn't want that torn off or damaged more than it was. The operator did a great job, and it seems like that's about all they use to tow cars these days.

Assuming you can't get the tow company to pay for any of it, you're probably looking at several hundred dollars. You ought to be able to find a used oil pan for $50, but on a 9-3, the subframe has to be dropped to replace it. Some people here have done the job by just loosening the subframe and prying it down, but I doubt any shop would do that. They'd just remove the whole thing, per Saab's procedure. You're looking at several hours of labor there, plus the cost of an alignment afterwards. Replacing the pan itself is a fairly simple job.
 

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The thing is typically called a stinger. Drop that on the next tow truck driver and they'll treat you right.

Saabs aren't weird up front - there is no reason a stinger should contact the oil pan, unless I guess the is *really* low, or maybe the motor mounts are wrecked? Oh, maybe he didn't adjust the wheel lift right and the wheels weren't cradled right? IDK.

FWIW, the WIS procedure for oil pan work is dropping half the subframe....

Raise the car and remove the bolts on the right-hand side of the subframe. Place wedges between the chassis and the subframe.
 

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Like this?



The two "cradles" for the wheels lower from the back of the breakdown van. Towed mine a fair distance with no problems when my auxiliary belt let go on the motorway.
 

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Last time this happened to me I got a check for $250, they just asked me what I thought a fair price was for it, since I was doing the work myself and just got a used pan from the scrapyard for about $40 I figured the rest covered my time. I'd expect somewhere around $300-400 at a shop depending on their labor rate and if they used a new pan or not.

FWIW I don't think this is due to the particular truck, mine was broken on a flat bed (the winch chains were incorrectly routed leaving them to hit the oil pan as the car bounced on the way home).
 

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I used to work in a Saab shop and this was, unfortunately, a semi-regular occurrence. SOP *should* be that the tow company pays to have the pan replaced. If they resist, small claims court will sort it out. IIRC, it was about $450 where I worked.
 
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