Steering Wheel Advice

Hi folks,
just bought my first Saab, (95 900s coupe 2.0 non-turbo UK spec). There are 77K genuine miles on it (have full stamped service history),
but steering wheel (standard 3 spoke?)is badly worn and rough in places and is annoying and uncomfortable. Any suggestions on fixing it, covering it , replacing it (as last option). Any help appreciated.
Thanks
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saabcoupe wrote:

Why is replacing it a last option? It is by far the cheapest and quickest option, and will give the best result. You can pick up a good condition replacement wheel from a scrappie for £20. Will take maybe 10-20 mins to replace.
BTW - badly work wheel and 77k don't really go together - how sure are you that the mileage is genuine? Do you have a full set of MOTs with consistent mileage figures?
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I agree, but does that one have an airbag? That complicates things a bit, and I'm not real keen on working that up close and personal on one.

I have a concern there as well; 77K and a very worn wheel don't make sense to me either. Unless it was a car used for deliveries & short hops, but that'd be 77K _hard_ miles. Something smells fishy.
But yes, I'd just either replace the wheel in kind, or maybe see the Saab accessories catalog & see if there's another wheel that fits if you want to upgrade. Some nice walnut & leather ones offered.
Dave Hinz
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Dave Hinz wrote:

Probably will have an airbag - but they aren't really any more hassle to deal with. You need to disconnect the battery at least an hour before you disconnect the airbag. I've done this on two different Saabs with no problems.
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Service book has Stamps and mileages at each Service, since 1995 (10 of them) plus invoices/recipts for work over then ten years. Certainly looks genuine - Also, rest of interior/exterior is immaculate btw I'm hopeless at Motor DIY so would have to get someone else replace wheel.
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saabcoupe wrote:

Yes, but the reason I mention MOTs is because the service book doesn't necessarily belong to that car.

Maybe - I hope so.

Take it to a friendly garage, I'm sure they'd be happy to do it for you.
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You could check the service history with SAAB directly, they are extremely helpful, contacts on saab uks website. Obviously you'll have done your own HPI check or simillar, so if it turns out to be a wrong un you're covered.
Grunff is (as usual) right, one of the best checks is a consistent set of MOT certs, that line up with service mileages.
How did the pedal rubbers look? Also, do all the dates on the plastic bits roughly line up with the year of manufacture?
Ashtrays, cover strips in the boot, interior light fittings should all have dates moulded into them, on the out of site faces. They should usually all be of approximately the same vintage. Although obviously could be a little older due to stocking before build. Don't wory if your 1995 car has a 1998 ashtray, it may have been replaced. Start to worry if all the bits don't roughly line up with a 95 900, especially if there's a consistent date difference between plastic in the front and plastic in the back, in which case it might be an open and shut case...
I too would be a little surprised at a worn steering wheel, maybe the previous owner was a little rough with it? Or maybe he was a coal miner/quarryman with skin like sandpaper?!

Thats usually what I do, although I am trying to do a bit more now. I tend to leave most of the Motor Mechanic work to my saab specialist, and he tends to leave most of the Civil Engineering to me.
If you ain't confident about it, esp with airbag in place(small explosive charge present) leave it to the experts

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Grunff wrote:

You are not cynical enough :-)
I did come accross a book that was properly stamped but the car was never serviced. I guess friendly employee at main dealer's stamped it, customer then sold car via auction or direct to back street dealer then customer bought new car from main dealer. I saw the car at the back street dealer :-) Somehow I did not buy it.
If the car has been towed they might have put ropes round the wheel etc etc. Being a soft top it could have belonged to lady with loads of rings and long finger nails.
Sorry, if the invoices are from saab they will have the car number plate on them (I think) and if they do I would trust those.

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Salutations:

Actually brothers, I think you may have already touched upon the answer regarding wear - have a close look around the ends for recent body work because one of the things that would explain a worn steering wheel is an older replacement with an intact air-bag.
The airbag equipped NG900 has been around since 94 and there are a lot of working spares.
This is nothing to worry about assuming it isn't packed with something other than an airbag and the body work is done properly and it may simply be that the steering wheel was cut during a theft to remove a wheel lock.
Either way - time to start looking around for an sound independent wrench you can trust to give it a close check over to make sure it's working as advertised.
Cheers - congrats on the purchase, while I've gone back to a 1993 9000 Aero - the NG900S is a particularly nice ride for it's era. Hoopy black-out switch is nice and around here the WeatherBand is lifesaver come fall and winter.
If you ream out the bushing on a rear set of cheapo 9000 shocks a little bit and mount them - the handling improves considerably without adding harshness to the ride.
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wrote:

I think Dexter may have nailed this one, yes. Good theory, and the only thing I've seen so far that makes as much sense.
Dave Hinz
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wrote:

Thanks for all the advice guys... btw - it is an Airbag wheel so there' no way I'm gonna touch it. Suspect that theory re replacement wheel may be correct. What kind of money for a replacement? (leather maybe?) Also, bought it from very reputable Saab dealer here in Dublin (was originally UK car) so would be very surprised if there was any chicanery re history etc. Will call him on Monday and see what he'll do for me
While I'm here the only other thing is that it has popped out of reverse on a couple of occasions - from searching this group that seems to be a common complaint with NG900's - is this generally serious?
Thanks again...
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Dexter J wrote:

That's cunning, Dex. Very cunning.
Only thing that niggles slightly about that scenario is that if this is a car with full service history, it is not unreasonable to assume that any repair work, especially accident-damage repair, would be carried out by a main dealer. And a main dealer would never, EVER replace an airbag steering wheel with a used one.
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Salutations:

Well - it was snipped a bit in reply. I also mentioned that I think that it could simply be that someone cut the original steering wheel to remove a steering lock bar. A 'Wheel Bat' as they are know locally. Really - it could also easily be that some nervous driver with a lot of rings and hand cream had the wheel in locked 10/2 o'clock death grip for the past 7 years. You just never know.
Still, however it came to be - I think it would be worth making sure that the bag is intact and set-up properly at this point given that I can't remember ever wearing out a wheel on any of my SAAB's over the years. They just tend to get more shiny with age.
I won't bother to ask how the BMW is working out - I'll bet it is running flawlessly, save that some of the interior plastic is looking a little dusty.. :/ ..
Cheers.
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Dexter J wrote:

Sorry Dex - I didn't mean to snip in a misleading way - I was just thinking aloud really. I think your hypothesis is a very sound one; probably the most likely of all the scenarios so far suggested.

It's pretty good, yeah - thanks for asking. It's not a C900, but it's a very comfortable drive. The thing I notice most is how I feel after a 2-3 hour drive - much more relaxed than after driving a C900 or even a 9k.
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No pwobs brother Grunff - wasn't sure at what point you picked up my response in the thread.

Lord - any more relaxing ride than my 9000 and you stand a good chance of dosing off in city traffic. Perhaps that's why they set the sensor trigger threshold so tightly. Every 6 hours or so - 'bwong, THIS should keep you awake for the next hour wondering what it could be'..
.. :) ..
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