Saab service

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Saab Service

How to save money on your next Saab service

Saab servicing is now much cheaper, for those in the know.

Thanks to European legislation, you no longer have to be tied to high Saab service costs, dictated by your local dealer.

In October 2003 new European legislation affecting the motor industry came into force called “Block Exemption Regulation” 14002002 (BER), and this now means that you can book your next Saab car service online and save up to 50% on what you might pay at your local Saab dealer.

Before the law changed it was difficult to have new cars within their warranty period serviced outside a franchised dealer. If you wanted to shop around for the best prices on Saab servicing, your hands were tied.

The change in the law now gives every car owner the freedom to service their car away from the main dealers, and still have their warranty protected.

Thousands of Saab car owners have now taken advantage of their new right and reduced their Saab serving costs, whilst benefiting from the convenience of booking with national car service providers such as Service A Car.

Service A Car is a leading online car servicing network that prides itself on the quality of its Saab servicing, their customer service and transparent pricing. Because the company is not tied to any particular car manufacturer, they are able to service any make of vehicle and compete freely in the market, on a like-for-like.

Every vehicle is rigorously serviced according to the manufacturer’s servicing schedule, using genuine recommended parts fitted by qualified technicians. This means that every Saab car service fulfils the warranty criteria and there is no compromise on the servicing standards of a main dealer.

Companies like Service A Car, who fulfil the warranty criteria when servicing your Saab, are able to maintain your service book, just as main dealer can – thereby protecting your warranty and helping you to maximise the resale value of your Saab car.

Of course, booking direct with a national car servicing network has its own advantages:
·         You no longer have to do all the running around. Service A Car collects your Saab in the morning and delivers it back that afternoon, free of charge
·         You pay a fixed Saab service price, which can be up to 50% below the price at the Saab servicing desk of your local dealer
·         No additional work is carried out without your agreement, which means no nasty surprises when it comes to paying the bill
·         Trained Customer Advisers are on hand throughout the day to keep you informed of progress, and report back on problems you asked to be investigated as part of your Saab service e.g. knocks and rattles
·         Your Saab service includes a free wash and vacuum clean
·         You simply pay with your credit or debit card and your car is delivered back to your home or work address.

Our advice for saving money on Saab car servicing is to contact a national car servicing network, who is not tied to any one particular car manufacturer, like Service A Car.

So, before you book your next Saab service, why not ask your local dealer to tell you the cost of the service (plus parts, oil and any extras) and then compare it with a fixed price quote from a national servicing network, like Service A Car?

Happy motoring,
Howard.
Chairman Service A Car

Saab 31 January 2012

Volkswagen passat achievable aspiration

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Volkswagen Passat Achievable Aspiration

HISTORY

By early 2005, the basic Volkswagen Passat silhouette hadn’t changed much since 1997 and what was a striking car at the time of launch had become slightly anonymous in the premium part of the medium range car market, a sector always demanding the latest thing. Therefore, the launch of the sixth generation Passat was widely anticipated. Would Volkswagen launch a car that would really establish itself as a credible rival to the likes of the BMW 3 Series? The tack they took caught quite a few on the hop, Wolfsburg eventually deciding to settle for a less aspirational market position and instead clean up at the top end of the shrinking mainstream sector.

Volkswagen retains the flexibility to introduce more powerful and expensive Passats at a later date should it see fit but as it stands, the car is looking to offer buyers of Honda Accords, Mazda6s and lower order Saab 9-3s a real and very well built alternative. Landing in dealers in Spring 2005, the Passat’s order books soon bulged with letters of intent and a 3.2 V6 FSI range topper and an estate variant followed in November. The following summer, a powerful 170PS version of the 2.0 TDI diesel was added to the range. Residual values are very strong.

The petrol engine range began to embrace turbocharging more fully late in 2007. It was announced that the normally-aspirated 1.6 and 2.0 FSI units would be phased out in favour of 1.4 and 1.8-litre TSI turbo engines producing 122 and 160PS respectively. The Highline trim level replaced the SE in early 2008, just after the economical BlueMotion models arrived. Superior 2.0-litre common-rail diesel engines replaced the old direct injection diesels in 2009 and the R Line trim level replaced the Sport a little later in that year.

WHAT YOU GET

At first glance, it’s not easy to differentiate this Passat from the ?50,000 Phaeton luxury saloon that, at the time of the sixth generation car’s launch, acted as flagship for Volkswagen. The MK6 Passat grew in every dimension compared to previous generation models and there are the same sculpted rear buttresses and fluted flanks as the Phaeton. This flagship saloon was always a slow seller and this Passat drove a final nail into its coffin, so upmarket was the MK6 version’s look and feel. The windscreen is raked back, giving the shape a dynamic stance, and the low roofline combines with a wedge-shaped profile that seems to store the car’s energy up in its chunky haunches.

It’s longer (4.77m) and wider (1.82m) than you might expect and in four-door form, like most Volkswagen saloons, has a huge boot (565 litres). The bodywork itself is also impressively stiff (57% more than the previous generation model) which means that this car is what’s called ‘torsionally quiet’, with an all-round chassis rigidity that allows the suspension to do its work more effectively. The end result is a more cosseting ride and better performance through corners.

The Passat’s cabin might come as a surprise to those expecting the Phaeton-esque styling influences to continue indoors. In fact, it’s rather functional, albeit in a clean, uncluttered fashion. Somewhat unusually for a Volkswagen, this could be where rivals will seek solace. There is a good deal more use of light tones than in the unremittingly dark dashboard of the previous generation Passat, but those looking for something that signally moves the game on in terms of design philosophy may well come away disappointed. There are a number of technical highlights featured, however, such as Bluetooth connectivity for the telephone unit, a superior quality stereo, an electronic handbrake and a 2Zone Climatronic air conditioning system.

WHAT YOU PAY

Front up at a dealer with anything less than ?6,475 and you’ll be better advised to shop for a Jetta instead. That’s what you’ll need to land the entry level 1.6-litre petrol model, although a better buy is probably the 2.0-litre FSI engine which kicks off at ?7,400 in S trim on an 05 plate. Step up to the SE and you’ll tack another grand onto that asking price. The 1.9-litre TDI diesels open at just under ?7,425 for an S saloon but the 2.0-litre engine is so manifestly superior it’s worth stretching for. Here values start at ?8,675 for an SE trim on an 05 plate. Insurance ranges from Group 7 to Group 16.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Ask most people and they’ll cite the Passat as a paragon of reliability although owners of the old MK5 model may not share that opinion, the Volkswagen often doing only averagely in customer satisfaction and reliability surveys. The MK6 model tightened genuine as opposed to merely perceived quality up a good few notches. Most of the engines are tried and tested powerplants and the DSG gearbox is rugged. Look out for 1.6-litre models that have clocked up big mileages in a short space of time, as these can feel rather tired with CV boots a particular point worth checking. Instead, try to land a 2.0-litre diesel or a petrol 2.0-litre FSI that has been well looked after.

REPLACEMENT PARTS

(approx based on a 2006 1.6S Saloon) A clutch assembly retails at around ?190, front brake pads are ?75 a pair whilst rears are ?40 a set. A new alternator is a fairly reasonable ?280, and a new headlamp is a hefty ?275. A new exhaust system including the front and down pipe is ?1250.

ON THE ROAD

As usual with Volkswagen, there’s a wide variety of engines on offer, with four petrols and three diesels from which to choose over four trim levels (S, SE, Sport and SEL). There’s also an estate bodystyle available. The petrols comprise a 115PS 1.6-litre unit, 150 or 200PS 2.0-litre powerplants and a 250PS 3.2-litre FSI V6. If you’d rather plump for diesel, there’s a 105PS 1.9-litre TDI or 140 or 170PS versions of the vastly superior 2.0-litre TDI engine. There’s a 4MOTION four wheel drive option if you choose the 140PS 2.0-litre TDI variant, a system that comes as standard to buyers of the 3.2-litre petrol model.

Team the 2.0-litre TDI with the revolutionary DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) and you’ll have a very satisfying ride. This uses a sequential manual gearbox in order to ensure efficiency and rapid responses, but it also uses a clever twin clutch system to ensure creamy smoothness. Engage first gear and the gearbox will pre-engage second gear in advance, the second clutch engaging as soon as you flick up to fire the Passat instantly into second gear. This means a seamless flow of power. The electronics predict what gear you’re about to engage, depending on whether you’re accelerating or braking, and the result is astonishing, making every other gearbox look distinctly clunky. The other option is to slip it into ‘D’ and drive it like a normal automatic. Even in this mode it’s butter smooth. One comes away with the impression that some day all gearboxes will be made this way. The petrol cars have to make do with the less special six-speed tiptronic automatic.

OVERALL

The sixth generation Passat offers the mainstream market a reasonably priced glimpse of what premium car buyers have been enjoying for some time. Used examples are now beginning to appear in decent quantities and make a very sound purchase, especially if you plan to keep the car for longer periods.

Saab 22 January 2012

Volvos towing aptitude boosted by awards

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Volvo’s Towing Aptitude, Boosted By Awards

Experience and expertise of Volvo is reflected in its lineup of vehicles. In fact, its reputation has been recognized in the recent towing competition. Volvo V50 D5 Sport was tagged as ‘The Caravan Club Towcar of the Year 2007′. Said car from Volvo also won the ‘?25,001 to ?33,000′. Said towcar competition was joined by 41 vehicle models including rivals from Lexus, Saab, Jeep and Mercedes.
The Caravan Club chairman, Bob Black MBE said, “The Volvo V50 D5 Sport displayed poise and elegance. Its modern good looks will turn heads and Volvo maintains its reputation for quality and safety. The Volvo V50 is a pleasure to drive and it really is a superb towcar. This vehicle is sure to be popular with our members, both as a new and used car in future years.”
In said competition, experts commend V50 D5′s crisp acceleration, smooth-shifting five-speed automatic transmission, confident brakes, easy to use handbrake and fantastic stability’. These qualities were attributed to powerful Volvo parts which include the 2.4-litre D5 turbodiesel engine. The latter delivers 180PS and with the standard Geartronic transmission can achieve 0-60mph in 7.9 seconds. Its power plant can be controlled to achieve the right torque levels.
“We are delighted to win the Caravan Club Towcar of the Year award. These awards are a great recognition of Volvo’s commitment to developing good towcars and carry a great deal of respect from the public and our retailers,” said Hugh Reid, managing director, Volvo Car UK.
Volvo’s commendable towing capabilities are well known. In fact, it performs towing tests for all its new models. These tests are done both in Sweden and Arizona. Said tests also include measurements and calculations to optimize its towing performance.
Mark Blundell, the former Formula One driver also noted, “It was an eye-opening experience to see how the cars are tested so rigorously and professionally. I am delighted to be involved with The Caravan Club Towcar of the Year competition as caravanning is hugely popular with motorsport fans and thousands of them travel to racing circuits with their caravans as they provide the perfect mobile accommodation for a race weekend.”

Saab 21 December 2011

james dondero