SAAB Safety

A Few Tips For Driving Saab Convertibles In The Winter

SAAB 9-3 Aero Convertible in Winter Condition

Saab Convertibles have many disadvantages and few advantages, but they offer something SPECIAL. Jokingly, some would say that convertible drivers are a little more protected than motorcyclists, but at least they don’t have to wear leather pants :)

Car enthusiasts generally prefer a “closed” (hard top) roof for a variety of reasons, but certainly one of the misconceptions is that convertibles cannot be used during the cold winter months. Spring has just arrived in the northern hemisphere, so it will lure numerous convertible cars and their owners to the streets. Of course, few people can afford to have a car for just one season. Everyone else with a convertible has to live in both fall and winter, which is certainly less comfortable than in the sun.

In general, for non-convertible cars, snow is somehow the best conservation. There is no dirt, no sun, the only thing under the snow is moisture. Still, Convertibles with a soft roof still have a place in the garage during the winter. But that doesn’t mean you can’t drive a Saab convertible during the winter.

Preparing the convertible for winter conditions

If you are going to drive your Saab convertible during the winter, it is important to do some basic preparations, because it will be much easier for the car to cope with the cold.

Of course, most convertibles have a soft top, so you need to check that there are no holes, cracks, and leaks on the roof, and check that the soft top is in full functional working condition. The last thing you want to happen is to get water from the melted snow from the roof left into the interior of your car. Also, if there are holes in the soft roof, it will be very uncomfortable for you because an unbearably cold air will enter the cabin of the Saab Convertible.

Also, Like any other car, put a set of winter tires on the convertible to ensure that the vehicle has traction and ensures that the heater is working. With convertible cars sold in northern countries, with a harsher winter climate, most of them have heaters built into the seats, so check their functionality as well.

Great advertising idea - fishing on a frozen lake from the comfort of a Saab convertible cabin
Great advertising idea – fishing on a frozen lake from the comfort of a Saab convertible cabin

Clear the Snow from the Soft Top

As we mentioned, it is desirable to have a garage for your convertible during the winter. As we mentioned, it is desirable to have a garage for your convertible during the winter. But keeping the car out of the garage for modern convertibles is not a problem. What can be a problem is the weight of the falling snow on the soft roof. If the amount of snow is large, clean the roof of snow as soon as possible. Also, when you have only a small amount of snow on the roof, be sure to clean the roof before driving.

The Roof Up or Down?

If the outside air temperature is unusually high during the winter, many convertible owners decide to show courage and lower the soft roof, but that can sometimes be wrong, so you need to know some “laws”. Here’s a little warning to all you hardy and brave SAAB convertible owners who love to run around in your cars with the roof down in these freezing winter months.

You shouldn’t lower the top in temperatures below -5°C (23°F). The rubber in the roof becomes stiff and will easily crack and the roof might start to leak. Also the oil in the roofs hydrolic system can thicken due to the low temperatures, throwing the roofs mechanism out of sync and seriously jamming the roof beyond financial repair.According to the experience of some owners of Saab convertible cars, one SAAB convertible roof totally destroyed in temp -10°C and it’s also written in the SAAB convertible users manual.

Also, even if it is above 0 degrees and you lower the roof, the roof will cool down further while driving – and this can be very problematic when you raise the roof – it can crack. In situations like this, before raising the roof, allow the whole car to warm up in a garage, and only then raise the soft roof.

Convertible drivers during the winter

To drive a convertible during the winter, it is not enough to just prepare the car. The driver himself must prepare for “severe” winter conditions – a warm jacket is mandatory, a scarf will not be out of the question, a hat is mandatory as well as glasses, regardless of whether there is sun or not.


After all, it’s a personal choice. Convertibles are bought for PLEASURE, despite all the practical disadvantages, so you really need to ask yourself how much you care about that pleasure and how much it is worth to you. If you have a headache with a slightly stronger draft, you probably won’t like exposure to the wind at high speeds (especially during the winter). Drivers who really like the wind in their hair will get over all the flaws, no matter how big they are, but if that feeling still doesn’t give you much pleasure, maybe buying a convertible just isn’t worth it.

1 Comment

  • Me and especially my wife are driving our NG9-3CV also during the winter time.

    The car didn’t originally have seat heaters but I purchased the original heating pads, some wire and the ACC panel for 2007-2012 NG9-3 and installed them to our convertible. Works like a charm and we’ve already driven two winters with the car.

    Like the commercial said: Saab convertible – easily mistaken for a summer car.

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