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  #1  
Old 20th July 2013
philbar71 philbar71 is offline
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Default How To: Transmission Fluid Change on the Aisin Warner AWTF-80SC (06+ Aero Automatic)

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THIS THREAD IS ONLY FOR THE 6 SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION!! DO NOT ASK QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS OR POST INFORMATION ABOUT THE OTHER TRANSMISSIONS AS IT WILL ONLY LEAD TO CONFUSION!!!

SIX SPEED AUTOMATIC ONLY!

With that said,

The AWTF-80SC is in 06+ Aeros as well as the 1.9 Diesel versions. It is also called the TF-80SC (AWF21, AF40-6, AM6, AW6A-EL) and TF-81SC (AF21).

Recommended Fluid: GM Part # 93165147. Or if you dont want to spend $25 a liter from GM then you can go for the Ford Motorcraft XT-8-QAW Transmisson fluid. Exact same stuff but much cheaper at $8 a quart from your local Ford dealer.

Saab, as well as Volvo and Ford all recommend fluid changes at 30K intervals on these transmissions. And they really do need changing every 30K miles because there is no fluid filter in these transmissions. Just a pickup screen, which is why the fluid gets so dirty so fast.

Step 1: Drive the car up on ramps, then jack the rear of the car up until it is level.

Step 2: Slide under your car and look for the drain bolt on the bottom side of the transmission near the drivers side of the car. Grab a pan to catch the fluid, as its about to come gushing out once that bolt is off. Get a Torx bit, a T40(Should be a T40 or T45) and un screw the inner bolt like so:



Once that is off fluid will come out of the middle and let it drain completely. Shoudnt take too long.

Step 3: Once its all drained out, get a 12mm hex bit and unscrew the drain plug.





I found these at Autozone. About $10 for all three.



This is where the majority of the fluid will come out. Careful cause this stuff is scolding hot. So hot it splashed on my sunburnt arm and gave me a second degree burn and made my skin peel and everything... Let that drain out completely. Be sure to measure exactly how much came out because that will be exactly how much to put back in!

Step 4: Refill. You have two options here. The hard way, and the hard way.

The first hard way involves unscrewing this POS of a bolt.


As you can see I stripped mine, because you cant get good angle on it because the turbo heat shield is in the way. You could take the heat shield off, but that involves unscrewing like 5 hard as hell to get to 10mm bolts.

So what to do now you may be asking with a transmission that has no fluid and no perciveable way to fill it back up?

Use the vent tube to fill it back up! Yes thats right boys and girls, The AWTF 80 has a vent tube attached to the side of the housing that SAAB was generous enough to attach a piece of 1/4" hose to and stick it near the ABS module. It looks like this!



The end of it should be hanging around the ABS module or brake booster/reservoir. The end of the hose will be pointing towards the ground. Find it, clean it off, and stick a tiny little funnel in it like so. I know its hard to see the funnel at first because its white and my Note 2 will sometimes over expose photos.



While you still have the drain plug open on the bottom, go ahead and flush about half of a quart of fluid through it to make sure youve got the right hose and if there was any debris in the hose it will flush it out.

Once clean fluid is pouring out of the drain plug, go ahead and put it back in and snug it all up down there. (sorry I dont have any torque specs for you by the book yellow bellies, I simply tightened it about the same amount I would the oil drain bolt. Be careful because it is an aluminum housing that can strip easily. Especially the little tiny one inside the big one.)

Anyways. Once its all tightened up, prepare to fill the transmission with clean new fluid. I did so by jamming the hose and funnel between the coolant reservoir and the brake fluid reservoir and stuffing a rag all around it in case I spilled any.

Go ahead and start slowly pouring fluid down the hose and prepare for the most boring thing you will ever do to your car. Throughout this process you will be staring at the tiny little funnel and start to question what you are doing with your life as the fluid takes its sweet time dripping in to the trans.



Be careful when doing this, because as you are filling the trans with a liquid, there is still alot of air inside of it that has no where to escape but out of the vent tube you are forcing fluid down. So, quite regularly as the fluid is draining, the transmission will burp and air will come bubbling up through tube. This will make quite a mess as you can see from the pictures so be sure to have some spare rags handy to wipe any up.

If you are impatient (like I am) then there is one thing you can do to speed it up. Remember that little tiny bolt inside the big drain bolt.



Yeah that one. If you take it out while filling up the trans, it will give the air thats trapped inside somewhere to go and it will fill up much quicker.

Now when I drained my trans I had about 2.75 quarts come out. So as I began to add it back with the little drain plug opened on the bottom I got about 2 quarts in the transmission before fluid began to pour out of the bottom. So obviously when that happens, you have no choice but to put the plug back in and just sit there and wait for it to slowly pour in.

All in all, the hardest part was jacking the car up in the rear and adding the fluid back was time consuming and boring as hell. I started draining the fluid at about 11AM and was all finished at about 12:45. So almost about an hour and a half if I knew what I was doing and hadent fought the dam stripped fill bolt.

So hopefully someone found this post helpful, and maybe it could even get stickied. Because it took me about a month to figure out exactly where that fill bolt was on the top of the trans and to find the dam fluid.

GM recommends doing a simple fluid change every 30K miles. And believe me, do it every 30K miles if you want your transmission to last. THESE ARE NOT "SEALED TRANSMISSIONS" FOR LIFE like some will say. The fluid in my car was changed at the dealer about 3 years ago at 64K miles by the previous owner. I changed mine at 93K miles and the fluid that came out was BLACK. Literally was black. Didnt smell burnt or anything it was just dirty as hell.

Ive drove about 300 miles on the new fluid so far and I can say that the downshifting has become ALOT smoother. These transmissions have sticking valve body issues and mine was starting to stick and clunk on downshifts. After I changed the fluid, I noticed an immediate improvement in shifting.

Last edited by swedespeed7; 7th October 2018 at 12:09 PM.
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  #2  
Old 20th July 2013
philbar71 philbar71 is offline
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And if anyone is wondering. Yes I used the Ford fluid in my GM car



Heres the back of the bottle. I underlined the important part...

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  #3  
Old 20th July 2013
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Awesome. Into the How To sticky it goes.... Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 20th July 2013
philbar71 philbar71 is offline
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Cool!

Another thing to note, these six speed AW trans dont have a filter... So that is why GM recommends changes every 30K. There is only a small screen on the pickup for the pump. So be sure whatever funnel you use to fill it up with is clean and dont let any sand/dirt in!
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  #5  
Old 20th July 2013
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Nice write up. Thanks for the excellent photos too. I found it entertaining to read too and I don't even have that transmission.
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  #6  
Old 21st July 2013
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Nice right up dude, matter of fact I did the fluid change today and your right the fill plug is a PIA. I went through the trouble to remove the battery box to access the plug then used the torx socket with a swivel and long extension. It took alot longer but for the first time not too bad. The torque specs are still fresh if anyone wants them, the fill plug is 22ft lb, drain plug (allen) 33ft lb and the center tube bolt is 7ft lb or I used inch torque wrench 84 in lbs.
I read in another thread someone used a hand fluid pump to pump the fluid through the tube, I did buy one but there's no way your gonna get 3 liters in the trans using this method. The idea sounds good but you'll be too short on fluid this way.
Only 50K and my fluid was dark brown, first time change, 2 more to go....
BTW I change my coolant also, that was more of a PIA....
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  #7  
Old 7th November 2015
OzUsa OzUsa is offline
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Pictures aren't showing here, is it possible to reset?
I need to do my trans soon and from all the entries seems best to know the problems.
Thanks
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  #8  
Old 1st December 2015
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Excellent write ups everyone! I have the 2010 9-5 Aero and I just hit 38,000. I better get on this since I highly doubt this has been done yet. Same with the XWD...looks like I'm gonna have a fun and expensive weekend ahead of me. Pics and Prices to follow.
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  #9  
Old 4th December 2015
iihfjerseycollector iihfjerseycollector is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwwsquirrel View Post
Excellent write ups everyone! I have the 2010 9-5 Aero and I just hit 38,000. I better get on this since I highly doubt this has been done yet. Same with the XWD...looks like I'm gonna have a fun and expensive weekend ahead of me. Pics and Prices to follow.
If i were you , i wouldnt touch a thing, especially if you have the saab secure warranty (which you should with that low mileage!)
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  #10  
Old 19th December 2015
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An update on availability and price on the Saab PN 93165147 fluid. Vendors thesaabsite.com, esaabparts.com are showing it for $11.48/qt. which seems very reasonable considering the alternatives. I'm sure shipping will add some cost though.

Edit: 6 qts shipped ground for about $85.
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Last edited by AVguy; 19th December 2015 at 11:16 PM.
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  #11  
Old 13th August 2017
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philbar71,
Your post was particularly helpful to me as I ran into the filling issue and did not want to once again pay to get the job done. I believe that I payed in the $225 range to have the job done last year as I have my fluid changed yearly. THANKS, THANKS, THANKS!
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  #12  
Old 5th September 2017
aeroMN aeroMN is offline
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Great post, thoroughly intend to do this as soon as I can get the fluid, as my local shop (which specializes in European cars and has done amazing things for me in the past with my Volvo) insisted on flushing and brand new synthetic fluid to the tune of ~$275... I think I'll pass. Gives me an excuse to hang out in the garage anyways, that's where I get my best therapy

P.S. The images on page one don't show up for me, could that be because my profile is so new?
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  #13  
Old 8th August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philbar71 View Post
THIS THREAD IS ONLY FOR THE 6 SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION!! DO NOT ASK QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS OR POST INFORMATION ABOUT THE OTHER TRANSMISSIONS AS IT WILL ONLY LEAD TO CONFUSION!!!

SIX SPEED AUTOMATIC ONLY!

With that said,

The AWTF-80SC is in 06+ Aeros as well as the 1.9 Diesel versions. It is also called the TF-80SC (AWF21, AF40-6, AM6, AW6A-EL) and TF-81SC (AF21).

Recommended Fluid: GM Part # 93165147. Or if you dont want to spend $25 a liter from GM then you can go for the Ford Motorcraft XT-8-QAW Transmisson fluid. Exact same stuff but much cheaper at $8 a quart from your local Ford dealer.

Saab, as well as Volvo and Ford all recommend fluid changes at 30K intervals on these transmissions. And they really do need changing every 30K miles because there is no fluid filter in these transmissions. Just a pickup screen, which is why the fluid gets so dirty so fast.

Step 1: Drive the car up on ramps, then jack the rear of the car up until it is level.

Step 2: Slide under your car and look for the drain bolt on the bottom side of the transmission near the drivers side of the car. Grab a pan to catch the fluid, as its about to come gushing out once that bolt is off. Get a Torx bit, a T40(Should be a T40 or T45) and un screw the inner bolt like so:



Once that is off fluid will come out of the middle and let it drain completely. Shoudnt take too long.

Step 3: Once its all drained out, get a 12mm hex bit and unscrew the drain plug.





I found these at Autozone. About $10 for all three.



This is where the majority of the fluid will come out. Careful cause this stuff is scolding hot. So hot it splashed on my sunburnt arm and gave me a second degree burn and made my skin peel and everything... Let that drain out completely. Be sure to measure exactly how much came out because that will be exactly how much to put back in!

Step 4: Refill. You have two options here. The hard way, and the hard way.

The first hard way involves unscrewing this POS of a bolt.


As you can see I stripped mine, because you cant get good angle on it because the turbo heat shield is in the way. You could take the heat shield off, but that involves unscrewing like 5 hard as hell to get to 10mm bolts.

So what to do now you may be asking with a transmission that has no fluid and no perciveable way to fill it back up?

Use the vent tube to fill it back up! Yes thats right boys and girls, The AWTF 80 has a vent tube attached to the side of the housing that SAAB was generous enough to attach a piece of 1/4" hose to and stick it near the ABS module. It looks like this!



The end of it should be hanging around the ABS module or brake booster/reservoir. The end of the hose will be pointing towards the ground. Find it, clean it off, and stick a tiny little funnel in it like so. I know its hard to see the funnel at first because its white and my Note 2 will sometimes over expose photos.



While you still have the drain plug open on the bottom, go ahead and flush about half of a quart of fluid through it to make sure youve got the right hose and if there was any debris in the hose it will flush it out.

Once clean fluid is pouring out of the drain plug, go ahead and put it back in and snug it all up down there. (sorry I dont have any torque specs for you by the book yellow bellies, I simply tightened it about the same amount I would the oil drain bolt. Be careful because it is an aluminum housing that can strip easily. Especially the little tiny one inside the big one.)

Anyways. Once its all tightened up, prepare to fill the transmission with clean new fluid. I did so by jamming the hose and funnel between the coolant reservoir and the brake fluid reservoir and stuffing a rag all around it in case I spilled any.

Go ahead and start slowly pouring fluid down the hose and prepare for the most boring thing you will ever do to your car. Throughout this process you will be staring at the tiny little funnel and start to question what you are doing with your life as the fluid takes its sweet time dripping in to the trans.



Be careful when doing this, because as you are filling the trans with a liquid, there is still alot of air inside of it that has no where to escape but out of the vent tube you are forcing fluid down. So, quite regularly as the fluid is draining, the transmission will burp and air will come bubbling up through tube. This will make quite a mess as you can see from the pictures so be sure to have some spare rags handy to wipe any up.

If you are impatient (like I am) then there is one thing you can do to speed it up. Remember that little tiny bolt inside the big drain bolt.



Yeah that one. If you take it out while filling up the trans, it will give the air thats trapped inside somewhere to go and it will fill up much quicker.

Now when I drained my trans I had about 2.75 quarts come out. So as I began to add it back with the little drain plug opened on the bottom I got about 2 quarts in the transmission before fluid began to pour out of the bottom. So obviously when that happens, you have no choice but to put the plug back in and just sit there and wait for it to slowly pour in.

All in all, the hardest part was jacking the car up in the rear and adding the fluid back was time consuming and boring as hell. I started draining the fluid at about 11AM and was all finished at about 12:45. So almost about an hour and a half if I knew what I was doing and hadent fought the dam stripped fill bolt.

So hopefully someone found this post helpful, and maybe it could even get stickied. Because it took me about a month to figure out exactly where that fill bolt was on the top of the trans and to find the dam fluid.

GM recommends doing a simple fluid change every 30K miles. And believe me, do it every 30K miles if you want your transmission to last. THESE ARE NOT "SEALED TRANSMISSIONS" FOR LIFE like some will say. The fluid in my car was changed at the dealer about 3 years ago at 64K miles by the previous owner. I changed mine at 93K miles and the fluid that came out was BLACK. Literally was black. Didnt smell burnt or anything it was just dirty as hell.

Ive drove about 300 miles on the new fluid so far and I can say that the downshifting has become ALOT smoother. These transmissions have sticking valve body issues and mine was starting to stick and clunk on downshifts. After I changed the fluid, I noticed an immediate improvement in shifting.
All I can say is that I honestly appreciate you making it crystal clear what this post is about. It drives me CRAZY when people start making posts about different engine/transmissions! A huge pet-peave of mine! Thanks; It makes for a much better read from post-to-post.
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  #14  
Old 8th August 2013
philbar71 philbar71 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyeagle View Post
For a 2.0T 5 speed automatic transmission, what oil is recommended to use? The Ford Motorcraft XT-8-QAW Transmission fluid?

Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyeagle View Post
Hi guys, not sure if this would be the appropriate thread but for a 07 93 2.0T automatic, is it the Toyota oil that is used? If so, what is the exact type so I can buy correctly please.

Thanks!
Posts like above are what made me put the huge font on the first page saying for the six speed auto. Cause people see a thread about "transmission" and assume they are all the same
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Old 21st December 2013
0893aero 0893aero is offline
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This was an awesome thread. Thank you to OP and others!

I will do this in next month. Probably twice.

However, I was curious. Is that fill hole from above directly over the transmission pan or does it go into another part of transmission?

I ask because if the fill hole is directly above the pan, I will use my mityvac plus and suck the fluid out, saving me from raising the car and draining.

I worry a bit about getting right amount back in as you're taking out hot fluid and putting in colder fluid (room temp) but hopefully it will be ok.

Thanks!!
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  #16  
Old 21st December 2013
reepicheep reepicheep is offline
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I wish I remembered... I know its not a trivial, direct to the pool of fluid, type of thing. But I didn't try putting a thinner tube down there. If it worked, it would be nice.

The only downside I could think of is that you have no absolute frame of reference. So if you have lost fluid, you will be topping it back off the the lost fluid level.

If you do the mickey mouse plug thing at the bottom, at least once anyway, you will then have a true frame of reference for fluid level. Then if you know it's not leaking you can just put in as much as you remove.

That being said, I am fairly positive Saab at the factory put in MORE fluid than what is supposed to be "full" at the top of that inner tube dipstick. I think everyone gets more out then they can get in the first time they crack a sealed transmission from the factory. I certainly did. I bought mine used so somebody might have messed with it, but it only had 45k miles on it and it is an expensive service so I doubt it.
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Old 21st December 2013
philbar71 philbar71 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0893aero View Post
This was an awesome thread. Thank you to OP and others!

I will do this in next month. Probably twice.

However, I was curious. Is that fill hole from above directly over the transmission pan or does it go into another part of transmission?

I ask because if the fill hole is directly above the pan, I will use my mityvac plus and suck the fluid out, saving me from raising the car and draining.

I worry a bit about getting right amount back in as you're taking out hot fluid and putting in colder fluid (room temp) but hopefully it will be ok.

Thanks!!
There is no conventional "pan" on this transmission. When you get under the car and look at it theres just the drive shafts down there. No pan.

Sucking out the fluid is not recommended, and that bolt is a PITA!
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Old 22nd December 2013
0893aero 0893aero is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reepicheep View Post
I wish I remembered... I know its not a trivial, direct to the pool of fluid, type of thing. But I didn't try putting a thinner tube down there. If it worked, it would be nice.

The only downside I could think of is that you have no absolute frame of reference. So if you have lost fluid, you will be topping it back off the the lost fluid level.
Thanks! Good point. The mityvac has the liter marks, but some would be stuck in the tubes which might make it inaccurate.

I worry a bit too as it seems the only way to get the level perfect is to use that complex Saab procedure of running car, having fluid pour out, etc. Most sealed systems seem to be done this way. However, I'm guessing some of you who have drained and refilled close to the same quantity, have seen no issues with the transmission after quite a few miles? I see the only real risk is again that the fluid coming out is different temperature than new fluid, so it will not measure the same.


Quote:
Originally Posted by philbar71 View Post
There is no conventional "pan" on this transmission. When you get under the car and look at it theres just the drive shafts down there. No pan.

Sucking out the fluid is not recommended, and that bolt is a PITA!

Thanks! Yeah that bolt sounds bad. I figured though, if I managed to get it off, then I would know I have a way to get fluid back in quickly. Siphoning would be oh so easy. I change my oil (engine oil) in german car that way, works so well.

I might try it and report back, or try to do it the correct way and feel better about it.

Last edited by 0893aero; 22nd December 2013 at 02:40 AM.
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  #19  
Old 28th May 2014
Mrivera Mrivera is offline
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I hope this isn't a stupid question, but could you refill the tranny through the dipstick opening? With a tranny funnel?
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  #20  
Old 28th May 2014
philbar71 philbar71 is offline
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Originally Posted by Mrivera View Post
I hope this isn't a stupid question, but could you refill the tranny through the dipstick opening? With a tranny funnel?
Nope. These transmissions do not have a dipstick
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