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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My understanding is that with fluid to temperature you idle in D with e-brake engaged, then idle in R with e-brake engaged, then check level with motor running while in P. Does this sound right?

There is a huge difference in readings you see on the stick when you use this method vs just pulling the stick and checking. I want to make sure I'm doing it right.
 

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From the 2003 9-5 Owner's Manual:

Check the fluid level as follows:
1 Stand the car on level ground and apply
the parking brake. The automatic trans-mission fluid must be at normal running
temperature, approximately 175°F
(80°C). This can be achieved by driving
the car for about 30 min on the open
road.
2 With the engine idling, move the selector
lever to D and wait for at least
15 seconds. Next, move the selector
lever to R and wait for 15 seconds again.
Finally, move the selector lever to P. Let
the engine idle.
3 Wipe the dipstick clean with a lint-free
cloth and put it back.
4 With the fluid at normal temperature, the
level should be between the MAX and
MIN marks on the dipstick. Top up, as
necessary, with Saab 3309 automatic
transmission fluid (mineral oil-based),
adding it through the dipstick pipe. The
distance between the MIN and MAX
marks on the dipstick corresponds to a
volume of approximately 0.4 qts
(0.4 liter).

If the outside temperature is below 50°F
(10°C), the fluid will not reach the specified
temperature of 175°F (80°C). In this case,
the correct fluid level may be 0.8 in (20 mm)
below the MAX mark.
 

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You're off the brakes, out of the car, pull the dipstick, wipe, put back in, pull it out and see where the level is. All while the car is idling and in Park.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So how bad is it if I was overfilled for a few months? Now that I actually know the level checking procedure I can see that I was up by .5 to .75 qts. I drained some off and am .5 cm overfilled on stick, will drain some more this weekend.
 

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If you don't have fluid blowing out of any tranny seals and it's still shifting fine you should be all set - no harm, no foul. ;ol;
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No leaks, but some performance issues. Intermittent pause then really hard engagement when shifting from R to D or P to D. Was wondering if this was related to valve body TSB or a result of maintenance issues with this tranny. It ran low for a while and started exhibiting symptom. A flush/fill (overfill it turns out) fixed the problem for a month or two. Now the problem is back.
 

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Oh.... Yeah, that's not great news, I'm afraid. That said, I wonder just how bad it could be if a drain and refill took care of the issue for a month or so.

Did you do a single drain and fill or more than one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The backstory - I started getting a pause then hard engagement from reverse to drive. I checked the stick not knowing proper procedure, thought that it was low and added. Engagement improved, problem solved. Then it started to come back. I opted to do a flush and did the 3x deal. Then I noticed the leak and addressed that, but had to top off due to lost fluid, again still using improper method of checking stick. Tranny was smooth for a few months, no leaks, but has become increasingly worse at P/R to D shifts with exaggerated pause then slamming into gear pretty good. I still want to drain it to the middle of the range on the stick this weekend to see if that helps since it's currently still slightly over.
 
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