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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally Got the other car of my dreams! (first was an old air cooled vw) She's a 1985 SAAB 900!, not the prettiest gal I've seen, but runs awesome! I just have a really stupid question....what grade API replaced the old API: SF/CC? that's what the book I have recommends...just want to put the right stuff in, so I can keep her around for awhile!
 

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I finally Got the other car of my dreams! (first was an old air cooled VW) She's a 1985 SAAB 900!, not the prettiest gal I've seen, but runs awesome! I just have a really stupid question....what grade API replaced the old API: SF/CC? that's what the book I have recommends...just want to put the right stuff in, so I can keep her around for awhile!
The question is one for BITOG
I'd use the best oil I could find ,within reason, as the heat load on an older engine is less of a problem.
 

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Oil is no longer oil what with synthetics & all. Castrol & Valvoline make a synthetic in 10w-30 for about $5.00/qt. which is not a true synthetic but a modified petroleum distillate. I have used both without any problems or leaks. Is yours a turbo?
 

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Are you asking about engine oil? If so, my preference is for 10w-30 Mobile 1 full synthetic which I find typically at around $8/quart. In colder conditions, 5w-30 of the same type. I use Redline MTL for my 5 speed transmission and it works quite well. It may cost $10/quart, but you only need to change it once a year or so.
 

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what grade API replaced the old API: SF/CC? that's what the book I have recommends...just want to put the right stuff in, so I can keep her around for awhile!
SH is better than SG is better than SF is better than SE etc - you get the idea.
Cx is for compression ignition, Sx is for spark ignition.

As long as it's at least SF (and I think you'd be hard pushed to find any that wasn't) you'll be fine - assuming the right grade.
 

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I've gotten a billion miles out of various c900 turbos with conventional motor oil, Shell Rotella T being a favoite -- good specs and it's cheap. I've gotten oil leaks whenever I've switched to synthetic, not saying that will happen to you but it happened to me a number of times.

Best of luck.
 

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If it's not a turbo you will be fine to run just about any 5w30, 10w30, or 10w40 conventional motor oil. I'd stick with a major brand if you can, Valvoline, Castrol, etc. Keeping it full and changing it as scheduled is all that is needed to keep these cars happy. I change conventional every 3000 miles.

If it's a turbo you really should consider using a synthetic, I think Mobil 1 was recommended from the factory. You can get away with using a conventional and shorter change intervals, I read about a guy who got 200K out of his original turbo using conventional oil and changing it every 2500. I use Mobil 1 and change it every 5000 miles.
 

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Mobil 1 5W-40 is my preference. It's formulated for turbo diesels thus making it more than adequate. I'm using it in the engine as well as the gearbox.
 

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Keeping it full and changing it as scheduled is all that is needed ..... I change conventional every 3000 miles.
Of course, SAAB recommended 7500 mile intervals for N/A, and 3750 for Turbos on US models. SAAB never permitted longer intervals for Synthetic on c900 cars.
I use 10w-30 Synthetic and change it every 10,000 miles (or once a year) whether it needs it or not.
 

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Of course, SAAB recommended 7500 mile intervals for N/A, and 3750 for Turbos on US models. SAAB never permitted longer intervals for Synthetic on c900 cars.
I use 10w-30 Synthetic and change it every 10,000 miles (or once a year) whether it needs it or not.
Jim, how many miles do you have on that car?

Would a high mileage car, say 200k+, benefit from a 10W-40, or is that a myth?

I use M-1 5W-40 in my turbos and change every 5k mi. I would appreciate you comments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
SH is better than SG is better than SF is better than SE etc - you get the idea.
Cx is for compression ignition, Sx is for spark ignition.

As long as it's at least SF (and I think you'd be hard pushed to find any that wasn't) you'll be fine - assuming the right grade.
Thank you so much!..I had know Idea how the secondary lettering work. (was closer to A better..or closer to Z) thanks for clearing that up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone for your replies! Anyone ever use the Shell Rotella T 5w-40 synthetic? I use it in the VW and it seems pretty happy with it.. not sure of the specs compared to the 15w-40 standard though. err two more stupid questions where exactly is the drain plug on an '85 standard? and do I pour the fresh oil into the dip stick hole?...because I didn't see an oil cap on the "valve cover";oops:
 

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Would a high mileage car, say 200k+, benefit from a 10W-40, or is that a myth?
90% of what you hear about oil is a myth.
I saw an average of 30 cars a day for about 30 years (professionally), and can count on one hand the number of Engine or Transmission failures that can be attributed to lubrication problems.
Anything beyond Good Enough is a waste of time, money, and petroleum resources.
I use Synthetic because it saves money on fuel. If you change it all the time, you've lost those savings too. I've run Race Motors on an Engine Dyno (rather than the less accurate chassis models), swapped the oil, then run them again 5 minutes later, so I've seen that effect for myself (2%-5% depending on the Engine).
You won't gain a thing except a lighter wallet by paying attention to ZDDP, Teflon, Preacher Snot, Slick-O-Rama, Lucas, STP, Rislone, Marvel Mystery Oil, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Same with wide viscosity ranges. The viscosity range enhancers have bad effects too; otherwise we'd all be using 0w-90 weight.
 

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90% of what you hear about oil is a myth.
That low?

I saw an average of 30 cars a day for about 30 years (professionally), and can count on one hand the number of Engine or Transmission failures that can be attributed to lubrication problems.
To be fair, there's a big difference between the cars seen at the average dealer and the cars we're dealing with. I'm just guessing, but I suspect you didn't get many 20yo, 200k mile c900s through the dealership's workshop?

It's well known that some Saab engines die regularly through lubrication issues because of poor oil choice - fortunately, not c900s.

Mind you, most lubrication issues are caused by the nut behind the steering wheel...

My own personal low point was taking a drain plug out, changing the exhaust whilst I waited for it to fully drain - then starting it up to cook the exhaust paste. After a few minutes idling, I lowered the ramp and wondered why the oil filler open. Can you guess why? I ran that engine for another couple of years, before passing the car on - but it was sounding rather unpleasant...
 

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I only spent about 17 years in Dealers, I saw plenty of 900s and 9000s at 250k+ (9000s last even longer than 900s). You're right about the later cars having Oil quality/type issues.
I don't consider running out of (or failing to add any) Oil a Lubrication problem. I call pitting on Bearings, galling, coking, sludging, thinning, thickening or just plain excessive wear, lubrication problems. The right Oil might solve some of those, but it won't remind you to fill it.
Every mechanic has some mnemonic trick to remember to finish the Oil Change; I always used one particular combination of tools and only put them away when I had finished the job; Others would put a scrap of the Filter package on the Dash or some such.​
 

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dragon_beetle, if you like syn oil, then Rotella T Syn 5W-40 is a great choice for your car. (I, too, am a fan of both the Saab C900 & original VW Beetle. My first car was a '66 Bug!) I've been using it in my son's '85 8v non-turbo for the past 6 or 7 yrs. From my experience with his '85, I'd also strongly recommend an extended application of Auto-Rx in the engine. (His car was leaking from the power steering & transmission systems, & running A-Rx in those systems as well stopped 95% of all the leaks on his car.) Even though Mobil 1's 5W-40 is a much better oil for only a few bucks-per-gallon more, Auto-Rx doesn't like competing with the chemistry in Mobil 1.

15W-40 is a great choice in a conventional oil for these cars, & should work well year-round in GA. I've had great success using M1 15W-50 syn in my '90 here in Northern Colorado, but the sub-zero winter startups make me a little too nervous to continue using it year-round. The drain plug is towards the front on the driver's side of the bottom of the engine. Use a six-point 13mm socket to keep from rounding the bolt head, make sure you've got a copper washer intalled, & don't tighten to more than 22-25 ft-lbs (just a little more than a spark plug). Yes, you refill thru the dipstick tube.

Steve, if you get really cold winters in your area of MO, I'd suggest sticking with 5W-40. If they don't get too cold, then M1 10W-40 "High Mileage" is a much better value in an equally protective oil. I've got 250k mi on my '90 with 20k mi M1 oil changes for the past 5 yrs/70k mi. Once I get past my current A-Rx clean/rinse, I'll give M1 10W-40 HM a try.

In every vehicle I've switched over from conventional to full syn oil, I've seen a 10% increase in MPG. But, for me, the bigger benefit is in engine protection, & decrease in oil & time wasted. I've read enough oil industry publications & run enough Used Oil Analyses on my Saabs to become convinced that running M1 for extended drains provides more engine protection than frequent changes of conventional oil. At the same time, I end up spending less time & money changing the oil (& filter), & create less waste doing it.

Greg
 

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Thin out too much? I've never heard that concern regarding 15W-40 before, but no, it's not a worry with these oils. Rotella wouldn't be among my first choices in a 15W-40, but it is very popular & is easy to find.
 

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dragon_beetle, if you like syn oil, then Rotella T Syn 5W-40 is a great choice for your car. (I, too, am a fan of both the Saab C900 & original VW Beetle. My first car was a '66 Bug!) I've been using it in my son's '85 8v non-turbo for the past 6 or 7 yrs. From my experience with his '85, I'd also strongly recommend an extended application of Auto-Rx in the engine. (His car was leaking from the power steering & transmission systems, & running A-Rx in those systems as well stopped 95% of all the leaks on his car.) Even though Mobil 1's 5W-40 is a much better oil for only a few bucks-per-gallon more, Auto-Rx doesn't like competing with the chemistry in Mobil 1.

15W-40 is a great choice in a conventional oil for these cars, & should work well year-round in GA. I've had great success using M1 15W-50 syn in my '90 here in Northern Colorado, but the sub-zero winter startups make me a little too nervous to continue using it year-round. The drain plug is towards the front on the driver's side of the bottom of the engine. Use a six-point 13mm socket to keep from rounding the bolt head, make sure you've got a copper washer intalled, & don't tighten to more than 22-25 ft-lbs (just a little more than a spark plug). Yes, you refill thru the dipstick tube.

Steve, if you get really cold winters in your area of MO, I'd suggest sticking with 5W-40. If they don't get too cold, then M1 10W-40 "High Mileage" is a much better value in an equally protective oil. I've got 250k mi on my '90 with 20k mi M1 oil changes for the past 5 yrs/70k mi. Once I get past my current A-Rx clean/rinse, I'll give M1 10W-40 HM a try.

In every vehicle I've switched over from conventional to full syn oil, I've seen a 10% increase in MPG. But, for me, the bigger benefit is in engine protection, & decrease in oil & time wasted. I've read enough oil industry publications & run enough Used Oil Analyses on my Saabs to become convinced that running M1 for extended drains provides more engine protection than frequent changes of conventional oil. At the same time, I end up spending less time & money changing the oil (& filter), & create less waste doing it.

Greg
Greg,

If I recall correctly it was a result of other posts you made and your analysis records on BobTheOilGuy's site that led me to the conclussion that M-1 5W-40 would make me the happiest. Was that you or am I confused?

I say "make me the happiest" because I realized that after a certain point, we each need to come down on that "happy" spot. That "certain point" I refer to is "good enough." Good enough for our 900s is probably the Saab spec. After fulfilling that, it's whatever makes you happy.

For instance, I bought both my SPGs with 17+ yrs and 200+ miles. I have no idea how they were maintained. Turns out neither of them use any noticeable oil between 5k changes. But, I doubt very strongly that using premium M-1 5W40 at this point will make any difference at all in the lifespan or performance of my engines. And I'm pretty sure that the apparent good condition of my now 230k+ engine is because of the good metal Saab used in building them. BTW, my 90 SPG was quite neglected when I bought it, so at least the 2nd owner didn't care.

Another thing to consider is that if we assign a value of 100% to "good enough" i.e. Saab specs., and I implement an oil change program that yields me 200% protection, that additional 100% of protection will not yield twice the mileage / twice the performance. In reality, the car will probably last and perform exactly like it would have with "good enough," oil, i.e. Saab specifications. Putting the premium syn oil in is analogous to having an air compressor that delivers 350 CFM in an application that never requires more than 175 CFM. I never really get any benefit or increased production from that extra 175 CFM. The first 175 CFM is good enough and that's all of the utility I'll ever realize no matter how big or good of a compressor I get.

So why do I use M-1 5W-40? It's because it makes me feel good that I'm giving the very best that I can to my babies. :cheesy: I am sure that my car runs and sounds better when I put in the M-1, but I know that in reality it's me that feels better and imagines that my car is running better. But you know what? That makes me happy for a very small price. :lol:
 
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