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I just bought an '03 Vector and just got it yesterday and had a question. I did a search for this, but couldnt find what I was looking for.

Basically, I just want to know what most people use in their 9-3's for oil. I assume 10W-30 is the standard but wasnt sure due to the turbo and all. Im new the turbo scene so any help and advice would be appriciated.

Thanks in advance! :cheesy:
 

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Turbos are pretty tough on oil, so full synthetic is the way to go. The owners manual states very specifically to use 0W-30 that meets GM-LL-A-025 specifications, but the only place you'll find that is at a dealer. The manual goes on to state that:

"Some oil companies have engine oils meeting our requirements (GM-LL-A-025) but with other viscosities than what we recommend as a first choice. Those engine oils are also accepted."

That being said, about the only readilly available oil on the market that meets the GM-LL-A-025 spec is Mobil 1 0W-40, but there may be other synthetic oils out there that meet it. If they do, it will be stated on the label.

There has been some discussion on this board about wether to go by the recommended 15,000 mile oil change interval or change more frequently. If you change the oil more frequently, you may be OK with another cheaper synthetic or even a semi-synthetic. Personally, I'm sticking to the GM spec oil and the 15k interval. Oil quality and the additive packages used are pretty good these days, and the GM spec is a pretty tough one to meet. I bought this car and plan on keeping it for a while...

Edit- I just noticed on the invoice from my first oil change at the dealer that they put in the Mobil 1 0W-40. Go figgure...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
jpk said:
Turbos are pretty tough on oil, so full synthetic is the way to go. The owners manual states very specifically to use 0W-30 that meets GM-LL-A-025 specifications, but the only place you'll find that is at a dealer. The manual goes on to state that:

"Some oil companies have engine oils meeting our requirements (GM-LL-A-025) but with other viscosities than what we recommend as a first choice. Those engine oils are also accepted."

That being said, about the only readilly available oil on the market that meets the GM-LL-A-025 spec is Mobil 1 0W-40, but there may be other synthetic oils out there that meet it. If they do, it will be stated on the label.

There has been some discussion on this board about wether to go by the recommended 15,000 mile oil change interval or change more frequently. If you change the oil more frequently, you may be OK with another cheaper synthetic or even a semi-synthetic. Personally, I'm sticking to the GM spec oil and the 15k interval. Oil quality and the additive packages used are pretty good these days, and the GM spec is a pretty tough one to meet. I bought this car and plan on keeping it for a while...

Edit- I just noticed on the invoice from my first oil change at the dealer that they put in the Mobil 1 0W-40. Go figgure...
Thanks for the info, I appriciate it a lot. I know I still have warranty up until 36,000 miles so Im still in my warranty. Im not sure if there are any Saab dealers around here, I will have to look into that.

I know there are GM dealers all around, should I just take it there if there arent any Saab dealers around here?

Anyway, thanks again for the tip.
 

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Here's my weird experience with oil. They changed my oil at 15k or so for my first service, according to the SID's request. The dealer told me then that my 9-3 uses 0W-40 Mobil 1. However, the sticker they put on my window advised my to come back in at 23k and it was a Castrol sticker. I still don't understand why they advised me to come in at 23k if Saab says you need to come in whenever the SID says (around 30k). On top of that, why did they put Castrol in it if they say it takes 0W-40 (Mobil is the only one who makes this weight)?
 

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dmlow said:
The dealer told me then that my 9-3 uses 0W-40 Mobil 1. However, the sticker they put on my window advised my to come back in at 23k and it was a Castrol sticker. I still don't understand why they advised me to come in at 23k if Saab says you need to come in whenever the SID says (around 30k). On top of that, why did they put Castrol in it if they say it takes 0W-40 (Mobil is the only one who makes this weight)?
Let's hope they used a Castrol sticker, but still put in the Mobil 1.

Mobil 1 0W-40 is acceptable because it meets the GM long life spec. Our resident oil experts will tell you that this is on the light end for a 40 weight oil, and that the Saab turbo oil (an Elf product, I believe) is a heavier 30 weight oil. So the two are closer than you might expect.

Part of why they told you to come in sooner is they want to make money. Retail supplies for an oil change (6 qts oil plus filter) run me about $33. Figure maybe 20 min. labor. So, at $70, a shop makes at least 100% profit on your oil change.
 

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If your car is still under warranty, you get free oil and filter changes from the dealer when the SID says you should. For myself, I choose to get an additional oil change at around 7500 miles. Yeah, the dealer charges me $70, but as I'd do this less than once a year, it's not a big deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
sbl said:
If your car is still under warranty, you get free oil and filter changes from the dealer when the SID says you should. For myself, I choose to get an additional oil change at around 7500 miles. Yeah, the dealer charges me $70, but as I'd do this less than once a year, it's not a big deal.
Yeah thats what I was reading that I get free oil changes with an existing warranty. I found a dealer around here so thats good.

The person I bought the car from said that they were going to change the oil before I came and picked up the car. I bought the car off eBay and drove it home from Denver (about 900 miles) and I just looked at the oil and it was a little black, so Im not 100% sure if he really did change the oil. Im planning on calling him today to see if he really did get the time to change it.

Would a 900 mile drive turn the oil dark?

Also how come our cars have such a huge time frame for oil changes? My 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse I had before needed its oil changed every 3,000 miles like most cars. Is the difference the oil being used, or are Saabs just insane machines? Im sure this probably sounds really stupid to most people, but Im ignorant when it comes to these cars for Im just now starting to learn about them.

Anyway, thanks for the replies.
 

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Karnifex said:
Would a 900 mile drive turn the oil dark?

Also how come our cars have such a huge time frame for oil changes?
Oil turns dark pretty quickly. You just can't go by color to tell quality.

Synthetic oils are more resistant to breakdown. This is a technical matter best answered by the oil gurus. The life expectancy of your oil is largely dependant on operating conditions. The oil life as determined by the SID is based on a calculation. This is a proprietary algorithm used by Saab. But I would expect it considers start/stop cycles, rpm ranges, operating temperature, and mileage among others as important factors.
 

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Most GM dealers should have oil meeting the GM long life spec in stock. Corvette and the Northstar (Cadillac and Olds Aroura) engines specify this stuff. Also, as someone else pointed out, the oil filter catridge is same as the Saturn 2.2 litre.

I was pretty sceptical about the 15,000 mile interval at first, but I got a chance to talk to a GM powertrain engineer some time ago and asked about it. He was actually pretty familliar with our engine as they were considering it for some other small car programs (he couldn't get into specifics). Basically he said that with the quality of the additive package and the relatively large oil capacity, there's a considerable factor of safety in the 15k interval, even with the turbo.
 

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jpk said:
Basically he said that with the quality of the additive package and the relatively large oil capacity, there's a considerable factor of safety in the 15k interval, even with the turbo.
This is a confusing point about oil, at least for me. Does the factory fill include special additives, i.e. is "break-in" oil really different than subsequent fills? We've had some conflicting posts on this matter.

Next, what is the GM engineer talking about when he says "additive package?" I assume that is something already in the Mobil 1. A lot of petroleum advertising hypes these "additives" as super special. They do the same thing with gasoline. But really, how much difference can there be?

I dunno. I have a friend of a friend who is a ChemE with Exxon. He was just awarded two patents for oil for farm machinery. So maybe there's more going on than I realize.
 

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No special break-in additives. The reference is to additives in the oil as manufactured. And indeed, our engines have a rather large oil capacity.
 

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sbl said:
No special break-in additives. The reference is to additives in the oil as manufactured. And indeed, our engines have a rather large oil capacity.
Thanks, bro.

All those semesters of organic and P-chem and I can basically stuff my a-s-s full of Grignard reagents and Boltzmann distributions. A lot of good that does me. What they should have taught was petroleum chemistry!
 
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