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Discussion Starter #1
Since picking up my 2002 9-3, I am concerned with what kind of oil is in it. It looks clean and was changed recently, but not since i got it two weeks ago. I am planning on putting in Mobile 1 0w/30.

I want to do it this weekend, so I called a dealer and found that its only a $7 premium over ordering it online for the drain plug washer, a new drain plug(I heard is handy to have around), and the oil filter.

Now all I need is a ramp, a filter wrench(it's on there better than my bare hand can deal with), the proper tool to open the plug, and the oil of course.

Now my question about the filter wrench:

What is the best kind to get?

Strap type
Swivel head
Plier type

Also, what size do I need? Specifically I am looking at the link below, I want to pick this up on my way home from work:

http://www.partsamerica.com/ProductList.aspx?CategoryCode=3401A&SearchFor=Oil Filter Wrench

Second question:

What is the exact tool I should be using for the drain plug. I know some people just use an adjustable wrench, but I don't want to do that and strip it.

Last question:

Will I need a torque wrench of some sort to torque the drain plug? Or is simply screwing it on till it's tight, but not overdoing it fine.

I know I sound like a total n00b, but I figure if I ask all the questions, and have everything sorted out and organized, I should be fine.

I need to learn sometime, because I am sick of living my life around oil changes at service shops. I would have more time than money if I quit wasting it driving cars to and from service centers for oil changes...with 3 cars it is starting to get excessive.
 

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A) You can get ALL the parts from ANY autoparts store. Oil, Filter, and bolt.

None of it need be Saab OEM.

B) Strap type. The smallest size they make.

C) No Torque Wrench required. Just don't overtighten it. 13MM (usually) socket and socket wrench.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the reply. I was going to just get a bosch filter, but the problem lies in getting the drain plug washer. I could not find that any store had the washer. Or is this just a standard part that is common to most cars?

That said I think for my first chage I will go with the saab parts just for simplicty sake. That way I know that my miscommunications will not get me the wrong parts. I will probably go aftermarket after I have a change under my belt. This way I only have the actual install to worry about, not that I have the right parts :)

I will probably take the replacement drain plug that I get at the dealer to sears with me, and make sure I get the proper socket to fit it. Although I will start at 13.
 

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Really? You couldn't find the drain plug?
I have bought them at 3 different neighborhood part stores. Nothing special...pretty common.
I also bought a case of Saab filters from Eeuroparts, figured why not I have 2 Saabs. Bosch, Mann and Fram all make a filter that fits our cars.
I may be "overly anal" but I change the drain plug everytime.
 

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The drain plug certainly doesn't need changing every time! Do you mean the copper washer under it? That should be changed. I bought 2 from the dealer last time (at about 2.50 apiece-- a washer!), installed one and am planning to go to Lowe's or somewhere and see if I can find a dozen of the second one for the future. If they don't have 'em, the parts store should be able to match it. (NO WAY am I going to this particular dealer for parts ever again-- they at least double prices, even over Saab list).

I've been using PureOne filters - 10241 is the number IIRC. As far as the filter wrench type and size, you can take the right filter for your car out of its box at the store and test-fit it to the various styles of wrench. There is no right answer to which kind you get-- it will depend on your preference and the accessibility of the filter. On your and my car, anything will work. I like the big wheel that fits over the end of the filter, but it's specific to that diameter filter-- a strap wrench would be more versatile overall.

Good luck-- changing the oil is pretty satisfying.

Regards,
T
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks evereyone, you have been super helpful, and really building my confidence for the job with all the info. I just picked up the parts from the dealer, now I just need the tools. Time for a little sears run tonight.

Another question. When I get the new oil filter ready to screw on, do I actually pour oil in the filter, or just rub a little bit on the rubber part?

Thanks again for the friendly advice!

I hope that soon I will be able to give advice to people like me on these boards as well.
 

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I tried the pliars type filter wrench and it was a disappointment. It crushed part of the filter and I ended up using the strap to get it off without a puncture. You might want to consider oversized filters if using the Pure One. They filter well but are more restrictive to flow than other brands. A larger filter gives you better flow and more capacity to trap dirt.

I use Motorcraft FL400S filters, which are made by Purolator and contain the Pure One filter media. If you are interested in learning more about motor oil and filters check out bobistheoilguy.com.
 

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The copper washer is 14-15mm inside diameter, 22-24mm OD. Most parts stores should have the washer and drain plugs. Example: NAPA, BK 7041355, 69 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
On the topic of oil, and oversized oil filters.

Is 0w/30 a good choice in the Northeast US, or should I be going with something else?

GaryG

Are you saying that if I use 0w/30 I may have oil distribution problems with a OEM oil filter? I know that saab is basically using Mobile 1 as their "saab brand oil", but what viscosity?
 

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GaryG said:
You might want to consider oversized filters if using the Pure One. They filter well but are more restrictive to flow than other brands.
Maybe, but "more restrictive" is pretty relative, though. I've heard this repeated (and seen Bob's website) and concluded that any actual difference is pretty much negligible, that the PureOne filter is more than good enough as it is. Sure bigger is better, but what a pain to try to figure out what to oversize with, and try to detect the pitfalls of making a substitution. I think it's far more important to use synthetic oil and change it reasonably often.

That said, if you've found another filter that works better for you, I'd be interested.

As far as the viscosity, Doug, the 0W30 will work but I'd go with the 0W40-- it gets pretty hot in the northeast in the summer and the extra range will help.

Regards,
T
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Tarpot said:
As far as the viscosity, Doug, the 0W30 will work but I'd go with the 0W40-- it gets pretty hot in the northeast in the summer and the extra range will help.

Regards,
T
Thanks for the info. When you say extra range, do you mean the length between oil changes?

So maybe I do 0W40 in the summer, and then during the brutal cold months I should maybe do OW30?

I think at this point the biggest concern I have is that god forsaken dipstick in the 9-3. I am hoping that I can even tell whether I have enough oil in the engine.

A question regarding the dipstick. There is the diamond/square and the bottom of it, then that length of plastic, and then another one of those "knobbies". How far up is the oil supposed to go in order to be at a good level. Am I supposed to have oil all the way to the top of the second "knobbie", or only up until the end of the flat part. Sheesh, on my other cars the dipstick is silver, with little slashes on it and an area that says low at the bottom, and max at the top, it doesn't get much easier than that...the saab thing sure does make it harder.
 

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There is a diagram of the dipstick end in the owners manual.

The top and bottom of the flat part are min and max. The distance between the min and max corrseponds to about 1 quart. So, oil at min is 1/2 quart low. At max, 1/2 quart too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, last question.

So everything I read says that after you drain the old oil, replace the plug, put on new filter, and add the new oil, you should "level the car, and start the engine." So if I have this car on ramps, how am I supposed to start the car on a level surface without turning on the engine? Or is this not really a big deal as long as I back off the ramps once I start the engine. I would imagine this would be no different though than a cold start on a hill.

Thanks,
Doug
 

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Basically fill it up with the recomended amount of oil. Go ahead and then start it up and roll it off the ramps. Now that it is level, just check the oil level via dip stick and add any more oil if need be. It is a super easy job, just be prepared for a little bit of a mess your first time.
 

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DougR said:
Thanks for the info. When you say extra range, do you mean the length between oil changes?

So maybe I do 0W40 in the summer, and then during the brutal cold months I should maybe do OW30?
No, I think you're good all year 'round with the 0W40.
The two numbers in the oil type are the 'range' I was referring to.
Hopefully this isn't too basic (if so, sorry), but here goes...
In the old days, you would buy a 'straight' 30-, 40-, or whatever-weight oil, the higher the number the thicker the oil, all the way up to around 90 or so (commonly called 'gear oil' and used in the tranny). Since, all things being equal, viscosity goes down with increasing temperature, you'd have used a heavier oil in summer and changed to a lighter one in winter.
Now that we have 'multi-weight' oils instead, the numbers are telling you that the oil has capabilities from one number to the other. A major benefit of this is that you don't have to switch types between seasons. You'd tailor the multi-weight to your climate, ideally as narrow a range as would work well for you.
So the difference between 0W40 and 0W30 is that the -40 can manage hotter temps.
I'm sure there's more subtlety to oil weight choice than this, so maybe somebody else can chime in-- or there is probably a FAQ on the web somewhere like www.bobistheoilguy.com (although I haven't looked recently) you might want to look for.

Hope this helps,
T
 

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Tarpot said:
I like the big wheel that fits over the end of the filter, but it's specific to that diameter filter-- a strap wrench would be more versatile overall.
Agreed. This too is my favorite. A little more $$ and not universal, but may be a good investment. You'll need a socket wrench also to turn it.

Tboy
 

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Since I have more oil posts than most people have posts, I won't debate that again.:cheesy:

But, I DO like the plier wrench. Easy just to grip, turn about half a turn at most, and then easily hand unscrew the rest of the way.

I wouldn't get toooo anal about drain plugs and washers. I've never changed the washer on mine, use a lot of light (read easily leaky) synthetic and change my oil every month to month and a half. I've never had a drain plug leak. Oh, and to make everyone even more flustered, I always use vise grips to unscrew the plug.:cheesy::cheesy: Sure it's stripped, but it still works!
 

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If you haven't been to sears yet, you might pick up a Six Sided 13 mm socket (instead of the more common 12 sided), just in case the plug is in ther tight. The plugs are kind of wimpy.

Having a spare plug isn't a bad idea really. If the old one is rounded you can just throw the new one on.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I was just getting ready to go, I will definitely do that. Yes I have a spare plug, so I should be all set. I figured even if this one is fine, it never hurts to have a spare in the future.
 
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