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1999 Saab 9-5 SE 3.0 V6 with 4 speed Aisin auto transmission / Dexron fluid. 123,000 miles

Bought this car a little over 1,000 miles ago. Noticed that the shift from 3rd to 4th gear is a little hard (no slipping, though) so I think it's time for a transmission fluid change.

Previous owner passed away so service history is unknown. Transmission fluid level looks good but color looks gray / very dark red? But completely transparent like new fluid... just a gray shade instead of red? That's why I hesitate to call it black - it's clear and nothing like motor oil.

What do you guys recommend? I read many posts recommend multiple changes (2 or 3?) for a full flush. But is that too risky for a transmission this old with unknown service history? (my take). Or should I do just one change and add a bottle of Lucas transmission fix as a preventative measure? Or something else?

I guess I'm a bit nervous because on another 2001 9-5 with the same transmission, I did two flushes at 160k (no additives; fluid was normal then) and at 190k the transmission failed (fluid was very dark brown/black - not transparent at all). Just looking for the best way to avoid that if possible.

Thanks in advance.
 

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You don't want to use Toyota Type IV in the older 4-speed transmissions. They originally called for Dexron III, which isn't available anymore, but there are equivalents like Chevron MD3, or Dexron IV, but that's much much more expensive. The link below is Saab's official method for changing out all, or nearly all, of the fluid at once:

http://www.thesaabsite.com/faqs/9-5...nsmission-oil-change-(automatic).html?id=1416

I did that on my wife's 9-5 and it worked amazingly well. The three quarts that came out of the cooler hoses were old and dark-colored.
 

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I dont want to start a debate but I believe 3309 ATF is forward and backward compatible and type IV falls in that category.
Well, you already have started a debate.

The 4-speed Aisin-Warner transmissions do not require this $8/quart fluid. No reason to buy anything other than a name brand Dexron-III equivalent, such as Chevron, Castrol, Mobil, Texaco, etc.
 

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How often should I change the transmission fluid? Should I change or flush? My saab has 115k miles. Thank you so much.
 

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I had made it a "policy" on my car to do a single drain and fill of the transmission every other oil change. I did oil about 7K so this was about every 12-15K. That meant that I had a full oil change every 40-50K which kept the oil nice and fresh and red.

and yes, 4-speed uses Dextron, 5-speed uses 3309.
 

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lol just in time for me to do this tomorrow. I spent most of today fooling around with thermostat change ( because I could) ECT Change ( it was necessary, stopped working) did upper rad hose and reservoir hose while I was at it, and cleaned out the reservoir. Grungy at bottom. Third time changing coolant. fourth time changing Mobil 3309 trans fluid. First time changing hoses and T stat, but only because why not? Had to remove battery anyway, T stat is a pita job. The ECT wire harness protective sleeve was brittle ( usual high under hood heat turbo problem) so I installed superior sheathing... New battery going in when I am done, as its done for, and its an AC Delco 30 month replacement warranty after 24 months....Also Delco supplied and upgraded battery to 770 cca, said they sold me the wrong one (615cca) before. It was nice to do the job in my renovated workshop / garage BTW the fill plug on the Aisin 5 speed is 8 mm as detailed elsewhere, not a torx, And the ECT will need a special deep connector style 19 mm socket. Which I dont have. But a Honda 13/16 spark plug socket works, just... No way to get a wrench in there, SAAB cast a little square tab underneath the ECT so its impossible to put a ring wrench on it, and the rear cam drive housing and other brackets gets in the way at the top....correct service tools work well....
278574
278575
278577
 

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Offtopic: Pic shows incorrect lining of hood release cable.
Coolant tank holder is NOT for hood release cable (it will crush cable housing), it is for Opel tank cover.
Good catch. The cable was not placed in that guide when I removed the reservoir to clean it, but I put it in as it made sense that maybe I missed it. But now I know and just corrected that.

As for fluid the Mobil 3309 I have is in .946ml ( 1 us qt) containers, I removed 4 litres; replaced with four US quarts plus a few cc on top of that....Nothing fancy. Fluid was in good condition. Now on to PS fluid ( Pentosin CH 202) and engine oil and filter ( Mobil 1 0W40) etc. Still need to drop the cradle and replace the bushings, but thats for another day. I have so much cataloguing of parts left to do. All the parts boxes are just stuffed onto the new shelves I retrofitted ( My dad originally made the shelves in 1980 to hold endless lots of car magazines from the 50-s and 60's) I have donated most of the magazines. Anyone want 1960's hot rod magazines 1961?
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I used a silicone hose I had for the reservoir, I purchased a complete silicone coolant hose set in 2014 from an M Grace, a member on here, and did not use the stuff as I later learned of possible issues.... I looked at the hose its black outer, and blue interior lined and double weave reinforced so I cant see it will be an issue. The upper radiator hose I used AC Delco OEM . Just because.

I have to repair the drivers side seat covers, ( usual side bolster wear) I do have some 2008 perforated leather covers I purchased from a Member in the UK like 8 years ago, but they dont match exactly with perforated bottom covers, and have grey stitching instead of white stitching, so not sure what I will do. I would buy new seat covers ( black with white vinyl inserts) if I could....its a Saab, so the stitch count is some weird Scandinavian spacing.

I have a spare steering wheel and I may well send it to Redline Goods have it wrapped in Alcantra like my Redline Sparco 360 mm steering wheel, but thats just another project to add to the list.

Ontario has gone berserk with stay at home orders ( I am a country hermit, doesnt change much for me) due to covid, That's a shame. Does anyone look at the hospitalizations and deaths in context compared to previous years? I do. Its not such a fearful situation.....computer models are just....models....

No gym. Home work outs

ugh

back to work.
 

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Does anyone look at the hospitalizations and deaths in context compared to previous years? I do. Its not such a fearful situation.....computer models are just....models....
The flu killed approximately 75,000 Americans in 2019, Covid 19 killed over 350,000 in the United States in 2020 and the numbers are constantly climbing this year.

Canada 4000 flu deaths 2019, Canada 18,000 Covid 19 deaths 2020.

That's a pretty direct context not a model.
.
 

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The flu killed approximately 75,000 Americans in 2019, Covid 19 killed over 350,000 in the United States in 2020 and the numbers are constantly climbing this year.

Canada 4000 flu deaths 2019, Canada 18,000 Covid 19 deaths 2020.

That's a pretty direct context not a model.
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exactly what I mean,
U.S. Death Rate 1950-2021 | MacroTrends

Vital Statistics Death Database – Glossary (statcan.gc.ca)

Read; the bottom line with these stats, the nerds qualify everything, but its the same as it ever was....heart disease and cancer swaps top spot for cause of death. The shocking thing is, any death happens if covid is present, that is declared as a covid death My good friends dad passed away recently with Leukemia. Classified as a covid death. In Ontario current death rate is equivalent to the 2016 traffic crash fatality rate.... We all die. I will be lucky to get another ten or fifteen years, and frankly if I get disabled I will euthanize myself. I looked after my Mother for ten years, she died at 101. Its a very difficult rotten life being old and in a palliative state....IN CONTEXT: Flu deaths have evaporated from the charts. Canadian Ontario paramedic call rate today Wednesday Jan 13 in Oshawa is down to an average 3 calls a day this week. Yet we have an Ontario State of Emergency. I will withdraw from further discussion however....My Saab servicing is complete, car is golden. .
 

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oh, please can we keep this about saab 9-5 controversies only? it's so nice to have a place where I can "turn off" from reality for awhile...
 

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I had made it a "policy" on my car to do a single drain and fill of the transmission every other oil change.
Is a "single drain and fill" one in which you drain everything out of the transmission that you can, or one where you drain out only a single quart/liter/some unit of measure?
 

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Drain what will and replace that amount with fresh fluid. Common wisdom is that doing this 3 times will replace 90+% of the old fluid in the system with new.

edit. Drain plug is 24mm but make sure you can remove the fill plug before you drain it. I can’t remember the torx but I’d like to say its a male T55...I’m prepared to sit corrected if necessary though.
 

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Drain what will and replace that amount with fresh fluid. Common wisdom is that doing this 3 times will replace 90+% of the old fluid in the system with new.

edit. Drain plug is 24mm but make sure you can remove the fill plug before you drain it. I can’t remember the torx but I’d like to say its a male T55...I’m prepared to sit corrected if necessary though.
fill on my 2007 is 8mm allen hex. already pointed out earlier.
 
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