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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings:


I just picked up a very well maintained 91 900 16v turbo! The car only has about 174,000 original miles! Some of my import favorites are also volvos (740/850s'), Nissan Maximas. Volvos in particular, Saab included. Ok, now for my questions. What is a good synthetic for these particular motors (2.0)? I like the fact that the motor has a timing chain, and not a belt. I would like to put some synthetic oil in for the winter. I am very knowledgeable regarding Amsoil, Mobil 1 oils, but what works the best for my turbo? Also what is a good transmission fluid? Could I just use say MAX-LIFE ATF, even though the owners manual stipulates Ford specs? Also what is a decent spark plug? I am a big fan of NGK V-power(replace every 10,000 miles). About 99% of my driving will consist of hwy driving. I commute on average about 700 plus miles per week! Are the Iridium NGK plugs the best choice for my turbo? One other thing, regarding the final drive, it states to use 10w-30 motor oil, where exactly can I fill this area, aside from the ATF filler? My volvos are in the 500,000 original mileage range, can the same be expected of my Saab? I know that Saab has a reputation for safety that rivals Volvo too. Sorry for such a long thesis, but this is my first such post. Any further info for a new Saab owner would be greatly appreciated!:)

Best Regards!
 

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I use castrol GTX 20w50 in the summer since the motors are so loose. But winter i use 10w30 or it wouldnt start.

For the tranny lots of people talk highly of Honda MTF but personally im gonna try redline my friend uses that. His car runs lots of power and his gearbox is still in good condition.
 

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There's no reason to look for anything more exotic than Mobil 1, 10w-30, SAABs don't have lubrication problems that need fancy solutions.
For an automatic, use any name-brand Type F fluid. Change it every 30k.
Look for a plug above the right axle for the final drive oil filler.
For use around here, NGK BCP6ES. Skip the fancy plugs; they just don't work as well.
 

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I use 10w30 oil year round which I think is the best for the car. It is also the viscosity recommended by Saab ;)

As for oil I like the good old Mobil 1. People tend to say they like Mobil or Amsoil or maybe some 3rd brand (eg Royal Purple) but Amsoil looks like some sort of pyramid scheme and it ain't cheaper than M1 :lol:

That said I use regular dino oil in my 90 900 T driver and not the fancy expensive synthetic. These particular engines are not very sensitive to oil and I would only put synthetic if you knew the history of the car (knowing it had synthetic most of the time) and the engine was really tight.

As for reliability well Gilbert pushed his 87 900 SPG to over 1 million miles and used Mobil so that is good enough for me :cheesy:

I would only change the plugs at 30 k miles unless the electrodes disappeared. If you want the extra work I'd gap them but no use throwing away good plugs early ;) Regular NGK's.

Type F fluid only. Look on the back if it meets Type F, there are some "universal" fluids that might. Usually the "universals" are a lighter dexron-type thing and try to avoid those.
 

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EvanD said:
I use castrol GTX 20w50 in the summer since the motors are so loose.
But your motor runs at the same temperature in the summer as the winter, same tolerances and everything...with the exception of at start up, which is related to the pour point of the oil (the first number) not the viscosity. IMHO a XXw50 is too much for these engines, even in the summer.

Plain ole 10w30 for me :D Mobil one usually because they're cheap at the local store.
 

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900t said:
As for reliability well Gilbert pushed his 87 900 SPG to over 1 million miles and used Mobil
I think his original box lasted like 175K or 250K miles and then his next one did the big hairy 750K miles, but I have not been able to find out what oil he used in it or if it was uprated in anyway? like maybe a steel diff cover or heat treated parts.
 

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TheRedBaron said:
But your motor runs at the same temperature in the summer as the winter, same tolerances and everything...with the exception of at start up, which is related to the pour point of the oil (the first number) not the viscosity. IMHO a XXw50 is too much for these engines, even in the summer.

Plain ole 10w30 for me :D Mobil one usually because they're cheap at the local store.
Well what is viscosity? isnt 20w50 thicker, my car does leak quite a bit of oil wouldnt 20w50 help with that at all?
 

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EvanD said:
Well what is viscosity? isnt 20w50 thicker, my car does leak quite a bit of oil wouldnt 20w50 help with that at all?
900s love to leak. THis is a feature to be enjoyed, it keeps them from rusting and it a hidden advantage.

Run 10w30 chepa motor oil, Saab 900s are so damm robust that Mobil 1 is kinda pointless unless like 900t said that you love the thing to keep it "forever" and the engine is flawless.

A 900 will pass 500,000 kms running any oil that meets all the basic requirements.

20w50:eek:

toooooo thick! Lifters=tick tick.. Turbo= fail fail

Some cars with poorly built engines are much better suited for SYnthetic (saab 9-5). I was a firm believer before, except all the high milelage saabs I have seen run anything but Synthetic except for Peter Gilbert, but then again I have not seen it.

THe engine is not the stumbling block on these cars, it is the gearbox and chassis rust.
 

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ShadowWorks said:
I think his original box lasted like 175K or 250K miles and then his next one did the big hairy 750K miles, but I have not been able to find out what oil he used in it or if it was uprated in anyway? like maybe a steel diff cover or heat treated parts.
I'd say not driving the crap out of it made a big difference.
 

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ShadowWorks said:
I think his original box lasted like 175K or 250K miles and then his next one did the big hairy 750K miles, but I have not been able to find out what oil he used in it or if it was uprated in anyway? like maybe a steel diff cover or heat treated parts.
I don't know what oil he put in the gearbox, I think he was using a stock gearbox but just "puttering nicely" in it and not driving like a maniac :cheesy:

I would agree 20w50 to be way too thick. The thickest thing I'd go for would be a 15w40 Shell Rotella (Rotella is good oil and cheapish too :p).

Thick oil only makes sense for "extreme hot" conditions, eg you are racing the car, or spend a lot of time in Arizona (while racing :p) or something like this.
 

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EvanD said:
Well what is viscosity? isnt 20w50 thicker, my car does leak quite a bit of oil wouldnt 20w50 help with that at all?
Well viscosity references the oil's resistance to shearing, or resistance to flow. While an oil like that is "thicker" in the sense that it will provide more resistance to moving parts (like say you were moving your hand around in a vat of oil, the higher viscosity would provide more resistance), I don't think the molecules themselves are significantly bigger. IMO the better thing to do would be to fix the leaks, although a thicker oil may help some (at the cost of engine wear!) ;) With multigrade synthetic oils, the use of summer/winter oils has become a thing of the past - if you live in a colder climate, a 0wXX or 5wXX oil will provide adequate cold start protection. In a hot climate, 10wXX will do just fine. Modern cars have pretty small bearing clearances, so it is important to use what manufacturers design the engines for - they didn't just arbitrarily say "Hey guys, lets use 10w30!" :D When you use a thicker oil, it doesn't flow as the engine was designed for, it raises the oil pressure (more resistance on moving parts = worse mileage/performance), and can increase wear.

my 2c anyway...
 

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I run regular old dinosaur blood as well. 235,000 miles and 25 years later the engine still screams like a banshee. This thing will rust in half before the engine ever dies. The bottom ends of these things are virtually bullet proof. Piston failure? Not likely. You may have lubrication issues to the head, but those won't be related to your oil choice.
Just make sure you change it regularly and try to stop the leaks when they pop up and don't sweat it.
 

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GM Engine Oil

Ordered 4 Litres of original Saab Turbo Oil off Elk Parts for just under £25 quid and ended up being sent 5L of GM fully synthetic 5W 30 instead :confused: . Checked with Saab Service and they use exactly the same oil for C900 servicing, but RRP is £45 for 5L! :nono; Did manage to get the traditional blue filter from s though, minus the saab logo.

After the oil change, noticed a vast improvements, faster and smoother running, and after 3K miles of running, none used and still and clean (not bad for 245k miles) :D

So got to use the GM stuff by accident, and if I hadn't got £20 off I would have probably gone for Mobil 1 as advised above which is £45 in Halfrauds (Halfords). There must be an big oil lake somewhere, because Halfrauds are doing some good deals these days on their own brands £31.99 for 5L of fully synthetic.
 

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GM Motor Oil

I failed to mention I ordered the 4L of original Saab Turbo Oil off that company with the moose logo (EP :D ) for under £25.... No longer listed on their site?

Saab 16s Stubby said:
Ordered 4 Litres of original Saab Turbo Oil off for just under £25 quid and ended up being sent 5L of GM fully synthetic 5W 30 instead :confused: . Checked with Saab Service and they use exactly the same oil for C900 servicing, but RRP is £45 for 5L! :nono; Did manage to get the traditional blue filter from s though, minus the saab logo.

After the oil change, noticed a vast improvements, faster and smoother running, and after 3K miles of running, none used and still and clean (not bad for 245k miles) :D

So got to use the GM stuff by accident, and if I hadn't got £20 off I would have probably gone for Mobil 1 as advised above which is £45 in Halfrauds (Halfords). There must be an big oil lake somewhere, because Halfrauds are doing some good deals these days on their own brands £31.99 for 5L of fully synthetic.
 

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Saab 16s Stubby said:
Ordered 4 Litres of original Saab Turbo Oil off for just under £25 quid and ended up being sent 5L of GM fully synthetic 5W 30 instead :confused: . Checked with Saab Service and they use exactly the same oil for C900 servicing, but RRP is £45 for 5L! :nono; Did manage to get the traditional blue filter from s though, minus the saab logo.

After the oil change, noticed a vast improvements, faster and smoother running, and after 3K miles of running, none used and still and clean (not bad for 245k miles) :D

So got to use the GM stuff by accident, and if I hadn't got £20 off I would have probably gone for Mobil 1 as advised above which is £45 in Halfrauds (Halfords). There must be an big oil lake somewhere, because Halfrauds are doing some good deals these days on their own brands £31.99 for 5L of fully synthetic.
Wow! I pay about 23$ US at Wal Mart for 5 qt (4,4 litre) bottles of Mobil1 :lol: If I can buy GM oil for half the price I am going to the dealer :D

PS as for change intervals:

I would change oil at 3 750 miles (6 000 km) with the oil-cooled turbo (up to M87) and at 7 500 miles (12 000 km) with the water-cooled turbo / nonturbo cars as recommended by Saab.
 

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900t said:
Wow! I pay about 23$ US at Wal Mart for 5 qt (4,4 litre) bottles of Mobil1 :lol: If I can buy GM oil for half the price I am going to the dealer :D

PS as for change intervals:

I would change oil at 3 750 miles (6 000 km) with the oil-cooled turbo (up to M87) and at 7 500 miles (12 000 km) with the water-cooled turbo / nonturbo cars as recommended by Saab.
With the current strength of the Queens finest English Pound, I make your purchase of 4.4ltr of Mobil1 from Wall Mart at $23 around £11 :eek: ....at that price I bet the crude oil wasn't sourced and shipped from Kuwait ;)
 

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Saab 16s Stubby said:
With the current strength of the Queens finest English Pound, I make your purchase of 4.4ltr of Mobil1 from Wall Mart at $23 around £11 :eek: ....at that price I bet the crude oil wasn't sourced and shipped from Kuwait ;)
No it sucks, pre-Iraq it was cheaper :roll: I can't even imagine paying nearly $100 for oil, even if you go to Saab dealer and have them change it for you it costs less :lol:
 

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philb said:
I'd say not driving the crap out of it made a big difference.
I totally agree.I drive like a "granny",because I want the car to last forever.No jack rabbit starts,high revs or anything like that.It runs as good as it did ten years ago_Of course I'm old and never in a hurry anyway.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the numerous responses (Greatly appreciated)! One other thing, how durable are the head gaskets on these 2.0 turbos? My reservoir was very low, the car was off the road for a while. I did not detect any steam and or coolant odors, in particular I did not see any leaks. The car runs extremely quiet and doesn't overheat, in addition it is very quick! I am very mechanically incline, this is just my first Saab. Thanks again!:)

Best Regards!
 

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Saab 16s Stubby said:
After the oil change, noticed a vast improvements, faster and smoother running, and after 3K miles of running, none used and still and clean (not bad for 245k miles) :D
Unless the oil was starting to solidify or go milky then I think your getting a massive placebo from a simple oil change...

I wouldn't use fully synthetic oil in my c900 because its an old engine that's been worn in with mineral. I use semi syn 10-40 valvoline and a valvoline filter.
 
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