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Updated on Jun 11, 2013
Detailed instructions on how to change oil in a Saab 9-3 (shortened version on page 10)
This page is quite lengthy. Some people prefer to print the instructions and use it while they change the oil. See page 10 for a shortened version of the instructions.
For more concise instructions, refer to the BOLD type. The instructions may be more detailed than is necessary for you.
See the bottom of this page for a list of parts and tools needed.
The oil change instructions are to help anyone doing it on their 2003 and later Saab 9-3 with a 2.0 litre engine (1.8t, 2.0t, 2.0T). I don't do it often so some of the details also refresh my memory when needed.
1. Consider (not required) TURNING THE WHEELS TO THE RIGHT (or left) to allow better access to the oil plug.
OPEN THE HOOD NEXT! If you are unlucky and the hood release malfunctions, you do not want to be in a situation where you have already drained your oil and cannot refill it.
Although hot oil drains more quicker and more thoroughly, I wait 2 hours after the engine has been turned off to avoid burns.
Position drain pan under oil plug. Note that oil shoots approximately 6 inches (15 cm) rearward. The drain plug is arms length from the right side of the car about level with the front edge of the tire. It faces backwards.
oil drain plug is to the right
oil drain plug is to the left in the photo. There is a small paper sticker above it
oil drain plug has been removed. See some oil dripping from it
2. The best position is to lie down in the same orientation as the map with your feet pointing in the same direction as the headlights. I did not find it necessary to use jacks or Rhinoramps. If you use a jack, use jackstands. Working under a jack is considered dangerous and potentially a fatal error (causing death).
Comment about cars with a genuinesaab 3 point sub-frame brace: After several oil changes without it, my car now has a 3 point sub-frame brace (Taliaferro Imports, Inc., Springfield, Missouri, USA, genuinesaab.com). This brace protrudes about 1 inch down which doesn't allow enough clearance for a drain pan to be placed under the car. You might be able to find a drain pan that is not as tall or you may have to use jackstands. Driving the car on the a plank of wood also works. Some may try to use the jack to jack the car up one inch (body of the car being one inch higher but the tires still contact with the ground) but this is potentially risky even though you are not under the car.
Note the angle of the map on the floor which is positioned in the direction that one should lie down for best access to the drain plug. You feet should be pointing ahead and your head towards the rear near the lake on the map.
3. A 15 mm socket wrench or perhaps a box wrench is the best.
4. Consider putting some newspaper under the container used to collect old oil. After oil drains, replace the oil plug, change the rubber washer on the oil plug. Tighten slightly more than finger tight (18 ft. lbs. of torque or 25 Nm).
5. Remove black plastic engine cover (says SAAB turbo) by unscrewing the 3 Torx screws to gain access to the oil filter. The factory WIS service manual recommends removing the atmospheric pressure sensors and manifold absolute pressure sensor connections and moving the cables. However, I do not have any access problems if I don't disconnect these wires.
6. Remove the oil filter cover. I use a 32 mm socket from Sears (US$6.99) and an extension (approx. 6.99-7.99 at Sears) which connects to the socket wrench. My 32mm socket is very tall so I must first loosen the cover, remove the socket, and finish unscrewing by hand. box wrench is used to point to the oil filter cover
7. Pull off the oil filter from the oil filter cover. Replace the green oil filter cover gasket and lubricate the new gasket with some oil. Place new oil filter. Tighten cover to slightly more than finger tight (18 ft. lbs. of torque or 25 Nm).
In the classic 900, I poured some oil into the filter to reduce the amount of time that the engine runs dry without much oil. However, in the 9-3, if you pour oil into the oil filter compartment, it drains away so I think it is unnecessary to pour oil here.
The SAAB oil filter: Hengst E630H Energetic (made in Germany, part number 12 579 143): type installed at the factory
Purflux L264A (made in France, part number 24460713): despite being packaged in a Saab box and sold by Saab, may be the filter only for the 2003-2004 model. The correct Saab filter (part number 93175493) has straight pleats, not zigzaged pleats and is designated for all 2.0 litre SAAB 9-3 models and says Hengst E630H. The reported difference is the bypass valve is not activated until 100 psi compared to 80 for the old design. The old design is meant to fit with the old oil filter cap so those with 2003-2004 model cars might consider changing the plastic oil filter cap to fit the new filter.
Around 2008, part number 93175493 was superceded by 12605566.
AC Delco PF457G: sold by Saturn dealers for about $2 less than Saab dealer's 93175493/Hengst E630H. The two filter look the same in the pictures that I have seen on the internet.
8. Fill the engine with 5.9 quarts of oil (yellow cap over the silver metal part of the engine). Check for oil leaks when the engine is running. Overfilling the oil is never recommended in any car.
Saab requires synthetic motor oil that meets the GM-LL-A-025 specifications. In Europe, there are quite a few motor oils that meet this specification. In the US, there are only three, namely Mobil 1 0W-40, Castrol Syntec 0W-30 European Formula and Total Quartz Energy 9000 0W-30. Elf Excellium Full Tech 0W30 has been renamed as Total brand and Saab Long Life 0W30 is no longer available. The Mobil 1 website has a Mobil 1 rewards program where you can get $5 credit for each oil change or purchase of 6 quarts where the $5 credit can be redeemed for gift certificates and some merchandise.
9. Check the ground for leaks. Check the dipstick. You may need to add 0.1 quarts. The capacity is 6.3 qt. but do not fill it with 6.3 or it will be slightly overfilled.
LIST OF NEEDED ITEMS for oil change to 2.0 litre turbo engine TOOLS 1. socket wrench set 2. 15 mm socket wrench (should be included in set) 3. 32 mm socket wrench (need to purchase separately) 4. 6-9" extension for 32 mm socket wrench head 5. T-30 Torx screwdriver (may be in tool kit above spare tire) 6. pan to collect used oil 7. if changing oil outside instead of a garage, I recommend at least 6 paperweights (such as a tool) to prevent newspapers from blowing away.
PARTS 1. oil filter (Saab 93175493 or 12605566, 2003-2004 model years may also use 24460713) 2. gasket drain plug (Saab 3536966, can be re-used a few times) 3. sealing ring (oil filter cap gasket) (Saab 90537437, can be re-used a few times) 4. 6 quarts of synthetic motor oil meeting GM-LL-A-025 (capacity is 6.3 quarts or 6 litres but not all the oil drains out)
DISPOSABLES 1. newspaper (I recommend at least 6 sections). Consider cutting open a large plastic garbage bag and taping it to the driveway in case of spills. Perhaps put newspaper on top of that? Consider getting a large flat metal pan made by Blitz. This could be placed under the car in the rare event that there is some oil spillage.2. disposable gloves (possibly 2 pairs)3. paper towels or paper napkins
This is a photo of the 2008 version of the Mobil 1 0W-40 label for the U.S. market (label has been updated since this photo was taken).
Contents page 1: This Saab 9-3 page 2: Some of the car's travelspage 3: oil change instructions page 4: observations about my car page 5: other Saabs page 6: 1990 Saab 900
page 8 and 9: Windshield Wiper Test (see http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2363586/8 ) page 10: abbreviated oil change instructions.page 11: brake fluid, motor oil, headlight bulbs and gasoline commentary. Brake fluid change and cabin air filter change instructions.
page 12: list of the most highly recommended modifications for your 9-3
Displaying entries 1-6 of 45
Nice trunk carpet :D
Nice saab 5
sweeeeeet lookin ride. keep the pics and pages coming. 5*s. come by and check out my GT500. while you are there rate and comment. thanks. pay it forward.
thanks for stopping by and also for the comment. Happy Holidays!
hello thanks for checking out my MINI !!! this is the cleanest Saab i have ever seen ! haha. Keep up the good work 5*s all the way
Clean Saab dude! Loving the mods. 5 stars.
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