Replacing the Saab 9000 automatic transmission fluid


The automatic transmission fitted to automatic Saab 9000 models


Time required

Naturally, this will vary with both the individual and what they find when they get there. However, this took me about two hours. This was my first time and I imagine I could do it again in less time, barring any unforseen holdups and given the use of a longer socket extension (see below). I won't be spending time taking notes and photographs, either (well, maybe some photographs, as I'm sure I could improve on those shown here).

Tools required

I assume some basic tools, such as a jack, axle stands, socket set, etc. However I do not assume you will already have all the necessary metric socket and spanner sizes, especially if you are in the USA. Here is a list so you can make sure you have all the necessary sizes before you start.

  • 10mm
  • 12mm
  • 13mm
  • 15mm
  • 16mm
  • 17mm
  • 18mm
  • 8mm
  • 10mm
  • 11mm
  • 13mm
  • 14mm
  • 16mm
  • 18mm
  • 8mm hex key
  • Torx T25 bit
  • Engine support beam
  • Hydraulic hose clamp
  • Locating dowels


  1. From inside the car, select 4th gear.

1. Remove the cover by undoing the 3 screws.

o Fluid runs out.
o Wrench size = TORX TX27, certain transmissions use a 10 mm socket.

2. Extract the fluid strainer.

o Use pliers if necessary.

3. Install a new O-ring to the fluid strainer and insert it.
4. Install a new O-ring to the cover.

o Apply Vaseline in the magnet recess and install the magnet in the cover.
o Install cover (screw size = TORX TX27, certain transmissions 10 mm socket). Tightening torque: 8 Nm (5.8 ft. lbs.)



Changing Fluid

1. Raise and support vehicle.
2. Remove hose connector for oil cooler return from front of transaxle. Place a suitable drain pan under vehicle to collect oil.
3. When fluid has stopped draining, reinstall oil cooler return hose.
4. Add recommended fluid to transaxle pan through filler tube.
5. Refer to CHECKING FLUID, for final fluid level check.


Fluid level checks and fluid changes are essential. When doing this, proceed as follows:

* The Vehicle Should Be On Level Ground;
* Apply The Hand Brake;
* The Transmission Should Be At Operating Temperature (approx. 80°C) ;
* Allow The Engine To Run At Idling Speed (selector Lever Positions P Or N);
* Engage D, R And P, Each For 15 Seconds .
* Use A Lint-free Cloth To Wipe The Dipstick;
* Fluid Level Should Be Between The MIN And MAX Marks On The Dipstick. The Dipstick Has Two Scales, One For 40°C And On For 80°C . For Information Concerning Fluid Quantity Between The MIN And MAX Marks, See The Vehicle's Owner's Manual.
* Fill Using Fluid Of The Prescribed Type And Grade (see The Lubricant List In The Vehicle Operator's Manual).

If there is insufficient fluid, there is a chance of the pump sucking air instead of fluid, so that the required clutch pressure cannot be generated, causing the clutches to slip and be damaged.

If there is too much fluid, rotating parts are dipped in the fluid, leading to the build up of foam. This causes the same damage as insufficient fluid In addition, the foaming fluid expands and may flow out through the vent in the transmission. When the fluid then cools after a long period without operation, the fluid level may be too low.


* The prescribed fluid change intervals must be followed without exception
* There is an fluid filter in the gear case which should be changed according to the instructions in the vehicle operators manual.