Saab 9-3 oil change instructions
Changing oil in a 9-3 is easy but here are some tips and a list of needed tools to make the first time go smoothly. These instructions are for the 2.0 turbo engine (1.8t, 2.0t, 2.0T).
1. socket wrench handle
2. 15 mm socket wrench
3. 32 mm socket wrench (need to purchase separately, not found in most socket wrench sets, try to select one that is no more 1.5" or 4 cm tall)
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.
8. ramps for some cars (I did not need ramps until the car had a sub-frame brace added and then the ramps that I need only lift the car about 1 inch or 3 cm)
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. 5.9 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)
1. newspaper (I recommend at least 4 sections)
2. disposable gloves (possibly 2-3 pairs)
3. paper towels or paper napkins
4. plastic bags (optional, possibly 2), plastic bag or hat
5. large garbage bag (optional, can be used to protect the ground from spills)
1. Hot oil drains faster and more thoroughly. I found that the engine is not too hot to touch if I drive 2-3 miles and wait 2 hours.
2. Ramps are not needed, at least for a Linear or 2.0T. I am not certain about an Aero. Originally, I did not need ramps but after installing a Taliaferro Imports, Inc. 3-point sub-frame brace (genuinesaab.com), my oil collection pan is too tall to fit under the brace. I constructed a ramp by nailing two boards, which raises the car about 1” (3 cm). Usually, I use newspaper to catch oil, should a few drops spill. One can use one or two large plastic garbage bags which have been cut open to fully line the ground or floor, held down by tape or paperweights.
3. In the past, I turned the wheels to the right (orientation when sitting in the driver’s seat) to allow better access to the oil plug but I don’t do this anymore.
4. Open the hood! If you are unlucky and the hood release malfunctions, you do not want to have drained the oil but cannot refill it. Then put the drain pan under the oil plug. Oil will shoot out about 6 inches (15 cm) rearward.
5. The best position to lie down is in the same orientation as the map with your feet facing the same direction as the front of the car.
Consider either wearing a hat or placing a plastic bag on the ground so that your hair doesn't touch the ground.
6. The oil plug is removed with a 15mm socket wrench (the standard counter clockwise off, clockwise to screw on). There is a rubber gasket which can probably be re-used. I put some newspaper under the oil collection pan to insure that no oil drips on the driveway. After the oil drains, put back the oil plug to slightly more than finger tight (18 ft. lbs. of torque or 25 Nm). Extreme tightening makes it hard to unscrew the next time as well as potentially cracks the oil pan. I let the oil drain as long as an hour. You can change the oil filter during this time as well as put away tools. Oil plug is to the right in the top picture and to the left (oil plug removed and some oil dripping is seen).
7. 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. The oil filter cover can be removed using a 32 mm socket (Sears, $6.99) and an extension (Sears, approx. 6.99-7.99). My 32 mm socket is tall so I must first loosen the cover, remove the socket, then finish unscrewing by hand. This picture shows a wrench pointing to the oil filter cover.
You may replace the oil filter cover gasket if desired. The oil filter is removed by pulling while twisting it. The oil filter cover is supposed to be tightened to 18 ft.lbs. or 25 Nm, which is slightly more than finger tight, perhaps ¼ turn more than finger tight. Re-install the black plastic engine cover after changing the oil filter. 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.
8. Refill the car with oil. I found that about 5.8 to 6 quarts is needed, depending on how thorough you drain the oil. Adding a full 6.3 quarts (6.0 litres) will result in slightly overfilling the car. Check the oil level dipstick and check the car for leaks while the engine is on. I let the oil drip for about one hour.
Commentary about oil filters and oil
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): this 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: used to be sold by Saturn dealers (before the brand was discontinued) 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.
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 two or three that are easily available, 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 0W30is no longer available. If specified oil is not available, Saab recommends using an ACEA A3/B3 oil. Incidentally, Mobil 1 in the 0W-30 weight in the U.S. reportedly does not meet the GM-LL-A-025 specification and is not an ACEA A3/B3 oil.
In short, consider the orientation to lie down to access the oil plug. Open the hood before you begin work to make sure that the hood is not stuck shut. Make sure that you have the proper tools, including the 32 mm socket wrench and an extension. Dispose of the oil in a responsible manner, such as returning it to an auto parts store or gas station (www.earth911.org is one website that lists places that accept used oil).
In the V6 engine, the oil filter is accessed from the bottom of the car. The oil filter cover looks similar to the 2.0 turbo engine, except upside down. It has been reported that the oil filter cover can be removed with a 24 mm socket, not a 32 mm socket like in the 2.0 engine.
Last edited by Dave T; 02 February 2013 at 21:45.
Last edited by Dave T; 17 August 2011 at 17:16.
Man we get screwed in Australia .. Mobil 1 is ~ $80 for 5 litres (around 5 quarts)
Castrol is a little better, ~$50.
I have tall and medium height 32 mm sockets and neither one will connect with the filter cap. A short socket is the only one that work on my 2010 9-3.
Instructions are great. But, how due you reset the "service data" on a 2004 93
To reset the SID, push the "customize" button then scroll the menu to "System Settings", which is the 2nd choice. Push the SID knob to select it. Then scroll to "Service Indicator" (2nd to last choice, "back" is the last choice), push the SID knob to select it. It will then show the oil life remaining, such as "53%, 283 days". If it is less than 10%, there will be a choice to reset it. If it is not less than 10% then you cannot reset it unless you fool it by advancing the date ahead.
I change the oil at 50% and 0% so I only reset it at 0%.
first off...thanks alot for this helped me out alot. Ive had my Saab for about 4-5 months and imma do my first oil change in a few hours =) but what type of wheels are those? Are those the stock rims for that year Saab??? I really want to get those....
I have an 2004 9-3 Arc - love the vehicle and have been babying since it was purchased. I am just wondering if there is another trick to reset the SID Oil Life settings? I purchased the vehicle used so I had no idea what/when the oil needed changing. I kept abreast of the % and when it hit %18 I figured to change the oil. Wasn't aware of the %10 option. So I advanced the years by a couple - shut off / started the vehicle to fool it because it was set at %18 720 days for changing... still nothing - never get the option to reset.. I tried everything even holding my feet off the floor whilst spitting over my left shoulder - nothing.
Thank you for any suggestions
When the oil life is less than 10%, you will have the option of resetting it. Change the oil and reset it. If you wish to change the oil more often, such as at 50%, you will have to look at the SID and do it when it hits 50%.
The SID will also call for an oil change at every 30,000 miles because that is the interval for other services. So if the SID calls for an oil change at 28,000 miles and you reset it, it will go off again at 30,000 miles. At that time, reset it with or without changing the oil. If you don't change the oil, consider changing it at 50-60% oil left remaining or you will be changing the oil when there is less than 0% life remaining.