How to flush automatic transmission fluid in a SAAB 9-3

Need help with your car? Post up your questions or requests here.

How to flush automatic transmission fluid in a SAAB 9-3

Postby metrognome » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:47 pm

How to flush automatic transmission fluid in a SAAB 9-3 sport sedan 2.0T (2003+)

Tools required

1. 12 quarts Automatic Transmission Fluid (Toyota Type T-IV, $6.00 per quart at Toyota dealerships.)
2. 2 Jack stands or ramps
3. Ratchet with 12 mm socket & 24 mm socket
4. 20” (or longer) ratchet extension
5. Transmission funnel (with long, flexible tube)


1. Put front end of car on ramps or jack stands. Engage parking brake. Open hood.

2. Locate green transmission fluid dipstick. This is visible from engine bay by looking down between the large hose on your right (intake charge pipe) and the radiator fan. You will notice that the coolant expansion tank, brake fluid reservoir and transmission fluid dipstick are all in a perfect vertical line toward the right side of the engine bay. The transmission fluid dipstick is at the bottom of the engine bay, however.


3. Use the 12mm socket and 20” extension to remove the bolt to the right of the dipstick. This holds the dipstick in place.

4. Lie on the ground and look under the car, facing the front bumper. The dipstick can be clearly seen to the right of the large, front transmission mount. Pull dipstick out. It requires a little bit of force and will pop out abruptly when correct force is applied.

5. Climb under car facing the driver’s side front wheel and remove transmission drain plug with 24 mm socket. This is a bolt with a large, flat head that faces the exhaust pipe. Removing bolt will drain fluid. Used fluid will look like grape cough syrup.

6. Reinstall transmission drain plug.

7. From the top, thread the tube of your transmission funnel down toward the hole where the dipstick was. Your funnel may have a valve that can open and close. Make sure it is open. Double check that tube is securely in hole from underneath car.

8. Pour in about 3-and-a-half quarts of new fluid. Be careful not to overfill and spill fluid on your driveway.

9. Replace dipstick from under car.

10. Take car off jack stands/ramps and drive a short distance. (The longer you drive, the hotter engine will be when you get to the next step, but you probably should make sure you at least use all gears.

11. Return car to ramps/jack stands.

12. Drain transmission fluid and refill as above.

13. Drive again as above.

14. Refill again, making sure not to overfill. Check level with dipstick. This may require taking car off ramps/jack stands to get car to be level, so you can get an accurate reading. When level is satisfactory, reinstall dip stick. Start threading the dipstick retainer bolt by hand from underneath the car, then finish with the 12 mm socket & extender from above.

Notes: This is part of SAAB’s prescribed 60,000 mile service. It is supposed to be done every 60,000 miles.
You can use SAAB AT fluid, but it costs about three times as much as the Toyota fluid and is only found at dealers or online sources, such as eEuroparts. Toyota Type T-IV fluid is the same thing at a fraction of the price. In fact, the dipstick actually says “ATF T-IV” on it. I was not able to find the compatible Mobil 3309 fluid at my local auto parts store. Do not use other fluids for this project, no matter what the guy at the auto parts store says.

Please note this is for the 4-cylinder 2.0T, not the 6 cylinder.

This is a time consuming project if you do a true flush, using all 12 quarts of fluid, but it’s not difficult. Do it yourself and save money!
Last edited by metrognome on Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
2007 9-3 • 87,000 miles
1999 9-5 SE (2005-2010)
User avatar
Crazy Saaber!
Posts: 1318
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:39 pm
Location: Jacksonville

Re: How to flush automatic transmission fluid in a SAAB 9-3

Postby StrictlySaab » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:06 pm

Strictly Saab Inc.
Melbourne, FL
'91 900 S-PG 5spd
'06 9-3 Sport Sedan 2.0L 5spd
'99 Porsche 911 C2 Racekar 6spd
'01 Porsche 911tt 6spd
'06 Chevy 2500HD 4x4 Dmax Allison 6spd
Crazy Saaber!
Posts: 167
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:26 pm
Location: Melbourne, FL

Return to Need Help?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest