Help me decide on an oil and oil weight for my Saab!

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Jul 25, 2004
Southern California
I just picked up a 1989 Saab 9000CD Turbo to temporarily replace my 86 BMW that I lost to a fire. It's not a brand new car, but I love this little car!
Great on gas but the turbo keeps it moving. I am having one problem... Deciding on an oil and weight!

I live in Southern California:
Summer - 60-105
Winter - 45-70

Here is some info about the car...
89 Saab 9000CD
4 1/2 quart capacity
175 turbocharged ponies
2.0L 4 Cyl.
111,000 miles.

I drive it kinda hard and average 24 MPG.
It's pretty hard on oil since it's a turbo 4 cyl that runs kind of hot.

I think it's got 10W-30 Castrol in it now.

I think I would like a thicker oil, but not too thick... I was thinking about this:
3 1/2 Quarts Mobil 1 10W-30 and 1 quart Mobil 15w-50 with a Bosch filter.

I think Saab recommended 10W-30 every 3,750 mi.

And what about an interval???
It would probably be easier to just use M1 5W-40. Then you'll end up with roughly the viscosity mixing 10W-30 and 15W-40 would give you, plus the oil is CI-4 rated and contains some esters!
Either that, or find yourself some GC.
Hey fellow Saaber!
I would use M1 0W-40 or Delvac 1 5W-40 year round even M1 15W-50 is not to thick since it is at the low end of W50 spectrum.
Even if the car had regular service I would suggest AtuRx before going to synth and in your climate zone Delvac 1300 15W-50 or Delo 15W-40 for both clean and rinse cycles would best choice before be going to synthetic.
Visit a great site with tons of info
Congrads on the car!

The older SAABs respond well to slightly heavier weight oils. Definitely run full synthetic, unless you have severe seal issues.

Mobil 1 T&S 5W-40 would be a very good choice. Mobil 1 0W-40 would be OK, so would Mobil 1 15W-50.

Castrol Syntec 10W-40 would work well, so would GC 0W-30.

In short, any full-synthetic oil that has ACEA A3 rating. These engines last forever with proper maintenance.
My 88 9000T started (at 87,000 miles) with AMSOIL 5W-30. The shop put it in when I was thinking of picking it up. Since then, it has been running on AMSOIL Series 2000 0w-30. I change it yearly, which is about 10,000 miles (and am probably throwing away good oil).
"I was thinking about...a Bosch oil filter."

Something I noted is that the 54+ combined filters in the Mini-Mopar, Mercruiser, Honda NTPOG.ORG, and Overboost filter studies frequently referred to on this board, the Bosch #3312 (Honda and other applications) had, at 81 sq in, the LEAST media area of all 54+ filters. And yet they're not cheap, costing twice that of an AC, STP, or Purolator PP. Not much reason to choose a Bosch North American market oil filter in my opinion -- I'd look elsewhere. A PureOne or Wix/Napa Gold for the same price range would be a much better option.
1) I'd do an Auto-Rx cleaning of both the engine and transmission and 15W-40 oil during the cleaning.
2) I'd use European oil filters (German Bosch, Mann, Mahle).
3) After the cleaning I'd use Mobil 1 5W-40, or Schaeffer #700 15W-40, or 76 or Kendall 5W-40. Amsoil 5W-40 or 15W-40 would work well, but kind'a pricey.

Well, I ended up using 2 quarts Mobil 1 15W-50, and 2 1/2 quarts Mobil 1 10W-30. I changed the filter using a Bosch filter... It's all I had at the moment. The filter was a B!tch to get to!!!!
It was in the back of the engine WAY up there. The second you unscrew it, you get a lovely 10W-30 oil bath

Anyway, It runs perfectly and seems much happier with this match. I might try some others in the future, but this will be in there for the next 5k miles.

Thanks for all the advice and help you have provided!

The lowest viscocity that is rated A3/B3 like GC is ideal becuase it keep oil temps down compared to a xW-50, still gives the A3/B3 protection and will give better gas mileage which mean the engine is running more efficient. The more efficient and cooler an engine runs, the longer it will last. I would not recommend an xW-30 that is not A3/B3 rated, yet SAAB offer their 5w-30 A1/B1 semi-synthetic, so it all youe own call. I just switch from Mobil 1 0W-40 to GC this weekend because I now just drive 1.2 miles to the train station and back so I am looking for more start-up protection of the lighter xW-30 oil. I was doing a 70 mile round-trip high run to/from work before so wanted the 40 weight protection during the summer.
I've used Mobil 1 of various grades over the past 50k miles in my 97 900 SE turbo. 0W20, 0W40, 5W30, 10W30, 15W50 and 1 change of Valvoline Maxlife Full Synth. Always have used Pure1 or Mobil1 filters when availible. I haven't really seen much difference in any of the oils except I had a small mileage drop in the 15W50.

Also, I'll plug SaabCentral as another valuable resource. Lot's of people on the forums there and they are setup almost excactly like these.
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