Mobil 3309 in AW55-50 A/T

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I maintain 4 Volvo's that spec the JWS 3309 AT fluid and perform a cooler line exchange every 20k with Mobil 3309. After each exchange there is noticeable, actually surprising improvement in shift smoothness. These are gently driven cars. I have 2 questions: 1) Why is there such and improvement in shift performance using Mobil 3309? Is this by design? 2) Will a full synthetic fluid that meets the JWS 3309 spec work just as well or better? Thanks in advance for your comments.
 
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I think you are having the placebo effect. I maintain Volvos too and never see a change. Ask here for the best info: http://www.volvoxc.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?6-2001-2007-XC70-(V70XC)
 

Astro14

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Back when Mobil 1 ATF stated that it was "suitable" for JWS-3309 applications, I tried it when doing a flush on the XC-70. I noticed the same improvement that I get from a flush with Mobil 3309. Since then, I've just stuck with conventional. I use either Mobil 3309, or Toyota T-IV (discount from the dealer makes it the cheapest option). I do a D&F every 15K, and a flush every 30K. With that routine, they shift pretty smooth all the time, and I'm not spending a fortune on fluid.
 
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I use Maxlife in my AW transmission and it seems to be doing a great job. I had the mobil 3309 in it before and I noticed a sloppier shift and cold weather shifting wasn't that great either. Maxlife fixed both of these. LGR is also nice for AW transmissions.
 
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My 2003 Saab 9-5 has that AW55 transmission. I use Amsoil ATF in it, doing a drain & fill every-other oil change which is about 10k miles. It shifts fine. I spend a lot of time on a Saab forum, and a lot of those guys say you MUST use either Mobil 3309 or Toyota T-IV in that transmission. I believe that is because the Saab manual actually says to not use synthetic ATF, and the Mobil/Toyota versions are not synthetic. However, it's my opinion that any ATF that meets the JWS 3309 spec is fine. The important thing is to change the fluid often.
 
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Originally Posted By: Joel_MD
My 2003 Saab 9-5 has that AW55 transmission. I use Amsoil ATF in it, doing a drain & fill every-other oil change which is about 10k miles. It shifts fine. I spend a lot of time on a Saab forum, and a lot of those guys say you MUST use either Mobil 3309 or Toyota T-IV in that transmission. I believe that is because the Saab manual actually says to not use synthetic ATF, and the Mobil/Toyota versions are not synthetic. However, it's my opinion that any ATF that meets the JWS 3309 spec is fine. The important thing is to change the fluid often.
There is a reason that SAAB states NOT to use a synthetic ATF version....it is due to seals and friction materials not being designed to work with it.
 

MolaKule

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Originally Posted By: Sam_Julier
I maintain 4 Volvo's that spec the JWS 3309 AT fluid and perform a cooler line exchange every 20k with Mobil 3309. After each exchange there is noticeable, actually surprising improvement in shift smoothness. These are gently driven cars. I have 2 questions: 1) Why is there such and improvement in shift performance using Mobil 3309? Is this by design? 2) Will a full synthetic fluid that meets the JWS 3309 spec work just as well or better? Thanks in advance for your comments.
The reason they shift is better after exchange is because the fluid is unsheared, whereas the old fluid becomes sheared over time. Any modern synthetic ATF that meets or exceeds the 3309 spec should work better since they contains new additive packs that reduce shear.
 
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Originally Posted By: antiqueshell
There is a reason that SAAB states NOT to use a synthetic ATF version....it is due to seals and friction materials not being designed to work with it.
So, did Saab disassemble the Aisin Warner transmissions and put them back together with seals and friction materials that don't play well with synthetic ATF before installing them in Saab cars? I say transmission fluid either meets the 3309 spec or it doesn't. My AW55-50 trans has been running just fine on synthetic ATF.
 
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Originally Posted By: Greasymechtech
Lots of bogus fear spread by the internet. [...] 3309/T-iv is pathetic spec from the 1980s.
LOL! Bogus info indeed.
 
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There is a reason that SAAB states NOT to use a synthetic ATF version....it is due to seals and friction materials not being designed to work with it. [/quote] Interesting comment. I've been using AMSOIL ATF in my Saab automatics since it came on the market some 30+ years ago. No problems yet in my cars, my daughters' cars, or in the cars serviced by a shop which specializes in Saab and Volvos. I change what comes out of the pan every couple of years.
 
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Although the standard version of that transaxle may be fine with a synthetic don't forget that some car markers can and do make small but significant changes to meet their own requirements. SAAB and a few others happen to have done that often. It could be that they specified slightly different friction materials and or seals and possibly other things as well. We just don't know, however, I always found SAAB to be good (accurate) about what they put in their owner's manuals. If they stated NOT to use a synthetic I would listen to the manufacturer in this case, because there is good reason.
 
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Where does saab state not to use synthetic? From the manuals that I've seen, they recommend mineral based ATF but don't say anything against synth. Nissan Toyota.... have similar wordings for some fluids. A recommendation for conventional is not a requirement.
 
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Originally Posted By: friendly_jacek
Originally Posted By: Greasymechtech
Lots of bogus fear spread by the internet. [...] 3309/T-iv is pathetic spec from the 1980s.
LOL! Bogus info indeed.
Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!
 

MolaKule

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Originally Posted By: Joel_MD
Originally Posted By: antiqueshell
There is a reason that SAAB states NOT to use a synthetic ATF version....it is due to seals and friction materials not being designed to work with it.
So, did Saab disassemble the Aisin Warner transmissions and put them back together with seals and friction materials that don't play well with synthetic ATF before installing them in Saab cars? I say transmission fluid either meets the 3309 spec or it doesn't. My AW55-50 trans has been running just fine on synthetic ATF.
Please don't use logic here. cool It might confuse people who believe in internet myths.! grin2 thumbsup
 
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I've actually seen a SAAB owner's manual that says only use dino based ATF. I don't have a copy of it because it was from years ago, but it was stated in the owner's manual for a time.
 
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Like I said, I use Amsoil synthetic ATF, but here is the exact wording from the manual on my 2003 Saab 9-5 Linear: With the fluid at normal temperature, the level should be between the MAX and MIN marks on the dipstick. Top up, as necessary, with Saab 3309 automatic transmission fluid (mineral oil-based), adding it through the dipstick pipe. The distance between the MIN and MAX marks on the dipstick corresponds to a volume of approximately 0.4 qts (0.4 liter).
 
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Originally Posted By: Bgallagher
I use Maxlife in my AW transmission and it seems to be doing a great job.
+1, Maxlife is a miracle in these AW trannies. I run it in both of ours.
 
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