SAAB turbo oil

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1,598
Location
WA
Hello I own a 2003 SAAB 9-3 SS. The owners manual says to use 0W-30 oil that meets GM-LL-A-025 specs. There are only two oils in the US, that meet these specs. I could buy the SAAB fully sythetic turbo oil or Mobil 1 0W-40. I'm not to crazy about Mobil 1. There is a sticker in the engine comparment that reads "SAAB recommends SAAB oil or Mobil 1" I know Mobil paid SAAB for them to print this and to say to use Mobil 1 also. I feel SAAB went with Mobil because they had the deeper pockets of the other oil companies out there. I did some searching on the site before I posted. Some people said, that the SAAB turbo oil is Elf Evolution SXR or Mobil 1 long life. Does anybody know for sure who makes it? Here's how the bottle looks. The full synthetic looks the same.  - It kinda looks like a Mobil 1 bottle. I also did a Google search. They use totally different bottles then us in the US. They mostly use 4 Liter jugs. So I couldn't tell if the SAAB bottle matched any of those oils listed above. The Opel spec sheet also shows Castrol SLX GM as a approved oil. Is this different then the regular Castrol SLX and SLX II? I would like to use the Castrol SLX(GC Syntec)in my car. I haven't found any GC in Washington state yet. Does it say it meets GM-LL-A-025 on the back? Here is some reading material SAAB oil Thanks for your time
 
Messages
579
Location
Ontario Canada
[Welcome!] Finklejag. That picture of that bottle is the same as the Mobil 1 bottles here in Canada. Also I noticed there 1 litre capacity.This must come from Europe. I would use the SAAB oil myself.I have a BMW and have to use the BMW oil if I go by the 25000km interval.SAAB's oil is probably made my Mobil anyway. [Canada]
 

vvk

Messages
481
Location
Philadelphia
I think you would be crazy to use anything other than SAAB 0W-30 in that car. The user's manual specifically calls for GM-LL-A-025 oil and it is required for warranty coverage. SAAB 0W-30 is excellent oil with very high TBN to ensure that it can go the 15000 miles. It is widely available and it's cheap. What's not to like? [Confused] Castrol SLX GM is very different from regular Formula SLX. For one thing, is has lower HTHS, which is preferred for the new Ecotec engine. It also has much higher TBN. Castrol offers several flavors of SLX in Europe: Castrol Formula SLX 0W-30 -- generic ACEA A3/B3 as well as many manufacturer approvals Castrol Formula SLX GM 0W-30 -- GM-LL-025 Castrol Formula SLX Long-Life II 0W-30 -- VW VW 503.00/506.00 and 506.01 Castrol Formula SLX A1 0W-30 -- Ford WSS-M2C912-A1 and WSS-M2C913-A
 

TC

Messages
1,644
Location
California
What exactly is GM LL-A-025? I know it's a "Long Life" spec, so I assume it's simply a longevity specification for Saab's extended oil change intervals? If this simply relates to oil performance over extended drains, then can one simply use ANY superior synthetic oil but just change it more often than called for? The memo states that "Oil changes are required every 10,000 miles under normal driving conditions," so how about using whatever brand of syn you like and changing it at the more common 7,500 instead? As for warranty compliance, just going with the Saab and Mobil 1 oil options seem both smart and simple enough. But...and yes, this is sneaky...one could purchase a case of Mobil 1 and photocopy the receipt as your "compliance with GM LL-A-025," return the Mobil 1 unopened, and buy whatever premium synthetic you like, just making sure to change if more often than called for...? In doing so, you'd be breaking the letter of the warranty, but certainly not the spirit of it -- unless swapping your syn oil every 7,500 miles could somehow be considered a "bad" thing... [ November 24, 2003, 03:36 PM: Message edited by: TC ]
 
Messages
310
Location
Northern California
Mobil 1 0w-40 lists that it is approved for GM GM-LL-A-025 & GM-LL-A-025. Should work great assuming it doesn't blow up your motor. [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] Seriously, SAAB probably lists Mobil 1 by name for a couple of reasons: 1) It is widely avaialable, and all their formulas worldwide are PAO, so they know the quality is there, and 2) it is a good product. I severly doubt that Mercedes AMG, Austin Martin, Porsche, and others would be recommending Mobil 1 because it is inferior. Heck, even BMW USA recommends it by name and they have a relationship with Castrol. Cary
 
Messages
948
Location
Kyiv, Ukraine
quote:
Originally posted by vvk: Castrol SLX GM is very different from regular Formula SLX. For one thing, is has lower HTHS, which is preferred for the new Ecotec engine. It also has much higher TBN. Castrol offers several flavors of SLX in Europe: Castrol Formula SLX 0W-30 -- generic ACEA A3/B3 as well as many manufacturer approvals Castrol Formula SLX GM 0W-30 -- GM-LL-025 Castrol Formula SLX Long-Life II 0W-30 -- VW VW 503.00/506.00 and 506.01 Castrol Formula SLX A1 0W-30 -- Ford WSS-M2C912-A1 and WSS-M2C913-A
Castrol Formula SLX GM 0W-30 is ACEA A3/B3 and GM-LL-A025 and B025, so HT/HS should be over 3.50. Ash content is lower (1.0 %) then at "normal" Formula SLX.
 

vvk

Messages
481
Location
Philadelphia
quote:
Originally posted by TC: The memo states that "Oil changes are required every 10,000 miles under normal driving conditions," so how about using whatever brand of syn you like and changing it at the more common 7,500 instead?
Just to make it clear, the warranty bulletin talks about 10,000 mile intervals for pre-2003 cars. These do NOT require the GM-LL-A-025 spec. As a matter of fact, SAAB has long specified 10,000 mile oil change intervals. My 1986 owner's manual talks about 10,000 mile intervals using API SG oil. I have over 300,000 miles on mine and have always changed every 10,000 miles. The engine pulls better than many new cars I have driven and I still get 30 mpg routinely. Original everything, except A/C, which I ripped out long time ago.
 

Finklejag

Thread starter
Messages
1,598
Location
WA
Thanks guys. The oil interval for the new 9-3 is anywhere between 8,000 and 15,000 miles. The service light will pop on. The dealer won't change the oil until the light goes on. So nobody knows for sure, who makes the SAAB oil? I emailed SAABUSA about this. They emailed me back and said. They use Varga oil for factory fill. I never heard of that oil. I guess I will use the SAAB turbo oil then. I don't like Mobil 1 and I can't use GC. I will be doing my own oil changes at 5,000 intervals. SAAB will pick up the tab at 15,000 and 30,000.
 
Messages
764
Location
Fairfield County, CT
quote:
Originally posted by vvk: As a matter of fact, SAAB has long specified 10,000 mile oil change intervals. My 1986 owner's manual talks about 10,000 mile intervals using API SG oil.
vvk, the owner's manual for my '88 SAAB 9000T (water-cooled turbo) said 7,500 miles. Is your '86 a turbo? My '02 9-5 Aero says 10,000 miles under 'ideal conditions' on a minimum of semi-syn with an ACEA A3 rating. I use the 5,000 mile 'severe service' interval and fully synthetic A3 oil. Finklejag, at my car's last oil change, I installed GC (M1 0W-40 used previously). The engine is smoother and more responsive now, it's quite noticeable... My personal feeling is that GC would work great in a new 9-3SS, but unfortunately, GC doesn't specifically carry the GM LL-A-025 rating. I wish GM's LL-A-025 spec weren't so vague, some of them are ACEA A5, while others are ACEA A3 (higher HT/HS)
 

vvk

Messages
481
Location
Philadelphia
quote:
Originally posted by quadrun1: vvk, the owner's manual for my '88 SAAB 9000T (water-cooled turbo) said 7,500 miles. Is your '86 a turbo?
Oops, you are right. Mine is not a turbo. It's a 900S 16V. I remember now, they listed shorter intervals for the Turbo.
 

Finklejag

Thread starter
Messages
1,598
Location
WA
The fully synthetic bottle looks the same as the semi sythetic one. I just might try of GC at 5,000 miles. It looks like GM is only using this spec because of the brownie ponits they scored. [Thumbs Down!]
 
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2,480
If it's made by Mobil, then why does it say "semi-synthetic" on the back? And it can go 10k mi. intervals?
 
Messages
2,602
Location
The Tropics of Antartica
I just recieved a faxed copy of the MSDS for the Saab Full Synthetic 0/30 wt and it is a Total- Fina ELF product that's imported . The Saab dealer told me the reason the oil only costs 17.84 for a 4 litre jug is that GM subsidises the cost. Now that's just a FWIW BTW nice oil site here [Cheers!]
 

Finklejag

Thread starter
Messages
1,598
Location
WA
Thanks motorbike. Then it is the Elf Evolution SXR 0W-30. I think I will buy the one liter bottles rather then the 4 liter jug. My car holds 6.3 liters. It will be easier for me to handle. Now I know for sure, I won't be using Mobil 1 0W-40. I won't give a dime to the 800lb gorilla, called Exxon/Mobil. [No no]
 
Messages
764
Location
Fairfield County, CT
Interesting! Well then according to this page its TBN is 12.4. I think Jae's VOA of SAAB 0W-30 showed a TBN of 17 or something, but I believe that's an inflated reading; IIRC, it was done using Blackstone's old method for testing the TBN. Still, a TBN of 12.4 is plenty robust! $17.84 for 4 liters is a great price for that oil, I might try it in one of our cars that doesn't explicitly require A3 oil...
 

Finklejag

Thread starter
Messages
1,598
Location
WA
I Googled Elf. All the websites were Polish sites. I wonder why? Isn't Elf a French oil company?
 
Messages
948
Location
Kyiv, Ukraine
Bottle design is from Mobil Europe, there is no doubt. Mobil used it until 2003 and there were two colors for retail sales: silver-grey and black.
 
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