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Old 01-11-2010, 09:46 PM   #1
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ATF level? Found very low? Any idea on cause?

What could of caused my Auto Trany Fluid to be below the dipstick?
I just drove 140 miles and walked by the car & smelled a strong odor and checked all fluids and could not believe how low it was. Girlfriend has to leave early before I can buy some new fluid. Any chance of using a substitute or must I stick with 3309 only?? Can I fill thru the dip stick?
Help could use a quick reponse. May try a Big Gas Station in the morning?
thanks

PS the only kinds I have lying around here is:
BMW Motorcyle 80w9 GL-5.......Clear Varnish color THK
Castrol ATF High Mileage (NO SPECS)..... redish brown thin
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:22 PM   #2
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in my 01 9-3SE auto ive been running generic dexron 3 and it works fine. My dealer said that you shoudl only use genuine saab fluid though, so who knows.

Also I've read long discussions and the general consensus is to not run synthetic ATF in these cars.
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:51 AM   #3
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What year car? The 4speed autos can eat regular old ATF> The 5speeds however act funny on that and require the special fluid.

Most common leak is the trans cooler lines connecting to the radiator. Just snug up the banjo bolts and it is fixed.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:01 AM   #4
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I don't know the specifics of a fluid check on a 9-5, but make sure you know them before checking the fluid.

In my 2002 Volvo, the fluid has to be at least 80 degrees (needs to run for 1/2 hour min.), the car has to be idling in neutral, and has to be on level ground. Other cars have different specifics for accurate fluid-level checks. You'd be surprised how much the level can vary between correct and incorrect checking procedure.
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:20 PM   #5
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Yea, make sure it is hot when you check it and the car also has to be running when you check it and of course on level ground to get a correct reading. Anywhere between the marking should be fine, but if it is below the lower one you should top up with fluid and if it is brown colored you are due for a fluid change; should be pink and sweet smelling.
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:29 PM   #6
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Castrol high mileage fluid would be ok to run, just make sure it is the right stuff. The older 4 speed autos use dexron 3 and the newer 5 speed uses the 3309 stuff.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbocon86 View Post
I don't know the specifics of a fluid check on a 9-5
In my 2002 Volvo, the fluid has to be at least 80 degrees (needs to run for 1/2 hour min.), the car has to be idling in neutral, and has to be on level ground. Other cars have different specifics for accurate fluid-level checks. You'd be surprised how much the level can vary between correct and incorrect checking procedure.
WILL DO! Thanks

Spec call for 3309 : My girl has a 2006 Volvo V70 calls for the same spec.
BUT Just talked to Volvo and its funny book calls for same spec on both cars,
Only Difference Volvo requires Synthetic and Saab Req NON- Synth? Mineral Base. Go figure

I figured thats what the 80 degrees on the dipstickstood for... a hot or warm cooling engine.... I couldnt see it at night DUH!
It couldnt of been more than 20min cooling when I checked?
I checked again when It was nice and hot IDLE and Level! ALL OK
thx
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:17 AM   #8
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I have read on Volvo boards about the 3309, and most dealerships think theirs is synth, when it is not. Cheapest place for 3309 last time I checked was Toyota dealership. But it sounds like more manufacturers are starting to get theirs certified.
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:42 PM   #9
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You can get the Amsoil ATF fluid, which meets 3309, and it is a hell of a lot cheaper than anything else I've found.

Haven't tried the Yota dealership, though.
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