Thursday, February 28, 2008

SAAB 9-5 Automatic Transmission Fluid Change

Let's see...

Loud "exhaust" sound when accelerating and no evidence of an exhaust leak exists? Check.
Rough gear changes, especially during spirited driving? Check.
"Engine" vibration when idling in gear, but the engine mounts are solid? Check.

Looks like it's time for me to change the transmission fluid.

I used an easy three-part process to service my transmission fluid. The fluid change takes a total of 30 minutes, divided in three ten minute parts.

First I used my vacuum pump to suck out the old transmission fluid.

I got almost three quarts out on my first pass. I had let the fluid get a little low because a little more than 3 quarts can be drained this way. I then refilled the sump with three quarts of Valvoline Max Life, but any quality Dextron III or compatible ATF fluid will do.

I then drove to work and back before draining/refilling the fluid for a second time. I drove to school and back before draining/refilling the fluid for a third and final time. This final time I added about 3.2 quarts instead of just 3, to top the sump off to the recommended level.

This gently replaces the bulk of the 7.5 quarts inside the transmission. I have read cautions against aggressively flushing the transmission on the 9-5. People have reported problems with valves sticking and seals leaking after having their transmission flushed. The process I used is supposed to prevent these possible issues.

Renewing the fluid made the car drive quieter, softened the shifting, and reduced vibration (especially when backing out of the garage and parking spaces).

Friday, February 22, 2008

SAAB 9-5 ProClip Mounted GPS

I had made a post about the ProClip system a while back. I was finally ready last week to purchase a ProClip mount (now that I had my back ordered TomTom GPS from Amazon). I ordered the two required parts, one part custom made for the TomTom One v3 and one part custom made for the SAAB 9-5 with wood grain dash. The package arrived today.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ProClip is designed and produced in Sweden. I knew I was in good hands from that point forward.

The mounts are made out of what I would guess to be some sort of polymer. It reminds me of the grip from a Glock handgun.

I used four of the included self-tapping screws to put the two parts together.

Installation only took a minute and the only tool needed was a "gap opener" wedge included in the package.

The ProClip snaps into place and really holds tight. I put my hand around it and pulled like I was opening a door; the thing did not move one bit.

Once the mount was in place, I added my TomTom One.

ProClip has four custom mounting locations for the SAAB 9-5: upper left dash, upper right dash, under the cup holder (like the phone mount on some 9-5s), and on the console by the gear selector. The total cost of the system with shipping was under $70. I didn't think that was too shabby for a totally custom mount. It's a vast improvement over the universal suction cup mount that the TomTom came with. The instructions even included photos of the 9-5 dash. ProClip has mounts for all sorts of SAABs and all sorts of electronic devices. I'll stop here because I'm already sounding too much like a commercial.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Replacing the brake light, tail light and turn signal bulbs on a SAAB 9-5

The bulbs for the brake, tail, and turn signal are all part of the same socket assembly. Instructions for changing any one of these bulbs is the same. These instructions are for the saloon/sedan model. I do not have any experience with the estate/station wagon.

Start by opening the trap door in trunk behind the tail light in need of attention.

The bulb assembly is clipped into place and can easily be removed by squeezing the two clips together, as marked in the photo, and then pulled out.

There are three bulbs per side; a brake/tail light, a tail light and the turn signal. The bulbs are marked in the photo. The burned out bulb is removed with a light push in, a twist and then pulled out. Instal in reverse.

The assembly is then clicked back into place and the door is closed. Test your lights to make sure everything is in working order.

The bulbs are:

7507A (amber)- Turn signal
7528- Brake light/ Tail light
7528- Tail light