Conventional versus Synthetic Oils
All turbo Saabs should be given synthetic oil and regular oil changes. Most recommend that synthetic oil be changed at least twice per year or approximately every 7500 miles.
Changing from Conventional to Synthetic
Some say that switching from conventional oil to synthetic, particularly on high mileage engines, can cause an engine to leak. What is actually happening is that conventional oil creates build-up around seals that would normally be leaking. Synthetic removes this build-up and can begin to seep past seals. So what is actually happening is that synthetic oil is uncovering the leaky seals that already exist in the engine.
Conventional oils are recommended for approximately the first 1000 miles during break-in of a new or rebuilt engine. The ultra slippery nature of synthetic oils can cause the rings to fail to seat properly, or take much longer than it should.
While the oils below should be up to date, it is important to remember that oil formulations do change, and oils that have previously been adequate may no longer be.
T7 Saabs have issues maintaining oil pressure with thinner oils, even when using brand new oil pumps. Because of this, it is essential that the proper oil be used. The following list is based on oils available in the US. If you are outside the US and have a T7 car, look for the ACEA A3 spec on the back of the oil container.
- AMSOIL Euro Formula 5W40
- Shell Rotella T Synth 5W40
- Valvoline Maxlife Synthetic 10W30
- Valvoline Synpower 5W40
- Valvoline Synpower 20W50
- Castrol Syntec 0W30 (only available at Autozone)
- Castrol Syntec 5W40
- Castrol Syntec 10W40
- Castrol Syntec 5W50
- LubroMoly VollSynthese 5W40
- Mobil1 0W40
- Mobil1 15W50 EP
- Mobil1 High Mileage 10W40
- Mobil1 TurboDiesel 5W40
- Mobil Delvac1 5W40 (mainly at truckstops)
- Pennzoil Platinum Euro Formula 5W40 (hard to find)
- Redline 5W30
- Redline 5W40
- Redline 10W30
- Redline 10W40
In Canada, Esso XD-3 a 0w40 weight oil is available and highly regarded.
There are not a LOT of 30 weights on this list. 30 weights have a hard time meeting the A3 standard that Saab prefers because most are formulated on the thin side of the 30 weight range. Most US 30 weights are on the low side of the range for fuel economy concerns.
Synthetic oils are also recommended for T5 engines. Even the 2.3 na engines can have oil issues if not properly maintained, though it is probably not necessary to use an A3 spec oil in these engines. This opens up a larger variety of oils in the 30-40 weight range. Oils such as Mobil1 5 and 10W30, the other grades of Castrol Syntec, Quakerstate Synths, Pennzoil Platinum 5W30, etc.
- 2.0L and 2.3L Engines - 4.2 Quarts or 4 Liters
- 2.5L V6 Engine - 4.8 Quarts or 4.8 Liters