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Saab 9-5 Transmission Questions

maw3maw3 Member Posts: 4
I have 85K miles on my 2003 9-5 Linear with the 2.3t and 5 speed automatic transmission. At a little over 60K the transmission started slipping intermetently between 1-2 and 2-3 shifts. I had the transmission serviced with a complete flush at around 65K miles. A few weeks ago it started slipping again and seems to be getting worse but only acts up sporadically. I can go the route of another flush but that's a fairly expensive thing every 20K miles.

I live in the mountains and commute 20 miles up and down a steep winding canyon every day (a lot of fun in the Saab) and notice the most problems at the end of that drive after a hard workout each direction.

Any ideas?


  • olympiakosolympiakos Member Posts: 2
    My 2000 Saab 9-5 Hot Aero Estate has developed a similar problem. I had the transmission oil changed and that fixed the slipping for 6 months but now it has returned. Not sure what is best.

    I have only noticed the problem when cold and in reverse and 1-2. Once the car has warmed up it functions normally and I haven't noticed any slippage 2-3.

    Did you fix your problem?
  • maw3maw3 Member Posts: 4
    At about 90K miles I had the transmission flushed again and it was great for about 10K miles and it's starting to slip periodically again. Previously it was just between the lower gears but it is progressing to higher gears and will sometimes slip under hard acceleration.

    Haven't heard anyone with a permanent solution yet.
  • saabnut2saabnut2 Member Posts: 1
    There is a reflash for the TCM on the early cars. make sure it was done. Based on the fluid change helping I am not sure if the reflash will fix it.
  • jat007jat007 Member Posts: 2
    No one would believe "Mechanic in a Can", but I do. Justice Brothers has this product called "Automatic Transmission Conditioner" that supposed to soften the seals inside your transmission so that fluid doesn't slip through areas where it wasn't supposed to. I have used this product back in the days with my 900 Turbo auto box and up until 2000 - I haven't had to use this yet since my 02' 9-5 with 96K is still running like the day I bought it. Oh, the only major thing I had to replace was the Turbo. Anyways, I replaced my tranny fluid at every 30K miles now due to age. Make sure you use the right fluid in this tranny - They do recommend Synthetic fluid.

    You can buy another type of the same fluid for half of the price made by Mobil, which make swapping out tranny fluid every 30K more feasible.

    I might have the info on the Mobil if you happen to need it.

    Take care.

  • loyalsaabownerloyalsaabowner Member Posts: 1
    Dear Maw3,

    One of the postings referred to the saab franchise as the stealership and I am not so convinced that is fiction anymore. I have owned Saabs in some form since 1977 and for the most have been happy as they were safe reliable cars. My wife owns a 2003 9-5 Linear with a very similar problem that is being described in multiple spots in the forum.. The story is always the same that they cannot duplicate the problem. Recently they went through and did a recommended 60K servicing and updated (flashed) the computer. It is as bad as ever and has been well documented throughout the time we have owned this vehicle. We are being told that this is inherent to the transmission and will not harm the vehicle. If we want it fixed we can replace the transmission to the tune of $3,500. I am quite discourage that Saab no longer stands behind, or in front of for that matter the products it puts out there.

    I have included an excerpt off off the Saabcentral site that refers to the problem in a 9-3 auto trnasmission that sounds supiciously similar to the 9-5 problems. So here is the reference. Please reply as to what has transpired since you posted in Nov '08. One reader said that they finally did duplicate the problem and immediately replaced the tranny and the radiator under warranty.

    There is TSB 440-2425 for MY03 and MY04, which exactly desribes your problem.

    Your dealer is a moron if he doesn't know this.

    Tranny oilchange also wouldn't hurt at 60000 miles.

    Bulletin Nbr: 440-2425
    December 2003
    Market: all

    Automatic transmission, springiness in drive and jerkiness with shift up

    Cars affected

    Saab 9-3 (9440) M03 with automatic transmission and engine alternative B207E/L/R Saab 9-3 (9440) M04 with automatic transmission and engine alternative B207E/L up to and including Vehicle Identification Number 41015759

    Saab 9-3 (9440) M04 with automatic transmission and engine alternative B207R up to and including Vehicle Identification Number 41015764


    With the shift up from 2nd to 3rd gear, the automatic transmission can be springy in drive for a short period. In connection with this, the engine speed increases and shifting ends with a small amount of jerkiness.

    This is due to the transmission oil pressure decreasing during certain conditions to a level which is too low, which means that its clutches are not holding together firmly enough.

    The fault most often occurs when the driver has driven constantly in 5th gear at a speed between 90-120 km/h for approx. 30 minutes and has then made a stop or a reduction in speed to less than 30 km/h. When a subsequent shift from 2nd to 3rd gear takes place the above can occur.

    In the case of customer complaint the following procedure must be undertaken.

    Symptom description

    The automatic transmission is springy in drive with shift up from 2nd to 3rd gear.


    Reprogram TCM using the diagnostic tool and TIS2000 version 2003-3 (update 5) or later. See WIS - General - TIS2000 - Technical description - Service Programming System.

    After reprogramming, adaptation of the gearbox must be performed. See WIS - Transmission - Automatic gearbox - Adjustment/Replacement - Adaptation, resetting.

    Including adaption task takes aprox. 2 hours.
  • hapshaps Member Posts: 1
    hi i have a 02 plate 95 aero hot estate auto . the auto box has started to slip to the point where i can no longer drive the car ,if i then sit and wait for a few minutes you can then drive a little further , i have changed the oil in the box and replaced it with the recommended saab oil this has made no difference please has anybody got any good news or does this mean its going to be expensive
  • olympiakosolympiakos Member Posts: 2
    My 95 hot aero estate auto (2000) developed this problem. I had the oil changed and it kept it going for a few more months before the problem recurred. In the end the issue was addressed by changing the gearbox valve rather than the whole unit. I drove it for another year without any sign of trouble.....cost about £750 to fix.
  • kweildikweildi Member Posts: 1
    can you tow a saab 95 automatic without harming the gear box
  • dotballdotball Member Posts: 1
    what brands of tranny fluid are acceptable to use in the 95 automatic ?
  • got2000_9_5_segot2000_9_5_se Member Posts: 1
    Hello All/Anyone:
    Just bought 2000 9 5 SE 6Cyl. from used car dealer. Didn't notice on test drive but after a few days and near 200 miles, noticing between 1st to 2nd gear, especially in Non-Sport Mode the Trans "Kick".
    I see a lot of different recommendations above.....ranging from special fluid treatments to tech bulletin:TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN
    Bulletin Nbr: 440-2425
    December 2003
    Market: all
    for the 9-3.

    Now being a few months from the most recent post has anyone found the ultimate or actual fix? Just bought Thursday..so please respond ASAP for whomever can that has found a good (but not too expensive please, if possible) fix. I only have a very limited time for any recourse with the dealer that a friend at State DOJ has offered if need be with this Used car dealer...would prefer not to go to that level. Otherwise like the car very much.

    2nd Q (Non-Trans though) if you don't mind: Any commonly experienced problems with the Clock/Radio/SID LED display?..the display on top in the center console...mine looks like the wrist display on the alines wrist from the original Predator movie...perhaps both issues are computer related? Dealer says can get me a replacement display that is simple to put in for around $125....anyone know about this issue?
    Thank You for your quick response if possible...FYI...Very Glad to Find You All!
  • cfmiranda2580cfmiranda2580 Member Posts: 1
    ok i need help from someone today i was on high way with my saab auto 2.0.t and when i floored it with out being in sport mode the car just died on me it just lost its power i try turn the keys and it sounds like it starts but it doesnt it just keep doing the same noise any ideas what it could be let me know guys please
  • classiccars3classiccars3 Member Posts: 2
  • classiccars3classiccars3 Member Posts: 2
    The car drives fine for the most part and the transmission shifts fine but sometimes you stop at a stop sign and the car trys to pull away in a higher gear, after the car is moving at about 30 mph, it shifts and runs as it should. Is there a sensor that could be putting it into winter mode?
  • dmarjondmarjon Member Posts: 1
    what can this be. Let me know at my email address. dlmarjon@msn.com

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