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Changing the oil and filter: 9-5 petrol B2n5 engine

Kit required:

  • Axle stands
  • Hydraulic jack
  • Drain bowl (with a capacity of at least 10 litres)
  • Oil filter pliers
  • Socket set or at least 13mm hex wall socket and wrench

Materials required:

  • 5 litres Oil (MUST be fully synthetic)
  • Oil filter (SAAB filters really ARE best and can be had cheaper than retail - shop around!)
  • Sump washer
  • Waste cardboard
  • Disposable gloves

Estimated time required:
1hr (allowing time for oil to drain & clearing up time)

Procedure & rationale

Use only FULLY synthetic oil and ideally, a SAAB oil filter

It’s not what you do but the way that you do it!  Changing the oil is a fairly simple job and some readers will no doubt be asking why they should not take the soft option and get somebody else to do the job for them. The answer is simple: oil sucked out of the sump at a fast fit centre and replaced with standard oil will actually do no good at all. 

On the B2n5 engines it is nothing less than essential to drain the oil via the sump drain plug and to replace it with good quality fully synthetic oil. Furthermore, a maker’s oil filter is the least you should be fitting.

The reason for this is that some aftermarket filters do not contain the same amount of filtration medium as the original or may not seal as well.

Get the oil hot by driving the car until normal operating temperature has been reached. Then, park the car in your chosen working area which should ideally be on concrete or tarmac and must be well lit.  Raise the car using a hydraulic jack and support it on axle stands.

Never work under a car that is not properly supported

Experience demonstrates that even taking great care, spillages of oil are very likely and unless you are working on a very calm, still day, there is a good chance that no matter how well positioned your bowl for draining oil, wind will cause oil to drift and be blown onto the working surface.  This creates a mess and upsets domestic harmony so plan ahead!  Position some waste cardboard beneath the car but make sure there is a spare piece at least a foot long and 6” wide which will be used later.

Use a 13mm hex wall drive socket –so it cannot slip on the drain plug- to undo the drain plug and drain the oil into the bowl. You may need to use a breaker bar to slacken the plug. Take care to avoid contact with the oil which will be hot and don’t worry too much if the plug falls into the oil.  We use the Sealey drain bowl, which has carrying handles and a spout to aid emptying. Other companies make similar products and they really are worth having because moving waste oil in anything with less than rigid sides is likely to risk spillages.

Leave the oil draining for at least 20 minutes.  Renew the drain plug washer seal or if a new seal is not available, then wind some PTFE tape around the thread of the plug. Tighten the plug carefully but do not over-tighten: some 9-5s have been seen with cracked sumps because fitters have swung on the plug like Hercules!

Sump wshers should be changed but PTFE tape helps if you have to reuse the old washer

Next, get ready to remove the oil filter.  Oil will be spilled from the filter but to minimise the mess, take a  1’ x 6” piece of waste cardboard to make a channel. Now, undo the filter.  After trying various strap or chain wrenches, we favour oil filter pliers because they are fool proof and it is easy to get even the tightest filter loose. The cardboard channel will stop oil running all over (see photo)

Examine the oil filter to make sure that the old oil seal is not left on the oil filter housing. Wipe the housing with rag or paper then lightly oil the thread of the new filter and the rubber seal before mounting the filter by hand. Ensure the filter is on tight.

Patience and steady hands are required to avoid a mess through filling the engine too quickly

With the oil filter fitted and the sump drain plug replaced, it is time to fill the engine with oil. A steady hand is required, particularly when working outside. It is best, we find, to add slowly 4 litres of oil, then leave the level to settle for several minutes before checking on the dipstick. NOTE: the difference between the marks is 1 litre.

Bear in mind that the actual oil capacity of the engine is 5.4 litres but at each oil change you can only drain around 4.1 litres (or about 77% of the total).  There is around a litre trapped in the oil cooler and a smaller amount in galleries that would only drain out over the course of several days with the engine totally stripped on the bench).

Before starting the engine, disconnect the Direct Ignition plug. Since the oil system has been disturbed, you do NOT want to run the engine with no oil at the crankshaft, so wind the engine over on the key in bursts of about 10 seconds until the oil pressure warning light goes out. When the light goes out, turn the ignition off, refit the Direct Ignition plug and start the engine. Leave the engine running and check for leaks.

Finally, please dispose of your waste oil responsibly. Most local authorities have collection points (usually at municipal dumps) but to find your nearest waste oil bank, why not visit http://www.oilbankline.org.uk/







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