Aaron_King PowerDork
10/5/21 10:33 a.m.

Our 10 SAAB 9-5 is puking trans fluid out the drivers side axle seal.  I have a new seal for it and now I am trying to find trans fluid for it and am finding all kinds of info but Automatics are new to me and I trust this bunch so here is what I found, tell me if this makes sense.

The car has the Aisin Warner TF-80SC, its a 6 speed.  The SAAB Workshop Information System calls for AW-1, GM 93165147, to be used, about $23 a quart.  People say that Toyota ATF-WS and Motorcraft XT-8-QAW are the same stuff, just much cheaper. 

I was planning on changing the seal this weekend and my question is this.  Will going with either of the Ford or Toyota products harm anything or should I just bite the bullet and order the GM/SAAB stuff?

fusion66 Reader
10/5/21 10:47 a.m.

Had this transmission in my sons 2008 Mercury Milan with the 3.0l V-6 and used the Ford fluid from Rock Auto

2008 MERCURY MILAN 3.0L V6 Transmission Fluid | RockAuto

Even though it was "designed for the life of the vehicle" I changed it at 100k miles. 

Duke MegaDork
10/5/21 2:18 p.m.

In reply to Aaron_King :

One thing I always go OE on is automatic transmission fluid.  It's safer, you get an up-to-date, accurate product, and what's it going to add in cost?  $50?  Worth it to me.


Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
10/5/21 8:56 p.m.

My Volvo has this transmission.

60k ago, I installed Dexron VI.  It works just fine.

The cheapest place to get the "correct" fluid is from a Toyota dealership, because Aisin.  Everyone else is using the Toyota fluid with an additional markup.  Dex 6 is cheaper and the trans will love it.


Our trans guy was so good he only had time for bench jobs, used Dex 6 in everything except for Chryslers that needed the shoe polish smelling stuff, old Fords (Type F), and Hydra-Matics (the four speed jobs from the 40s/50s), and he never had comebacks.  In a lot of cases it made the transmissions last longer.... I did a ZF trans on an A8 at 80k miles, it was still good at 300k with Dex 6 in it....

Aaron_King PowerDork
10/6/21 7:50 a.m.

In reply to Duke :

I checked and the usual places I get SAAB stuff its is either out of stock or coming from Sweden sometime.

In reply to Pete:

Thanks for the info.  Knowing that there will still be old fluid in the trans, mixing the Dex 6 with the "correct" stuff won't hurt anything?  I may just bite the bullet and get the Toyota stuff, the car has 180K on it and I don't know its full history.

TGMF HalfDork
10/6/21 8:02 a.m.

Valvoline Maxlife synthetic ATF goes in all my cars. Super cheap at places like Walmart.....like 18 bucks a gallon.  Meets requirements for Toyota trans, including WS i believe, plus a lot of others.  My Rav 4 and Armada both happily use it.  

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
10/6/21 12:02 p.m.

In reply to Aaron_King :

It won't be a problem.  Have done it lots of times.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/6/21 1:14 p.m.

Trans fluid falls into a few categories.   Nearly everthing up to the mid 90s could use either GM Dex/Merc or MercV in Fords.  For a while, everything else could be covered by a universal import generic available at the parts store.  Anything CVT or some of the specialty imports needed unobtanium, but at the trans shops where I worked, 90% of what we did was covered by our vat of bulk Dex/Merc or cases of the universal import stuff.

Heck, the 4L60E in the Impala SS ran on about half Dex/Merc and half tractor hydraulic fluid for a week before I swapped it out.

It's worthwhile to get the OEM spec, which doesn't mean it has to be OEM sourced.  Check the specs on the fluid it calls for, then hit up a parts store and read the label to see if it meets "Aisin spec [insert fancy number here]"

Aaron_King PowerDork
10/11/21 7:38 a.m.

Got the Dex and changed the fluid and it looked way overdue, came out looking like used motor oil.  My plan is to change it a couple of more times and the new seal is doing its job.  I also changed the fluids in the transfer case, diff and filter in the Haldex unit.  Getting to and pulling the side plate off the Haldex box was a pain in the butt, not really looking forward to doing that again in 60K miles.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
10/11/21 5:32 p.m.

In reply to Aaron_King :

Good news! The Haldex service really should be done every 20k.

Aaron_King PowerDork
10/11/21 11:10 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Not what I wanted to hear, oh well the price we pay and all I guess.

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