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Providing the lever is still there it should be to the left of the steering wheel (if sitting in the vehicle) underneath the dash. below are some pictures and instructions for you. This should be in your owners manual if you have one. If you don't have an owners manual and would like a copy, you can email me at email@example.com with your make, model and year and I will be happy to email you a copy. Don't worry, there will be no cost for it if you need it. I hope this helps and good luck.
There is a transmission dip stick on the side of the engine, this is used to check the trans fluid level. The engine oil dipstick has a large diameter plastic cap, and is on the left/driver's side of the car (in North America); the trans dipstick has two notches at the bottom when removed and a label telling the fluid to use.
The best source of info on this car is the "Bentley Bible" aka the Saab 900 Official Service Manual, costs about $40 from Amazon!
16 valve manual: http://www.amazon.com/Saab-900-Valve-Service-Manual/dp/0837603137
8 valve manual :http://www.amazon.com/Eight-Official-Service-Manual-1981-1988/dp/0837603102
get the appropriate manual for your car and enjoy the Saab!.
If this helps, please give a "thumbs up", thanks.
Try checking the fluid level first, and then look for any leaks. if corrected right away you might not have to rebuild the trans. but other wise look into the cost of a rebuilt transmission.