2002 9-3 SE "Vlad" mysterious coolant leak - SaabCentral Forums
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Old 11th July 2012
Teach435 Teach435 is offline
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Default 2002 9-3 SE "Vlad" mysterious coolant leak

Hi All,

Hoping for some insight here. My '02 9-3 SE AT is having a mysterious coolant leak that I cannot figure out. After regular summer driving (95+ degrees out) "Vlad" will dump about 2 cups of coolant on the garage floor AFTER he's mostly cooled down. This means that after he's parked for about 30 minutes the coolant will dump out. I've already replaced the reservoir cap, but that did nothing. I cannot catch the moment when the coolant comes out to see the location. It appears that it comes from somewhere near the driver's-side front wheel (US car). When I look around from above and below, nothing looks obvious. Though I don't think it's relevant to this problem, the turbo boost is not smooth. It surges somewhat awkwardly. Hope somebody has encountered this coolant issue and can enlighten me. My wife now avoids him and he's starting to get a complex.
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Old 11th July 2012
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earthworm earthworm is offline
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The care and feeding of Vlad.....
Is the level at the reservoir correct ?
He may be too sensitive here..

I'd do a coolant system pressure test, using some dye, if the fingers cannot reach all possible leak points.
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Old 11th July 2012
Teach435 Teach435 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthworm View Post
The care and feeding of Vlad.....
Is the level at the reservoir correct ?
He may be too sensitive here..

I'd do a coolant system pressure test, using some dye, if the fingers cannot reach all possible leak points.
As an English teacher, I appreciate your abstract poetic response, almost a haiku. Yes, he's too sensitive, but it's only because he wants to please so much.

Once he leaks himself, the level in the reservoir drops accordingly. A typical event will reduce the reservoir amount by about 1/2" - 3/4".

Is it possible in anyway that the new cap is the culprit? I'm really hoping for a cheap fix.

Thanks for the advice; looks like a pressure test may be the only way.
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Old 11th July 2012
BobSaabit BobSaabit is offline
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Earthworm often speaks with a slight riddle, but great points of wisdom are within his words.

Can you pin down the location a little better with some frequent checking? Perhaps remove the air shields under the front driver's side to let it drip more directly to ID the location?

On that side the possibilities are the coolant bottle (connection or cap); the upper radiator hose; or the "hard pipe" that the coolant bottle hose connects to on the way to the water pump. There are also a couple heater/TB hoses on the manifold on the right side of the engine.

Or do EW's pressure test... that usually let's you see leaks that might not show up otherwise.

You can also look for white residue near a hose connection - that might indicate a leak pint.
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