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  #1  
Old 19th November 2012
mattzat mattzat is offline
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Default Coolant going low FAST only in winter, fog on windshield

Thought, with as many data points, we could narrow down my problem.

I have a coolant issue. In the summer it may go down very slowly or not at all, but come winter I go through jugs after jugs of coolant.

It's a 2000 9-5 SE, V6

Here are the facts:
1. If the heater is turned on before the car warms up, the windshield gets foggy. If I wait a while, the window doesn't fog up.
2. There is no coolant leaking onto the interior floor.
3. Sometimes the car lasts 100 miles without going low, but sometimes it goes low in 5 miles.
4. It seems to be tied to the heater, but then again sometimes i goes low fast when the heater is off.
5. Sometimes (often) when i pull up to stop lights I see steam coming out of the hood, but not billowing out. Sometimes this does not happen.
6. I do not smell coolant inside the cabin.

Any ideas? additional info needed?
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  #2  
Old 19th November 2012
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Did you ever have the system pressure tested? How long has this been happening? Was the heater valve ever replaced?
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  #3  
Old 19th November 2012
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Sounds like a bad coolant bypass valve. The valve may by leaking on your catalytic converter causing the steam. The valve is only good for about 100K miles. You should get it fixed fast because if it completely fails while out on the road, the situation could cause an overheat, leading to a warped head and the need for a head gasket job. Your windows are fogging up because your defroster works in combination with your A/C. When your defroster kicks on, it also uses the A/C, so if the freon has leaked out of your AC system and it's not blowing cold, that's the cause of your fogging up.
Other things to check would be: Cracked or leaking hoses or a sticking/defective thermostat.
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Last edited by photousa; 19th November 2012 at 01:00 PM.
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  #4  
Old 19th November 2012
africansky africansky is offline
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Sounds like CBV to me, as well -- check if firewall is wet. Since you have V6, you may also want to check the oil cooler lid.
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Old 19th November 2012
priapism priapism is offline
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Headgasket leak?
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Old 19th November 2012
mattzat mattzat is offline
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Hey guys, thanks for the replies! I had it pressure tested a couple years ago which showed there as an external coolant leak out the head gasket. I posted about that a while back here. Most were certain that it was not the head gasket since it's rare for that to go bad, but quite common for the oil cooler cover to leak. I thought maybe the fog on the windshield may be a dead giveaway for another problem.

I did not see any coolant deposits on the engine between the 2 banks, as suggested in the other thread.

I paid $50 for the (likely wrongly diagnosed?) pressure test and don't want to have to go back and tell the tech I don't believe his first one, please sir, may I have another? Sure $50 isn't the end of the world, but it's a lot if you only get misinformation.
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Old 19th November 2012
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Did you go to "Saab Tech", if so, not surprised they gave you a bogus evaluation and charged you $50 for it....
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  #8  
Old 19th November 2012
mattzat mattzat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photousa View Post
Did you go to "Saab Tech", if so, not surprised they gave you a bogus evaluation and charged you $50 for it....
Yes, I do (did) go there. I see you are you in Chicago? any other recommended service shops?
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Old 19th November 2012
priapism priapism is offline
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Drain some coolant maybe and check it for goop. And check your oil for milkshakey looking stuff.
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Old 19th November 2012
Jssaab Jssaab is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattzat View Post
Yes, I do (did) go there. I see you are you in Chicago? any other recommended service shops?
They wre nice to me, but did say the CV boot is ripped but repair was fairly priced. I was out of town but will look at it
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Old 19th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattzat View Post
Yes, I do (did) go there. I see you are you in Chicago? any other recommended service shops?
Saab Exchange in Lake Bluff is great, or Patrick Saab in Schaumburg.

I used to service my 9-5 and my wife's 9-3 at both with no issues.
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Old 19th November 2012
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your symptoms sound like something is leaking coolant INSIDE the cabin. heater core? or maybe the bypass valve is leaking and the coolant is running down and through the firewall.

But fog on the inside of the windshield indicates that coolant is leaking inside.
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  #13  
Old 19th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclemiltie View Post
your symptoms sound like something is leaking coolant INSIDE the cabin. heater core? or maybe the bypass valve is leaking and the coolant is running down and through the firewall.

But fog on the inside of the windshield indicates that coolant is leaking inside.
Agreed.......
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