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Hi all,

Just got myself a 2002 9-5 linear 5-speed a couple weeks ago, my first Saab. Love the car so far but of course it's not perfect. Essentially the situation is that I thought I was buying a decent example that was pretty well looked after, but that hasn't turned out to be the case. I am not too experienced when it comes to hands-on work, but I know my way around a car. Anyway...

I've gotten a lot of helpful information from this site, which has been great, but I thought I'd start a discussion in case anyone has helpful info specific to my situation. So I noticed oil leaking on the driveway shortly after getting car, but there was no single point I could identify where it was coming from. Plus, there's oil residue on most of the engine bay underneath the intake, on the timing belt, under ps reservoir (previous owner said there could be a ps leak), and some other hard to see places. Should have noticed it before buying but didn't. Did some reading on common oil leaks and there are several. So instead of going through and fixing each one I tested some things first. Did the glove test to find excessive crank pressure (fills the glove up very quickly on startup). Decided I would change the PCV system to make sure that was up to date. Well that didn't solve the issue. So that means an issue with pistons or rings (blow-by), correct? I'm not experiencing any smoke out of the exhaust but there is a burning smell in the cabin almost immediately on startup, along with smoke coming from the intake side of the engine and the oil filler tube (though not a lot). Also, there doesn't appear to be any loss of power and turbo seems to be working normally.

Basically I want to find the biggest possible issue and work down from there. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Welcome to SC, I would start with a compression test (to hopefully eliminate internal component issues) and a good engine cleaning to try to pinpoint where the oil is coming from.
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! Will do. I've heard about people doing a leakdown test as well. Do you think that would be necessary?
 

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For your oil leak the first step (and a bunch more steps) is to get a can of degreaser and head to the self-serve car wash. Take the serpentine belt protector (that is not the timing belt) Take your floor jack and remove the two front wheels. Spray the degreaser on the engine, let it sit for 10 minutes and then power wash the hell out of it.

Then go home and start looking for leaks. Places to look:

  • The oil pressure sender on the back of hte engine, driver side, behind the starter. When this leaks the oil will be on the back of the block and will drip directly on the exhaust so you'll smell it burning. an easy fix but kind of a pain becuase you have to take hte starter out to do it.
  • The front main seal, you'll see oil coming out from the bottom of the crank pulley as the engine is running. (a slightly more difficult fix since you have to remove the crank pulley and that really big circlip)
  • the valve cover gasket. get a good flashlight and maybe a handheld mirror to check this. an oil leak on teh inside of the plug trough will show up as puddles on the plugs. (an easy fix)
  • A leak in the PCV system somewhere, could be easy, could be medium.
  • the dreaded 3-joint leak on the joint between the timing cover, the block and the head. to seal this the head has to come off and the timing cover so (my opinion) the best way to deal with it is to remove the engine. (obviously a hard fix!)
  • a leak somewhere else on the head gasket (head off, in car though)
  • a leak on the plumbing to the turbo (moderate, turbo out)
  • a leak on the plumbing to the oil cooler (easy to moderate)
  • a hole in the timing cover (this usually happens when the water pump goes bad and someone ignores it so that it cuts a hole in the cover)
It might take a few trips to the car wash as you search. Mirrors and a good flashlight are your friend.
I'm mid engine-out on the dreaded 3-way joint problem. the leak had gotten pretty bad and was making a mess in my driveway.
 

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For your oil leak the first step (and a bunch more steps) is to get a can of degreaser and head to the self-serve car wash. Take the serpentine belt protector (that is not the timing belt) Take your floor jack and remove the two front wheels. Spray the degreaser on the engine, let it sit for 10 minutes and then power wash the hell out of it.
There's not a snowball's chance any self-wash places would let you do that around here, there are security folks there even in the middle of the night.

Just opening the hood gets them all excited.. :rolleyes:
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There's not a snowball's chance any self-wash places would let you do that around here, there are security folks there even in the middle of the night.

Just opening the hood gets them all excited.. :rolleyes:
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Canada is so friendly and welcoming though! Lol
Ontario's rules are crazy. If you have street parking, you can't work on your car because it's on the street, but if the car doesn't move in 7 days, you get a ticket (even though you've paid the City for a parking permit). You can't work on your car or do maintenance if you live in an apartment building or a Condo even though you pay for your parking space. You can't wash your engine at a self car wash but you can wash off a monster truck full of diesel dust, mud, plants and dead animals. Even though your paying for that too. Crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, unclemiltie, for all that info. That will come in handy! Thank goodness we don't have to worry about security at the self-serve car washes in PA 😆
 

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Canada is so friendly and welcoming though! Lol
Ontario's rules are crazy. If you have street parking, you can't work on your car because it's on the street, but if the car doesn't move in 7 days, you get a ticket (even though you've paid the City for a parking permit). You can't work on your car or do maintenance if you live in an apartment building or a Condo even though you pay for your parking space. You can't wash your engine at a self car wash but you can wash off a monster truck full of diesel dust, mud, plants and dead animals. Even though your paying for that too. Crazy.
It's a good thing we have government to protect our freedoms. :rolleyes:
 

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It's a good thing we have government to protect our freedoms. :rolleyes:
The problem is all the oil and cleaning stuff from the engine compartment goes down the drain and into the sewer systems.

It's like dumping used oil, gas or antifreeze down the system (which hopefully you arent 'free' to do in Minnesota) the car wash owners are legally liable for it so they are more or less obliged to make sure it doesn't happen.
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There's not a snowball's chance any self-wash places would let you do that around here, there are security folks there even in the middle of the night.

Just opening the hood gets them all excited.. :rolleyes:
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Did this last week at the local spot, they didn't seem to care. Pulled both front wheels off and blasted away. Also used to do it at the spot in California when I lived there.

your guys must not have good sediment and oil filters on their water?
 

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The problem is all the oil and cleaning stuff from the engine compartment goes down the drain and into the sewer systems.

It's like dumping used oil, gas or antifreeze down the system (which hopefully you arent 'free' to do in Minnesota) the car wash owners are legally liable for it so they are more or less obliged to make sure it doesn't happen.
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Almost every self-service car wash in the world recycles their water, it is filtered and re-used (the vast majority of it) but there is no unfiltered stuff going down the drain.

I've known a few people who own these things and there is no way that they would allow un-filtered stuff to go down the drain because they would be liable for any contaminants going into the waste stream. And given that they have no idea what people are going to do, they would be crazy not to filter.

But we're off topic. I've done it this way for years and no one at the washes I've been to seems to care. your mileage may vary.
 

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The problem is all the oil and cleaning stuff from the engine compartment goes down the drain and into the sewer systems.

It's like dumping used oil, gas or antifreeze down the system (which hopefully you arent 'free' to do in Minnesota) the car wash owners are legally liable for it so they are more or less obliged to make sure it doesn't happen.
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Sorry I wasn't clear Bob...I didn't mean we should be free to dump toxins down the drain. I was riffing on the following part of your post:

Ontario's rules are crazy. If you have street parking, you can't work on your car because it's on the street, but if the car doesn't move in 7 days, you get a ticket (even though you've paid the City for a parking permit). You can't work on your car or do maintenance if you live in an apartment building or a Condo even though you pay for your parking space.
I wasn't talking about being free to dump crap down the drain.
 

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I used to insure a few self serve car washes when I was in the business, yes they filter, the ones around here don't recycle (the drive through one's do by law).

I was told by an owner (he had a very cool drive through and four spray wash locations (a very successful gentleman)) that the filters are for heavy sediment and things like oil and gas mess up their very expensive systems and that the filtration can handle a car that has the usual drips (rustproofing always bugged him) but that if they let people do engine washes and oil changes chances are the city inspectors (effluent is tested) would not be happy.
 

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Interesting

And then there is the place where I used to wash my engine parts in San Ramon that had a separate attachment for cleaning "under the car" with a spray nozzle that sprayed up. All part of the service.


I took a bunch of engine parts to the power wash today and sprayed them down, cleaned them and left and the guy who worked there just went about his business and left me alone.
 

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Almost every self-service car wash in the world recycles their water, it is filtered and re-used (the vast majority of it) but there is no unfiltered stuff going down the drain.

I've known a few people who own these things and there is no way that they would allow un-filtered stuff to go down the drain because they would be liable for any contaminants going into the waste stream. And given that they have no idea what people are going to do, they would be crazy not to filter.

But we're off topic. I've done it this way for years and no one at the washes I've been to seems to care. your mileage may vary.
Ours are the same way here also. They all recycle the water.
 
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