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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
my car is now at about 41k miles, and before i tell the story the serp belt was visibly cracked last week.

I drove for about 2 hours, about 90 miles to see a friend of mine. When i arrived she said "is your car supposed to be smoking"? I turned around and steem was coming from under the hood, and i got freaked out because i was 2 hours away from home and id never seen that happen except in a movie. So i went over and looked under the hood, the coolant was boiling! Alot of it had shot out all over inside the engine too. The serp belt was still on but i KNOW its time to change it.

The next day, the coolant was empty. I filled it up and drove about a half mile and the fill coolant light came on, so i stopped and filled it up again (nearly drained) and i drove home without incident.

Now i searched and there were a ton of serpentine belt and short belt mods threads out there, i couldnt follow along. And they all seemed to say something different about my model. It is a 1999 9-3se convertible 5 speed, and if possible id like to do a short belt mod if it isnt already done on it. Which belt do i need, which idler pulley do i need, and what will it cost. Thanks!

EDIT: just looked under the hood now and the fluid dropped about a half inch on the ride back, and there are 6 pulleys facing the passenger side.
 

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GET THE BELT AND IDLER PULLEY DONE NOW!

There....that's better.

If the water pump isn't circulating coolant through the engine, you're killing your car.

Get this done TODAY. Seriously. You can't drive this car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
mike saunders said:
GET THE BELT AND IDLER PULLEY DONE NOW!

There....that's better.

If the water pump isn't circulating coolant through the engine, you're killing your car.



Get this done TODAY. Seriously. You can't drive this car.
Great id love to, what are the parts numbers i need. I will be going to napa or autozone, both about 4 miles away.
 

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www.eeuroparts.com Check the numbers there...

Don't worry about the short belt mod. Just get the pulley changed for now.
 

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Find someone to take you there.

You should also change your oil, flushing it with motor flush too.

Oil run too hot will produce "coking" inside the turbo and on some internal engine components.
 

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Not that I disagree with anyone, but we may be dealing with two things here.

One : A loss of coolant occurred
Why?
Two : The car over-heated
Why?
Did one cause two or two cause one ???
Are all the hoses ,gaskets, and thermostat in good condition ???

Is there anything wrong with the serp belt?

I would guess that it should be changed at or close to the 50K mark...I have yet to know of "regular cracks" on a mid-mileage belt causing its breakage or slippage..
 

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Good points, Earthworm....

The water pump itself could be bad...
Thermostat could be blocked with corrosion (not likely with the newer coolants, but stranger things have happened...)
 

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Oil run too hot will produce "coking" inside the turbo and on some internal engine components.And another good point, Mike, one few men think of..including me - I tend to take risks and am tight with the oil money.. but not the coolant system,IMO...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
earthworm said:
Oil run too hot will produce "coking" inside the turbo and on some internal engine components.And another good point, Mike, one few men think of..including me - I tend to take risks and am tight with the oil money.. but not the coolant system,IMO...
I just changed my oil with quaker state Q synthetic less than 1000 miles ago.

So are you guys sayin i shouldnt change the belt?

If i have to take this car to a mechanic, it will be bad for more people than myself. So if there is ANY way around that option id like to know. Can i manually check to see if anything is wrong with the pumps etc, i dont know what to look for.




EDIT: there is a hose unplugged! The end of it is a right angled piece of plastic, i took off the coolant reservoir but i still cant find a place where this plug would go in. There is a cable bunch that goes under the coolant reservoir and this hose is zip-tied to that bunch, so it couldnt go more than 8 inches in any direction from the coolant reservoir. anyone know what it is? and if this was my problem?
 

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I would change the serp belt( if the price is good) for peace of mind.This is a 0.5 hour job plus $35 -$45 for the belt..

These were my rates, NOT official prices.

There are, to the best of my knowledge, two hoses connected to the reservoir.The upper one is very high quality - the only one I have never had to change....
Something could be seriously wrong if a coolant just hose pops off....
 

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Now, now. Excessive panicing can be detrimental to your health. What about the coolant leak? From where? Forget the serpentine belt, for the time being, concentrate on the coolant loss. (if the belt breaks you lose water pump function, which doesn't necessarily mean coolant loss). The most obvious reason for coolant loss is a leak. Mostly external. Good luck with finding the bugger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
zolf said:
Now, now. Excessive panicing can be detrimental to your health. What about the coolant leak? From where? Forget the serpentine belt, for the time being, concentrate on the coolant loss. (if the belt breaks you lose water pump function, which doesn't necessarily mean coolant loss). The most obvious reason for coolant loss is a leak. Mostly external. Good luck with finding the bugger.
the spray came from the coolant reservoir area, and radiated out from there.
 

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On that side of the engine there are a couple of coolant hoses, including one small one (about a half inch diameter or so) that is the coolant drain/overflow hose to the reservoir.

The bigger hoses lead to the heater core, and there's another coolant hose that routes through the throttle body.

There's a main radiator hose that leads to the radiator from the engine block....

Check the clamps on all these for tightness. Check the hoses themselves with your fingers for bulges, soft spots or chafe points.

You should still get the belt done quickly, especially if you're still getting that high-pitched squeal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
this hose isnt much thicker than a mechanical pencil.
 

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That sounds like the coolant return line, which is easily fixed....

Zolf's point about pressure testing is well taken. That will identify any hidden leaks, most of which are caused by tiny things going wrong: loose or improperly secured clamps, small slit on a hose, etc....
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
mike saunders said:
That sounds like the coolant return line, which is easily fixed....

Zolf's point about pressure testing is well taken. That will identify any hidden leaks, most of which are caused by tiny things going wrong: loose or improperly secured clamps, small slit on a hose, etc....
im going to call my local mechanic right now, but i have to drive to work today which isnt but 3 or 4 miles away. do you know where this hose, which is 1/4 in, goes? I looked for 15 minutes and i cant find it.
 

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After looking at this thread, it sounds like your belt isn't the problem after all, even though as you say it needs replacing. When you're ready, this site:

http://pages.infinit.net/mlbriand/index.shtml

has good pictures and directions.

This link:

http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38928&highlight=short+belt

discusses the length. A 99 might be different, I'm not sure. You can buy the upper idler from eeuroparts or thesaabsite.

The belt is easy to get at any autoparts store.

I'd suggest replacing your thermostat since you'll have the system open anyhow, it can't hurt and it's cheap.
 

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vertiblechickmag said:
im going to call my local mechanic right now, but i have to drive to work today which isnt but 3 or 4 miles away. do you know where this hose, which is 1/4 in, goes? I looked for 15 minutes and i cant find it.
I think it runs from the top of the radiator (drivers side) to the coolant tank
 
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