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Discussion Starter #1
Car: 1999 Saab 9-3

My car just started leaking coolant. I don't see where is it coming from but there is coolant only at the bottom of the coolant line connection with the oil filter housing? Can it leak from anywhere else that does not include changing the water pump? I just replayed WP on my other Saab few months ago but it was much more obvious than this one. Would like to avoid this PITA job if possible.

Might be a silly question but do both of the oil cooler hoses have oil in them or can the coolant leak out of there (pic 2). Not sure how oil cooling works and if those hoses transfer oil in and out or is one of them for coolant.

Thx!

278432


278433
 

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Those hoses are oil lines that go to the oil cooler, hot oil out, cool oil in. You shouldn't have coolant in them.

Doesn't look like a lot to me. I'd probably just ignore it if its really slow.

Does it leak faster when running? If so I'd bet its one of the orings in the water pump to engine block connection, not a huge job to replace but it is a pita.

If not, check the visible water pump connections to the radiator return line, reservoir supply line, and heater core return line.
 

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Ignore the Oil hoses with coolant on them , thats is residual from the leak , which is most likely an O ring on the water pump , look at the coolant pipework at the water pump as said above . I suspect thats your source . What you are seeing in the pictures is only gravity , the drips .
After Thought , coolant feed and return lines at the turbo are in the proximity , they use copper crush washers on banjo bolts , not commmon they leak , but if the turbo connections had been recently disturbed...
 

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Not worth doing the o-rings on that car without doing the pump unless it's recent. And, might as well do the lower radiator hose, the little u-shaped hose, the rear pump o-ring ... and then there's nothing left to leak anyway.

Worth checking as closely as you can ahead of time to make sure it's not the head or a drip down from the radiator itself or an odd head gasket or hard pipe leak. But, there's probably a water pump job in your near future.
 

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I agree 100%, if I am going to do all that work I will replace $70 water pump as well and not think about it. I just did it few months on my other Saab so I was hoping I wont have to do it again on this one too :)... I was planning on replacing U shape hose as well but didn't think about the radiator one, might do that one as well.

I barely drive the car so I noticed it last time I moved the car (10 days ago or so), so not sure if its a slow leek or it just happened. I turned the car on yesterday for few min and watched to see if it starts dripping but nothing happened.

I should prob just replace it and call it a day, was just hoping for maybe some hidden coolant leak in that area thts not related to water pump! :). Thx for helping guys!
 

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On a '99, there shouldn't be anything in that area to leak coolant besides the water pump and what's attached to it. There is the turbo and its coolant lines, but unless you mess with those, it's rare that they'd leak. Fortunately for you, on a '99, there shouldn't be a turbo coolant line connected to the water pump. That was one of my least favorite "improvements" made on the T7 engine. The T5 engine has a short line that goes from the turbo to the engine block instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's a good news, I didn't know that about that "improvement". Few months ago I replaced a water pump on a T7 engine and I hated dealing with that line!
 

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100% agree with replacing everything you touch down there. It's small potatoes and saves hassle down the road. When doing the water pump, I also replace the thermostat and the upper radiator hose... it's another few bucks, but the system is empty so the work is easy, and the upper radiator hose takes most of the abuse in the system. For all intensive porpoises, that's a very complete cooling system rehab and you probably won't need to look at it for another ten years.
 

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What have the
100% agree with replacing everything you touch down there. It's small potatoes and saves hassle down the road. When doing the water pump, I also replace the thermostat and the upper radiator hose... it's another few bucks, but the system is empty so the work is easy, and the upper radiator hose takes most of the abuse in the system. For all intensive porpoises, that's a very complete cooling system rehab and you probably won't need to look at it for another ten years.
What do marine mammals have to do with this?
 

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I knew a Saab 9000 owner a few years back who really liked dolphins. He had dolphin stickers on his car and a dolphin-shaped cigarette lighter in the dashboard. He later traded in his Saab for a Suzuki of some sort. Apparently marine mammals and Saabs don't mix. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Maybe they swim more casually in a fully flushed, rehabbed cooling system :).

Changing a thermostat is a good idea, will change it as well and not worry about it in the future.
 

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Off-topic - that's why we have a spare ''aquarium' in our cars...

On Topic - Replacing coolant hoses and water pump at the same time is a good idea.
however - be careful when fitting new hoses and clamps on the radiator - as some areas get brittle with age. I ended up replacing a radiator after I did hoses & water pump, because the plastic sections broke a week later.
Also - I'd suggest replacing the thermostat at the same time.
 

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be careful when fitting new hoses and clamps on the radiator - as some areas get brittle with age. I ended up replacing a radiator after I did hoses & water pump, because the plastic sections broke a week later.
Same. I unknowingly cracked my radiator connection when I replaced my hoses. It took a several months before it became a real issue and started leaking fluid. When I removed the hose I saw the plastic was discolored and looked like it was delaminating. I could break off pieces using minimal pressure.

If you replace the u-shaped hose at the water pump make sure it will not rub against the accessory belt. I ended up having to shorten the hose I got from do88 by about 1/2" to ensure proper clearance. This hose is very hard to get to when the water pump is installed, so make sure that you take your time and do it right using quality clamps.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thx, I will be careful with the radiator. I ordered upper and lower radiator hose, thermostat, ECTS, water pump, and a U hose, all Saab OEM ones. Hopefully I wont have any issues considering car was babied and has only 80k miles (But yes, its still 21-2 year old car) :).
 

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Might want to add heater hoses to the mix, basically those and the throttle body hoses are the only things not on your list (I guess the two reservoir hoses too). Don't get MacKay brand heater hoses, damn things are molded with the wrong size firewall end and I had to double clamp to stop leaks.

I tried to use as many of the spring type clamps as I could but unfortunately the aftermarket hoses are often thicker than original and the clamps don't expand further. Might want to grab a handful of decent (Ideal brand, made in USA stainless) hose clamps.

I had a similar experience with my radiator - it cracked when I pulled the hoses to drop my motor.
 

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You can also buy real ABA clamps from belmetric.com .... this is what Saab used before the spring clamps. They are the shiznit when it comes to worm gear type clamps.
 

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oh I like those - that's what's on the pressure pipe at the throttle body. They are great because they don't have exposed teeth on the inside. And the edges are rolled.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wow I am getting scared now to mess with those hoses haha. But I guess changing Radiator wouldn't be so bad, one less thig to worry about :)
 

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Don't be scared be prepared. It's 20+ year old plastic you're dealing with here. At least all of the parts are inexpensive and easily available online.
 
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