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Discussion Starter #1
I keep getting a low coolant warning. I am losing a little coolant but don't know where.
Heater core? Where is it
Power seams fine car runs fine All seems normal
Where do I look?
How do I look? (IE pressuregauge)
Thanks for aqny and all info
 

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well if your heater core is leaking you will mostly get a smell of coolant through the vents and with the heat or air on even steam through them, my car satrted to do that right after i drove it out of the previous owner's driveway! so i bypassed it and then after inspecting the heater hoses found they needed to be replaced. then a nother hose leaked, so i fixed it. then another leaked so i fexed that one too, then my reservoir started leaking and i replaced that. now i still have a slow leak and since it's not ending up in my oil i'm thinking my water pump has a leak. so what you should really do is closely inspect all of your hoses, especially around the clamps and make sure they aren't leaking. if they're old and dried out and starting to crack or expand i would suggest you replace them even if they aren't the problem
 

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There are lots of places where coolant can be leaking. The upper radiator hose is often the first one to go, the heater hoses are another possibility, water pump...

Easiest way to find the area is to put a large piece of clean cardboard under the engine bay, run the engine in neutral, and let it sit overnight. Then look for spots.

The heater core actually rarely leaks, but the heater core connections have an odd design, with rubber o-rings used as seals. The o-rings dry out, lose their flexibility, and the joints leak. It is fairly common, compared to a bad heater core, but most professional mechanics replace both the seals and the core at the same time.
 

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if it is in fact your heater core which is bad, which doesn't seem the case. unless you're made of money just take your old core to a trusted radiator shop and have them repair where it is leaking. no auto parts stores carry cores for our cars, unless you can find one for another gm vehicle that will work because harrison makes the heater cores. a new core from the dealership is over $300 at least over where i am. it cost me $35 to have my old one repaired to like new if not better condition.
 

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jbbcd said:
Cant find the leak, the Head Gasket could be starting to leak ?? :eek:
I hope not, but if so, the coolant would show up in the oil or vice versa, oil would show in the coolant.
 

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I was noticing a water leak and it turned out to be #10 head bolt that was basically loose. A common problem - fixed by retorquing the bolts. The water leaked outwards, not into the oil.
 

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wonkyhamster said:
I was noticing a water leak and it turned out to be #10 head bolt that was basically loose. A common problem - fixed by retorquing the bolts. The water leaked out-wards, not into the oil.
This does happen this way at times.
Use a dye to assist in detection.
But after the crack developes and grows in the gasket, then the coolant may go everywhere.....in time
Good to catch it early..
If the heater core or perhaps its O rings are leaking, you may find some anti-freeze at the lower drain.
I found some coolant there - a drop or two; this I "repaired" with some stop leak 3 years ago.
Water pumps can be a bit tricky as well, but only in the beginning stages of a leak..The WP's bearing will emit some noise before it completely leaks..Some hear this, some do not, the reason for the stethoscope.
These newer cars can be tested with a little air pressure at the expansion tank using a Schroeder valve installed on a slave cap..
 

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Coolant leak

Hi,
As stated in an earlier post there are a multitude of places that the coolant could be leaking from.My advice would be to first establish what area of the car the leak is comming from then narrow it down to a specific component.

Leaking into the cars interior -- heater matrix
Leaking into the oil -- head gasket
Rear of inlet manifold -- possibly throttle body hoses
Front RHS of head -- possibly No10 head bolt loose
Front LHS of engine block -- possibly water pump/connecting piece.

I also had a coolant leak which was showing all along the LHS side of the engine and i was convinced it was the head gasket, but after a major examination it turned out to be an o-ring on the small joining piece from the water pump to the cylinder block that was leaking. The coolant was running down the block and onto the crankshaft pulley which was throwing the fluid all over the LHS of the engine (this is why i was convinced it was the head gasket). The part only cost £2 but was a nightmare to fit due to its location.

Hope this helps,
Kenny.
 

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mine was, actually still is, slightly leaking at the heater core inlet and outlet connections at the firewall. I just haven't gotten around to fixing it yet
 

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Hi Lecky,

Hopefully, I have the easy fix for you. I was talking to a SAAB Mechanic a few weeks ago about a problem I am having.
He was telling me about how easy some model year SAABS are to work on.
I remember him helling me of a similar condition you are experiencing.
He told me a head retorque fixed the problem.
Go to Sears and by a low cost 150 Ft. Lb. standard torque wrench. Nothing fancy ... the scale type one that is all you need.
Retorque you head... very easy to do !!! You will need to retorque all 10 head bolts... I am quite sure they are 13 mm. You will need an extention from the torque wrench to the socket, what ever drive your torque wrench is. Torque in sequence starting in the center of the head to 45 Lbs. If the bolts torque to 45 Ft. Lbs with no actual turning of the bold do no worry about it...more about this at the end.

Start with #1 bolt in the center closest to the firwall, next go right below it to the next bolt #2. Now work to your left to the next set of bolts #3 down right below to #4. Now go to the top bolt one past the center #1 bolt ... this will be #5 below to #6. Now all the way over to near the sprockets at the bottom bolt #7 then up to #8 and finally all the way over to the last two bolts at the far right up to #9 down to #10.
FINALLY GO THROUGH THE SAME TORQUING SEQUENCE AND GIVE EACH BOLT A QUARTER TURN (90 DEGREES)
That should hopefully do it and the leak will stop... If it stops the leak and is fine for about a week, I would purchase 10 new head bolts for about $40.00. Go with the good ones... there is no need to go with the "el cheapoe's" at this point. Remove all 10 of the the old bolts in any order. Place the new head bolts in the head in any order. When all 10 bolts are in just snug each one up until it stops. Now in three stages in the same torque sequence as above this needs to be done in three stages. Torque pass #1 (29.5 Ft. Lbs.) Torque pass #2 (44.3 Ft. Lbs.)
Finally Torque pass #3 give an additional 90 degree turn or a quarter turn (same thing). I do not split hairs with torque 29.5 Ft. Lbs. I would hit 29 or 30.... 44.3 Ft.Lbs. I would hit 44 or 45 Ft. Lbs. Myself I go to the higher side especially on a cylinder head.
Good Luck and I hope this helps.
Rick
 

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I just had the same exact problem, 108K and was getting low colent warning, noticed the headgasket leaking, took off the valve cover and expected the #10 bolt to be real loose like eveyone said, it wasn't when I tourQued it, it barley turned. but it did solve the problem.
 

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Diosnoche, are you able to actually see the coolant leak at the heater core hose connections ? If the O-rings have become old and brittle, the leak, in all likelihood ,will not occur until the metal has expanded due to the heat... But, it may not be possible to examine this.....mirrors and lights ?? .

The GM stop-leak is a good idea in some "leak" cases..
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What really bugs me is I don't see any coolant.
I have toped off my res. three times.
Leads me to suspect head gasket
But like I said car runs great.
I'll try tourqueing and see whats up
 

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Hi,
At first there was no visible signs of a leak when the water pump to block connecting piece was leaking as the heat from the engine block and exhaust manifold would dry it, it was only when the drip became a trickle that i started to notice it on the driveway.

There was also a strong smell of coolant (sweet and sickly) when the engine was warm and the fan was operating.

Kenny.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Right on the money
I now see some coolant by the water pump.
I'm working tommorrow so I don't know when I'll get to it
What piece went bad?
 

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earthworm said:
Diosnoche, are you able to actually see the coolant leak at the heater core hose connections ?
Yep, I can see the drip of the coolant during cold start only. I suppose until the system gets hot enough and the components start to expand, the leak might actually seal itself up because it doesn't leak once the coolant is hot.
 

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Diosnoche said:
Yep, I can see the drip of the coolant during cold start only. I suppose until the system gets hot enough and the components start to expand, the leak might actually seal itself up because it doesn't leak once the coolant is hot.
Then it is Oring time , which I think is better than using the GM or aftermarket stop leak..
Nice to have a lift, is it not:cheesy:
 

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Coolant pipe connecting piece

Hi,
The part that was leaking is here. It pushes into the block then the the water pump fits over the top of it (not a great idea) The o-rings are available on their own from the dealer.

Kenny

 
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