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I have never had a problem with my car overheating but I took a look at the coolant tank and it was empty. I filled it as per instructions about a month ago and car is fine as always. I decided to take a look again and it's empty again. Is this normal? Shouldn't there be at least a hint of green stuff in there or does it all go down the hose to the engine? I've only had my saab for 6 months so some of the normal saab stuff is still new to me.

what's going on?

thanks in advance
 

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First check the oil. If it's dark creamy rather than proper oil, that's where your coolant is going and your head gasket is blown. Otherwise it's leaking elsewhere. Look for white crystalline deposits indicating a leak on hoses, joints and radiator. Check in the footwell too for leakage from the heater core. If you find none of those, it may be a blown headgasket that's leaking out to the exhaust...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
the oil looks fine. as far as other stuff you mentioned I'll check in the morning, too dark now.

thanks

ps; with a blown head gasket does the car go fine as always? cause so far car is great
 

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Coolant leak

You need to run the car for 10-15 mins (after topping up the coolant), pop the bonnet and have a look around the radiator.

It takes a few mins for the coolant to heat up and as the pressure goes up you may start to notice a leak from your radiator, you need to run the car for a bit though and keep an eye on it.
 

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cinemarr said:
with a blown head gasket does the car go fine as always? cause so far car is great
Depends on where the gasket is blown. My LPT blew water to oilway without losing compression. I was driving it for a few days before I checked the coolant. Added 2 litres of water and thought "this isn't right". I pulled the dipstick and found creamy sludge instead of oil. This was in France and we were about to set off on the 500 mile journey home to Ireland. Called RAC rescue and they carried my Saab home while I had to drive a Daewoo :eek: :( It did have aircon though... :)
 

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Another one worth looking at. I discovered that I had a slow leak from the coolant tank itself. The plastic it appears gets somewhat brittle with age. Discovered that someone seems to have knealt on mine at some point. I removed it to get to the top shock absorber mount and found the bottom of the bottle all but perforated with miniscule little cracks! It's now on the replacement list.
 

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cracked hoses...

After I blew my head gasket (oil in the cooland, not coolant in the oil) my hoses turned to putty. I paid to have the gasket done by an indy, but replaced the hoses myself. Except I forgot the tiny one in the front, I think it's the one that supplies the turbo with coolant, and it had a crack right at the edge of the clamp... perfect camouflage, perfect leak, as it would leak very little as not to leave spots on the driveway, but enough to deplete the reservoir coolant in a few days (incidentally, my car does not leak, it simply marks its territory)... Once winter arrived I saw a puff of steam come from under the hood, and finally figured it out.

Had I been smarter, I would have shaken all the hoses (with the car cold) to verify they were in good working order. there's a lesson here someplace, but I don't know where or what it may be.
 

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Look for white crystalline deposits indicating a leak on hoses, joints and radiator. Check in the footwell too for leakage from the heater core. If you find none of those, it may be a blown headgasket that's leaking out to the exhaust...[/QUOTE]

yep found the crystalline deposits on hoses. so do I just need new hoses then?

Called RAC rescue and they carried my Saab home while I had to drive a Daewoo :eek: :( It did have aircon though... :)[/QUOTE]

a daewoo? you poor thing.

so checked oil again to make sure and it looks nice and golden brown but a couple of hoses do have some suspicious white deposits which are fairly concentrated so they must be the leaks. Now being an inexperienced person when it comes to fixing cars I wonder if I can fix it myself or should I get a mechanic? I'd love to be able to fiz it myself.

thanks everyone for info.

just read my bentley manual and replacing hoses looks doable but they do mention only use saab coolant which we can't get here in Sydney. Are saab radiator hoses easy to come by?
 

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You don't need to use only Saab coolant. Townsend Imports which is a very highly regarded site recommends using Mercedes coolant. People use all sorts - I am currently using Mobil Advance, but next month that'll be changed for some Vauxhall branded stuff at the garage.

Saab hoses - try Mackay. You can get them in Australia. Brief post about them here

One thing that can also cause white crystal;line deposits is the windscreen washer lines. The valves in these can fail and leak, so make sure you know which hoses (or jubilee clips) are leaking before replacing.

Just a quick tip - when you are quoting someone you need to make sure that the quote box is both before and after the seleced text:

what is he on about now?[/ quote]

that one will not work because of the space after the /

Additionally you can use the edit button to add to your post so you don't have to keep adding new ones.
 

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Zelandeth said:
Another one worth looking at. I discovered that I had a slow leak from the coolant tank itself. The plastic it appears gets somewhat brittle with age. Discovered that someone seems to have knealt on mine at some point. I removed it to get to the top shock absorber mount and found the bottom of the bottle all but perforated with miniscule little cracks! It's now on the replacement list.
Same here...
 

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Just thinking there, there's a nice hose for hiding leaks there too. On the 8v at least, it's hidden under the inlet manifold, and on the 16v is a solid pipe running under there, with a tiny little length of hose with a 90 degree bend more or less undeneath the distributor as I recall (I have an 8v).

Leaks are even more fun to trace when your entire engine more or less is "furry" with antifreeze deposits...you forget which leaks you've fixed after a while.

(got it down to two now. One on the rad itself, and very slow one from the coolant tank itself...has taken a while though!)

Be aware that if you've had a leak from the end of a hose for long enough that a "fur" of antifreeze crystals has formed you'll need to clean it up before putting the new hose on/replacing the current one. That stuff's porous, and pretty much irrespective of how tight you fasten on the new hose, the water will still seep past it. Cleaning it carefully back to clean metal makes things a lot easier in the sealing department - generally makes it a heck of a lot easier to get the hose on too! (and if necessary off at a later date too).
 
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