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Just curious. I have a 2000 9-5 Aero wagon and just got a low coolant warning. I had an Audi and they had their own coolant (pink GL-12) and if you mixed them it was bad news. There is green in there now, but want to make sure that's correct.
 

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Dex-Cool is probably the spec, but make sure you don't mix it with non-OAT coolants. If someone has filled it with green stuff (Prestone etc.) don't top up with Dex-Cool. You would need to flush the old coolant out.

This would be an opportunity to do a coolant change, basically.
 

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A 2000 MY 9-5 should be filled with G-48 formula (the new Mercedes antifreeze) or a G-05 antifreeze (the old Mercedes yellow or Zerex G-05). I think that Volvo and BMW use the G-48 formula too, but not owning either brand I could be wrong.

Thoroughtly flush out what ever is in there now and start over with the right stuff.

Dex-Cool became Saab's standard in 2002, IIRC.
 

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My 2011 9-5 owner's manual only specifies long-life silicate-free coolant. Which is somewhat confusing since the coolant most fluid companies advertise as "long-life" is not the same one advertised as a Dex-Cool replacement.

My car currently has coolant that appears pink. I believe that means it's some variety of Dex-Cool, right? I'm assuming that the Dex-Cool recommendation continued all the way until the end, even though the manual is agnostic, unless someone knows otherwise.
 

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My 2011 9-5 owner's manual only specifies long-life silicate-free coolant. Which is somewhat confusing since the coolant most fluid companies advertise as "long-life" is not the same one advertised as a Dex-Cool replacement.

My car currently has coolant that appears pink. I believe that means it's some variety of Dex-Cool, right? I'm assuming that the Dex-Cool recommendation continued all the way until the end, even though the manual is agnostic, unless someone knows otherwise.
Coolant color alone means nothing anymore.

Unlike brake fluid, which MUST be clear/amber per the applicable DOT FMVSS (which is why Ate Super Blue Racing Brake Fluid can no longer be sold in the US), there is no limit on what color a manufacturer can make coolant. Conventional IAT (inorganic acid salts like silicates, borates and phosphates as the additives) predominantly come in lime green, dark green and yellow (and even some other colors for some brands, including some obscure/house brands), such as Texaco, Shell and Prestone to name but a few.
Honda makes a dark green coolant that is an OAT coolant, not conventional IAT.
Zerex, Mercedes and Ford make yellow coolants that are HOAT. Peak makes an OAT that is amber in color.
VW makes a blue conventional coolant (G11) that has no phosphates but low levels of silicates and borates while BMW makes a blue coolant that is an OAT.
VW G12 is pink/red and it is an OAT (without 2-EHA) while Toyota makes a pink/red coolant that is of the HOAT type. Chrysler makes a darker red HOAT coolant.
As everyone knows, Dex-Cool from GM is OAT (with 2-EHA) and it is orange.

The distinction between IAT, HOAT and OAT is not based solely upon service life but is a function of chemistry.
IAT coolants will not last as long as the other two because the inorganic acid salts will precipitate out of the solution in approximately 3 years and the corrosion protection will fall off dramatically.

OAT was introduced to give extended service life. Initially GM specified that Dex-Cool was lifetime fill and then backed off that claim, lowering it to 5 years or 150,000 miles. OAT coolants use organic acid salts, usually sebacates, to provide corrosion protection. These organic acid salts, generally known as carboxylates, actually corrode the aluminum surfaces by creation of a passivating layer of aluminum oxide. The oxide layer is harder than aluminum and is quite resistant to damage from cavitation. Dex-Cool, in addition to sebacates, uses 2-ethylhexanoic acid (2-EHA), which has caused some controversy since it is a known plasticizer (although I cannot understand this really since most sebacates are also plasticizers) which means it can soften and deteriorate rubber parts, like hoses.

HOAT coolants are specially formulated mixtures of compatible inorganic and organic acid salts. They provide corrosion protection via the passivating layer and via deposits of inorganic acid salts. These coolants will nearly always have an extended service life similar or identical to OAT coolants.

GM/SAAB began rolling out OAT coolants as factory fill for all of its models sometime in 2001.

9-3SS coolant thread with more chemistry.
 

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@usjbm, the picture here specifies that SAAB models after 2001 should use orange Dex-Cool, not after 2002; I am confused... ?

What does your manual say?
If you don't have it you can find one online
 

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For the NG900, 9-3, and 9-5 before mid-2001 Saab specified "blue" Glysantin G48. From mid-2001 onwards, Saab switched to Glysantin G34, also known as Dexcool… which makes sense since Saab was being operated by GM. At that time, GM stopped supplying G48 for the older cars and specified part #12378560, which is pale yellow but chemically very similar to modern Prestone Extended Life/All Makes.

If your coolant is blue and your car is MY2001 or older, it's *probably* the original G48, and you can buy that stuff at a Mercedes or BMW dealership. You can also, in theory, use Zerex G05 which is not the same as G48, but is compatible though you will almost definitely lose the long-life attributes.

If your coolant is pale yellow and your car is MY2001 or older, it's probably the #12378560 that someone correctly retrofitted.

If your car is MY2001 or newer and your coolant is orange or red (depending on its age) it's probably the correct GM Dexcool.

If your car has yellow coolant, it's probably because someone replaced the special Saab coolant with G05, which for reasons I will never understand is a popular thing for Saab owners to do.

If your car has green coolant, it's probably because someone replaced the "special" Saab coolant with regular Prestone EL/AM - as I did on my '01 and '02 9-3s.

If it's any other color, someone did something wacky. If it's BROWN, it's because someone mixed two incompatible coolants. In either of these cases, you'd be well-served to drain it, flush it, and refill with a specified fluid. When refilled, always use the correct 50/50 mixture, and always used distilled water. Use of tap water eliminates any long life attributes of any coolant, and may even turn it into Abnormally Short Life Coolant.

That's my $0.02!
 

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Erm.. REAL Saab engines are steel blocks Not like a High Spec All ali block with intricate coolant passages needing corrosion protections.
IF you have a Saab Imposter with an Ali engine?
My condolences
So most ANY coolant will work fine. Assuming decent flush refill techniques are used.
 

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@jvanabra, thanks for the info. My SAAB is MY2001, but according to its license, the car was produced in 2000. Right now, coolant color is light blue. But I don't know history of the car; maybe an old owner changed original coolant with this one. So how can I know original color of the coolant? If it was produced in 2000, is it pre-mid-2001 and original coolant is G48?

Also some brown particules exists in coolant like this:



What is the meaning of this brown color and what can I do? Is it sufficient to flush the coolant?

@davide c, I don't know my engine type, how can I learn?

Thanks for your interest.
 

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@jvanabra, thanks for the info. My SAAB is MY2001, but according to its license, the car was produced in 2000. Right now, coolant color is light blue. But I don't know history of the car; maybe an old owner changed original coolant with this one. So how can I know original color of the coolant? If it was produced in 2000, is it pre-mid-2001 and original coolant is G48?

Also some brown particules exists in coolant like this:
I can't see the image you posted, but light blue + brown floaters sounds like contaminated coolant. Based on your observation, you have three good options, all of which start with fully draining the system. Then:

1. Refill with G48 - A build date of 2000 and blue colored coolant certainly suggests G48 was the correct original coolant

2. Refill with GM #12378560, which is the GM-specified retrofit coolant for cars originally sold with G48

3. Refill with Prestone Extended Life All Makes fluid, or a similar "all makes" coolant.

*Personally* I would not use G48. Although it is still specified for older BMWs and Mercedes, both of those brands have moved on to G40/G44 so you probably won't be able to find that stuff forever. I would personally look to move away from it. Either #12378560 or Prestone is fine.

You could also do what others have done and switch to G05 - G05 is very similar to G48 and still widely available, although it too is a dead technology. You could use Dexcool, which is fine in your B2x5 motor. You could also switch to G40/G44 which is a technologically superior product, and what literally everyone in Europe is doing now (BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, VAG).

In all cases, be *sure* you fully drain the system first, and personally I would probably do a real flush to be sure you get that brown contamination out. Be sure to use distilled water and NOT tap water to dilute your chosen coolant. Those are the keys.
 

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With all this info overload can someone simplify all this for a bear of little brain,
I have recently purchased a 2004 9-3 Arc convertible turbo w/35K and earlier this year a field find of a 92 900 turbo convertible w/144K for $50 bucks- which started it all.
Could I flush and fill both and use just one coolant (?G40) or separate choices.

I plan to change all belts and hoses in process.
 

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With all this info overload can someone simplify all this for a bear of little brain,
I have recently purchased a 2004 9-3 Arc convertible turbo w/35K and earlier this year a field find of a 92 900 turbo convertible w/144K for $50 bucks- which started it all.
Could I flush and fill both and use just one coolant (?G40) or separate choices.

If the coolant in the 2004 is red, that's Dexcool. Stick with it for that car.


The other car should not get Dexcool in my opinion. What colour is the current coolant? If it's green or blue, G05 might be a good bet, after being flushed with clean water.
 
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