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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
a couple of days ago i was sitting in a parking lot, when all of a sudden i heard a chime, and the red caution light lit up on my display. my engine had overheated.

i kept the car off for about 20 minutes, then drove it home on the highway, with the heat on. the temp gauge stayed just a tad above the middle line.

i was driving i again today, to see if it would overheat on me again. i was doing city driving for about 20 minutes, stop lights and such, and the guage remained in the middle the whole time. i parked, returned some movies, and came back. within 5 minutes of driving, it overheated.

i turned it off, waited, and hit the highway again. this time i tried to do it with the heat off. it started to overheat. i turned the heat on, and it went back down to the middle until i got home.

i searched through the threads, and some possibilties i've read are a broken thermostat, dead fan, low antifreeze, or broken water pump. the fan and the antifreeze are fine, i don't know about the theremostat or the pump however.

...i have an appointment to get my A/C recharged tomorrow.. or at least i hope that is all it will take to fix it (new compressor! eek, hope not) i am planning on mentioning the problem to them, but i wanted to run it by the forums, to see if you guys could arm me with any info or suggestions.

thanks!
 

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You can check the oil level, electric fan, verify the compressor clutch is engaging, etc. just by sight, and w/o any tools. The oil can be low w/o the oil pressure warning light coming on, and that can make a car overheat. The electric fan should run when the engine warms up, even if parked and idling.

If the waterpump pulley is spinning w/o any excessive noise, and attached to the shaft, then the pump is working.

Recharging the AC if it is low on refrigerant is also easy with a kit from Napa or any other part store, also no tools required.

If it is sticking closed, replacing the thermostat is fairly simple, but a messy job because you have to drain the coolant. If you are not inclined to do work on the car yourself, I would leave that to others, and perhaps have the cooling system flushed properly, and not just refilled, at the same time.
 

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Shub : i searched through the threads, and some possibilities I've read are a broken thermostat, dead fan, low antifreeze, or broken water pump. the fan and the antifreeze are fine, i don't know about the thermostat or the pump however...

The thermostat could be sticking closed - this is a service item which is good for 3 to 5 years or so..
Doubt if it is the coolant pump, these usually leak or are noisy due to bearing wear..But some pumps have had worn down impellers(other makes)...

Assure that the fan functions on both speeds.

And then there is the good old clogged radiator and or hoses - I wonder if this happens anymore..
 

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Hi Shub, I'd vote for the thermostat. I bet it's failing partially and will eventually stick closed. It's messy, but easy to replace. And you shoud be able to pick one up for less than $15.00. Of course if you're going to change the thermostat, you might as well change the antifreeze too. It won't hurt to flush some water through the radiator too. Check for some old threads on the procedure, and let us know if anything is unclear.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i just wanted to update everybody, and thank you for your contributions.

it did turn out to be the thermostat that was causing it to overheat, so phew, it was only an $18 part :).

happy to be saabing again!
 
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