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Discussion Starter #1
I recently did an oil change and noticed a faint swirl in the residual oil at the bottom of where the oil filter goes into the engine. I was only able to see it because I had a hard time getting the new filter into it that I needed to use a flashlight to see better. The swirl was on top of the oil and was very very faint. It looked like a swirl you'd see floating on top of a cup of coffee, but again, very very faint. I had to use the flashlight at an angle. If you were looking directly into the hole where the oil filter goes, it looked like the swirl was coming from about 45 degrees and traveling along the wall to about 60 degrees before draining towards the center and down the hole.



Any idea what it could be or what I could test to see where it's coming from? It was more clear than white, but I changed my oil early because I had to replace my valve cover gasket so the oil was a dark tan color rather than black. Maybe the color would have been different if the oil were black. It obviously was some kind of impurity.


Anyway, engine's running fine as far as I can tell. I'm getting 32 mpg on the hwy. Engine temp is consistent. No white or colored exhaust comes out of the tailpipe. My coolant level seems to be in the same place, though I did spot a small leak by the water pump. Nothing more than a sweat drip, at least not yet but I can't imagine the water pump is even letting coolant get into the engine. It doesn't work that way, right?
 

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Indeed it does, sometime the coolant pump shaft seal leaks coolant into the timing cover .
So if u see coolant traces at the bottom of the pump its probably the culprit.
Sometimes steering fluid gets into engine oil as well, that could leave a trail, so check ur steering fluid level and quality, sometimes both engine oil and steering fluid are exchanged so the level would be normal but the steering fluid will definitely look black then.
But in the mean time fix the coolant pump.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. That's the worst possible job on this car. I did it once and took me days to do because off all the parts you have to take off the car and it's so hard to get to. Ugh! How long do you think I have? I'm short on time. Can I put this off for months?
 

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Its hard first time, now u r a pro .. it shouldn't take u more than half a day believe me.

Cant tell how much u have, but from the bottom looks bad ..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hus_sho, thanks again for your help. I just want to double check I'm ordering the right seal. The only gasket for the water pump seems to be part # 24439799 (https://www.esaabparts.com/saab/parts/24439799). Is that the shaft seal you were referring to in your previous post? Or is the shaft seal a seal inside the pump that can't be replaced and I'd have to put on a new pump? The pump that's currently on the engine is a Gates 43529 that I put on about two years ago because I had many parts off the car and figured it was the best time to replace the original.
 

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No sir, the shaft seal as an integrated part of the pump and cant be replaced.
U need a new pump, i guess if u left the original one alone it would be still running fine. So buy OEM or equivalent to oem..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
In case anyone else has the same problem, this is what the swirl looked like on top of the oil inside the oil filter housing. Hopefully, it's gone for good.
 

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So the pump was bad? Was this the second time you've had to replace it on the same car?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I wish I took a picture of it, but I think the main seal that goes between the pump and the engine was bad or of low quality. The rectangular part of the seal that goes around the coolant channel had dried orange and white coolant marks running across it and there were also the same streaks running across the metal area on the block into the timing area. It could have also been the shaft seal as Hus_Sho described, but I didn't see or notice anything else. I did notice the impeller on the Gates pump was inferior to one on the genuine Saab pump. The Saab's is a much more heavier duty metal. Lesson learned, stick with genuine Saab/OEM parts.

Yes, this was the second time replacing the pump. The first time I did it was because the engine had 165,000 miles on it and I was already replacing other parts in that area (new turbo). I thought with all the parts I was taking off the car and given the car's age, spending just $45 to replace the water pump while I was already there was being smart and good preventive maintenance. Well, now I know don't buy cheap parts.
 

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That seal only prevent engine oil from traveling outside.
The only thing sealing the coolant into the pump is the shaft seal.
But who cares as long as u caught it in time, learnt ur listen and fixed it ..
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Good to know. Thank you for all your help. If you didn't tell me to buy a new pump, I would have just replaced the gasket/seal and had to do the job all over again - a third time!

Also, thank you for all your instructional Saab videos (your car's engine is immaculate). They've helped me understand my car a lot better. Spent hours yesterday on YouTube watching a couple of them. Next time I have a couple days off, I'll be tackling the PCV valve and a throttle body cleaning. When I was taking parts off the car, I found excess oil in the turbo intake and in the charge air pipe where it connects to the charge hose. Oil dripped right out from it.
 
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