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Discussion Starter #1
I bought this car, the red 2003 Aero Sedan back in March. I gave it a pretty good look over but it was so clean and well maintained that I didn't get too detailed. The alternator went kaput on it last week, I have it on the jackstands and I'm taking the opportunity to do some preventive maintenance such as seals, air filter and the belt. I had noticed a small coolant leak and when checking the reservoir, discovered that the coolant is green. To my knowledge our cars take the orange colored Dex-Cool. I haven't had any cooling system problems during the time I have had it on the road but I wonder if the green stuff could cause long term problems like corroding alloy parts. Maybe that's why I have the leak. I can't spot exactly where it's coming from. The general area is passenger side front, near the air filter.
 

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Green coolant probably isn’t a big deal as long as the dexcool was totally flushed out. But you’d have no way of knowing if that was done. If it was mixed with Dexcool, that’s a problem. If it were me, I think I would completely drain the green stuff and flush it, then replace with dexcool.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Green coolant probably isn’t a big deal as long as the dexcool was totally flushed out. But you’d have no way of knowing if that was done. If it was mixed with Dexcool, that’s a problem. If it were me, I think I would completely drain the green stuff and flush it, then replace with dexcool.
From what I know, mixing creates "clots" that will cause problems - similar to a thrombosis which will travel to the radiator and cause overheating.

I'll eventually flush the cooling system and put the right stuff in but I just dumped a lot of money into it and I'm getting short.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Also I think the water pump is roughly above where the air filter is. Could be the pump leaking...?
In an older thread, I read about this very same problem. The problem went away when the belt was changed. It was changed to the shorter version that SAAB started putting on after the 05 model year - the one that bypasses the center idler pulley. I have picked up one of those belts and will see if that works. If not, I'll need to dig into the other side of the engine, where the coolant pump is. The pump seems to be in good shape. The bearings feel nice and tight. But I can't see how changing to a different size belt could make any difference in regards to a leak. We'll see.
 

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From what I know, mixing creates "clots" that will cause problems - similar to a thrombosis which will travel to the radiator and cause overheating.

I'll eventually flush the cooling system and put the right stuff in but I just dumped a lot of money into it and I'm getting short.
The good news is a DIY flush is really easy. http://saabworld.net/showthread.php?t=2691
 

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Discussion Starter #7
"But I can't see how changing to a different size belt could make any difference in regards to a leak. We'll see."

It's all back together and running. The charging system seems to be working right - no battery light. If anything the leak got worse. I think it's the pump weep hole. I can't see leaks from anywhere else.

Here's a quick question:
Prefered brands of water pumps? I don't want to mail order it. I don't want to wait for shipping.

Napa: New / rebuilt.

Carquest (Advance Auto): New

Duralast (Autozone): New? In the website picture, it looks like exactly like the Carquest one. It's $4 more. Their Valucraft brand is $15 less than the Carquest.

Gates: From the local independent shop.

None of them are expensive enough for price to make a difference.

"The good news is a DIY flush is really easy. http://saabworld.net/showthread.php?t=2691"
Will definitely do. Perhaps the green coolant didn't have the right lubrication properties for the pump bearings and that's why I have the leak.
 

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Most of the pumps available for these cars are crap. The factory OEM one is good, and I've had good luck so far with Graf pumps, but that's about it. Hepu pumps don't last, and I wouldn't trust any of the sones that are sold by a big box store, except possibly the Saleri pump that Napa sells through their Altrom line.

I wouldn't blame the green coolant for the pump leaking. These cars originally came with BASF G-48 coolant. Dex-Cool was a GM addition, and nothing in the cooling system was changed when they made the switch. For the earlier cars that came filled with G-48, GM themselves superseded G-48 to their own green coolant when they stopped selling G-48.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Most of the pumps available for these cars are crap. The factory OEM one is good, and I've had good luck so far with Graf pumps, but that's about it. Hepu pumps don't last, and I wouldn't trust any of the sones that are sold by a big box store, except possibly the Saleri pump that Napa sells through their Altrom line.

I wouldn't blame the green coolant for the pump leaking. These cars originally came with BASF G-48 coolant. Dex-Cool was a GM addition, and nothing in the cooling system was changed when they made the switch. For the earlier cars that came filled with G-48, GM themselves superseded G-48 to their own green coolant when they stopped selling G-48.
I don't think it's the pump. I think it's an O-ring around one of the fittings. Once I got the engine mount back on and the engine back where it should be, the car off the jacks and back on its tires the leak has stopped - at least as far as I can tell. I just drove it 25 miles, it's sitting in the driveway now with no puddle under it. I'm going to top off the coolant it lost and drive down to the bank, a 32 mile round trip, and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Most of the pumps available for these cars are crap. The factory OEM one is good, and I've had good luck so far with Graf pumps, but that's about it. Hepu pumps don't last, and I wouldn't trust any of the sones that are sold by a big box store, except possibly the Saleri pump that Napa sells through their Altrom line.

I wouldn't blame the green coolant for the pump leaking. These cars originally came with BASF G-48 coolant. Dex-Cool was a GM addition, and nothing in the cooling system was changed when they made the switch. For the earlier cars that came filled with G-48, GM themselves superseded G-48 to their own green coolant when they stopped selling G-48.
How about Meyle? I have heard that this the OEM for the crank seal and is top quality - is it the OEM for the water pump too? Or did SAAB itself make the pumps? If so is Mayle going to be up to that standard? It's made in Germany - or is at least a German brand - "Hey! Germans make good stuff!" as we know from Vince and his Shamwow.

Edit: After Googling "Meyle", I found this on a BMW forum:

"Researching will tell you this: the Meyle Company has no manufacturing plant or production facility. Just company offices, warehouses and distribution centers. Wonder how/where they "manufacture" these so-called "german" parts? Ten minutes Googling netted dozens and dozens of parts made in mainland China that specifically mention one of their largest importers being "Meyle" in Germany."
 

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Meyle's very similar to Febi these days. Febi actually put out a bulletin a while back saying that they continue to mark their parts "Febi Germany" as an homage to their home country, even though nothing of theirs is made there anymore. Hepu makes their water pumps in Germany, but if you do a search for them here on SaabCentral, you'll see a lot of early failures. I've had two go out in just a couple of years. Strangely enough they're fairly highly regarded on the BMW forums, or maybe it was Mercedes-Benz.

No one's been able to figure out who makes Saab's water pumps. They're made in Spain and have gold impellers, which are unique. Airtex was selling the same Spanish-made water pumps with gold impellers years ago, but no longer. Out of my three Saabs, one has an OEM water pump that I got for a good price on eBay, and the other two have Graf pumps. Neither of the Graf pumps have more than 20,000 miles on them, so I can't say much about their reliability yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Update. No leak for seven months. It's definitely an O-ring and only leaks when the engine is jacked with the mounts loose. I only just now got around to flushing, replacing the thermostat and filling with Dexcool. So far so good.
 

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I personally drove my first 9-5 with green coolant for 50k+ miles with no issues, but it is definitely concerning the amount of people that warn against it

If you have spare time and it's a nice day I personally would buy new O-rings and a used pump off eBay. It can't hurt for the peace of mind if you do ever go on a long trip. But as they say... if it ain't broke, don't fix it
 

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I drove several 9-5's for years with green Prestone coolant in them. As long as it's formulated for aluminum parts (all recent versions are) you are good to go.

and has been said before, just don't mix dexcool and green stuff.

Best way to flush:

you need a large bucket that can hold 3-4 gal of liquid, a gallon of 100% coolant and 3-4 gallons of distilled water.
  • drain the coolant
  • fill with distilled water
  • start engine, get to temp so that the thermostat is open
  • slightly open the drain while the engine is running and keep keep the system full by pouring more distilled water in the top
  • when the water out the bottom runs clean close the tap and turn the engine off
  • when the engine cools, open the tap and drain again.
  • close the tap and fill with 100% coolant, start engine bring to temp and fill as necessary with more coolant
When you drain the system it leaves just under half of the coolant in the system. This flushes it out and replaces it with distilled water. Then you top it off with 100% coolant and you're left with a 50-50 mix.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I flushed it over the weekend using a variation of Uncle's method. I used tap water instead of distilled and did the procedure twice, each time checking the amount of antifreeze left in the mix by smell and feel. I couldn't bring myself to taste it. Then, after gravity draining for almost an hour, I blew compressed air into the open reservoir with the petcock open. A surprising amount of water came out.

Then I put in a new thermostat and filled with Dexcool and water - about 50 / 50%. I had purchased a thermostat some time ago in anticipation, a Stant. I noticed that it had no self-bleeder hole. I had read that this is pretty important. I can't imagine why Stant left it out. So I got in my wife's '04 Arc wagon and made the rounds of parts stores in the area. Autozone had one and I checked it when the clerk brought it out. 195 degrees F and it has the self-bleeder. I have read mixed things about the Duralast brand but at that point I wasn't able to be choosey.

I have driven it about 50 miles so far and everything is hunky-dory. The temperature gauge rides around half-tank and the CEL went out. I also pulled the fuel pump out and removed the baffle from the tank - I posted a seperate thread on that - and now that problem is fixed too. It's probably get driven about a hundred miles today and then we will be driving it to Massachusetts (from New Jersey) over the weekend.
 

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I had a Stant Superstat in my NG900 for a while that didn't have a jiggle pin, and it worked fine. According to their website, if a thermostat doesn't have a jiggle pin, it has a bleed notch or another way of getting the air out. My dad always liked the Superstats in his Hondas because they were the only ones that looked like they were made as well as the OEM Japanese ones.
 

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FWIW I ordered a thermostat on line from someone somewhere and when I went to put it in the thermostat didn't have the bleed hole in it. I drilled a very small hole in the metal base figuring it would let the air out and the amount of liquid that would go through there would be minimal.

never had an issue with it in about 6 years until I sold the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
FWIW I ordered a thermostat on line from someone somewhere and when I went to put it in the thermostat didn't have the bleed hole in it. I drilled a very small hole in the metal base figuring it would let the air out and the amount of liquid that would go through there would be minimal.

never had an issue with it in about 6 years until I sold the car.
I thought about drilling a hole in the Stant but it didn't have a gasket either and I certainly wasn't going to reuse the old one.
 
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