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Discussion Starter #1
what is it like when a head gasket goes,
I noticed white smoke today, but the engine was cold, after a short trip the temp guage was low,(it normally runs right in the middle) but the engine felt hot.
Am I paranoid, or is there a problem here
thanks in advance
JD
 

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All 900 owners are paranoid about head gaskets, including me.
Water in oil, or oil in water, or loss of compression, or bubbles keep appearing in the header tank after the engine is fully warmed up. Garage can check (chemical test?) for combustion gas in water. Eventually dies with a big overheat and boil over.
Worth putting on a new thermostat before worrying further.
Fred
 

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Too true Fred about the paranoia, you are the only guy I know who packs a headgasket to go on holiday!!!
 

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John,
It’s not as simple as paranoia you know, it’s also the true spirit of pioneering scientific enquiry that leads me to take this apparently foolhardy action.

It’s generally agreed that there's a gremlin that lives in all Trollhatten built cars. As you know this gremlin waits until you’ve fixed the last coolant leak, squeak or rattle and then creates another new fault. People have been known to leave the odd serious fault unfixed just to keep the gremlin inactive for a while. Other people adopt strategies such as not opening the bonnet, or even not washing. In general the faster faults are fixed, the more active the gremlin gets. (Pete T’s gremlin has had a very active period recently.) The people at Trollhatten, and at some of the more experienced dealerships, are well aware of the gremlins and usually leave one or two faults in each car just to appease them. Many properly trained mechanics adopt this principle on all makes of car not just Saabs. This is why mechanics will leave the dirtiest handprints on the most polished cars; they can smell an active gremlin. Some bad mechanics actually fix all the faults, but they only do this to wake up the gremlin and create future business.

What’s not agreed on is the gremlin’s motivation. The most accepted theory (the bad gremlin theory) is that the gremlin’s purpose in life is to stop Saab owners getting too smug. So just when you’re feeling most pleased with the new radiator the puncture appears. If you accept this theory the spare head gasket strategy follows. The gremlin knows you have the spare head gasket, if it fails the head gasket you will be smug just for being so well prepared. To gremlins ‘well prepared’ smug is an even more hateful sort of smug than ‘fuel gauge reads correctly’ smug. The gremlin is trapped, the head gasket cannot fail.

The alternative view on gremlin motivation is not as well accepted. This theory suggests that the gremlin is really quite well intentioned. However the gremlin makes observations about factors such as the size of tool kit, the promptness with which small faults are repaired, the quality of lighting in the garage and the state of your fingernails. From these observations the gremlin has mistakenly come to believe that you like working on the car. (My wife has come to this misguided view as well, so it’s easy to see how the simple gremlin makes the mistake.) The gremlin is desperately trying to please you by providing things for you to mend. If this theory is correct, the spare head gasket strategy is extremely risky and is inviting a failure by sending the gremlin further misleading signals.

So, I have set up an experiment to finally resolve the good gremlin/bad gremlin dispute. Shortly I will be taking a spare head gasket on holiday….
 

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The Gremlin description was great! I feel exactly the same way. I keep my tools in the car. Whenever I take them out . . . something goes wrong !!!
 

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Well said Fred, you hit the nail on the head!
My Gremlins been working 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the last 6 months :sad:

Pete.
 

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Fred the mitsubishi was on by Sunday lunch the day after steam & spares, together with the Dawes device and the water injection the car pulls like a train!! Still to fit the master cylinder though & the wiper delay relay!! But things have ground to a halt as the new bathroom suite has taken priority at the moment, and this will be followed quickly by the arrival of the conservatory (which I am fitting) So all things Saab have stopped for a while.
Still no news from the insurance company about the accident and sine then some theiving gits smashed my window and ripped out my CD player and stole all my work tools!! Mind you they did leave the snopper, my cheque book with quarantee card plus a couple of store cards, so it could have been worse!!
Anyway Fred I liked you gremlins ramblings, very amusing

ps.. do you have a lot of time on your hands?? lol
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well I guess I dont have a problem yet, but the longer I wait, and the more prepared I become the sooner I will have a problem.
If I find that gremlin I am gonna grab it by the neck and send it back to scandinavia myself. Thanks guys
 

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As my brother (former SAAB parts manager) pointed out after his last visit to Trollhatten. Theyre not Gremlins but Trolls, he insists that there was an ikkle house @ the back corner where those from the VOLVO factory (which is opposite on same industrial estate) breed them just for our future Enjoyment/Divorce/Pain/Entertainment (DELETE AS APPRORIATE)
 
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