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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, were now 7 months into our ownership of a Saab, and it's not been good.

Head gasket had failed before and as a result was replaced. We've had problems since that job and to top it all off the thermostat failed (shut of course) and it looks like we may have to do the whole job again. :evil:

Anyway, as the thermostat failed after a little over two months I wanted to ask if anyone else has had this happen and what chance I have of getting Euro Car Parts to pay for the repair as they supplied the thermostat.

It would be nice to hear from anyone who has had this happen and succeeded in getting the repair work done by the parts supplier.

Kenneth
 

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I would suspect that they wouldn't rush to fall overthemselves to pay anything so if you want to pursue it, be prepared for a long legal fight with the car off the road.

The thermostat might have failed closed but didn't you see the temperature gauge? (I'm just asking what they will ask).

Was the head flat when you put it on last time? no cracks, no warping etc.?

David.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
David,

The funny thing is that the temperature guage never rose past halfway - most of the driving was motorway or free flowing - and I used the heater to vent as much heat as possible.

As we were on holiday we did try and get it checked but to no avail. Had I had my toolkit I would have tried running without the thermostat but as said, I was on holiday.

Oh well, I'll chance my arm and see what comes as the thermostat and coolant temp. sensor were replaced at the same time. We've now included it into our budget for the work to be done.

Thanks.

Kenneth
 

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Thing is, as I see it, in order for the head gasket to have gone due to a stuck thermostat then the engine would have had to have overheated and warped. Given that you've just done the head gasket yourself, from my perspective, that would introduce a question of doubt as to your competency. (Not from a personal point of view, just what would be asked in court perhaps).

Were you competent to judge the flatness of the head prior to refit first time, did you get it professionally checked/certified etc.

A friend of mine once had a mini engine crank ground a long time ago and shortly afterwards, the crank snapped at the first bearing. He tried to get the engineering company to pay and they refused. He did in the end get an engineers report who found grinding particles in the bearing and in their opinion would have damaged the crank such that fatigue failure was probable. He did take them to court and won but it was an expectedly long process.

You may have difficulty claiming for consequential costs.

I think your choices are:-

a) Bite the bullet and just do it yourself. Pro's of this is that this will be the fastest route to getting the car on the road and the cheapest should civil action fail.

b) Get a garage to do it and issue a report as to the head gasket failure reason. Con of this is that if you are unsuccessful with civil action you pay a big whack for getting the job done.

c) Try and argue with Euro Car Parts. I think your chance of success on getting a head gasket job out of them for the cost of a thermostat and sender is about less than 1%. You may have more success if you offered to go halves on say a head gasket set and walk away.

As ever, while the legal route seems attractive, you have to be very clear as to what you will get out of it and what you are prepared to lose.

The amount of time without the car while wrangling could cost more than you stand to gain.

It's not that i'm not on your side, it's just that i've been there before. Maybe you have too! :)

David.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
David,

Thanks for the info. I know what you mean by the extended wrangling - that bit is already happening with the garage we bought the car from.

We were getting quite a bit of overpressure in the resevoir - enough that it could empty the resevoir of all it's water. This would occur on a run of over say 4 -5 miles - anything below that and the pressure wasn't there (or certainly not as bad).

We've changed the thermostat for a known good one, and that issue seems to have gone away - I will monitor it over this week. Now I just need to work out why the temperature guage is not rising - it rarely gets out of the white segment at the bottom of the gauge (though the engine is hot enough for the fan to kick in).

Again, the sender was replaced at the time of the head gasket job.

Which leads to the next question - I know that the guage on ours (1997) is interpreted rather than a straight feed. The question is where does the wiring from the sender go to - and if it comes to it, is it easy to bypass the loom wiring?
 

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Both problems sound to me like a severe lack of coolant flow and/or a cracked head!

The radiator switch is at the bottom of the radiator so gets bathed in coolant and so operates properly. The gauge sensor (on my 1993 anyway) is in the head as is the thermostat.

So if there's insufficient coolant flow, i'd put it down to that as there wouldn't be enough to saturate either the sensor or the thermostat which would then appear to remain stuck closed.

That's my theory anyway.

The expansion reservoir is indicative of an overpressurised cooling system which I guess could be due to it being blocked or head gasket or cracked head. (I had the latter).

When my head gasket went on a '92 9000, I recognised it pretty quickly but the other symptoms were that the heater went cold unless I incresed the engine RPM - classic lack of coolant. Muppet here then figured it was only 140 miles to home, so as long as I didn't get stuck on the M1, i'd just keep the airflow and coolant flowing. Got home ok, just had to deal with the consequences of the cracked head and I think i've already emailed you that saga? :)

David.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
David,

Hmmm, you've just put the cat amongst the pigeons with that post. From what you've said it could be the water pump - which is a big ohno as we've had numerous problems with it not sealing and it's currently sealed in with chemical metal.

I think what I'm going to do is to remove the thermostat altogether for a week and see how it gets on like that. Though I'm beginning to think that you may be right with your assessment of the cooling system being blocked.

Also on the later model 9000's the switch for the fan is located in the head next to the thermostat. It all comes off that one sender.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
As I thought about the post regarding coolant flow, I think this is an ideal time to point out that the later 9000's do things completely differently to the earlier 9000's.

On the later 9000's the temp. guage sender is located within the cylinder head. It's fitted in the right hand side of the engine (UK passenger side). This controls the temp guage as well as the fan.

We appear to have gotten of lucky with the thermostat (it's been replaced with a known good and we are definately getting flow through it now). There is no contamination of fluids (coolant or oil) and we are no longer losing coolant. Also, as mentioned the extreme pressure build up is now gone.

In my mind I'd assumed that the temp guage and thermo problem were somehow linked (they may well be from the same source which I suspect I know) but in reality they are seperate issues.

The guage on the dash works from that sender, and it also controls the fan kicking in as well. The fan has been tested and is working - so that leaves the sender as being suspect. It's been ordered - but for the next few days I think I'll look at bypassing the fan relay switch.

In the end it's been good news, it's taken a while to think through (and has required the additional input) - but it appears we've been lucky for once.

We've now got a probable solution - If everything is as I think, then I'll post the solution when it's confirmed.

Cheers

Kenenth
 
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