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Wondering what your thoughts would be on changing out the (original) radiator prior to it failing as a preventative measure?
I am at 153k and driving from 800-1000 a week. I just replaced my water pump and all hoses / seals and although the radiator is not leaking, I am thinking about replacing it.
I have read several posts on how long they last some people, and I seem to be past some of those.
Thanks for the input,
Mike
 

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I just replaced mine as a preventive measure at 165k. Was original one still in car. I'd rather spend $110 (FCPEuro) on prevention than $100's later for head gasket or worse. I've had one on a Volvo where a chunk of brittle plastic end tank blew off on highway . By the time I pulled off on shoulder the head gasket was gone.
 

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^^ first one is for an auto trans, second one is for a 5spd. I honestly can't tell you why the 5spd radiator is more than twice the cost.
 

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I put the auto trans one in my 5 speed lpt. Works fine. They shipped very fast and it was well packaged. They also give a lifetime warranty.
 

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I would not replace a rad that's in good shape, not really a wear or mileage item IMO and the replacement may end up being of lower quality or suffering from some mfg defect. .now if the rad is damaged leaking, badly corroded or something like that then I'd replace.
 

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I would not replace a rad that's in good shape, not really a wear or mileage item IMO and the replacement may end up being of lower quality or suffering from some mfg defect. .now if the rad is damaged leaking, badly corroded or something like that then I'd replace.
+1...

however if you have a leak or any leak at all, then yes it is worth replacing. I had a small leak, figured I can fill coolant whenever its low, well come to find out small leaks are CRITICAL from your radiator, well if its the plastic housing. Too much pressure built up and BAM!!! small radiator hole turned into cracked radiator along the housing which resulted in toasted motor... So my opinion, if theres no leak and your coolant water isn't brown and rusty then you have nothing to worry about
 

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I would inspect it carefully where the tanks are connected to the radiator, any sign of seepage I would replace. I'm going to replace mine because when I ran Dexcool I had to take the head off for another project and there was all kinds of deposits of crap from the dexcool in the head, almost totally blocking some cooling passages. I can only imagine what is in the bottom of my radiator.
 

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I would not replace a rad that's in good shape, not really a wear or mileage item IMO and the replacement may end up being of lower quality or suffering from some mfg defect. .now if the rad is damaged leaking, badly corroded or something like that then I'd replace.
My son was on the highway in his Volvo 240 years ago when a chunk of the plastic end cap blew off the radiator . By the time he was able to get over to breakdown lane it was too late, head gasket was blown. Radiator had no leaks prior to that. The plastic just gets brittle. Also if you take the end caps off an old radiator you can see how small the passages are and how easily they can get clogged up, especially if cooling system has not been properly maintained. That happened to my C900, when I bought it the temp gauge would read way over 1/2 way, put new radiator and gauge read just under 1/2 way. I took off end caps to look and sure enough lots of stuff clogging passageways. IMO $105 is cheap enough to call it a maintainance item once in cars lifetime. Better than a blown head gasket.
 

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I would not replace a rad that's in good shape, not really a wear or mileage item IMO and the replacement may end up being of lower quality or suffering from some mfg defect. .now if the rad is damaged leaking, badly corroded or something like that then I'd replace.
I don't buy this logic. It does not match my personal experience with 95s. Plastic radiators fail. The replacement part is usually a Nissens and is of OEM quality.

This advice might be good advice for a car with all metal radiator. But these new radiators have a plastic tank on each end. They are just crimped on with a gasket sealing the tank. Over 150,000 miles I would not trust one any more. the plastic just has a service life.

I have 2 Aeros and my 2 sons have Aeros wagons. 3 of the 4 needed new radiators between 130,000 miles and 150,000. Two of them leaked at the tank seam. One of them blew the whole driver side of the tank off. Luckily he was able to pull over and get towed and we replaced the radiator and all the hoses in the system.

The Aero wagon that still has the original radiator has less than 80,000 miles.

The Nissens radiator is the normal replacement and is of good quality. I believe it might even be the OEM part.

There are 2 versions of the radiator. Automatic has the trans cooler built in. Manual does not. You will see the connections on the passenger side of the radiator they come with 2 red plugs in them.

It is common practice to use the automatic one for both applications. the trans cooler is just a tube with a few fins on it, so it does not change the flow. eEuro only stocks the auto one that last time I looked.

I have a completely aluminum radiator in my 2001 Aero. 2X the cooling of the stock one due to double core. It is well made, but made in China. You can find them on-line occasionally.
 

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I second the statement that the plastic radiator end cap on a 150K mile car is dangerously close to or even past its expiration date. The plastic end caps are definitely the weak spot on the radiator, my experiences fully support that and with 195K miles on my V6 I recently installed radiator number 4. They went out as follows:

OEM at 85K miles, with warning signs, slow leak at end cap

#2 at 150K miles with no warning, just blew out on my driveway after a 80 mile freeway drive (felt it was my lucky day:D), found a hairline crack in the end cap and should add then this thing blows you loose just about all the coolant in less than a minute and you would have a hard time saving your engine if this happens on a busy freeway

#3 at 193K miles, with warning signs - a slow coolant leak that I could not pinpoint but I suspect another end cap leak

I examined the moulding marks on the plastic end caps (Nissens and another brand from Taiwan) and found them to be identical and concluded that they came from the same factory, which explains why all the aftermarket brands perform the same or less than desirable.

I would agree that the product with the aluminum end cap is definitely the way to go if you plan to drive your SAAB another 100K miles or so:cheesy:
 

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I don't buy this logic. It does not match my personal experience with 95s. Plastic radiators fail. The replacement part is usually a Nissens and is of OEM quality.

This advice might be good advice for a car with all metal radiator. But these new radiators have a plastic tank on each end. They are just crimped on with a gasket sealing the tank. Over 150,000 miles I would not trust one any more. the plastic just has a service life.

I have 2 Aeros and my 2 sons have Aeros wagons. 3 of the 4 needed new radiators between 130,000 miles and 150,000. Two of them leaked at the tank seam. One of them blew the whole driver side of the tank off. Luckily he was able to pull over and get towed and we replaced the radiator and all the hoses in the system.

The Aero wagon that still has the original radiator has less than 80,000 miles.

The Nissens radiator is the normal replacement and is of good quality. I believe it might even be the OEM part.

There are 2 versions of the radiator. Automatic has the trans cooler built in. Manual does not. You will see the connections on the passenger side of the radiator they come with 2 red plugs in them.

It is common practice to use the automatic one for both applications. the trans cooler is just a tube with a few fins on it, so it does not change the flow. eEuro only stocks the auto one that last time I looked.

I have a completely aluminum radiator in my 2001 Aero. 2X the cooling of the stock one due to double core. It is well made, but made in China. You can find them on-line occasionally.
You have any specifics on where you purchased your aluminum radiator from? I'm at 137K on mine, no leaks, change the Dexcool every summer. Install difficulty on 1-10? Thanks
 
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