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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a '90 16v and my coolant drops about an 1in or 2 in a week. Just replaced overflow tank cap because I thought the old one was bad, but it still goes down and I have no leaks that I know of and I don't think the head gasket is bad, but when I stick my hand in front of the tailpipe for a few seconds my hand gets a little damp and there is a small pool of water in the tailpipe. Bad head gasket or small leak somewhere? and the temp gauge goes halfway between hot and normal mark when idling for 5 min or so and goes back down to normal when the fan kicks in and when it gets to normal temp my heater quits putting out heat. Please help me figure this out:cry:
 

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paragraphs would make that a bit easier to understand.

losing 1-2 inches of coolant in a week could be any number of problems.

you mention a small pool of water in the tailpipe, do you mean below it, while idling? water in the tailpipe should be cleared pretty quickly when driving.

you heater problem sounds like either a) a blockage somewhere in the system, b) low coolant level or c) a bad check valve at the heater bypass

the temp gauge moving around as you describe sounds like it could be a sticky thermostat, or a blocked radiator due to mineral deposits
 

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jv_72_jv said:
but when I stick my hand in front of the tailpipe for a few seconds my hand gets a little damp and there is a small pool of water in the tailpipe.
There's always a little water vapour in exhaust gases, but...

and the temp gauge goes halfway between hot and normal mark when idling for 5 min or so and goes back down to normal when the fan kicks in
Which is what it should be doing.

and when it gets to normal temp my heater quits putting out heat.
...but that isn't...

Please help me figure this out:cry:
Let's put it this way... My ongoing slight coolant loss seems to have stopped completely since the HG went spectacularly and was replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
xassh said:
paragraphs would make that a bit easier to understand.

losing 1-2 inches of coolant in a week could be any number of problems.

you mention a small pool of water in the tailpipe, do you mean below it, while idling? water in the tailpipe should be cleared pretty quickly when driving.

you heater problem sounds like either a) a blockage somewhere in the system, b) low coolant level or c) a bad check valve at the heater bypass

the temp gauge moving around as you describe sounds like it could be a sticky thermostat, or a blocked radiator due to mineral deposits
I think Ill replace the thermostat and my fan now stays on all the time and I found that It leaks from the thermo fan switch so Ill have to replace that too.
 

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don't forget to bleed the system with the little bleed valve on top of thermostat housing, but not to be despondent, but my wife's LPT did this in varing small amounts over the 3 1/2 yrs till the h/g went, and with the way the head was water pitted in 3 places and the state of the gasket it had been leaking a little all the time, but and slight bit, got blown out with the exhaust gases, as i realised that even on long journeys we never lost hardly a drop from top up( as expanding metal when warm/hot, no leak)
there was no sign of bubbles in water res, or water in oil etc only on the day it finally gave up, and that was with 100,300 mls only (got it at 84,000).
and if i ever have a similar problem arise with one of my others, this would be a take it off and do it anyway, as better done when it is starting to go then when it has.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
16saabs said:
don't forget to bleed the system with the little bleed valve on top of thermostat housing, but not to be despondent, but my wife's LPT did this in varing small amounts over the 3 1/2 yrs till the h/g went, and with the way the head was water pitted in 3 places and the state of the gasket it had been leaking a little all the time, but and slight bit, got blown out with the exhaust gases, as i realised that even on long journeys we never lost hardly a drop from top up( as expanding metal when warm/hot, no leak)
there was no sign of bubbles in water res, or water in oil etc only on the day it finally gave up, and that was with 100,300 mls only (got it at 84,000).
and if i ever have a similar problem arise with one of my others, this would be a take it off and do it anyway, as better done when it is starting to go then when it has.
I love my SAAB, but I dont plan on keeping it for long. also it leaks oil from the back(clutch side) where the head meets the block, so maybe the head gasket is going bad:roll: If so Ill just sell it while its still running:cheesy:
 

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jv_72_jv said:
I think Ill replace the thermostat and my fan now stays on all the time and I found that It leaks from the thermo fan switch so Ill have to replace that too.
is the fan on any time that the engine is running? normally when the thermo fan switch goes, it will not 'close' and therefor prevent the cooling fans from turning on at all.

i have not heard of one sticking closed, you can check it by testing for continuity across the terminals when the engine and radiator are cold, there should be none.

be very very careful when installing the new thermo fan switch, as it is threaded into the plastic end tank on your radiator. it is very easy to strip these threads.
 

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jv_72_jv said:
If so Ill just sell it while its still running:cheesy:
I don't mean to be judgemental but I once sold a pick-up that I had just replaced the head gasket...I re-did the head but didn't deck the block even though there was slight pitting on it...and I saw the fella later and he said the hg went again(I knew it would). i felt awful...fix it or at least tell the buyer.
 
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