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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning everyone!

I noticed my coolant resovoir was dry after a 600 mile trip and refilled it. I've had to add small amounts of coolant in between oil changes and noticed a dried path of coolant coming from the front of the engine the last time I was under the car (about 2500 miles ago). I took off the throttle body today to see if I could trace the leak and found coolant oozing out of the end of the front head and in the valley of where the two heads meet.

The car is a 2000 9-5 SE Wagon, 117,000 miles, no coolant in oil, no white smoke, no blue smoke, no loss of power, still gets 28-30mpg on the highway and have never seen the temp gauge go above normal.

It's definately not the coolant bypass valve since it's located on the firewall and too far away to be leaking onto the engine.

Everything I read in the archives says the V6 doesn't have head gasket issues. What else could be causing this leak, besides the head gasket?

Thanks in advance for everyone's responses!

BenP
Atlanta, GA
 

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you could have a hairline crack in a coolant hose, do a pressure test and if there is a crack it will spray somewhere, but can be invisible when its not leaking.

If it completely drained that quickly that would be my guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well.....I've got the upper, middle and lower intake off. The center or valley between the heads is covered in sludged coolant. There is puddling around the thermostat as well but the coolant extends the length of the motor. Replacing all of the hoses to rule out a hose leak seems a little over kill but I can't tell where the leak is coming from for sure. There's a valve on the transmission side of the engine bolted at the end of V-6 valley that has three lines going into it. Are they my oil cooler lines?

I'm going slow but the way these coolant lines are routed is a real piece of work! I guess when a hose ruptures they can guarantee themselves a $1000 in labor for replacing the $20 part.

I'm still looking for clues before I clean everything up.

Thanks for the replies!

Ben
 

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Mabye your cylinder head has loosened.
Might be just to tighten the bolts.
My 2.0t have a coolant leak on the gearboxs side beneath the cyl.head.
The mecanic I have talked to said it might be a loose cyl.head.
My car will be checked by a mecanic the 29 this month..
I hope that the gasket dont need to be changed.

I`m a Norwegian so my english spelling might not always be the best;oops:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Damn! I was putting everything away and looked at my coolant that I had drained into a bucket and it's got a dark tint to it. Oil? There's no oil slick on the surface but now I'm thinking it is the headgasket.

I'm going to call my indy mechanic in the morning and discuss it with him. Replacing the headgaskets on the V-6 is a little over my head.

Thanks for all the replies!

Ben
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
gghh,

Great write up and I love those pictures! I wondered what that plate was covering in the valley of my V-6 and now I know. I'll be ordering all the parts today, including all of my new intake o-rings and gaskets and hopefully have time to tackle this next weekend.

I didn't want to believe it was my headgasket because I didn't have any of the usual symptoms but I was running out of ideas when I couldn't find a cracked or broken coolant line.

Thanks!

Ben

Atlanta, Ga
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey guys........you didn't tell me oil cooler is a $400 part! I called my local Saab parts guy and he says you usually don't need the cooler itself, just the cover and related seals. He also advised me to be very careful on disassembly since the only reason they typically sell a cooler is because the threads get damaged during the process. He said the cooler is good about 90% of the time........let's just hope I'm not one of the few who need one.


Thanks!

Ben
 

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Hey Ben, i might be a bit late on this but have you tried your local G.M. dealer for the oil cooler, over here in the U.K. Vauxhall will sell you the stainless cooler for less than half of the price that Saab charge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the reply Pete! I'm about half way through the project now and it's not the oil cooler that was leaking but the cover that's bolted over it. I did run into a snag yesterday when I was torquing the coolant line bolts into the cover and it sheared in half. The Saab dealer didn't have one in stock and the quickest they can get one is Tuesday. I'll spend some time calling around today to see if any of the auto parts houses or hardware stores carry these types of bolts but I may be stuck until Tuesday.

The coolant bolt is the hollow one that has holes in it to allow the coolant to pass through it. It looks like the same type of bolt that is used on hydraulic lines like the steering pump. Maybe I'll get lucky!

I ended up spending $225 for all of the seals, gaskets, and o-rings necessary to complete the job. That amount included a new thermostat since I was down that far I thought it was silly not to replace it. The Saab dealer wanted over $100 for the thermostat! Even after my discount he could only get it down to $80. That was the one part I ordered from Eeuroparts for $39.90, free shipping and arrrived at my door 3 days later. I tried to find a difference in the two housings but couldn't. They are the same part number and the only difference was where the little GM logo was on the Saab part the Eeuropart had a scratched out area that was blank.

Thanks again for the reply!

Ben
 
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