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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a little scared that I may have a coolant leak, but am not really sure. I just came back from a long weekend away, and my saab sat for about 3 days unmoved. I checked my oil before heading off to work, and took a look around the engine bay just make sure everything is in order. I also checked under the car for any leaks, since I figured sitting for 3 days would be a good time to check.

Everything checked out fine and I found no leaks on the floor, but then I took another look at my coolant reservoir, and it seemed a little lower than I recall, but could be wrong. The coolant level appeared to be about 3/4" below the "cold" line. In the manual it says that the level should be slightly below the cold line, but I am not sure if this is too far. Also, since it was sitting for 3 days, this may have made it appear a little lower. I did not check the car when I got to work (45 min drive), but I did check it after I ran out for lunch(5 minute drive, shutoff car, 5 minute drive) and the level was only at or slightly above "cold". I don't know if this was because of the short drive, or because the coolant is low.

Anyway, I guess that is a long story to get to my question. I plan to mark a line on my reservoir in the morning and check against that level each morning, then week, then month. In the meantime though, I want to buy some coolant from eeuroparts, since I need to order an oil filter and such anyhow. I took a look on there site and found blue coolant unmixed, red coolant unmixed, and then this:

http://www.eeuroparts.com/productdetail.aspx?searchResults=1&code=4124

I have an 02 model with red coolant, can I assume that the linked product is the proper one that I should order? Is this the oem coolant?

Thanks,
Doug
 

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Newer Saabs & GM vehicles use DexCool. You should be able to pick this up at most stores if you don't want to spend the extra money on the Saab specific red version.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks,

I ordered some of the stuff I linked above last night, I needed some other small things from eeuroparts anyhow, and the $18 for the coolant worked out because it pushed me just over the hump for free shipping.

Doug
 

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Hi Doug - I've found that on my car (actually most of my cars) that if I fill the coolant up to the "cold" line it will drop down a cm or two. If I top it up it will once more go down. However if I don't top it up (and I've marked the tank like you're doing) it stays put at that slightly lower level pretty much forever. I don't know whether there's some weird over pressurizing or something that happens when it's filled "properly" or not, but I don't think there's any harm in running with the reservoir a little below the "cold" mark.
 

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Doug, you are doing all the right things.

Checking fluid levels under constant conditions is the way to go.
My reservoir is probably over full, about 10 mm over the cold line- but it is most stable.

Except for the old Saab V4, I think all cooling systems are at least partially aluminum...Full aluminum (2002 on) and many newer cars use a certain coolant - so a man must be careful.

The days of low cost green are numbered as are the silicates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I really am not sure if the level has decreased since I have owned the car or not, but I am thinking that at one point when the car was hot I saw the coolant above the cold level. As it is now, after a long drive home the coolant was at the cold line(so it did move up, but not as far as I expected). I marked the current coolant level this morning before coming to work, and I will see what happens over time. I did check out the coolant I ordered further and am 99.9% sure I got the right thing. I will do a little comparison once I get it to make sure. I am not too worried about driving it at this point since the level is still a good bit higher than the sensor on the side of the tank.

I am just hoping everything holds out till I get the Haynes manual I finally ordered :p

Found a used one on amazon that I should get in only a few days. :)
 

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on a related note, how does one do a full flush of the coolant? i was under the impression that when you flushed the coolant from the bottom of the radiator that about half remained in the engine. i'm asking because i bought some coolant from my saab dealer (blue coolant) but my car has red fluid in it, and i've heard not to mix. figure it's a sign to do a full flush.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I know that most people do not do it by using the drain of the radiator because it is a PITA. Instead they just pull one of the pipes. From what I have read, I believe this should drain all the coolant.

Also, do not mix coolants, that is a bad idea from what I have read.
 

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Sacko said:
on a related note, how does one do a full flush of the coolant? i was under the impression that when you flushed the coolant from the bottom of the radiator that about half remained in the engine. i'm asking because i bought some coolant from my saab dealer (blue coolant) but my car has red fluid in it, and i've heard not to mix. figure it's a sign to do a full flush.
Ditto what Doug said. Mixing fluids is generally bad, and the easiest way to drain is by pulling the lower hose.

You're correct about fluid staying the engine. When you drain you really should turn on the heater so that gets drained too, then do several fill/drain cycles with clean water (I usually buy a few gallons of distilled water). Since thermostats are cheap, I replaced mine when I changed the fluid. If you do that, you can do a few of your fill flush cycles without the thermostat slowing things down. Remember too that you don't want to be putting cold fluid/water into a hot motor.
 

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Eeerrrrrrr..... does not Saab, like all of GM, and VW use the hot air door system rather than a coolant valve, so the heater core is "on" all the time..

When I do it, which is very seldom, I use copious amounts of garden hose water - good to have a driveway....and room...and time..
 

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Eeerrrrrrr..... does not Saab, like all of GM, and VW use the hot air door system rather than a coolant valve, so the heater core is "on" all the time..
I'm not sure if we've ever figured this out. c900's definitely had a valve. It can't hurt to leave the heat turned on while you're draining the antifreeze, just in case.
 

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If you have ACC, I can't imagine there's any kind of valve on the heater core. I don't think many, if any modern cars have a valve, as our family's Hondas don't have one, either. I use the garden hose method, too, to flush it. I disconnect the upper and lower hoses from the engine and then spray a hose into the upper hose until clear water comes out. Then I take out the thermostat, put the cover back on, connect the upper and lower hoses to the engine, and spray water into the engine until it comes out clear. Then you just put in antifreeze equal to 50% of the system's capacity and top it up with water.
 

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Spray water into the coolant tank to flush it out too. Mine had some sediment that had accumulated in there so I disconnected the small hose to prevent it from going into the engine.
 
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