Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 21:43:51 +0100
From: (john)
Subject: Re: heat problem

Dear Ryan, If you have a cracked head you would notice a few other symptoms; Rough idle running on 3 cylinders for a while when you start in the morning possibly also the engine stopping dead momenteraly when the starter operates (hydraulic lock) and exess vapour from the exhaust. You can check by examining the plugs if water is getting in to the cylinder - they will show staining or encrustation of coolant. If this is so you have a cracked head - not uncommon on the 8v or a failed gasket. If there is no evidence show this one final test is fore the garage to put the exhaust gas analyzer into the top of the resevoir - if it registers any HC content then there is definatley a leak in the combustion chamber. If not - breath a sigh of relief and have a look at the following; water pump at the back of the engine - leaks from the seal behind the pulley are common - a new pump is needed but its an easy job and a quality non Saab part is pretty cheap but go for genuine if possible. The filler cap also fails quite regularly - at least on the cars I've had - check for stains down the inner wing. You can lose loads of coolant this way without realy noticing. Radiator - leaks can be seen by the biuld up of green cryslalized coolant - again all my cars have had small radiator leaks that dribbled from time to time. Heater valve for the cabin - check the floor in the passenger side if this is leaking thats where it goes. Lastly an examination of all these bits including hoses is best done - with care - when the engine is hot but not running as some of these leaks are likely to only occur when the system is pressurised. Good luck John

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