Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2004 08:18:03 GMT
From: Paul Halliday <>
Subject: Re: steam at radiator (c900)

in article, John B at wrote on 07/12/2004 22:07: > On Tue, 07 Dec 2004 20:31:15 GMT, Paul Halliday wrote: >> >> You've answered your own question here. It's normal ... All classic 900s do >> this. Don't worry about it. It's quite unnerving when you first see it, not >> to mention embarrassing. Since you only notice it if you're stationary and, > > Ah, very interesting. I've been driving this particular car for 10 years, and > I've never noticed it before the last couple months. But if you say it's > normal, that's good enough for me. Perhaps it is only normal for post-120k > mile > 900s? There's always a time when a part starts to break down. In this case, it's the hosing to the radiator. Most likely the top hose. If you were to look under to bonnet and squeeze the top hose when it's warm, I doubt any kind of leak would be present. It happens when the thermostat first opens. The good thing about SAABs is that when something fails, it usually goes gradually. Have a look at the condition of the radiator and replace when necessary, along with the hoses. I've had three C900s now - the first two were over 150,000 miles and 125,000 miles when I bought them and both had this problem. My current 900 was about 90,000 miles when I bought is and this is the first winter I've noticed this behaviour (120,000 miles at the mo'). My radiator is in a bad state and there are tell-tale signs of coolant leak at the top hose, although I cannot get the top hose to leak by squeezing/pumping it. >> as you say, only for a few second I usually pull up quite close behind the >> car infront and pretend it's their exhaust :) > > I must confess to being tempted to do this also :) My first C900 had a puncture in the top hose, which slushed water all over the turbo! When I opened the bonnet, a column of steer soared from the car and covered the road. What a stink burning anti-freeze is! >> Nah! It's normal. Wait another 50,000 miles or so and replace the radiator. >> It's a hunded odd quid part and actually kind of fun to replace on a nice >> winter weekend. >> > > Sounds good to me. Out of curiosity though, what causes this steam? Does a bit > of coolant leak from the thermostat as it opens? I've been unable to pinpoint > the exact source, since I'm always driving when it happens. It's as the thermostat opens - your engine top hose will have a slight leak when the thermostat first opens and the system is under the most pressure. I have also heard that water evaporating off the oil cooler (on turbo models) when the oil thermostat opens gives the same effect, but I've only ever noticed either wisps on the LHS of the car on a dry day or a more general smoke from the radiator in snow or rain. I suppose it's logical to think that perhaps any moisture on the radiator is also evaporated off, giving a wider spread of steam in wetter weather. Paul 1989 900 Turbo S

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