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Old 01-07-2008, 08:23 AM   #1
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Oil leak, rear main seal

I was at my buddy's shop on saturday and while my car was on the lift, he said i had an oil leak coming from the rear main seal. He said the leak wasn't bad, but i should keep an eye on it and check the oil level from time to time. Should i be worried about that?

My car - '03 9-5 Aero 99k
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Old 01-07-2008, 09:09 AM   #2
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Delorean says that removing the trans on the 9-5 is an evil task. Good luck with your leak. I had mine replaced when I did my gearbox overhaul.
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can be prone to failure due to increased localized stresses in the hole penetrations
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Old 01-07-2008, 09:14 AM   #3
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That was the problem that led me to bury my old
Mazda 626. Replacing that oil seal would have been more
than that car was worth, which wasn't much.
I can't recall the price, but it was over $1000.
Best of luck to you. Saabs are much more worth keeping
on the road than 626s.
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:30 AM   #4
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My friend said he'll do the work for me. Will not fixing it now lead to more bigger problems down the road or should i be good if i keep checking the oil and making sure it's not empty?

My friend said he'll do the job if i want him too. He said if it doesn't get worse, i should just wait until i need a new clutch. Then he can do all the work at once instead of fixing the rear main seal, then later down the road taking everything apart again to replace the clutch. It would be easier for him and it would save me money.
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:55 AM   #5
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Check the condition of the PCV system and all of it's associated hoses, often times a PCV system in poor condition can lead to high pressure in the crankcase, especially in a turbocharged engine with large piston<->cylinder wall clearances like the b235. This high crankcase pressure needs to go somewhere and often times the rear main seal acts as a fuse. I know of more than a few cases where old volvos had leaky rear main seals until the PCV hoses were replaced and the problem fixed itself. I don't know how saab engines are with regard to this sort of problem but I'm sure the same thing could easily happen to a saab.
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:26 AM   #6
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Cool, thanks ACBarnett. I'll check it out. Hopefully you're right.
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:13 PM   #7
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You friend seems to know what he's talking about. When leaking oil, other than the slight smell of burning oil and a messey engine, the only danger is leaking so much as to starve the engine of oil. So if you can keep an eye on the level, carry some oil in the car, you should be fine for a little while.
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Old 01-07-2008, 04:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MikeyC84 View Post
Cool, thanks ACBarnett. I'll check it out. Hopefully you're right.
On the volvo cast-iron 4 the rear main seal wasn't much more than a felt ring that fitted around the crank, and high pressure in the crankcase could force part of it out so that once you got the pcv system working again to the point that you had negative pressure in the crankcase, you could sometimes "suck" the rear main seal back into place and fox your oil leak. Mind you this all was on an engine that made the old B-engine look high-tech, so things are probably quite different on the H-engines in our cars.
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Old 01-07-2008, 06:08 PM   #9
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Saab makes a breather update kits for all the 9-5. i must have put in about 50 in the last month in customers cars. The kit might work for u it the leak is small but the kit is mostly for the leaky timing cover because of the pressure in the block. the kit is about 300 installed at the dealer but u could do it urself.
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