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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my 2001 9-3 less than a month ago and haven't had any mechanical issues.. Until tonight.

I blew the head gasket in my civic a couple years ago, and have been anal retentive about checking the coolant level ever since. I checked the coolant yesterday afternoon, and it was about full running hot. I did quite a bit of driving for the day, but had no problems with overheating, steam, or puddles. When I get in my car to head home, the "Fill Coolant Fluid" light comes on the display. So I grabbed some coolant at the nearest gas station and top it off, drive the 70 or so miles to get home. Get back and stop about 3 miles from my house, and after about a minute steam starts coming from under the hood.
I opened it up, but couldn't see where it was coming from, and it doesn't appear to have coolant splashed all over the engine compartment. At this point the reservoir is empty. Filled it back up, let it drain down into the radiator, made sure it was topped off. 2 miles down the road the "Fill Coolant Light" comes back on.

I can only assume that means the coolant level is unusually low, and I figured I'd go back and check the level when it cools down. But until tonight I have had zero problems with coolant level or anything.
I didn't notice any puddles under my car when I got in before this fiasco, but it must be going somewhere.

Any ideas?
Please don't say head gasket.. What a nightmare.
 

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It's most likely heater core hoses. they're almost always the first to go, and they're stuffed back a little. sometimes they're hard to see clearly.
also, if you couldn't see it... it could be the water pump hoses.

Otherwise, check your oil. 2 reservoirs of fluid has to be SOMEWHERE.

did you smell coolant at all?
 

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its most likely the hoses, replace them asap, you dont want your rad going on you, expensive fix
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
It's most likely heater core hoses. they're almost always the first to go, and they're stuffed back a little. sometimes they're hard to see clearly.
also, if you couldn't see it... it could be the water pump hoses.

Otherwise, check your oil. 2 reservoirs of fluid has to be SOMEWHERE.

did you smell coolant at all?
Checked the oil, didn't smell coolant. I noticed that there was a spray of oil on the hoses behind the power steering fluid reservoir, and on the brake fluid reservoir. I didn't notice any on the passenger side, not that it means much, I just didn't see it. And there was a small puddle of coolant on top of the trans. I cleaned it up to see if maybe I just spilled some, going to go check it in a few..

Today I filled up the coolant after work, and the Fill Coolant light came on after about half a mile.

I'll check the heater core hoses (and all the rest for that matter) and see what I can come up with.

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Got under the car with a flashlight, there's coolant dripping down the bottom of the trans, still don't see anything on the passenger side though. The puddle on top of the trans hasn't reappeared, but there's more spray on the trans fluid reservoir and the hoses right behind it..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, found the culprit. The upper heater hose has a tear that I couldn't see before. Now the question is where can I find one? Napa, Autozone, Pep Boys, and Kragen show zero matches for the heater hose for the 9-3..

Basically it seems like I'm going to have to get it from Saab directly.. Not ideal.
 

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Depending on how long a wait, you possibly have a few options.

Depending on how much "play" is left and since often the leaks happen just where the hose is clamped, can you cut it back then push it on and tighten it again?

If it is mid point you may be able to splice in a section of pipe, possibly from a plumbing and heating section of Lowes or a good plumbing heating store usually has a bin of sizes and even elbows, then put a few band clamps on it? It never hurts to have a few extra clamps around anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you, that's quite a bit cheaper than I've seen elsewhere.

Depending on how long a wait, you possibly have a few options.

Depending on how much "play" is left and since often the leaks happen just where the hose is clamped, can you cut it back then push it on and tighten it again?

If it is mid point you may be able to splice in a section of pipe, possibly from a plumbing and heating section of Lowes or a good plumbing heating store usually has a bin of sizes and even elbows, then put a few band clamps on it? It never hurts to have a few extra clamps around anyway.
Yeah, that's what I did, hadn't gotten back on to update. Cut it off, slid it back on with a different clamp (I hate the clamps they have on there stock). Ran it around a few miles with the heater on full and no leaks, so i figure it's good for at least a few more days.

Thank you guys for your help
 

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glad it's fixed!
replace them both, and get new hose clamps.
where the hoses connect to the core is always a PITA to get to.
I'm pretty sure it's easiest from the bottom.
just get some pliers to twist off the hose, but be sure you don't bend the core ends.
 

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I had the same hose blow out, although it was back on the end behind the motor where it goes into the heater core.
 

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Rescue Tape looks pretty good. The spare fan belt comment reminded me of my brother in law. He used to lecture me on all of the emergency fixes and I used a few. Tie a womans stocking or panty hose strip for a fan belt, have all of the beer buds pee into the radiator to get back to the base.

A few backfired, like the one about getting sober by getting into the cockpit and using the planes oxygen. It's a long fall to the ground. Longer than it looks.
 

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A few backfired, like the one about getting sober by getting into the cockpit and using the planes oxygen. It's a long fall to the ground. Longer than it looks.
I was told O2 acutally does help with a hangover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
glad it's fixed!
replace them both, and get new hose clamps.
where the hoses connect to the core is always a PITA to get to.
I'm pretty sure it's easiest from the bottom.
just get some pliers to twist off the hose, but be sure you don't bend the core ends.
Me too, thank you. Yeah I already changed the top hose clamp, way easier. Though I didn't try to do it from the bottom, I'll look into that when the parts arrive.
 
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