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Coolant leak, pressure testing, radiator

(1996 Saab 900)
in Goleta, CA on August 12, 2010
I was getting a small amount of coolant leakage underneath my car, and having to replace coolant about twice a month. The engine temp never ran hot. I took the car in to have it checked, and the mechanic did a pressure test. He said it started leaking from "all over" hoses, clamps etc.. and said I now needed a new radiator and water pump replacement. This is a little hard to swallow as I was having no problems with engine temp or normal running of the engine, just the small leak as mentioned. Does this sound right?
Displaying 2 answers & 4 comments
Popular Answer
The system normally operates under the pressure provided by the radiator cap. For every pound of pressure the cap supplies (typically 14 to 16) the boiling point of the coolant increases significantly. You normally stress test the system just above the radiator cap pressure, I am sure he is not dishonest.
on August 18, 2010
ok, thanks for response. i think what you're saying then, is that the engine can continue to run and does not overheat unless of course i lost enough coolant and did not replace. However under pressure testing it is showing that the water pump is leaking as well as other parts of the radiator/cooling system? He is proposing a big job and very expensive for this '96 Saab which isn't worth a whole lot in the first place. So I'm just wondering if i need to spend 1,500 to fix it now?
on August 26, 2010
It is common for Saab water pumps to go bad. And considering the car is 14-15 years old the hoses and radiator are probably bad. If you do want to repair the car look into reman'd parts for the water pump and radiator, they are sure to be cheaper than new ones and usually have a warranty that is just as good as new parts.
on September 11, 2010
i changed my water pump and a few hoses all for around 150.00 and a few hours of time i got the pump on e-bay for 25.00
on September 15, 2010
thanks for the info. unfortunately i don't have tools or know hoe to do repairs. what would it cost approximately to have the radiator repaired/replaced if that is needed?

and the water pump you got off e-bay was used i assume. how do you know if its working before you buy it on e-bay, and what if it doesn't work?
on October 16, 2010
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