Mechanics

SAAB 900 GAS PROBLEM

1998 SAAB 900 • 170,000 miles

Just purchased from a private party- I drove it for the first time and it was smooth and peppy, Seemed fine. I did notice that the temp gauge seemed not to be operating as it stayed "cold" although the heater warmed up nicely. Drove it 30 miles and parked for a few hours. Then while driving it home; about 45 miles farther down the road. Just started to accelerate from a stop and heard a "pop" and steam rolled out from the front and came into the passenger compartment. Immediately pulled over, I found the hoses all intact but the passenger side of the radiator had blown out and green coolant was in the engine compartment and on the ground. There is no evidence of frothy, oily coolant or water in the oil, there was no knocking or pinging. No indication of it getting hot. No loss of power. No problems prior to the car blowing out the radiator. What is the probability of it being the head gasket that caused this? What else could have caused this?

My plan. My questions, am I on the right track?

1. Replace the radiator (have started, what a PITA! Finally got it out (but then it was in two pieces.) Do I need to remove the front bumper to get everything back together properly (manual trans)?

2. I plan on replacing the thermostat as well.

3. I have a combustible gas indicator, if combustible gas is present what will that mean? Other than its present! Will it be of help ruling things out.

4. I have access to a compression tester but have never used one. How do I use it and / or do I need to.

Obviously I am concerned about what caused this and how to fix it. What else should I do, check or replace while I'm doing this.
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Rh911
October 18, 2012.




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