Mechanics

RADIATOR REPAIR & BYPASS VALVE

1999 SAAB 9-5

Engine Cooling problem
1999 Saab 9-5 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 133000 miles

I recently had the radiator on my 1999 Saab 9-5 replaced because of a " pinhole" leak. This repair cost me $654. About a week later the dashboard indicator flashed a message that again indicated I should fill coolant fluid. I took the car back to the same garage- this time they said it was a " bypass valve" for the exchange of heat between the radiator and car heater. Would not properly installing the radiator cause this to happen? Are the two things dependent on one another- that is when they replaced the radiator did they not prperly install this bypass valve? They say this repair will cost about another $260, am I being taken for a ride?
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My software doesnt show a single thing on r+r of your radiator or a " by-pass" valve. If you are leary of this, go to the shop and ask to see the offending part, this will give you an idea of its relation to the radiator, then you can make your own judgement on whether or not it is something they should have seen before. Sometimes fixing one leak can create another one.

Tiny
Jack42
Jun 25, 2008.
It's been over a year since the original question, but.

The coolant/heater bypass valve sits on the firewall and is highly unlikely to be affected by replacement or work on the radiator.

The bypass valve is noted for leaking - most info I've seen says they go bad after about 7 years or around 100k miles. I've got a 2005 with 60k that the valve just went on. Conversely, my 2000 with 140k is OK (at least before I jinxed myself).

Typical MO is that you will start with a small leak which will quickly change to a big leak. In my case, a warning for low coolant with no obvious sign of a leak followed by another warning a few weeks later, only this was quickly followed by a big puddle under the car. For my car (I-4), the puddle ended up under the rear of the transmission or near the rear mount of the front left suspension A-arm. (It took a little while to figure out where the leak was since that's about a foot to the front and left of the valve.)

I would think you should be quoted about one hour of shop time, and the part is about $115 (much less if you shop around to do it yourself), so the $260 estimate is way over what I would expect.

Tiny
Kiwi06
Sep 9, 2009.