What could cause antifreeze leaks in my '02 Saab 9-3?

I went to Ohio for two weeks and when I returned a small orange leak was running under my right front tire. I took the car to Firestone and they said to take it to the dealer because it may be a head gasket. Wouldn't a head gasket be leaking oil instead of water/antifreeze? Wouldn't it be more likely be a hose, water pump or radiator?


It appears to be clear water for a foot and then the end puddle is a rusty orange. It does not seem to be oil. I have a dealer's apt to check it out tomorrow. The add coolant light came on which also would indicate antifreeze rather than an oil loss from the engine.

Update 2:

On the way to the dealer, the oil sensor light came on. I checked the oil and it was fine.

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Cannot be a Head Gasket but can be engine oil leaking from the Timing cover, it runs down on the right hand side near the front tire. This happened with my son's 2002 Saab 9-3. I am not sure of the colour of the liquid but anti freeze will not be orange in colour. Could be a leaking radiator with rust, a hose or a water pump. Try putting a finger to the liquid and rub against the thumb to see if it is actually water/ anti freeze or engine oil. Please post your findings here.

  • farlin
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Saab 9-3 Water Pump

  • Funzzy
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Right front area is the Water pump and/or coolant hoses attaching to the Water pump. This pump is also attached to the block using a 1 inch or so metal connector with 2 o'rings in it which can also leak. Other than the hoses the pump or connector leak is not visible and only a Saab tech will be able to spot it (in 1 minute or less). Have you been maintaining your Saab per Saab recommendation using SAAB Coolant (ONLY)? If not then this is one of the failures for lack of maintenance. Why would you take this type of car (a Saab) to Firstone for complex repair of such? People who use General repair shop spend an average of about %60 more on repair bills. You don't need to spend big bucks at the dealership. Just find a repair shop that works on Saab cars ONLY. take it in and they'll fix it at fraction of cost.

  • vanwey
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    the subject is the battery cable connection. once you turn the main, battery connects to the motor vehicle electric powered device. If the relationship isn't sufficient sufficient then it won't furnish the intense capability necessary to tutor the starter and get your vehicle working. yet with the main in ignition, battery starts to connect fairly and at the same time as you wait the terminals get warmed up and fairly strengthen+connect greater acceptable. examine+tighten the battery terminal connections. additionally examine your battery. some batteries like AAA style have the subject you're experiencing. If battery is defective, the only therapy is the replace the battery. If its no longer the battery or terminals, then you definately've a sort of difficulty which will require a technician. in spite of in case you comprehend what's erroneous, you wont be waiting to swap such section. Do your self a great want, hit upon a fix save that basically works on Saabs and have the right kit and documentation. Diagnostic could be loose for such difficulty. purely take your Saab to them and that they ll be waiting to income it (for loose) and enable you comprehend what you want and how lots (a million holiday and difficulty solved). or you 're fishing to locate such difficulty and in case you have ever completed any fishing you're able to comprehend that generally it is not basic. solid success

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    orange = dexcool coolant

    water pump location = right front of engine

    my guess is your water pump is leaking. my Saab is also a 2002 and I just had to replace the wp a couple months ago, so this doesn't surprise me.

    Best way to check ... check the reservoirs, see which fluid is low. I seriously doubt it is engine oil. Also, it is possible it is the radiator, but that usually leaks a lot faster, and while driving too.

    Good luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    My car is old and has that kind of leak, however it leaks from the outside to the inside and drips near my break pedal and onto the mat. Mine I think is that something is either corroded, has a hole in it, or some kind of gasket needs replaced. I would imagine it's like a kitchen sink, when the hot or cold turn on switches leak then a gasket of sorts needs to be replaced. In a sink the replacement is a small rubber or nylon or silicon type circle which costs very little, however in a car I suspect it would be the Mechanic's service that would be the most costly. If your car isn't that old then that's why they told you to see the dealer. Sometimes dealers are reasonable and will fix it for free depending on what your warranty says, or depending on if they want you to return to them, or maybe if they fix one thing they can mess up another thing to try and get you to return to them to get other things fixed.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It's definitely not the cylinder head gasket because your car would be working very uneven and rough. I would say 99% will be the Radiator and maybe the Water pump and lastly a hose,

  • 4 years ago


Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.