Well, it had to happen sometime…

After paying for breakdown cover for 9 years, I have finally used it.

Drive back from Llandow was fine, drive to Gloucester was fine, but drive back wasn’t 🙁

First thing I noticed was that the air-con wasn’t blowing cold. Quick check of the gauges, temperature is right up to the red. Look to pull over, and steam starts coming from the right-hand side of the bonnet, where the expansion tank is located.

Luckily only 100m to a big lay-by, so I pulled over and stopped the engine (which was running fine…). Some steam coming out still, so I opened the bonnet, and the coolant was coming merrily out of the cap on the expansion tank, pushed out by lots of steam from wherever the coolant was boiling. This coolant was then running down the road.

The radiator fan was whirring away busily

Coolant on road

Coolant reservior once the bubbling subsided – now rather empty.
Expansion tank

There seemed to be plenty of coolant in the system, it was just being pushed out at a rapid rate.

After a while the boiling subsided. I called Brittania Rescue with whom I have very comprehensive cover and a CSMA discount, and they were there in 25 mins.

I noticed some coolant also seemed to be leaking from the passenger side of the radiator, but very little. Could have been to do with the increased system pressure.

Radiator leak

Radiator leak

The chap loaded the car carefully


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Then carefully strapped the car down.

Strapped down

And we were on our way home. Got it unloaded, and he helped me push it down the driveway.

Got home only about an hour later than I would have without the car breaking, so they did well. My gf also has good reviews of Brittania Rescue from when she had an unreliable V6 Mondeo.

Next stop – call to WMSS, and posts on Saab forums for advice.

Update – now being discussed on UK Saabs here

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