Cooling water smell and problems with the automatic air conditioning

When a car is a slim 23 years old, it can have a problem every now and then. The smell of cooling water that the Saab 9000 spread in the interior was noticeable. The cause remained a mystery, because a good year ago all the hoses had been replaced. High quality silicone hoses should ensure safe operation. Was the decision wrong in the end?

Saab 9000 at Saab Service Frankfurt
Saab 9000 at Saab Service Frankfurt

The smell of cooling water - a mystery

The smell itself was too intense to ignore. A water leak was nowhere visible, the first oracles referred to the hoses themselves. Could these be faulty? The oracle did not come true. The cause of the defect was finally found in the water cooler. The plastic connector between the cooler and the new silicone hose had capitulated, had become permeable and had allowed liquid to escape.

No surprise after 23 years. But an interesting question arises: is this defect a consequence of the Barter from last year? Because even on the first test drive, an antique connector surrendered to the pressure that was now building up in the new hoses. It would be possible. But where would the alternative be?

Leave everything as it is and wait until a Stone Age hose in the engine compartment loses its composure after almost a quarter of a century?

Permanent construction site automatic air conditioning

The automatic air conditioning in the Saab 9000 is part of the brand's finest hour. When it was released, it was innovative, the sensor for the position of the sun something very special, and comfortable and powerful. In principle, it still is today. In midsummer, in a modern car, you ask where 30 years of progress have gone. Because what is currently on offer is usually worse. Because optimized for low consumption - and therefore better for the global climate.

However, this highly praised automatic air conditioning is also responsible for ensuring that the project Saab has not yet managed a single season without an unscheduled visit to the workshop. First it was leaking, then the compressor was defective. It was exchanged for a used part that did not last long. After a short period it also reported with a leak.

A new Air conditioning compressor brought a deceptive security. And indeed, there was a good year of calm at the front, the Saab drove through the summer, but then the performance of the air conditioning decreased continuously. The diagnosis was clear: a leak. Again.

It was due to seals that had simply hardened after a long period of use. They were exchanged, including the component in question, because no one wanted or could guarantee that it was leak-proof. Now hope is back that the Anna project will come through the summer well and without any breakdowns.

Finally done Saab Frankfurt the annual inspection. As always without complaints, but with love for the old tin. A closer look at the possible rust is standard in Fechenheim. A possible spot was found, cleared, and turned out to be a false alarm.

The Saab was ready to be picked up in the yard, the work was explained in detail and the old parts were ready for inspection. This is exemplary and at the level of so-called premium providers.

That leaves the matter of the new sky for the 9000. I handed in the Saab and said “do it”. Was I too easy going there? A look at the new sky and at something that I would never have dared will follow with the next article on the Anna project.

6 thoughts on "Cooling water smell and problems with the automatic air conditioning"

  • Stand on the hose

    I like the 9K and especially the younger Eros. Great cars. Still with a reputation for offering relatively simple and unsusceptible technology ...

    That's true too. Especially when measured against younger vehicles with all their pacifiers. And yet it makes me think that such a venerable vehicle was so complex and difficult to maintain in a reliable condition.

    In fact, around 90% of all problems I have experienced and suffered with cars can be traced back to hoses, connectors or the electrical system.

    Sometimes I think that a sustainable car should be a lot simpler than a 9K Aero ever was. But I'm far from sure.
    The full equipment and engines were simply far too good for that. A difficult subject….

    Be that as it may, it's just good if the world also has young and old timers that don't always make things as easy for us as we would like them to be. The complexity increases. I can hardly imagine that a current car could turn it into a classic car ...

  • @Francis Yes, the idea was in the room. I feel like many other fans of old cars with this project. At some point you have a crisis, you don't see a country and you want to separate. Fortunately I didn't do that, I think I would have regretted the step.

  • I like reading the Anna story and have been for years. Have I ever read more about a car life? Probably not. 🙂

    Tom, one question: at some point you considered selling the 9000. You seem to have strayed from it, right?

  • If that's not sustainability in practice! A more than twenty year old youngtimer, apart from the uniformity of the 'modern', saved from decay with a knowledgeable and loving hand. A very sensible alternative to state-subsidized electromobility. Perhaps you could invest the e-car premium in a used Saab - also a contribution to sustainability

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  • The 9000 looks better and better over the years, I like its design. It's nice when there is such good service in Frankfurt too!

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  • ... what are the repairs and the slight additional consumption compared to a new car with an everyday design?

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