Oil leak from intercooler?

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Thread: Oil leak from intercooler?

  1. #1
    Just bought I a 9-3 1.9 120 diesel 54 plate. I have a oil leak on the passanger side of the car and looks at the front of the car looks like it coming from the intercooler. This appears to be banana shaped at the bottom with oil leaking out from one end.
    The question is should the intercooler contain oil? Or do I need a new engine or turbo as well?
    What a new intercooler likely to cost?
    Is it best to remove the bumper to change the intercooler?

    I could have not driven the car more than 20 miles. last owner claimed the cam belt has changed and I wasnt so Ive got some vey big bills on the way.
    I already needed a 72000 mile serice with cam belt, front disc and pads, and couple of tyres, and now a new intercooler.

    Should I sell the car and cut my losses or fix it.

    Thanks for you help in advance

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  3. #2
    Saab Nut klimacher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Norwich, Norfolk
    your intercooler shouldn't contain any oil, but if the turbo was blown you would notice the huge plume of smoke coming from your exhaust

    my knowledge however comes from petrol 9-3's not a diesel, but its worth having a look anyway. on most saabs there is an oil cooler to one side of the radiator/intercooler/air conditioning radiator and its more likely that the oil is coming from there as opposed to the intercooler itself.

    also check on the colour of the oil, because running along the front of the car UNDER the intercooler is the power steering cooler, which has 2 swan neck bends at either end and looks suspiciously like a towing eye if not looked at correctly (as someone found out to my expense)

    i dont think you can remove the intercooler from the front without removing the bumper and preferably the bumper bar with it.

    my advice is to take it to a decent indy who knows Saabs and get them to have a look at it but chances are you are looking at a 72K service, brakes and tyres but not the intercooler

  4. #3
    Thanks for the advice but I can confirm the oil is coming from the intercooler removed right intercooler hose and confirmed oil in pipe. It appears the oil level is very high so I hoping the this has been blow in to the intercooler though a breather.
    Does anyone know air path I have not had turbo engine car since my 900 turbo 10+ years and that never broke.

    Please can anyone confirm if the big right hand big intercooler pipe is the inlet to the engine or the outlet.

    thanks Michael

  5. #4
    Saab Anorak
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    9-3 2.8T Anniversary Aero Sportwagon
    If the engine oil level is very high it's likely that there is diesel in it, this is a by product of incomplete cleaning of the DPF. You may need to drop the level a bit as there is a point where the engine will start sucking the oil into the cylinders - once it does that it'll start revving uncontrolably.

  6. #5
    Thanks for you comments I Intend weather permitting to drop the oil level and clean out the turbo pipes and take it for a quick drive and see how it runs. The last time I drove it was fine no smoke and no warning light. I'm not sure at the moment if I will fix it or trade it in for something else. As I need as least a new intercooler, Service and Cam belt change and 2 tyres, and front disc and pads.
    My local Saab main dealer has quoted £1000 for the service cam belt water pump and intercooler to be done as they are quiet. But Im scared that this could quickly risk if any thing else is found

    Does anyone on here know if the Saab intercooler and the vectra one are the same a the local dealer wants £188 yet Saab want £300 with 20% discount

    Thanks for you help in advance Michael

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