Blown Head Gasket?

saab
9-5

#1

A local mechanic tells me I have a blown head gasket on my 2003 Saab 9-5. He also said there’s coolant standing in one cylinder. If this is due to stretched head bolts, might I remedy the problem by replacing the head bolts and torqueing to specifications?


#2

If the head gasket was seeping it might work but coolant standing in one cylinder indicates the gasket has blown out or something worse.


#3

And trying to run the car in this condition could lead to bigger problems. The correct solution is in my mind to remove the heads, have them checked, then replace gasket and heads. The stretched bolts is a fun idea, but if the heads are warped you have the same problem times 2.


#4

Unfortunately these problems cannot be completely understood until everything is dismantled and you are face to face with everything.


#5

Which engine is it? Where did you get the “if this is due to stretched head bolts…” from? Is that what he said? Some head bolts are stretch bolts by design. I don’t know about your SAAB - but I also don’t know which engine it is. What are your symptoms?

With some engines head bolts can be retorqued. But if you have a cylinder full of coolant it’s doubtful that it would do anything.

Here are some instructions for 4 cyl 9-3 & 9-5 (http://www.genuinesaab.com/psi/files/headretorque.htm), but it’s for external leaks.