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Overheated Saab

I have a 99 Saab 95SE. Because of some persistent overheating problems, and trying different things to try and do a cheap fix (replacing the radaiator container cap), I took it to a shop and they diagnosed it with a leak in the radiator. I have never seen anti-freeze on the ground or the floor of my garage, excpet for one time it overheated to the point that it came out through the container. They are quoting me over a $1,000 to replace and repair the radiator and hoses, etc. I just want to make sure that I am not missing something obvious. It strongly suggested that I don’t drive the car until it’s fixed because I might warp the heads, so it sits waiting. I am looking for feedback and/or suggestions so that I don’t get taken for a something I don’t need.

Holy cow!!! $1000+ to replace a radiator and hoses!!! Is the radiator made of gold or something? Get a few more estimates elsewhere. I know Saabs are expensive cars to own, but that seems a little outrageous to me.

He said that he needs to get the radiator from California because it is not easy to locate

Many aftermarket replacement parts come from California. I bought some body panels and parts from there a few years back to fix my old pickup in NH because they were the cheapest…even including shipping.

Because the AC condensor and the tranny cooler (if it’s an automatic) will probably need to be removed along with perhaps some other peripheral parts, the cost may in fact be higher than one would suspect. However if it were me I’d want a cost breakdown first.

If you have doubts about the shop’s diagnosis, take the car elsewhere to get a second opinion. Of course, strictly limit the amount of driving you do until it is fixed. If the radiator is bad, you also want to make sure the head gaskets are okay, too, once the radiator is in there. You said you overheated it to the point of boiling over, which means engine damage could have happened. Blown head gaskets can destroy a radiator, even a brand new one, so request that test once the radiator is in.

Regarding the price, again, I can understand having to order parts from elsewhere due to them being hard to find, but I still encourage you to ask around. I had a customer once who had gone to another place and gotten an estimate for replacing a radiator in his 1993 Toyota Camry for $900. How that happened is beyond me, since we ended up doing the job for around $200.