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  1. #1
    Saab Enthusiast
    Join Date
    13 Dec 2015
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    72
    Saab(s)
    2008 9-3SS, 2009 9-3XWD
    Thumbs Up:   3

    Power steering leak at the reservoir cap

    So, over the weekend I had a power steering fluid leak misidentified as an oil leak at the oil cooler gasket. It would benefit 9-3 owners to look at the reservoir cap or a diagram of Saab part # 12790707. A leak was identified at a service stop for another concern. The high point of the leak is immediately below the power steering reservoir cap but fluid has leaked done the hoses and onto the oil cooler. The oil was changed a week ago and a minor leak was noticed when the 9-3 was on a lift from underneath the car this weekend. The mechanic thought maybe the fluid was the recently changed oil since it was a light color.

    I became concerned after getting the 9-3 home and looking at the power steering fluid reservoir and pump since they were covered in fluid and were above the oil cooler, that I might need to replace the power steering pump. After doing research online and watching some YouTube videos I became aware that a power steering fluid leak could occur at the reservoir cap gasket. Additionally, I became concerned with the power steering fluid level and possibly needing to add fluid to the reservoir. I have had no problems at all with the power steering. So, I measured the power steering fluid level and it was somewhat low. I then refilled the power steering fluid to what I estimated to be the normal level.

    So, this is what I then found on close inspection of the cap: The cap has 2 plastic prongs which fit into 2 grooves in the reservoir. After one fits the cap onto the reservoir it twists into place to seal the cap on the reservoir. The gasket is metal and is held in place inside the cap by the two plastic prongs. One of my two plastic prongs was broken off and the metal gasket was missing. I found the metal gasket still in the motor bay. I have ordered the replacement cap. In the meantime I reinserted the metal gasket inside the cap and refitted the cap carefully back onto the reservoir and tightened the cap. Today I drove my 9-3 without problem and having cleaned the power steering reservoir area yesterday there does not seem to be a leak today.

    At my oil change last week I saw a same black part discarded. The oil change service sheet states: power steering fluid full and no oil leaks. In other words I watched my cap be broken at the oil change without anything being said to me. Having taken off and replaced the power steering fluid cap several times to measure the fluid level myself it would be easy to break one of the cap's prongs.

    So, if you notice a power steering fluid leak on your reservoir check the cap. If one of the prongs is broken get a new cap. My leak was caused by the metal gasket having fallen out. Even though I have a cheap temporary fix, I'm still getting a new cap. Too much pressure forcing the cap on or off will break one of the prongs. I hope this helps someone else in the future.

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  2. #2
    Saab Enthusiast
    Join Date
    13 Dec 2015
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    72
    Saab(s)
    2008 9-3SS, 2009 9-3XWD
    Thumbs Up:   3
    Name:  IMG_6956.JPG
Views: 18
Size:  82.9 KBName:  IMG_6954.JPG
Views: 18
Size:  94.7 KB
    This is the broken cap which has been replaced. The new cap is a very secure fit and no leaks. You can see the metal gasket which just falls out of the cap.

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