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Old 02-07-2009, 01:02 PM   #1
usa4624
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2002 SL1
Default 07 Aura XE 3.5 - Overheating / Temperature Fluctuation - Update

I took my Aura to a fourth dealer because of the temperature fluctuation and I started smelling coolant when I turned on the heat. They diagnosed it as a bad heater core, and replaced the core, trashing the interior of my car in the process.

They cleaned up the grease prints and hooked up the seatbelt, but would not fix the dashboard. They told me "The dashboard was not aligned properly when I bought the car. All of the 2007 Saturn Auras have dashboards that do not line up even with the door panels." My memory (and photos) say otherwise.

Also, I was told "Constant temperature fluctuation is normal. It shows the cooling system is functioning properly"

- and -

"It is also normal for the car to run hotter on warm days than on cold days."

Believe it or not, this is the second dealer to tell me this. Even more infuriating, nobody can tell me why the car warmed up to the same temperature for the first year and 50,000 miles I owned it, and not the temperature fluctuates constantly.

To make things even worse, the coolant smell has come back. I noticed it yesterday driving back from International Falls, MN, and it is worse than ever. I think either the new heater core has failed already, or something is not hooked up correctly.

At any rate, I'm still scratching my head and searching for suggestions.

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Old 02-07-2009, 01:24 PM   #2
Phaeton Driver
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2007 AURA XR
Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 - Overheating / Temperature Fluctuation - Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by usa4624 View Post
I took my Aura to a fourth dealer because of the temperature fluctuation and I started smelling coolant when I turned on the heat. They diagnosed it as a bad heater core, and replaced the core, trashing the interior of my car in the process.

They cleaned up the grease prints and hooked up the seatbelt, but would not fix the dashboard. They told me "The dashboard was not aligned properly when I bought the car. All of the 2007 Saturn Auras have dashboards that do not line up even with the door panels." My memory (and photos) say otherwise.

Also, I was told "Constant temperature fluctuation is normal. It shows the cooling system is functioning properly"

- and -

"It is also normal for the car to run hotter on warm days than on cold days."

Believe it or not, this is the second dealer to tell me this. Even more infuriating, nobody can tell me why the car warmed up to the same temperature for the first year and 50,000 miles I owned it, and not the temperature fluctuates constantly.

To make things even worse, the coolant smell has come back. I noticed it yesterday driving back from International Falls, MN, and it is worse than ever. I think either the new heater core has failed already, or something is not hooked up correctly.

At any rate, I'm still scratching my head and searching for suggestions.
In My Humble Opinion
"Your dealer is either inept or to lazy to try and fix your car.
I live in the desert where the temps reach 115+
With my A/C on, MY AURA RUNS WITH THE TEMP GAGE JUST BELOW THE MID MARK. that would be between 3 and 4 O'clock on your analog watch.
When driving in Oregon and Washington at Christmas time, the outside air temp was between 20 and 30 degrees and MY TEMP GAGE WAS BETWEEN 3 AND 4 O'CLOCK.

If the thermostat is working correctly, your water pump is working correctly and your
coolant is the correct mixture of anti-freeze and water, you should not see fluctuations or ever smell anything.

A number of posters here have had heater core problems that resulted in coolant leaks into the interior of the car. They noticed the smell first.

You need to contact Saturn and report your problem then find another dealership, because yours isn't doing it's job."
Again, this is my opinion, you do what you feel you need to do.
Good Luck

Last edited by Phaeton Driver; 02-07-2009 at 01:31 PM..

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Old 02-07-2009, 02:10 PM   #3
usa4624
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 - Overheating / Temperature Fluctuation - Update

Sadly, this is the third dealer I've been to in Illinois that tells me this is normal.

Here are the photos I showed the service manager; he said it was normal to see this much fluctuation in 6 miles of highway driving. It's never done this before the initial problem.

I have written the CAC once before on this issue - all they did was send me back to the dealer that couldn't find any problems and would not do any work on the car. They took the dealer's side that everything was normal, and inferred I don't know what I am talking about. Is there a way to make the CAC more useful? I don't mind sending another letter, but am skeptical from my last experience with them.

I do appreciate the advice, and agree with it all - but I'm having trouble getting any Saturn dealer (actually 3) of the CAC to do anything to fix my problems.
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 - Overheating / Temperature Fluctuation - Update

Man, I am so sorry to hear you are still suffering with this odd issue.

Honestly, for my Aura, I have never once ever seen the temp gauge above the half-way point.

Generally it stays just under the halfway point all the time. Like exactly in the same spot, it's almost odd in that respect. Even on days when the temp was in the 90s, as well as days in the -10s.

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Old 02-08-2009, 09:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 - Overheating / Temperature Fluctuation - Update

my daughters 07 aura xe 3.5 has always done like your pictures. doesnt go above half but up to it and then back down. no coolant smell though

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Old 02-08-2009, 11:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 - Overheating / Temperature Fluctuation - Update

Totally off topic, but my cruise light is in the speedometer. Weird.

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Old 02-09-2009, 01:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 - Overheating / Temperature Fluctuation - Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by usa4624 View Post
Sadly, this is the third dealer I've been to in Illinois that tells me this is normal.

Here are the photos I showed the service manager; he said it was normal to see this much fluctuation in 6 miles of highway driving. It's never done this before the initial problem.

I have written the CAC once before on this issue - all they did was send me back to the dealer that couldn't find any problems and would not do any work on the car. They took the dealer's side that everything was normal, and inferred I don't know what I am talking about. Is there a way to make the CAC more useful? I don't mind sending another letter, but am skeptical from my last experience with them.

I do appreciate the advice, and agree with it all - but I'm having trouble getting any Saturn dealer (actually 3) of the CAC to do anything to fix my problems.
Question: Do you hear the fans kick into high speed when the temp go over 3-O'clock position?
If yes, that would explain the raise and drop in temp.
But at 28 deg. there is no way your engine should ever get hot enough to need the fans.
Coolant smell is definitely something they should be able to duplicate and fix. The other poster here that had that same symptom had the dealer replace the entire heater core, which fixed the odor and wet carpet under the passenger seat.

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Old 02-09-2009, 05:29 PM   #8
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2008 SKY Red Line
Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 - Overheating / Temperature Fluctuation - Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by usa4624 View Post
Sadly, this is the third dealer I've been to in Illinois that tells me this is normal.

Here are the photos I showed the service manager; he said it was normal to see this much fluctuation in 6 miles of highway driving. It's never done this before the initial problem.

I have written the CAC once before on this issue - all they did was send me back to the dealer that couldn't find any problems and would not do any work on the car. They took the dealer's side that everything was normal, and inferred I don't know what I am talking about. Is there a way to make the CAC more useful? I don't mind sending another letter, but am skeptical from my last experience with them.

I do appreciate the advice, and agree with it all - but I'm having trouble getting any Saturn dealer (actually 3) of the CAC to do anything to fix my problems.

Has anyone of your dealers taken a look at the head gasket??? I had a very similar problem with my Honda Civic. First I noticed the temp gauge was at 3 o'clock when, previously, it's always been between the 3 to 4 o'clock position. Then I noticed the smell of coolant - faint, but definitely noticeable. I took it to the dealer and they installed a new thermostat and put some dye(?) in the coolant and told me to come back in a week unless things had drastically changed for the worse. Sure enough, I took it in for the check-up and it had a coolant leak due to a head gasket issue. They rebuilt the top half of the engine (redid the head?) approx. 7 years and 40k miles ago. It's run like a top ever since getting 30+ mpg.

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Old 02-18-2009, 01:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 - Overheating / Temperature Fluctuation - Update

So far, different dealers have replaced the water pump, head gasket, intake gasket, heater core, 1 hose clip and 4 coolant overflow reservoirs. The head gasket stopped coolant from getting into the oil, but hasn't stopped the temp. fluctuation.

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