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Old 09-12-2011, 02:18 PM   #1
SATURNCHIC
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Question 2004 Saturn L300-coolant/chk engine

I had an incident occur this morning where my Saturn's check engine light was blinking and the car was shaking for all of about 1 minute while at a stop light on my way to work. Over the weekend the coolant sensor came on for a minute but then never came back on. So, I didnt address it. When my car starting acting up this morning, I drove it to my dad's house and told him what had happened a few minutes prior and about the coolant. The coolant did register a little lower than it should have so he placed water in the coolant tank. It drove fine a couple miles to autozone where I was informed that since the service engine light did not remain on they can not get a code/reading. I drove it 20 miles to work with no problems or lights flashing or staying on. Could low coolant have caused the problem with my car temporarily shaking and the engine light flashing or something far more serious.

-Saturnchic

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Old 09-12-2011, 07:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300-coolant/chk engine

You're probably describing two issues that aren't related. The SES blinking usually means a catalytic converter damaging event has occurred. Any SES indicator that stays ON is accompanied by an error code stored in memory for retrieval by most readers as long as the SES indicator remains ON. Even when the engine is shut down to go into Autozone and return with someone able to plug in a reader and retrieve codes, the SES indicator usually returns when the ignition switch is turned ON. Most of the time. Sometimes there are the unexplained events where the SES error goes away on its own at the next ignition switch cycle as you found out. A flashing SES indicator almost always points to something making the engine run with unburned fuel exiting into the exhaust system, only to burn inside the catcon and if allowed to continue (flashing SES) for less than 50 miles the catcon can burn up. Catcons are expensive to replace as they're part of emissions control. Is it time for replacement parts? New plugs@100k miles? Oil and filter changed regularly? Other more expensive maintenance done?

The coolant level indicator is just that; an indicator to alert you to lower levels of coolant and to top it off or be aware that a possible cooling system leak exists.

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Old 09-12-2011, 08:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300-coolant/chk engine

The engine light only flashed for the 60 seconds the car was shaking this morning and ran great the rest of the day....50+ miles w/ no further check engine light at all. That's what leads me to think that maybe it is the spark plugs as you say or something else that has caused a misfire.

The oil change is over due by a couple thousand miles. The oil is not low. I am usually on top of the oil changes. The car has 104,000 miles on it.
During the life time of the vehicle, i have only had to replace the fuel pump and alternator once.


I will look into changing the spark plugs and an oil change this weekend and see how she runs. I have heard that these cars are known to have Ignition coil problems as well. I don't believe the spark plugs have ever been changed.

Thank you for the reply.....!!!!!

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Old 09-12-2011, 09:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300-coolant/chk engine

Although the engine's due for new plugs that may just be answer you need, the timing belt (expen$ive) should be replaced at 100k miles for long term reliability.

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Old 09-13-2011, 08:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300-coolant/chk engine

I didnt know that the timing belt should be replaced for maintencance. Thank you for the info.

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