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Old 04-23-2010, 08:52 PM   #1
jeepthing
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Default 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

What would cause the cooling level light to blink a few minutes after starting and never stops? I checked and cleaned the cooling bottle. How does the sensor in the bottle work. (not the Float part but what the wire plugs into.) Is it a reed switch or somthing more complicated.

Is there supposed to be a voltage at the plug that can be measured?

Everything else works. I checked the temp sensor and it works. i unplugged the sensor in the air box and get a code. I am not sure about the trans sensor and with all the threads in these sights I am not sure if evan matters.

I just bought the car and replaced the motor so i have no idea if it is somthing that I missed.

Any help appreciated.

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Old 04-24-2010, 06:16 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

The coolant reservoir sensor connection is on the underside of the reservoir. I suspect it is a reed switch, but am not positive. Did the float move freely after you did the cleaning?.

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Old 04-24-2010, 12:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

yes it does I went to the junk yard and grabed everything related to the cooling temp sensors and none of them made the light go away. Would that light come on if i had no catylatic converter.

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Old 04-24-2010, 04:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

The float inside the coolant reservoir tends to get stuck sometimes. Removing the reservoir, cleaning with out water and dish soap then rinsing usually solves the problem. If it doesn't, then you'll need a replacement reservoir because the float isn't replaceable.

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Old 04-24-2010, 06:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

Did the cleaning of the tank and even replaced it. The light blinks a few seconds after start up and stays blinking the whole time while driving. replaced the temp sensor in both the head and the transmission, and the air cleaner sensor. Nothing helped out. Would the computer do this??

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Old 04-24-2010, 09:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepthing View Post
Did the cleaning of the tank and even replaced it.
When you cleaned it, afterward could you shake it and hear the float rattle?

When you replaced it, was it with a brand new one or a junkyard one with a possible stuck float?

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Old 04-25-2010, 08:27 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

Everything works both floats rattle and everything has voltage but light still on?

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Old 04-25-2010, 12:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

I couldn't find the electrical symbol interpretation for the coolant level sensor in the '99 FSM or '03 L300 FSM. A coolant sensor is a coolant sensor or at least that's what I see. Anyway, the following is a brief schematic of the coolant sensor and I presume the symbol represents a magnetic reed switch that simply operates on magnetic attraction to open or close a set of contacts in a sealed unit. The float would contain a small magnet and the sealed reed switch permanently positioned in a plastic column for the float ring to allow movement up and down. Also, a description from the FSM is reprinted here.

Engine Coolant Temp/Low Coolant/Auto Trans Fluid Temp Telltale

The PCM monitors the inputs of the ECT sensor, transmission fluid temperature sensor and the coolant level switch to determine if the ECT, automatic transmission fluid temperature and coolant level are within normal operating ranges.

When either of the sensors signals a temperature that is above the specified range or the coolant level switch opens due to a low coolant level in the coolant surge tank, the PCM will ground circuit 35 and turns the engine coolant temp/low coolant/auto trans fluid temp telltale indicator lamp ON to inform the operator of the vehicle that one of the above conditions has occurred. During engine start-up the engine coolant temp/low coolant/auto trans fluid temp telltale indicator lamp is turned ON by the PCM for a bulb check.


Based on the descriptions above, a low coolant level (float below minimum coolant level) opens the coolant switch. Disconnecting the coolant sensor and shorting the two pins on the connector would be as if the float ring were above the low level line in the reservoir. Try it and see if the low coolant light turns off; turning off the light means replacing the coolant reservoir. If not, then either the ects or transmission temperature sensor is faulty. Since the ects does double duty, input to the pcm as well as temperature display, a good display showing the needle movement as the engine warms up eliminates a faulty ects. This would leave the transmission temperature sensor as the other faulty sensor.

Either the low coolant sensor or transmission temperature sensor is faulty.
Attached Images
File Type: gif eng coolant sensor.gif (23.5 KB, 59 views)

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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Old 04-27-2010, 11:30 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

I did ground out the coolant bottle switch and it did nothing and the Coolant temp sensor works because it shows temp on the dash. The transmission sensor has been replaced and nothing, still blinks. I was wonderingif anybody has the voltage for all of the plugs and the resistance of the parts. Anything would help.

Bottle is like brand new so are all of the sensors,wtf. Need to stick with chrysler..

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Old 04-27-2010, 11:34 AM   #10
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepthing View Post
I did ground out the coolant bottle switch and it did nothing and the Coolant temp sensor works because it shows temp on the dash. The transmission sensor has been replaced and nothing, still blinks. I was wonderingif anybody has the voltage for all of the plugs and the resistance of the parts. Anything would help.

Bottle is like brand new so are all of the sensors,wtf. Need to stick with chrysler..
The sensor connector could be bad as well. It happens.

Parts get old. Things go out. Even on Chryslers.

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Old 04-27-2010, 12:41 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

If it's blinking, it's the level sensor; it has nothing to do with temperature. Disconnect the level sensor connector from the reservoir, and jumper the connector terminals. If the light goes off, there's something funky with the sensor. If it doesn't, there's a break in one of those two wires between that connector and the PCM.

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Old 09-12-2010, 09:37 AM   #12
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

This happened to me this morning on a manual trans 99 SC. Both coolant level and temp dash lights continued flashing several minutes after starting the engine. Though mine quit blinking as I was parking it. I didn't have time to muck with it so left it and brought out the 2000 SL. Thanks for asking this question for me OP ;) Seems like the cure doesn't involve digging into the engine too far.

Since the dash temp gauge seems to work normally are we correct to assume that we can eliminate the ECTS from our troubleshooting efforts?

At what point in the life of the car would you change the water pump? On other cars it would be at every timing belt change. No belt on this I figure that it's the original pump 10+ years and 85K miles but I don't have original receipts to verify.

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Old 09-12-2010, 09:54 AM   #13
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

Aside from what everyone else has mentioned:

What is the condition of the top driver's side of the radiator as well as the water pump?

If this isn't an issue electrically, the next thing would be to check for an extremely small pinhole leak on the radiator as mentioned above, as well as a possible slow leak at the water pump where it mates with the engine block.

Even though you don't see any puddles, if the water pump is leaking it will spray over the passenger wheel well and drip along the frame on the passenger side.

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Old 09-12-2010, 09:55 AM   #14
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

The temp gauge needle reflecting coolant temps changing as the engine warms up eliminates it but not completely. All S-series up to '01 have the original faulty plastic coolant sensor and need replacing whether or not they're cracked. Brass sensors replace these faulty ones. Use the Forum Jump below to find the How-to tab for all the info about the ects.

Water pumps only need replacing when they leak; a serious drop in coolant level would mean spending time looking over the entire cooling system to assess what's needed in the way of bulging hoses with diameters larger than their clamps, thermostat if temps stay at the 1/4 mark, radiator leaking by the transmission fitting and coolant residue under the water pump. Another way to foresee water pump failure would be to release the belt tension and rock the water pump pulley from side to side; bearings don't rock unless they're already worn to tell you of impending failure. Access is through the wheel well after removing the tire and splash shield unless you can squeeze your hand around between the fender and engine to grab the water pump pulley.

Top off the coolant level some more, above the level required and see if the level indicator turns off. It won't hurt to over fill.

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Old 09-12-2010, 12:45 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

Quote:
Originally Posted by roid View Post
This happened to me this morning on a manual trans 99 SC. Both coolant level and temp dash lights continued flashing several minutes after starting the engine. Though mine quit blinking as I was parking it. I didn't have time to muck with it so left it and brought out the 2000 SL. Thanks for asking this question for me OP Seems like the cure doesn't involve digging into the engine too far.
That's actually one light. As mentioned above, if it's blinking, it's indicating low LEVEL. Either you're actually low on coolant, or the float in the reservoir is stuck.

Quote:
Since the dash temp gauge seems to work normally are we correct to assume that we can eliminate the ECTS from our troubleshooting efforts?
If it's the original plastic ECTS, you should replace it anyway. But it isn't related to a blinking coolant light.

Quote:
At what point in the life of the car would you change the water pump? On other cars it would be at every timing belt change. No belt on this I figure that it's the original pump 10+ years and 85K miles but I don't have original receipts to verify.
You replace the water pump when it leaks. The only reason the water pump is done at the same time as the timing belt on SOME cars (most notably Hondas) is because on _those_ cars, the water pump is behind the timing cover, driven by the timing belt, and the timing belt job constitutes half of the work required for the water pump. Our engines' water pumps are driven more conventionally, by the serpentine belt.

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Old 09-15-2010, 06:12 AM   #16
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

"That's actually one light. As mentioned above, if it's blinking, it's indicating low LEVEL."
I had this problem last year because I was low on coolant. A top off fixed it for me. Funny thing though, it would only happen when it was cold outside and I never could find a leak, theres no water in the oil the level never dropped after I topped it off.

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Old 09-15-2010, 11:24 AM   #17
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

My car (2000 SW2) was doing the same thing recently, and I could not figure it out since I checked everything, and I had just replaced the ECTS from the plastic to the brass. Turned out that my wiring harness for the ECTS was shot. I replaced it and the problem hasn't come back. It's a thought!

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Old 11-11-2012, 09:03 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

ok, i am having this problem with my 1995 and its NOT the reservoir because i jumpered the connector and the light still blinks. Ok, my next guess would be the ects connector but wich one because this car has 2, one for just the gauge and one for the pcm. The gauge reads correctly and the car runs good but im thinking its one of the connectors?

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Old 11-12-2012, 08:04 PM   #19
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

anyone?

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Old 11-12-2012, 09:54 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1999 saturn sc2 Blinking low coolant light

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1993 View Post
anyone?
Check the thread you started, rather than the one you hijacked; two replies there.

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