SaturnFans.com
what's new (beta) - classifieds - forums - photos


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn S-Series > S-Series Tech
Register FAQ Members List Groups Calendar Chat Room Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-07-2013, 08:30 AM   #1
liquid13
Junior Member
liquid13 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 15

1998 SL2
Default 1998 SL2 4-Cylinder Overheating at Idle

Yesterday while waiting outside my son's school to pick him up, I noticed the temperature hand on the temp gauge was almost red-lining. However, the low coolant/overheating light on the console was not flashing. I should also add that I did have the A/C going at the time, which was working properly. Once I started driving, the temp hand on the gauge dropped back to normal levels, but again while stopped and idling at a stop sign and when I began investigating the problem and the car was running at idle, the temp hand would creep up once again.

I checked my coolant level and it's good. I can't find any type of leaks in any of the hoses and there is no smell of coolant generally coming from the vehicle. I did notice that when the car was idling with the A/C on, the radiator fan would never engage. The same goes for when the A/C is off.

However the radiator fan does work as while driving, I pulled over and checked it in case it was the fan motor. Again, it was running. However, as the A/C compressor engages and disengages when idling, I noticed the air coming through the vent gradually becomes hot. Then upon and when driving, the air coming through the A/C is, and remains, cold.

It's also worth noting that the low coolant light did flash one time this past Friday. I check it and it was indeed just below the minimum line. I immediately added the proper coolant to the proper level and haven't seen
the low coolant light flash since.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks!
Alan

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to liquid13's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help liquid13 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
liquid13 is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 05-07-2013, 01:02 PM   #2
el diablo viejo
Senior Member
el diablo viejo will become famous soon enough
 
el diablo viejo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,419

1994 SW1
2000 SW2
Default Re: 1998 SL2 4-Cylinder Overheating at Idle

There are several components to check, but first should be the ects and it's connector and wiring. Do you know if the original plastic tip one has ( and needs ) to be replaced with the brass tipped one ?

...
97 sl2 a/t 104 K
1989 GMC 3500 454 129 K, 1969 442 455 rat rod

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to el diablo viejo's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help el diablo viejo reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
el diablo viejo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2013, 01:29 PM   #3
BV22
Master Member
BV22 is a glorious beacon of lightBV22 is a glorious beacon of lightBV22 is a glorious beacon of lightBV22 is a glorious beacon of lightBV22 is a glorious beacon of light
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,059

2002 SC1
Default Re: 1998 SL2 4-Cylinder Overheating at Idle

+ 1 on replacing the ECTS if not already done.

The a/c, if a factory system, does not cycle. When it is on, the compressor runs constantly and uses a variable displacement system to adjust for load. If yours is cycling, something is wrong.

When the a/c is on, the cooling fan should run constantly, unless travelliing at freeway speeds. These fan motors will die eventually. You can power the fan straight from the battery to see if it works. I'd also check the a/c and fan relays for proper operation.

...
BV22
2002 SC1 5M
301k 12/17

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to BV22's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help BV22 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
BV22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2013, 03:04 PM   #4
PlasticCarsRock
Master Member
PlasticCarsRock is a jewel in the roughPlasticCarsRock is a jewel in the roughPlasticCarsRock is a jewel in the rough
 
PlasticCarsRock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Brookline, MA
Posts: 4,317
 

1995 SL2
Default Re: 1998 SL2 4-Cylinder Overheating at Idle

The radiator fan should not be on while driving at any significant sustained speed, with the a/c off. If should only be on for a short period if the coolant temperature rises significantly (which should only happen when sitting for prolonged periods at slow speeds, ie. traffic), and should turn off again, shortly after the temperature returns to normal.

The fan should ALWAYS be on when the A/C is on (except for prolonged periods above 70mph, but you would never know that it turned off without an ammeter). If the fan is off with the a/c on, the compressor will cycle at low speeds because the lack of cooling is causing the high side pressure to build up so much that the safety switch is kicking in to prevent the system from exploding. The safety switch will prevent immediate damage (sudden catastrophic failure), but this should be fixed asap, because it is no good for the a/c system. (As has already been said, if everything is working correctly, the a/c will not cycle.)

Are you 100% sure the fan was running under it's own power, not coasting? When on, the fan should be very loud and blow a significant amount of air (you should be able to hear it clearly just by opening the window at low speeds). There is only one fan speed, and it is fast.

The ECTS is always a good thing to check, however, a failed ECTS will prevent the gauge from showing that the engine is overheating, even if it is (the gauge and fan operation are based on the same sensor, so if it reads low, the fan won't turn on, but the gauge will also read too low, so you won't know it's overheating). What is the "normal" position for the gauge, when driving on the highway? It should be 3/8 on the gauge. An ECTS problem will also not cause the a/c problem. (In summary--testing it is wise, but it is not likely your problem (it's definitely not the main problem, at least).)

If the fan isn't coming on with the a/c working, the fan operation is DEFINITELY a big problem (not necessarily the only problem, but it does explain everything), but that doesn't necessarily mean the motor is bad. It is most likely the fan motor or the relay. Some relatively simple testing with a voltmeter or even a test light will confirm what the problem is. First, check for power at the fan connection with the car running, and the a/c on. If you have power, re-check it with the connector plugged in to the fan: back probe the wires, being extremely careful not to cause a short circuit. If there's still power, the fan motor is bad. If there was never any power, check the relay (check for power and ground at the control circuit to verify the PCM and wiring, then check the output to confirm the relay is bad). If you had power with the fan unplugged, but none with it plugged in, there is high resistance in the circuit, which will require more extensive diagnosis. Alternately (if you don't have a voltmeter or test light) you can use two jumper wires to provide power and ground to the fan motor, to see if it operates).

...
High compression build: .033" shaved/ported head, flat-faced valves; gen3 rods, pistons, tie-plate; OE header, custom CAI, SDA street cams with adjustable sprockets, WBO2, SAFCII, LSD. ASE A1-A8+L1

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to PlasticCarsRock's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help PlasticCarsRock reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
PlasticCarsRock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2013, 07:14 AM   #5
liquid13
Junior Member
liquid13 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 15

1998 SL2
Default Re: 1998 SL2 4-Cylinder Overheating at Idle

All,

Thanks for the input!

I did change the coolant temperature sensor and that didn't help. It's still wanting to overheat when idling. It's a slow process, but it's happening nonetheless.

Monday when I first noticed this issue, the cooling fan never once engaged while at idle. However, a couple of times while I was driving it Monday I did pull over, popped the hood, and the fan was running while having the A/C running. PlasticCarsRock, as for whether or not it was coasting or actually engaged? I don't know for sure but I don't recall hearing that roaring from the cooling fan. I know the sound you're referring to when that thing engages under power, and again I definitely haven't heard that.

Yesterday though, Tuesday 5/7/13, the cooling fan never once engaged. Not at idle, nor while driving. Thus, I'm beginning to lean that direction. Either a bad fan motor, fan, or relay issues. Unfortunately, I don't have a volt meter to test any type of relay or power issues. Will likely have to go the alternative method.

Thanks again!

Last edited by liquid13; 05-08-2013 at 07:21 AM..

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to liquid13's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help liquid13 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
liquid13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2013, 08:13 AM   #6
madpogue
Super Member
madpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud of
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Madison, WI USA
Posts: 25,713
 

1996 SW2
Default Re: 1998 SL2 4-Cylinder Overheating at Idle

Get a voltmeter; it costs less than any one component (other than a bulb or fuse) that you would need to test with it.

When you start the engine and engage the A/C, does the fan come on, roaring?

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to madpogue's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help madpogue reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
madpogue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2013, 08:31 AM   #7
liquid13
Junior Member
liquid13 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 15

1998 SL2
Default Re: 1998 SL2 4-Cylinder Overheating at Idle

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Get a voltmeter; it costs less than any one component (other than a bulb or fuse) that you would need to test with it.

When you start the engine and engage the A/C, does the fan come on, roaring?
Yeah it's looking like I'm going to need to invest in one.

No. The fan doesn't come on at all now.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to liquid13's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help liquid13 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
liquid13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2013, 08:54 AM   #8
alordofchaos
Super Member
alordofchaos is a splendid one to beholdalordofchaos is a splendid one to beholdalordofchaos is a splendid one to beholdalordofchaos is a splendid one to beholdalordofchaos is a splendid one to beholdalordofchaos is a splendid one to beholdalordofchaos is a splendid one to behold
 
alordofchaos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central MI
Posts: 11,151
 

1998 SL2
1997 SL2
Default Re: 1998 SL2 4-Cylinder Overheating at Idle

richpiin's fan-check video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4pSWFE4kdQ

On a 98, your fan should kick on when the temp gauge hits around 1/2 or little over, and as mentioned, is very noticeable at idle. First time the fan kicked on in my car, probably a year or two after I started driving it, I thought something was wrong - did not recognize that new sound

These cars have really good cooling capacity - as mentioned, my fan did not turn on in probably the first two years of ownership. It was only when I was stuck in traffic/construction on a hot day that the fan came on

...
I'm not worthy to grovel in the shadow of Signmaster's wisdom

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 124k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to alordofchaos's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help alordofchaos reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
alordofchaos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2013, 11:32 PM   #9
liquid13
Junior Member
liquid13 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 15

1998 SL2
Default Re: 1998 SL2 4-Cylinder Overheating at Idle

Just want to give everyone and update. Through you guys recommended testing of the cooling fan, that was indeed the problem. The motor was burnt out. After 161,000+ miles on it, I can't complain. Got it changed out with a new one, any that thing is roaring like a lion.

Thanks everyone for your input and help! I GREATLY appreciate it. Hopefully this new one, & in general the car itself, will last another 161K+ miles.

Thanks again!
Alan

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to liquid13's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help liquid13 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
liquid13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1998 Saturn SL Overheating HELP PLEASE!! Luci S-Series Tech 6 09-03-2011 06:09 PM
1998 Saturn overheating kddeford S-Series General 5 06-29-2011 07:46 PM
1998 sw2 overheating ahmari35 S-Series Tech 6 02-23-2007 09:03 PM
1998 SL2 overheating w/o fan on scottirb S-Series General 22 07-08-2006 07:14 PM
1998 SL-2 Overheating problem when at idle? These cars are junk! GM MAN S-Series Tech 34 02-18-2006 03:26 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:16 AM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.