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Old 04-04-2015, 11:51 PM   #1
cjhaddox
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Default my 96 sl2 only runs hot while driving but doesn't lose colant

Ok I'm new here. I have a 96 sl2 base model with manual transmission. It runs warm only while driving. If I stop and let it idle it will cool down to the normal temperature. The oil is not milky it, it doesn't leak, and it doesn't lose coolant. The car can idle for hours and never go above the quarter mark. I don't believe it has ever overheated. I noticed the coolant doesn't circulate like it used to. I removed the thermostat, bought a new coolant cap and changed the water pump twice. I flushed the system with Prestone radiator flush them later on battery acid still no circulation. What do I do?

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Old 04-05-2015, 03:02 AM   #2
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2001 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Re: my 96 sl2 only runs hot while driving but doesn't lose colant

Have you changed the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor (ECTS) from the old, crappy resin type to the newer, better brass tipped type on this car yet?

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Old 04-05-2015, 03:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: my 96 sl2 only runs hot while driving but doesn't lose colant

Have you changed the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor (ECTS) from the old, crappy resin type to the newer, better brass tipped type on this car yet?

...
Saturns:
1993 SW2 MT 179,000 hard Boston city miles ("Rozzie")
Gone but not forgotten:
2001 LW300 ("Elle")
1999 SW2 MT
Project cars:
1966 Corvair Monza convertible
1928 Ford Model A Tudor Sedan

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Old 04-05-2015, 03:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: my 96 sl2 only runs hot while driving but doesn't lose colant

Have you changed the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor (ECTS) from the old, crappy resin type to the newer, better brass tipped type on this car yet?

...
Saturns:
1993 SW2 MT 179,000 hard Boston city miles ("Rozzie")
Gone but not forgotten:
2001 LW300 ("Elle")
1999 SW2 MT
Project cars:
1966 Corvair Monza convertible
1928 Ford Model A Tudor Sedan

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Old 04-05-2015, 03:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: my 96 sl2 only runs hot while driving but doesn't lose colant

Have you changed the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor (ECTS) from the crappy old resin type to the newer, better brass - tipped type on this car yet?

...
Saturns:
1993 SW2 MT 179,000 hard Boston city miles ("Rozzie")
Gone but not forgotten:
2001 LW300 ("Elle")
1999 SW2 MT
Project cars:
1966 Corvair Monza convertible
1928 Ford Model A Tudor Sedan

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Old 04-05-2015, 06:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: my 96 sl2 only runs hot while driving but doesn't lose colant

Omg, I was having troubles with my internet connection. Sorry for the multiple repeat posts!

...
Saturns:
1993 SW2 MT 179,000 hard Boston city miles ("Rozzie")
Gone but not forgotten:
2001 LW300 ("Elle")
1999 SW2 MT
Project cars:
1966 Corvair Monza convertible
1928 Ford Model A Tudor Sedan

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Old 04-05-2015, 07:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: my 96 sl2 only runs hot while driving but doesn't lose colant

Cleaned out the return line from the head to the reservoir yet?
It's that line right next to the TB that then goes to the firewall, follows it around to the reservoir. If it plugs up it's usually right at the intake manifold so pull the line off and shove a pipe cleaner in there and clean it out real good.

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Old 04-05-2015, 08:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: my 96 sl2 only runs hot while driving but doesn't lose colant

Did that the pcm runs slow so I put a t in and installed a mechanical one

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Old 04-05-2015, 09:22 AM   #9
Signmaster
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1995 SL1
Default Re: my 96 sl2 only runs hot while driving but doesn't lose colant

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjhaddox View Post
Did that the pcm runs slow so I put a t in and installed a mechanical one
Can you word this so it makes more sense to us? If the line was flowing, I can't see why you would put a T in it, and in any case it would have nothing to do with the PCM.


There is a lot of information you should clarify if you want any advice over what has already been given.

1. What do you consider running "hot"? What is the gauge position and have you ever confirmed the gauge position vs actual coolant temps with a scan type tool or thermometer in the reservoir?

2. Have you replaced or otherwise checked the ECTS that Cityhawk mentioned? This device controls the mixture, as well as sends the signal to the PCM that displays the temp on the gauge. If this sensor is shot, there is a chance that what you are seeing on the gauge is not accurate.

3. Is there currently a thermostat that fits properly in the housing installed on the car? If so, have you leak checked it to make sure it functions and only opens after the car warms up? If you don't have a thermostat in the car this could be an issue with your circulation.

4. How did you determine lack of coolant flow?

5. Is the radiator fan manually wired to stay on, or does it function automatically when the car gets hot? If the car can literally idle for hours and not overheat, chances are your fan is wired to stay on unless you are doing it in sub zero temps and/or you're blasting the heater on high fan settings.

6. How in the world did you determine that the PCM "runs slow" and link this to a cooling system problem?



There is nothing too complex about these cooling systems, and if you can change the water pump you should have the mechanical skills needed to fix it. You just need a proper troubleshooting path and diagnosis to determine what is actually broken first.

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