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Old 01-13-2017, 05:08 AM   #1
Duhminic
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Default Question about ECTS Saturn sl 2000

Hey everyone i just have a quick question about my car. Ive seen that everyone is saying that the ECTS before 2001 were not the best and should be replaced and the temperature should indicate at the 1/2 mark. Well today I've replaced the sensor with a junkyard one of the newer ones, i thought maybe it would show a difference since the older one was cracked, but its still showing it at the 1/4 mark. I will be going to auto zone tomorrow for a brand new one and see if that changes it. But i guess the question here is for my car should it be at 1/4 mark or 1/2?
Saturn sl 2000 140,000 miles

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Old 01-13-2017, 07:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: Question about ECTS Saturn sl 2000

Don't go nuts over this. If the one you installed is the brass tip, you're most likely fine. I have owned 3 Saturn SL2 models. And my oldest girl still has her 2002 SL. My own were a 96, 99 and a 2001. Only the 96 ever ran the gauge nearby the 1/2 point. The other 2 I have owned and my oldest daughter's all ran a needle width above 1/4. I attribute this to perhaps different actual gauges. Because when checked with an actual thermometer in the tank they all ran the coolant at the same actual temperature. All had brass ECTS sensors, all had the same Stant thermostats also
So if you're a needle width above 1/4 don't worry about it

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Old 01-13-2017, 07:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Question about ECTS Saturn sl 2000

It's has less to do with where the gauge reads than it does what the actual temp is reading, which you will need a scan tool for. ELM327 on Amazon, and a smartphone app (Torque) will help you out there. Generally though, the 3/8 mark on the temp gauge is more often than not considered "normal"

Visually inspect the connector for the ECTS, common for a broken wire there.

Also, consider replacing the thermostat with a Stant brand.

Less commonly talked about is the IATS and it's connector (same as ECTS connector)

A quick search will give you many posts with more details.

Cheers!

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Old 01-13-2017, 07:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Question about ECTS Saturn sl 2000

You know the scan tool gets the same data as the gauge right? So you won't see anything different. Sometimes you have to resort to old basic t/shooting and drop a thermometer in the tank watch the flow and the like. This and ONLY this will give you a TRUE temp

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Old 01-13-2017, 11:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Question about ECTS Saturn sl 2000

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duhminic View Post
But i guess the question here is for my car should it be at 1/4 mark or 1/2?
For most people with 1996-2002 S-series, it should be 3/8 (about halfway between 1/4 and 1/3) but see below
Quote:
Originally Posted by underthehood
You know the scan tool gets the same data as the gauge right? So you won't see anything different. Sometimes you have to resort to old basic t/shooting and drop a thermometer in the tank watch the flow and the like. This and ONLY this will give you a TRUE temp
this is true, but I think what he was trying to say is that the temp gauge is not a precision instrument.

So while the actual coolant temp may be in the right range when hot (200~215, IIRC), the temp gauge could show 1/4, or it could show 1/2 - depending on the car, pretty much what you said in your first post.

Dropping a thermometer in the tank may not be a bad idea, actually.

I had no change after I replaced my ECTS with a brass one, had to solder on a new ECTS connecter (grabbed an IAT connector from the JY)

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Old 01-13-2017, 04:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Question about ECTS Saturn sl 2000

Thanks for all the feedback guys! I think what I'll do is change out the thermostat and see if that changes and I'll let you guys know!

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Old 01-13-2017, 04:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Question about ECTS Saturn sl 2000

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duhminic View Post
Thanks for all the feedback guys! I think what I'll do is change out the thermostat
That seems unnecessary and won't do anything for your temp gauge reading.

It would be cheaper and easier to put a thermometer in the surge tank (reservoir/overflow) and see what the temperature is.

If the car is new to you, then I suppose it doesn't hurt to change the thermostat if you were planning on putting in new coolant, anyway. Are you having other symptoms (no heat in the car, reduced mpg?)

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Old 01-13-2017, 04:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Question about ECTS Saturn sl 2000

Currently just having lower mpg, car has 140.000 miles most things still stock so I thought might as well change it since I need to replace coolant anyways, I also hear that sometimes the thermostat gets stuck open or something like that? Maybe that could be affecting me

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