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Old 07-05-2019, 09:46 PM   #1
psdrummin
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Default diagnostic help

I have a 2007 Saturn Vue V6 3.5

The low coolant warning light has started to go on and off intermittently but the temp gauge is steady at 3/8 and not getting hot. This leads me to believe:

1) either the low coolant sensor in the reservoir tank is bad

2) the electrical connector to the tank is bad (i looked at and it looks pretty clean)

3) the ECT sensor into the engine is bad (which I'd love to see an actual picture of what it looks like and where it is)

My question is rather than replace all three, is there a sure fire way to diagnose which is causing the light to come on and off???

I've read a lot of threads on here but any new insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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Old 07-05-2019, 11:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: diagnostic help

The main difference between the low coolant light and temperature gauge is that one doesn't have anything to do with the other. Rest assured the coolant sensor is operating correctly otherwise several things will occur.

1-any overheating condition, failure of the sensor or disconnection/wire break will generate an error code. Even a lower than normal operating temperature caused by a worn out t-stat will generate an error code, all due to the coolant sensor. As it is, your temperature gauge needle remaining in the same place means your cooling system is fine, neither running cooler nor hotter. If overheating occurs, there may be a red coolant symbol with the gauge needle moved over to the right/hot zone.

2-the coolant level sensor uses a magnetic float to act on a waterproof reed switch to open or close a circuit for signaling low or full coolant levels. When the low coolant light turns on, consider a few things in addition to what you've done. Scum collecting in the coolant container will coat the float and weight it down, usually triggering the low coolant light when the container is showing full coolant. A simple remedy would be overfilling the coolant container above the full mark by about an inch and see if the coolant light turns off. If it does, coolant either needs to be replaced and/or the container flushed with hot soapy water to rid it of scum.

If you search rockauto or other online auto parts sellers with a large database, look up the part for images. Some time spent searching should turn up where the sensor is on the engine block. Perhaps a member here may know and share his/her knowledge.

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Old 07-06-2019, 05:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: diagnostic help

Thanks so much for the info!

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Old 07-06-2019, 07:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: diagnostic help

Presuming the 3.5L Honda engine is used in several model years, someone posted a drawing of the xmission temperature sensor for '07.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=237465

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Old 07-11-2019, 03:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: diagnostic help

Well, I replaced coolant reservoir but problem still remains. I didnt see any float or magnet thing in old reservoir tank or in new one for that matter. I guess it could be the connector into the tank but it looks pretty clean.

I wonder if it is ECT sensor cause I'm not getting any check engine light or other issues? Temp gauge is steady at 3/8 where it always is.

Any thoughts? It has to be either bad connector or ECT sensor? Right?

Thx

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Old 07-11-2019, 04:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: diagnostic help

Here's a drawing for '07 Vue instrument panel cluster. Note the low coolant (19) and high temperature indicator (13). Is this drawing correct? If you replaced the coolant reservoir, is there an electrical connector to it or not?
Attached Images
File Type: gif 2007-09-19_100739_ic.gif (69.3 KB, 5 views)

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Old 07-11-2019, 06:42 PM   #7
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2007 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: diagnostic help

Quote:
Originally Posted by psdrummin View Post
Well, I replaced coolant reservoir but problem still remains. I didnt see any float or magnet thing in old reservoir tank or in new one for that matter. I guess it could be the connector into the tank but it looks pretty clean.

I wonder if it is ECT sensor cause I'm not getting any check engine light or other issues? Temp gauge is steady at 3/8 where it always is.

Any thoughts? It has to be either bad connector or ECT sensor? Right?

Thx
Low coolant sensor is on end of electrical connector.

Sensor can get really "gunked" but can be cleaned 99% of time with strong stream of water.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 3.5 Low Coolant Sensor.jpg (99.0 KB, 4 views)

...
I try to visit forum often but suggest you use private messages if in a rush (comes to cell) and include email address for extracts. I seldom check visitor messages so please don't use.

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Old 07-11-2019, 07:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: diagnostic help

Its is definately (19) low coolant warning. The coolant reservoir does have two prong connector but it looked pristine.

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Old 07-11-2019, 07:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: diagnostic help

Most drawings for the low coolant switch are drawn as closed with full coolant. The circuit basically connects ground to the body control module monitoring coolant level. When coolant falls below the low level mark, the switch opens, disconnecting it from ground, alerting the bcm to turn on the low coolant indicator.

A quick test would be to disconnect the coolant sensor then turn on the ignition switch. The low coolant indicator should turn on. Reconnect and see if the indicator turns off. If the indicator remains on, there are two possibilities; broken wire to the bcm or ground. A continuity test using a dvm can check each wire.

Last edited by fdryer; 07-11-2019 at 08:06 PM..

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Old 07-11-2019, 09:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: diagnostic help

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Most drawings for the low coolant switch are drawn as closed with full coolant. The circuit basically connects ground to the body control module monitoring coolant level. When coolant falls below the low level mark, the switch opens, disconnecting it from ground, alerting the bcm to turn on the low coolant indicator.

A quick test would be to disconnect the coolant sensor then turn on the ignition switch. The low coolant indicator should turn on. Reconnect and see if the indicator turns off. If the indicator remains on, there are two possibilities; broken wire to the bcm or ground. A continuity test using a dvm can check each wire.
Is the BCM at the other end of two prong connector? I'm kinda lost on this one. The low coolant light already comes on when I start it? Is it hard to replace the connector wire or check the ground? Is the DVM (digital volt meter??)

Also, is the ECT sensor on the engine bad even with no check engine light?

Sorry for the questions. I guess I could take it to the shop but trying to save $300.

Thanks

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Old 07-11-2019, 11:06 PM   #11
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Default Re: diagnostic help

Digital volt meter (dvm) for many familiar with electrical circuits. One of the two wires should have 12 volts with ignition on while the other wire connects to ground somewhere. If you are familiar with using a dvm, you can check for 12v on one of the two wires. A continuity test measures resistance for a broken connection on the other wire that connects to ground. Three possibilities exists; 1)12v is missing or 2)this wire is broken, 3)the ground wire is broken somewhere between the connector and bcm. Troubleshooting at this level is for advanced diyers capable of reading electrical schematic drawings, using a dvm and having a perspective of electrical/electronic circuits. If you are not comfortable with this level of advanced troubleshooting, your alternatives are dealer or local repair shop with these skills. A good friend or relative with skills may find the problem for a soda, beer or lunch.

The engine coolant sensor has no bearing in this problem. If you have a reader or can stop by Autozone, a reader capable of displaying engine coolant temperatures will corroborate what your temperature gauge indicates except display actual numbers (between 185F-200F).

Last edited by fdryer; 07-11-2019 at 11:17 PM..

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