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Old 04-08-2012, 12:51 AM   #1
jclever83
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2003 VUE 3.0L
Default Thermostat Change now big problem

2003 Saturn Vue 3.0 I live in California and its been around 65-75 the last 2 weeks. Sorry, this is going to be long but I want to give as much info as possible. After thermostat change I have overheating issues.

With that said, I just changed out my water-pump (because of a leak), timing and serp belts, thermostat, plugs, and valve covers (slight oil leak). Before the repairs I didn't have a overheating issue but I did have the P0128 code. Though a pain in the ass everything went as it should. I put everything back together, added about 3/4 quarts of Dexcool 50/50 to the reservoir tank and started it right up. Sounded great. Let it idle in the driveway for 20-30. As I was cleaning up I kept my eye on the coolant tank and temp gauge. The tank only lost about 1" of fluid in that time. At the end of the 30 mins I checked the temp gauge and it was in the RED!

I immediately turned the car off. There were no leaks under the car, anywhere on the block, and I looked down where the thermostat housing is and there WAS NO puddle in there. After a visual inspection I unscrewed the oil cap and there was white milkiness on the cap and on the throat of the fill tube (there has never been and milky goo there before). Also, when the car was shut off you could here a gurgling/bubbling sound coming from inside the engine).

What happened??? I dont want to tear into the car again yet until and I get a little feedback. Please help I cant afford to take this to a stealership. Happy Easter and Thanks.

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Old 04-08-2012, 08:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Thermostat Change now big problem

Happy Easter to you! Sorry it isn't happier, but it sounds like you just have some air in the system. Maybe try loosening the top radiator house.

See this post re: milky stuff in the oil fill . . .
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...9&postcount=29

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Old 04-08-2012, 09:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: Thermostat Change now big problem

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Originally Posted by jclever83 View Post
I put everything back together, added about 3/4 quarts of Dexcool 50/50 to the reservoir tank and started it right up. Sounded great. Let it idle in the driveway for 20-30. As I was cleaning up I kept my eye on the coolant tank and temp gauge. The tank only lost about 1" of fluid in that time. At the end of the 30 mins I checked the temp gauge and it was in the RED!
Saturns take almost 2-gallons of coolant. With only 3/4 of a gallon used, was the cooling system already filled or only half filled?

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Old 04-08-2012, 10:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: Thermostat Change now big problem

Thanks for the replies. It sucks going to bed and all you can think about is how bad you f'd your car up. I even dreamed about it. I got to watch my daughter hunt for her Easter basket so its still pretty happy.

When I drained out the coolant for the different tasks (waterpump, disconnecting radiator hose) I think I lost about a gallon of coolant. I put one gallon in and planned on adding more when the engine sucked the reservoir dry.

I'll try bleeding the system by a method I read on another post. (cast repost it because I'm a newbie) Basically involved running the engine till the fan comes on and have the cabin heater on high, shutting off, refilling, repeat. I'll loosen the top rad hose also to let the air escape.

Any other tips?

BTW, you cam locks worked awesome Chaz.

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Old 04-08-2012, 11:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: Thermostat Change now big problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by jclever83 View Post
Any other tips?

BTW, you cam locks worked awesome Chaz.
Glad to hear it. Good luck with the bleeding operation. I wouldn't think running the Cabin Fan would have any effect - maybe cycling the Temp Control (?). I can't think of anything else to try.

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Old 04-08-2012, 02:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Thermostat Change now big problem

The first time I did a drain and refill of coolant, my temp gauge went up all the way too. Months later, I found out that my "low speed cooling fan resistor" was broken, and could have contributed to the over heat. I replaced it, and when I did the coolant change again later, there was no overheating. A good way to test the "low speed cooling fan resistor" is to turn on the air conditioner, and the cooling fan on the radiator should come on in less than a minute.

...
It's GOOD to have a spare!

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Old 04-08-2012, 04:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: Thermostat Change now big problem

Heater core is likely air blocked.

If you have access to a coolant vacuum filler then that is the best way to refill the VUE cooling system. Engine revving may get the coolant flowing through the heater core. If that does not work then cracking the heater hoses open to let the air out (likely a few times) should get the coolant going.

...
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Thermostat Change now big problem

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Heater core is likely air blocked..... cracking the heater hoses open to let the air out (likely a few times) should get the coolant going.
Engine with gastrointestinal problems?

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Old 04-08-2012, 09:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: Thermostat Change now big problem

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Engine with gastrointestinal problems?
I think that would be in the exhaust???

This might in the vascular system.

Unfortunetly the heater core is is lower than heater hoses coming up from the core and they are shaped so that liquid flow is had to get going again when there is air in the hoses.

...
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: Thermostat Change now big problem

You're right! Its a good thing I didn't become a surgeon......................

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Old 04-09-2012, 10:55 PM   #11
jclever83
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Default Re: Thermostat Change now big problem

Everything is good! I let is yesterday morning I popped the hood and most of the coolant had drained from the reservoir. Filled it back up to the Max line and let it idle for a little bit then bleed it every few minutes. Took it for a freeway test drive to get it hot and the temp gauge never rose above a little past 1/4. Thanks Guys!

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