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Old 03-26-2012, 07:54 PM   #1
MetalMatty
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Default Just replaced ECTS/T-Stat... one issue!

Finally got around to doing the ECTS (which was, of course, cracked) and the T-Stat.

Drained about half the coolant out for the T-Stat.

The ECTS was a great fit (Obviously), though we did tighten quite a bit. Not TOO much but we made it snug (more than richpin though).

The T-stat (though it's Saturn-ness confused my friend) was a simple out and in.

Reused the old (but good) coolant, after running it through a strainer of sorts. Spilled some because we're dumb, but had some extra to cover it.

Now for the odd part... we filled at least as much as we took out, though now my Low Coolant Light comes on. My idle is normal again, it starts better, and the temp gauge goes to just under half way, but the low coolant light is on. I keep filling the reservoir and hopefully won't need to again. Car is gonna sit tonight so I can see if there's any leaks (didn't see any when we let it run for 10 minutes earlier).

Here's a photo of the important gauges that deal with this:

As you can see, the idle is now at 800, the temp is up (this is after a 8 mile drive around 25-40 MPH), but that dang light is on. I'm hoping that we just didn't quite refill it (somehow). I did notice though, that on my drive home when I'm going down a steep incline for about 3 minutes, the Low Coolant light shut off, until I got onto flat ground and started accelerating/uphill again.

Is this a common issue or should I just assume that I'm over reacting and I just need to add a little bit more fluid?

Thanks
~ Matt

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Old 03-26-2012, 10:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Just replaced ECTS/T-Stat... one issue!

Since it is going on and off with the hills and all, it seems that maybe all you need to do it keep topping it off til the light goes away. Even though you may have filled the reservoir, it could take a little while for the radiator and such to suck it back in. Depending on how much you lost, it may not hurt to actually pull the radiator cap and top off the radiator first and then top off the reservoir. (And please do this while the engine is cool!) Drive it for a while and then check the reservoir again.

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Old 03-26-2012, 10:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Just replaced ECTS/T-Stat... one issue!

^^^ This. +1

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Old 03-26-2012, 11:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Just replaced ECTS/T-Stat... one issue!

There is a good chance you have a stuck or sticking float in the reservoir. If the coolant is full and no more air is burping out, it's the probable cause.

The fix is fairly easy. Drain some coolant (yes, again!) remove the tank, and give it a good cleaning.

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Old 03-27-2012, 09:11 AM   #5
MetalMatty
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Default Re: Just replaced ECTS/T-Stat... one issue!

I'm honestly thinking that we just managed to spill so much of it that it's not full yet.

I was just making sure that it wasn't a common thing to happen. But if it keeps doing it after I keep filling it I'll check the floater.

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Old 03-27-2012, 09:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: Just replaced ECTS/T-Stat... one issue!

I have to bring my coolant up almost to the plastic separator inside the reservoir to keep my low coolant light off... a bit odd since other cars I have, it's usually just "somewhere in the middle"

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Old 03-27-2012, 09:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: Just replaced ECTS/T-Stat... one issue!

Quote:
it may not hurt to actually pull the radiator cap and top off the radiator first and then top off the reservoir.
Did the 2000 have a radiator cap in addition to the reservoir cap?

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Old 03-27-2012, 10:42 AM   #8
MetalMatty
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Default Re: Just replaced ECTS/T-Stat... one issue!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonP View Post
Did the 2000 have a radiator cap in addition to the reservoir cap?
No. It was just the reservoir.

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Old 03-27-2012, 11:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: Just replaced ECTS/T-Stat... one issue!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
I have to bring my coolant up almost to the plastic separator inside the reservoir to keep my low coolant light off...
That's exactly where the "Full" mark is on the outside of the tank (although it can be hard to see when the tank gets old and the plastic yellows).
Quote:
a bit odd since other cars I have, it's usually just "somewhere in the middle"
Do those cars have a reservoir, or an overflow? On our cars, since the reservoir is part of the pressurized system (thus no radiator cap), and since "liquid always seeks its own level", the level in the reservoir is the level in the system. So, as long as it's not stuck, that float setting the light when the reservoir level is just a bit low is a good thing.

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Old 03-27-2012, 08:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: Just replaced ECTS/T-Stat... one issue!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonP View Post
Did the 2000 have a radiator cap in addition to the reservoir cap?
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalMatty View Post
No. It was just the reservoir.
Oh sorry. I've topped off the reservoir before when I changed the ECTS but I didn't drain the system so it didn't take that much. So I never tried to hunt for another cap. I was just thinking back to when I did a flush and fill on my S10. I started filling through the overflow reservoir at first... waited... yeah... So then I pulled the radiator cap and the radiator wasn't even half full. Filled it full, replaced the cap, then kept topping off the reservoir as needed for that last little bit. It would be nice if these cars had a larger opening in the radiator somewhere to fill it up quicker if needed.

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Old 03-27-2012, 08:12 PM   #11
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Default Re: Just replaced ECTS/T-Stat... one issue!

[QUOTE=madpogue;1860925]"liquid always seeks its own level"QUOTE]

True. I see what you're saying. I was just thinking that sometimes when the only thing connecting the two tanks is a small line, it's easy for an air bubble to block the line and not allow things to properly equalize.

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