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Old 10-13-2019, 12:41 PM   #1
Teejoka813
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Dizzy Lw300 NIGHTMARE PLEASE HELP (OVERHEATING)

Hey Saturn family. Big Bluu my Lw300 (Lamborghini wagon) is on the fritz. I'm a pretty saavy mechanic but I don't know where to start with this engine.

The Problem
First thing. I woke up one day and when I'm on the interstate I notice she is alot warmer than normal. The TEMP GAUGE was reading about 1/2 way mark and wouldn't budge. No signs or warnings she was hot. I turned on the heater to try and help the already running high fans and her temp gauge wouldn't move. About 20 minutes into the drive the temp gauge went down a hair but the fans were still on high. I checked my fluid levels and it was full overfull to be exact. It's been 2 days and she hasn't redlined but has slightly crept above the 1/2 way mark. Also I noticed this morning a strong smell of gas in the oil. Not sure if that's related but a problem I suspect.

Work done.
I replaced the radiator about 5 months ago. I yesterday replaced the COOLANT TEMP SENSOR which has kept her from crossing the 1/2 mark but the needle now rocks close to it.

Im suspecting the thermostat and t housing are leaking but I'm almost terrified to break down the engine. I'm saavy but have not done seals and gaskets before. The question I have with the seals and gaskets.... Is it required to change upper and lower intake seals as well as the valve cover gaskets when changing TSTAT.

MY APOLOGIES IF IM ALL OF THE PLACE IN THIS POST I JUST DONT KNOW WHAT TO CHECK OR WHERE TO START. MY WIFE HAS STARTED A NEW JOB 30 MILES ROUND TRIP AND IN THE CURRENT CONDITION I NOT TRYING TO LOSE OUR ONLY MODE OF TRANSPORTATION. WE HAVE HAD HER 2 YEARS THIS COMING DECEMBER. AND SHE HAS 192000 MILES

PLEASE
PLEASE
PLEASE

WHERE DO I START

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Old 10-13-2019, 02:46 PM   #2
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: Lw300 NIGHTMARE PLEASE HELP (OVERHEATING)

Read the codes. Fans lock on high when the thermostat takes too long to open. Which usually means that the rubber seal inside the thermostat does not seal and coolant flows all the time delaying opening.

...
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Old 10-13-2019, 04:54 PM   #3
fdryer
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Default Re: Lw300 NIGHTMARE PLEASE HELP (OVERHEATING)

And to add to the above, I doubt t-stats stick in closed position but mechanical things don't have a conscience and fail according to Murphy's law. Best way to assess t-stat temps is with a reader displaying what the ecm sees. Between 185F-200F. Mine fluctuates between 195F-200F, needle between the 1/4 and 1/2 marks, summer or winter, with or without ac.

If the check engine light's on, get the codes, AutoZone provides free readings. And post any codes here.

Is the front ac condenser coil blocked with road debris or the fins all bent and closing off airflow? Airflow must flow first thru the ac condenser coil before flowing into the radiator. When the radiator was replaced, what color and condition was the coolant? Dexcool is orange, Prestone comes in yellow or green, other brands may be blue. All translucent to indicate zero debris.

I replaced my t-stat from a P0128 error code, coolant temps lower than normal. No fans. I did not have to replace seals because they're synthetic rubber. No fiber gaskets. They were still pliable and didn't shrink or take a set after being squished (around 75k miles when the P0128 error occurred). I think the only gasket is on the throttle and I reused it without issues. A real PITA because all upper engine parts have to be removed for access to the buried t-stat in the 'V' portion of the engine, behind the throttle body. The click-r reusable stainless clamps are tricky. Snap open using a flat blade screw driver to pry apart the snap lock, slip joint pliers to bring the ends to overlap and snap lock.

Last edited by fdryer; 10-13-2019 at 05:04 PM..

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Old 10-14-2019, 05:42 AM   #4
Teejoka813
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Default Re: Lw300 NIGHTMARE PLEASE HELP (OVERHEATING)

Ok here is some more info.

I replaced the radiator and even when leaking I used dexcool concentrate and watered it to 50.50 with distilled water. My normal reading was on the temp gauge was between 1/4 and 1/2 as well.

I had THE WRENCH Light one night after all this. turned the engine off and started it again and it ran fine. The light came on and the car was banging into gear. Almost like a bad mount. After the shutdown and start up the light was off and she ran normal. The only code I had before was for EVAP CANISTER.

The fans go thru the cycle of high med when she does get close to the 1/2 line. I can't turn off the car until it kick into med because it does stay on (with engine off and drain the battery.

The upper hose felt hot hot hot at one touch then another touch was like there wasn't any water. I've been running the heater so I believe that's why the coolant is going down in the reservoirs.

I know I need a valve cover gasket. Would that cause any of this. I don't believe im in need of the intake seals but possibly. Had a friend say the smoke that emits from start up is the TSTAT LEAKING ON THE EXHAUST MANIFOLD.

THATS ALL I CAN THINK OF RIGHT NOW .
If I run the heater from start of engine it actually stays at normal temps. Is that a good sign

Thanks FDryer and 02 LW300

BIGBLUU IS A 2002 LW300 BEST CAR EVER ( just scary right now)

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Old 10-14-2019, 09:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: Lw300 NIGHTMARE PLEASE HELP (OVERHEATING)

Another update my radiator is leaking but only ever so slightly. Just seen that and it wasn't noticable because the tank stayed full for almost two weeks

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Old 10-15-2019, 03:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Lw300 NIGHTMARE PLEASE HELP (OVERHEATING)

Can someone provide me with fan operating procedures. When I start the car the fan doesn't come on until the gauge moves above normal temps. Is that normal. As well on low even with the AC off my condenser fan comes on and runs with the main fan on low. Do both fans have a high and low setting. All answers are greatly appreciated

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Old 10-21-2019, 12:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Lw300 NIGHTMARE PLEASE HELP (OVERHEATING)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teejoka813 View Post
Can someone provide me with fan operating procedures. When I start the car the fan doesn't come on until the gauge moves above normal temps. Is that normal. As well on low even with the AC off my condenser fan comes on and runs with the main fan on low. Do both fans have a high and low setting. All answers are greatly appreciated
The following information is from the 2000 L-Series L81 engine FSM (V6, 3.0L):

"There are two cooling fans - a pusher and a puller. The fans run together at three different voltage levels to create three speeds or stages.

* Low speed - both fans in series - 6 volts each.
* Medium speed - both fans in parallel with resistor in series - 9 volts each.
* High speed - both fans in parallel without resistor - 12 volts each.

The fan speed selected is based on coolant temperature or A/C system high side pressure.

L81
Low speed


*Enabled if coolant temperature exceeds 96 degrees C (204 degrees F) or A/C system pressure exceeds 1199 kPa (174 psi).

*Disabled if coolant temperature goes below 92 degrees C (198 degrees F) and A/C system pressure goes below 799 kPa (116 psi).

Medium speed

* Enabled if coolant temperature exceeds 99 degrees C (210 degrees F) or A/C system pressure exceeds 1695 kPa (246 psi).

* Back to Low speed if coolant temperature goes below 97 degrees C (207 degrees F) or A/C system pressure goes below 1399 kPa (203 psi).

High speed

* enabled if coolant temperature exceeds 102 degrees C (215 degrees F) or A/C system pressure exceeds 2398 kPa (348 psi).

* Back to Medium speed if coolant temperature goes below 100 degrees C (212 degrees F) and A/C system pressure goes below 2198 kPa (319 psi)."


Just in case anyone is unfamiliar, the pusher fan is in front of the A/C condenser; the puller fan is behind the radiator.

...
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Old 10-21-2019, 02:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Lw300 NIGHTMARE PLEASE HELP (OVERHEATING)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teejoka813 View Post
...I had THE WRENCH Light one night after all this. turned the engine off and started it again and it ran fine. The light came on and the car was banging into gear. Almost like a bad mount. After the shutdown and start up the light was off and she ran normal. The only code I had before was for EVAP CANISTER.
Hopefully you're aware of the differences between the "engine" warning light and the "wrench" warning light. The check engine light relates to ignition and emission system problems principally with some transmission codes also present. Any OBD II scanner can read codes that cause the engine light to appear. The wrench light illuminates when other non-ignition/emission failures occur. So your wrench light's appearance coinciding with a possible transmission shifting error cannot be read by a common OBD II scanner. Codes which cause the wrench light to appear can only be read by GMs Tech II, or Tech III Scan Tools as such codes are proprietary to the company and not subject to government standardization. This is true for all car manufacturers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teejoka813 View Post
The fans go thru the cycle of high med when she does get close to the 1/2 line. I can't turn off the car until it kick into med because it does stay on (with engine off and drain the battery.
Our engine cooling fan system is intended to remain on for a limited time after the engine has been turned off if its temperature hadn't reached a threshold low enough for them to be turned off when the engine is shut down. I suspect what you've noticed here is actually the cooling fan's normal operation. If the car has been very warm for an extended amount of time it can take up to 7 or 8 minutes after the engine is off before the FCM (Fan Control Module) tells the ECM to turn them off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teejoka813 View Post
The upper hose felt hot hot hot
If the cooling system temperature gauge shows at the mid point then the upper radiator hose should feel hot. This is not abnormal, it is normal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teejoka813 View Post
at one touch then another touch was like there wasn't any water.
There must have been an adequate amount of coolant in the system or you would've seen a warning light appear at the dash console.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teejoka813 View Post
I've been running the heater so I believe that's why the coolant is going down in the reservoirs.
I think not. The cooling system on the L-Series cars has the coolant/antifreeze constantly running through the heater core whether or not the heater has been turned on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teejoka813 View Post
I know I need a valve cover gasket. Would that cause any of this.
No. It could cause an engine miss if oil has been collecting in a spark plug well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teejoka813 View Post
Had a friend say the smoke that emits from start up is the TSTAT LEAKING ON THE EXHAUST MANIFOLD.
I'm sure that your friend is trying to be helpful, but he's most likely wrong. The thermostat housing is a very fair distance away from the exhaust manifolds and the exhaust system's piping.

...
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The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 10-21-2019, 03:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: Lw300 NIGHTMARE PLEASE HELP (OVERHEATING)

Teejoka813, are there any histories of maintenance done to this car? At 192k miles, the first major milestone at 100k miles; replacing the timing belt, water pump, idler pulleys and serpentine (accessory) drive belt. Timing belt, water pump and idler pulleys are a must to continue long term engine life with well worn parts. Coming up to 200k miles, repeat again. Water pumps have a limited life with access requiring many things removed so they're all replaced at recommended intervals (every 100k miles). Ignoring this can result in catastrophic engine damage if the water pump bearings fail and/or timing belt lets go at any time while driving. As a diyer, you should be able to perform this procedure. Many threads with snapshots from members sharing info makes this procedure less stressful from members showing imagination to replace one time use tools with either hardware store nuts, bolts, fender washers or vice grips to hold the four camshafts in place when timing marks are aligned prior to replacing the timing belt.

If you aren't aware, most engines with electric fans are temperature controlled. The coolant sensor relays temperature info to the engine computer (ecm). As shown from pierrot, the fan(s) don't turn on until a programmed temperature is detected. Three speeds are available depending on ambient temps, ac use and engine loads in local or highway traffic. Hot and humid weather with ac use can have high speed fans running in local stop and go traffic. For everyday driving, low and medium fan speeds. Smart electronics knowing the engine is hot will run cooling fans for a few minutes if the engine is shut down to force airflow thru the ac condenser coil and radiator (all vehicles with ac have two radiators - ac condenser coil in front of the engine radiator) then automatically shut down without concern of draining the battery. After engine shutdown with fan cooling has been around awhile when electric fans replaced older belt driven fans as electronics slowly took over many functions. The engine computer have programs like timed fan cooling if coolant is above a certain temperature and the engine is shut down. Heat soaking occurs under tight engine compartments so fan running automatically occurs to move air thru to dissipate heat. Whether driving or shut down, the cooling system temperature is always monitored to cycle fan operation as needed. When ac runs, the ac condenser coil gets hot. In grin of the radiator, all airflow begins in front of the condenser coil to flow into the radiator hence fan cooling when ac is used, to ensure both systems are adequately cooled to prevent overheating both systems. Ac use starts with low cooling fans then switches to medium or high speed as a combination of ac pressures and coolant temps rise. All speeds automatically controlled.

If you can ensure your new radiator isn't leaking, it's difficult to determine if the water pump is leaking other than a massive bearing failure in the pump to release coolant, flowing from the bottom of the timing cover.

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