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Old 06-16-2003, 08:12 PM   #1
spfrancis
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Default Saturn SL1 overheating

I thought I would post this out, since maybe someone else has had the exact same problem. I have a 97 Saturn SL1. I am having an overheating problem. When I am driving in stop and go traffic for 15-20 minutes, then I start seeing the needle moving up. It didn't quite get to red, but I started smelling the engine overheating. As soon as I start moving faster, I'm fine. I'm thinking of just replacing the thermostat, but I thought I would ask people here.
Thanks.
Sony,

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Old 06-16-2003, 08:24 PM   #2
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Saturns are like that. It gives a fault impression that the car is overheat.

You can turn on the A/C for a few second to make your Radiator Fan to turn on or you can make a Radiator Fan switch yourself.

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Old 06-16-2003, 08:29 PM   #3
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If you are going to replace things then start with the PCM coolant temp sensor. Also check the connecter to see if it's corroded, if so replace it as well.

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Old 06-16-2003, 09:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
I started smelling the engine overheating.
Everything you report is normal, except the smelling like it's overheating.

Does the fan eventually come on if you leave it approach the red? If not, then you need to investigate why it's not coming on.

As SSICARMAN says, that PCM temp coolant sensor is the cheap and easy place to start if you think you have a problem.

As AMAZINGHL said, one way to check the fan circuit (fan and relay) and to cool the car down if you think it's too hot is to turn on the AC. If the fan doesn't come on when you do this, then you have a problem with the fan circuit - the fan relay or the fan itself are possible causes.

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Old 06-17-2003, 04:11 PM   #5
spfrancis
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Sorry for the long pause in answer. Today was meeting day..

To answer your questions: I don't think the fan will eventally come on. It didn't hit the red, but I saw some overheating vapor out of the wiper area of the hood, and I could smell the smell. I definitely dd not have the AC on, so next time I will put that on. I guess I could just pop the hood, and put the AC on, and see if I see the fan come on. This is the radiator fan we are talking about, right? I will look into replacing the PCM temp coolant sensor, if it is easy and cheap. It give me a chance to bond with the one love.
On another note, today I noticed that my low coolant light came on a couple of times today on the commute to work, mostly during turns. I will refill, but I assume that was from the vapor I saw disipate yesterday.

THis site is great. So much info, so quickly.

Later.
-Sony

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Old 06-17-2003, 05:28 PM   #6
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for a while i thought my fan was broken, but the thermostat will go past the 3/4 mark and the fan still wont kick in, it doesnt kick in till it gets about 1 notch away from the red, to test it just park in a parking lot and let it idle, temp should raise pretty quick

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Old 06-17-2003, 08:44 PM   #7
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ECTS definetly I had the same thing on my 94sl1 Fan didnt come on until the air conditioning was turned on regardless

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Old 06-17-2003, 09:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
This is the radiator fan we are talking about, right?
Yes.

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Old 07-03-2003, 03:52 PM   #9
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My son had a similar problem -- except his overheated and he claims the temp gauge never went up from its normal operating position.

I checked his fan operation by engaging the A/C -- it runs when the A/C is on. And, just to be sure, I swapped two of the relays in the underhood junction box -- it still works when the A/C is turned on.

I have not tried the park and "idle to fan on" test yet since he is working long hours and I only get a little time to work on it.

Could the ECTS malfunction to where it would not engage the engine fan relay, but still give a "normal" temperature reading to the temp gauge?

Thanks!

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Old 07-03-2003, 07:35 PM   #10
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Saturn changed from using 2 coolant temp sensors (the 2 wire lower one was for the PCM, the upper single wire one was for the gauge) to a single 2 wire sensor.

Unfortunately, I can't remember WHEN they made the change, but it was after 95. Sorry, I suffer from occasional CRS... "can't remember stuff".

In response to LoveMySL1s query:

Quote:
Could the ECTS malfunction to where it would not engage the engine fan relay, but still give a "normal" temperature reading to the temp gauge?
yes. it is possible if it has two sensors. Since the sensors are not terribly expensive and it's easy enough to replace 'em, you might as well replace both of them. They require a 13mm deep socket. Check the connectors and replace if corroded.

The only time my 95SL2 got anywhere close to the red was when I went through drive throughs and waited seemingly forever for the goodies to be delivered. That thing would kick the fan on just before it went into the red. Scary as heck. Replacing the double wire sensor fixed that, but even then it would still go 5/8 of the way to the red.

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Old 06-16-2005, 08:45 AM   #11
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Default Re: Saturn SL1 overheating

im having the same troubles

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Old 06-16-2005, 09:00 AM   #12
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Default Re: Saturn SL1 overheating

The first thing I'd check since it's free is to turn on the AC and see if the radiator fan comes on. If not, there's a problem there. My guess would be fuse or motor. If the fan does come on, replace the ETCS (Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor). Be sure to get the part from Saturn. You want the one with 2 prongs for the PCM and check the connector as well. This is an easy repair provided you have a 13 mm deep well. There are instructions in the How-To Library.

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Old 06-16-2005, 09:17 AM   #13
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Default Re: Saturn SL1 overheating

Just a note from my own experience with the radiator fan. When I bought my car, the fan wouldn't run no matter what. I checked I was getting 12 V at the fan plug when the AC was on, so I bought another fan. Tested the new one before putting it in by connecting the plug to it - hey presto.... it didn't run. For some reason the ground was bad- it's grounded through the plug to the 'front splice pack' or some such, don't recall the exact name. I ran a separate ground from that terminal of the plug to the car body and everything has been fine for a year. Anyway I guess the lesson is it is good to check the ground as well as the 'hot' before concluding the fan (or whatever else) is bad.

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Old 06-16-2005, 10:12 AM   #14
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Happy Re: Saturn SL1 overheating

Hey guys,
Does anyone know which relay is for the fan? And do you just pull it out with some pliers?
Also the temp sensor. Where is that located?

Thanks. Just trying to get my 95 SC2 cooled off.

-m

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Old 06-16-2005, 12:09 PM   #15
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Default Re: Saturn SL1 overheating

These links may help:


For ECTS location:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37884

For radiator fan diagnosis:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41736

This thread shows the fan relay which can usually be pulled by hand.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23668

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