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Old 08-22-2007, 06:20 PM   #1
plum_saturn
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Question 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

Ok, we have just replaced the thermostat on this car, it now has 160,000 miles on it. The coolant temp gauge runs at 1/2 when driving, goes to 3/4 with A/C running. It also goes to 3/4 in slow traffic or while at idle. I tried turning the A/C on, the rad fan does not come on as it should. I wanted to know where is the relay? I am thinking the fan is not coming on and is the problem, how do I fix this? Thanks!

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Old 08-22-2007, 06:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

Turn on the AC and look at the radiator fan. I think it turns on whenever the AC is on.

Also, check out threads on this board about the ECTS (engine coolant temperature sensor), if its leaking (fairly common), it can cause problems with fan control. On your '95, if the ECTS has never been changed, that's probably the problem.

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Old 08-22-2007, 07:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

Well, the fan does not come on with the A/C running, which has me worried. I will check into the ECTS info, I have also read about relays and fan motor problems....

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Old 08-22-2007, 07:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

To check the coolant fan.Remove the fan relay and jump terminal #87 to #30.Fan should turn on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEIerTmMyY4

...
http://www.youtube.com/richpin06a

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Old 08-22-2007, 08:31 PM   #5
brettkramer
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Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

Hey richpin06, Cool video. Sounds like the person has a bad fan motor, the fan and motor should be easy enough to find at a boneyard. The cheapest thing to do is to always check any fuses or relays controlling operation of the fan first. You should definitely change your ECTS sensor while you're doing everything else, it's cheap & screws into your engine block just under your breather intake. Also be sure to check the cap that attaches to the sensor for rust and clean or replace if necessary.

...
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Original Owner, 178,000 miles

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Old 08-23-2007, 01:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

Quote:
Originally Posted by brettkramer View Post
... & screws into your engine block ...
Actually, it goes into the cylinder head.

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Old 08-23-2007, 04:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

I'm not sure you have a problem yet. It's normal for the '95s and earlier to read 1/2 to 3/4 on the gauge. As long as it stays out of the red, it's fine. You said the fan doesn't turn on when you turn on the A/C but, does the A/C actually work? If the refrigerant is low, the compressor will not engage and the fan won't come on.

...
There is nothing more frightening than ignorance in action.

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Old 08-23-2007, 05:50 AM   #8
Jim Dunlop
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Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

That video rocks...IT ROCKS!!!!

...
2002 SL 1.9L SOHC 5-spd mods:
-Custom HAI
-K&N Airbox Filter
-Custom Air Dam
-PCV Catch Can
-Drilled & slotted rotors
-14x6 König Incident's, Yoko AVID's
-Grille Block (aluminum)
SCS! DD.

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Old 08-23-2007, 08:06 AM   #9
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1995 SL2
Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnhouse View Post
Turn on the AC and look at the radiator fan. I think it turns on whenever the AC is on.
.
He already said it does not come on when the AC is on in his origional post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plum_saturn
I tried turning the A/C on, the rad fan does not come on as it should.
Quote:
Originally Posted by plum_saturn
I wanted to know where is the relay
The relay is in a box under the hood on the drivers side just behind the battery. Take the cover off the box and look at the underneith side of the cover, there is a diagram of the fuses and relays. Several of the relays are the same part number and therefor are interchangable. Since they just plug in, take one from somthing that you know works, (just don't take the A/C relay) and put it in the fan position. If it works, well there you have it. However I have the same question that BarnOwl has in the quote below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarnOwl
I'm not sure you have a problem yet. It's normal for the '95s and earlier to read 1/2 to 3/4 on the gauge. As long as it stays out of the red, it's fine. You said the fan doesn't turn on when you turn on the A/C but, does the A/C actually work? If the refrigerant is low, the compressor will not engage and the fan won't come on.
What he said ^^^^

...
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

Fan does not come on when AC is set on max. Cold air is coming out of the AC while I am checking this.

On highway, temp gauge sits right at 1/2 with AC off. Due to overheat issues, I have not tested the AC on the highway.

At idle, or slow drive the car will go into red line.

Swapped horn relay with fan relay (same codes on the relays), still no change. Horn still works with the fan relay.

New Tstat, plugs, wires & fuel filter installed with in the last 5 days.

Fan spins freely when moved manually.

At this point I am assuming these possibilities:
Ground could be bad.
No power to Relay.
No power to fan.
Fan motor is bad.

Since the fan does not come on while the AC is on, I believe it is a power or motor issue.

BTW checked all fuses, they do not look to be blown.

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Old 08-23-2007, 05:26 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

You're only steps away from the answer; if you have a multimeter or a simple 12v test light/lamp/bulb remove the fan relay and locate socket pins 30 and 87. Measure the two sockets for 12v as there should be 12v. Or use the 12v test light the same way by placing one probe to socket pin 30 and the other probe to 87, the test light should illuminate. No light or 12v is an indication of a loss of 12v power from a fused outlet or lost ground connection. Successfully measuring 12v or test light illuminating means either the fan is blown/worn out or the wiring to the fan is faulty. Knowing there's 12v across socket pins 30 and 87 will allow you to wire a jumper across these two pins to power the fan directly. The ignition may have to be ON for this but you've already narrowed down the possibilities to either wiring or the fan.

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Old 08-23-2007, 07:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

I have 163K on this saturn right now. I just bought a fan motor, multi-tester, and a new relay. I have read that relays will tend to go bad after about 10 years or so. I plan on installing the fan, and the relay on Saturday. The problem I am having right now is that the ends of my tester does not stick down into the pin holes. I did pull the fuses and check all of them again.

My one question is, if I stick my multi tester into the connectors of the motor, it should read 12v if I have the AC running?

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Old 08-23-2007, 08:08 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

Quote:
Originally Posted by plum_saturn View Post
The problem I am having right now is that the ends of my tester does not stick down into the pin holes.
Paper clips make great probe adapters.
Quote:
My one question is, if I stick my multi tester into the connectors of the motor, it should read 12v if I have the AC running?
Correct.

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Old 08-24-2007, 07:56 AM   #14
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Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

Car overheated today, but I found something interesting. Seems I might have a leak somewhere. My reservoir was empty. I am not sure if there was an air bubble or not in the engine. I am going to have to chase this down, and it only developed today. I have not seen any signs of leaking. I am however putting a large piece of cardboard under the front of the car to see where/if it is leaking.

On the good news front, the fan now works. I would suggest unplugging the fan, turn on the ac, and checking the voltage there. I had power all the way up to the fan, so I assumed that is where my problem was. I did replace the fuses, and the relay just as a preventive measure.

The shroud was amazingly easy to remove. One bolt and then pull up. The hard part was getting it past the AC hoses. Some of the newer motors come with adapters, spacers, etc to fit your fan, so be careful how you put it together. Mine came with 2 spacers, two differnt washers, and an adapter. Third time was the charm.

But it is done. Thanks everyone.

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Old 08-24-2007, 05:20 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

You most likely lost radiator fluid because as your car overheated, the fluid expanded and flowed out of your overflow tube while you were driving, that's why you don't see a puddle under the car.... the system actually did what it was designed to do and you should be ok. If, after you put new radiator fluid in, you still lose fluid, here are a couple of other areas to look at:
Other than the obvious issues with hose cracks are 1) Your Water Pump has rusted through, like mine did or 2) You have a crack somewhere in your pressurized radiator reservoir plastic tank, also like mine. In both cases I replaced both with new parts, however in retrospect, I should have went to a boneyard for the plastic reservoir, I think the part was $50 new, which is way too much. I also had an upper plastic fitting give way on my radiator, which couldn't be repaired, so I just replaced the radiator with a new version with a lifetime warranty.

...
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Original Owner, 178,000 miles

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Old 08-24-2007, 07:21 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

Did this latest overheat occur before or after you installed the new fan motor?

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Old 09-28-2009, 06:19 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

no power to fan, i jump 87 to 30 and no power. is there another fuse box besides the one under the hood?

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Old 09-28-2009, 06:35 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

Are you troubleshooting a cooling fan issue? If so, try wiring the fan directly to the battery; a good fan will scream, a worn out one will spin up and may be stopped by hand (carefully) or not run at all. The last two scenarios just means replacement.

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Old 09-28-2009, 08:32 PM   #19
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Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

i have a 93 sl1 the fan quit and was wired to a switch so it would work. i changed my ECTS its the one with 2 wires and that fixed my flooding problem along with my fan. its only about 11.00 at the parts store

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Old 06-25-2011, 03:42 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1995 Saturn SL1 close to overheating

Before I changed my thermostat my temperature guage would be steady around a quarter of the way. Then it would slowly over heat and increase. Now after i changed it, my temperature guage is steady around half way, and slowly increase from there. Could I have messed up putting it in? I think it's blocking coolant. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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