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Old 11-07-2007, 06:13 PM   #1
Cheekz185
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Default 1997 Saturn SL Heat problem....

OK So I have a 1997 Saturn SL and my heat "stopped" working at the end of last winter. SO i pushed it off and now that winter is coming i need to fix it. SO basically my Saturn SL blows lukewarm air and not hot air. What could be the possible problem could it be the heater core? Thermostat? Where is the heater core located and thermostat located? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 11-07-2007, 06:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL Heat problem....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheekz185 View Post
OK So I have a 1997 Saturn SL and my heat "stopped" working at the end of last winter. SO i pushed it off and now that winter is coming i need to fix it. SO basically my Saturn SL blows lukewarm air and not hot air. What could be the possible problem could it be the heater core? Thermostat? Where is the heater core located and thermostat located? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
My guess is your thermostat is stuck open ..... it is located at the end of the lower radiator hose(left hand bottom side when facing the engine compartment)

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Old 11-07-2007, 06:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL Heat problem....

Sounds like a thermostat, although you'll want to replace the original ECTS with a brass one if you never have. It's about $15 and takes about 15 minutes or less to do.

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

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Old 11-07-2007, 06:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL Heat problem....

What does the temp gauge read? Is your fuel economy okay? Do you ever get an SES light? If you leave the car idling, parked, does the radiator fan eventually come on?

Find the two heater hoses that go into the firewall. Warm up the engine and grab each heater hose. If one is warm and the other not-so-warm, that indicates a clogged heater core.

Another possibility is the temp "blend" control on the HVAC panel. When you slide the temp knob, does it feel normal? Or is it harder / easier to move than you would expect?

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Old 11-07-2007, 08:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL Heat problem....

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
What does the temp gauge read? Is your fuel economy okay? Do you ever get an SES light? If you leave the car idling, parked, does the radiator fan eventually come on?

Find the two heater hoses that go into the firewall. Warm up the engine and grab each heater hose. If one is warm and the other not-so-warm, that indicates a clogged heater core.

Another possibility is the temp "blend" control on the HVAC panel. When you slide the temp knob, does it feel normal? Or is it harder / easier to move than you would expect?
Fuel economy is still going good! And the slider is normal, its not easier/harder to slide. NO SES lights...I am going to try replacing my ECTS and take a look at my thermostat. Now, where can i but an ECTS, at a local autoparts store or is it dealer only? Is that the real name for the part or is it something different?

Last edited by Cheekz185; 11-07-2007 at 08:59 PM..

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Old 11-07-2007, 09:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL Heat problem....

Coolant temperature sensor. You can get them at any parts store just make sure it all brass.

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Old 11-07-2007, 09:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL Heat problem....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheekz185 View Post
Fuel economy is still going good! And the slider is normal, its not easier/harder to slide. NO SES lights...I am going to try replacing my ECTS and take a look at my thermostat. Now, where can i but an ECTS, at a local autoparts store or is it dealer only? Is that the real name for the part or is it something different?
What does your temp gauge read when the car warms up?

Also try madpogues suggestion about the heater core, if that's it you probably won't have to mess with the thermostat.

Autozone, Checker those stores all carry the ECTS or should. But they'll probably understand you better if you ask for the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor

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Old 11-07-2007, 10:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL Heat problem....

OK so lets say it is a clogged heater core, what do I do after that? Buy a new heater core? Where is the heater core located? Under the dashboard?

Also some1 said check the thermostat to see if it is stuck open (post #2). What do i do if it it is "stuck open"

I dont know if this means anything but I am having no with the the HVAC system lol. IN Mid august my cold air went also. BUT i took it to a place and they said that the ac compressor is working. SO what can that be now...

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Old 11-07-2007, 10:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL Heat problem....

For your reading enjoyment from the Forum How-To Library as posted by two prominent advisers.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...ght=thermostat


http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...ght=thermostat

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Old 05-23-2014, 11:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL Heat problem....

One somewhat related success story.......I had an '94 SL1 that did not heat up (temp sender never read above 1/4, and little heat came from the heater). I replaced the t/stat, but still had the same problem. Then, I picked up a tip from another thread to order a t/stat housing with the t/stat already installed - in case I screwed up installing the t/stat. When I received the new housing assembly, I noticed that there was a brass orificed fitting in the bleed hole that wasn't in the old housing. The bleed hole in the old housing, without the orificed fitting, was now 1/8-1/4" in diameter. So coolant was by-passing the t/stat through this bigger-than-normal hole. I can only assume that the brass fitting fell out of the old housing, since it worked fine for 19+ years. I never did find the brass fitting in the system.

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Old 05-24-2014, 01:21 AM   #11
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1995 SL1
Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL Heat problem....

Quote:
Originally Posted by yamomee View Post
One somewhat related success story.......I had an '94 SL1 that did not heat up (temp sender never read above 1/4, and little heat came from the heater). I replaced the t/stat, but still had the same problem. Then, I picked up a tip from another thread to order a t/stat housing with the t/stat already installed - in case I screwed up installing the t/stat. When I received the new housing assembly, I noticed that there was a brass orificed fitting in the bleed hole that wasn't in the old housing. The bleed hole in the old housing, without the orificed fitting, was now 1/8-1/4" in diameter. So coolant was by-passing the t/stat through this bigger-than-normal hole. I can only assume that the brass fitting fell out of the old housing, since it worked fine for 19+ years. I never did find the brass fitting in the system.
Good catch. I would imagine this causes more of a problem on the SOHC engines, since they really don't produce all that much heat. Getting the thermostat with the housing seems the easier approach than chasing down the OEM style housing.

On a side note, which thermostat/housing did you get, and what is your gauge showing now? I wanted to go back to the cooler OEM type temp thermostat when I switched my water pump the other day, and couldn't find any locally. It looks like all the cooler units now come with housings. Just curious what your replacement was and how it affected temps, along with what type of thermostat came out so I have a reference for where your gauge reads for a given unit.

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