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Old 07-04-2015, 05:26 PM   #1
nick.evans
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Default SC1 Overheating unless moving

My 99' SC1, 181k miles, is having a really hard time now that summer temperatures are here.

If the car is idling, or stuck in slow traffic, the temperature gauge will climb steadily into the red zone. This is obviously exacerbated if running the AC (which just blows hot in this situation anyways).

If I'm moving though, the car is fine. Slower speeds like in the city (25mph) it still does just fine.

I have replaced the ECTS, and the thermostat. When I did the Thermostat, I replaced the coolant as well. The coolant that came out was a redish orange, not brown. I read that the original dexcool these came with were that color, so I think the color was ok?

I read in this thread that if it only overheats when idling, it's likely the fan? Is this accurate? If so, what specifically might be the issue? If there is something else worth looking at I'd love some suggestions.

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Old 07-04-2015, 05:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

Does the fan come on with the AC turned on? If not, it's toast. Have you checked your fuse?

Fan failure is pretty common. I've replaced several on each of my 1999s over the years. Not a difficult task.

..

...
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Old 07-04-2015, 08:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

I just checked, and the fan next to the radiator does turn on when I switch on the AC. As far as the fan is concerned, is it either the fan runs and its ok, or it doesn't and is broke, or is there a middle ground of it runs but isn't efficient? Are there any other things I should consider?

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Old 07-04-2015, 10:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

Your cooling fan system is either ON or OFF. When ON, it should blow with force. If it doesn't, replace it. Original cooling fan with 181k miles may be a worn out fan. This presumes the condenser coil doesn't have bent fins or debris blocking air flow. Blocking air flow thru the condenser coil blocks off air flow thru the radiator.

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Old 07-05-2015, 03:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

+1 to the above. It really doesn't take a huge amount of air to start cooling the car if the system is working properly. If the fan is shot, it won't move enough air.

The fact that the car cools or otherwise stays within temp range even when moving fairly slow indicates the major problem being the fan most likely.

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Old 07-05-2015, 05:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

You might want to check the return line that connects to the coolant reservoir from near the throttle body for flow, this eliminates air from the system. If you look inside the reservoir with the cap off you should see flow on the fender side returning and the small hose should be warm. These have been know to clog.

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Old 07-06-2015, 10:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

It sounds like replacing the cooling fan may be a warranted task. I'm not totally clear on the part(s) I'll need though. Would this fan work, and do you think it's all I'd need for replacing the current fan?

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Old 07-07-2015, 10:29 AM   #8
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

Quote:
Originally Posted by nick.evans View Post
It sounds like replacing the cooling fan may be a warranted task. I'm not totally clear on the part(s) I'll need though. Would this fan work, and do you think it's all I'd need for replacing the current fan?
why do that? it's easier to just replace the motor.
richpin has videos on the procedure.

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Old 07-09-2015, 09:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

You mentioned the thermostat, but before you replace the fan check the valve in the coolant overflow bottle. I was having heat issues when I first bought my Saturn and that valve was missing. A replacement cap and the coolant system pressurizes, no heat problem.

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Old 07-09-2015, 10:39 AM   #10
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

Where does the temp gauge go? Is coolant bubbling out? Define over heating.

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Old 07-11-2015, 03:19 PM   #11
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

Quote:
Originally Posted by taatman View Post
Where does the temp gauge go? Is coolant bubbling out? Define over heating.
The temperature gauge goes into the red zone (which I read that it should never go into if it's cooling correctly). As for coolant bubbling out, this typically happens when in stop & go traffic, so I am unable to see the engine/coolant reservoir. However, I'm not losing coolant, so I think it's safe to say it's not bubbling out. Another issue (I think it's a symptom of the same thing but correct if it's not), is that if the engine temperature is showing really hot (in the red, or just below), the AC will only blow hot air.




Quote:
Originally Posted by zwack View Post
You mentioned the thermostat, but before you replace the fan check the valve in the coolant overflow bottle. I was having heat issues when I first bought my Saturn and that valve was missing. A replacement cap and the coolant system pressurizes, no heat problem.
I'm not totally clear on what the overflow bottle is. Is it the tank that you pour the coolant into? You just replaced the cap for that? Considering I'm not losing coolant, maybe I'm not actually over heating, but rather the pressure's not right and not cycling the coolant effectively... that would make some sense maybe.




As for replacing the fan or fan's motor, directly next to the radiator (foils at the front of the engine) will turn on. I'm not clear if a motor can be bad, and just not run at full power, thus needing replaced. Or, if it turns on at all, does that mean the fan is fine?

I really appreciate everyone's help diagnosing this.

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Old 07-11-2015, 04:22 PM   #12
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

The last time someone was afflicted with low speed overheating and the cooling system was found to be functioning as designed the fan motor was replaced to solve the issue. They do slowly degrade over time and quit moving adequate air across the radiator.

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Old 07-11-2015, 04:39 PM   #13
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
The last time someone was afflicted with low speed overheating and the cooling system was found to be functioning as designed the fan motor was replaced to solve the issue. They do slowly degrade over time and quit moving adequate air across the radiator.
I guess I'll go ahead and replace the fan motor with this one: http://goo.gl/4rvofN

And I'll go ahead and put a new radiator cap on since it sounds like that's another possibility, and it's cheap insurance: http://goo.gl/wpqkYY

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Old 07-11-2015, 06:18 PM   #14
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

Quote:
Originally Posted by guyg View Post
You might want to check the return line that connects to the coolant reservoir from near the throttle body for flow, this eliminates air from the system. If you look inside the reservoir with the cap off you should see flow on the fender side returning and the small hose should be warm. These have been know to clog.
Just checked mine and it is flowing free. I had never bothered with it or even noticed it really.

Need to stay focused as I was gonna pull plugs and check them but now engine is up to operating temp. She's running a bit rough.

...
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'97 Satty SL2
280Kish miles

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Old 07-11-2015, 07:00 PM   #15
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

Quote:
Originally Posted by nick.evans View Post
I guess I'll go ahead and replace the fan motor with this one: http://goo.gl/4rvofN

And I'll go ahead and put a new radiator cap on since it sounds like that's another possibility, and it's cheap insurance: http://goo.gl/wpqkYY
What does the local parts store have? Might be quicker and about the same cost.

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Old 07-11-2015, 09:24 PM   #16
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
What does the local parts store have? Might be quicker and about the same cost.
Just checked with our local auto parts store. Said if they could get the parts, it'd be at least a week. Guess they don't get a lot of calls for Saturn parts these days :/

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Old 07-11-2015, 09:30 PM   #17
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

Amazon will take almost as long so go with the best price.

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Old 07-11-2015, 09:39 PM   #18
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

Advance has in stock here along with complete fan assemblies. Seems a common part to several vehicles.

Question on thermostat: Is the whole outlet/thermostat (MOTORAD) on RockAuto the good German stat? I hear and read negative opinion on the Stant unit.

Also seeing two different temps. 188 and 185

...
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:43 PM   #19
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

I would shop around a bit. You need a real parts store as this motor is used in the following:
BUICK CENTURY (1983 - 2005)
BUICK ELECTRA (1985 - 1990)
BUICK LACROSSE 2005
BUICK LESABRE (1985 - 1999)
BUICK PARK AVENUE (1991 - 2005)
BUICK REATTA (1988 - 1991)
BUICK REGAL (1988 - 2004)
BUICK RIVIERA (1986 - 1999)
BUICK ROADMASTER (1994 - 1996)
BUICK SKYHAWK (1984 - 1987)
BUICK SKYLARK (1986 - 1994)
BUICK SOMERSET (1986 - 1987)
BUICK SOMERSET REGAL 1985
CADILLAC 60 SPECIAL 1993
CADILLAC ALLANTE (1987 - 1992)
CADILLAC BROUGHAM (1987 - 1992)
CADILLAC CIMARRON (1985 - 1988)
CADILLAC COMMERCIAL CHASSIS 1992
CADILLAC DEVILLE (1985 - 1995)
CADILLAC ELDORADO (1986 - 1993)
CADILLAC FLEETWOOD (1985 - 1996)
CADILLAC SEVILLE (1986 - 1993)
CHEVROLET BERETTA (1988 - 1996)
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CHEVROLET CAPRICE (1994 - 1996)
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CHEVROLET CORSICA (1988 - 1996)
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:48 PM   #20
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Default Re: SC1 Overheating unless moving

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bildo Baggins View Post
Advance has in stock here along with complete fan assemblies. Seems a common part to several vehicles.

Question on thermostat: Is the whole outlet/thermostat (MOTORAD) on RockAuto the good German stat? I hear and read negative opinion on the Stant unit.

Also seeing two different temps. 188 and 185
NO! it is a non standard size part as are several others. The 14279 STANT is the OEM design part. A thermostat is not a precision instrument do not get all wound up in a couple of degrees. Autozone or Advance sells the STANT as the Tough One part 14279

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