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Old 02-11-2017, 07:07 PM   #21
Saturn Night
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 with no heat

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
While you are reading do verify you have a full, solid stream of coolant returning to the right rear of the reservoir through the 3/8 hose. If there is no flow there will be NO HEAT. This is a common SOHC problem.
And when this happens, it is usually because of a failing head gasket and/or a cracked cylinder head, that allows the air bubble to block the flow of coolant, as the tube comes out of the head, right next to the upper radiator hose.

...
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:08 PM   #22
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 with no heat

No flow is caused by a mineral deposit at the head end attachment point. The lack of heat is due to the steam bubble in the head. If you catch this early enough nothing else bad happens. These engines rarely suffer a blown head gasket but they do crack.

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Old 02-16-2017, 01:11 AM   #23
swankyjake
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 with no heat

Thank you all so very much for your replies. I haven't had much time to check this out until now. My class load at college is very stressful this semester.

One thing I wanted to clear up is I actually have only added a quart since the last oil change which was 4000 miles ago, not a quart and a half (I forgot I had a half of one and bought another one but only used half of it). I find this to be normal with a car at this age, if not, please let me know.

I tried a few things related to the first couple of replies. I ran the engine for about 20 minutes and kept it a bit above idle (it was idling high anyway because it was super cold out the day I did this) without the radiator cap and I was hoping for some air bubbles to come out. I squeezed the hose coming out of the bottom of the coolant tank a bit. I was getting heat while having it parked. Screwed the cap back on, and I took it for a drive around town (about 10 minutes) and by the time I got back I had no heat again. This is again, when the temperatures where near 0 F.

I don't think, as of yet, that I have a head gasket problem. The coolant level has stayed at the same level the entire month I have been watching this. The engine is in excellent condition. My last resort would be to take it in to see if I have a cracked head.

The last week is has been running great and I have a normal (not exceedingly hot) heat as the temperatures have been around the 30s.

I read what Saturn Night had to say, and he said temps can get mediocre when temps outside are around 0F. Is this true?


One last thing, I am still seeing the temperature gauge fluctuating when going up a large hill for a long period of time. Instead of the 3/8ths, it floats to the 1/2 but never reaches 1/2. I'm still thinking this is normal as the tstat has been replaced and perhaps the old one was worn a bit because it always showed 3/8ths and never fluctuated at all after the car had warmed up. I am interested to see what happens in the summertime.


Two things I am going to be checking over this weekend. I would like to replace the water pump with my father since I am going home for the weekend. The other thing is I am still confused as to what coolant hoses should be hot vs. cold. Some coming out of the radiator were cold (don't remember which ones), but this was when it was super cold out and after running the car for about 10 minutes. Again, I'm new to this whole owning a car thing and having issues I can't solve with it. (Will also be changing the oil over the weekend)

I haven't yet been able to try everything here, but will keep trying things. Just wanted to remind people the engine only has 85K on it.

EDIT: I also checked the oil cap and dipstick, and there wasn't any "chocolate milk/coffee creamer" at the top indicating a coolant leak. Just oil.

...
----------------
2002 Saturn SL1 -- "Swankster"

Last edited by swankyjake; 02-16-2017 at 01:16 AM.. Reason: im dumb

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Old 02-16-2017, 01:28 AM   #24
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 with no heat

Sorry for double post but I also wanted to add that the small hose going into the top of the coolant tank is hot. Thought that might be helpful, bot sure.

...
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Old 02-16-2017, 02:07 AM   #25
Saturn Night
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 with no heat

Going up a hill, with the temp gauge just under half is fairly normal. When you have the coolant cap off, you have heat at idle.

When you put the cap back on and drive the car, the heat goes out within ten minutes.

That, right there, tells me you have a cracked head or head gasket. When the system is NOT pressurized and warmed up, you have heat. So, the hot coolant can move when it is not under pressure.(Expansion Tank cap is OFF)

Now, when you put the cap on, and pressure begins to build up, you are losing heat.

If the water pump does NOT solve your issues, I would suggest performing a pressure test on the system.

Death-Cool orange has an appetite for the steel rings used to line our S-Series head gaskets, as age/mileage will turn Death-Cool orange coolant acidic.

And as far as your oil consumption, it is only going to get worse. It is NOT NORMAL for engines to burn oil. It is COMMON for Saturn S-Series to burn oil, due to defective piston design and stuck oil control rings.

...
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:52 AM   #26
swankyjake
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2002 SL1
Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 with no heat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night View Post
Going up a hill, with the temp gauge just under half is fairly normal. When you have the coolant cap off, you have heat at idle.

When you put the cap back on and drive the car, the heat goes out within ten minutes.

That, right there, tells me you have a cracked head or head gasket. When the system is NOT pressurized and warmed up, you have heat. So, the hot coolant can move when it is not under pressure.(Expansion Tank cap is OFF)

Now, when you put the cap on, and pressure begins to build up, you are losing heat.

If the water pump does NOT solve your issues, I would suggest performing a pressure test on the system.

Death-Cool orange has an appetite for the steel rings used to line our S-Series head gaskets, as age/mileage will turn Death-Cool orange coolant acidic.

And as far as your oil consumption, it is only going to get worse. It is NOT NORMAL for engines to burn oil. It is COMMON for Saturn S-Series to burn oil, due to defective piston design and stuck oil control rings.

Alright I'm going to see if I can get my car in for a pressure test over the weekend. I will let you know what I find out next week. Thanks for your quick reply!

...
----------------
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:03 AM   #27
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 with no heat

No heat? Not a concern. Priorities differ depending on location.

No A/C? Now, that would be a legit problem here.

I bet the average fix for heat issues is a lot cheaper than the ones for A/C.

Good luck.

...
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:06 AM   #28
swankyjake
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 with no heat

Quote:
Originally Posted by TXSaturn02 View Post
No heat? Not a concern. Priorities differ depending on location.

No A/C? Now, that would be a legit problem here.

I bet the average fix for heat issues is a lot cheaper than the ones for A/C.

Good luck.
I definitely have A/C. I hear the fan kick on and very cold air coming out while testing things.

...
----------------
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:46 PM   #29
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2002 SL2
Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 with no heat

Quote:
Originally Posted by swankyjake View Post
Thank you all so very much for your replies. I haven't had much time to check this out until now. My class load at college is very stressful this semester.

One thing I wanted to clear up is I actually have only added a quart since the last oil change which was 4000 miles ago, not a quart and a half (I forgot I had a half of one and bought another one but only used half of it). I find this to be normal with a car at this age, if not, please let me know.

I tried a few things related to the first couple of replies. I ran the engine for about 20 minutes and kept it a bit above idle (it was idling high anyway because it was super cold out the day I did this) without the radiator cap and I was hoping for some air bubbles to come out. I squeezed the hose coming out of the bottom of the coolant tank a bit. I was getting heat while having it parked. Screwed the cap back on, and I took it for a drive around town (about 10 minutes) and by the time I got back I had no heat again. This is again, when the temperatures where near 0 F.

I don't think, as of yet, that I have a head gasket problem. The coolant level has stayed at the same level the entire month I have been watching this. The engine is in excellent condition. My last resort would be to take it in to see if I have a cracked head.

The last week is has been running great and I have a normal (not exceedingly hot) heat as the temperatures have been around the 30s.

I read what Saturn Night had to say, and he said temps can get mediocre when temps outside are around 0F. Is this true?


One last thing, I am still seeing the temperature gauge fluctuating when going up a large hill for a long period of time. Instead of the 3/8ths, it floats to the 1/2 but never reaches 1/2. I'm still thinking this is normal as the tstat has been replaced and perhaps the old one was worn a bit because it always showed 3/8ths and never fluctuated at all after the car had warmed up. I am interested to see what happens in the summertime.


Two things I am going to be checking over this weekend. I would like to replace the water pump with my father since I am going home for the weekend. The other thing is I am still confused as to what coolant hoses should be hot vs. cold. Some coming out of the radiator were cold (don't remember which ones), but this was when it was super cold out and after running the car for about 10 minutes. Again, I'm new to this whole owning a car thing and having issues I can't solve with it. (Will also be changing the oil over the weekend)

I haven't yet been able to try everything here, but will keep trying things. Just wanted to remind people the engine only has 85K on it.

EDIT: I also checked the oil cap and dipstick, and there wasn't any "chocolate milk/coffee creamer" at the top indicating a coolant leak. Just oil.
Swankyjake,

You mentioned about which hoses should be cold/hot. The coolant in the engine gets hotter as the engine warms up. It is circulated around the system by the water pump. The Thermostat stays closed and keeps that coolant in the engine until it reaches the required temperature and then it opens allowing the hot coolant to flow through the TOP hose into the radiator. The coolant passes through the fins of the radiator and cools down and then leaves the radiator out through the BOTTOM hose and back into the engine loop. Running of this loop the coolant also flows through the heater hoses into a heater core. This is essentially a smaller radiator. The fan for the heating blows this warmed air through the car via different settings such as face, screen, floor or mix of both.

Lack of heat can be because of many reasons as mentioned in other posts. Over time rubber hoses deteriorate with age. When this happens they can collapse internally. If you look at a hose it may look normal, but if you squeeze it you will feel if it has lost its internal strength and will be squishy to the feel. In all my years of driving I have only ever had that happen to me once, but it can happen. One point I would ask is that you said you have replaced the radiator/coolant cap. What did you replace it with? Those caps are pressurized to a given figure (I think it's 20psi). You can't replace it with any old cap.

You also have to remember another point and that is the weather itself. When you have really cold temperatures, engines will take longer to heat up and also you have airflow hitting the front of the car, including the radiator. All that low temperature only serves to make the heating system generally work harder to function correctly. Some drivers in very cold climes use a blind or even a piece of cardboard to blank off part of the radiator to help it do its job more easily. However, you have to be careful doing this in case you blank off too much and reduce airflow to the point where it overheats. It's a balance approach.

If you have a correctly functioning Tstat (many Tstats have to be installed in a certain way as they have jiggle valves on them which only work in the correct orientation. I have never changed a Tstat on a S series SOHC so couldn't be certain, but it's worth double checking if it was installed correctly), the hoses are not blocked, the radiator and heater core are not blocked and your water pump is functioning correctly then the coolant issue lies elsewhere.

On the use of DexCool and it's 'history, all I will say is that these coolants are designed for long term service in the cars cooling system. I think Dexcool and other coolants are like 5 years plus. Personally, for the cost involved (5 or so quarts of coolant vs a new engine), you may be better using any universal coolant, including Dexcool, but change it more frequently. Many drivers who have bad experiences haven't changed the coolant when they should.

Hope this helps

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