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Old 09-18-2017, 06:35 PM   #1
pancho400cid
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2001 SC2
Default Fan controls - 2001 SC-2

Greetings!

I have a 2001 Saturn SC-2, 1.9 Liter 4 cyl, DOHC.

Some months back I did the "intake manifold bypass repair" using a kit from SaturnParts. This is my back-and-forth-to-work car and sees mostly highway driving (20 mile one-way commute). I fill up the oil and check the gas about once a week and that's pretty much the extent of the maintenance - LOL. The car has run fine since putting in the manifold fix kit until recently.

It has started running hot. Definitely in traffic, but possibly a little hotter than "normal" on the highway as well. I am confident the electric fan is not coming on. I can test the fan by powering it directly, but is there a temperature sensor and/or relay that controls the fan? Where are they generally and are there test methods that are common or common failures for these cars?

Any input appreciated. Thanks!

PS - I mention the manifold repair because it is possible I damaged failed to connect a sensor or something when I pulled the manifold.

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Old 09-18-2017, 08:56 PM   #2
OldNuc
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Fan controls - 2001 SC-2

In the big search box at the top of the page search for replace ECTS. You need to replace yours, inspect wiring for damage and splices --correct any found, and inspect connector for corrosion - moisture - contamination. Search will find all the rest of the info required.

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Old 09-18-2017, 10:03 PM   #3
pancho400cid
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2001 SC2
Default Re: Fan controls - 2001 SC-2

That may be the ticket. I did find info on changing it out. Definitely a good starting place at least!

Thanks!!!!!

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Old 09-19-2017, 08:13 AM   #4
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Fan controls - 2001 SC-2

This is a very common failure and is a periodic maintenance item even with the all brass sensors.

Your fan will not switch on until the gauge reaches 5/8 -> 3/4 indication. Any above that indication does indicate a problem to be fixed or obvious high temperature and the gauge is not indicating that you are actually overheating.

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Old 09-19-2017, 12:32 PM   #5
pancho400cid
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2001 SC2
Default Re: Fan controls - 2001 SC-2

Generally, the hottest the engine temp has gotten is a tick over "half range" on the gauge... maybe 5/8 lately. That is considerably more than "normal" from what I have seen in past driving. It was typically just a little over quarter scale on the gauge.

When the gauge is up around half-scale, the water must be pretty dang hot. I turned on the heater/blower to full blast (not fun in TX even in Sept) to see if the indicated temp would drop. It did drop a little and the air coming out of the ducts was VERY hot.

BTW - I did verify the coolant system is full (DexCool orange anti-freeze replaced a few months ago). Also the car has a new aftermarket radiator that is less than a year old - It leaked a tiny amount for years, and when the intake manifold bypass crack developed, I first thought the radiator had worsened and replaced it. Long story short the coolant system is leak free, full and in good shape.

One more question: Is the ECTS polarized (pos / neg) as far as connections? I would assume the connector is keyed if so?

Thanks!

Last edited by pancho400cid; 09-19-2017 at 12:39 PM..

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Old 09-19-2017, 03:34 PM   #6
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1997 SL2
Default Re: Fan controls - 2001 SC-2

not polarized, will go in either way.

IIRC, fan relay is in the UHJB, black rectangular cover between the driver headlight and battery along the fender. I believe the fog lamp, air conditioner, and fan relays are the same and can be swapped for testing. Backside of cover has the layout molded in

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Old 09-25-2017, 12:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: Fan controls - 2001 SC-2

So... I hate not hearing the <Paul Harvey voice on> "Rest of the Story"... wow... yes... I'm getting old... anyway.... here's the rest of my Saturn story for this weekend.

I bought a new ECTS and forced my 14 year-old son to help me with the changeout. We got it out only to learn it was already brass and had apparently been replaced before. Uh oh.... replaced it anyway. No changes. Car still got hot if idled for long periods.

Found and pulled the blower relay. I took the cover off and the contact showed some wear and metal transfer... I thought mmaaayyybe enough to keep it from working. I could have checked the fan motor but I got lazy (always costly in the long run). I went to the parts store and bought a new relay and put it in. No change. I WISH I would have seen alordofchaos' comment about swapping another relay for test... awesome piece of info! Too bad I just noticed it after re-reading tonight!

Bit the bullet and just pulled the fan housing - surprisingly easy on these cars. Put an ohm-meter across the motor terminal. Open circuit. Not a good sign. Rigged up a suicide test rig and tripped the switch to put 12 VDC across the motor. Nothing... Back to the parts store to buy a motor. Very low resistance across the motor terminals... that's good. Bolted it in and hooked up the suicide rig again. This time it roared (well spun anyway) to life. Bolted it all back in and took a test drive including lots of idling...calling it fixed for now! Thanks for the input guys!

Last edited by pancho400cid; 09-25-2017 at 12:11 AM..

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Old 09-25-2017, 06:31 AM   #8
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Fan controls - 2001 SC-2

Thanks for the rest of the story.

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Old 09-25-2017, 07:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: Fan controls - 2001 SC-2

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Thanks for the rest of the story.
+1, and a surprising number of us remember Paul Harvey

(There might be a few who call him "that young fella, Paul Harvey")

...
I'm not worthy to grovel in the shadow of Signmaster's wisdom

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 124k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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