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Old 10-05-2017, 09:23 AM   #1
Kaspar7
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Default 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

First, I bought the car used about 3 months ago and it didn't come with maintenance records. It has 212K miles. After a few weeks, it started losing a little coolant. There was a small leak on the plastic part of the radiator that someone had tried to patch with epoxy and the patch wasn't holding. This past Saturday, that trickle became a massive leak.

I bought a new radiator and upper/lower hoses and installed them Monday. Leak at the radiator is fixed. I've done this before, so I knew to expect some trapped air in the cooling system to take a little time to get out to the recovery tank. I've added a little coolant 2-3 times because of this. there is a sort of gurgling/hissing sound coming from the coolant recovery tank but I can't tell for sure if there is a leak there.

Before the repair, (and after replacing the ECTS), the temperature gauge was consistently at 1/4 any time that the engine was warmed up. Now, the gauge goes up to 1/2 and sometimes a little over 1/2.

I forgot (silly me!) to replace the thermostat while I had the hoses off. Maybe I should have done that - and maybe I will need to? I'll have to drain and replace most of the coolant to replace the thermostat, so I need to know whether this is a necessary repair.

Mostly, I want to be sure that the car isn't running too hot.

any help would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance.

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Old 10-05-2017, 09:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

First and foremost pressure test the cooling system. If you don't you're just pi$$ing into the wind. Once you affirm the system can hold pressure buy a new pressure cap for the coolant tank. Cheap insurance. Properly bleed the cooling system to be sure all air is out.
Odds are (other than the hissing) it's now just operating normally now that the ECTS is fully covered in coolant and there is no air leak into the system

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Old 10-05-2017, 11:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

Just to add- what is the condition of the Water Pump? I would check that as well for a slow weep, or any leakage from there. Water pumps on these cars aren't difficult to replace, but it is held in with a total Quantity of 9 (10MM Bolts)... 3 on the pully, and 6 on the water pump itself. After replacing a few in 20 years of ownership- I have gotten into the practice of- if I have to replace the radiator- I may as well replace the ECTS ($20.00), and the Water Pump (~$25.00)...

Get it all done at once- that way you aren't constantly draining and refilling the Coolant system multiple times.

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Old 10-05-2017, 12:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

No leak that you can tell, though, right now?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaspar7 View Post
there is a sort of gurgling/hissing sound coming from the coolant recovery tank but I can't tell for sure if there is a leak there.
Tape a clean paper towel under the cap. If there is steam escaping, the towel will catch it and be damp after a drive.
Or spend $3 for the cap like underthehood suggested, but I'm a serious tightwad three bucks is three bucks!

I get gurgling occasionally on my '02, never had it in my '98, but no harm done after almost a year of driving it. It's coolant returning to the back of the tank from the hose (de-aeration line) at the back, that runs along the firewall to the intake nipple

Quote:
Before the repair, (and after replacing the ECTS), the temperature gauge was consistently at 1/4 any time that the engine was warmed up. Now, the gauge goes up to 1/2 and sometimes a little over 1/2. . . .Mostly, I want to be sure that the car isn't running too hot.
the temp gauge is not a precision instrument, so running about 3/8~1/2 is "normal." You may not be really running hot at all.

For example: the temp gauge might show a tick over 1/4 in one Saturn, or it might show 1/2 in another, but the actual coolant temperature might be 205F in both cars

And as underthehood mentioned, the lower 1/4 reading may have been from low coolant, when you had the radiator leak. The ECTS is at a relatively high position in the cooling system

Best way is to check actual temperature by putting a thermometer in the return stream at the back of the surge tank/reservoir with the engine warmed up, or taking a live reading via OBDII if you have a reader that can see live data

Quote:
I forgot (silly me!) to replace the thermostat while I had the hoses off. Maybe I should have done that - and maybe I will need to?
Probably not, t-stat in these cars will fail open, so is not the source of the problem (if there is a problem)

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Old 10-05-2017, 12:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by underthehood View Post
First and foremost pressure test the cooling system. If you don't you're just pi$$ing into the wind. Once you affirm the system can hold pressure buy a new pressure cap for the coolant tank. Cheap insurance. Properly bleed the cooling system to be sure all air is out.
Odds are (other than the hissing) it's now just operating normally now that the ECTS is fully covered in coolant and there is no air leak into the system
Replacing the cap seems like a smart idea. Don't have tool/know-how to test the pressure. when the car gets really hot (>7/8) some coolant gets past the recovery tank cap.

I replaced the ECTS 2 days after I got the car ~3 months ago. the one I bought was defective - ugh - so I bought another one. Temp gauge normalized at ~1/4 and the DTC for the ECTS cleared.

When hot, the upper & lower hoses get hot.

Plenty of heat from the heater core; tested that with temp lever all the way up and fan on high. We're talking blast furnace here, with good air flow.

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Old 10-05-2017, 12:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

I apologize, but I can't resist commenting on this thread's unique title:

19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

This appears to be a major break through in time travel! Not only can one reach the 200th century and return, but one can still find a 20th century car there - a Saturn, no less - having similar problems and bring it back to people who can really help with it, too! Let us know how things work out after it's working properly again in 19,999.

(I'm just having fun here....)

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Old 10-05-2017, 12:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
Just to add- what is the condition of the Water Pump? I would check that as well for a slow weep, or any leakage from there. Water pumps on these cars aren't difficult to replace, but it is held in with a total Quantity of 9 (10MM Bolts)... 3 on the pully, and 6 on the water pump itself. After replacing a few in 20 years of ownership- I have gotten into the practice of- if I have to replace the radiator- I may as well replace the ECTS ($20.00), and the Water Pump (~$25.00)...

Get it all done at once- that way you aren't constantly draining and refilling the Coolant system multiple times.
As soon as I figure out where the water pump is, exactly, I'll have a look for any leakage. ECTS is fine, replaced 23 months ago. the DTC for it cleared as soon as I had a good ECTC in there (the first one I put in was defective, so I went back to get another one. Since then, the temp gauge has consistently read ~1/4 until just now. Hoses get hot, cabin heat is performing well. Fan is not turning with gauge ~7/8!! Checking the fan now to see if it will spin with 12V applied directly to it.

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Old 10-05-2017, 01:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

Quote:
This appears to be a major break through in time travel!
I'm just glad they bring Saturn back in the future.

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Old 10-05-2017, 02:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

Kaspar7, with questions of coolant temps and why the temperature needle swings more than it has after replacing the coolant sensors, there may be a simpler way to have an overall perspective - using a reader capable of displaying coolant temps. If you don't own one and are confused as many about which one to buy, you might consider a free app (option to upgrade for a few dollars) for cellphone use and a bluetooth adapter plugged into the OBD II port. A popular app is Torque and a generic bluetooth adapter from ebay. Members already using them can recommend bluetooth models. Or buy a plug-in reader. Observing actual temperatures may give you more insight to correlate temps to every day driving. And these OBD II tools can decode the check engine light.

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Old 10-05-2017, 03:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrot View Post
I apologize, but I can't resist commenting on this thread's unique title:

19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

This appears to be a major break through in time travel! Not only can one reach the 200th century and return, but one can still find a 20th century car there - a Saturn, no less - having similar problems and bring it back to people who can really help with it, too! Let us know how things work out after it's working properly again in 19,999.

(I'm just having fun here....)
When the Tardis landed that year, we spotted an ancient Saturn vehicle. We were intrigued, so we brought it back to 2107 just for grins. It needs a bit of work. :d

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Old 10-05-2017, 04:05 PM   #11
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Kaspar7, with questions of coolant temps and why the temperature needle swings more than it has after replacing the coolant sensors, there may be a simpler way to have an overall perspective - using a reader capable of displaying coolant temps. If you don't own one and are confused as many about which one to buy, you might consider a free app (option to upgrade for a few dollars) for cellphone use and a bluetooth adapter plugged into the OBD II port. A popular app is Torque and a generic bluetooth adapter from ebay. Members already using them can recommend bluetooth models. Or buy a plug-in reader. Observing actual temperatures may give you more insight to correlate temps to every day driving. And these OBD II tools can decode the check engine light.
Thanks, but I'm so old-school that I just bought a candy thermometer for $5 at Kroger. I'll open the recovery tank, start the engine and watch the temperature until the fan starts spinning. I already have an older OBD II reader but it doesn't have the "live data" feature so it won't tell me the temperature. Check Engine light goes on and off sporadically due to a random misfire. (P0301)

What I need right now is the #$%^&^ bolt that holds the fan shroud to the radiator. I was taking the fan out to replace the motor. That went fine, but... Friggin' time warps! I took the bolt out and put it in a magnetic parts tray with the other bolts and nuts I removed. So naturally, it has vanished because it's 5:00 and I don't have much good light left. I need to know what thread size and length that bolt is. Probably find one at Home Depot - if I know what to get. It's about 5/8" long, has a 10mm head. Don't know any more than that.

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Old 10-05-2017, 04:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

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Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
I'm just glad they bring Saturn back in the future.
Me, too. But why is there no dealership? I need parts.

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Old 10-05-2017, 04:11 PM   #13
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post

the temp gauge is not a precision instrument, so running about 3/8~1/2 is "normal." You may not be really running hot at all.
it's running really hot now; went clear up to the red zone and the Hi-Temp light came on. Fan isn't coming on. Bought a new fan motor and replaced that. But now I can't find that ONE bolt that holds the fan shroud to the radiator. I put it in a magnetic parts tray when I took it out, to prevent losing it!! That bolt was missing when I got the car. Found a replacement in my collection of old nuts 'n' bolts. But didn't think to get a spare before I put it in the car. Now it's gone. Moved the car far enough (downhill in neutral, not cranked) to look all under it. No luck.

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Old 10-05-2017, 04:36 PM   #14
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

I'm old school too but kept up with changes to EFI systems. My L300 and $150 service manuals (bought back in '05) allows me to stay abreast of changes while educating my me on the nuances. There's no stopping off progress with cars.

If you know the bolt size is 10mm, can you remove any similar bolt to see if it fits the threaded mounting hole? Some careful experimenting can help determine which metric nut or bolt is needed before going to Home Depot for replacements.

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Old 10-05-2017, 06:51 PM   #15
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

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I'm old school too but kept up with changes to EFI systems. My L300 and $150 service manuals (bought back in '05) allows me to stay abreast of changes while educating my me on the nuances. There's no stopping off progress with cars.

If you know the bolt size is 10mm, can you remove any similar bolt to see if it fits the threaded mounting hole? Some careful experimenting can help determine which metric nut or bolt is needed before going to Home Depot for replacements.
All I knew was that the head of the bolt fit a 10mm socket. Didn't know the bolt diameter, thread size or length. BUT, I located one of the blind-nut clips that was left over from the radiator job (the radiator came with 4 and I only needed 3). Took that nut to Home Depot and found a bolt that fit it. Turned out to be a 6mmx1.0, 20mm long. didn't have the fancy head with the built-in washer, so I slipped a properly sized stainless steel washer down the bolt shaft and threaded it in. It fits like a glove. tomorrow I get to determine whether the fan will turn on when it should - and get a temperature reading just in case. Good thing I fixed the heater core and the misfire in the Jetta on Saturday, so I have something to drive to the parts stores!

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Old 10-05-2017, 06:54 PM   #16
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

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Properly bleed the cooling system to be sure all air is out.
How do I bleed the cooling system to be sure all air is out?

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Old 10-05-2017, 08:51 PM   #17
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

For me it was fill, drive, cool down, repeat. Took 3 or 4 times and now it's good.

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Old 10-06-2017, 05:58 AM   #18
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

While you are in there anyway, check the line that dumps into the back of the reservoir for a solid flow stream. It can be done with the line on the reservoir, but I've found that taking it off it probably just as easy and you can see the flow better. Just disconnect, dump it in the (open) reservoir, and then check flow after starting the car. Best done with the car cool.

The single cammers don't generate a lot of heat, so if it's heating up quickly the line could be suspect.

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Old 10-06-2017, 06:50 AM   #19
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

The Water Pump is located on the Passenger Side of the Engine- about midway.

If you take off the Passenger Wheel, and the Splash Guard immediately behind the Wheel, you will see the Main Camshaft Pulley. Look just up and North East of the Camshaft Pulley and you will see the Water Pump Pulley.

Internet Picture for Reference (This engine is NOT my engine):


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Old 10-06-2017, 11:14 AM   #20
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Default Re: 19999 SW1 temp gauge behaving oddly after radiator replacement

Great pic,Brian. System is self purging, de-aeration line in the back and surge tank/reservoir are high points. Air pockets will naturally push/flow into deaeration line and purge out into tank after driving on relatively level surfaces

Though if that line is blocked, it will not purge

ugh, dead fan, rad leak, and failed ECTS. . . annoying when several things go wrong at the same time. Makes troubleshooting a title dicier

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