SaturnFans.com
what's new (beta) - classifieds - forums - photos


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn S-Series > S-Series Tech
Register FAQ Members List Groups Calendar Chat Room Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-21-2017, 04:00 PM   #1
dssl1
New Member
dssl1 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 9
Default 2001 SL1 overheating

I have a 2001 SL1 that is intermittently overheating and boiling off the coolant. It doesn't have a leak. At first I suspected the AC compressor, because when it would overheat, the AC seems to stop working, not sure which came first. But in troubleshooting, I have noticed the AC stop blowing cold and the clutch on the compressor freewheeling and reengaging in an odd manner, when it should be cranking full bore. (car cold, AC set to max)

However, the other day the car overheated on some twisty switchback 1st-2nd gear dirt mountain roads, and I had the ac turned completely off to try and prevent it from overheating.

I have noticed the radiator fan doesn't spin when the car is cold, AC on or off, and if the gauge goes much beyond the half way point, it's enough to start the coolant res boiling over without the radiator fan ever coming on.

At this point, I'm not sure if it's the AC compressor and I should get a shorter belt that bypasses it, or if it's a radiator fan or electrical problem? I can't seem to get the radiator fan spinning in any case. Could it be a bad thermostat? I've checked the 30a cooling fan fuse, and it is not blown. Nor is any other fuse that I checked.

The AC does still work... most of the time. Where do I go from here? Do I need one of those Hayden fan switch kits I've read about on these boards?

The car only overheats in stop-n-go city traffic with AC on, or hill climbing even with AC off. If you get it up to speed, it does just fine even with the AC on, though the AC could start blowing warm at any point, at which point I flick the AC switch on/off to get it blowing cold again.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to dssl1's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help dssl1 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
dssl1 is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 10-21-2017, 04:10 PM   #2
fetchitfido
Super Member
fetchitfido has much to be proud offetchitfido has much to be proud offetchitfido has much to be proud offetchitfido has much to be proud offetchitfido has much to be proud offetchitfido has much to be proud offetchitfido has much to be proud offetchitfido has much to be proud offetchitfido has much to be proud offetchitfido has much to be proud of
 
fetchitfido's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 13,456
 

2001 SC2
Default Re: 2001 SL1 overheating

Sounds like a failed ECTS leading to a failed coolant reservoir cap.

Also verify the radiator fan is on when the A/C is on, if not then diagnose that.

Oh, and hope it hasn't actually overheated because the SOHC heads are prone to cracking.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to fetchitfido's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help fetchitfido reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
fetchitfido is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2017, 04:32 PM   #3
dssl1
New Member
dssl1 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 9
Default Re: 2001 SL1 overheating

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
Sounds like a failed ECTS leading to a failed coolant reservoir cap.

Also verify the radiator fan is on when the A/C is on, if not then diagnose that.
The radiator fan doesn't seem to come on under any circumstance. Should it come on with the AC on even when engine is cold?

Should I replace the ECTS? TX73T for $10?
Duralast res cap Part Number: 7039 for $6?
Jumper the fan relay?

I'm going to go to autozone to get a new reservoir cap right now as the first thing to try. The temp gauge seems like it reads correctly, but I think the coolant boils too early which could be from res cap not holding pressure, then the car overheats when enough coolant is gone. Thanks for the tip, I will try that first.

... though that still wouldn't explain why the radiator fan doesn't come on when the AC is on.... should the radiator fan run when the AC is on, even with a cold engine?

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to dssl1's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help dssl1 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
dssl1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2017, 05:06 PM   #4
fetchitfido
Super Member
fetchitfido has much to be proud offetchitfido has much to be proud offetchitfido has much to be proud offetchitfido has much to be proud offetchitfido has much to be proud offetchitfido has much to be proud offetchitfido has much to be proud offetchitfido has much to be proud offetchitfido has much to be proud offetchitfido has much to be proud of
 
fetchitfido's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 13,456
 

2001 SC2
Default Re: 2001 SL1 overheating

The radiator fan should be on anytime the A/C is on. Doesn't matter engine temp. If the A/C isn't blowing cold it probably isn't actually turning on, all the button does is ask the PCM to turn on A/C if a bunch of other parameters are okay.

Diagnose why the radiator fan isn't coming on before spending money, though under $20 for those 2 parts doesn't sound that bad and IMO need to be replaced anyway...it'll just save you a trip if the radiator fan motor is dead (won't have to go back & get one). I'd take a 16ga jumper wire (can be as short as 3in) and remove the fan relay to shove the wire into sockets 30 & 87...if the fan comes on there's a problem with either the relay or the signal to the relay, if it doesn't turn on either there's a power problem or the motor is dead.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to fetchitfido's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help fetchitfido reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
fetchitfido is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2017, 12:27 AM   #5
Saturn Night
Senior Member
Saturn Night has a spectacular aura aboutSaturn Night has a spectacular aura aboutSaturn Night has a spectacular aura about
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Leavittsburg, OH
Posts: 1,981

1995 SC2
Default Re: 2001 SL1 overheating

Quote:
Originally Posted by dssl1 View Post
The radiator fan doesn't seem to come on under any circumstance. Should it come on with the AC on even when engine is cold?

Should I replace the ECTS? TX73T for $10?
Duralast res cap Part Number: 7039 for $6?
Jumper the fan relay?

I'm going to go to autozone to get a new reservoir cap right now as the first thing to try. The temp gauge seems like it reads correctly, but I think the coolant boils too early which could be from res cap not holding pressure, then the car overheats when enough coolant is gone. Thanks for the tip, I will try that first.

... though that still wouldn't explain why the radiator fan doesn't come on when the AC is on.... should the radiator fan run when the AC is on, even with a cold engine?
www.car-part.com

Get a used cooling fan. Ditch the A/C altogether, and get a belt for non-A/C. Tye cooling fan runs at ALL times, when A/C is being used, which burns up the cooling fan motors.

Replace the cap, with an 18psi cap.

Replace the ECTS, even if it isn't bad, because it WILL crack and go bad eventually.

Fetch already covered the cracking head issues on SOHC engines.

And if you love your head gasket, draining the orange and replacing with GREEN will not hurt the engine any. Your head gasket will love you for many miles, as well.

...
1991 Pontiac Grand Am @ 140k - More rust than paint & no leaks
1995 Saturn SC2 @ 181k - 17.2538 @ 77.91mph w/Stock TB
Mechanic: I can't fix stupid, but I can fix what stupid does.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Saturn Night's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Saturn Night reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Saturn Night is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2017, 12:29 AM   #6
Saturn Night
Senior Member
Saturn Night has a spectacular aura aboutSaturn Night has a spectacular aura aboutSaturn Night has a spectacular aura about
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Leavittsburg, OH
Posts: 1,981

1995 SC2
Default Re: 2001 SL1 overheating

The cooling fan can be tested by plugging in a code scanner on OBD-I(1995-older). May also be true of GM OBD-II(1996-up).

...
1991 Pontiac Grand Am @ 140k - More rust than paint & no leaks
1995 Saturn SC2 @ 181k - 17.2538 @ 77.91mph w/Stock TB
Mechanic: I can't fix stupid, but I can fix what stupid does.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Saturn Night's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Saturn Night reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Saturn Night is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2017, 06:22 PM   #7
dssl1
New Member
dssl1 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 9
Default Re: 2001 SL1 overheating

Tried jumping the cooling fan relay, 30 to 87, with a piece of 14g solid and got nothing. Tried again the next day with a paper clip, and the fan still doesn't spin, AC on or off. I've been running the heater full blast with the windows down and it makes it up the switchbacks without boiling coolant, and I can run the AC on the highway, but I think a high heat condition may be what was making the compressor stop running, or maybe damaged it. Not sure which yet. Trying to figure out the radiator fan first.

I see a radiator fan motor on ebay for $19.50.
Or I can get a used cooling fan assembly from local junk yard for $30.

But I need to make sure it's getting power first. Could I tape some 14g solid to a spare taillight bulb and plug it into the connector that plugs into the fan assembly? Or would it be better to remove the fan, and jump power from the battery terminals to the fan? I don't have an OBD tester

How likely do you think it's just the fan motor that's dead? I haven't turned the AC off in probably 7-8 months. In southern AZ, it's never cool enough to not run your car AC for most of the year, and the rest of the year you just turn the fan speed down from max to 1-2. Maybe a couple nights in winter you might have to run the heater if you get up at 4am. And it's been an AZ car all it's life, so I wouldn't be surprised if the fan motor is shot.

Previous owner must've converted it to green coolant.

Last edited by dssl1; 10-24-2017 at 06:31 PM..

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to dssl1's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help dssl1 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
dssl1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2017, 06:50 PM   #8
dssl1
New Member
dssl1 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 9
Default Re: 2001 SL1 overheating

I love car-part.com but it's not always cheapest to buy a used part. I recently replaced the left headlight assembly after a deer strike and I got a brand new aftermarket headlight assy off ebay with mounting bracket for $33.50. Junkyards wanted $40-50 for used OEM headlight. and they're probably as sun fogged as my right one.

Where do I get an 18psi coolant cap? All I can find are 15psi. I think I need to get the radiator fan fixed first, then see about doing a coolant flush and maybe a new coolant cap.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to dssl1's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help dssl1 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
dssl1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2017, 07:06 PM   #9
billr
Master Member
billr is just really nicebillr is just really nicebillr is just really nicebillr is just really nicebillr is just really nice
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 4,109
Default Re: 2001 SL1 overheating

Back-probe into the connector/wire right at the fan motor and check voltage with the relay jumpered or the ALDL pins jumpered. If you have 12V right at the motor and it doesn't run, then yeah... it must be bad.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to billr's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help billr reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
billr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2017, 07:08 PM   #10
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 39,202
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2001 SL1 overheating

With almost full time use of AC, the cooling fan is worn out. Technically, if ac works, cools in local traffic or at speed (compressor runs), the cooling fan must run. If ac is dead, no compressor running at all, the PCM knows it and won't turn on the cooling fan. AC requires cooling fan operation at all times, even with a cold engine. Since ac generates heat and the condenser coil sits in front of the radiator, guess where heat from the condenser coil flows in to? The hot air coming off the condenser coil flows directly into the radiator and as the engine warms up, without a cooling fan running when ac is used, the engine will overheat, especially in local traffic. You have hints of cooling fan failure just from describing ac is fine at speed but drops out in local traffic because ac pressures exceeds a high pressure limit, around 425 psi when the pressure sensor detects it and saves your ac system from exploding. Normal operating pressures may never exceed around 350 psi. No one should be around a car when ac explosions occur. The pressure sensor protects against this as well as leaks that can damage compressors from loss of refrigerant - refrigerant moves lubricating oil throughout ac systems. No refrigerant no oil lube. A compressor will self destruct without circulating oil.

A simple way to verify power to the cooling fan - measure the connector with ac on (compressor running), cold engine, with a multimeter or a 12v bulb. You'll probably find the fan connector live with 12v because the PCM commands the compressor on and cooling fan simultaneously. If you find power on the cooling fan connector, replace the fan motor.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to fdryer's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help fdryer reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2017, 07:11 PM   #11
dssl1
New Member
dssl1 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 9
Default Re: 2001 SL1 overheating

BTW, the overheating problems started about 1.5 days before the deer strike, so the deer impact wasn't the cause of the fan failure.

fdryer, I think you're right about the high pressure limit being whats made me see the compressor clutch kick in and out in an odd manner, and the AC stop blowing cold as the engine begins to overheat.

I'll have to see if I can dig up my multimeter, or tape a couple paperclips to a taillight bulb and use them to back-probe the fan connector. Maybe both.

Last edited by dssl1; 10-24-2017 at 07:22 PM..

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to dssl1's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help dssl1 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
dssl1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2017, 08:56 PM   #12
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 39,202
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2001 SL1 overheating

Do whatever feels comfortable to determine if power is on the cooling fan connector or fan failure. In addition, heed suggestions of the original coolant sensor failing and never turning on the cooling fan (regardless of ac use). As a new member and no mention of any maintenance history, the coolant sensor on all S-series engines fail.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg plastic-brass cts.jpg (82.8 KB, 3 views)

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to fdryer's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help fdryer reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2017, 07:27 PM   #13
dssl1
New Member
dssl1 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 9
Default Re: 2001 SL1 overheating

Reached in to try and pull the connector off the condenser fan, and it came right off.... with a burnt male spade terminal still sticking out of one side. End of the cooling fan motor wiring harness connector is pretty black, but it might be salvageable. Otherwise, I think I'm looking at cutting it off and butt splicing something like this on the end?



New motor has the female connector built into it

Last edited by dssl1; 10-25-2017 at 07:42 PM..

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to dssl1's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help dssl1 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
dssl1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2017, 11:54 PM   #14
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 39,202
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2001 SL1 overheating

Do whatever works and will last.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to fdryer's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help fdryer reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2017, 01:39 PM   #15
dssl1
New Member
dssl1 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 9
Default Re: 2001 SL1 overheating

On one hand I'm worried I'll screw the butt splice up, on the other I'm worried the current partially burnt connector won't hold up.

Turns out the cheapest new fan motor (Four Seasons 35656) is $27.50, not $19.50. So I have to decide between that, or a used complete fan assembly from a junkyard for $30. I'm leaning towards just a new motor because I think it'll last the longest.

I'm also leaning towards leaving the current connector on, because after looking at it again, it doesn't really look that bad. The female spade terminals look good, it's just the end of the plastic connector that's been blackened when the motor burnt up.


I'm going to be following the "Engine Cooling Fan Motor Removal" video by richpin06a on youtube. I'd post a link, but I need 15 posts first.

EDIT: Just ordered the Four Seasons fan motor

Last edited by dssl1; 10-26-2017 at 01:48 PM..

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to dssl1's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help dssl1 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
dssl1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2017, 03:31 PM   #16
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 39,202
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2001 SL1 overheating

Before deciding on which connector to use, test the existing one on the replacement fan. The two female terminals should connect with a firm grip on both male spade terminals and not easily removable. The greater the friction to disconnect/connect electrical connections the better the physical connections to ensure zero resistance between the pairs of terminals. Loose connections can create higher resistance and end up overheating as resistance draws more current resulting in what you already saw. If in doubt cut the old connector and butt connect new wires and connector. There are several alternate ways to crimp wires without the right tool, the handy multiple wire gauge cutter/stripper/small bolt cutter/crimper tool. If you don't have this electrician's tool, a pair of needle nose pliers can work but not using the jaws. The pinch point on the opposite side of the jaws are used where the two jaws pivots, between the handles. Google for using the electrician's wire cutting tool for crimping purposes or alternate crimping methods using pliers. Crimping crushes the barrel surrounding bare wires to grip onto wires permanently without allowing wires to pull out when a good crimp is made. The test for a good crimp is to tug on the wires - if wires pull out, a poor crimp was made.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to fdryer's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help fdryer reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2017, 04:03 PM   #17
dssl1
New Member
dssl1 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 9
Default Re: 2001 SL1 overheating

I don't think a poor connection causing increased resistance burned the spade terminal up, I think when the motor failed it kept flowing locked rotor amps through it until it melted from the inside out. The connector that's partially burned should work fine. If it doesn't I can always do a butt splice later. I'd rather not start chewing my way up into the wiring harness, or delay it as long as possible. I don't think a new motor will have trouble getting good contact. I just think the old motor seized and pulled too many amps for too long, indicating there was good power up until the bitter end.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to dssl1's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help dssl1 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
dssl1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2017, 07:00 PM   #18
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 39,202
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2001 SL1 overheating

The weakest connection are at terminations; brushes to commutator, every electrical connection to each male/female terminal and connections to switches. You are in the only position to determine whether to rewire with a new fan connector or not.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to fdryer's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help fdryer reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2017, 12:57 PM   #19
dssl1
New Member
dssl1 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 9
Default Re: 2001 SL1 overheating

Exactly, but adding an extra butt splice connection adds resistance and points of failure, so it isn't exactly the best thing either. I'll plug the new motor up to the stock connector and see if I can get it to run and decide from there.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to dssl1's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help dssl1 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
dssl1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2001 SL1 Overheating/Coolant leak Commando44 S-Series General 2 07-27-2017 01:46 PM
2001 SC2 overheating problems likedamaster S-Series Tech 7 10-23-2012 10:33 AM
overheating problems with a sl2 2001 edgrmndz S-Series General 8 03-17-2010 03:11 PM
overheating L200 2.2 2001 peter strawn L-Series Tech 17 05-01-2009 11:50 PM
Engine overheating 2001 SL2 apb10 S-Series General 16 08-21-2006 01:36 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:18 PM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.