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Old 04-26-2018, 08:13 PM   #1
Wreckapotamus
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Saturn 2000 L200/Washer Fluid Sensor

My washer fluid light came on recently and I topped it up yesterday but the light is still on. I think the sensor might be bad, so I've been digging for a YouTube video or guide on how to change but can't seem to find a helpful one online.

Has anyone changed this before? Do you have to replace the entire reservoir, or is there a way to just change the sensor?

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Old 04-27-2018, 12:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn 2000 L200/Washer Fluid Sensor

Here are drawings showing your washer fluid container, filler neck and wiring. After pulling off the filler neck with a twisting motion, the wheel liner is peeled back to have access to the washer container and wiring. The plastic rivets are a two piece thingy - The center pin is pulled up with a special tool to release the rivet for reuse. I use diagonal pliers to slip under the two slots under the head and pry up. Pull the center pin until the rivet comes out. The sensor may or may not be replaceable. The service manual doesn't have a procedure for this so it's up to you to decide on a project to remove and check wiring to the sensor and anything else. If this sensor uses a similar sensor in the coolant container for the low coolant light, it's probably a float type with a sealed reed switch operated by a magnet in the float. Either corrosion on connections, corrosion to ground or the float is sticking. You might have to remove the container and shake it, listening for the float rattling inside to confirm a float type sensor. Since crap doesn't enter washer containers unless the cap is left off or broken, dirt and scum shouldn't grow on floats as they do in coolant containers. Shaking the container or draining it and filling with a hot water solution with dishwashing detergent may loosen any built up scum to flush out. To prevent detergent from entering the washer pump, you'll probably have to remove the pump, drain fluid and plug any piping to refill with hot water and detergent for cleaning, shaking to help remove any scum. Several rinses with water should flush detergent before reassembling to the wheel well. Fill the container with water to test the sensor before putting everything back on. Hopefully its just a sticking float if a float is used.
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Old 04-28-2018, 07:05 AM   #3
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2001 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
1995 SL2
Default Re: Saturn 2000 L200/Washer Fluid Sensor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wreckapotamus View Post
My washer fluid light came on recently and I topped it up yesterday but the light is still on. I think the sensor might be bad, so I've been digging for a YouTube video or guide on how to change but can't seem to find a helpful one online.

Has anyone changed this before? Do you have to replace the entire reservoir, or is there a way to just change the sensor?
I had the same issue a few years ago. The washer fluid dash light stayed on with a full container. Initially the light came on intermittently. Later it stayed on all the time.

The problem was a bad sensor. The float was operational, but the electrical contacts would not close with a full container.

The tank reservoir does not need to be removed or replaced unless damaged, contaminated or leaking.

On my V6 Saturn, the replaceable sensor is located near the bottom of the tank. It sticks out a few inches up from the bottom and faces the driver side. The sensor switch closes when the tank has sufficient fluid and opens when the fluid drops to a low level. When the sensor switch opens, the dash light turns on. That seems contradictory but true. It is easily tested with an ohm meter or continuity tester.

To test the sensor, lift up the front end of the car to gain access. Press and pull the 2 wire cable harness connector from the sensor. A full washer fluid container should show near zero ohms. Or simply jump the 2 wire connector plug with alligator clips the dash light should go out. Either way a bad or good sensor should be confirmed.

The sensor is easily replaced. It is a press fit with a backing rubber washer for sealing. Recommend removing as much washer fluid as possible or have a bucket/drain pan available when removing the sensor. I used GM p/n: 12335753 available from RockAuto or possibly your local FLAPS. There are also aftermarket sensors available.
Good Luck!
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Old 04-28-2018, 07:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Saturn 2000 L200/Washer Fluid Sensor

Wow, you guys are so incredibly helpful! I fooled around with it a little bit yesterday after locating the sensor on the bottom of the tank and was able to get the float to move. The dash light went off and all was good until this morning when it came back on. I ordered a new sensor and am going to try to replace it whenever it comes in the mail.

You guys have been seriously helpful, thanks for your help and for including the diagrams and photos. I'll let you know how it goes!

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