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Old 07-22-2018, 10:55 AM   #1
cdwilliams
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1999 SL2
Default Overheating 99 SL2

New here! I have a 1999 Saturn Sl2 178k miles. Engine recently rebuilt. The engine is slightly overheating. It goes up to the half mark when stopped and then down about an 1/8 from there when driving. The fan motor, water pump, thermostat, reservoir cap and ECTS connector are new. The ECTS itself and radiator are about 2 yrs old. I was getting boil over and replaced the cap, which stopped the boil over but did nothing for the temperature. The hose from the intake to reservoir doesnít seem to be clogged. Itís hot to the touch after running so Iím ASSuming that the intake channels arenít clogged either. It was sitting for two yrs before the rebuild and unfortunately had water in it the whole time. Iím thinking that possibly the ECTS and radiator may be shot because of it. Since it does cool a little when driving, I was thinking maybe some of the lower channels of the radiator are rusted or gummed up from having water in there. Any help, criticism would be appreciated!

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Old 07-22-2018, 11:30 AM   #2
billr
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Default Re: Overheating 99 SL2

Check the temps with live-data, and correlate/check that with a simple immersion (meat, candy) thermometer. The dash gauge is hardly a precision instrument, don't fret about what it reads.

If it isn't loosing coolant, though, I wouldn't even bother checking with live-data or thermometer.

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Old 07-22-2018, 11:56 AM   #3
DonP1
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1999 SL2
Default Re: Overheating 99 SL2

Does the fan kick on when it sits at idle and gets over the 1/2 way point? You fixed it so that the coolant doesn't boil over with a new cap? If so I'd say you are ok.

You said

1/8 below 1/2 way when driving - good for Texas
1/2 way when idling - good as long as the fan keeps it from going real hot.

if it goes up and over 3/4 I'd be worried.

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Old 07-22-2018, 12:11 PM   #4
cdwilliams
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Default Re: Overheating 99 SL2

Well, I may have found part of the culprit. Stupid on my part but after putting the engine back in, I didnít tighten the hose from reservoir to radiatior enough and there was a slight trickle out of it. I also didnít clamp the hose to the bottom of the intake, so there was a slight leak there. I let the engine get to half at idle and the fan didnít kick on, but when I turned the ac on, the fan came on and the temperature on the dash dropped to an 1/8 above 1/4. So, the tightening of the hoses helped. Now Iím just trying to figure out why the fan didnít come on like it should. Iím going to swap out the temp sensor, since itís still under warranty , just Incase.

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Old 07-22-2018, 12:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Overheating 99 SL2

I'm thinking if your gauge is working the ECTS is good. Maybe wiring to the fan? Try hot wiring the fan to see if it runs. Fuses and relays?

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Old 07-22-2018, 12:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Overheating 99 SL2

I agree with DonP1. When I have been teaching my kids to drive in the summer, in a parking lot, very common to have it go to 1/2 and have the fan kick on. Both of my Saturns are manuals. Underway, they tend to run a bit over 1/4. Northern Illinois is not quite as hot as Texas.

...
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'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018

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Old 07-22-2018, 12:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Overheating 99 SL2

The fan did eventually come on at idle. It came on when the temp went just above the half mark and went off when it went to just under the half mark. I guess Iím going to have to get a meat thermometer to test the temperature of the coolant. I know itís hot here but I donít remember it normally running that high. Maybe Iím just overthinking it.

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