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Old 10-23-2018, 07:54 AM   #1
trottida
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Default jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

Created a thread on behalf of jpags729 post here >> http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...5&postcount=89

His post ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpags729 View Post
Good day/evening to all:

I just purchased a 1999 Saturn SL2 with 126000 for $800 to save some miles/gas on my daily driver. I've been looking at this thread in anticipation of purchasing the vehicle and noticed that I am having some of the issues mentioned, including:

1) ECTS - I have the service record that says the thermostat was changed (and possibly the ECTS as well) but my coolant level is just sitting at the quarter mark after driving it (as shown in the picture provided on the first page). Any tips or advice before I go changing both?

2) Two engine codes - P0133 "O2 Slow Response Bank 1 Sensor 1" and P0404 "EGR Range/Performance." Any way these could be related? Found the youtube video that shows the cleaning which I am prepared to do on a warmer day (it is getting pretty cold here in NJ).

3) Needs a new headliner. Any websites anyone can recommend for OEM or like replacement?

4) Rust is present on the passenger back door right where you step into the car. Anything anyone can recommend to prevent further rust +treating existing rust would be greatly appreciated.

Other than that engine and trans are good. No visible leaks. I'm excited to learn more and help others too with my experiences. Sorry if I am posting in the wrong spot or hijacking a thread. All apologies and have a good one to all! And a big thank you to all who have helped so far and to all with further guidance to give!

...
1999 SL2 MT (287,130 km @ 10/2019)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
2001 SL1 MT (438,500 km 11y)
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

:canada:

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Old 10-23-2018, 08:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

Welcome to the forum. Great find BTW. Here's my advice to your questions.
1. Replace the ECTS with brass tipped one first and check to ensure your ECTS connector isn't fouled. If it is then replace it too ensuring the wires are soldered and shrink tubed rather than crimped. Crimped connections are very prone to failure on this circuit. If it has been replaced before with crimped connections then redo the connections. If the temperature gauge does not increase then proceed to replacing your thermostat with the recommended Stant 14279. This is the most cost and time effective way to resolve the low operating temperature issue. Your engine is running rich and will be prone to carbon deposits.

2. Replace your front O2 sensor with an OEM style one (has OEM style connector). Clean or replace your EGR valve to restore movement to the pintle.

3. New headliners are likely not available anymore. The best option is to have it recovered with new material. This can be done DIY and there are lots of how to posts and videos on this forum and YouTube. The other option is to take it to an upholstery shop and have them do it ($80-$150) or you can find a used one at the auto recyclers (however its fabric may start to drop too based on age).

4. You'd be best to look after this sooner than later by removing the rust, treating it with rust converter and painting over it with POR15 and a UV top coat of black paint. If you have rust through then you need to cut out the bad, weld in some new metal and paint as above.
This car should last you a good while if you keep up on the maintenance. Make sure that you keep an eye on your oil levels; these cars are prone to oil consumption and if you run it dry then you'll lock up the engine. Is this a manual or automatic transmission? Post up some photos!

...
1999 SL2 MT (287,130 km @ 10/2019)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
2001 SL1 MT (438,500 km 11y)
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

:canada:

Last edited by trottida; 10-23-2018 at 08:12 AM..

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Old 10-23-2018, 11:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

Thanks for guiding me to the right spot! Appreciate it!

Now then:

1) ECTS: is there a video guide on Youtube or guide on the forum to show me how to handle the wires (shrink tubing and soldering?) I found a good video demonstration of a guy (thick Boston accent) doing this job but he didn't do anything about the wires.

2) Found a variety of O2 sensors on Amazon? Is there a shopping part of the forum that lists recommended parts?

3) Found an upholstery shop that works on them so that'll be my best bet. Thanks for the tip!

4) Would you recommend something like RustBullet coating post-removal of the rusted part with new metal? Probably would be best to rust-proof/coat other parts of the car as well while I'm at it.

PS: It is an automatic transmission. Silver in color. Gonna try to take some better pics of her over the weekend. Thanks again for all the help!

...
Current:
1999 Saturn SL2 1.9 "Sophia Loren 2"
2008 Honda Accord EX-L 2.4
1993 Chevy Camaro Z28 5.7

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2003 Nissan Altima SE 3.5

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Old 10-24-2018, 09:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

You were close, you just had to go back the the forum thread list page. To create a new thread you select the button above and to the left in the forum thread list as seen in the photo below. For S Series there is a General Forum, Technical Forum and a Mods Forum. Select the forum that best represents the content you want to discuss.

In the forum list at the top above the headers there is a Google site search input box. This is handy for searching the site.



There are lots of posts on how to change the ECTS and I believe RichPin has a YouTube video for both changing the ECTS and the ECTS connector. Google RichPin or search YouTube. RichPin has created quite a few S Series specific videos and he is a member of this forum. He is from the Boston area.

Here's a post from the How To forum >> Changing the ECTS (Engine Coolant Temp Sensor) and a photo showing the location on the drivers side of the engine underneath the air intake.



The recommended O2 sensor is Denso and NGK/NTK.

POR15 is the recommended system for coating rust prone areas like the engine cradle and the door step areas among others.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg thread.jpg (76.9 KB, 81 views)

...
1999 SL2 MT (287,130 km @ 10/2019)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
2001 SL1 MT (438,500 km 11y)
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

:canada:

Last edited by trottida; 10-24-2018 at 09:35 AM..

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Old 10-24-2018, 11:04 AM   #5
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpags729 View Post

1) ECTS: is there a video guide on Youtube or guide on the forum to show me how to handle the wires (shrink tubing and soldering?) I found a good video demonstration of a guy (thick Boston accent) doing this job but he didn't do anything about the wires.
That's almost certainly our buddy, richpin06a

Before you buy an ECTS, find it and follow the wiring down a bit. Look for signs that it has already been replaced (e.g., shrink wrap, electrical tape, etc., on the wires).

If you find those signs, and have no other typical bad ECTS symptoms (hard starting, stalling, black exhaust smoke from running rich, lowered / poor mpg), it is likely a bad thermostat.

Two ways to check - after a 10~15 minute drive or so, turn the heat on full blast. It should be toasty warm.
Or, after warmed up and with engine running, open up the surge tank/reservoir on the passenger fender and pop a thermometer in the return stream at the back of the tank; should be reading around 200F or higher

Quote:
2) Found a variety of O2 sensors on Amazon? Is there a shopping part of the forum that lists recommended parts?
double check before ordering, but I believe the Denso number is 234-1022. Amazon has a "check to see if it fits your car" thing.

I picked mine up on eBay - around $25 shipped.

If you have an Advance Auto nearby, you can order online for in-store pickup, and apply the online coupon for 20~25% off (retailmenot.com always has coupon codes for Advance). Should run about $40 + tax

Quote:
3) Found an upholstery shop that works on them so that'll be my best bet. Thanks for the tip!
Will they remove it from the car?

It's actually a pretty easy DIY for a weekend.
Quote:
PS: It is an automatic transmission. Silver in color. Gonna try to take some better pics of her over the weekend. Thanks again for all the help!
You'll like how easy ATF changes are. Spin off filter (like an oil filter) under the battery tray, and a drain bolt on the trans, accessible under the car on the driver side.

If using Dex III or Dex/Mercon, should be changed every 30k miles. Synthetic can go at least 60k miles.
Avoid Dex VI ATFs, as they are listed as Dex III compatible except Saturn TAAT

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

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 151k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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Old 10-24-2018, 01:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post

Two ways to check - after a 10~15 minute drive or so, turn the heat on full blast. It should be toasty warm.
Or, after warmed up and with engine running, open up the surge tank/reservoir on the passenger fender and pop a thermometer in the return stream at the back of the tank; should be reading around 200F or higher
Here's how to check if your thermostat is leaking. Starting with a cold engine, start the engine and put your hand on the the lower radiator hose just after the thermostat. If that hose gets warm after a minute or so then your thermostat is leaking. The thermostat should stay closed until the coolant temperature reaches 188-195 degrees Celsius. It takes several minute of run time to reach this temperature.

...
1999 SL2 MT (287,130 km @ 10/2019)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
2001 SL1 MT (438,500 km 11y)
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

:canada:

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Old 10-24-2018, 01:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

Right, I forgot there is a third way to skin the cat

I only listed the lazy ways.

When my thermostat was leaking, I never got warm air, even after 20 minute drive at 55 mph. Would have never noticed it, otherwise, because I had gotten used to the temp gauge reading being good and never looked at it. I only lost 1~2 mpg, too (I track mpg with each tank/fillup)

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

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 151k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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Old 10-24-2018, 09:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
That's almost certainly our buddy, richpin06a
Yep that's him. He does an excellent job and is rather thorough!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post

Before you buy an ECTS, find it and follow the wiring down a bit. Look for signs that it has already been replaced (e.g., shrink wrap, electrical tape, etc., on the wires).

If you find those signs, and have no other typical bad ECTS symptoms (hard starting, stalling, black exhaust smoke from running rich, lowered / poor mpg), it is likely a bad thermostat.


Haven't experienced any of the symptoms you mentioned but then again I purchased the car for a guy five minutes away and haven't gotten the insurance yet so I will see this weekend after a much more thorough test drive. The only thing I did notice was that, like the picture of the thermostat on page 1 of the "New/Returning Owners Guide," the temperature gauge seemed to stop at the quarter mark exactly. I have a Pep boys service receipt from March 2017 in which the thermostat was replaced with a 188* one. I saw one on Amazon with good reviews that said 195* for around 15-20$.


Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post

Will they remove it from the car?

It's actually a pretty easy DIY for a weekend.

The foam portion of the headliner is still intact. Thats all. Wasn't sure the process but if theres a good Youtube video I'll be happy to save some money and do it over the weekend.


Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
You'll like how easy ATF changes are. Spin off filter (like an oil filter) under the battery tray, and a drain bolt on the trans, accessible under the car on the driver side.

If using Dex III or Dex/Mercon, should be changed every 30k miles. Synthetic can go at least 60k miles.
Avoid Dex VI ATFs, as they are listed as Dex III compatible except Saturn TAAT

Great to know. I plan on doing all the repairs and fluid changes myself under the watchful eye of my dad (a former UPS mechanic of 15 years). Can't thank you guys enough again for the help.

...
Current:
1999 Saturn SL2 1.9 "Sophia Loren 2"
2008 Honda Accord EX-L 2.4
1993 Chevy Camaro Z28 5.7

Previous:
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2003 Nissan Altima SE 3.5

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Old 10-24-2018, 09:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by trottida View Post
The recommended O2 sensor is Denso and NGK/NTK.

POR15 is the recommended system for coating rust prone areas like the engine cradle and the door step areas among others.
Thanks for the tips!

Here's a pic of the lovely gal btw:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Untitled .jpg (33.8 KB, 10 views)

...
Current:
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2008 Honda Accord EX-L 2.4
1993 Chevy Camaro Z28 5.7

Previous:
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2003 Nissan Altima SE 3.5

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Old 10-25-2018, 07:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

My 99 SL2 is the same colour however I've changed my interior to the ebony interior with cloth seats. It was originally light grey with leather but I prefer the ebony scheme. My thread with photos is here >> and so it begins...

The recommended thermostat is a Stant 14279 but I wouldn't change what you have until if fails. Don't get too caught up on the temperature on the package. There is no real standard in use by the manufactures. The thermostat is typically designed to start opening at 188 and is fully open at 195. You can see how they can be packaged as 188 and 195 but are one in the same. There is one out there that is 185 and this would provide a lower coolant temperature; it's not that popular. I'd focus on the ECTS and the connector. Both are easy to inspect without draining your coolant. You could also confirm your thermostat isn't leaking by the method I suggested. The Gen2 gauge reads a touch lower than the Gen3. I'll see if I can post up a photo of my 99's temp gauge; I'm running a Stant.

The process of redoing the headliner is to remove the headliner from the car, remove the material, wire brush all the foam bits off the backer board, vacuum, spray 3M 38808 Headliner and Fabric Adhesive and apply the new headliner fabric starting from the middle outwards. Here is a how to post >> Do It Yourself Headliner and one with photos >> Headliner replacement and sun visor upholstery project and another one >> Headliner question -- again!

In general it is the same for all cars and any YouTube video will be relevant. You can get headliner fabric from Joanne's, on-line or from your upholstery shop. What I did was remove the headliner and dropped it off at the upholstery shop. This keeps the labour costs down. I had them do the visors and sunroof sunshade as well.

Sorry, that was a bit of a brain dump there....

...
1999 SL2 MT (287,130 km @ 10/2019)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
2001 SL1 MT (438,500 km 11y)
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

:canada:

Last edited by trottida; 10-25-2018 at 08:07 AM..

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Old 10-25-2018, 08:46 AM   #11
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

Here's a photo of where I've observed Gen2 temperature gauge reading when at operating temperature. For comparison the Gen3 typically reads a bit higher as seen in the second photo. So this is your target range for operating temperature. If it is pegged at 1/4 or below then you have issues and your engine is running fuel rich because the PCM thinks the engine is still cold.





Here is a photo of a cracked resin tipped ETCS and a fouled connector for reference. The subsequent photo shows you the difference between the resin tipped ETCS and the desired brass tipped one.



Attached Images
File Type: jpg Gen2 Operating Temp Gauge.JPG (11.5 KB, 81 views)
File Type: jpg Gen3 Operating Temp Gauge.JPG (12.2 KB, 325 views)

...
1999 SL2 MT (287,130 km @ 10/2019)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
2001 SL1 MT (438,500 km 11y)
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

:canada:

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Old 10-25-2018, 10:39 AM   #12
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

Nice looking car there! Cleaner than mine - I also have a silver SL2 ('98 ) with ebony interior. It's my avatar pic, and you can see it was abused and neglected when I got it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by trottida View Post
Sorry, that was a bit of a brain dump there....
But nice work, though. I prefer to err on the side of TMI (at least when it comes to car repairs)

If you do end up replacing the ECTS, finger tight only - it is a tapered pipe thread, so there will still be exposed threads when properly installed. I may have overtightened it on my '98 so I am not going to take it out unless I have too

I used to have a standard set of links for new folks, but since adventureoflink put together the "new and returning" sticky, have sort of gotten away from it. Anyway, it is worth taking a look at the How To Library for things, just to see what is out there. One of the threads has torque specs for every bolt.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/for...sprune=-1&f=26

For antifreeze, use one gallon of 100% antifreeze and top with distilled water. Total capacity is 7 quarts, IIRC, and unless you undo the heater hose under the car, one quart of fluid remains. If you flush / backflush with water while doing the thermostat, that will be one quart of water and using a50/50 premix will result in a weaker concentration.

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

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 151k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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Old 10-25-2018, 11:40 AM   #13
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

My headliner project is on page 3 of my thread.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...=230898&page=3
One bit of advice - make the headliner an inch too big all around, wrap it around the edge and glue it on the back side.

Visors:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...=234273&page=7
Scroll down to post 135.

...
Bryan Cotton
'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 10-26-2018, 06:27 PM   #14
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by trottida View Post

Sorry, that was a bit of a brain dump there....
Brain dumps are welcome haha! Heading to the nearest fabric store tonight and Lowes is a few stores down to grab the adhesive spray. Thanks for the links to the headliner threads and the pics of the temperature gauge. I'll keep an eye out!

And I do like the ebony interior!

PS A new issue has arisen that I can't seem to figure out. When I initially put the key in the accessories position, the wipers come on (as if they were if I were to clean the window - 3 times) and then they stop, not always at the starting position. Any ideas what this could be? (Wiper motor, switch, something else?)

...
Current:
1999 Saturn SL2 1.9 "Sophia Loren 2"
2008 Honda Accord EX-L 2.4
1993 Chevy Camaro Z28 5.7

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Old 10-26-2018, 06:37 PM   #15
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

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Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post

If you do end up replacing the ECTS, finger tight only - it is a tapered pipe thread, so there will still be exposed threads when properly installed. I may have overtightened it on my '98 so I am not going to take it out unless I have too
Do you also recommend like rich pin with wrapping the threads with plumber's tape? I am gonna replace it tomorrow so I'll be sure to finger tighten. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
For antifreeze, use one gallon of 100% antifreeze and top with distilled water. Total capacity is 7 quarts, IIRC, and unless you undo the heater hose under the car, one quart of fluid remains. If you flush / backflush with water while doing the thermostat, that will be one quart of water and using a50/50 premix will result in a weaker concentration.
So should I replace the antifreeze if I am only doing the ECTS? Was gonna follow trottida's advice and only replace the thermostat if it goes bad since it is only a year old. But if/when I do change the coolant I will follow this advice. Thanks!

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Old 10-26-2018, 06:38 PM   #16
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

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One bit of advice - make the headliner an inch too big all around, wrap it around the edge and glue it on the back side.
Thanks for the tips! Appreciate it!

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Old 10-26-2018, 10:24 PM   #17
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

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Here's a photo of where I've observed Gen2 temperature gauge reading when at operating temperature. For comparison the Gen3 typically reads a bit higher as seen in the second photo. So this is your target range for operating temperature. If it is pegged at 1/4 or below then you have issues and your engine is running fuel rich because the PCM thinks the engine is still cold.
So here is where I am at temperature wise at operating temp. Went for a 25 mile drive to get gas ($27 to fill up in NJ wow!) and the headliner material and took a pic when I got home of the gauge. To me it looks good. Definitely appears above the 1/4 mark and no troubling symptoms from underneath the hood. What do you guys think? Thanks!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Untitled.jpg (59.2 KB, 10 views)

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Old 10-29-2018, 09:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

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A new issue has arisen that I can't seem to figure out. When I initially put the key in the accessories position, the wipers come on (as if they were if I were to clean the window - 3 times) and then they stop, not always at the starting position. Any ideas what this could be? (Wiper motor, switch, something else?)
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=151141

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=205738

seems like there is a controller board on the motor that can go bad. Those threads have some info - I have no personal experience

Quote:
Do you also recommend like rich pin with wrapping the threads with plumber's tape? I am gonna replace it tomorrow so I'll be sure to finger tighten.
Yes, either Teflon tape or plumbers pipe dope to help seal. Teflon tape can shred a bit, so the pipe dope is probably a little better. A firm finger tight.
Quote:
So should I replace the antifreeze if I am only doing the ECTS?
No, with a little care, you only lose a dribble of coolant (remove the cap on the surge tank to release pressure first, elevate the driver side before removing, etc)

If you pull the thermostat, you lose about 3/4 of the coolant (if it is relatively fresh you can drain, save, and reuse, but if it is a few years old, I tend to replace so as not to have to worry about it for a few years)
Quote:
So here is where I am at temperature wise at operating temp.
It's hard telling - the temp gauge is not a precision instrument. It looks like roughly 3/8 so should be good if you have good heat from the vents and no other issues.

We've had some members whose temp gauge clearly show 1/4 on the gauge, but their thermostats and ECTS were working perfectly fine as shown by thermometers (to test actual coolant temp) and OBDII readings.

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Old 10-29-2018, 10:12 PM   #19
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

Quote:
PS A new issue has arisen that I can't seem to figure out. When I initially put the key in the accessories position, the wipers come on (as if they were if I were to clean the window - 3 times) and then they stop, not always at the starting position. Any ideas what this could be? (Wiper motor, switch, something else?)
Quote:
seems like there is a controller board on the motor that can go bad. Those threads have some info - I have no personal experience
We had this on our '99. Replaced the motor assembly and all is well.

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Old 10-30-2018, 09:34 AM   #20
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Default Re: jpags729's 1999 Saturn SL2 Thread

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PS A new issue has arisen that I can't seem to figure out. When I initially put the key in the accessories position, the wipers come on (as if they were if I were to clean the window - 3 times) and then they stop, not always at the starting position. Any ideas what this could be? (Wiper motor, switch, something else?)
I had a similar problem too however when I pulled the wiper arms, activated the wiper switch to re-home the transmission and re-installed the wiper arms the issue went away for me. I'm not sure what was going on.

As already mentioned, there is a wiper motor controller attached to the wiper assembly under the windshield cowl; a little black box. The internal circuits are prone to corrosion over time and sometimes you can disassemble and clean it up to restore function. While you're in there you can lubricate the pivot points in the transmission.

I believe the controller is part of the motor assembly and that is why if you replace the motor it resolved the issue as Waeix191 experienced. Given the amount of effort to get the motor out it may be prudent to just replace it.

If either of those don't work then you're looking at the multi-function switch on the steering wheel stalk. I doubt it is this though so I'd leave it for last.

Here's a how to for replacing the wiper motor >> How to Replace a Wiper Motor - S Series with Photos

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Last edited by trottida; 10-30-2018 at 09:42 AM..

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