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Old 10-23-2018, 06:46 PM   #1
Charbear
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Default Codes P013B and P0128

Need a bit of help from my Saturn friends. On the road on vacation in our 2008 Vue (4cyl) about a thousand miles from home and check engine light just came on. Stopped by AutoZone and pulled these two codes. Have not noticed any symptoms such as lower gas mileage, rough engine idle or operation, no coolant leakage, no overheating.

Probably end up with a thermostat replacement in O2 sensor replacement when I get home is my guess.

I don't have much with me in the way of tools. Main question, of course, is what do you guys think about continuing the trip and then taking care of these issues when I get home? Would greatly appreciate the advice from the Saturn experts out there. Thank you very much!

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Old 10-23-2018, 09:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Codes P013B and P0128

I had the same P0128 error code occur to my L300. A back breaking repair to remove upper engine parts to access the t-stat buried in the 'V' section of a 3.0L V6. Once replaced, the error code went away. No O2 sensor error.

Get another reading to check for coolant temps from the reader. A fully warmed up engine should show at least 180F.

I suspect the P0138 indicates a rich running engine. A faulty t-stat running colder than approximately 158F and the reason for P0128 may be interpreted by the engine computer into thinking the engine still needs to run richer to warm up when it can't do anything about an errant t-stat. I would replace the t-stat first and see if both errors goes away. It may take up to three engine/drive cycles before the check engine light turns off.

In theory, colder than normal coolant temps won't hurt anything and may decrease fuel mileage some. If you can verify a cooler running engine (<180F), the trip shouldn't be cut short. Worse case is something else comes up and makes things worse where it would be better to have the t-stat replaced and continue with your trip uninterrupted.

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Old 10-24-2018, 11:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: Codes P013B and P0128

Thank you so much fdryer! Couple of other notes. I only have a 4 cyl Vue, not the V6. Wonder if it's as difficult on that one. I found an online video where some guy changed out a tstat on a 2008 Vue in <15mins. Looked like the 4 banger to me. All he used was a standard 10mm socket, a long extension and a warble head (not even a full swivel). He only removed the plastic shroud and the air cleaner assy. Google 2008 saturn vue thermostat replacement and it's the first video that comes up. Sound reasonable? If it does, I'll just buy a few basic tools and go ahead and do it here in the mountains.

How can I verify a cooler running engine? At Advance Auto, they just pulled the codes for me and got the P013B (HO2s Slow Response Lean to Rich Bank 1 Sensor 2) and P0128 (Engine Coolant Temperature Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature). Thinking back, I believe there was a note on one of these codes on the reader that mentioned intermittent. Can their code readers also give the temp? If so, can it read it quickly after I get there, assuming I've driven it for 10+ miles to get there?

Thanks again!!!

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Old 10-24-2018, 12:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Codes P013B and P0128

Charbear, I'm not familiar with either 2.2L or 2.4L 4 cyl engines so you'd have to locate your t-stat to see about access with minimal tools. I used AutoZone when they offered free readings with their scantools. They also offer free tool loaners. All charged to a credit card; when tools are returned, credit is returned. Call or visit if one is nearby. One issue is coolant. If you can drain coolant (for reuse) from the radiator peacock into gallon containers, you may save on buying new coolant. Or refill with water, drive home and drain it to refill with new antifreeze. Or refill with new antifreeze. You have options.

My reference to my V6 was only for reference about the same P0128 error code. It applies to every vehicle with this error code, coolant temp below expected operating temps. Some t-stats are difficult to access (mine) while others are easier. If a local AutoZone have tools for loan, check if they'll loan out what you need to make repairs. This may save you from buying what you already have. Their OBD II readers may display coolant temps. You'd have to ask. A ten minute drive is sufficient to have a warmed up engine. All you're trying to do is find a reader that can display coolant temps among many things they're capable of doing without buying one. You can always buy one when you're home when you have time to shop and figure out which one fits your needs. Advance Auto may have readers too for free reading. They also have a free tool loan program.

Readers/scantools are plug n' play. Each one just needs button pushing to wade thru their menus to find what you need. A friendly store clerk familiar with them shouldn't take more than a a few seconds to know if their reader can display coolant temps then navigate a reader to display it for you. Ask.

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Old 10-24-2018, 01:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Codes P013B and P0128

Thanks again fdryer. I'll try to swing by wait this afternoon to AutoZone to see if they can read the coolant temp for me. So you are saying you believe it's not an issue to continue driving on my trip until I get home if the coolant temp is below 180, warmed up? Since I'm going to try to do this, are there any other readings I should be looking for from the diagnostic tool?

I've got to do a 200 mile round trip tomorrow and the next day so I guess I will have to keep my fingers crossed as I won't have time to get tools and try to replace the T stat today. Wish me luck and I'll keep everyone posted on what happens in case my experience might help someone else.

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Old 10-24-2018, 05:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Codes P013B and P0128

P0128 applies to almost every vehicle made for the USA market since 1996. Generic readers are universal as you can find hundreds of thousands of readers sold everywhere. Emissions controls forced all vehicle manufacturers to abide by a standard set of codes so no one car manufacturer can say "use my reader otherwise pay me at dealer rates to decode stored errors." A $15 reader decoding only emissions errors is about as low cost for a basic reader. Universal readers abide by this standard for emissions errors. ABS, traction control and airbags are not emissions related so most manufacturers use the same codes but there are exceptions and a reason readers in general do not decode them. Autozone has kept up with changes and seem to have new readers capable of decoding abs errors.

I drove my car with the intermittent P0128 for almost a year, resetting it several times without issues. I waited for spring to warm up before setting aside time in my garage to replace the t-stat. It's only a guess on my part but my guess is this error code shouldn't affect engine running in your 4cyl Vue to make it a priority to end your trip. I must have accrued a few thousand miles in the year I drove with my cold running t-stat. Winter heater use didn't seem to be too bad but I did block off part of the radiator to ensure heat in the dead of winter before replacing the t-stat.

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