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Old 12-20-2005, 10:31 AM   #1
darter1585
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Default Changing the thermostat

The Service Engine light came on in my wife's '03 Vue V6. The dealer told me the "thermostat was out of range" and that for a mere $420 they would replace it. I declined and reset the computer, and the light hasn't reappeared, but I'm curious as to why the fix would be so expensive. It doesn't run hot.

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Old 12-20-2005, 03:24 PM   #2
RicksVue
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Default Re: Changing the thermostat

It's expensive because getting to it is apparently a major job.
I had that problem with my 03; the major issue it caused was very poor heat output. I suspect that it'll also cause you mileage problems as the engine won't ever come up to temperature like it's supposed to.

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Old 12-20-2005, 06:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Changing the thermostat

"Thermostat was out of range"? That sounds like total BS. Since when does a thermostat of a sensor on it? If the car was overheating the temp sensor should have reflected that. It also sounds pretty fishy that the light has not gone back on. Do you trust your dealership? It sounds like they were about to rip you off for $400.

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Old 12-21-2005, 07:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: Changing the thermostat

I didn't think there was a sensor on the thermostat, but I don't know for sure. Does anybody? As for trusting the dealer -- I'm beginning not to.

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Old 12-21-2005, 07:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: Changing the thermostat

Both of my 3.0 V6 Vues threw up codes for a low operating temp based on readings from the ECT sensor and required new thermostats.

I had no problem with the heat in either Vue. Im guessing the old thermostats were opening 10-20 degrees too soon because the temp guage only moved up 1/8" with the new thermostats

There isa a TSB covering this problem and Im sure most Vues with this problem malfunctioned under warranty. One of my Vues had it replaced at 3,000 miles and the other at 26,000 miles.

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Old 12-21-2005, 10:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: Changing the thermostat

Unfortunately, mine has 36,700 miles.

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Old 12-21-2005, 10:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Changing the thermostat

Quote:
Originally Posted by darter1585
I didn't think there was a sensor on the thermostat, but I don't know for sure. Does anybody? As for trusting the dealer -- I'm beginning not to.
There's a sensor somewhere, because you can plug in a ScanGauge and it will tell you the temperature.

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Old 12-21-2005, 11:31 AM   #8
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Default Re: Changing the thermostat

Quote:
Originally Posted by darter1585
Unfortunately, mine has 36,700 miles.
Talk to the service manager. I recently had parts warrantied and I was 8k out of warranty. Plead your case about the high cost and It being just out of warranty. At worst they will say no. I also was told no help from one dealer and helped by another. I called CAC first and they put me in touch with the Service Manager at the dealer so he knew I had already contacted saturn.

Good luck

Dave

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Old 12-21-2005, 04:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Changing the thermostat

The thermostat is purely mechanical. It opens and closes depending on the temperature of the coolant around it. There can't be a sensor in it. Maybe by saying the thermostat was "out of range," they meant that it was opening too early, or too late.

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Old 12-23-2005, 12:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: Changing the thermostat

The thermostat is opening to early and it is not letting the engine reach a predetermined temp. It usually happens when it is cold out. Common on 3.0 engines. There is a TSB for this....here it is.

Insufficient Heat, Service Engine Soon (SES) Light On, DTC P0128 Set (Replace Thermostat Assembly) #03-06-02-002A - (Feb 2, 2005)
Insufficient Heat, Service Engine Soon (SES) Light On, DTC P0128 Set (Replace Thermostat Assembly)


2002-2003 Saturn VUE Vehicles with 3.0L Engine (VIN B - RPO L81)

2002-2005 Saturn L-Series Vehicles with 3.0L Engine (VIN R - RPO L81)


This bulletin is being revised to include the 2002-2005 L-Series, required parts, and updated part numbers. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 03-06-02-002 (Section 06 -- Engine).

Condition
Some customers may comment on the SES light coming on and may notice insufficient heat from the heater. When this condition occurs, DTC P0128 may be set and stored by the Engine Control Module (ECM).

Cause
The thermostat opening and regulating engine coolant at a temperature below specification may cause this condition.

Correction
To diagnose and correct this condition, follow DTC P0128 diagnostics for the Saturn L-Series or VUE L81 V6 engine. 2002-2003 VUE (SI Document ID #1235478), 2002 L-Series (SI Document ID #1069904), 2003-2004 L-Series (SI Document ID #1229710), or 2005 L-Series (SI Document ID #1428908). Replace the thermostat assembly. Refer to "Thermostat Inlet Housing and Element - L81" removal and installation procedures in the "Cooling" section of the corresponding Engine Service Manual. (SI Document ID #1228216 Removal and SI Document ID #1054338 Installation)

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Old 03-18-2006, 09:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: Changing the thermostat

Does anybody know what the themostat should be at? I have a L200 2.2 @ 195 and a 06 Vue v6 @ 180. I have read temps should be @ 195 for best gas mileage.

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Old 03-19-2006, 11:25 PM   #12
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Default Re: Changing the thermostat

If the coolant temps dont reach a certain temp in a predetermined amount of time, it means the thermostat is opening too soon, and needs to be replaced. It is a royal PITA to change considering it is just a thermostat. Gotta pull up the intake manifold..... etc...

...
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Old 03-20-2006, 02:01 AM   #13
burlyvue2
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Default Re: Changing the thermostat



My 2003 V6 Vue also needed a new thermostat that was replaced under warranty. It is a pretty big job to change it out. Seems like a pretty common failure for this vehicle.

The thermostat is a really simple device. With all the complex electronics involved with this vehicle seems like the thermostat is "under engineered" and should be reviewed for an upgrade. Probably has been for the newer Honda based engines. Sux that it costs so much to replace this part so HOPEFULLY Saturn will take a look at this thermostat so we will only have to do this repair once and not have to revisit a bum thermostat.

Coming up on 92K miles for my Vue. Runs strong. 22 mpg since new. Smiling driver!

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Old 03-20-2006, 03:31 PM   #14
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Default Re: Changing the thermostat

Since you're only 700 miles out of warranty and there also being a TSB to replace it...I'd talk to Saturn about it. They might be nice

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Old 03-22-2006, 03:09 AM   #15
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Default Re: Changing the thermostat

Guys, a thermostat is a glorified wax ball.... It will eventually give. It contracts and expands alot. Most older cars called for them to be changed as routine maintenance, every 2 years or so.... so replacing them every now and then is pretty much expected. Just sucks on a 3.0L because they are not easy to get to at all.....

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Old 03-22-2006, 12:20 PM   #16
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Default Re: Changing the thermostat

Yeah you'd think they would have invented a new thermostat by now... electrically actuated and under control of the engine's computer.

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