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Old 08-09-2022, 12:09 PM   #2
trottida
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: North of North of Toronto, Northern Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,027
 

1999 SL2
2001 SL1
Default Re: [2001 SL2] Losing coolant, but only when A/C is running?

I can't think of any direct relationship between the AC and the coolant level. The coolant does nothing from an AC perspective.

If I recall the AC system in the S Series has a variable compressor so the clutch would be engaged at all times. The engagement of the clutch would create an additional load on the engine (and therefore the coolant); so maybe that is the connection. Increased load is forcing the coolant out somewhere.

You need to find out where the coolant is going to resolve the issue. Is there a visible leak or is it leaking into the combustion cylinder and being burned up. Adding UV dye to the system will help find visible leaks using black light and using the appropriate coolant and exhaust tests will find the latter.

The S Series coolant operating temperature is 193 F which in a GEN3 like yours would show on the temp gauge as about 1/3rd. The thermostat cracks open at 188 F and is fully open at 195F. If there is low airflow through the radiator (stop and go; idling) then the fan will kick on at 221F and off at 212 F. For a GEN3 it'll appear just above 1/2 and then drop to just below 1/2.

In my experience, while continuously moving the temp gauge will stay at the 193 F reading. The opening and closing of the thermostat between 188 and 195 will keep it there. Temperature only creeps up if you stop moving or are going slow.
...
1999 SL2 MT (299,400 km @ 11/2021)
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)

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