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Old 12-12-2009, 05:44 PM   #1
mattwiant
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Idea 03 Vue throwing code P0128

Our vue is throwing code p0128. this is the first time it has done it. it has coolant and the heat works great. the suv still runs the same temp when driving. What could be the problem? will it hurt to drive the car untill i have enough money to fix?
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Old 12-12-2009, 06:53 PM   #2
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2008 VUE 2.4L
Default Re: 03 Vue throwing code P0128

not sure which engine you have, but here some infomation on the p0128 code
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 3.0 P0128.pdf (123.5 KB, 150 views)
File Type: pdf 2.2 P0128.pdf (123.9 KB, 81 views)
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Old 12-12-2009, 07:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: 03 Vue throwing code P0128

You need a new thermostat, cut and dry. The light usually trips when coolant temp goes down to 167F, I do not know if you would feel much difference in heat output but it is possible. You might have better luck with a stant thermostat than another oem one.
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Old 12-12-2009, 07:28 PM   #4
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2007 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: 03 Vue throwing code P0128

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattwiant View Post
Our vue is throwing code p0128. this is the first time it has done it. it has coolant and the heat works great. the suv still runs the same temp when driving. What could be the problem? will it hurt to drive the car untill i have enough money to fix?
I've attached P0128 description from the service manual for the 2003 3.0.

You didn't mention if you have 2.2 or 3.0 ... I believe the only significant difference is the 2.2 thermostat opening temperature is 185 F and 3.0 is 195 F.

There's one ECT sensor which reports coolant temp to the ECM which processes for fuel management and also sends signal to the temp gauge.

You have hot water (temp gauge and heater is good) so best guess is the engine is not warming up within time parameters - possibly caused by thermostat staying open longer than expected.

I wouldn't panic but would keep an eye on the temp gauge for wild excursions and on the coolant reservoir to make sure you're not losing fluid.

If it is the thermostat, it'll probably grow increasingly worse and you'll notice the cabin temperature swinging more arctic than tropic.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf DTC P0128.pdf (80.0 KB, 52 views)
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: 03 Vue throwing code P0128

Welcome to the Board.

P0128 in the L-series or the VUE (the V-6 engines--doesn't seem to hit the 4 cylinders) is 99% the thermostat (as mentioned already). There is a TSB for this and it is more than common once winter and colder temps hit. The t-stat is weak.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: 03 Vue throwing code P0128

it is a 3.0 thanks to all for the quick replys. after reading up on this it seems to be loads of fun replaceing the t-stat. does any one know how to check the t-stat to make sure before i tear into the moter?
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: 03 Vue throwing code P0128

You could try this but it will not tell you if the t stat is the problem. Use J 24731 Tempil Sticks, which are temperature sticks. Tempil Sticks are pencil-like devices that have a wax material containing certain chemicals which melt at a given temperature. Use the temperature sticks to determine a thermostat's operating temperature by rubbing 87C (188F) and 97C (206F) sticks on the coolant outlet. The marks made by the sticks should melt when coolant temperatures reach 87C (188F) and 97C (206F), respectively. These temperatures are the normal operating range of the thermostat.
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: 03 Vue throwing code P0128

As everyone says, it's the thermostat - they fail 'safe', or cold. Since you're still getting heat, I'd say you have no emergency and can wait a while before changing it. For example, if you're coming up on the 100,000 mi service or if you need a coolant change, you could do it then. It's about $375 at the dealer and worth it - you have to remove the intake manifold.
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: 03 Vue throwing code P0128

Last winter I lived with my SES light until summer came, and then the light stayed off. Like the saxman says, if you're close to 100k, you want to change the T'stat and spark plugs, since you need to lift the intake manifold to do both jobs.
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: 03 Vue throwing code P0128

Btw - there's plenty of instructions and pics on here in case you want to DIY . . .
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...light=T%27stat
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=145332
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: 03 Vue throwing code P0128

Dont Feel Bad, MY 2003 3.0L V6 L81 with AWD started showing the Service Engine Soon light. It hit 36 Degrees once here down south about a week ago, and the light came on when starting the Vue in the morning. Its been on since. I went down to Autozone, and Showing Code 1 of 1, P0128. The DREADED thermostat....
Ive changed the spark plugs on this car back in Feb, 09, and yes took the manifold off, and yes it was a huge PITA. I guess I shoulda woulda coulda back then,, but it was 1:30am when I got done and had to get to work the next day.

So, Ive been driving for a week with the SES light on, and the temp guage a slightly lower reading the normal. I noticed the car is sort of rough starting in the cold mornings now.. DARN!

One of my problems is, the FSM says, use the "Lift and Support" procedure, which doesnt look like it leaves ample room to remove the thermostat. Can anyone verify?

Last edited by rayzur9; 12-15-2009 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:15 PM   #12
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Default Re: 03 Vue throwing code P0128

i can DYI i did not know you had to take the intake man. off for the plugs is there anything else that should be replace when i am in there? the vue only has 65,000 on it so i am not near 100 but it has to come off anyway. thanks for all the replys i am new on this site.
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: 03 Vue throwing code P0128

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattwiant View Post
i can DYI i did not know you had to take the intake man. off for the plugs is there anything else that should be replace when i am in there? the vue only has 65,000 on it so i am not near 100 but it has to come off anyway. thanks for all the replys i am new on this site.
Hey we don't discriminate against newbies - welcome to Charlie's forum (best on the 'net!).
The only other thing under there is the oiler cooler . . .
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...post1532066The seals on that have been known to leak, but you probably don't want to touch that if they ain't. You might as well change the plugs while you're in there, even with only 65k.
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