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Old 06-01-2020, 01:59 PM   #1
agroom
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2002 VUE 2.2L
Default 2009 Vue Thermostat/sensor/P0128 question

My wife's 2009 Vue XE (4 speed automatic, 2.4L L4, FWD) recently displayed an "Engine hot AC off" message returning home from work. The coolant reservoir was on the add line, so filled it back up and took it for a test drive. No error message, and engine temp ran about 160, so told her to just keep monitoring the temp for a while. About a week later the message returned, and the engine temp read 0. This time I took it down to auto parts store and they pulled a P0128 code.

A note about the coolant level. Since buying it about 3-4 years ago, it's had a slow leak and reservoir needs to filled about twice a year. We've taken into the local shop who did a pressure and dye test, but were not been able to find a leak/cause. They didn't seem concerned since the leak was so slow, and said to just make sure we keep the reservoir filled.

So the 0 temp reading makes me think it's a bad sensor/wiring, though 160 seems a bit low too, both possibly causing the P0128 code. But the message saying the engine is hot is also a bit confusing. Should I just replace them both? Looking at sensors, there were 2 different #'s I found (12608814 and 15326388). Which one is correct?

Thanks!
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Old 06-02-2020, 01:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: 2009 Vue Thermostat/sensor/P0128 question

I would change the coolant sensor first.
To confirm your part put your VIN number in here:
https://www.gmpartsgiant.com/
Then search for coolant sensor.
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Old 06-02-2020, 04:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2009 Vue Thermostat/sensor/P0128 question

12608814 it is based on VIN. Interestingly, Amazon claims 12608814 does not fit my vehicle, though says 15326388 does. Not that I'd trust Amazon over gmpartsgiant, but does make me a bit weary, though still going with gmpartsgiant. Thanks!

Last edited by agroom; 06-02-2020 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 06-06-2020, 04:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2009 Vue Thermostat/sensor/P0128 question

Installed the new sensor today and took it for a test drive. Started around 80 and ramped up to 156-ish after a few miles then held there for the next several miles, as it did before. Then the same error again "Engine Hot A/C Off", and the engine temp from the dash readout read all dashes "---".

Wiring issue? Control module (don't know which)? I didn't clear the previous P0128 code, should I do that?
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Old 06-06-2020, 05:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2009 Vue Thermostat/sensor/P0128 question

I'm assuming there are no signs that the engine is running hot. Did you feel the rad hoses?

The 0 temp start reading you reported before made me think temp sensor. After replacing the temp sensor your reported 80 ramping to 156-ish seems semi- normal so perhaps the sensor had a fault.
The P0128 indicates that the coolant temp has not risen in the PCMs allotted time. After another timer expires the PCM triggers engine protection mode and turns off the AC.
This link indicates the common cause it the thermostat.
https://www.engine-codes.com/p0128_saturn.html
This link also says the thermostat is stuck open and to replace the thermostat...
https://repairpal.com/ac-off-for-eng...reads-cold-515
Before changing the thermostat, clear the code and take it for a run, monitor the temperature and check to see if P0128 comes back. Just in case it's not a self resetting code.
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2008 Saturn Aura XE 3.5L 4 spd
2000 Saturn SL1 1.9L SOHC (Retired)
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Old 06-07-2020, 05:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2009 Vue Thermostat/sensor/P0128 question

Quote:
This may be accompanied by illumination of the check engine light and the temperature gauge reading cold at all times. This is a feature of the engine that is activated by the power control module when it detects the engine warming up too slowly.
I wonder if the three dashes on the temp readout is what they mean by "temperature gauge reading cold at all times". Seem to remember the thermostat being a 180° (or maybe 190°). Does that mean I should be seeing roughly 180° (under typical conditions) for engine temp? If so, only getting up to ~156° could definitely mean the thermostat is faulty and throw a P0128 code since it's not fully getting up to temperature.

Also, the old sensor was about 6o% covered in a thin hardened crust. Don't know if that's normal, but may have contributed some to the issue.

In any case, I'll reset the code and replace the thermostat if the error returns. Thanks!
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Old 06-07-2020, 06:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2009 Vue Thermostat/sensor/P0128 question

You're right, the thermostat should start to open at 180°, so the engine is never fully warming up.
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Old 09-03-2020, 07:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2009 Vue Thermostat/sensor/P0128 question

I was finally able to replace the thermostat over the weekend, and wanted to post a follow up. Seems it was the culprit, and now heats up to ~180 before I hear it click open.

Unfortunately it now seems to has a small leak at the housing cover. It doesn't happen until warmed up, but I can see a small drip coming from what appears to be around the right housing bolt. I can see it pooling up at the bolt head, almost like it's coming from under the bolt, then dripping once it's big enough.

The thermostat came with a new gasket, and I installed it in the same position as the previous one (though nothing in the manual notes it needing to be in any specific orientation, only spring side down), and torqued it to the specified 89in-lbs. So looks like I'll be tracking this down now *sigh*

Anyway, thanks everyone for your help!
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