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Old 07-25-2021, 11:26 AM   #1
Thorp
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Default Temp issues..

I have a 99 L

Went on a roadtrip a few weeks ago, smelled some coolant in the car, bad heater core. Turns out I leaked out A LOT of coolant. Temps never spiked on the sensor*
( my temp never went above 1/3, right between the 1/4 and 1/2 lines both during the drive home, and for the time I've owned the car)

I have since changed the heater core, Tstat and the coolant sensor. My car seems to run back at the 1/3 mark for a while, but will now go above the 1/2 mark and actually turn the fan on. This seems like normal operation, but NOT what my car has done for the last 5 years.
it will both gradually rise and also spike/jump. Never into over heating, but the needle can and will move very quickly. if it does get above the 1/2 mark, the fan does kick on and lowers temps.

I have read some other threads, is this a serious issue or just the ECTS/wires?
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Old 07-25-2021, 01:11 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Temp issues..

Thorp, some newbies post in the wrong forums. You mistakenly posted in the L-series and your car is an S-series. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Contact Us to ask Charlie the Administrator to move your thread over to the S-Series Tech forums. No biggie.

What you found, unfortunately, might be the faulty original coolant sensor failed leading to overheating, sending incorrect signals to the pcm, in turn never turning on the cooling fan, damaging the t-stat seals and other damage. Noticing a drastic change from before and after repairs is exactly what results when replacing the t-stat and faulty coolant sensor; the temperature gauge needle now moves between the 3/8th mark and 3/4 mark to indicate the coolant sensor operating correctly, depending on summer temps and humidity with the cooling fan turning on and off. You avoided prolonging engine damage. You'll have more than adequate heat in winter too with this repair.

If you didn't notice it when removing the coolant sensor, here's the faulty one and the correct flat nosed brass one. The S-series forums have covered this issue in many threads.
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Old 07-26-2021, 11:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: Temp issues..

i think i just saw the single letter " L" vs single letter " S" and had a brain fart. yes, my car is an S. I guess my car is operating normal, I am just not used to seeing the needle move.
is the rapid movement between 3/8ths and lets say 3/5ths normal? id sure like to see that more steady or gradual. But if that is normal, im ok with it. I do have the updated newer sensor installed. I am not sure what my old one was, I honestly didnt pay any attention when replacing.
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Old 07-26-2021, 12:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Temp issues..

Brain farts are common. You're in a diminishing group of S-series owners not knowing about the infamous faulty coolant sensor unless finding Saturnfans. GM/Saturn issued a service bulletin near the end of the S-series line ('91-'01) but the damage was already done. Wander over to the S-series tech forums and you'll find many threads about it and the damage it caused by every unsuspecting owner with mystery problems.

Get used to the 'new' temperature gauge needle swings. It's your new normal and very normal. In a few days, weeks or however long it takes to get used to the swinging needle, you'll learn to ignore it as driving normalizes. If you still have a keen sense of your car, you may hear the cooling fan cycle on then off when the needle moves towards the 3/4 mark. Technically, the fan turns on around 220F, off around 210F. The pressurized cooling system won't allow coolant to boil at 212F. Pressure raises boiling point to around 265F in combination with anti freeze so fan turn on is within this range.
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Old 07-26-2021, 07:27 PM   #5
Thorp
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Default Re: Temp issues..

i did send a msg about moving the post over. Te fan kicking on at 220 and off at 210 makes a lot of sense as it isnt on very long at all when it does in fact kick on.

I guess the new normal will just take some getting used to.

thanks for the replies.
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