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Old 03-21-2006, 05:34 PM   #1
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Default P0128 on L300 2002

This one I have to post, because I am finding it incredible how much simple maintenance costs on these cars!

I began getting a P0128 on my v6 L300 last year. Being quite the DIY and knowing the vehicle to be out of warranty, I decided to replace it myself. Being used to thermostats costing under $10, I was somewhat shocked when the AZ bill was over $50 and a special order. OK, so the thermo is part of the housing. I guess I can accept that. But the headache of having to remove the plenum to change the dang thing, finding out you need a special tool for the ClickIt clamps, (great substitute; Sears Companion 30416 Side Cutters.. Trust me, if you see how everything works you will see how to use these) getting all that done was impressive. Now, the code went away for a few weeks but blammo! came back. But spring came along, and I just kept clearing the code and driving, as the temp gauge shows nominal temperatures, certainly not too cool or anything.

Come spring and code didn't come back. YooHoo!! Got it licked!! BUT.... Cold fall weather and my friend returns. Anyways, I make a correlation between the outside ambient air temp and this code getting set. In other words, if its faily warm outside I never see the code; if it gets cold out while driving it will come on at any time, not dependent on if I am just starting out or been driving for a while. Some digging shows a computer re-flash needed in the '03 version of my car for the same reason, but nothing about the '02.

Dealer sends me a recall for taillights, so I decided to let him check the ECM dates and things first at the same time as getting the recall done. He comes out and says that everything looks good, and all they can figure is the "housing is bad on the thermostat". They were somewhat shocked to find out I had already replaced it myself with no difference in the code being set. He shrugs his shoulder and says to replace would be $410 labor alone...

Sorry guys, maybe I am too old-skool or something, but I'll be danged if I'd pay ANYONE almost $500 to replace a thermostat, especially when they are not sure if thats the problem. The trickiest thing is that plenum removal, and I can do alot for that kind of money... I am just wondering if anyone else has seen similar behavior and what the final resolution was...

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Old 03-21-2006, 10:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: P0128 on L300 2002

P0128 - Coolant Thermostat (Coolant Temp Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature)

Have you replaced the coolant temp sensor???
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:45 PM   #3
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
2008 SKY Red Line
Default Re: P0128 on L300 2002

I hear ya... this past week the heater in my Z28 went south and started leaking onto the floor. I called a few places; a couple dealers and some private garages, and was quoted $600 to $980 to replace just the core. That's insane! So, being the frugal shadetree mechanic that I am (ok, cheap!), I bought a new core from Kragen along with a new t-stat and spent Saturday and Sunday changing out the core and stat. Yeah it was a bear, because you have to actually disassemble and pull the dash away from the firewall, but the satisfaction in knowing that I saved at least $550 was well worth the aggravation.
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Old 03-23-2006, 03:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: P0128 on L300 2002

lostwages, no I have not. I would certainly trust that if that was an option the dealer would have recommended it; I can say that if I pursue it and it turns out to be the cause I will definately file a complaint with Saturn over it....

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