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Old 06-17-2021, 12:20 PM   #1
SaturnBaby
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Default 2004 Saturn Ion 2 advice?

I purchased a 2004 Saturn Ion 2, great car. Its ran for 273,000 miles and im gonna run this car until it finally decides to die. its still like 95% mechanically ok though, its in pretty good condition considering. But I started having an issue with it overheating while idling but once I drive the air seems to cool it down. and Im looking for another opinion on it.
Let me preface this by saying we have record breaking temperatures where I live right now so It is blistering hot but 90% of the time I drive it at night when its much cooler because I dont have A/C at the moment. The first time it overheated it only got to the 3/4 mark but the second time it was at the very top. I let it cool down and drove it home At first I thought that maybe the fan wasnt working but I heard it turn on last night so its either partially working or is working but not doing its full job. The girl I got it from didnt take care of the car very good at all so Im gonna do an oil change and put new coolant in hoping that it helps because the coolant doesnt look the best, however we are almost certain that this overheating issue is more than just changing the coolant. We just arent sure if its got something to do with the radiator fan or the thermostat or what. Im just kinda lost.
Any and all help would be appreciated. I need this car for work! So I need to get it fixed!!!!
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Old 06-20-2021, 05:34 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2004 Saturn Ion 2 advice?

Use a reader to display cooling system temperatures or stick a thermometer into the coolant container once the engine is fully warmed up. Thermostats may go as high as 195F so 200F may be normal. The original cooling fan may be worn out after 273k miles/17 yrs. If it's a single speed fan then it should blow with force, not spin quietly when it turns on. You can manually force it on by locating the cooling fan relay, pull it and familiarize yourself with labeling on it for pinouts. Jumpering relay socket terminals 30 and 87 sends 12v immediately to the fan, turning it on regardless of ignition switch position or coolant temperatures. A paper clip serves as a bypass jumper wire to insert into the relay socket terminals.

As either a puller or pusher fan, it forces airflow thru two radiators - the ac condenser coil (in front of the radiator) and radiator so it must force airflow thru both. A worn out cooling fan won't move air thru both radiators.

A complete water flush of the cooling system until it drains clear should help before replacing with fresh antifreeze and water.
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Old 08-04-2021, 10:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn Ion 2 advice?

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Old 08-13-2021, 01:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn Ion 2 advice?

Never had this problem (My Ion is 03 with 356,000 on it). I would say replace thermostat first. Also, try revving the engine while idling at a stand still. If the temp is dropping, it's the water pump. Is the temperature oscillating or climbing steadily? You said the coolant was not too good - what do you mean? Is there a gung on the radiator cap or oil filter? That would indicate blown head gasket (unlikely). I don't know if the ECM turns on the fan or a separate sensor. Worth checking. The last time it happened to me was in 1984 Mercedes 190 D, and it was a seized fan. Jump the fan by connecting it directly to the battery. If the engine cools, it might be the fan or a relay.
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