1998 Saturn SL2 Themostat

Tiny
CRENTFRO1959
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 SATURN SL2
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 94,000 MILES
Need to change Thermostat. Just flushed Radiator. Watch tutorial on replacing. Said had to flush system. Back in the day, you could replace the thermostat WITHOUT flushing radiator. Can I still do it that way? Thanks!
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Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 AT 9:17 AM

23 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Back in the day you had to flush it there was so much rust from corrosion from the cast iron etc lol. But on your car your car you will be fine with a drain and refill.
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Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 AT 12:04 PM
Tiny
CRENTFRO1959
  • MEMBER
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Just to clarify, I want to replace the thermostat without having to go under the car and flush the system period! I want to replace it and that's it. I was referencing "back in the day" like I had just flushed the system and was able without draining the radiator again, able to replace the thermostat. Doing it that way, you'd lose a little fluid when taking the top radiator hose off. You could clean the housing, which was separate, seal with a gasket and done. I just paid $100 to have the system flushed. I don't have a lift. I'd have to lay under the car and drain the system. My Wife, Children and Grandchildren would be very upset if I left this world under a car. We knew someone who had jack stands give way and was found by his wife dead under a Bobcat. Let me know if this can be done in the way I explained. Thanks again!
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Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 AT 3:40 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
You can do it that way you will loose a good amount of coolant and make a big mess. With the coolant splashing everywhere all over the air dam and splash shield. Make sure you put something down to catch the mess.
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Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 AT 11:09 PM
Tiny
CRENTFRO1959
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the info. The car runs cool while moving. ONLY gets really hot @ idle or stuck in traffic. Boiled over a couple of weeks ago idling in a parking lot. Again, if you're maintaining about any speed at all, the temp gauge is between quarter and half way up. If on the highway, NEVER goes above quarter of the way up. Do you think it could be anything except a partially stuck thermostat? Thanks again!
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Friday, May 8th, 2015 AT 11:11 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I highly doubt the thermostat is bad causing the overheating issue when the thermostats go bad on those cars they run too cold.I have worked for saturn for 16yrs and have never seen a thermostat cause the engine to overheat. It sounds more like the radiator fan isnt working or turning on when it should. Does your ac work?If so turn it on does the radiator fan turn on and blow lots of air out of it?If so replace your coolant temp sensor and inspect the inside of the coolant temp sensor connector if the terminals are blue or green instead of silver then you will have to replace the connector as well.
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Friday, May 8th, 2015 AT 10:06 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Also if the thermostat isnt opening like it should it wont cool down while your moving because coolant wont be moving from the engine to the radiator and back to the engine.
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Friday, May 8th, 2015 AT 10:09 PM
Tiny
CRENTFRO1959
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the info! AC works great when you're moving. At idle or stuck in traffic, the AC does not blow cold. Feels like just fan. The car will run hot to over heat if running at idle or stuck in traffic. I will check and make sure the fan comes on when turning the AC on. I first thought fan, since the car runs cool when moving. I figured no blocked. So replace coolant temp sensor and check the color of the wires. Is this an easy job?
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Saturday, May 9th, 2015 AT 8:56 AM
Tiny
CRENTFRO1959
  • MEMBER
I meant blockage. LOL!
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Saturday, May 9th, 2015 AT 8:56 AM
Tiny
CRENTFRO1959
  • MEMBER
Is it also called a coolant level sensor connector?
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Saturday, May 9th, 2015 AT 10:12 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The coolant level sensor is in the coolant bottle the sensor is screwed into the head with a yellow and black wire going to it. Turn the ac on is the radiator fan on and blowing plenty of air out?
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Saturday, May 9th, 2015 AT 7:43 PM
Tiny
CRENTFRO1959
  • MEMBER
Replaced the sensor. No difference. Hard to see but I believe the radiator fan is not working! I checked the fuse, which appears to be fine. I've narrowed it down to the fan, power not getting to the fan, faulty ground or a relay switch. Is there anything else it could be?
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Monday, May 11th, 2015 AT 10:32 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Yes I did mention it sounds like the radiator fan inst working most likely its a bad fan motor thats the most common reason I have seen for them to be inop. Turn on the ac with the car idling when the ac clutch kicks in lightly tap on the radiator fan motor. Did the fan start spinning if so bad motor. If not with the ac on and the car idling your should have battery voltage across the two terminals to the radiator fan motor if so bad radiator fan motor.
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Monday, May 11th, 2015 AT 12:24 PM
Tiny
CRENTFRO1959
  • MEMBER
Where is the radiator fan motor located? I checked fuse. Looks good! Do you think the relay could have gone bad? Is there anything else to check? Thanks!
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Monday, May 11th, 2015 AT 1:11 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I already told you exactly what to do and check and what mostly likely the cause is in my last post. The radiator fan motor is right in front of the radiator towards the exhaust manifold/engine. As far as the relay goes I have never seen one bad causing the fan to be inop not saying its not possible but highly unlikely in my many years of experience working for saturn.
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Monday, May 11th, 2015 AT 6:17 PM
Tiny
CRENTFRO1959
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your help!
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Monday, May 11th, 2015 AT 7:05 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Your welcome keep me posted.
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Monday, May 11th, 2015 AT 7:54 PM
Tiny
CRENTFRO1959
  • MEMBER
Replaced the radiator coolant fan motor. Turned the AC on and the fan came on immediately! Let run for almost half hour and the temp gauge stayed right @ quarter. Yea! It's fixed. Thanks for all your help!
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Friday, May 15th, 2015 AT 3:06 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Your welcome glad you the fan motor working I had to replace the one on my 1999 saturn sl2 when I bought the car. Iam probably due for one myself it was a long time ago I replaced mine.
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Friday, May 15th, 2015 AT 4:20 PM
Tiny
CRENTFRO1959
  • MEMBER
Keep sharing your knowledge, especially for fellow Saturn owners! It amazes me how many I see on the road; mostly our Model. May have to lean on you again with our next problem. LOL! We bought our Saturn a year ago March. It had just under 89k miles. Silver, working A/C, key less entry, a stock cd player that sounds great after we replaced the speakers, and believe it our not, window cranks. Oh, leaky sunroof too. Sealed it. ONLY paid $2,500. Came with a 3 month/ 4k warranty that we didn't have to use. Besides the fan motor, the only thing we had to do was have an exhaust leak addressed for $80. Got REAL lucky! Thanks again!
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Saturday, May 16th, 2015 AT 7:41 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Let me guess your exhaust leak was a leaking resonator pipe?They were really common for that I have replaced tons of them. As far as sharing my saturn knowledge iam moderator on here and have been on this site going on 6yrs. So I have been sharing my knowledge for a very long time plus worked for saturn over 16yrs and shared my knowledge there where I worked with everyone. If you ever want to get a hold of me on here start your question with this one is for saturntech9 and they will save the question for me to answer.
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Sunday, May 17th, 2015 AT 8:31 AM

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