2000 Saturn SL2 overheating

Tiny
JEREMY735
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 SATURN SL2
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 118,000 MILES
I have a 2000 Saturn SL2 with 118,000 miles. Never had a problem with overheating. Until now. The cooling fan will come on when the engine is cold and the AC is on. When I turn the AC off the fan stops. When I let the car idle for about 15 to 20 minutes in the driveway the temp gauge gets a little over halfway. The fan should come on, it does not. Then I try to turn the AC on to start the fan. The AC does not blow cold air and the fan will not turn on.
Anybody?
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 AT 4:33 PM

11 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
So has the car boiled over?Meaning got so hot that coolant came out of the cap?Also do you have any code's?If you haven't checked yet then please have it scanned for codes and let me know the exact codes if you have any. Yes the fan comes on just over half way on the gauge. You could have a bad coolant temp sensor really common on those cars. But without knowing the engines temp makes it kind of hard to tell if the fan is not coming on at the correct temp. Since there is just the coolant temp sensor that runs the gauge temp and tells the computer when to turn the fan on. So do you have a temp gun to read surface temp?That would tell you if the fan was coming on when its supposed to. The fan comes on between 222-226 degrees.
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 AT 5:42 PM
Tiny
JEREMY735
  • MEMBER
I have not let it boil over. I let the temp gauge get to about three quarters this morning and the fan still did not come on.
I tried this suggested by a Saturnalia thread:
1. Disconnect the ECTS (Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor) connector.
2. Connect the two contacts inside the connector together with the two ends of a small paper clip.
3. Then turn on the car (either start the engine or turn the key to "RUN" without starting the engine).

The fan did not run but the temp gauge did go up and down each time the clip was inserted. So, I think the temp sensor ok.
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 AT 7:34 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
If the fan comes on with the a/c then that means the fan motor fuse relay and circuit is good. When the computer turns the fan on because it reaches a temp between 222-226 degrees it uses the same trigger wire to the fan relay it uses when it turns the fan on when you turn the a/c on. So that means were looking at the coolant temp sensor or wiring to it. Do you have a multimeter?If you do we can test the sensor. Look at the terminals on the coolant temp sensor connector are they blue or green?Or are they silver color?
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 AT 10:50 PM
Tiny
JEREMY735
  • MEMBER
This was a post on Saturnalia:

Mine is a '98 SL1 with standard transmission and about 107K miles. I noticed today that when starting a cold engine and letting the car sit stationary with the A/C on, the cooling fan runs for a minute or two, and the A/C works fine. After the engine begins to heat up, the cooling fan and A/C both cut off. The cooling fan doesn't come back on, but the A/C switches on and off a few times for shorter durations each successive time until finally it stops completely unless I get the car above 20 to 30 miles per hour. At first I thought the computer simply was cutting the A/C off as the engine got too hot, but as long as the car is moving over 20mph or so, the A/C will come on regardless of how hot the engine is. Also the first time the A/C cuts out, the temp gauge shows the needle just under the 1/4 mark. It seems to me that the A/C cuts off because the fan cuts off and has nothing to do with the engine temp.

I, too, have checked fuses, tried "wiggling wires, " cleaning electrical connections, and swapping relays to no avail. I'm going to pull the fan/motor assembly out in a few minutes to test it directly. I'll let you know what I find out. If you (or anyone else) come up with anything, please let me know. Thanks!
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 AT 11:27 PM
Tiny
JEREMY735
  • MEMBER
His next post:

replacing the fan motor worked. $30 at the local autoparts store. It's a simple job.

Since your symptoms sound exactly the same as what I was experiencing with mine, I'd be willing to bet yours is the same problem. You might want to take the fan motor out and test it first just to see.

Hope this helps you out.
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 AT 11:28 PM
Tiny
JEREMY735
  • MEMBER
Not trying to second guess you. Just trying to understand.
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 AT 11:29 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I hear what your saying you said the fan came on with the a/c so sometimes the a/c clutch kicks on without the fan?If so all we have to do is see if the fan motor has power and ground when that happens. Do you have a test light or multimeter to do that?
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Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 AT 12:50 AM
Tiny
JEREMY735
  • MEMBER
I sure do. I will test it in the morning and get back to you. Thanks.
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Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 AT 1:13 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Keep me posted.
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Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 AT 4:58 AM
Tiny
JEREMY735
  • MEMBER
Replaced the fan motor this morning. That was the problem. The old fan motor's "breather" was caked with dirt and grease. Probably burnt it up. Thanks for your help.

Until next time.
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Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 AT 3:13 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Glad to hear you got it figured out what thru me off is you said the cooling fan motor came on when you turned on the a/c but didnt turn on when the temp gauge got past 1/2 way on the gauge. Those motors do cake up they all do doesnt really burn them up its just when its there turn to go its there turn to go. So did you have to remove the tourqe ring on the new motor to make it fit thru the fan housing?Then put the tourqe ring back on once the motor was in the fan housing?
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Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 AT 4:40 PM

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