2004 Saturn Vue Coolant temperature issues

Tiny
JUSTIN1991
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 SATURN VUE
  • V6
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 118,000 MILES
I've been having problems with my 2004 Saturn VUE for a few months now. My coolant light has been on for a while. At first I didn't have any issues but over the past few months I have been having lots of problems with my car. Sometimes when I am driving my car will start acting weird it'll start off with my breaks getting really stiff on the pedal, once I get to about 50 mph my car would start shaking, when I press down on the gas it feels like I am stuck in one gear, then when I let off the gas my car will practically stop on its own without the need of my breaks, and finally notice my temperature gauge is climbing to the middle.

It's been getting worse as the weather has been getting warmer.

I talked to a mechanic and he told me that I could possibly need a tstat and a coolant flush. I just wanted a second opinion on what steps I should take to resolve this issue with my car.

Thanks.

Justin
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Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 AT 1:16 PM

8 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Justin:
There are a lot of variables here that you have given me. First, if there is a coolant leak, that should be addressed first to see if it eliminates the overheating. The t-stat could be fine as well as the radiator. Fix the leak first to see if that eliminates the problem before spending money where it may not be needed.

As far as the brakes, if the engine RPM's drop low enough, the vacuum assist to the brake booster will drop and can cause the brake pedal to feel hard to push. Is that what is happening? Also, have you checked to see if there is a vacuum leak that could cause lower vacuum and the vehicle to run poorly? When it feels like the vehicle is slowing quickly (when you let off the gas) are the RPM's high? I ask this because you mentioned it feels like it is stuck in one gear. Does it seem like any of the wheels are getting exceptionally hot (possible stuck brake caliper)?

One last question, has the check engine light come on? If so, have you had the computer scanned to determine the trouble codes?
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Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 AT 8:35 AM
Tiny
JUSTIN1991
  • MEMBER
Hi-

I haven't noticed any leaking going on under the hood nor under my car. When I check under the hood I would look at the coolant tank and see the same amount of coolant sitting inside.

When I notice that my car is acting different I would check under my hood and look at the coolant tank and would see the coolant rising all the way up to the reservoir cap- I would also smell something under the hood and a little bit of smoke as if something was burning.

My check engine light has not come on.

Thanks.

Justin
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Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 AT 9:00 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Is the temperature gauge showing that the engine is running hot?
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Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 AT 9:50 AM
Tiny
JUSTIN1991
  • MEMBER
When my car is running normal the gauge would usually sit at the quarter mark- but when the car is acting different the gauge would rise as high as the half mark.
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Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 AT 10:21 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If it is going to the halfway mark, that is still in the normal range. I need you to try something. When the engine is cold, remove the radiator cap and start the engine. Let me know if coolant shoots out.
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Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 AT 11:01 AM
Tiny
JUSTIN1991
  • MEMBER
When you say "radiator cap" do you mean the cap on the coolant tank?
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Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 AT 11:39 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If that is the only one, yes. Some had a cap on the radiator itself. Also, DO NOT remove the cap until the engine is cold.
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Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 AT 11:41 AM
Tiny
JUSTIN1991
  • MEMBER
Okay so I took the reservoir cap off of the coolant tank and started the car for one minute and no coolant shot out of the tank. The only thing I witnessed happening was the coolant rose really slow then stopped.
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Thursday, April 24th, 2014 AT 6:06 AM

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