97 SL2 RUNS HOT! PLEASE HELP!

  • Tiny
  • mmhoss13
  • 1997 Saturn

Have a 97 saturn sl2, about 96k on it. Not sure of the engine size off hand. I had the catalytic converter replaced last fall after it broke, had the transmission flushed, thermostat replaced (along with some coil inside of there that cost a bundle), and had the oxygen sensor replaced a few months ago. That should have been done when the catalytic converter was done, but I wasn't told this. Well since I had the thermostat and coil replaced, my car runs hotter than it used to. It used to run about 1/4 of the temp gauge and now it runs at halfway almost instantly. If I get stuck in traffic or in a drive-thru, it starts getting hot and moving up toward the 3/4 mark. The fan will kick on but it worries me since my last car had a a problem and overheated, which resulted in HUGE problems that would have cost a bundle to fix (more than the car was worth). What else would cause a car to run this hot? Please help.

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007 AT 11:41 AM

5 Answers

  • Tiny
  • Service Writer
  • Expert
  • 9,254 posts

Several possiblilites. These are real common for a coolant temperature sender problem. But generally cause an idle problem.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/30961_cts_saturn_2.jpg



The t-stat may have gone south. (Seems like a more common part that tends to go bad in general.)

Are you losing any coolant?

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Tuesday, April 24th, 2007 AT 9:09 PM
  • Tiny
  • peppermrj
  • Member

Hey Mmhoss,

My 96 SC2 will show about 3/4s on the gauge before the fan kicks on. It will run untill the gauge gets down to around 5/8ths to 1/2. It is normal on my satty.

If you are not overheating or loosing coolant I would say all is well. You can take it to a shop and have the temp read with one of those no touch lazar guns to be sure.

Good luck and let us know. : )
peppermrj

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Wednesday, April 25th, 2007 AT 5:40 PM
  • Tiny
  • mmhoss13
  • Member

Not losing any coolant that i've seen. The other day when the fan kicked on (after getting to about 3/4), I could smell coolant which is what made me nervous enough to look into it more. With summer coming up I know it will heat up that much faster which might lead to big problems.

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Wednesday, April 25th, 2007 AT 5:48 PM
  • Tiny
  • peppermrj
  • Member

Sometimes a small leak can be hard to find. Keep a close eye on the coolant level. There is a level switch in the coolant tank that willl show up as the battery light blinking if I remeber correctly. Check the owners manual to be sure.

Be sure the cap on the coolant tank is tight also. It is a pressure cap and needs to be sealed tightly. It can also fail but that is uncommon.

Good luck and let us know. : )
peppermrj

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Wednesday, April 25th, 2007 AT 6:05 PM
  • Tiny
  • mmhoss13
  • Member

Funny you mention that blinking light. Once in a while when it was cold out, my coolant light would blink until the car heated up. It's hard to see the fill line so I had the coolant level checked (to make sure I wasnt issing something) and it wasn't low, that's when the whole thing came up about the thermostat not working. Had it replaced and still had that blink a couple times. Dont want to add coolant so that it overflows when it heats up.

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Thursday, April 26th, 2007 AT 10:04 AM

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