Temp & level light flashing

Tiny
GRUNTHANER
  • SATURN

My 1994 Saturn SW2 160K miles on body 70K miles on replace engine & trans temp and level light is flashing the mechanic just replaced the water pump after it was leaking and I'm going back in for them to troubleshoot in a day or so. Any ideas why the light is flashing even with the new water pump, antifreeze full and a recent new radiator? The temp gauge is just above cold and it is 60 degrees out. What else should be checked? Is there a reset switch?

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Tuesday, April 18th, 2006 AT 3:10 PM

14 Replies

Tiny
PEPPERMRJ
  • MEMBER

The light flashes for two reasons.
First is the coolant level is low or the level switch is bad.
Second is a disparity in the readings between the coolant temperature sensor and the transmission temperature sensor. Most times tho the light stays on steady when this happens.

Try jumpering the terminals in the connector and seeing if the light goes out. If it does the switch is either bad or is gunked up. You can try removing the coolant tank and cleaning it thoroughly. Sometimes that is all it takes to free up that float switch.

Good luck and let us know. :)

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Tuesday, April 18th, 2006 AT 11:05 PM
Tiny
GRUNTHANER
  • MEMBER

How do I "Try jumpering the terminals in the connector and seeing if the light goes out." Can you give me more detials in doing that?
Thanks Linda

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Wednesday, April 19th, 2006 AT 1:32 PM
Tiny
PEPPERMRJ
  • MEMBER

"jumpering" means you disconnect the wire connector at the sensor, and use a piece of wire, or for that matter something like a paper clip, to jump the two pins on the connector (the wires going to the car, not the sensor). That should simulate the sensor saying "okay, I'm wet, turn the light off". If indeed it turns the light off, then probably the sensor is just bad or stuck.

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Thursday, April 20th, 2006 AT 8:01 PM
Tiny
GRUNTHANER
  • MEMBER

Well my mechanic replaced the sensor today he reset the computer and the lights are flashing again. What next? He also cleaned out the over fill container, or coolant tank and thought perhaps replacing it may help but I don t see how that would help unless there is a switch or valve in it. He said he looked at that container and there was no switch on it but didn t you say there was a float switch? Where is the float switch and how do I test or replace it? Is there a valve or senor in the over flow container? His other suggestion was go to the dealer. I would rather not go to the dealer not because they are so steep. Any other ideas? I m afraid to go too far with the car with the light on.

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Friday, April 21st, 2006 AT 5:41 PM
Tiny
PEPPERMRJ
  • MEMBER

There is a float switch in the colant tank. Look at the wires that run to the bottom of it. What sensor did you have replaced?

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Friday, April 21st, 2006 AT 5:50 PM
Tiny
GRUNTHANER
  • MEMBER

It was the temp sensor. It is located on the block just below the twin cam top piece (sorry I don't know if they call that the head on that type of engine.
Linda

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Friday, April 21st, 2006 AT 8:36 PM
Tiny
GRUNTHANER
  • MEMBER

I removed it and nothing appears connected to coolant tank but 2 hoses. I do not see a switch in it or on it. Could there be a non visiable switch in the tank?
Thanks Linda

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Friday, April 21st, 2006 AT 8:51 PM
Tiny
PEPPERMRJ
  • MEMBER

You have got me second guessing myself. I went to an online saturn dealer and looked up the coolant resevior for your car and also for my 96. They are the same part.

There should be a float switch inside the tank. It is not really visible thru the cap opening. You should be able to see where the electrical connectin protrudes out from the tank. If you were facing the tank installed from the front of the car it is in the right rear bottom of the tank.

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Saturday, April 22nd, 2006 AT 4:50 PM
Tiny
GRUNTHANER
  • MEMBER

Hi, I went to the Saturn dealer this afternoon to buy a new coolant tank and low and behold there is a float sensor in the tank but it is not visible other than the terminal connections when you flip it over. I got home after the 1hr drive to the dealers and was thinking on my way home wouldn t it be nice if the mechanic s assistant forgot to connect the power to the switch? Well after using a turkey baster to remove most of the antifreeze I removed the windshield fluid tank and pulled the antifreeze container up being careful not to disconnect too many hoses and Wa-La the connector wasn t connected. Too bad I didn t see that last night when I pulled it up a bit to look inside. I connected it and added more antifreeze and started the engine. The light is off. And I am so happy that I went out and bought a Saturn repair manual by Haynes (all the store had). Does anyone know where I can get a CD or DVD of the 94 SW2?

Thanks for all your help especially peppermrj.
Best wishes,
Linda

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Saturday, April 22nd, 2006 AT 5:27 PM
Tiny
PEPPERMRJ
  • MEMBER

Glad to hear you found the culprit. :D
Take the tank back.
Your manual is a good investment. Saturns are easy to maintain just as long as you always check the oil. :Shock: You can sometimes get cds or even a factory service manual on e-bay for a decent price.

8)

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Saturday, April 22nd, 2006 AT 5:35 PM
Tiny
GRUNTHANER
  • MEMBER

Peppermrj,
Yes what is it with older Saturn s and requiring oil often are they burning it up? I know I had a leak in my original engine and oddly I was low more than one quart with this 70K mile replacement engine the other day and have zero leaks.
Thanks again you have been so much help and it's nice to share : )
Linda
94 Saturn SW2
62 Austin Healey Sprite MKII in coast to coast transit as we speak.
97 BMW F650ST

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Sunday, April 23rd, 2006 AT 4:54 AM
Tiny
PEPPERMRJ
  • MEMBER

S-series Saturns have some issues with sticky oil control rings. Their is a procedure for cleaning them by soaking them in GM ring cleaner.
Some have good success using only Moblie 1 synthetic oil. It has better ring cleaning properties.
I just use regular oil and check the level frequently.
That alone will keep these great little cars running for quite some time.

Peppermrj :)

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Sunday, April 23rd, 2006 AT 9:31 AM
Tiny
GRUNTHANER
  • MEMBER

Where are the oil control rings?
Thanks Linda

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Monday, April 24th, 2006 AT 5:08 AM
Tiny
PEPPERMRJ
  • MEMBER

Bottom set of rings on the pistons.

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Monday, April 24th, 2006 AT 10:20 AM

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