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Old 04-19-2010, 02:23 PM   #1
curio
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Default Removing the ECTS on a 1997 SL1

I'm having trouble removing the cap on the ECTS of my 1997 SL1. Wolfman, in a thread in the "How to Library," but now closed, provided excellent advice. Unfortunately, I cannot find the "ears" he mentions that must by squeezed to remove the cap and related material, thereby providing clear access to the sensor for its removal. The cap is white, has two wires, and appears to be part of a larger, black "sleeve'' that is attached to the outboard portion of the sensor. I don't dare pull to hard on the white cap and cannot get my fingers around the black sleeve because it runs so close to the engine. What am I missing and what should I try next?

Many thanks,

Curio

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Old 04-19-2010, 02:50 PM   #2
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Removing the ECTS on a 1997 SL1

It can be a tight fit, esp. with large-ish hands. First - do you have the air intake piping out of the way? Some folks even like to remove the battery for better access, but that may be overkill. If you're still having trouble reaching in there and squeezing with your fingers at the same time, try a needle-nose pliers, esp. a pair with the slight bend in the jaws.

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Old 04-19-2010, 03:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: Removing the ECTS on a 1997 SL1

Practice removing the air temp sensor connector which has the same connector as the engine coolant temp sensor and is more accessible being located in the airbox inlet.


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Old 04-19-2010, 05:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Removing the ECTS on a 1997 SL1

My thanks to both of your for your advice. The picture is especially helpful. Before my posting, I had removed both the air intake conduit and the battery. That improved my view of the sensor, but not much else. Will try again tomorrow.

Curio.

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Old 04-19-2010, 05:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Removing the ECTS on a 1997 SL1

Richpin to the rescue, while the SF photo gallery is (STILL ) down!

A little inspection mirror might help.

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Old 04-20-2010, 03:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Removing the ECTS on a 1997 SL1

Success. After practicing on the outside temperature sensor, I removed the cap on the ECTS, with the help of Channel Lock pliers. The angle made all the difference for me. Left the battery in place, but did remove the oil and transmission fluid dipsticks and swung the air hose back to the firewall. Engine was too hot for removing the sensor, but I did loosen it a bit to make sure it was not frozen in place.

With the closure of local Saturn outlets, the closest Saturn parts place is more than an hour away and it wants just under $37 for a genuine Saturn ECTS. The folks there won't mail it; I have to fetch it. So is using the genuine item so important that I should stop complaining and dithering and go get it?

Thanks,

curio

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Old 04-20-2010, 03:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Removing the ECTS on a 1997 SL1

Nope, most people buy one for $10~$15 at the local auto parts store. As long as the tip is brass, it'll work fine. You may need to put a little teflon tape or pipe dope or whatever it is on the middle threads.

Don't put it in too tight It's a tapered thread and you'll probably notice exposed threads when it's in tight enough - that's normal.

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Old 04-20-2010, 05:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Removing the ECTS on a 1997 SL1

Thanks for the comforting news and the tip on exposed thread. Now to let the car cool down, buy and install the part.

curio.

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Old 04-21-2010, 10:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: Removing the ECTS on a 1997 SL1

Replacement--a BWD product--cost just over $10 at local Advance Auto Parts store. Installation went very smoothly; lost less than 1/3 cup of antifreeze. Hot-engine idle dropped about 200 rpm to about 650 and engine seems to be running more smoothly overall. On to the next issue.

Curio.

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