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Old 02-28-2006, 12:40 PM   #1
dmacias666
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2000 SL2
Dizzy Fan turns on too late

I have a 2000 SL2 that I purchased from the original owner. He had rewired the radiator fan to stay on all the time, so I had the dealer mechanic set it back to factory specs. Only now I know why the previous owner made the change. The fan does not turn on in time to cool off the engine. The temp indicator goes to the half way point before the fan goes on. I had the mechanic at the dealer check it out, but he found nothing wrong. One of the crew told me to turn on the air condition when the engine heats up as it will trigger the fan to reach maximum rotation. This does work. The temp indicator does go down to a little above one quarter, but this is not a good fix. Especially in the winter when it is already cold.

Anyone else experience this problem?

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Old 02-28-2006, 12:47 PM   #2
94sc295sl2
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Default Re: Fan turns on too late

normal... saturn temp gauges go to the 3/4 mark before thefan kicks on.

...
remember that cars are built by robots built by human hands and are prone to failure.

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Old 02-28-2006, 01:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: Fan turns on too late

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Old 02-28-2006, 04:16 PM   #4
Sky King
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Default Re: Fan turns on too late

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmacias666
I The fan does not turn on in time to cool off the engine. The temp indicator goes to the half way point before the fan goes on.

Anyone else experience this problem?
This is absolutely fine. Actually it shoud get a bit closer to the red before the fan turns on.

I have read many threads concerning this. I do not understand why people get concerned when the temp gauge gets to half way. It is NOT hot or overheated untill it gets to the RED. Since the gauge does not have actual temps on it, you have no idea just how "HOT" or "COLD" a given gauge reading is. It is that way on purpose. All you need to know is whether or not it is TOO HOT or not. And if it isn't in the RED is isn't TOO hot.

Over the years Saturn has recalibrated the gauge to read lower even the temp is not different. They did this because people panic when they see the gauge reach the upper range. Like I said, even though the actual temp is no cooler, the gauge was recalibrated to READ cooler.

If you are interested in what those gauge positions actually mean, here is a cut and paste from another thread:

Normal running temp, just below 3/8 indication, 85 deg C - 185 deg F
3/8 indication 94 deg C - 201 deg F
1/2 indication 101 deg C - 214 deg F
Fan came on at just below 5/8 105 deg C - 221 deg F
Fan went off at 97 deg C - 206 deg F
I allowed the engine to run long enough to go through 2 fan on/off cycles to verify the on/off temps. I then turned the Air Cond on to force fan on. I allowed the AC to run a minute or so then turned it off. The fan continued to run untill the coolant temp was below 85 deg C, 185 deg F.

This is from two different DOHCs. A 99 SC-2 and a 95 SL-2

Also if you have a OEM thermostat, it is a 195 degree thermostat. And you can see from the above data, that the thermostat isn't even going to open before the gauge is close to the 3/8 deflection and half is only 2 degrees above the NORMAL boiling point for plain water. With coolant and the system pressurized as it should be, the boiling point is higher.

...
1999 SC-2 280,000 miles -mine now also dead, RIP
1995 SL-2 296,000 miles - my wifes totaled, RIP
1993 Chevrolet S-10 Pick-up - mine
2003 Harley Davidson Low Rider - mine

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Old 02-28-2006, 05:16 PM   #5
acr2001
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Default Re: Fan turns on too late

As everyone else said, its perfectly NORMAL!

And as far as turning the A/C on - you only have to turn it on for a few seconds - that will cause the fan to turn on and run for a few minutes but it is NOT necessary!

...
- 1993 SL1 Auto 100,000+ miles

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Old 02-28-2006, 05:40 PM   #6
dmacias666
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Happy Re: Fan turns on too late

I'll take your word that it is normal, all of you. However, the first time the temp gauge went to the half way point I drove straight to the dealer. While the car was parked, and off, it leaked coolent on the ground. Enough to alarm one of the techs. As I said, eventually I was told that the fan was working yet it still makes me nervous as it never goes much higher than one quarter when I am driving on the freeway. With my previous Olds I notices the same thing. When the fan was burned out it still would not go above one quarter while on the freeway. I assume that for both one quarter is the normal temp.

David

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Old 03-01-2006, 12:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: Fan turns on too late

If you had coolant coming out of the surge tank (assuming form there from under the rad cap) then you do need to get the cooalnt temp sensor replaced.
The coolant gauge reading at half is normal. The only thing is that the coolant sensor sends this info to the PCM and then to the gauge. If the sensor is bad it will send the bad reading to the PCM and gauge.

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Old 03-01-2006, 12:46 AM   #8
acr2001
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Default Re: Fan turns on too late

If your leaking coolant when the vehicle gets up to the highest normal temp (a bit over half way on that gauge) then you should probably look at the coolant tank cap - its probably not sealing properly and preventing the system from pressurizing which would result in the coolant boiling over.

...
- 1993 SL1 Auto 100,000+ miles

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Old 03-01-2006, 06:29 AM   #9
Sky King
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Default Re: Fan turns on too late

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmacias666
I'll take your word that it is normal, all of you. However, the first time the temp gauge went to the half way point I drove straight to the dealer. While the car was parked, and off, it leaked coolent on the ground. Enough to alarm one of the techs. As I said, eventually I was told that the fan was working yet it still makes me nervous as it never goes much higher than one quarter when I am driving on the freeway. With my previous Olds I notices the same thing. When the fan was burned out it still would not go above one quarter while on the freeway. I assume that for both one quarter is the normal temp.

David
First let me say again, your temp gauge is not marked in actual degrees. What an Oldsmobile gauge means and what a Saturn gauge means will be different. The engineers have determined what they feel to be too hot. For two different cars, that will most likely be different. But instead of putting the actual temp there they just put a RED area. Regardless of what that really is, it is hot for THAT car. Without actual temps on the gauge, the gauge is ONLY a relative indicator. No matter how HOT the red area is, 212 degrees or 500 degrees it doesn't matter, red is hot.

Now for a little physics. Pure water boils at 212 degrees F. at sea level. If you put that same water in a sealed container and pressurize it, it has to get hotter before it boils. Add to that, anti-freeze/coolant. This mix also raises the boiling temp. You stated that coolant ran over. I would look at the resevoir cap. If the cap is leaking, the system can not pressurize. If it can't pressurize, it WILL boil at a temp lower than what it was designed to. That DOES NOT mean that the car has overheated.

If you noted the data in my previous post, you will see that the PCM did not even command the fan on untill 221 deg F, well over the normal boiling point but yet was NOT in the red.

Others have illuded that you need to change the ECTS. IF it is the resin tipped and IF it is cracked, you need to changea the ECTS. This can and will provide false informantion to the PCM.

Trying to compair the Olds, temp gauge with the Saturn is like compairing Apples and Oranges

Does the temp gauge EVER get into or REAL close to the red?
Does the fan come on before the temp gets to the red?
Do you get heat from theheater when selected"
Are you noticing recent auto salvage yardNormal running temp, just below 3/8 indication, 85 deg C - 185 deg F
3/8 indication 94 deg C - 201 deg F
1/2 indication 101 deg C - 214 deg F
Fan came on at just below 5/8 105 deg C - 221 deg F
Fan went off at 97 deg C - 206 deg F
I allowed the engine to run long enough to go through 2 fan on/off cycles to verify the on/off temps. I then turned the Air Cond on to force fan on. I allowed the AC to run a minute or so then turned it off. The fan continued to run untill the coolant temp was below 85 deg C, 185 deg F.

...
1999 SC-2 280,000 miles -mine now also dead, RIP
1995 SL-2 296,000 miles - my wifes totaled, RIP
1993 Chevrolet S-10 Pick-up - mine
2003 Harley Davidson Low Rider - mine

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Old 03-01-2006, 11:02 AM   #10
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Default Re: Fan turns on too late

IMO, If you fan was running all the time until then, it prolly never been up to proper operating temp, and it is very likely you coolant system is just slighly overfilled, and when normal temp is reached, there is enough in the system to overflow, is it at the cold line when cold?or over or under the line?

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Old 03-01-2006, 03:23 PM   #11
Sky King
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Default Re: Fan turns on too late

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky King
Are you noticing recent auto salvage yardNormal running temp, just below 3/8 indication, 85 deg C - 185 deg F
3/8 indication 94 deg C - 201 deg F
1/2 indication 101 deg C - 214 deg F
Fan came on at just below 5/8 105 deg C - 221 deg F
Fan went off at 97 deg C - 206 deg F
I allowed the engine to run long enough to go through 2 fan on/off cycles to verify the on/off temps. I then turned the Air Cond on to force fan on. I allowed the AC to run a minute or so then turned it off. The fan continued to run untill the coolant temp was below 85 deg C, 185 deg F.
MAN I don't know what happened here . Sorry for the repeat. I didn't know this happened untill I came back and read it.

...
1999 SC-2 280,000 miles -mine now also dead, RIP
1995 SL-2 296,000 miles - my wifes totaled, RIP
1993 Chevrolet S-10 Pick-up - mine
2003 Harley Davidson Low Rider - mine

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Old 03-06-2006, 06:38 PM   #12
dmacias666
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Happy Re: Fan turns on too late

Quote:
Originally Posted by sl2collector
IMO, If you fan was running all the time until then, it prolly never been up to proper operating temp, and it is very likely you coolant system is just slighly overfilled, and when normal temp is reached, there is enough in the system to overflow, is it at the cold line when cold?or over or under the line?
It is at the proper line now. The guy I purchased the SL2 from really screwed up this car in more ways than I can mention. It is possible that it was overfilled at the time I received it. Since then I have lived with the temp gauge go to the center line. It has not gome beyond that ever.

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Old 03-06-2006, 06:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: Fan turns on too late

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmacias666
It is at the proper line now. The guy I purchased the SL2 from really screwed up this car in more ways than I can mention. It is possible that it was overfilled at the time I received it. Since then I have lived with the temp gauge go to the center line. It has not gome beyond that ever.
1/2 is awesome. That's exactly where it should run. As others have stated, unless it hits the red, don't panic. All of us get the same reaction in these cars the first time we get them heated up.

For the first one we had, my Dad almost lost it (I still remember hearing HOLY #@!%... it's overheating... until the fan kicked on).

...
Kevin

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Old 03-07-2006, 10:30 AM   #14
Luke
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Default Perfect

Quote:
>Fm Kevin <
1/2 is awesome. That's exactly where it should run
Classically perfect, although most such guages will settle just to the left of center.(((> As does mine <)))

...
> 95 SL 2 = 649,619 Miles 40.4 MPG, as of 4/19/11. My manual Radiator Fan Switch, courtesy of Wolfman's patient installation guidance, continues to be.......invaluable <

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