Question about 1998 Saturn SL

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1998 saturn sl1

I'll start at the beginning!! my husband hit a median, knocked a hole in the radiator, replaced the radiator, the water level symbol started flashing almost 2 weeks later.I bought a new resivour cap cause the old one wasn't holding pressure like it should and the reason i say that is because there was steam coming from there.From there we replaced 1 of the censors,we were unaware there were 2 of them. my husband took the thermostat out for a week that wasnt the problem either. over the weekend we bought a new reserve resivour and it came with the original cap. That helped but it still had the water level flashing what should we try next? Now we are experiencing another problem as well.My husband ran out of gas twice within i'd say 45 days now it's missing out bad and my service engine soon light is constantly on i'm thinking fuel filter but he says no.I have filled it full of gas thinking it might just be the difference in grade and where it was bought our car doesnt run very good on some gas we put in it, but now there is less then half a tank and the light is still on and its ideling really bad

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Top off your reservoir to the appropriate level on some road tractors today there is a sensor in the reservoir if the water level gets below it the engine will run rough and will shut down to protect the engine, Check and make sure the antifreeze is at the proper level while the engine is cold. If this isnt the problem check wires on the cranksshaft positioning sensor, also if your vehicle has a knock sensor on the side of the block check wires for proper connection on those also, What I am suggesting is that since he hit the median with the car hard enough to put a hole into the radiator then you need to check all wires connecting to sensors to make sure they are fully connected once this is done and you have the same problem you can take the car to Advance Auto parts for a free scan diagnosis if you have an Advance autopart store in your area. If not you might want to take it to a repair garage and pay the price for the scan. Hope this helps

Posted on Nov 26, 2011

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Dissconnect the battery for 2 minutes to reset the ecu and see if this makes a difference

Posted on Sep 05, 2008

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Coolant system


Hello there,

Either an air bubble, the thermostat or the water pump.
  • Air bubble (pocket) - Just because the radiator is full, doesn't mean the engine is. When an air bubble circulates through an engine it will cause the temp gauge to swing from hot (when water is in contact with the sensor) to cold ( when air is in contact). The less water, the hotter the engine. Easiest fix - add water.
  • Thermostat - Keeps water circulating in the engine separate from the water in the radiator until it gets to a certain temperature. At that point, it opens and allows the hot engine water and the cooler radiator water to cycle. Hot to radiator, cool to engine. As the cooler water flows over the thermostat, it closes, allowing the cycle to repeat. If it opens at the wrong temp, or not at all, your engine will overheat. Water will begin to boil. Steam will make the temp gauge swing erratically.
  • Water pump - If the water pump is failing (sometimes the impeller will come of the shaft), the water will not circulate. Same results.
Troubleshoot:
  • First and foremost: BE SAFE!!! Wear safety glasses. Start this with the engine cool. When you look in the radiator, do it from an angle and as far away as possible.
  • Have a hose or a couple two liter bottles full of water.
  • Take off the radiator cap. (Do not take off if engine is hot)
  • Is the water level low? If so, top it off.
  • Make sure the transmission is in either PARK or Neutral and set the parking brake.
  • Start the engine.
  • Observe the water level in the radiator. If it drops, top it off again.
  • At first it should do nothing. The water in the engine is still cool. The thermostat is closed. As the water in the engine heats up, the thermostat will begin to open. When it does, you will notice the water level begin to surge up and down.
  • Check your temp gauge. If the gauge getting close to the 'Red Zone', the thermostat should have begun cycling before now. Go back to the radiator and check it.
  • When (if) the thermostat finally opens all the way, the water will start moving as it cycles through the system. You will be able to tell the difference.
  • If you see the water flowing, the water pump is ok.
  • If the water does not start to move and the gauge is getting close to 'Red', shut the engine down and let it cool. Do not put your face near the radiator. If the thermostat suddenly let go, The hot water, driven by steam, could erupt out of the filler hole. Replace thermostat. Rerun this test. If results are the same, replace water pump.
  • Does the water level drop at this point (air bubble)? If so, top it off while it's circulating. Adding cold water will close the thermostat. Be prepared to wait through the cycling two or three times.
  • Check the temp gauge again. Has it leveled off?
  • When you don't need to add water any more, put the cap back on. Observe the temp gauge for a few more minutes. has it stopped the erratic behavior? If so, it was an air bubble and it's gone. If not, replace the thermostat.
Let me know how it goes. If you have any other problems, click the ASK button.

Remember: Good thing come to those who Rate.

Mike

Jul 28, 2008 | 1998 Saturn SL

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