Question about 1998 Saturn SL

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Hello! I need help with my 1998 Saturn. 2 problems: one my coolant light keeps flashing on and off I don't know if I should take it in to be looked at. If so, is it expensive? Should I just add coolant? Second, my airbag light is constantly on. Do you have any idea what is wrong with it?
Thank you so much!!

Posted by meagan_54 on

  • zsweetpy Nov 27, 2008

    temp lights keep coming on, I will try your suggustion in the morning, also brake light keeps coming on and off, now service engine soon is on. Do you think you can help me fix these problems? I can't seem to find the radiator cap, found the resivior cap. Boy us girls need to go to mech. school.

    Thanks, Paula

  • lindsayride Mar 11, 2009

    My temp light and the low level light was blinking. I looked under the car and there was a good sized puddle. I took it in and the RADIATOR was leaking. 

    Replaced the radiator and hoses. Possibility of a blown head gasket... still waiting on that verdict.



1 Answer

Justin Case

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Hi there meagan _54,

Thanks for asking me about your Saturn. I'll help you figure things out. This will be interactive, meaning I'll give you a troubleshooting procedure. Then you tell me the results. Then we take it from there.

What to expect:
I don't know how comfortable you are under the hood of a car. Be assured, I won't let you get in over your head. OK?

I don't want to overwhelm you, so we'll take it slow. We'll address one problem at a time. I'll list the possible causes and their fixes. The instructions I give will walk you step by step through the troubleshooting procedures. I'll explain what we're doing, why and what to look for. If you have any problems during any of this, just ask. First up, the coolant light. Ready?

There are three things that could cause the coolant light to be flashing all the time.

  1. Low coolant level in radiator or surge (overflow) tank - We check levels
  2. Dirty or gummed up sensor - We clean it
  3. Bad sensor - We replace it
The good news:Only item three will cost you. And that will be minimal.

Checking the coolant level.
  • First and foremost: BE SAFE!!! Wear safety glasses.
  • This should be done with the engine cool. Never open the coolant caps on a hot engine.
  • When you look in the radiator, do it from an angle, not directly in front.
  • Have a hose or a couple two liter bottles full of water available.
  • Open your hood and on the passenger side, front, find the Surge/Overflow reservoir. Open it up. If it's dry, stop here and get back to me. There is a FULL COLD LEVEL line on the side of it. Make sure the fluid is at least to this level. Close it up.
  • Just because a radiator looks full, doesn't mean it is. Air pockets can exist in the engine. We're going to get rid of any.
  • 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 and go back to the radiator..
  • Observe the water level in the radiator. If it drops, top it off again.
  • At first it should do nothing. The water will seem to just sit there. This is normal. 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.
  • When the thermostat finally opens all the way, the water will start moving as it cycles through the system. You will be able to tell when this happens.
  • Does the water level drop at this point? If so, top it off while it's circulating. Adding water will close the thermostat. Be prepared to wait through the cycling two or three times until the water level remain constant during a cycling..
  • When you don't need to add water any more, put the cap back on. Observe the coolant light. Has it stopped the blinking? If so, it was an air bubble and it's gone. If not, We go to phase 2.
Either way, let me know how it goes. If you have any other problems, click the ASK button.

Remember: Good thing come to those who Rate.


Posted on Aug 05, 2008

  • Justin Case
    Justin Case Aug 06, 2008

    Hello again meagan_54,

    Have something to add to my last post. While the engine is running and you're doing the coolant cycling procedure, have the heater and fan turned on high. This circulates the heater core. Sometimes I forget to add this during summer. Sorry.

    Remember: Good things come to those who Rate!!!


  • Justin Case
    Justin Case Aug 17, 2008

    Hi meagan,_54,

    Doing a little follow up. Wondering how it went. Still having problems?

    Let me know if I can be of further assistance.
    Have a great day.



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