1992 Saturn SL2 overheats like a bitch, any suggestions

Discussion in 'Saturn S-series' started by jimjohnson, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. jimjohnson

    jimjohnson Guest

    i drive a 1992 saturn sl2 twin cam. it has 106,000 miles, manual
    transmission. the oil is changed regularly and all fluids are topped off.
    however there is a problem with keeping the engine cool. whenever i idle
    for more than 10 minutes, the tempurture gauge almost reaches the red.
    also, when driving in anything below 3rd gear, such as in traffic, the
    gauge almost hits red. i've been having to shut the car off at red lights
    and drive with the heater on full blast to keep the engine cool. any
    suggestions on what might be causing this?

    jimjohnson, Jun 18, 2004
  2. When the temperature gets up that high, the cooling fan should be running.
    If not, and you have A/C, then check if it runs with the A/C on. If it does,
    but doesn't come on when it's overheating, the coolant temperature sensor is
    probably bad. If it doesn't run at any time, the fan motor or relay could be
    Robert Hancock, Jun 18, 2004
  3. (If there was ever a FAQ for this group, this question should definitley
    be in it.)

    It is normal for the S series to run between 1/2 and 3/4 on the gauge.
    That being said:

    -Is this a new phenomena for this vehicle?

    -Do you know if the radiator fan is coming on? Nothing new, just a
    summary of what many others have been saying recently: It should come on
    somewhere around 3/4 on the gauge. If it isn't, try turning on the A/C
    briefly - that should make the fan come on. If that doesn't make the
    fan come on (regardless of the engine temp) then you may have a faulty
    fan motor or faulty relay. If, however, the fan does come on, you might
    want to check the coolant temp sensor.

    Since you indicate that fluid levels are normal and you're not adding to
    the resevoir bottle; if the fan is coming on as it should, but it isn't
    helping I would tend toward something more drastic: something wrong with
    the water pump, a pressure leak in the cooling system, or poor coolant
    circulation possibly caused by a blockage.

    richard hornsby, Jun 18, 2004
  4. Oh, I forgot one other thing I saw recently - check around the radiator
    for obstructions and debris such as plastic bags.

    richard hornsby, Jun 18, 2004
  5. jimjohnson

    Lane Guest

    First of all, I want to say what I say to everyone posting a similar
    situation to your own.

    In the old days, overheating meant that the pressure relief valve on the
    cooling system cap popped, or hoses ruptured, and you were blowing steam.
    THIS is overheating. :)

    Your car is not really overheating. Normal operating range on the gauge is
    half to 3/4. On hot days in slow traffic (or stopped/idling), my 94 SC2's
    needle will sometimes go above 3/4 and close to the red. I don't worry -
    eventually, the fan comes on when it's designed to and reduces the temp. If
    it never comes on, then there is a problem there.

    Others have left a lot of good advice and mentioned things to check in this
    thread. You can also use google groups to do a search of past posts on this
    newsgroup and you will find that this has been discussed a lot in the past.

    FYI - I've run my 92 SC race car on the track for 20 minutes, very close to
    redline much of that time, on a 95 degree day. Due to my own actions (I had
    removed the airdam temporarily), my temp gauge was at the top of the red and
    nearly pegged the whole time - even with the fan on. A cooldown lap was all
    it took to bring it back down to 1/2. I didn't worry about it because these
    engines are durable when it comes to temperature. It's just the owners who

    Lane [ l a n e @ p a i r . c o m ]
    Lane, Jun 19, 2004
  6. Let's write one!

    Hmm... Topics:

    1) About this NG
    2) About Saturn
    *History of models
    *Engine data
    3) Common repairs/problems
    *Head gaskets/cracks
    4) Other repairs
    *Cleaning the throttle body
    *Reading trouble codes - pre OBDII (with listing)

    Hmm, what else am I missing?

    (Ok, who wants to write it and host it?)
    Philip Nasadowski, Jun 19, 2004
  7. jimjohnson

    Jeffrey Guest

    I have the 91 version of your car. I have had the same problem for 3 years.
    I have done all the above mentioned things. My mechanic found a bad pully
    that he says could have caused the waterpump to slow down and cause
    overheating. jshurack @excite.com
    Jeffrey, Jun 21, 2004
  8. jimjohnson

    Logan Parker Guest

    Had a similar problem, the fan should come on when it reaches 3/4. Mine
    didn't, found a corroded connector under the engine bay fuse panel for the
    fan relay. A little cleaning solved that one for me.
    Logan Parker, Jun 26, 2004
  9. jimjohnson

    misterfact Guest

    My only suggestion is next time - buy a QUALITY car that has more
    than a stinking 36,000 mile warranty!
    misterfact, Jun 28, 2004
  10. jimjohnson

    Mike Guest

    Yeah, my crappy 92 SC has only lasted 12 years and 140,000 miles so far!
    Mike, Jun 29, 2004
  11. 140? I'm up to 228 and still running.

    On the origional clutch even.
    Philip Nasadowski, Jun 29, 2004
  12. jimjohnson

    Mike Guest

    Wow, by the way, the other square thingy down there that looks like a brake
    is for the clutch!

    Mike, Jun 30, 2004
  13. Reminds me of my friend driving my car the other day. He's a native of
    Poland. After first squeeeeezing into the driver's seat (funny in
    itself - he's very tall), as we're driving along, he commented:

    "These damn Capitalist autos have too many choices!!! There's THREE
    pedals down there! In Poland, we had just ONE pedal and if we didn't
    like it, tough!"

    I couldn't stop laughing. I wanted to kill him after he confused the
    clutch and brake, though :/
    Philip Nasadowski, Jun 30, 2004
Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.