2002 SL2 Idles Hot

Discussion in 'Saturn S-series' started by Joseph Bloch, May 13, 2004.

  1. Joseph Bloch

    Joseph Bloch Guest

    I just bought a 2002 SL2 and love it but for one thing; I noticed that
    when stopped at a red light or in traffic the temperature gauge goes
    from slightly over 1/4 to past 1/2. Once the car gets moving again,
    the temperature goes back to normal. (I've never just let it sit for
    ten minutes or so to see if the temperature will keep climbing.)

    According to the Saturn dealership I called, this is normal, but I
    wanted to check to see if anyone else had noticed this.

    Joseph Bloch, May 13, 2004
  2. short version:
    They are correct

    longer version:
    ....this is what I wrote in a recent thread:

    "it is actually normal for the engine temperature to go up _some_ when
    you're in city traffic, as compared to highway driving. Two reasons for
    this include a) you're not pushing volumes of air past the radiator b)
    you're working the engine harder in stop/go traffic, ie at a steady
    65MPH you're probably holding somewhere around 3000RPMs (DOHC). In city
    driving you're constantly going from ~1000 to 4500 (or so, depending on
    MT or AT) under load."

    one other reason that I didn't mention there is also that the water pump
    isn't moving as much coolant - since the water pump's flow rate is
    directly related to the engine RPM.

    It is NOT normal for the temperature to go past 1/2, then go past 3/4
    and just keep going up - all the while with the cooling fan never coming
    on. When the fan does come on, you should notice a fairly rapid drop on
    the gauge. Keep in mind tho the cooling fan doesn't respond to the
    gauge - there is a seperate sensor which goes to the computer which
    decides when the fan should come on. The fan will also not come on over
    a certain speed (MPH) because running the fan at speed tends to block
    more air than it can push across the cooling fins.

    richard hornsby, May 13, 2004
  3. (Joseph Bloch) typed until their fingers bled, and
    came up with:
    The temp guage in your Saturn (and all S-series - not sure about the
    ION,VUE, or L-series) shows a much SMALLER range than "normal" guages.
    Normal driving temp should be around 1/4 on the guage - 96+ seem to read a
    bit higher, 91-95 a bit lower, in my experience. The red mark on the guage
    marks the upper end of the "normal" temp range, NOT an overheating
    condition. The fan should kick on when the guage reads 3/4.
    Kevin M. Keller, May 13, 2004
  4. Joseph Bloch

    ProfWdesk1 Guest

    No ... it is not normal. What I should say is that is should not be that way.
    But, if you leaven your airconditioning off and do not add an additive to your
    oil ... then it will happen. First, when you stop on a hot day ... you want to
    have the airconditioning ON ... that will cause the fan to kick on and keep
    your engine cool. Next, Add something like DuraLube to your engine a litte
    each oil change and it will never climb ... it will stay just over the 1/4
    mark. Roy,
    ProfWdesk1, May 16, 2004
  5. erm, huh? oil additives to keep the engine cooler overall? It is
    suggested that oil additives are not only generally useless, but may be
    more harmful than helpful because they can interfere with the designed
    composition of the oil itself.


    In any case, when you turn on the A/C, you're forcing the engine to work
    harder to run the compressor and generating heat from the
    compression/cooling process. This is why the fan comes on - to
    compensate. At best, on a hot day, you're offsetting the work of the
    fan by adding more heat to the system.

    The fan will come on automatically when needed. You do (should) not
    have to force the fan to come on, unless there is something wrong with
    ie, the temp sensor and the fan never comes on. In the SLs (at least),
    the behavior as described by jbloch is normal.


    btw, the case with the FTC seems to have been resolved in 2000, but it
    is mostly lawyer-ese which I can't understand:

    richard hornsby, May 16, 2004
  6. Joseph Bloch

    BANDIT2941 Guest

    No ... it is not normal. What I should say is that is should not be that
    Ummm, no.......

    Is there any particular reason you push oil additives so much?
    BANDIT2941, May 19, 2004
  7. Joseph Bloch

    ProfWdesk1 Guest

    Is there any particular reason you push oil additives so much?

    because, you can actually see the difference in the temperature gauge
    ProfWdesk1, May 19, 2004
  8. Joseph Bloch

    ProfWdesk1 Guest

    Is there any particular reason you push oil additives so much?

    Also, there seem to be a question regularly about oil temperature ... which,
    the basic way to solve that is to keep the airconditioner on and have some kind
    of oil additive.
    ProfWdesk1, May 19, 2004
  9. Did you read anything I wrote? Your suggestion might be "the basic way"
    but it is not the correct way, and is fundamentally flawed in its logic.

    I'll repeat myself for the hard of hearing: Turning on the A/C creates
    additional heat from A) running the engine harder and B) the heat
    exchange process of the compressor. The cooling fan will come on when
    the PCM finds it is nessecary.

    Also, did you miss where the Federal Trade Commission found that the
    advertising claims of the oil additives were bunk?

    If the engine is overheating and there is enough coolant flowing, you
    can reduce the engine temperature some by turning on the heater full
    blast (not the defroster - in some vehicle makes this runs the
    compressor). If you are venting or don't have any coolant, this won't help.

    If you're really bent on running the cooling fan at will, you would be
    far better served by wiring an override switch to the relay. _However_,
    the original question asked if the behavior described was normal. My
    response stands: affirmative.

    richard hornsby, May 19, 2004
  10. Joseph Bloch

    Blah blah Guest

    This just came to me... Not sure if this applies to your year or make
    and I never looked this up but when looking at a fuse box under the hood
    of a saturn I recalled seeing 2 fan relays. One said high, the other
    said low. Maybe the high speed fan relay is bad. Again, I do not have a
    wiring diagram on hand but this is something to look into. Anyone out
    there with a book or GM SI disk or something able to referance a 02 SL2?
    Blah blah, May 20, 2004
  11. Joseph Bloch

    nanook Guest

    i had a similar issue with my '97 sl2. the fan motor was bad. on the
    97, the A/C relay and the fan relay were the same part number, so i
    switched them out in order to narrow things down.

    nanook, May 20, 2004
  12. Joseph Bloch

    ProfWdesk1 Guest

    I'll repeat myself for the hard of hearing: Turning on the A/C creates

    The sounds good. But, what is logical is often wrong. The key is to keep the
    engine temperature down and those two basic ways (leaving air conditioner on so
    the fan runs and add an oil additive ... specifically Duralube or probably STP)
    will keep the tempurate less than the temperature the PCM decides is about to
    ruin the engine.
    ProfWdesk1, May 21, 2004
  13. (ProfWdesk1) typed until their fingers bled, and came
    up with:

    The key is to

    Actually, just turning the A/C on, and then off again after a few seconds
    will cause the cooling fan to run for 2 minutes.
    Kevin M. Keller, May 22, 2004
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