Need information, 91 Saturn SC runs hot

Discussion in 'Saturn S-series' started by Dennis, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. Dennis

    Dennis Guest

    Have a 91 Saturn SC which is over heating on really hot days. I believe the
    air dam is missing and I understand that it needs to be replaced to aid in
    cooling. When I bought the car it was already missing so I'm not sure what
    the air dam looks like. I went to the local junk yard and they were no help.
    When I told them what I needed they had no clue what I was talking about.
    What Saturns they did have were laying on the ground and any plastic would
    be crushed.
    I checked with a friend who has a body shop and he looked in his books and
    found several different parts described as radiator air deflectors. He can
    get the parts for me but I'm not sure which parts to order. It looks like
    something was bolted on to the plastic inner wheel wells and this is also
    missing. Could someone please describe exactly what parts that I need that
    makes up the air dam, and where it is attached under the car? Or maybe even
    supply a picture. This would help out alot. Thanks.

    Dennis, Jun 25, 2006
  2. Dennis

    marx404 Guest

    the air dam is usually 1 or 2 pieces of black plastic which are attached
    underneath the radiator. This usually consists of the radiadiator guard
    which fits underneath the radiator and is slotted and a second piece which
    is the air dam, attached in the front of the guard. My 94 SL4 was also
    missing this piece, replacing it fixed my running hot issues.

    marx404, Jun 26, 2006
  3. Dennis

    Private Guest

    The plastic air dams and inner fenders and other parts under the bumper are
    prone to damage from gravel roads or deep snow or other debris and
    particularly from parking curbs and the steel pegs that are used to anchor
    them, (but never seem to be driven flush to the top of the curb). Always
    avoid pulling your car all the way into these parking stalls, just put the
    bumper up to but NOT over any parking curbs or sidewalks. Striking concrete
    curbs and sidewalks with the subframe or sway bar can also cause expensive
    steering alignment problems.

    Any good Saturn dealer should be willing and able to print you an exploded
    drawing of all the components in the area under the rad (or anyplace else on
    the car). They can also give you the part numbers and retail prices for
    these parts and for the (usually only marginally effective) OEM fasteners.
    The under rad air dams are not very expensive but you do not want to make
    replacing them a habit.

    I do not have an air dam installed and have not had any problems with
    overheating, but those in hotter climates do report that they make a
    Private, Jun 27, 2006
  4. Dennis

    Dennis Guest

    Thank you all for taking the time to help.

    Dennis, Jun 27, 2006
  5. Dennis

    Private Guest

    In addition to (or before), you should also check the more common causes of

    Check the drive belt and tension. Reverse wash the outside of the rad
    cooling fins with warm soapy water (use caution with high pressure washers)
    and ensure that there is nothing obstructing air flow such as oily dust or
    dry grass or mud. Check the strength and age of the coolant. Standard EG
    coolant should be changed every 2-3 years and should be mixed correctly for
    strength both to protect against freezing and to raise the boiling point.
    If a change is required clean the system with a solution of Calgon
    dishwasher detergent and flush thoroughly. Check the condition of all hoses
    before refilling.

    In the recent past, engines often failed because of wear or oil system or
    materials failure but modern engineering has solved most of these problems
    and current engines are more likely to fail because of cooling system
    problems. Unfortunately cooling system maintenance is often neglected until
    it fails..
    Private, Jun 28, 2006
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