How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dave Nova Your Own Question
Dave Nova
Dave Nova, Saturn Technician
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 19450
Experience:  ASE Master Certification. GM World Class Certification
Type Your Saturn Question Here...
Dave Nova is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Saturn VUE: t the low coolant temperature check engine light

Customer Question

t the low coolant temperature check engine light (P0128 I think).....took it to Pep Boys who said bad thermostat, and bad ECT. They replaced both, did a coolant exchange with this (idk if it's the right kind for the engine) the low coolant light has come on (different than's red and in the center instead of the left) despite the coolant resevoir being full. This happened right after Pep Boys did the work. Why is this light coming on and what caused it?

----2002 Saturn Vue AWD v6
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Saturn
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thank you for trusting me with your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you with your Saturn problem.

The low coolant light is controlled by a sensor in the coolant reservoir. First make sure the level is correct, then try unplugging the sensor connector (shown in red in the picture below) and see if the light goes out. If it does, there is a problem in the coolant level sensor. Sometimes you can free up the sensor by tapping on the top of the reservoir with a rubber mallet. If this does not work then the reservoir has to be replaced, the sensor is made into the reservoir.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Does and should Pep Boys cover this (parts & labor), based on what I already paid them for (thermostat replacement, ECT replacement, coolant exchange)?

It came with a parts and labor warranty, but I don't know enough about this stuff to know if it qualifies.

Expert:  Dave Nova replied 3 years ago.

The sensor can sometimes stick when the coolant is drained out of the system. I would take the vehicle back and tell them that the light has come on as a result of the work they did. They may be able to unstick the sensor for you.

Dave Nova, Saturn Technician
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 19450
Experience: ASE Master Certification. GM World Class Certification
Dave Nova and 6 other Saturn Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They denied their service as the cause of the low coolant light.


They said that the fuse/sensor was already about to die and when they replaced the thermostat/ECT/coolant exchange, the fuse/sensor died on it's own.


Also, the check engine light came back on for the same code (P0128 - low coolant/thermostat/ECT), and they said they fixed it, but the code was related to the sensor with the low coolant light.


I believe I was scammed by your typical auto repair shop and filed a formal complaint with the corporate customer relations @ 1-888-PEP-BOYS.


Can you verify or contribute to any of these statements that Pep Boys said? I believe they purposefully spend 30+ minutes saying car jargon to eventually get the customer confused and to just leave

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Can you help with this?
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 3 years ago.

I am sorry you are having so many problems with the repair shop. It would seem that a national chain with a reputation to protect would be more willing to help.

The coolant level sensor may be hard to prove that the damage occurred while at their shop. You know that the low coolant level light was not on previous to the repairs and was on afterwards. They should have made notes as to any lights that were on prior to and after the repairs as well. Since this cannot be proved, replacment of the reservoir is likely going to be your expense.

The code P0128 only sets when the coolant temperature does not come up to normal levels. This is only controlled by the thermostat, nothing else. The low coolant level sensor has no bearing on this issue. They diagnosed this problem correctly as a thermostat, but obviously the thermostat is faulty. They should cover this repair again under their guarantee or refund your money. GM developed a new part number for the thermostat to help with issues like this. I am not sure what part Pep Boys used, but if it was not the Genuine GM replacement, you are likely to continue having issues.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Did you ever get credit for helping me?

Expert:  Dave Nova replied 3 years ago.

Yes, I did get credit. Thank you very much for asking.


JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Previous | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX

Meet The Experts:

  • George H.

    George H.

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    ASE Master Tech 15+ Years
< Last | Next >
  • George H.'s Avatar

    George H.

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    ASE Master Tech 15+ Years
  • Pete's Avatar


    Saturn Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    17 years Saturn Technician experience.
  • Gm Tech (Cam)'s Avatar

    Gm Tech (Cam)

    Saturn Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years experience.
  • Ron Z.'s Avatar

    Ron Z.

    - Saturn Tech -

    Satisfied Customers:

    18+yrs experience. State Inspector and Saturn Diagnostics
  • John's Avatar


    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    Master ASE technician,Master GM technician,40 years experience
  • Don 'Mo Lurch''s Avatar

    Don 'Mo Lurch'

    Saturn Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    GM, Chevrolet Cert., Heavy Line Mech, Race Shop Owner, Mobile Electronics.
  • Chris (aka- Moose)'s Avatar

    Chris (aka- Moose)

    Saturn Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    16 years of experience