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Virtual Wrench
Virtual Wrench, Saturn Mechanic
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 14620
Experience:  35 years Master Mechanic
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Step daughter's Vue overheats. Can't tell if cooling fan

Customer Question

Step daughter's Vue overheats. Can't tell if cooling fan comes on. Unsure of the role of resistors,but fuses are OK
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Saturn
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Low coolant warning light comes on, but the coolant is up to the fill line in the reservoir.
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 2 years ago.

Hello,

I cant remember off the top of my head but does the radiator have a cap on it or is it a closed system with the only access through the reservoir?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No cap. Access through reservoir.
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 2 years ago.

thanks, ***** ***** i thought.

the light will come on if its low on coolant OR if its running hot...kinda misleading but that is how that light works.

does it actually get to the point that the engine boils over? if not how is she notified it is overheating?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Car overheats and shuts down. She left it here for me to look at. But I have not experienced the overheating personally. I loaned her a car until i can take it to a mechanic, but I thought I could do some basic troubleshooting before I take it in. I'm kinds new to Auto DIY... old dog learning some new tricks.
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 2 years ago.

Thanks,

i'm wondering how she knows its overheating though....

Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 2 years ago.

we just cant get off track here. I have a real good idea why it would die out after the engine has been driven and its hot.

But if it truly is overheating we should figure that out first but i have a feeling she just thinks its overheating because its real hot under the hood when she opens it, which is very normal...make sense?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Boil over, I think. I'll text her and ask... but I'm pretty sure it's classic overheating. What keeps a cooling fan from operating?
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 2 years ago.

Please confirm that.

There are fan relays and an engine temp sensor, etc...that control the fans.

Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 2 years ago.

i just dont want to have you replacing parts without knowing for sure that its overheating and the fans do not come on. Becase you never had a chance to see it overheat or the fans come on

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Roger that. Can we suspend this conversation until I get the info I need? I may take the car for a test drive around the neighborhood. It's over 95 degrees outside this afternoon. I can turn on the a/c to aggravate the cooling issue.
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 2 years ago.

We sure can. No problem at all. Good idea with the AC turned on. If you get an indication its overheating pop the hood and see if the fans are on.

Now keep in mind that when the AC is on, one of the fans automatically comes on so you might have to turn the AC off and see if the fans come on without it on!

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do I just come to this site and continue the thread when I have more info?
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 2 years ago.

yeppers!

i get an email when you reply and i will get right with ya.