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Hello and thanks for having this forum.
1998 Saturn SL2 4 cyl with ~123,000 miles.
As the weather has grown colder in my area I have tried to use my rear defogger and found that it did not work. The most recent work was a stereo install by Best Buy Mobile about 6 months ago.
When the car is running and the rear defogger switch is pressed the indicator light (LED) fails to light up. I have checked the fuses (all intact and no indication of corrosion) and replaced the relay. I did not see any indication that the defogger was working when the window had been fogged/frosted. I have read through my Haynes Repair Manual and gotten in the back seat with a volt meter, but was unsure how to hook everything up (and even if the defogger was even on) in order to check voltages.
Is there something I am missing?
Have you checked both the 30amp maxi fuse in the under hood fuse junction box and the 10 amp mini fuse in the under dash fuse junction box?
Do you hear the relay click when you push the on/off button?
With the indicator light not coming on, when you push the switch; there likely isnâ€™t any power being sent to the rear window from the relay. In other words the relay likely isnâ€™t being turned on for some reason?
We have to find out why the light isnâ€™t coming on first, before we begin dealing with the rear window and thatâ€™s only if we need to deal with the window at all?
If you know the fuses are good, pop the switch out of the dash pod.
You should have a 4 wire connector at the switch; brown, black, white and Lt blue.
Unplug the switch; the terminals of the switch should be marked with letters; K (brown wire), J (white wire), D (Lt blue wire) and H (black wire).
Connect an ohmmeter across terminals D & H of the switch and then push and hold the button.
The ohmmeter should show continuity (connection) as long as youâ€™re holding the button.
This system also uses the â€œchimeâ€ module, which is also a timer, to automatically turn the defogger off after 15 minutes.
Iâ€™ve had a few of these fail and not allow the system to work. The module is the grounding switch for the indicator light and the relayâ€™s pull-in coil.
Youâ€™ll find the chime module in the instrument panel junction block (under dash fuse box)
The test procedure for the module is two steps and this right from my service manual.
Step 1- Check all other components that they are functioning as intended.
Step 2- If no faults found in other components replace chime module with known good.
In other words there isnâ€™t a specific test for the module; if everything else looks ok try a new one.
Thank you very much GM. LOL
I own a 2000 Jag Stype 3.0 liter and have a heating issue.
I noticed this happening a couple weeks ago and it is very consistent now. I'll use an example to illustrate what is occurring:
I'm driving down the highway, doing 65, RPMs are around 2200 or so, and I get off the highway and come to a stop at the light at the end of the off ramp. After idling at about 800rpms, the hot air which was blowing hot on the highway, starts to gradually get back to the outside tempurature. Then when I start driving again, and the RPMS go up, it starts blowing hotter again.
If i'm coasting and the rpms are at about 1500, it will not blow hot...the 'limit' here is at about 2k (or so) RPMs.
Please note, the RPMs do not affect how much air blows, only the temperature.
This sort of points to air in the coolant either because it is low or overheating possibly from fan(s) not working at lower speed when needed most and bubbles from boiling won't transfer heat well at all odd as that sounds.
I think this uses the recovery tank and pressure cap on it with just a small hose to radiator - right? This makes it hard to know that the radiator is really full of just coolant. If that design you can squeeze a radiator hose and detect just coolant swishing to the recovery tank and back with the cap off of the tank.
You really need to verify the coolant level and that fans are working when they should if only to rule that out. Temp gauge should stay steady once warmed up and not fluctuate much at all - ever. Could be some other problem with controls but do rule out this coolant problem. If that's the issue, run - don't walk to take care of the source problem before it can cause further problems or damage,
Thanks for the reply Tom.
I'm very uneducated about heating and cooling systems...how can I verify that the fans are working at lower RPMS? I guess I just don't know what I'm looking for when I open up the hood.
Thanks for the help again.
Ok: Sorry if I confused you which I can do sometimes. This is important so get help. Have a real mechanic verify the coolant level and observe this. That may not be the problem but you need to know,
This is getting a little off topic here but I like to speak my mind...
Don't they check the other fluid levels when they change your oil? I could have sworn that was pretty much included in any kind of oil change nowadays.
For some reason, I have this underlying 'feeling' whenever I take my car to a place to get it fixed, that they cut as many corners as possible in order to cut costs while still charging me for the services they 'say' they performed. And I think the reason I have this feeling is because I know most people don't know squat about their cars (me included). The car repair shops know this, and know they can take advantage of this with very little reprocussions (spelling?).
Anyway, I will have this checked this weekend but I doubt I will be allowed to watch them do it.
Thanks again for the info.
THAT'S A PERFECTLY GOOD TOPIC! I do all my own oil changing service. The craze today is for speedy service and they claim they check all this stuff and can get a lot done but something's missing with most of these places.......
Even dealers will bait you with reasonable prices sometimes. In general, places are advertizing the whole service for about half of what it costs me to do it labor free! They buy drums of product and I can't compete with that. Most cars you can check fluid levels by just looking at the translucent reservoir. If this has the pressure on the recovery tank it may show full but doesn't say if the radiator is and these quick places can't afford trained techs for this service. What's worse is if it needs fluid added to something that is a warning that something is wrong!!!!! and you don't get warned!!!! If I find brake fluid, trans fluid, coolant, gear oil, PS fluid or tire pressure way too low on one tire I would tell you that, that isn't right and the places just can't do that.
This is not to blame anyone because the customers rule with this and want fast service for routine things. When things are within norms this works well. It's when something is wrong that you don't always get the warning. You are going to have to have some things checked exactly at your request and this is one of those times,
Ps: Bet you don't know how much pressure is in your spare tire right now - do you? I do on my own and customers!
Ok, a friend and I just went out and looked at the fluid level.
The coolant level container, where you would pour more coolant in if you needed too actually sits higher than the radiator, and there is a level indicator on the outside of the foggy plastic which says (MIN ----- MAX) and these lines are about a half an inch apart. (Which, judging by the size of the container would only amount to a few ounces between the min and the max levels).
The tube coming out from this container that goes to the radiator is a hard tube and squeezing it is impossible. My friend did squeeze the rubber tube that comes out of the other side of the radiator and we could hear some noise, sounded like fluid, coming from a few feet back. (sounded like it was coming from underneath, and between the engine and the cabin).
I have to drive my car to my friends house after work today, it's about a 10 minute drive at about 35 MPH avg. My friend told me when I get there to leave the hood down and the car running, put it in park and listen for the fan to start up to see if everything is working ok.
Neither of us really understands how this would affect the level of heat blowing from the engine. Can you explain how this works? Keep in mind it blows hot at about 2500+ rpms, warm at around 2200 and cool to cold at anything under 2000.
I wish I understood more. <----on that note, are there any good websites, maybe one that has diagrams, where I can kinda study my Jag and learn about how the different components in cars work?
Ok: That container as you put it is an overflow reservoir and probably has a screw cap - not just a pop up cap like most washer fluid containers would have. The small tube from that to radiator would not be the place to squeeze and you would at a radiator hose which I think your friend did. That should push just coolant back and forth to the reservior. Any air should bubble out and only coolant can return so it's self purging and if the whole system was in proper shape would get out the last bit of air after a while if it was drained like for other work or changing the anti-freeze.
From cold the larger hoses - should be one that goes high on radiator and one lower is return back to engine should demostrate that there is no pressure in them when just sitting cold and when engine warms, coolant expands some and would be maintained at about 15lbs in the system which raises the boiling point of the coolant the same way a pressure cooker does for cooking if you are familiar with those.
If it can't build up pressure then there is a problem. That could be as simple as the cap itself or a leak somewhere. Without building up pressure enough the coolant might not purge to the reservoir or be able to draw back just liquid when it cools and contracts. That's how that deal works.
Physics 101: Water boils at 212F. With 15 psi of pressure the same water won't boil till 257F. Most engines operate at close to the unpressurized boiling point so being able to stay liquid is critical. Anti-freeze mixture does add just a couple degrees to the boiling point but it's insignificant by itself.
There will be some hot spots inside your engine and a costant flow of liquid is needed to cool the engine to a uniform temp. It a spot even boils you have added air as bubbles that are moving around and don't exchange heat well. Even 150F water will burn your hand but you can wave your hand in an oven that was just at 350F and if quick it wouldn't burn you - get the idea. Your heater core is just a mini radiator like the one for the engine and if just bubbles or plain air passes thru it it won't feel warm at all. If the electric fan(s) are not coming on the coolant could be boiling but less apt to when driving at some speed like about 40mph most vehicles barely need the fan. The speed of the car is then the speed of the air going over the radiator. Two things happen when driving along at some speed - 1. The load on the engine increases making heat faster but the air speed (#2) can cover that and all is well and your heater works. When you slow down, the water pump is pumping slower and for a while the engine needs cooling more than it did moving along. Fan takes care of that.
That's with everything normal. If the slow down causes boiling or even a mix of liquid and air the heater would suffer. Worse is that is an engine killer as there could be spots much hotter than even your temp gauge reads which is why you hear about engines "blowing a gasket" type thing.
You heard so remote sounds when sqeezing that larger hose and usually you will not hear just liquid but would hear air if it was in there. That would explain what is happening in this case in just that scenario. It could be some other thing completely but I just wanted this part ruled out first.
These are common priciples and not just your car. Your owner's manual should discuss quite a bit about fluids and levels but is not intended to be a repair manual. It will tell you where the common check points are for this vehicle and what type of product should be used as needed.
Many plain cheap repair manuals for your car will cover basics of operation. If you want to learn more about the principles of the many functions you should buy an auto mechanic's textbook. They probably are available on the web and lots will be free. Specific repair instructions are available here and there on the web. If you want a complete book on your car try AllDataDIY.com and you would download the whole shooting match for your car. Some techs here have the pro editions and do share exact diagrams and info on specific parts, locations etc. It's expensive and I don't happen to have that.
The principles should be understood before you need specific instructions for just one model. There used to be a good book called "auto mechanics for idiots" or something like that that was pretty good.
For now I was just looking to rule out air/bubbles in the system and then it would go on from there as to what to do next,
This information is incredible.
I'm 27 years old and this is the first car I have 'purchased' as my own. I plan on learning the principals as you suggest because I want this car to be a restoration project car down the road. IE I do not plan on selling it when I get a new car, but rather I plan to work on it to keep it in good condition.
Anyway. Thank you so much for all your help, it seems as though this is a little over my head at the moment so I will have this looked at over the weekend and will post an update sometime soon.
PS I have bookmarked these forums as they are some of the BEST, most active forums and users I have ever found.
***after weekend UPDATE***
I was unable to get my car in to the shop to have this problem looked at. However I do hav a little more information that may help (or may not...I'm not sure).
I had to run 1 errand on Saturday afternoon, it was about 8 miles away by highway and I did about 65-70 on the highway. The air was blowing hot while I was moving at these speeds, however when I got off the highway I got stuck at a railroad crossing for a number of minutes where the RPMs dropped and the air tempurature quickly followed.
So I did a test. I put it in neutral, and rev'd the engine (it's regulated in Neutral to about 3000 RPMs) and kept it at the rev limit while I was stuck here. As I did this I tested the air temp and it got hot again.
Does this new information change anything?
i had a similar problem on my mercury sable. the problem progressively got worse. when i finally removed the waterpump i found the impeller fins were completely worn down. at first, 1500rpms was enough to keep the coolant moving. it gradually increase to over 3000 rpms. new waterpump fixed the problem.
Local repair shop looked at system and found the resevoir had cracks in it! Very tiny cracks in plastic made for low system pressure. Replacing the resevoir fixed the problem. Now I have another issue.
It's on the front page.
Take a look.
You may have a water pump that is not flowing enough coolant at lower rpm's. If the impellers on the water pump are worn down, it will do what you are describing. Not saying that is what it is, just suggesting another part to check.
Post what systems you are interested in and I will see what I can do for ya. Just do one at a time so my old brain does not get too overwhelmed.
About 5 months ago I bought a 1994 S-10 Blazer with a 4.3L Vortec engine code W, 4 wheel drive, auto transmission with roughly 166,000 miles. It wouldn't start and after checking fuel pressure found out the fuel pump wasn't working. I went ahead and bought a new AC/Delco pump, pulsator, strainer, electrical connector w/pigtail, sending unit, dist. cap, rotor, plugs and wires, 2 fuel filters, changed engine oil and filter replaced the exhaust from the cat convertor back (old muffler and exhaust was rusted badly). Dropped the fuel tank and cleaned it out and installed the pump and sending unit. Put the tank back in the vehicle, installed one of the new fuel filters in the fuel line and put all the ignition stuff I bought in it. Put a fuel pressure gauge on it and made sure everything was working. I had fuel to the pressure gauge at the schrader valve so it seemed I was ready to fire it up. I tried that and it wouldn't start. I had hot blue spark but no fuel was getting to the plugs. I read in my manual that any problems found with the CMFI unit the entire assembly should be replaced. Well I was short on cash so I pulled the upper plenum and took the unit out, sprayed carb cleaner in the poppet valves and rusty nasty smelling fuel came out. Used some air (low) and blew everything dry and reinstalled it. Put on a new plenum gasket and bolted everything back together. After everything was bolted down and electrical connectors were back together I got in turned the key and within a few cranks of the engine it fired up. I let it warm up while I cleaned up the shop and took it for a drive. Everything was working fine. Drove it everyday to work for just over 4,000 miles then one day on the way home on the highway going up a hill I noticed I was losing power. Never did die but I had to step lightly on the peddle. Anymore than that and the engine rpm's fell. I made it home and when the weekend came I took it back out to the shop and decided to do some testing. Didn't know about this forum but I had the repair manual.....heck I can fix this myself...yeah right. I read in the manual that if the fuel pressure didn't approach 61lbs. on acceleration that the pressure regulator on the CMFI unit was bad and it should be replaced and this past weekend I replaced it. Well after doing some further reading I found out that its a good idea to replace the fuel line assembly (nut kit). I didn't do that and I really didn't look over the plenum to see if there was any wash. Well it's still doing the same thing it was doing. I put a fuel pressure gauge on the schrader valve and here is what I found out. With the key on/engine off and the fuel pump running I have 60lbs. as soon as the pump shuts off the pressure drops to 58lbs but within a couple seconds climbs back up to 60lbs. I turned the key off and let everything set for 10 minutes and the fuel pressure then was 58lbs. I started the engine and the pressure was between 51lbs. and 58lbs. (needle was fluttering back and forth). I increased the throttle to 2,000 rpm's and the pressure gauge needle flutters between 49 and 60lbs. Around 2500 rpm's and the engine starts to cut out, bog down or whatever. It won't throttle up anymore than that. It starts good and idles good and I can drive it in town but I can't take it out on the highway. I put a vacumn gauge on it and at idle it has 19 lbs/inches? and if I increase the throttle it increases to around 21 or 22 lbs/inches. I didn't pinch the return fuel line to see what would happen to the fuel pressure but I think I performed everything else. I'm really leaning towards replacing the fuel line assembly (nut kit) like I should have done when I replaced the CMFI unit. All the fuel pressure readings stay the same with the engine cold or when it's at operating temp. What do you guys think? Where should I go from here? Sure would appreciate any help you can give me. Sorry for the long winded post but I wanted you to know what all I've done.
Also wondering what would make the fuel pressure gauge needle flutter? Don't believe it's supposed to do that.
What does the fuel pressure look like with the vacuum disconnected at the pressure regulator? Should be stable, then. If the engine is running lean or rough, the vacuum will be unstable and that will affect the regulator. The Vortecs are know for the fuel feed lines leaking and also the poppet valves on the injectors. If the pressure is stable, although high, with the regulator disconnected, I'd at least 'try' cleaning the injectors/poppets. If you have the capability, I'd take a gas reading of the intake after sitting to see if you have a high CO/HC reading. That should tell you if you have a fuel 'leak'. We've 'fixed' many a poppet leak with cleaning. The "injector cleaner" in a can, IMO, is snake oil. I suppose it's okay for in-between cleanings, but have them cleaned professionally if everything else checks out.
Thank you for the reply and advice. I really do appreciate it.
Unfortunately the fuel pressure regulator is attached to the CPI unit under the plenum (upper intake manifold) and has no vacumn line to it so I can't do anything with it. The CPI itself has an electrical connector.
I just replaced the CPI unit so its brand new. The poppet valves also were attached to the CPI so they're new also.
The engine idles perfect and it runs great up to around 2500 rpm's and thats where it starts cutting out or bogging out. It's not hard to start nor does it die even if I hold the throttle pedal to the floor. Just no acceleration.
I went to the parts store and ordered a new fuel line assembly (nut kit..both intake and return lines inside the plenum that fasten onto the hard lines on the outside of the intake manifold) and also ordered the injector electrical connector and another plenum gasket.
I'm going to go ahead and install them and see what happens. Hopefully that will solve my problem.
If not then at least I will know that everything under the plenum (intake manifold) should be good to go.
I will post back here my findings on what happens when I get that done in the next day or two.
Thank you again for your help.
Sam - no harm intended but for goodness sakes try to separate your thoughts! I've never seen such a run on paragraph in web history!
Ok: Two bits out of all of this. The subject line and a vacuum reading.
22hg at a raised idle when 19hg was the baseline suggests your reading was a "venturi" effect vacuum port not 'manifold actual pressure' -- now get an actual vacuum reading and read it at 2,000 rpm held steady.
This smacks of a restricted exhaust or that you are working on it at about 1 to 2 thousand feet below sea level,
Last night at the shop I took off the catalytic convertor and put a piece of straight pipe in its place. Here in my state we don't have vehicle inspections. You could hardly see through the convertor so I thought maybe that was the problem. Nope. Still starts and runs good up to a quarter throttle when it bogs down.
Took the vacumn gauge and hooked it up to the intake manifold and it holds steady in the normal range on the gauge at 19-20 hg. At 2,000 rpm is raises slightly to 21 or 22 hg.
Fuel pressure was the same numbers I posted earlier. Fuel pressure gauge needle is still fluttering too. Hooked the gauge up on my friends dodge mini van and it holds steady doesn't flutter so the gauge isn't at fault.
Don't really know what direction to turn now.
I guess I should have spent the money and let a shop check and fix it. Hindsight...I know.
Any other suggestions? It's the only vehicle I have to drive.
Sam; Don't know why I didn't suggest this earlier. It's not a normal symptom, but have you looked at the MAP readings? What if..the MAP isn't seeing a drop in vacuum when under load? I doubt that a TPS would cause this type of symptom, either, but at this point, I'd check it.
I didn't think of that either. Will do some reading in the repair manual and see what I have to do to check it out or get the readings. Worth a shot. Will let you know what I come up with. Thank you
I ended up taking my S-10 Blazer into a shop and have them fix it.
They found out that when the engine started to bog down that loud noises were coming from inside the fuel tank. They pulled the tank and along with a faulty fuel pump the inside of the tank was loaded with crap. All this combined to make my fuel pressure gauge needle flutter like wild. They told me when they had it hooked up to their machine that when they sprayed carb cleaner through the intake that the engine rpms increased and thats what led them to the gas tank and ultimately the fuel pump.
The pump was under warranty but I guess when the parts store asked about tank contamination the warranty went out the window. After a thorough tank cleaning and installation of a new pump and fuel filter its running like new.
I cleaned out the tank as best I could when I put the old (new) fuel pump in it but evidently I didn't do that good of a job. Only lasted a few months before the crap in there took out the pump.
Thought I would pass along what transpired to all of you. Thank you once again for all your advice.
Sam; Thanks so much for the reply. Let's keep our fingers crossed that the pump was the problem. I did have a similar situation, many years ago. We finally, out of desperation, pulled the fuel tank and found newspaper wrapped around the pickup. Turned out that the guy had run out of gas and used a rolled up newspaper as a funnel. Drove us nuts trying to find the culprit, but that took care of the problem. Good luck.
No problem Loren. There was alot of crud in the tank that evidently I didn't get out when I replaced the pump a few months ago but I didn't have much to work with like an auto shop does. She runs excellent!!!!
Took it for a 200 mile drive today and she never missed a beat. Way cool.
Ok The vacuum reading is probably ok just off by calibration but useful. It would be lower at 2,000 rpm with an exhaust restriction but really shouldn't ever be steady at 22Hg as that's a bit much. In fact with same test it should spike up there when a quick rev is done but not hold there normally. Air speed/the venturi effect can cause higher vacuum readings but I think you have the actual reading and the suspect item would have been the converter which you seem to have ruled out.
It does belong back in as it's part of the system and may be making improper adjustments with it missing - especially any post converter sensors.
I simply don't know what would be causing the fuel pressure fluctuations you mention and that probably is a source of the trouble,