Saturn SL2 Parts And Saturn SL2 Accessories
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The Saturn SL2\'s cooling system is made of different parts, and the heart of it is the water pump. The pump circulates the coolant to and from the engine and radiator at a constant rate and pressure, and to achieve that, the entire system operates through a sealed loop. While Saturn did a good job at sealing the SL2\'s cooling system, the water pump has been known to suffer from leaks. This is especially true for older models, as the pump\'s bearings and internal seals will start to wear out over time and let the coolant escape.
Arguably, the most effective indicator that the water pump is leaking is a rapidly decreasing coolant level. While it is normal for the coolant level to fall over time, it does so at a slow gradual rate. So if the coolant level in the overflow tank goes down from full to half in just several days, the coolant may be leaking out in the pump or somewhere else in the system. In addition, because of the low coolant levels a leaking water pump can also lead to constantly high temperatures in the engine even when idling. Other telltale signs of pump leaks include buildup of coolant deposits around the water pump, temperature gauge fluctuations, and excessive play of the drive belt pulleys.
Once the water pump has started to leak, replacing it is the best option. While it is possible to repair a leaking water pump, the process can be more expensive and time-consuming than replacing the entire unit. What\'s more, water pump repairs are only temporary, and it will still leak after a short period of time due to the constant pressure and other stresses the pump experiences under normal operating conditions.
Your local mechanic is more than capable of changing a leaky water pump in the Saturn SL2, but the process is quite easy enough to do using only basic car tools and equipment. First, the drive belt has to be loosened and removed from the pulleys, followed by the fan, fan shroud, and finally, the water pump itself. Clean the area thoroughly to remove dirt and gasket residue left over from the old pump. Apply a small amount of gasket sealer on the mounting surface, position the gasket over, and set the gasket into place. Tighten the bolts securing the gasket and reattach the fan, fan shroud, belt, and other parts you have removed earlier.
After changing the water pump, it is also strongly recommended to have the radiator \"flushed\". Flushing involves draining the radiator and the rest of the cooling system of coolant and replenishing it with a new batch. This ensures that any rust, dirt, grease, and other contaminants present in the old batch of coolant will not contaminate the new water pump.
To flush the radiator, simply pull out the lower radiator hose from the radiator and let the coolant flow through a bucket. Make sure to do this with a cold engine to prevent burns and dispose of the coolant properly.