I have a 2007 Saturn Ion, 88,000+ miles. A few days ago, I heard a ding-ding sound, which I recognized as a warning of some kind…but I saw no warning emblem lit up on my dashboard.
A day later, I heard it again and looked at the odometer…the mileage had disappeared and it read “Coolant”. I pulled over into a QT parking lot and called my GMC dealer, explaining the problem. He asked if the engine was over-heating…I said no. He asked me to check coolant tank level and it was full. He asked if there was any coolant leaking…I said no.
I took the car up the next day and they ran every conceivable test on it they could…and they could find nothing wrong…they said it would be OK to drive on my up-coming trips to Branson and to Ohio.
At least once or twice a day since then, the ding-ding still happens and “Coolant” appears in the odometer. They told me before they even looked at the car that it was possible that they’d never be able to determnine why I was having the problem I am.
Do you have any ideas or suggestions???
The coolant sensor or the wiring to it may be bad.
Check the coolant level in the radiator (engine cold!).
Has the coolant been replaced? If not I’d change the coolant, radiator cap and thermostat and drive on.
Be sure to check your owner’s manual for ideas there. Does the message mean the coolant level is low? Or does it mean the coolant is too hot? You need to determine that first.
When they say they might never be able to determine the cause of the problem, I think what they mean is that you might not be willing to pay the bill for the shop time it would take to find the cause and fix it, not that they simply couldn’t. As @circuitsmith above says, there are several things that can be done straight away. Reading between the lines, I suspect the folks at the shop you talked to, they’ve encountered this problem before, and as long as the coolant in the radiator is full and there are no leaks, other drivers with the same problem just decide to ignore it.
The Saturn ( 2004, I think it was) I’ve seen with that problem had a level sensor in the expansion tank. The switch’ float gets gunked up and needs to be cleaned. It is located at the bottom of the tank. You can easily remove the tank by taking two hoses off, a couple of bolts and then clean it out with some hot water.
I took the Saturn back to the dealer on Friday and they put a new coolant tank on and the problem disappeared. No doubt the sensor was bad.
Thanks for the suggestions that I received.
Thanks for the feedback @SaturnMan.