Need help with a 2002 Ecotec 2.2 Motor [Archive] - Yamaha R1 Forum: YZF-R1 Forums

: Need help with a 2002 Ecotec 2.2 Motor


Brian0128
12-16-2011, 03:24 PM
I'm trying to help my sister out with her car and I'm having trouble finding information on the internet. She is in college in Las Vegas and I'm in MD.

She has a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire GT with the 2.2 Ecotec and she got a CEL P0128

A code P0128 may mean that one or more of the following has happened:
* Low engine coolant level
* Leaking or stuck open thermostat
* Faulty cooling fan (running too much)
* Faulty coolant temperature (ECT) sensor
* Faulty intake air temperature (IAT) sensor

Her coolant was low so I had her top it off but I think she has an air bubble in the cooling system. I can't find out if there is a bleeder valve on this motor. I've looked and can't find a service manual and I've posted on the JBody Forum but haven't got any replies.

Brian0128
12-16-2011, 03:27 PM
She let the car idle for 15 minutes after topping off the coolant and the car barely got up to temp. I had her let it run for a total of 15 minutes. She sent me a picture of where her thermostat is at. I'm hoping it's not the thermostat because it's not something I think she could do since it's under the exhaust manifold between the engine and the motor.

BeaverPuncher
12-16-2011, 04:22 PM
Any shop should charge under a 100 to change the thermostat.

ss55539
12-16-2011, 04:28 PM
from the parts breakdown it looks like there is a bleeder on the thermostat housing

Brian0128
12-16-2011, 04:30 PM
Any shop should charge under a 100 to change the thermostat.

She took it to Midas and they quoted her $430 because they said they had to remove the exhaust manifold and it was a 3.5 hour job total. That seems a little high to me even if you have to remove the manifold.

Dropem_low
12-16-2011, 04:35 PM
They are shafting her at 430$. They are tough to change but you don't have to drop the headers. These cars are notorious for geting air trapped in the coolant system due to the radiator being lower than the engine. On the coolant pipe coming out of the right side of the engine there is a very small bleeder screw. Tell her to be prepared to bleed it many many many times!

ss55539
12-16-2011, 04:36 PM
http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/391151_247860931946210_100001669147535_678461_1365 039221_n.jpg

Brian0128
12-16-2011, 04:36 PM
I did a little bit of research on the back side of the motor looking for a bleeder valve and still can't find it. Here is a pic of the back of the motor that isn't in the car.


this is the firewall side of the engine.

left of the picture would be driver side, right of the picture would be passenger side.

I was told that to get the thermostat, to go to the back of the motor and remove manifold, then find the the thicker part of the squiggly tube... take out the two 10mm bolts. then twist and pull the tube out of the water pump and the thermostat is right there.

Brian0128
12-16-2011, 04:38 PM
They are shafting her at 430$. They are tough to change but you don't have to drop the headers. These cars are notorious for geting air trapped in the coolant system due to the radiator being lower than the engine. On the coolant pipe coming out of the right side of the engine there is a very small bleeder screw. Tell her to be prepared to bleed it many many many times!


I have searched all over the internet looking for a picture to show her where it's located. Would you happen to have one?

ss55539
12-16-2011, 04:40 PM
I have searched all over the internet looking for a picture to show her where it's located. Would you happen to have one?

see above

Dropem_low
12-16-2011, 04:41 PM
I have searched all over the internet looking for a picture to show her where it's located. Would you happen to have one?
Sorry man I don't. Wasn't my car I changed the thermostat in

ss55539
12-16-2011, 04:46 PM
as far as the shop goes they're going to charge flat rate whether it takes the time or not. list price on stat is roughly 50, exhaust manifold gasket 30. so 3.5 hrs at 100 an hour (which is believable for vegas) and theres your 430

Brian0128
12-16-2011, 04:46 PM
see above

That's the back side of the motor where the thermostat is and she can't see anything down in that area that looks like a bleeder valve. I posted a picture of the back of the motor right next to your post above and it doesn't show a bleeder valve. I keep hearing that it's in the front or right of the motor but I can't locate a picture to show her. She has taken a bunch of pictures and sent them to me but none are a bleeder valve.

Dropem_low
12-16-2011, 04:47 PM
Sorry the coolant line with the bleeder isn't on the right side. Its actually on the back of the engine. Tell her to just trace the coolant lines down and look for a very small bleeder screw

loren
12-16-2011, 04:48 PM
most bleeders look like the bleeder on brakes, normally around the water pump or thermostat, if you cant find it, pull the radiator cap off and let the vehicle get to opp. temp. sometimes this works but its not guaranteed. as for the shop quote they're tryin to stick you in the butt with tht one. idk about most sear's in the area but the one i work at if full of very knowledgeable guys. you might try one in your area. they normally arent trying to bend you over and some will haggle with you. good luck tho, hope you get it figured out

and btw- my gmc sanoma has the same engine and i havent seen a bleeder valve?? maybe the sunfires are a diff app.:dunno

ss55539
12-16-2011, 04:50 PM
the valve may be hard to see its just a little screw

ss55539
12-16-2011, 04:50 PM
if nothing else you could always pull a heater hose to bleed it

Dropem_low
12-16-2011, 05:00 PM
[QUOTE=loren;5071797]most bleeders look like the bleeder on brakes
This one doesn't. Just looks like a very small screw

Brian0128
12-16-2011, 05:06 PM
[QUOTE=loren;5071797]most bleeders look like the bleeder on brakes
This one doesn't. Just looks like a very small screw

Thanks for helping. She traced all lines back for me and took photos and couldn't locate it. It's possible this car doesn't have it.

loren
12-16-2011, 05:11 PM
^^very possible, try pullin the cap, n go to autozone and have them clear the code, if its stays off you fixed it. if not....try a diff route.

Oh, and on the thermostat note, is the car over heating or not reaching opp. temp?

Dropem_low
12-16-2011, 05:19 PM
Not reaching temp. More than likely a thermostat stuck open

loren
12-16-2011, 05:22 PM
She let the car idle for 15 minutes after topping off the coolant and the car barely got up to temp. I had her let it run for a total of 15 minutes. She sent me a picture of where her thermostat is at. I'm hoping it's not the thermostat because it's not something I think she could do since it's under the exhaust manifold between the engine and the motor.


just now seen this, sorry. but yea im gonna say the thermostat is stuck open.

Brian0128
12-16-2011, 05:55 PM
Sorry man I don't. Wasn't my car I changed the thermostat in

I was searching the JBody forums and they said if the car is an auto the exhaust manifold would have to come off. What if it's a manual? Can anyone check book time and see what the service manual says on how much time it should take? I just think she is getting shafted because she is a girl.

loren
12-16-2011, 06:28 PM
I just think she is getting shafted because she is a girl.

unfortunately this is a very common thing. idk how many girls come to my shop n say well the place down the road told me i needed this and this and that....when all she really needed was a battery, alternator etc. something simple but since she was a girl they figured they could pull one on her assuming she's just another dumb girl who doesnt know anything and a car

ss55539
12-16-2011, 08:18 PM
Flat rate is 2.2 for the thermostat. So they're over 100-150 depending on hourly rate

UnToldFoX
12-17-2011, 01:15 AM
Im going through the same thing with my 2002 Jetta,

I changed the temp sensor, cleared the code... but it came back on.. checked the fans.. they came on.. that leaves the thermostat..

Good way to test the thermostat; (at least in my jetta) start the car from cold. Grab the upper and lower rad hoses... the hose without the thermostat should warm up(usually the upper hose) .. the hose with the thermostat should stay cold (usually the lower hose).. and get hot FAST when the thermostat opens.. if it warms up with the other hose its most likely the thermo is stuck open.

Good way to test the fans is rev the car at 2000+ rpm to get the motor warm, even if the thermo is stuck open the car should come up to temp and the fans should come on..

there's always lots of mechanics on craigs list that would do the job lot cheaper.

Dropem_low
12-17-2011, 01:20 AM
Im going through the same thing with my 2002 Jetta,

I changed the temp sensor, cleared the code... but it came back on.. checked the fans.. they came on.. that leaves the thermostat..

Good way to test the thermostat; (at least in my jetta) start the car from cold. Grab the upper and lower rad hoses... the hose without the thermostat should warm up(usually the upper hose) .. the hose with the thermostat should stay cold (usually the lower hose).. and get hot FAST when the thermostat opens.. if it warms up with the other hose its most likely the thermo is stuck open.

Good way to test the fans is rev the car at 2000+ rpm to get the motor warm, even if the thermo is stuck open the car should come up to temp and the fans should come on..

there's always lots of mechanics on craigs list that would do the job lot cheaper.
If the thermostat is stuck open the engine will not get to operating temp. That's the whole point of a thermostat. And also its called an engine not a motor.

UnToldFoX
12-17-2011, 01:26 AM
That's the whole point of the test.

Dropem_low
12-17-2011, 01:34 AM
Good way to test the fans is rev the car at 2000+ rpm to get the motor warm, even if the thermo is stuck open the car should come up to temp and the fans should come on..
Lets try this again...... if the thermostat is stuck open how will the engine get to operating temp thus makeing the fans engage?

UnToldFoX
12-17-2011, 01:51 AM
I bought the revs up to around 2300rpm for about 15 minutes in the driveway with a stuck open thermostat my car came up to temp enough to turn the fans on at 92 degrees. With no cold air passing through the rad, the engine temp will come up if you make the engine work enough. Engines don't stay cold if you rev the piss out of them make the engine work hard, engine, engine, engine.

regardless if the thermostat is stuck open the engine will warm up enough (at idle) to feel warm coolant in the hose. If both hoses get warm, most likely the thermostat is stuck open, because the coolant is bypassing the thermostat causing the hose to feel warm.. why not do a quick test before getting it changed? if this is the incorrect test, maybe I should return the VW Jetta repair manual?

Dropem_low
12-17-2011, 07:48 AM
Maybe you should since a VW Jetta is a lil sissy girl car anyway.

UnToldFoX
12-17-2011, 11:53 AM
If that's all you got, I'm good with that. Best of luck with your sisters car Brian.

shhaker
12-17-2011, 02:47 PM
wats the status of the car, ill be in vegas sunday, if the car still needs to be looked at.

Brian0128
12-18-2011, 01:23 PM
wats the status of the car, ill be in vegas sunday, if the car still needs to be looked at.

Damn, wish I would have seen this sooner. She lives in Henderson. The car is still acting up and I'm trying to find an honest mechanic out her way.