2002 Malibu V6 low coolant light flashes on once occasionally - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:12 PM
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2002 Malibu V6 low coolant light flashes on once occasionally

As the title states; in my everyday bomber (2002 chevy malibu V6 (3100 I think)
when the weather is miserably hot, the coolant level sensor will flash once after start up. I was at my friends house a couple blocks from mine, so I cautiously drove it and conscripted my girlfriend to eyeball the temp gauge. The gauge quickly went to normal operating temp and behaved normally, creeping up a little at the stoplight in the 100 degree heat & obscene humidity. When I reached home, I checked the level, and all looked fine. I put a sheet of cardboard under the car and let it idle to operating temp, aside from a little water from the condenser...nothing showed.

What gives? I tried searching google, and came up with a lot of consumer based reports of a similar problem, but no one ever said what remedy worked for them. Im nervous to let the girlfriend drive the family truckster because its aluminum headed and I don't want her to accidentally damage it or have to park it on a narrow shoulder on the highway. But, driving the trans am in a rainstorm and parking it in a dirt lot at work is getting old really fast

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Old 08-09-2011, 03:21 PM
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Wife had a 2002 Impala and notice that when we get weird flashes of the idiot lights, it means out BCM is on the fritz again. Look up Body Control Module. We have had times where our interior lights turn on without any doing from us. Thanks Chevy.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:25 PM
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WTF??

Ugh! Im guessing no recall on this either? Is there a dealer replacement for this to remedy the problem, or when I replace the BCM, am I just supposed to wait for it to happen again?

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Old 08-09-2011, 03:28 PM
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The coolant level sensor has 2 probes contacting the coolant. When it loses contact with coolant it turns on the light. They get corroded which causes them to lose this contact plus sometimes the coolant seeps into the internals of the sensor shorting it out. It's on one of the radiator tanks or sometimes the coolant reservoir. Half of the time it can be popped out and cleaned - half of the time it needs to be taken out and smashed with a hammer and replaced.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoGear
WTF??

Ugh! Im guessing no recall on this either? Is there a dealer replacement for this to remedy the problem, or when I replace the BCM, am I just supposed to wait for it to happen again?

Thanks
Before you replace the BCM, just send me $800. It'll do the same amount of good and I'll feel better about it.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMatch
Before you replace the BCM, just send me $800. It'll do the same amount of good and I'll feel better about it.
I have had 4 replaced on my 2002 with 100k miles. Seems it is a common problem. I would look at the sensors for the coolant first, but for some reason, our impala only took a dump on the expensive parts.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:35 PM
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Sometimes it kills me that I work for a small time supplier to the auto industry and we actually take pride in what we produce, and charge a fair price
*sigh* I'll check the probes. At least I don't have a dexcool debacle on my hands like my 96 blazer had
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMatch
The coolant level sensor has 2 probes contacting the coolant. When it loses contact with coolant it turns on the light. They get corroded which causes them to lose this contact plus sometimes the coolant seeps into the internals of the sensor shorting it out. It's on one of the radiator tanks or sometimes the coolant reservoir. Half of the time it can be popped out and cleaned - half of the time it needs to be taken out and smashed with a hammer and replaced.

Been through the same thing on our 2004. Cleaned it once, replaced it a couple years later, wasn't expensive or hard.
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:14 PM
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take off the coolant tank and wash it out. The Dexcool in those cars turns to mud in the tank and messes with the sensor.
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