2008 Saturn Outlook 3.6l ( ECTS ) location?

Old 07-20-2018, 05:42 PM
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Default 2008 Saturn Outlook 3.6l ( ECTS ) location?

Having some issues with the temp gauge being low upon start up, and it is idling rough for about 15 second then running great. Have 2 codes, one for lean and another for emissions and was told to change the engine coolant temperature sensor because it can cause these issues and it was a cheap enough part so I'm starting there. But I've been looking for the location and haven't found it.. was told it was driver side under the master cylinder, told front of motor above oil filter left of dipstick, and was also told to follow to upper radiator hose and it was right there.. the 3rd maybe right as I am still looking but can't find it because of all the other stuff in the way. Do I have to remove a bunch of stuff to get to it? Thank for taking the time and any response is appreciated!
Old 07-21-2018, 04:29 AM
derf's Avatar
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Part # on THIS Page 711


Part Number: 12639899 (12566778; 2134777; 213-4777)SENSOR,ENG COOL TEMP(MATING CONN W/LEADS USE 88988963)(01.150)(ACDelco #213-4777). SENSOR,ENG COOL TEMP(MATING CONN W/LEADS USE 88988963)(ACDelco #213-4777).

Exploded Diagram Choice: (LFX/3.6. LY7/3.6) "Engine Electrical Sensors"

https://www.tonkinonlineparts.com/showAssembly.aspx?ukey_assembly=811548&ukey_produc t=6022915#009

Part 009 on this diagram

Transverse Mounted engine, so Driver's side on engine, about halfway down the cylinder head.
From diagram, ECTS has an integral hex on it for threading and unthreading. Connector is rectangulalliptical (just made that up), 2 pins. So chase the two wire pairs in the area and should lead ro a connector attached to the ECTS.
Deep socket should fit over it with wiring harness disconnected. Change with engine ICE COLD (wait hours after last use, coolant will still be hot. Catch basin underneath, Unbolt, plug hole with finger as you remove to minimize coolant loss.
Replace and tighten to spec. WILL SNAP OFF if you overtighten it.

But don't do it just yet.............
Get codes read at Autozone or similar FOR FREE

Please post the BOTH CODES Pxxxx before throwing money and parts at it and we will do our best to help you.
Please also post mileage.
When ECTS fails and displays low temp gauge readings, it should do so across the operating range, not just at startup. If usually fails open circuit=high resistance=ECM thinks coolant is always cold=too RICH a fuel mixture, not too lean. Lean codes pop when the ECM cannot adjust the fuel trim far enough (within a set range) to get the air/fuel mix correct. Meaning it is trying to make the car run as rich as it can to get the correct A/F ratio based on the info it is getting from the sensors, but still can't. Usually code will say Lean Bank 1 or Lean bank 2 on a V6/V8. Bank 1 is the side with Cyl 1 Bank 2 is side with cyl 2.

Lean codes on only 1 bank often indicate Front 02 sensor problems on that bank. If you are at or near 100K, would not surprise me. As they wear out, they get fouled and sense less oxygen in the raw exhaust than is really there. This tells the ECM the A/F is too lean (not enough fuel) so it iteratively adjusts the fuel trim trying to reach the defined A/F ratio. But the front O2 sensor continues to sense less oxygen than is really there, ECM richens mix, repeat, repeat. RUns out of adjustment, pops lean code.

There are other conditions that will lead to lean codes as well.

But don't go out and throw parts at it just because my explanation sounds convincing.
Not trying to be a smart **** -- shotgunning parts without full/proper diagnosis is costly in both parts and time.
We like to help as many people as we can learn about their vehicles while we diagnose and help you to help yourself.

You were smart enough to ask for guidance and included enough addl information to indicate something didn't sound right
That's why I didn't just answer your question and click "post". I don't necessarily agree with the diagnosis.

Providing us with the codes starts at square 1 and lets us know what the ECM thinks is going on.

Please post and we'll take it from there.

And Welcome to the forum!

Last edited by derf; 07-21-2018 at 04:34 AM.
Old 07-21-2018, 07:53 AM
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Ummmm, what derf said. He covered everything. And also, welcome to the forum.
Old 07-21-2018, 09:57 AM
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Default Thanks guys!

You are right, I didn't want to just start throwing money at it but I did run off to the auto parts store just after I posted, mostly out of frustration lol, and did find its location and swapped the ects and the temp, idle problems are gone now. So it was the sensor. I'm going to go out and check codes again. I may have another problem besides it I guess if I still get lean codes. I'll post them soon as possible. Dealing with some tornado disaster right now, my town just got slammed here in Iowa I actually had another question I forgot to ask, about if the 2008 Saturn Outlook, dosr it have a petcock plug for the radiator or is it drained by just the lower rad hose? You guys are awesome, and thanks for all your input, time and patience !

Last edited by In need..; 07-21-2018 at 10:01 AM.
Old 07-22-2018, 10:32 AM
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Location: Lake Wales, FL
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Iowa? Man, keep an eye on the sky and don't worry about your cars right now. THEY can be replaced. I've seen footage on the national news of the twisters there and you guys got hammered. I hope you and your family are safe. I used to live in TN and we had a crap load of tornadoes, but I'd still rather be there than stuck here in Florida. Perpetual summer and hurricanes suck.
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