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Old 11-18-2012, 06:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Replacing the Coolant Level Sensor

2002 Impala LS 3.8L
Coolant Level Light is on all the time, but the coolant level is full.
I decided to replace the level sensor. It was cheap enough.
Sensor came from NEW GLOBAL AUTOMOTIVE on Ebay.
Part number FLS24. $30 w/ shipping.
(By the way - This did NOT fix my sensor light)



The Sensor is located on the radiator below the radiator cap and near the battery:


It looks like you can almost get to it without removing anything else... but trust me.... you'll want to remove the battery.

Now is a good time to drain the radiator. The drain is on the driver's side of the radiator, facing the rear. It can be a little tough to get to, so you may want to just have a drain pan handy over on the sensor side of the radiator.

Remove the wire cable/plug from the cross brace (above the battery)
Remove the cross brace and the 3x 13mm bolts.
Remove the Negative battery cable.... then the Positive cable (5/16" socket)
Remove the battery hold-down (13mm)


Remove the battery and now you can really see the sensor.


Unplug the wires from the sensor.
Remove the wire retainer completely from the old sensor using a hook.
The sensor is a little tough to get out, so don't leave the retainer on there to confuse the issue.
You can see from the picture, there are two o-rings on the sensor....
Gently pry, wiggle and rock the sensor until it comes out.
At this point, I covered the hole with my thumb.
Here is a picture of the old sensor and the wire retainer.


Then I quickly inserted the new sensor (w/ the wire retainer in place on the sensor!).
The new sensor was tough to get in.
Wiggle, push, rock... until the wire retainer has snapped over the barbed edge.
Make absolutely certain it is "hooked".

Remove the radiator cap, and top-off the coolant.
If you lost too much coolant, you may have to bleed the coolant system by letting the car warm-up and/or use the bleeder screw on top of the thermostat housing.
(I lost less than a small cup.)
Zeevert

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Old 12-19-2013, 10:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeevert View Post
2002 Impala LS 3.8L
Coolant Level Light is on all the time, but the coolant level is full.
I decided to replace the level sensor. It was cheap enough.
Sensor came from NEW GLOBAL AUTOMOTIVE on Ebay.
Part number FLS24. $30 w/ shipping.
(By the way - This did NOT fix my sensor light)



The Sensor is located on the radiator below the radiator cap and near the battery:


It looks like you can almost get to it without removing anything else... but trust me.... you'll want to remove the battery.

Now is a good time to drain the radiator. The drain is on the driver's side of the radiator, facing the rear. It can be a little tough to get to, so you may want to just have a drain pan handy over on the sensor side of the radiator.

Remove the wire cable/plug from the cross brace (above the battery)
Remove the cross brace and the 3x 13mm bolts.
Remove the Negative battery cable.... then the Positive cable (5/16" socket)
Remove the battery hold-down (13mm)


Remove the battery and now you can really see the sensor.


Unplug the wires from the sensor.
Remove the wire retainer completely from the old sensor using a hook.
The sensor is a little tough to get out, so don't leave the retainer on there to confuse the issue.
You can see from the picture, there are two o-rings on the sensor....
Gently pry, wiggle and rock the sensor until it comes out.
At this point, I covered the hole with my thumb.
Here is a picture of the old sensor and the wire retainer.


Then I quickly inserted the new sensor (w/ the wire retainer in place on the sensor!).
The new sensor was tough to get in.
Wiggle, push, rock... until the wire retainer has snapped over the barbed edge.
Make absolutely certain it is "hooked".

Remove the radiator cap, and top-off the coolant.
If you lost too much coolant, you may have to bleed the coolant system by letting the car warm-up and/or use the bleeder screw on top of the thermostat housing.
(I lost less than a small cup.)
Zeevert
If the low coolant sensor has foam in it, this will cause it to sense low coolant. The foam comes from oil in the coolant. That's a lot better than coolant in the oil. I replaced the lower intake gaskets for this. I also switched to an all purpose anti-freeze. My own personal idea is that the oil in the coolant is caused by failed lower intake manifold gasket along with a radiator cap that does not hold pressure. Don't rush to replace the radiator cap as that may cause the anti-freeze to get into your oil, which is a much more serious engine ruining problem. Replace the lower intake gaskets first then the radiator cap.

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Old 08-16-2014, 06:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Maybe a faulty sensor? did u already test the wires to it?

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Old 10-14-2015, 07:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Foam in coolant

This is a good description of replacing this sensor. We had it replaced twice under warranty in 2001 and 2002. After the warranty ran out I discovered the real problem was foam in the coolant causing the sensor to show low coolant. A cleaned sensor would work as long as a new sensor. This was apparently caused by oil in the coolant. I replaced the lower intake gaskets to fix the problem. The dealer must have known better. Later I replaced the lower intake gaskets with an improved style which is still working today.
Hope this late advice helps someone. Patrick

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