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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello firebuddies

my 98 Forumla showed up an alert warning light on the top left hand side of the instrument panel that looked like it was trying to tell me I was low on coolant... however, the engine did not overheat.

It was in heavy traffic, but there was no sign of trouble.

Should I be concerned, or was this a pre-warning?

I will be checking the level tomorrow morning, but last I checked (1 month ago) it was full.
 

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Not real familiar with the ls1 cars, but on the lt1 cars, the low coolant sensor in the radiator gets gunked up and gives false low coolant light.
 

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1994 Firebird Formula 381ci LT1 / TH400+GV O/D
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Same miserable level sensor on the LS1 radiator.

In any case, check the coolant level immediately. The fact that the engine was not overheating is not a reasonable excuse for ignoring the light. Yes, the level sensors are a chronic problem, but better safe than sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
oh, just to add... when the light came on, I turned off the engine, turned on again and it went away. (that's the I.T. approach)
 

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replaced mine twice in 3 years(1993). coolant was never low, beginning to believe the sensors are just Junk. they seem
to last about 4-5 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry to bump this post again, but is replacing the sensor the only fix?

Just to verify: the coolant level is fine, the engine is not hot...
 

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I use the old fashioned technique. Every couple of days I take off the radiator cap when engine is cold. Then visually check coolant level in radiator and expansion tank.

I just disconnected the sensor altogether.
 

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1994 Firebird Formula 381ci LT1 / TH400+GV O/D
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Just to verify: the coolant level is fine......
Are you checking the level in the reservoir or in the radiator? It's possible for the reservoir to show full, while the radiator is low. All it takes is a pinhole in the overflow hose/metal pipe from the radiator to the reservoir.
 

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1994 Firebird Formula 381ci LT1 / TH400+GV O/D
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Shoebox ( shbox.com ) shows that the original GM part used in the LT1 was part # 10096163 . That was replaced by GM # 19299321 . A search on Amazon shows both those parts (AC Delco) are still available, and both are shown as compatible with the 98 Formula V8. The new part # is $61.44 . The old part # (referenced as "10096163 F-Module") is $18.80 . Maybe the F-Module is not AC Delco. Entering the old part # in the Amazon search turns up a huge number of aftermarket replacements, as low as $5. Appears to be a device that was used in many GM cars. Some of the aftermarket listings are obviously cheap Chinese rip firs, of questionable quality.

Since this is a "switch" and not a sophisticated sensor, and since it does nothing other than feed the latching relay that turns on the dash light, would seem to be little risk in trying a cheapie.

GaryDoug took a failed unit apart and found the damage was done when coolant entered the housing and corroded the printed circuit board. Maybe Gary could tell us if it looks like there is a way to improve the sealing of the housing. As far as I know the original sensor in my 94 is still OK.
 

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I had replaced that sensor after I bought the car in 2012, then in 2014, then again last week ! Luckily it came with a "Lifetime warrantee". but seems that BW is pretty much junk. if it wasn't for the warrantee, I'd buy AC delco.
 
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