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Old 12-07-2019, 01:46 AM   #1
Saturninin
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2005 VUE 3.5L
1994 SL2
Default Lower end of radiator, ice cold

So I wanted to see what y'all thought on this if you mind...

01 SL1 250k (unknown origin)

I bought this car and slowly have been bringing it back to life (new brakes all the way around, fixing fee other things, but now I have this issue)

There is minimal heat (also had to replace the blower.. huge mouse nest in it when I got it... didn't clean out the whole system... but have some air) but I have all ready replaced the thermostat (napa) and the radiator but when I grab the bottom hose its ice cold... any thoughts on what to do on this?

Thank you

...
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Old 12-07-2019, 04:18 AM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Lower end of radiator, ice cold

Before replacing the radiator, what color and condition was the old coolant in when draining it? If it was sketchy (or not), did you at least flush the system to rid the system of any old coolant and chemicals (sealer)? This would ensure the new radiator has new clean antifreeze and not something left over that may do harm to your new radiator. This also presumes none of the hoses are clogged, preventing coolant flow. One way to determine coolant flow is feeling both heater hoses as coolant is always flowing thru the heater core whether heat is needed or not (the temperature door blocks off airflow to the heater when the lever is in cold position).

When refilling with new antifreeze, did you leave the coolant cap off for the first few minutes of engine running to make it quicker for the system to purge itself of air? Any air usually burps out on the initial startup with topping off enough to drive with the cap on. Once around the block is enough to purge any remaining air and is seen as lowering coolant level in the container. In very cold temps, the cooling system may not warm up for a few blocks or miles but should warm up within 10-15 minutes of driving. The temperature gauge needle moving is another indication of coolant warming up. A reader is the best way to see actual operating temps, at initial turn on of ignition with a cold engine to match outside temps and after warming up to display 185F-200F.

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Old 12-07-2019, 01:22 PM   #3
Saturninin
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2005 VUE 3.5L
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Default Re: Lower end of radiator, ice cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Before replacing the radiator, what color and condition was the old coolant in when draining it? If it was sketchy (or not), did you at least flush the system to rid the system of any old coolant and chemicals (sealer)? This would ensure the new radiator has new clean antifreeze and not something left over that may do harm to your new radiator. This also presumes none of the hoses are clogged, preventing coolant flow. One way to determine coolant flow is feeling both heater hoses as coolant is always flowing thru the heater core whether heat is needed or not (the temperature door blocks off airflow to the heater when the lever is in cold position).

When refilling with new antifreeze, did you leave the coolant cap off for the first few minutes of engine running to make it quicker for the system to purge itself of air? Any air usually burps out on the initial startup with topping off enough to drive with the cap on. Once around the block is enough to purge any remaining air and is seen as lowering coolant level in the container. In very cold temps, the cooling system may not warm up for a few blocks or miles but should warm up within 10-15 minutes of driving. The temperature gauge needle moving is another indication of coolant warming up. A reader is the best way to see actual operating temps, at initial turn on of ignition with a cold engine to match outside temps and after warming up to display 185F-200F.
It was the orange DeX col and I did burp it, didn't flush anything, and I dont have the movement of the temp gauge... around 1/4 for the whole trip

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Old 12-07-2019, 03:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Lower end of radiator, ice cold

You might have the original round nosed resin coolant sensor that's notorious for failing. When it cracks, incorrect temperature signals are sent to the pcm. The pcm runs the engine rich all the time. In warm weather, the engine overheats because the pcm never receives correct coolant temps. The engine reaches and exceeds operating temps and overheats since the cooling fan doesn't turn on from faulty sensor signals. This overheating deforms the t-stat seals preventing the t-stat from closing off coolant flow. In cold weather, coolant never gets to operating temps with lukewarm heater operation. A reader displaying coolant temps is a good way see if the coolant sensor is working correctly. Two measurements ate taken, one with a cold engine to compare sensor temps with outside temps and after a warmup. Cold engine temps should be within a few degrees of ambient temps. Warm engine temps should display between 185F-200F. If a reader displays values below these, replace it with a flat nosed brass one.

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Old 12-08-2019, 10:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: Lower end of radiator, ice cold

Note the direction of flow.

Initially, 6 will only get warm by way of the contribution from 1. You want to check 4.
Did somebody use the wrong intake manifold gasket??

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Old 12-18-2019, 01:46 AM   #6
Saturninin
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2005 VUE 3.5L
1994 SL2
Default Re: Lower end of radiator, ice cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
You might have the original round nosed resin coolant sensor that's notorious for failing. When it cracks, incorrect temperature signals are sent to the pcm. The pcm runs the engine rich all the time. In warm weather, the engine overheats because the pcm never receives correct coolant temps. The engine reaches and exceeds operating temps and overheats since the cooling fan doesn't turn on from faulty sensor signals. This overheating deforms the t-stat seals preventing the t-stat from closing off coolant flow. In cold weather, coolant never gets to operating temps with lukewarm heater operation. A reader displaying coolant temps is a good way see if the coolant sensor is working correctly. Two measurements ate taken, one with a cold engine to compare sensor temps with outside temps and after a warmup. Cold engine temps should be within a few degrees of ambient temps. Warm engine temps should display between 185F-200F. If a reader displays values below these, replace it with a flat nosed brass one.
I replaced the ects, and nothing... I'm not sure, kinda at a loss right now to be honest.

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Old 12-18-2019, 11:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: Lower end of radiator, ice cold

You're not lost. With a known good coolant sensor in place, your next steps are to either simply replace the t-stat because it's likely running cooler than originally rated or plug in a reader to display actual coolant temperatures then decide what to do. Gauges are great for showing important things like battery, oil pressure, coolant temps. The idea for gauges is to monitor everything at a glance and see if a trend occurs like overheating without showing actual temperatures. Gauges aren't accurate and generalized. Accuracy with OBD II allows readers to display exact values like coolant temps in degrees F or C. If you're not aware, t-stats operate between 185F-200F. Normal operating temps for a 195F t-stat should be around 195F, plus or minus five degrees. Plug in a reader, measure coolant temps before starting to check sensor accuracy against ambient temps then startup and drive and check temps again. If temps are below 185F, the t-stat is worn out.

Older gauges were calibrated with numbers but required technical accuracy to manufacture them and periodic testing. Once no one cared for actual numbers, gauges became just a needle pointing between cold and overheating and staying below the half way mark. Either the engine and heater run right or not. Readers with display screens to show actual temperatures is affordable for any diyer wanting more info. Your choice, use a reader to see actual temps or just replace the t-stat.

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Old 12-18-2019, 12:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Lower end of radiator, ice cold

A bad ECTS won't cause a physically cold coolant system, only a misrepresented temp condition.

If the thermostat is new, best take it out and put it in properly (verifying it's rated properly) or get another one that isn't stuck open.

The deareation line from the intake manifold to reservoir can cause issue's too if/when it gets blocked but I believe that issue is 'hot' not 'cold' but it's easy enough to check.


If you have a waterproof thermometer that reads 250f or higher you can boil the thermostat on the stove to see what temp it opens at...but don't use the good cookware, get some $5 thing from the thrift store.

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