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Old 01-10-2014, 07:55 PM   #1
ii311hive
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Default Car Overheating 01 swp

My car has been overheating lately almost in the red. Let start from the beginning. I noticed a leak a few months ago coming from the overflow tank. I replaced the tank with a new one from the internet. So its been working for at least 2 months until a few days ago, when I noticed it got so hot that it started leaking out the top screw on lid. I ordered a replacement because I thought it was defective. I have gone through a couple of antifreeze bottles as of today. I was thinking maybe its not the bottle but maybe a thermostat? If it is the thermo, would it just quit and overheat? Or will it slowly go bad? Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

sound like a head gasket.. buy a block tester or call around to find a shop that can do a block test.. the fluid will turn from blue to green if it fails..
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

Quote:
Originally Posted by ii311hive View Post
My car has been overheating lately almost in the red. Let start from the beginning. I noticed a leak a few months ago coming from the overflow tank. I replaced the tank with a new one from the internet. So its been working for at least 2 months until a few days ago, when I noticed it got so hot that it started leaking out the top screw on lid. I ordered a replacement because I thought it was defective. I have gone through a couple of antifreeze bottles as of today. I was thinking maybe its not the bottle but maybe a thermostat? If it is the thermo, would it just quit and overheat? Or will it slowly go bad? Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
Remove the Thermostat from the engine and re-install the Thermostat housing back on the engine empty with no thermostat and take the vehical for a drive and see if that has any impact on the overheating problem, This will allow free coolant flow through the system.
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

++1 on the head gasket, there are pressures where there should not be. Also its worth mentioning that if the system has a leak you can boil the water in the engine creating the increased pressures as well
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Old 01-11-2014, 01:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

Ok, I just want to make sure that this block testing is what I should do. I have had this overheating problem only in past few days. It doesn't overheat or even go to the halfway point on the gauge on my way to work (approximately) 45 miles. It only happens when I am on my route (I am a postal employee) and halfway through my route. Today was the first day that I was watching the gauge on my way home and I barely made the 45 mile trip home. The gauge was fluctuating between the 3/4 mark and totally red before the gauge light would come on, I counted 3 times that it came on. It seemed liked when it got to the point were the light would come on, the fan would kick on and drop it just above the halfway mark and it would start all over again. Does this make sense?
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Old 01-11-2014, 02:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

How's the anti-freeze concentration in your coolant?

Have you replaced the reservoir cap?
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Old 01-11-2014, 03:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
How's the anti-freeze concentration in your coolant?

Have you replaced the reservoir cap?
Has been 50/50 since I flushed it 8 months ago. The whole bottle including the reservoir cap was replaced a few months ago.
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

Unless you separately drained the heater core, and drained the radiator at the tank drain (and not just the lower hose, which isn't that close to the bottom), if what you added was 50/50, you added it to some existing plain water, which results in a less than 50/50 concentration. That lowers the boiling point. You might want to test the concentration. The way to assure at least 50/50 concentration is to add a full gallon of non-diluted anti-freeze after draining, then top up with distilled water. Actually works out to about 57% concentration.
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Old 01-11-2014, 04:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

From a cold start, remove the cap and confirm that you have good flow from the aeration line that enters the rear of the reservoir. If you look into that back section you should see good flow at idle, and if you rev the car some flow should be enough to create a whirlpool in the coolant.

At any rate, it seems like you have a problem that is still not all that bad under all conditions. It's possible you have a gunked up system somewhere and simply need a good flush.

If your new reservoir and cap are properly holding pressure, I wouldn't suspect the coolant ratio. Your car shouldn't overheat with even straight water if the pressure levels are normal.



If you can't find any leaks or other possible causes, I'd check the thermostat next. But you could also verify the temp in the reservoir to see if it seems in line. If nothing seems suspicious testing for exhaust gasses in the coolant should be done.

Are you loosing coolant when it doesn't blow out the cap?
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

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From a cold start, remove the cap and confirm that you have good flow from the aeration line that enters the rear of the reservoir. If you look into that back section you should see good flow at idle, and if you rev the car some flow should be enough to create a whirlpool in the coolant.

At any rate, it seems like you have a problem that is still not all that bad under all conditions. It's possible you have a gunked up system somewhere and simply need a good flush.

If your new reservoir and cap are properly holding pressure, I wouldn't suspect the coolant ratio. Your car shouldn't overheat with even straight water if the pressure levels are normal.



If you can't find any leaks or other possible causes, I'd check the thermostat next. But you could also verify the temp in the reservoir to see if it seems in line. If nothing seems suspicious testing for exhaust gasses in the coolant should be done.

Are you loosing coolant when it doesn't blow out the cap?
I can only assume that I am not, I only know that because I happened to catch it in the act, when it happened. I have inspected the whole cooling system and I don't believe there are any other leaks. I also noticed that the top of the bottle is pretty much covered in wet coolant.
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

Also, should I be using dexcool? I thought that the color of the coolant was ok per updated standards.
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:49 AM   #12
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

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I can only assume that I am not, I only know that because I happened to catch it in the act, when it happened. I have inspected the whole cooling system and I don't believe there are any other leaks. I also noticed that the top of the bottle is pretty much covered in wet coolant.
If the top of the reservoir is covered in wet coolant, you either have a faulty cap or reservoir, or the pressure is getting high enough to make it vent. Under normal conditions and if everything is in proper order, it shouldn't take more than a few pounds of pressure to keep it from boiling, even if you had straight water in the system. Being you seem confident that you are at least near a 50/50 ratio, your boiling point should be well above the fan turn on point.

I would check the aeration line coming from the manifold for flow first. Though they usually cause overheating under almost all conditions, it's possible that a partial blockage is being masked when at speed due to the fairly large cooling system on these cars.

Being that you only have the problem on your route, is your car an automatic or manual tranny? Is your route homes that are close to each other or a more rural route where there is distance between the homes?

As for the coolant type, it doesn't really matter much. Dexcool has been shown to sometimes not play well with other coolants, but if you did a complete drain and refill when you put the existing in you shouldn't have any problems.


Unless you have a flow problem from the aeration line, it's probably wise to do the coolant test, or have someone else do one for you.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:19 AM   #13
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

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If the top of the reservoir is covered in wet coolant, you either have a faulty cap or reservoir, or the pressure is getting high enough to make it vent. Under normal conditions and if everything is in proper order, it shouldn't take more than a few pounds of pressure to keep it from boiling, even if you had straight water in the system. Being you seem confident that you are at least near a 50/50 ratio, your boiling point should be well above the fan turn on point.

I would check the aeration line coming from the manifold for flow first. Though they usually cause overheating under almost all conditions, it's possible that a partial blockage is being masked when at speed due to the fairly large cooling system on these cars.

Being that you only have the problem on your route, is your car an automatic or manual tranny? Is your route homes that are close to each other or a more rural route where there is distance between the homes?

As for the coolant type, it doesn't really matter much. Dexcool has been shown to sometimes not play well with other coolants, but if you did a complete drain and refill when you put the existing in you shouldn't have any problems.


Unless you have a flow problem from the aeration line, it's probably wise to do the coolant test, or have someone else do one for you.
To clarify, the problem started with it only happening on my route. It was only on the way home from work Friday that it started acting up when usually I would be ok. Its an auto. The homes are close together, so there is a lot of stop and go. I should just go with my instincts and install the new tank and reservoir that I already have and see how that plays out. If that is not the problem then we will go from there. Also, I think I should mention, the last time I screwed on the reservoir cap I put it on pretty tight, and it made the sound like when you know your gas cap is tight enough and it starts to click.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:40 AM   #14
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

Thanks for the further clarification. I'm not sure about the cap "clicking" as my car doesn't do that. It may be an aftermarket unit or a feature only on other cars.

You can easily check to see if the car is holding at least some pressure by simply slowly loosening the cap when the car is at normal operating temp. In the case of your car 3/8 or so give or take on the gauge. If the cap is holding pressure you should get a "hiss" as you loosen the cap. Just make sure the car isn't above normal temp and use caution not to open it too far just in case... hot coolant is no fun.

As I've said, check that one line. Though it doesn't seem in line with what being clogged usually causes, it's possible it is a factor. You can check it in seconds.

As for the transmission and route questions, being an auto and with that type of route it's possible that the added heat from the tranny is a contributing factor. Have you had any erratic behavior from the transmission, or do you know when you last did a fluid and filter change?
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

I have gone out and snapped a few photos of the reservoir caps (the old and the new) and got some actual shots of the bottle. Regardless either way I am gonna swap out the entire reservoir and cap. Just wanted some feedback from the photos that I post and see if you guys would start there also. The new cap is on the left in the three photos. If you look at the center photo (of the three caps) you will notice the sticker has started to crinkle from the reservoir cap being extended upward. Took a picture of actual reservoir, not sure from the 4th picture or not, but there is some resemblance of coolant/water on it. This was a photo I took this morning after a day with the car sitting.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:10 PM   #16
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

Start by gong out and buying a new aftermarket cap, they do fall apart and the one on the right is suspect. Also verify that the actual antifreeze concentration is at least 55%, see post #8. The reservoir looks just fine and I would not change it out as it is not the cause of your problems. Most likely a combination of low antifreeze concentration and failed pressure cap.

Also verify that you have a solid stream of coolant returning to the reservoir from the small hose on the right rear corner if not already verified.
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:27 PM   #17
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

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Start by gong out and buying a new aftermarket cap, they do fall apart and the one on the right is suspect. Also verify that the actual antifreeze concentration is at least 55%, see post #8. The reservoir looks just fine and I would not change it out as it is not the cause of your problems. Most likely a combination of low antifreeze concentration and failed pressure cap.

Also verify that you have a solid stream of coolant returning to the reservoir from the small hose on the right rear corner if not already verified.
Well, the picture I took was of the brand new replacement cap and bottle (bottle not shown) for the defective 1 I had purchased about 2 months ago. I ordered the replacement 2 months ago because my oem bottle had a crack and leak that was not repairable. So, I ordered an aftermarket to replace it. It had worked pretty well for the past 2 months and then went defective as you can see in the pictures. So I ordered a replacement which I currently have and was able to take photos to compare both caps. So, what I think I am gonna do is drain the fluid and start over. Just to make sure I can eliminate any of those issues first if the problem persist. Anyone have an idea of the capacity of the coolant? How much of the full concentrate do I need to buy as opposed to the distilled jug?
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:37 PM   #18
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

Use 1 full gallon of 100% antifreeze and if you thoroughly fill and drain the system several times with water you can use the All Makes, All Models Universal coolant. The system holds 7 quarts and only 6 will drain out so with a full gallon you end up at 57%. A gallon of distilled water is all you need s you will have about 1/2 of it left over. I would also replace the cap as clicking is not a good sign and the cap must function correctly. Be sure to check for return flow from that small hose or the engine will overheat and pop the cap.
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:34 PM   #19
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

So I drained and squeezed all the hoses, but only around 3 or so quarts came out of the petcock drain. I guess my coolant got really low on my drive home unless I am doing something wrong? By the way the coolant is bright green and does not look dirty. Anyways some feedback from the amount that I received would be great. Or if I skipped a step or maybe missed something.
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:36 PM   #20
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Default Re: Car Overheating 01 swp

Did you remove the block drain plug under the Thermostat housing to drain the coolant from the engine?
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