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Old 04-05-2004, 05:47 AM   #1
tenstrum
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Engine getting hot while idling/sitting still

Any idea why my engine is getting warmer than usually while I'm sitting still? It runs at the normal range (~190) while I'm driving, but if I go through a drive through or something it'll get up to around 240 degrees. It doesn't go past that, so its not getting real hot, but it shouldn't be getting that warm either. I've got plenty of coolant.

Incendently, anyone have any coolant fluid changing tips?
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Old 04-05-2004, 06:23 AM   #2
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If you search you will find that this is not uncommon on Grand Am's. There is very little air that gets into the engine bay while you are stopped. There are options to make your car run cooler but you're not hurting your car now. You can get a DHP reprogram and a 180* thermostat. Or you can get a Caspers High Speed Fan Switch. Everything mentioned can be found at PFYC.com

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Old 04-05-2004, 06:26 AM   #3
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i put my heat on on the floor setting and it comes down to normal, im gonna invest in the caspers fan, when im in stop and go it goes over the normal temp, nothing you can do about it other then what tjc13 mentioned...
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Old 04-05-2004, 06:50 AM   #4
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That just seems a little odd...Shouldn't be getting that warm.
has anyone installed that Casper fan switch?
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Old 04-05-2004, 06:52 AM   #5
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not yet but its a plug and play from what i've read and is very simple to setup and operate, even i could do it!
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Old 04-05-2004, 06:59 AM   #6
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Turn the AC or defrost on. They will kick the fans on. That is what I do when I am idling for a while like at a drive thru or whatever. Sure it may load down the engine but if your just idling you don't need max performance and besides I'd rather have a cooler engine over watching it get up to the higher temps. And I haven't had the intake leak problem yet(knocking on wood), which might and I say might be related to the fact I don't let it get to the higher temps.
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Old 04-05-2004, 07:31 AM   #7
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I always leave the AC on in the summer, even on low fan speed. This will kick in the second cooling fan on the RAD.
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Old 04-05-2004, 10:51 AM   #8
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is your radiator cap holding pressure? My car was running hot, but not overheating, the dealer found that the cap was defective, replaced it, my car never gets to 230+ even when mostly idling, that seems a bit extreme...

The caspers fan switch wont help you if your getting to 240 because it turns on the second fan which will automatically come on if your car goes above 230 anyhow..
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Old 04-05-2004, 01:45 PM   #9
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What radiator cap?
I thought it was one of those units that doesn't have direct access to the radiator.
I know GM did that on some late 90s models of the 3.1L Cavaliers. Am I wrong?
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Old 04-05-2004, 04:10 PM   #10
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Hell i have *180 stat and caspers fan switch. The stat dosent allow it to get over 200. The fan switch i dont know its still uninstalled, havent had time yet.
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Old 04-05-2004, 05:44 PM   #11
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You are right, there is no "radiator" cap but there is a cap on the top of your coolant overflow bottle. That would be the one to check.
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Old 04-06-2004, 07:28 AM   #12
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Its tight as can be. guess i'll try the 180 thermostat
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Old 04-06-2004, 08:56 AM   #13
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[quote]Originally posted by tenstrum
Its tight as can be. guess i'll try the 180 thermostat > It's not a matter of it being on tight , it's is it working ? It's supposed to hold pressure , if it doesn't your car will overheat much easier .
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Old 04-06-2004, 05:19 PM   #14
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Yeah, sorry, I know its not a radiator cap per se, that's what the dealer called it, I guess they figured I wouldn't know what a coolant tank or coolant overflow bottle is....

Back to the cap, he's right, doesn't matter how much you tighen it, it can still not hold pressure if its defective..

But then 230+ degrees sounds really hot for even a coolant tank cap issue... You may just be treating the symptoms and not the cause with a stat/casper's fan switch...

The cap costs about 4 dollars to replace (if I wasn't under warrenty) so its not much of an investment to see if it helps, something is definitely not right though, I almost only drove my car in city traffic the first year I had it and it never got that hot even in the summer down here in Georgia.
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Old 04-06-2004, 08:11 PM   #15
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I've had similiar problems with my car as well. I have a 97 GA with a 3.1 and it's a very weird problem. I thought it was something that only happened b/c it was so hot outside, then I've had it happen in the winter time as well. It's never overheated, just gets close, but switching on the ac usually works on cooling it down.
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Old 04-06-2004, 09:19 PM   #16
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could be an air pocket in the system which will cause it to get hot, i think i have that problem, i topped it off for the year the other day and didn't follow procedure and just put the cap on and drove, and i think i got an air pocket.

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Old 04-07-2004, 06:35 PM   #17
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are we even sure that the fan is coming on to cool off the radiator, could be an intermittent fan problem to where it is not kicking on properly and the temp is rising and rising.....
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Old 04-07-2004, 10:43 PM   #18
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Over heating????

If you have recently added coolant and feel you have an air pocket then there is a bleed valve on the front of the engine by the water pump where you can take the air out of the system.. i had to do this after replacing the water pump. I was loosing coolant and getting hot while idling. Took it to dealer that i bought the car from (used) and they pressure tested the system and found the water pump leaking from a pressure relief hole that is in the water pump. After replacing that since the dealer wanted my arm and leg to do it....LoL I still had a small over heating condition and I found the bleed valve and opened it long enough to let out the air...and it fixed the problem. I did that twice to make sure that all the air was out of the coolant system....
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Old 04-08-2004, 05:19 AM   #19
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i still believe it is a common thing with the GA. Every one I've ever been in I have seen the temps sky pretty high. I even had the cap replaced so I know that wasn't my problem. Now I have the 180 degree and it seems to keep it much cooler.
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Old 04-23-2004, 06:30 AM   #20
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Well, i know that its not my thermostat and my fans are working whenever I flip on the AC. That narrows it down to: an air pocket, a bad fan relay, or a bad resevoir cap.

I was also thinking about the fact that I ran out of gas (like a big stupid idiot) a few weeks before this started, but I seem to remember it getting a little warm last summer as well,but not quite as bad.
I'm really leaning towards a bad fan relay. How do you test those things? I believe that they are located in the engine compartment fuse box. Do they just pull out like a fuse or is something special required to get them loose?

Thanks!
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