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Old 06-12-2011, 10:44 PM   #1
whiteGT99
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Overheating Issue, Please Help

I know I know, u all probably see a thread about overheating issues all the time, but i have read some of them and still cant figure it out

okay so let me start off by, i was driving home after work and it felt like i ran over something(but didnt see anything in rearview mirror) then my AC bogged down and got warm for like 2 min then went back to cold, i looked the temp gauge and it started creeping up to around 230 or so
well finally reached the red so i pulled over and popped the hood, took of the coolant tank cap off (no pressure) and coolant was full
i let sit for about 5 min and looked again and tank was empty so i filled it with Prestone 50/50 and drove home with my heater on.

I replaced the tstat a couple months ago, i dont see any oil residue in the coolant tank,
my fans DO turn on, there is no coolant near the water pump and i felt the hose while the car was running and there was coolant flowing
when it gets hot coolant does flow out of the overflow and i have coolant all down under the alternator and down my wheel

i need some help to figure this out, should i rplace the water pump even tho there is no coolant leaking from it all

thanks for reading all this and hopefully someone can help me out
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:01 PM   #2
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Need a new radiator cap, heard problems of it not holding the correct pressure then dumping it out of the overflow. Try that
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:17 PM   #3
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This may be a totally stupid question for you but you A. Bought the right T-Stat for a Grand Am, and B. Did not put it in backwards.

If it is not for a GA flow rate it will not function properly, the generic brands have a weaker sping which allows for a "universal" fit. The other thing could be that you put it in backwards. I have heard of this being done many times. Backwards will not allow any fluid through. The pressure will be pushing in the wrong direction just pushing it tighter closed. If you put it in while it was cold out, then you most likely would not have had any overheating type issues, now that summer has rolled around, you are seeing the real heat.

I guess you new T-stat could have gone bad already too. When they fail it is supposed to fail in the open position, but this is not always the case. I would start with the thermostat and go form there.

You hose does not colapse when the engine warms up does it (old hose)?
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Old 06-13-2011, 05:41 PM   #4
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i am on my 3rd cap and the tstat i got was for the GA and no it is not backwards

so ur saying replace the tstat again, what about the water pump should i go ahead and replace it since i have one
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:36 PM   #5
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If you have one and the time, then it would not hurt.I was not saying you put the old one in backwards, just that it is a common mistake and happens often. If the hose has any issues then replace it too. I am thinking it is a failed T-stat. Like I said, they should fail open, but that is not always the case.
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:49 AM   #6
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If I were you I wouldn't replace the water pump unless it needs it. "If it ain't broke don't fix it"

I'd be more inclined to replace the overflow tank/cap unit. If you've already gone through 3 caps previously, sounds to me like there could be an issue with the threads on the tank not allowing the new caps to sit correctly.
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:34 PM   #7
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okay got some sort of an update

i bled the coolant system, i let it idle and it ran right at running temp, i took it for a drive and everything went fine, i got home let it idle some more and then it got hot and poured out the overflow hose (fans never turned on)

i came and did some research and read about the fan switch, i disconnected the switch turned it on and the fans kicked on HI, i noticed that the temp gauge did not work while it was unplugged so i turned car off and plugged back in, turned car back on the fans stayed on LO but stayed on and car sayed at running temp, so i drove again and ran fine, i stopped to get my tools from the barn so i turned car off,

turned back on and the fans did not come on, drove home all fine alittle hotter than normal, but got home let idle and fans never turned on so it started pouring coolant out again

so i am guessing i have a bad switch, thoughts?

also i was told to check if the water pump was working by squeezing the hoses, should the hoses be hard to squeeze or squeezable but able to feel some flow through them?
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:38 PM   #8
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okay got some sort of an update
so i am guessing i have a bad switch, thoughts?

also i was told to check if the water pump was working by squeezing the hoses, should the hoses be hard to squeeze or squeezable but able to feel some flow through them?
That is good news. Does sound like the switch is not reading the temps to turn on. I ran everything Caspers Electronics had to offer for the Grand Am back in the day. http://www.casperselectronics.com/st...oducts_id=1207 is a link ot the high speed fan switch. It is about $100 to buy. Not too bad to put in and you can run it when you want.

I used this kit to help cool my car between passes on the track. Since you can run it without even having to be on. Helped keep the running cool. This way you can override the system and run the fans on high your entire drive.

Otherwise, I am not sure what part you would need to replace to get it to function properly. It is still a little nuts that your car got that hot while driving just because of the fans. Since the front end of the car is designed to allow air to flow through the radiator fins, the fans are designed just add some more air. But I guess if it corrected the symptoms then it should be the issue.


As far as the hoses go, you can test them whenever you want. They do get hot though. You want to observe them for a number of possible issue that could leave you stranded. If you squeeze it and it feels chunky then it is breaking down on the inside. Squeeze it in a few places along the same line. If it is hard, its not good, if it is brittle, it is not good. If you see any cuts/cracks/splits/wear marks then you should replace it. If you squeeze it and you hear a slosh then it is forcing the water properly through the system. It should be firm but not too tough to pinch. You don't really need to know what to look for, it either will or will not feel right and you should be able to tell.
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:59 AM   #9
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Don't waste any more of your time - do a compression test

I spent Months trying to figure this out
Replaced Water pump, Radiator, Tstat, res & res cap

Was a busted HG and doing the Same thing yours is

I was just sick of doing head gaskets that year - was in denial - I now admit it and things have been much better.
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:22 PM   #10
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well i am getting a new fan switch to see how that goes, if that does not help i will take it to the shop and have them do the compression test.

not to be a noob but what is exactly is a compression test, how much does that usually cost?
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:48 PM   #11
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Update:

i put the new switch in it, let it idle never got to 223 when the lo speed fan should turn on but coolant did boil out the overflow hose

i drove it about a half hour or so and ran fine, got home let idle, i opened the bleeder valve to check if any air was in and yes no coolant came out, it just spit out and made bubbles so i let it bleed for a little bit, closed the valve and about 3 min later it started boiling out the overflow again, i turned the AC on and the fans came on, i turned off the AC and fans stilled stayed on and cooled down to about 213-215 or so

i guess next thing is to do the compression test and go from there
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:05 AM   #12
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Update:

I decided to try and drive the GA to work today, well that was a mistake.
about half way there starting getting hot while i was driving, finally hit 230 so i pulled over and turned off, I called off work and tried to drive it back to the barn well on the way there overheated again

i need some help
mechanic said that the tstat could be bad again if it was overheating while driving, but it just seems hard to believe that it would go bad within a few months
my buddy wants to do a pressure test to see if it holds pressure?

what should i do

shop also quoted me 1400 for a head gasket job
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:07 AM   #13
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Cost around 50$ Leak test Kit

Has NAPA part number see if they have it in stock. Easier then compression test.
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:18 PM   #14
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Update:

Took the car to the Dealership, and the did a pressure test and it leaked out the water pump, so the replace water pump, belt, and new cap

now my question is i put in an overlay in awhile back and i had to take the needles off, i marked them and put them back on very close to where they were but i guess not close enough, is there a scan tool or something like that to adjust the guage to what the actually temp is
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:47 PM   #15
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Glad ya got it fixed cheep!
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:51 PM   #16
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well got another question for ya guys,

what does ur guys GA run at in the summer time?
going through belleville, i was runnin like 220 or so but i got on the highway and ran about 210 the whole way home
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteGT99 View Post
Update:

Took the car to the Dealership, and the did a pressure test and it leaked out the water pump, so the replace water pump, belt, and new cap

now my question is i put in an overlay in awhile back and i had to take the needles off, i marked them and put them back on very close to where they were but i guess not close enough, is there a scan tool or something like that to adjust the guage to what the actually temp is
Gald you got things fixed up. Keep an eye on temps still. I think your T-stat could still be AN issue. As far as accurate needles, you can let the car sit over night, then put the needle all the way on cool. No real way to check it that I know of without a water temp gauge.

As far as temps go, I ran my car in 110 Orlando heat on the highway with the fan switch going and only hit ~200. Now my car in thin air going through the mountains with the RK kit blocking some air flow and the trans cooler not attached, I ran well into the red and had to pull over twice. Only time I ever had heat issues.
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