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Old 05-02-2013, 07:14 AM   #1
heavyharmonies
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Potential overheating issue or am I overreacting?

Any time I see/experience something with my '03 Grand Am that's "not the way it used to be" a get a little panic-stricken, as I'm not "a car guy" with respect to knowledge level.

2003 Grand Am GT1
6-cylinder automatic
71,000 miles

It used to be that the car always ran at or under 200 degrees, but over the last year or three that upper limit has been gradually increasing, but it's now at a point where I'm starting to worry.

As long as I'm driving, once warmed up, the temp gauge stays between 195 and 210, however at idle or in stop-and-go traffic, it now tends to approach 220-225. It never goes above that, but that's a fairly big increase over how the care used to operate years ago.

If I then get out on the road, the temp comes back down to the 200-205 range.

Serious issue?
Flakey gauge?
Overreaction on my part; the car is just getting older?

Thanks.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:34 AM   #2
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Ever flush/replace the coolant? Improper care of your cooling could cause this, but It's not abnormal to see the temp rise a little while sitting in traffic.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:09 AM   #3
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Change the thermostat, when I still had mine and before my failsafe thermostat went bad totally (it just locks open) it was doing that. But I know mine usually did float up to 220 in traffic, but never at speed.

If the thermostat is fine, then you have excessive air in the coolant system. Have you changed a hose or part related to the coolant system as of late?
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:48 PM   #4
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Not an issue. You should not even run at 200 unless it's very cold outside. These cars are supposed to run between 200-230. The fans aren't even programmed to kick on until around 230. Don't worry about it.
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:53 AM   #5
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When its very cold outside my car runs at 160 and doesn't go past that... but with the warmer weather you will start to see it increase. And you do have a ten year old car so it could just be the age.
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:36 AM   #6
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i agree not a problem
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greddy2race View Post
When its very cold outside my car runs at 160 and doesn't go past that... but with the warmer weather you will start to see it increase. And you do have a ten year old car so it could just be the age.

What thermostat are you using? Even if it's very cold outside you should get warmer than that. Sounds to me like your T-stat is opening early, or stuck open.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronGTR View Post
What thermostat are you using? Even if it's very cold outside you should get warmer than that. Sounds to me like your T-stat is opening early, or stuck open.
I think you're right, since mine did the same damn thing.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greddy2race View Post
When its very cold outside my car runs at 160 and doesn't go past that... but with the warmer weather you will start to see it increase. And you do have a ten year old car so it could just be the age.
Lol wtf?

Mine constantly runs just below 200 hot or cold weather when fully warmed up. Then goes a little under near half way on the notches between 200 and 225
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:22 PM   #10
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Could be stuck open, haven't checked it in a while, but it has no problem warming up and giving me heat on cold days, so wasn't high on my list.
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:43 PM   #11
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mine stays around 200, normally a tad below, to a tad above.
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