1997 Chevy Cavalier overheating coolant recently added doesn't appear to be leaking

Tiny
COLLEEN0789
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 80,000 MILES
1997 chevy cavalier overheating, approx. 80,000 miles on it, coolant recently added, thermostat starts going up past normal temps after about 5-10 minutes of driving, overheating at highway speeds and city speeds. To try and bring the temp down, I turned the heat on to draw the heat away from the engine, and barely any change occurred. I haven't check much besides the coolant yet and nothing seems to be leaking. Any suggestions as to what it could be? I appreciate any help you can give!
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Monday, July 11th, 2011 AT 10:52 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Try replacing the thermostat and check if the cooling fans are coming on-
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Monday, July 11th, 2011 AT 11:23 PM
Tiny
COLLEEN0789
  • MEMBER
I fixed the thermostat and the thermostat goes higher that the middle after driving for about 10-15 minutes, so it doesn't seem as though the thermostat fixed it. What is the next thing I should check, cooling fans? Are they relatively easy to fix? And how much am I looking at spending to fix them? Thank you.
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Sunday, July 17th, 2011 AT 2:03 PM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
I reckon the 1st thing to do, would be see if they are actually turning when your vehicle is experiencing the "overheat"

Without special tools, sorta watch your temp gauge, and note where it is---when the fans kick on!

But the most important thing is to not pull a "Mrs. CJ MEDEVAC" or "CJ MEDEVAC's Sister" kinda a thing, and continue to drive it while it is Cookin'

Here are some excuses to use, when the Fixin' Party is jumpin' on you, after you have caused major destruction and need mega $$$:

1) "No, I did pull over, and shut it off, the second it rose above normal".I always watch the gauges religiously"

2) "The man (unknown stranger, who does not care) Said it would make it another 20 miles"

3) "I couldn't get a hold of you so I called Patsy's neighbor's cousin's ex-boyfriend. Well she did. He watches NASCAR, he said if the oil pressure was OK and the car wasn't smokin' It would be fine.

4) THE ALL-TIME FAVORITE."You are responsible for taking care of the car, it's all your fault, any and everything that got messed up, is on you. So not another word to me about what I shoulda done, and what you told me in the past.I don't do cars!" (But they can make their cell phone capable of re-launching the space shuttle) But, not remember what to do/ can do/ can't do if Temp starts rising, oil pressure goes to nothing, or bad sounds start occurring

Come back with some "FAN" results

Raz or I may be able to help you. Him, probably better than me!

The Medic

The Medic
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Sunday, July 17th, 2011 AT 3:21 PM
Tiny
COLLEEN0789
  • MEMBER
What is a normal temperature for this kind of car to be at? The way I look at it is it's not over heating to the point where it seems dangerous, but it definitely doesn't seem normal. What is the normal temp? I will check the fans and see where I get with that first.
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Sunday, July 17th, 2011 AT 3:39 PM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
Just from seeing other modern type vehicle temps. My best Hypothesis is 210 Degrees

I'm still stuck back in the '80s, on back. Back with my type rigs, "normal" is 160, 180, 195 Degrees.I am not real familiar with your vehicle

Anybody recently suggested checking your fan operation?

This might lead one with some experience in overheating issues to maybe steer you in this or that direction. Dependent on our "Field Representative's Answers"

There are some other possibilities

Some Free

Some Cheap

Some Not!

If the fan ain't a workin', see if it's still plugged in. Look around your engine, maybe something else got unplugged

We got more, lets rule out the fan 1st, if it's working right and actually blowin' air.

It's coming on prior to "Too Hot", and it comes on when A/C is turned on

You are running the proper coolant mix. Not plain ole water?

Do you live on a ole dusty dirt road?

Is there a Wal-Mart plastic sack, that I slung out of my Jeep, pasted over your radiator/ condenser. Rather the "air hole" in the front of your car?

The Medic
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Sunday, July 17th, 2011 AT 6:09 PM
Tiny
COLLEEN0789
  • MEMBER
The cooling fans were checked by a mechanic who said they were working and suggested that the problem was my head gasket. I am getting another mechanic to take a look at it in a few days. In the meantime, the car has been running between mid and slightly over mid temperatures after 15 minutes of driving. Does this sounds normal? And could it be my head gasket or a different issue? We have heard that my coolant may just need to be flushed or it could be a water pump. What seems correct here? Thank you!
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Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 AT 2:57 AM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
I wish Raz would pop in sometimes, with an opinion!

I believe we have covered ALMOST everything!

Mr. Radiator may have mineral build-up inside......Fix? professionally taken apart, vatted, reassembled....$35 last time Mr. Jeep was done.... surely no more than $60 now, for you??? a auto store "flush" is usually a waste of time and $$$..or.....a New Radiator would eliminate this problem also, and it would have "Zero Miles"

Your radiator is 14 years old? 2 high priced cleanings, same old radiator vs this below

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/parts/1997-Chevrolet-Cavalier/Radiator/_/N-j98btZ8ii30?filterByKeyWord=radiator&fromString=search

Water Pump works--seizes--or starts leaking, never seen a impeller come off or freewheel, myself.....'bout all that one will do....they don't usually stop spinning or get worn down, inside the engine

Heads are a possibility...a pressure test or a chemical test (I'm not familiar with) should INCLUDE or RULE this out as a factor......If this is done on a "Guess", this will be a sorta/ maybe not cheap thing to do..............what if It solves nothing?

It has been really hot here, my temp is up some too. I have 2 gauges on mine...Factory Electric, on the rear of my head, and a mechanical one in MID ENGINE BLOCK..........Mid Block stays cooler normally because it's lower maybe getting the FRESHLY COOLED Radiator water 1st...or heat rises and the Electric is up there!

Usually the Mid Block will change the most, as long as it stays within it's normal borders, I'm happy....If I get concerned, I see what the other is doing!

In the evenings or really late, when ambient air temp is Normal?, All is perfectly down where I call normal

Hows yours act at night?

I have seen the fellers at Advance Auto, pressure testing cooling systems, I reckon for Free, as other things they do are.

I'm sorta stuck! I think I have prepared you the best I can.

I can only tell you what I know or perceive.....you are at the mercy of yourself and choices you make. You must weigh out factors like $$$, gonna keep this puppy? Are you walking now? Etc. Etc....you have ruled out some factors! So you are doin' good!

Your Turn

The Medic

Below is my Primitive, but also Awesome, User Friendly, Working Instrumentation in "Mr. JeeP"........Note: Mechanical (most trust-able) Temp and Oil Pressure Gauges are closest to the Pilot's Seat, for EZ viewing.....Label Machine tape on Speedometer shows next oil change
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Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 AT 4:06 AM

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