1996 Chevy Cavalier Overheats & stalls

Tiny
CHEF6777
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 145,000 MILES
My car was running ok and then started to get hot but never out of the "safe" area of the gauge and the car would stall until cool again & then repeat the cycle. As long as I was on the freeway I was ok. The check engine light code said to replace the crank shaft position sensor, did that & on first drive after repair the same thing happened again. Then the temperature gauge started pegging the "H" and still stalling. I changed the thermostat with no luck, although now I have no heat, but I did before. Cant drive the car more than 2-3 miles before it's hot & stalls. Any ideas. I have no leaking coolant or noise from the water pump. Fan is running for about 10-15 second cycles.
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Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 AT 6:04 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi:
If you lost heat, make sure the coolant level is full. If it is, replace the t-stat. Next, check the right front of the head (driver's side) if there is a head gasket problem, that is where they always seem to start leaking. Also, after you replaced the sensor, did the same code come back? Finally, are you sure the car is overheating and this isn't being caused by a bad temp sending unit? Does the coolant boil out of the radiator? Can you hear it boiling in the engine?

Let me know.

Joe
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Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 AT 8:45 PM
Tiny
CHEF6777
  • MEMBER
The coolant has never "boiled" as far as I know, I guess I should not say it's "overheating" It has never blown off any steam or coolant. I'm going by the guage. Would the computer shut the car down if the temp guage is pegged at "H"?
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Thursday, February 26th, 2009 AT 2:17 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi:
I reread the orig posting. The idea that the fan is only running for 10 to 15 second at a time makes me believe the temp sending unit is bad. That is one of the reasons I asked if the car ever boiled over too. If the gauge is pegged to the H, I would think you would be seeing steam and coolant leaking from the over flow. Finally, if the temp gauge is at the H, it may shut things down.

Now the problem with the heat. Did it start after you replaced the t-stat? Are you sure you placed the t-stat in the correct direction? Were you able to bleed the air out of the system?

Joe
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Thursday, February 26th, 2009 AT 5:05 PM

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