2002 Chevy Malibu Overheating

Tiny
SAILORCANDI
  • 2002 CHEVROLET MALIBU

Engine Cooling problem
2002 Chevy Malibu 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 166800 miles

My Malibu starting overheating, it does it sort of weird, it stays at the half way mark (safe) for about 20 miles, and then all of a sudden it will shoot up to the red zone. The first time was when I was was driving at about 55 MHP it made a sudden surge and then overheated. SO far I have tried changing the sensor, changing the thermostat, I changed the radiator cap. It still overheats.

New parts = water pump, thermostat, temp sensor, had it pressure tested. It is still over heating.

The water is pumping. So what could it be?

I am a female disabled US Navy veteran, on a fixed income I need to keep this car running.

Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Friday, July 17th, 2009 AT 8:56 PM

48 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER

You sure its not airlock in the system try bleeding it don't work get it block and pressure tested.

Does it have a fan clutch if so check it

A slipping fan clutch is often overlooked as the cause of an engine overheating problem.

As a fan clutch ages, fluid deterioration gradually causes an increase in slippage (about 200 rpm per year). After a number of years of service, the clutch may slip so badly that the fan can't keep up with the cooling needs of the engine and the engine overheats. At this point, replacement is often necessary.

Other signs of fan cluch failure would include any looseness in the clutch (check for fan wobble), or oil streaks radiating outward from the clutch hub.

If the clutch is binding, the fan may not release causing excessive cooling and noise, especially at highway speeds

CHECKING THE FAN CLUTCH

A good clutch should offer a certain amount of resistance when spun by hand (engine off, of course!). But if the fan spins with little resistance (more than 1 to 1-1/2 turns), the fan clutch is slipping too much and needs to be replaced.

If the fan binds, does not turn or offers a lot of resistance, it has seized and also needs to be replaced.

Fan speed can also be checked with an optical tachometer, by marking one of the fan blades with chalk and using a timing light to observe speed changes, and/or listening for changes in fan noise as engine speed changes.

You should also try to wiggle the fan blades by hand. If there is any wobble in the fan, there is a bad bearing in the fan clutch, or a worn bearing on the water pump shaft. A bad water pump bearing will usually cause the water pump to leak and/or make noise, but not always. Remove the fan clutch and see if the play is in the water pump shaft. If it feels tight (no play or wobble), replace the fan clutch

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, July 18th, 2009 AT 4:51 PM
Tiny
PILAR RAMOS
  • 2002 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • 160,000 MILES
  • MERGED

My Malibu is overheating I have changed thermostat twice replaced water pump, replaced intake gasket had radiator flushed had radiator checked for compression replaced radiator container and cap only thing I have not changed is heating core and head gasket. My question is I was wondering if I removed the thermostat would that stop my car from overheating I know I would not have a heater but I live in Houston TX so it doesn't really get cold in winter besides its just a work car for me. I really just want to get it not over heating and sale it as soon as possible the car has been good to me mileage is 160,000 but has turned to a MONEY PIT!

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:12 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
  • MERGED

Have it block and pressure tested-try bleeding the cooling system and see what happens

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:12 PM
Tiny
TAMSUE67
  • 2002 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • MERGED

Engine Cooling problem
2002 Chevy Malibu 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 39,655 miles

My car overheated several times about a year and a half ago.
Since then I have hardly driven it because I have never had the funds to take it and find the reason.

I do drive it to the doctor one time a month which is about 8 miles away.

I also drive it once a week to a meeting I have which is about 2 miles.

It has not overheated since 1 and 1/2 years ago but
I have a light coming on that has an arrow pointing to fluid, the light is red and does not have any writing.

I took it to one person who gave me a free reading and he told me tha someone had put antifreeze in the car and it did not take antifreeze. He said it takes DEX-COOL.
HE said that was the problem and when the person put antifreeze in the car it mixed with the DEX-COOL and turned to pure sludge.
That is what it looks like when you look into the water tank, thick muddy stuff.

I took it to another person yesterday and they told me it was the Intake Gasket.

I need help so badly. I am a woman who is disabled and am having a very hard time getting by financially.

Could you please help me?

I feel like because I am a woman and alone that these people in this small town are taking advantage of me.

Any help you could give would be so very much appreciated.

Thanks,
Tamatha

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:12 PM
Tiny
RHALL77
  • MEMBER
  • MERGED

Most likely it is a bad intake gasket that needs to be replaced. This is very common in these vehicles

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:12 PM
Tiny
TAMSUE67
  • MEMBER
  • MERGED

Thanks for answering my question.

Now, if you read this could you please tell me what you know about the cost of getting this intake gasket fixed?

Any help or info at all will be helpful.

Thanks,
Tamatha

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:12 PM
Tiny
RHALL77
  • MEMBER
  • MERGED

Depends where you go, but I would think around the $400-800 range. But like I said, depends where you go

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:12 PM
Tiny
HAVIVA
  • 2002 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • MERGED

Engine Mechanical problem
2002 Chevy Malibu 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 99093 miles

My engine has been overheating. We have taken the sensor of to see if that would help as the fans were not kicking in when it reached a high temperatur. Next we are going to check the thermostat. It is swallowing an awful lot of coolant, but it is not coming out anywhere. Please tell me what can be the problem. I cannot afford to be stopping every five minutes to put in fluids.

I have been doing some research on these vehicles and from where I sit, looks like I got me a Chevy Lemon, a every chevy owner has the same complete and more.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:13 PM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
  • 17,002 POSTS
  • MERGED

If you are loosing coolant but there is no liquid visible anywhere you need to inspect your oil. Suspect a cracked head gasket.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:13 PM
Tiny
SAILORCANDI
  • MEMBER
  • MERGED

Did you ever solve this? And what was it?

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:13 PM
Tiny
OGPANTHER
  • 2002 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • MERGED

Engine Performance problem
2002 Chevy Malibu 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 140, 00 miles

Hi, I have a 2002 Malibu with the V6 3100 SFI engine. Personally I think its junk. Ive already had the intake gaskets replaced a few years back. But now its overheating again. Recently I put a new thermostat in it, just put new coolant resevoir and radiator in it yesterday, but its still overheating. Coolant level in the resevoir is staying the same so its obviously not leaking, there is no coolant in the oil or no white smoke comes from the tailpipe so it cant be headgasket. But I cannot figure out for the life of me whats wrong with it. Any suggestions? (Also it does not blow heat untill engine is already overheated)

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:13 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
  • MERGED

Recheck the thermostat by testing it if okay -check the water pump if its circulating coolant thru-out the engine. If okay -could be air in the system-try bleeding it don't work last resort is to get it block and pressure tested.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:13 PM
Tiny
MILKDUD8402
  • 2002 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • 6 CYL
  • AUTOMATIC
  • MERGED

We have replaced the overflow tank, water pump, thermostat and heat sensor, my car is running hot was overheating but no longer just running hot about 240-250. It is not building any pressure and the heater stopped working. No one can seem to figure out what is wrong.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:13 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
  • 68,314 POSTS
  • MERGED

Have you checked for a head gasket problem?

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:13 PM
Tiny
DEREK WUNDER
  • 2002 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • MERGED

Engine Cooling problem
2002 Chevy Malibu 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic

When the engine heats up the coolent is running out from the right side of the engine. There is a lot of moisture that is accumlating in the tail pipe as well. Does this sound like a bad intake or something more serious like a head gasket or cracked head? There does not appear to be any liquid in the oil and the engine sounds normal and the car seems to drive normal other than overheating due to the coolent leaking out.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:13 PM
Tiny
SAILORCANDI
  • MEMBER
  • MERGED

Have you solved this yet? And whats it

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:13 PM
Tiny
HENDRICKSEN1
  • 2002 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • MERGED

Engine Cooling problem
2002 Chevy Malibu 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 95000 miles

My car is overheating about every ten minutes, I have replaced the thermostat recently becuase it was doing the same thing. All of the coolant is being forced back into the overflow resivior and when it stared and I had to finish getting it home my father told me to turn on the heater and turn the fan on high so it would help cool the engine off but when I did all that came out of the heater was cold air so I was wondering if it could be the radiator or the water pump and if so which one is more likely?

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:13 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
  • MERGED

Did you bleed the cooling system when you replaced the thermostat? Feel the radiator for cold spot which is an indication of clogging.

Water Pump

One way to test for a bad water pump is to squeeze the upper radiator hose when the engine is hot and idling. Careful, because the hose will be HOT! If you do not feel much coolant circulating through the hose when you rev the engine, the pump may be bad. The other cause might be a bad thermostat that is not opening properly (remove and inspect the thermostat), or a clogged radiator.

If it Continuous do below:

Have it block and pressure tested-do the block first to pinpoint a combustion leaking into the cooling system or a gas analyzer to sniff for hydrocarbons at the radiator fill neck.

Pressure test: do not do a pressure test if there's leakage at the headgasket this might cause coolant into the cylinders and lock it up or bend a connecting rod if cranked thereafter. The headgasket should be repaired before doing the pressure test.

If the block and pressure test passes check the following:, Pressure test the Rad. Cap, Clogged radiator, air lock in the cooling system, Fan clutch, Radiator electrical fan, collaspe hoses, water pump

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:13 PM
Tiny
ELIZABETHLIZ
  • 2002 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • MERGED

Engine Cooling problem
2002 Chevy Malibu 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 137000 miles

I took my car into a shop, because it was overheating, at the shop they told me my radiator had a crack and was leaking water. I neede to replace the radiator. So my dad and brother went and purchased a new radiator. But now the car still overheats. In a matter of a mile or so. Now what can the problem be?

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:13 PM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
  • 19,503 POSTS
  • MERGED

Check intake manifold gasket for leaks
check for leaks on top of the tranny bell housing

make sure you replace the thermostat too
good luck
let me know

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Please consider a donation if we helped you
Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:13 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Related Engine Overheat Questions

Recommended articles