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First, with the engine cold, make sure the radiator is full of coolant; if it is low, fill it and keep the radiator cap off while the engine idles to insure all air is bled out of the system. Check the coolant level daily; if the coolant goes down without visible leaks, it may be a head gasket starting to leak which will also cause the heater to blow cold air due to the lack of available coolant. If the coolant stays full, but the car continues to overheat, the next step is to flush the cooling system if that has not been done over the last few years. A PRESTONE flush kit has excellent directions on the package for the do-it-yourselfers. Also inspect your cooling fan to insure it is coming on. Water pumps are seldom the cause as they are mechanical and will continue to work until their bearings give out, but inspection is still recommended. If issue is still present, the radiator itself maybe the problem as it tends to build up corrosion internally which prevents it from transfering engine heat to the coolant. Inspect and, if necessary, remove it and have it 're-cored' or replaced.
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Hope this helps.
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Friday, January 16th, 2009 AT 12:44 AM