1998 Camaro Engine Now Runs Hot When Idling

Tiny
JOHN M
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CHEVROLET TRUCK
1998 Chevrolet Camaro. 85,000 miles. Up until about 50,000 miles, the temperature gauge read a constant 185-190 degrees, in hot or cold, stuck in traffic or on the open road. Since then, once the engine gets warm, if I don't move the car (if I'm stuck in traffic or idling in the driveway), the engine temp climbs rapidly to about 215-220 degrees, when the fan kicks on and cools it back to 195-200. When the fan goes off, back up the temp goes, and on and on. I've never had a car that does this in 30 years, they all stay steady temp once warm, but I'm thinking that constant up and down can't be good for the engine long-term. I've tried: new thermostat, radiator pressure test and coolant flush and fill. Rarely I will get a burning coolant smell, which led me to replace the intake manifold gasket, with no cure of the problem. Yes, I know the fan is doing it's job, but why does it all of a sudden have to? It never did for the first 5 years I had the car. Now I'm extremely hesitant to drive the car when I know I may get really stuck in traffic. So what's causing the rapid temperature rise and lack of airflow through the radiator? Thanks.
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Thursday, July 13th, 2006 AT 4:39 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
MIKEYBDMAN
  • MEMBER
I would check the cylinder compressions and see if maybe you have a leaky head gasket.
Have you, or anybody else put stop leak in this radiator system?
I know alot of people have switched back from the red radiator fluid to the green, did you do that on this car?
Reason for my questions, leaky head gasket, self explanitory. Stop leak can clog the the small orifices in the head gasket which will cause cylinder head temp to climb. If the radiator fluid type was changed, and not properrly flushed, some of the old red fluid may congeal and clog some ports or the radiator itself.
Does the temp gulp when it first starts up? I mean like when you first start the engine, and the temp passes the 190 range and gets up to like 210, then gulps back down to 190. Then slowly creeps back up till ur running too warm? This is an indication that you have air in your system from a possible head leak.
Good luck and let us know what you find.
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Thursday, July 13th, 2006 AT 5:00 PM
Tiny
JOHN M
  • MEMBER
Haven't tried the Stop Leak as to the head gasket, but this makes sense and I'll try it.

Radiator fluid has always been green since I bought the car new, so that's probably not it.

Finally, there is no sudden jump in engine temp followed by a decrease. It has to warm up normally first, which it does, but the only time after warming the temp climbs is when I'm idling. If it weren't for the fan, the temp would just keep climbing till the engine cooked itself.
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Saturday, July 15th, 2006 AT 9:11 AM
Tiny
MIKEYBDMAN
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I think you miss understood my statement. I would never use stop leak in a radiator system. I was asking if you knew if it had been used, because that can cause overheating problems.
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Saturday, July 15th, 2006 AT 2:39 PM
Tiny
MIKEYBDMAN
  • MEMBER
As for the low flow of air. Have you looked to see if your air path is clear in the front of your car going into the condesor/radiator? You can look for bent cooling fins and maybe obstructions reducing the air flow. Also, some cars have fairings or tape to seal the edges of the radiator to direct the air flow thru the raditor. You can make sure all of the flow is goin thru the fins.
There should be a test to make sure the cooling fans are coming on when they should be, and staying on long enough to maintain temp. Maybe the fan temp sensor is going bad. Just trying to list a few ideas of what could be the problem.
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Saturday, July 15th, 2006 AT 2:46 PM

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