Engine Cooling problem
2002 Nissan Maxima 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 90,000 miles
My 02' Maxima is equiped with a 3.5 V-6. The temp gauge has started to climb into the red during normal operation. It always stops at the same point just before overheating but is definitely higher than normal. Other than the gauge reading you would never know it, the car continues to funtion normally & does not smell or show any symptoms of an overheated engine. The car is full of coolant, & has a new thermostat not to mention has been checked out by a local mechanic who gives the car a clean bill of health. If you have any insight I would really appreciate it, thx Kent.
You've done most of the things that would normally caused overheating. I assume that the thermostat was installed correctly. One other possibility is that the lower radiator hose may need to be replaced. I suspect that you still have the original hose. Sometimes, old rubber hose like that would collapsed during high engine load thus preventing the coolant from circulating. On some cars, the manufacturer would install a metal spring coil to prevent this from happening. I'd go ahead and replace these hoses. It is about $25 each (CourtesyNissan has them for 18.00 each.
FYI, when coolant is circulating, the water pump sucks the coolant from the radiator thru the lower hose, then pushes it up to the engine and back to radiator via the upper hose.