2003 Pontiac Aztek Aztec Temp guage pegging high

Tiny
JKCMERG
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 PONTIAC AZTEK
  • 6 CYL
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
I drove the vehicle 4-5 miles and the temp guage peg's high with no heat through the heater. Coolant level was low (sucked reserve bottle dry). This problem just started out of now where.

Filled radiator and filled reserve and ran with cap off radiator till engine heated up. Started getting some heat through heater intermitently but not perminantly. Took a long while to get upper hose to go firm and hot.

I still cant drive too far as the temp guage goes up and down periodically and hot and cool air intermittently from the heater.

Is this a sticky thermostat, Air bubble in the system? Head gasket problem? Intake gasket problem?

I do not want to (nor can afford to) go to the dealership. I want to try this on my own if it is not too complicated. Any info or direction will be appreciated and compensated for.

Thanks, Jeff
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Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 AT 7:37 PM

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Tiny
FACTORYJACK
  • EXPERT
If the coolant level was low, it could be air in the system. It looks like there are possibly two bleeder screws, one in the pipe near the water pump, and possibly one at the upper hose outlet. These should be opened when filling, and can be opened when running to purge air out. It could also indicate a stuck closed thermostat. But the low condition needs to be addressed. I have included the drain and fill procedure for your reference.
Cooling System Draining and Filling Static Fill
Draining Procedure
Tools Required
J 26568 Coolant and Battery Tester

Caution: To avoid being burned, do not remove the radiator cap or surge tank cap while the engine is hot. The cooling system will release scalding fluid and steam under pressure if radiator cap or surge tank cap is removed while the engine and radiator are still hot.

Important: Draining the cooling system with the pressure cap installed will syphon the coolant from the overflow tank.

Remove the coolant pressure cap.
Raise and support the vehicle. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the Vehicle.
Place a drain pan under the drain cock.
Open the radiator drain cock.
Drain the cooling system.
If a complete engine block drain is required LA1 engine, remove the engine block drain plugs.
If a complete engine block drain is required LY7 engine, remove the starter motor. Refer to Starter Motor Replacement.
If a complete engine block drain is required LY7 engine, remove the engine block drain plugs.
Inspect the coolant.
Follow the appropriate procedure based on the condition of the coolant.
" Normal in appearance--follow the filling procedure.

" Discolored--follow the flush procedure. Refer to Flushing.

Filling Procedure
Notice: Use the correct fastener in the correct location. Replacement fasteners must be the correct part number for that application. Fasteners requiring replacement or fasteners requiring the use of thread locking compound or sealant are identified in the service procedure. Do not use paints, lubricants, or corrosion inhibitors on fasteners or fastener joint surfaces unless specified. These coatings affect fastener torque and joint clamping force and may damage the fastener. Use the correct tightening sequence and specifications when installing fasteners in order to avoid damage to parts and systems.

Close the radiator drain cock.
If the engine block drain plugs were removed from the LA1 or LY7 engine, perform the following:
" Apply pipe sealer to the drain plugs.

" Install the drain plugs.

Tighten
Tighten the drain plugs to 22 N m (16 lb ft).

If the engine block was drained LY7 engine, install the starter motor. Refer to Starter Motor Replacement.
Lower the vehicle.
Open the cooling system bleeder screws.
Important: Use a 50/50 mixture of DEX-COOL antifreeze and clean, drinkable water.

Slowly fill the cooling system with a 50/50 coolant mixture. Refer to Approximate Fluid Capacities.
Close the cooling system bleeder screws.
Install the coolant pressure cap.
Start the engine.
Run the engine at 2,000-2,500 RPM until the engine reaches normal operating temperature.
Allow the engine to idle for 3 minutes.
Shut the engine OFF.
Allow the engine to cool.
Top off the coolant as necessary.
Inspect the concentration of the engine coolant, using the J 26568.
Rinse away any excess coolant from the engine and the engine compartment.
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Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 AT 11:42 PM

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