Engine Cooling problem
1995 Pontiac Grand Am 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 130000 miles
My 1995 pontiac grandam quad 4 2.3l is overheating, no signs of a blown gasket or cracked head (no mixing of oil and coolant, no steam out the tail pipe.) I rebuilt the engine two years ago replacing the tstat, water pump, and hoses. Hoping to get lucky I just replaced the tstat, and had a pressure test, but nothing. The old tstat was working fine put it in boiling water and it opened. My next guess is a severely clogged radiator, but I can't see inside since there is only the cap on the reservoir can this be tested.
You are probably on the right track with a clogged radiator. You can't see inside. You just have to judge by the symptoms. Don't be so quick to dismiss the head gasket either. You don't have to see any of those symptoms to have a bad gasket but I would go with the radiator first unless you are aware of an unexplained coolant loss.
September, 4, 2010 AT 11:31 AM
So how can I fix it I can't drive 3 miles without it getting near the red? Should I buy flushing fluid, If so which one works the best with aluminum radiators?
September, 4, 2010 AT 11:35 AM
Nothing is going to flush the hardened crud in the radiator. Your only option is to replace the radiator and see what happens. If you still have a problem, the it gets more serious.
September, 4, 2010 AT 11:42 AM
Would a block test rule out a blown gasket? I don't feel like sinking more money into this car if it is the head or the gasket cause it will be very expensive to replace.
September, 4, 2010 AT 1:12 PM
The best way to check for that is with an exhaust analyzer. It sniffs the coolant in the radiator with the engine running for any hydrocarbons.
September, 4, 2010 AT 4:08 PM
Thanks for your help it is much appreciated I wish you lived near me then I would take my car to you. Also I read that my car gauge is not setup to run through the one coolant sensor by the water pump, and read stories about how there temp gauge was off 40+ deg F, that may explain why my fan wasnt turning on. How can I get the reading from the car computer(odb1.5)
September, 4, 2010 AT 4:12 PM
You'll need a scan tool to read the CTS data.
September, 4, 2010 AT 11:40 PM
Thanks. I was messing around with it today. I put my hand on the radiator hose and it didn't get hot until approx 220, then the fan started in the 280 area, also the dummy radiator gauge didnt turn on, and it does light up with all of the other lights during prestarting.