1998 Pontiac Grand Am Engine cooling

Tiny
CARFREAK8184
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 PONTIAC GRAND AM
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
It never runs hot on the first drive. It runs in normal operating temperature. But if you turn the car off and start it while it is still warm, after driving a few miles it starts to run very hot- Not into the red but very close to it. It will do this for a couple miles and go back to normal, it will heat up and cool down multiple times until you turn the car off and let it cool all the way down. And it won't do it again. I have had 2 hoses replaced, the radiator replaced twice and the thermostat replaced. Any ideas?
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Friday, October 22nd, 2010 AT 4:40 PM

12 Replies

Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Aside from the gauge, are there any signs of overheating such as white smoke, leaking coolant or sluggish performance? It may be a faulty reading caused by a failing engine coolant temp. (ECT) sensor
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Friday, October 22nd, 2010 AT 8:05 PM
Tiny
CARFREAK8184
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There is a small leak somewhere next to the engine, I do not know where it is and it seems to be pretty minor.
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Friday, October 22nd, 2010 AT 8:23 PM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
The leak could be coming from your water pump, the leak itself may not be effecting the temperature but the failing water pump is.
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Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 AT 2:00 PM
Tiny
CARFREAK8184
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I wish it was that easy. The leak is on the opposite side of the engine.
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Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 AT 5:15 PM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Seems like a gasket leak of some type than, may need to have cylinder compression tested to see if cylinder head or gasket is at fault
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Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 AT 7:20 PM
Tiny
CARFREAK8184
  • MEMBER
A mechanic checked for a head gasket leak twice. He did not pressure test, he used a die that apparently turns a color if there is a leak. Is this not an effective method?
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Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 AT 9:06 PM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Yes, thats better than a compression check. And you can't pinpoint where the leak is coming from? Does it look like its coming from a hose or perhaps thermostat housing?
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Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 AT 9:12 PM
Tiny
CARFREAK8184
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I do not believe that it is a hose. It is on the right side of the engine closer to the thermostat. But this was also recently replaced.
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Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 AT 9:53 PM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Was it leking prior to replacement? Who replaced the thermostat? It's a common mistake to insert the tstat backwards which will prevent the thermostat from working properly which in turn causes overheating and possibly melting the tstat gasket.
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Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 AT 9:54 PM
Tiny
CARFREAK8184
  • MEMBER
Yes, it was leaking. I took it to a shop to have it replaced. The thermostat was the first thing that was replaced. It seemed to run normal for a couple days and my radiator exploded after little driving that was then replaced. It then seemed to be fixed for a couple days again. The car ran very hot one day and I took it in again there was a small leak on the radiator it was replaced again along with 2 hoses.

The weather has cooled off and I have been running with the ac off and the windows down. I'm not sure if this would make a difference.
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Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 AT 10:24 PM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Are the radiator fans coming on? Turn on the A/C and see if the fan(s) come on, they should automatically as soon as the A/C is turned on.
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Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 AT 10:40 PM
Tiny
CARFREAK8184
  • MEMBER
The fan comes on a little after normal temperature and goes back to normal it has done this since I bought the car.
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Sunday, October 24th, 2010 AT 11:19 AM

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