95 Buick Regal Overheating

I have a 95 Buick Regal that is overheating. It initialy started out saying low coolant, so I added some. A day or 2 later I left it running ( ideling in the driveway) for about an hour. I then went on a road
trip ( about an hour and a half ) and the car was overheating like crazy. I turned around and came home. It was about 30 degrees out and I was on the interstate. The cold air helped cool the car down a bit, but I am wondering what could be wrong. I can not find a good mechanic that wont screw me so I am relying on your collective wisdom. Any ideas? Thanks guys..
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Which engine...This is the way the insidious plastic plenum problem may manifest itself.
Or, the ghastly gasket goofup.
Seriously, these coolant loss/overheating issues can destroy an engine quickly.
You need to find competent help rather quickly. I did NOT say take it to a dealership, note.
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'95 is a little new for my experience, but if the coolant level became low enough to turn on the 'low coolant' light it may have let air in the system in places where it must be bled out.
My w body vehicles with 3.1L engines had a bleeder valve on top of the thermostat housing that is used to bleed air off. If you don't bleed the air out the coolant can't flow and you'll overheat.
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Here are some clues: Usually these engines have electrical cooling fans. If the fan motor goes out, they will overheat at idle, but not at highway speed.
If you have a stuck thermostat, it will overheat at any speed. This can be an engine killer.
Air in the coolant system can be a problem. Refill the coolant and get the air out.
Now, you may still have an internal engine problem.
Shitteaux GM has several problems with engines. The dammit to hell 3.8 series has a plastic plenum which can decompose and dump the coolant into the engine. Bad news.
The 2.8-3.4 series V6 are shitteaux too. They have gasket problems which cause coolant leaks.
You need to stop toying with this and take it seriously, unless you are ready to trash the car. Engines go quickly when serious overheating occurs.
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I got a new thermostat but I also have a problem: I dont know where it goes...any diagrams or manuals out there? I refilled the engine coolant, bled the system ( I can only get one of the two bleeder valves open) and a couple weeks later.... the engine says low coolant and is over heating again....
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BTW. It is a V6 3.1 Liter engine.
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I used to have a 2.8 l but can't for the life of me remember where the thermostat is. The 3.1 is of the same series. I will have to look it up for you. I should have a manual. These engines have some gasket problems, you should know before you start. They can fail without much warning, and you will have coolant loss, which can become potentially engine destroying.
I'll get back with you.
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http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBroker?ForwardPage=/az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/0e/c9/59/0900823d800ec959.jsp
My manual only dealt with the 3.8, and I certainly know where that thermostat is.
Autozone has a spot for this engine, and if you will copy the entire link above and paste it in your browser, you should get some help.
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loss,
Aft end of the engine. Two bolts hold it on - one does not get completely removed, only loosened. Directly under the throttle body.
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Follow the top radiator hose to where it connects with the engine... You've found the thermostat housing. It will usually have a bleeder valve on top of it. The thermostat will have an o-ring for a seal instead of a gasket, IIRC. It's an easy job.
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You've
of
IIRC.
As I remember that engine, and I could be wrong, the radiator hose goes to the water pump which is almost embedded in the engine. But, yes, if you follow the radiator hoses, you should be able to find the thermostat, whether in the inlet or the outlet.
Also, if I remember correctly, that water pump is the same as one used in a Plymouth. At least for the 2.8. I found this in a cross ref list and never had the opportunity to check it out.
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It hasn't been that long since I worked on my '90 grand prix, and I think we're talking about the 3.1L engine. If so there is a radiator hose that comes off the top of the radiator and runs right to the thermostat housing. However, I've only seen one bleeder valve in the cooling system on my 3.1. Perhaps I'm mistaken about what engine I'm talking about. The water pump is fairly easy to get at and is sort of embedded in a bolt-on extension to the block. I had a '92 Corsica with 3.1 that had a bleeder hose attached on top of the thermostat housing. The bleeder hose ran to the pressurized coolant reservoir (you don't want to know how long I looked for that radiator cap).

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If you're going to do your own repairs do yourself a favor and go buy a Haynes manual or similar. They're under $20 at any auto parts store.
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