Hey guys, a sad note brings me here. For the past year I have been sick
of my car overheating at the wierdest of times. First time it
overheated (went into red and the light came on) I have no clue what
caused it, probably a bad fan clutch, it seemed to run ok after that
until it once again started overheating. Within a year I have changed
the following: fan clutch, thermostat, thermostat cover, fan blades,
waterpump and of course got new coolant in. Within this week I've
noticed that after standing at idle for a while, the temp would start
slowly going up, upon turning the AC on, it would come right down (I
figured the emergency electrical fan wasn't working for some reason).
The check coolant level warning would sometimes come up on the OBC
after I shut the engine off, this morning I checked the coolant level
and it was maybe 3 inches above the "Full" mark. Since the car was
praked on an decline, I just thought the coolant came down to the
expansion tank and it should be ok.
Later on today I had to drive through 2 hours or more of stop and go
traffic. It wasn't too hot out (maybe in the 90s), I had the windows
down, I noticed the temp started slowly crawling up, I turned the AC on
and it returned to normal, I think I just kept the AC on for the most
Then I parked the car, came back to it maybe an hour later and headed
home. I was doing around 60 mph on the high way for around 10 minutes
and everything was fine. I had to cross a bridge and as I approached
the On-Ramp, i got stuck in a traffic jam which lasted for probably 5
minutes. As soon as I aslowed down I smelled the coolant. Within a
minute or two the temp gauge started crawling again, I put the AC on
but its not helping, I truned the heat up all the way, still crawling
up. Got on the bridge and while accelerating towards the middle high
point of it, I noticed that there was not hot air coming out of the
vents, it was same temperature as the outside (engine block is dry of
coolant at this point). I started going downhill on the bridge, put her
in neutral and hoped the temp would come down, it didn't, it went into
the red and the light came on. There is absolutely no stopping on the
bridge so I had to keep going.
I slowed down for the tolls to maybe 10 miles an hour and went off an
off-ramp maybe 300 away from the tolls (the light is still on). Drove
probably another 3-5 long city blocks at around 30 mph and stopped.
Shut the engine off and a little bit of steam was coming out of the
hood. I got 2 galons of water, poured it on the engine, unscrewed the
expansion tank cap and of course it was all dry, I poured some water in
there, actually probably around a gallong and a half if not more. Got
in the car, checked the temp, it was at the center mark (normal).
Begged her to start, she cranked right up and fired right away. I drove
home (probably another 5-10 long city blocks), it was still at the
center mark. Checked it out and found a few things. The fan blades were
all gone (how?, why?, where?, when?, I have not a clue), the little
hose from the top of the radiator going to the bleed screw was
disconected at the bleed screw and was hanging down between the
radiator and the fan.
Maybe the hose came off because there was too much pressure in the
system and broke all the fan blades. Maybe the blades magically
disapeared overheating the system and blowing the hose off. I have not
a clue. When I was pouring water over the engine, I checked the oil and
it didn't look white milky or anything close to that, it just smelled
burnt a little (mobil one synthetic, not even 3k on it).
Guys, help me out, I don't know what to do. What are the chances of the
head being warped or the head gasket being blown and is there a way to
check for either or both without having touched half of the engine with
my hands? I do most of the work myself so I am not sure what to do.
Should I even replace the blades, the hose, thermostat and all that
stuff if the head is blown. I can't afford a new head or even just
paying a mechanic to tear the engine apart to check out the condition
What do you all think? Any help at all is appreciated. Sorry for the
long post, I just wanted to be as clear and detailed as possible.
Thanks in advance.