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?
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
You need to find competent help rather quickly. I did NOT say take it
to a dealership, note.
'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.
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
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
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....
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.
My manual only dealt with the 3.8, and I certainly know where that
Autozone has a spot for this engine, and if you will copy the entire link
and paste it in your browser, you should get some help.
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.
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
the radiator hoses, you should be able to find the thermostat, whether in
the inlet or
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
the opportunity to check it out.
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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