2000 Montana engine overheating

Hi,
I just got my van back for a costly repair (coolant leak + gasket). Well, the problem with engine overheating I believe it's still there.
The problem is that the engine temperature from the gauge shows too high. It was about -12C (or 10F) outside and I was only on the road for roughly 10 mins with light traffic. The gauge stayed at half way between 70C to 125C. If I'm going over 60km/h, then it dropped a notch or so for the temperature.
This problem showed up in the fall around October when the temperature was still around 20C. The car would pretty much close to the red zone for temperature if I stuck in traffic. It would go down as soon as the car was moving beyond 50km/h.
So I'm asking if you have the same van, what temperature is your car staying at usually? I hope there's no more damage in the car but now I'm afraid whenever I hit traffic, it may get overheat pretty quick.
Thanks for your response,
Simon
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Just some additional information to my post below. I normally leave the fan off in the winter as I can't stand the heat dry air in the car. I wonder if this has anything to do with the temperature getting to high as no fans are really working? Are the fans supposed to kick in at certain temperature?
I also have a 94 Buick Regal and it always stay at 1/4 of the mark no matter what.
The reason I'm concerned is that the car halted twice one day and I got the battery warning light on the dash while the car shut down by itself. Both times I noticed the engine temp was quite close to the red mark. It hasn't happened since and I was able to restart the car right away.
Thanks again,
Simon

10
125C.
temperature.
was
staying
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The diff. between 70C to 125 C is 55 C so half way should be 95 degree C (assuming the scale is linear). 95 degree C is normal operating temperature. The thermostat does fluctuate slightly so sometime you can expect it to go a bit higher. May be you have replaced the engine thermostat and forgot to mention in your post. If not, you can always try to replace it. Personally I think it is fine. Internal cabin heat would help to reduce engine temperature as well so turn on the fan when you think your engine is going to over heat and open the window.
Paul

10
125C.
temperature.
was
staying
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10
125C.
temperature.
was
staying
Simon, I know the temp gage isn't linear but half way between 70 & 125 is 97.5C (207.5F) and that's normal. The t-stat is probably 195 or 197F. With that said, have you determined if the electrical cooling fans are functioning? On some applications they may not come on until 230F (110C). I don't know the spec for the 2000 but my 98 Montana comes on earlier but I have a trailering package. Again on the 98 there's 2 speeds for the cooling fans. On the lower speed, the fans are run in series thus each are at 6 volts. The high speed, both see 12 volts. This is done via the computer and two relays. You may have a bad relay or fan motor but some troubleshooting is in order. First determine if they ever come on. I recall if you turn on the a/c the fans should come on. Even here in summer heat of the Phoenix area, the cooling fans provide adequate cooling in traffic.
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Hi guys,
Thanks so much for responding to my post. I don't know much about cars other than checking oil level and doing the regular maintenance regularly.
I'm checking the invoice and here's what they did:
a) replaced water pump b) removed and reinstalled intake gasket c) rear cylinder head gasket leaking - removed head clean and replace gasket and torqued to spec topped up coolant d) from parts, I did notice a thermostat with the following description: 24507563 - Thermosta 012460
So based on what the invoice stated, the thermostat must be replaced too?
Again, I'm such a newbie when it comes to automobiles and I assume the "electrical cooling fan" are the ones that mounted just behind the radiator? So if I ignite the engine, the moment I turn on AC, the fans should come on? I don't think it's a good idea to turn on AC at the moment as it's supposed to be -20C outside tonight and tomorrow. But it's good to know once the time comes, I know what to look for.
I do recall when it's really cold inside the cabin, I have to turn on the heat and it does cool down the engine by at least a notch when moving, and it makes the temp gauge stays pretty much the same as long as I keep the heater on. Probably a dump question though, the fans mounted behind the radiator, are they only for cooling? (i.e. they shouldn't come on when just turning on the heater)?
Thanks again for the help,
Simon

Well,
high.
roughly
was
With
(110C).
I
cooling
summer
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By design, vehicle with AC option, the fan behind the radiator will come on when you set the heat selector switch to defrost. Sound like they did replaced the thermostat so there is nothing to worry about. Paul

car
afraid
is
but
computer
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Paul,
That's good to know about getting the fans on by turning the selector to defrost. I'll try it out tomorrow morning before I go to work.
Thanks again,
Simon

to
temperature
for
6
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There's actually a bit of history about the van in the past with coolant. More than a year ago, I was getting coolant low warning after I started the car about 10 mins. It would go away in about 10 mins. It didn't happen all the time but just enough to make me worried. I took it in for diagnostic and it was determined the sensor for levelling the coolant was busted, but this didn't fix the problem and it went back and forth a few times.
Finally one time I was able to show it to the dealer and a mechanic opened up the pressure cap (the one states not to open while engine is hot) and somehow whatever he did, the problem was fixed or I should say the warning light went away.
So what does that pressure cap do? When the coolant is lower than what they should be at, do I just fill it up to the marker according to the state of the engine (i.e. match cold marker if engine is cold).
Simon

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the
car
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197F.
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You should check your coolant and ensure the level is within min max indicator (engine hot or cold). However, it is not normal to add coolant. If you have to add, there is something wrong with the cooling system and proper repair is needed as soon as possible (minor top up of the reservoir once every two years is okay). As far as the radiator cap, it regulate internal pressure and keeps your engine cool by sealing and pressurizing the coolant inside it. What makes the radiator cap special is that it is designed to hold the coolant in your radiator under a predetermined amount of pressure. If the coolant was not kept under pressure, it would start to boil. The radiator cap prevents this from happening by exerting enough pressure to keep the coolant from boiling. Normally, water (coolant) boils at 100 degrees C, but if the pressure is increased, the boiling temperature is also increased. Since the boiling point goes up when the pressure goes up, the coolant can be safely heated to a temperature above 100 degrees C without boiling. If your cooling system is under too much pressure, it can "blow its top"! To prevent this, the radiator cap has a pressure relief valve. The valve has a preset rating that allows it to take just up to a certain amount of pressure. When you turn the cap on the filler neck of the radiator, you seal the upper and lower sealing surfaces of the filler neck. The pressure relief valve spring is compressed against the lower seal when you lock the cap. The radiator filler neck has an overflow tube right between the two sealing surfaces. If the pressure in the cooling system exceeds the preset rating of your cap, its pressure relief valve allows the lower seal to be lifted from its seat. Then the excess pressure (coolant, air) can squish through the overflow tube to the ground or the coolant reservoir. Once enough pressure has been released (the caps preset rating), the pressure relief valve is again closed by the spring. Hope this help!
Paul

for
70C
zone
I'm
230F
the
are
on.
in
cooling
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to the top of your radiator, should read about 180'-210'F check ignition timing the cooling system has lots of components working in harmony, overheating can plauge and ruin the beloved family car. 1st things 1st, lift the radiator out and take it to a radiator shop, change the thermostat from summer/winter, flush out the coolant system with a garden hose tapped into the heater hose at the fire-wall with a flush kit, change the water pump, check belt tension, replace the radiator and fill with coolant 50/50 water and antifreeze. put a manual over-ride switch on the electric fan, put an aftermarket electric fan on, could be the fan-clutch, change this last..........................................
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