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,
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
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.
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.
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
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,
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
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).
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!
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
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