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2001 Mazda Tribute suddenly overheating

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Apr 30, 2019, 5:32 AM

Post #1 of 3 (803 views)
2001 Mazda Tribute suddenly overheating Sign In

Engine 3L 6 Cyl over 200K miles
I've changed the Thermostat and the Water pump. My coolant level does not change, the radiator fan comes on when at normal temp, hoses are cool to touch. Within 15-20 min the temp suddenly goes red hot but in 5 minutes the temp is cool.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Apr 30, 2019, 7:35 AM

Post #2 of 3 (793 views)
Re: 2001 Mazda Tribute suddenly overheating Sign In

200K is not to be ignored just for starters:
The overwhelmingly likely answer is a head gasket or warped head the job is proving it beyond doubt?
You've ruled out some but it straightens out later so it's still a guess only but it's cracked or warped and manages to seal when warm enough to mess up the diagnosis so easily - many are not.

So looking at what you already did the water pump and thermostat most people wouldn't just do out of the blue so what WAS it doing to cause you to do that?

Unsaid but between your words it was already smoking hot so you did those or had that done to solve that. Too late is the problem. There's just no tolerance of alloys rate of expansion and contraction to take super heated engines in this case. No choices either out there.

Another question is does this exact vehicle have a pressure cap on the radiator or a pressure tank? If on the tank and you go by that for how full it is that's a mistake the harder part is knowing if radiator has combustion gasses in it then fooling it and isn't bad enough now to not cycle and purge out so returns to normal for you?
Instead try using heater for diagnosis it may unless climate controlled blow cool or lots cooler than full high temp while gasses pass thru it despite what temp gauge says that's a serious warning you have a problem lurking.
If this plays hide and seek, keeps on behaving like this, runs well I think next is hook up or rig up actual engine temp reading not using anything in the car/vehicle and witness it. Stinks but from there it would be tearing it down sending the parts out to check or maybe see the flaw while coming apart. Oh my if you do that hope you find the flaw easily to prove it to you.
Tough nut if you can't witness something without a teardown to check,


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Apr 30, 2019, 9:07 AM

Post #3 of 3 (785 views)
Re: 2001 Mazda Tribute suddenly overheating Sign In

Within 15-20 min the temp suddenly goes red hot but in 5 minutes the temp is cool.

What exactly does that mean?

Is the fan bringing the temp down?

How did you get all the air out of the system after changing the parts?


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Apr 30, 2019, 9:08 AM)

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