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Help my car overheats when idling!


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xxkenny90xx
User

Sep 9, 2017, 2:11 PM

Post #1 of 13 (1038 views)
Help my car overheats when idling! Sign In

2006 pontiac torrent (its like a chevy equinox)
3400 (3.4) engine awd 138k

So the car overheats and the heater stops working whenever it isn't moving. The first thing I did was replace the thermostat and that didn't help. The fans seem to be working and they kick into high gear when it's getting hot. Turning on the ac doesn't help and neither does the heater. If I Rev the engine while sitting still the heater gets hot and the temp drops back down to normal. What do you guys think? Water pump? Any more tests I can try? I do have a block tester but there's no water in the oil or oil in the water so I'm thinking it's not the head gasket. Thanks!


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 9, 2017, 3:28 PM

Post #2 of 13 (1020 views)
Re: Help my car overheats when idling! Sign In

What was the condition of the coolant when you drained the system? Was the inside of the radiator sludgy? Could be air or low coolant level causing that.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


xxkenny90xx
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Sep 9, 2017, 5:22 PM

Post #3 of 13 (1010 views)
Re: Help my car overheats when idling! Sign In

It was brownish and old looking but I wouldn't call it sludgy. I guess I'll try burping it by parking on an incline and squeezing the hoses?


xxkenny90xx
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Sep 9, 2017, 7:17 PM

Post #4 of 13 (998 views)
Re: Help my car overheats when idling! Sign In

And that's the overflow tank I was describing, the radiator is inaccessible


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 10, 2017, 12:16 AM

Post #5 of 13 (978 views)
Re: Help my car overheats when idling! Sign In

You can't look directly at the inside of this radiator. Color says volumes. You do have a real problem and probably is a head or related sealing problem. Test are rarely conclusive quickly on that but IMO highly suspect that or cooling system unable to maintain pressure maybe intermittently via combustion gasses have invaded the system acting like air in the coolant is low.


Remember - no pressure or if air it can't stay stable or within norms temperature wise. Either can quickly be a disaster for that engine,


T



xxkenny90xx
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Sep 10, 2017, 2:18 PM

Post #6 of 13 (949 views)
Re: Help my car overheats when idling! Sign In

Well thats what I didn't want to hear. After the seahawks game I'll burp the system and try to detect any combustion gasses with the block tester and I'll report back!


xxkenny90xx
User

Sep 10, 2017, 5:22 PM

Post #7 of 13 (934 views)
Re: Help my car overheats when idling! Sign In

Well the block tester was more or less inconclusive. It didn't detect any combustion gasses in the cooling system but the car also never overheated during the test (which I don't think is usually necessary). Maybe a radiator pressure test is in order next?


xxkenny90xx
User

Sep 10, 2017, 5:32 PM

Post #8 of 13 (932 views)
post icon Re: Help my car overheats when idling! Sign In

As a side note, I did leave the block tester on long enough for it to start melting!


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 10, 2017, 10:02 PM

Post #9 of 13 (906 views)
Re: Help my car overheats when idling! Sign In

Arggh: block testers or for gasses in cooling system aren't so great. Test with pressure tester and that it can hold. Intakes on this engine known to leak may not show evidence. Not holding pressure means it's overheating simply because it runs normally higher than boiling points which pressure prevents - must be all liquid in cooling system doesn't always just bleed out and "air" doesn't get in unless you worked on it without it being combustion gasses may bleed out but just do it again in no time or can't bleed out without vacuum filling.


I'd like you to find more than one test point to a gasket issue both confirm or rule out the overheating as vapor will confuse controls, fans and have late warnings - too late is the real problem meaning by the time you really notice it may have cracked metal parts so just gaskets and whatever the original reason caused a much more troublesome problem. Overheating is an engine killer even if cause was simple,


T



xxkenny90xx
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Sep 11, 2017, 2:46 PM

Post #10 of 13 (870 views)
Re: Help my car overheats when idling! Sign In

Hey thanks for the advice, I just got done with the pressure test and the system held 15psi for a full 10 mins. So it passed the pressure test and the block testers test. I don't think it has a popped seal anywhere so what else could it be??


xxkenny90xx
User

Sep 11, 2017, 3:23 PM

Post #11 of 13 (856 views)
Re: Help my car overheats when idling! Sign In

What possibilities are left? Water pump, clogged rad or heater core, or???


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 11, 2017, 4:56 PM

Post #12 of 13 (842 views)
Re: Help my car overheats when idling! Sign In

Only things I can think of is either air is getting in there somehow or could be a pump issue. Pump isn't too hard to remove on those. Usually it will run hot at highway speeds if you have an issue with gasses in the coolant system. Have you back flushed the heater core?
Cooling fans going high speed when it gets too hot? Does the AC start blowing warm at idle also?





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Sep 11, 2017, 4:59 PM)


xxkenny90xx
User

Sep 11, 2017, 6:15 PM

Post #13 of 13 (823 views)
Re: Help my car overheats when idling! Sign In

The cooling fans spin faster when it heats up and the ac blows cold all of the time. It did hit me today that I haven't replaced the reservoir cap so I bought a new one and noticed that it's rubber gaskets are thick and rounded while the gaskets on my old cap are pretty flat. Who knows, maybe that was the problem. Time will tell, thanks for all the advice!






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