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yhtak27807
Novice

Jan 16, 2013, 10:18 AM

Post #1 of 12 (1038 views)
overheating Sign In

My 98 Cavalier 2.2 is overheating. We flushed the radiator changed the thermostat twice, the water pump and the resevoir cap and it still overheats. We took the thermostat out and it runs fine, we even still have heat. Can we drive the car indefinitely like this without causing damage? Or any ideas what the problem may be?


MarineGrunt
Enthusiast
MarineGrunt profile image

Jan 16, 2013, 10:51 AM

Post #2 of 12 (1021 views)
Re: overheating Sign In

If it's overheating, and you continue to drive, you'll be replacing the engine down the road. Is it losing coolant? You need to pressure test the cooling system to test for leaks. It could be anything from a clogged heater core to a blown head gasket. Check the oil for coolant contamination. Whatever you do don't continue driving it if it's overheating. It'll end up causing you more issues and more money.

I don't think it will hurt anything driving without a thermostat but I don't know for sure. You'd be better off getting to the root cause of the problem. There are some professional mechanics that run this site and will be able to give you better advice then I can so continue to check back.


(This post was edited by MarineGrunt on Jan 16, 2013, 11:00 AM)


yhtak27807
Novice

Jan 16, 2013, 10:59 AM

Post #3 of 12 (1011 views)
Re: overheating Sign In

It doesn't over heat with the thermostat out. It isn't leaking anything and we have heat without the thermostat. We had no heat with the thermostat in. The heater core isn't leaking on the floorboards.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 16, 2013, 11:23 AM

Post #4 of 12 (1008 views)
Re: overheating Sign In

Definitely not. You shouldn't be driving it at all without a thermostat. That will mess up numerous engine and fuel controls, not to mention, you lose all temperature control.



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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.



yhtak27807
Novice

Jan 16, 2013, 11:38 AM

Post #5 of 12 (999 views)
Re: overheating Sign In

Any idea of what could be wrong with it? It doesn't leak smoke or knock. The oil is clear. The heater core isn't leaking on the floor boards. Water runs thru the radiator.


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Jan 16, 2013, 12:18 PM

Post #6 of 12 (994 views)
Re: overheating Sign In

Electric coolant fan operational? Does it overheat while cruising, while idling, or all the above?





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 Jan 16, 2013, 12:19 PM)


yhtak27807
Novice

Jan 16, 2013, 12:28 PM

Post #7 of 12 (985 views)
Re: overheating Sign In

It overheats at all of the above qand I did see the fan at work...forgot to mention that.


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Jan 16, 2013, 12:48 PM

Post #8 of 12 (982 views)
Re: overheating Sign In

Did you pressure test the coolant system to see if there were any other leaks? Debris in the condenser fins and radiator fins will cause an air flow problem. Those are known for head gasket problems, so probably wouldn't be a bad idea to check for combustion gasses getting in to the coolant system. If the radiator transfer tubes are gunked up with dex-sludge or the heater core tubes are gunked that can cause air to be trapped or heat transfer issues.





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


yhtak27807
Novice

Jan 16, 2013, 12:53 PM

Post #9 of 12 (974 views)
Re: overheating Sign In

No we didn't do a pressure test I don't know what that is or if you have to take it someplace to have it done but there are no visible leaks


MarineGrunt
Enthusiast
MarineGrunt profile image

Jan 16, 2013, 1:26 PM

Post #10 of 12 (971 views)
Re: overheating Sign In

You could do it yourself if you have a pressure tester. They aren't that expensive. You could also go to a local auto parts store and use their tool loaner program. You put down a deposit and get it back when you return the tool.

Just because a leak isn't visible doesn't mean it's not there. You can't always see a head gasket leak. Not saying that's what it is but like DS said, a compression test would let you know. Doing those two tests will help narrow down the problem. That's where you want to start.


(This post was edited by MarineGrunt on Jan 16, 2013, 1:29 PM)


yhtak27807
Novice

Jan 16, 2013, 1:34 PM

Post #11 of 12 (969 views)
Re: overheating Sign In

That sounds like a place to start then...with a compression tool. Can someone tell me how to use one when I get one? Sorry to be so needy.


nickwarner
Veteran / Moderator
nickwarner profile image

Jan 16, 2013, 6:13 PM

Post #12 of 12 (944 views)
Re: overheating Sign In

If you get to the point of doing a compression test we can explain how to use it. Its easy once you've done it once. If I suspected a head gasket I'd be more likely to use a cylinder leakdown tester to try to see the problem cylinder. But first things first you do a coolant pressure test. A lot of leaks only show when at full pressure, just sitting there parked won't do it.

A big reason not to run a computer controlled vehicle without a thermostat is that it takes much longer to warm up and doesn't warm up and maintain the temp is was designed to run. When your coolant is colder than running temp, your computer makes the injectors spray more fuel than at full temp. This is the digital way of doing what the choke did on carbs that were on older cars. Thing is, you're running rich during this time and not burning all that fuel. So the engine doesn't perform like it should, gas mileage goes down and then the real expensive damage happens, your catalyst gets wrecked. You see, that extra raw fuel gets stuck in the cat as it goes down the exhaust pipe. Enough of it accumulates and it can ignite, which will melt the substrate inside it. Then its wrecked. They are very expensive to fix, and you would still need to fix the overfueling issue that caused it first or you would wreck the next one. Your car isn't that bad of a price for a cat compared to others. I've seen some import cars that cost upwards of $2000 just for the part and even more in labor to put it in.






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