Edmunds Answers

Voted Best Answer

  • avatar MrShift@Edmunds 03/25/09 12:21 pm PST

    Okay, based on your info, I'd say the problem is in the fan circuit and NOT a radiator, thermostat or head gasket issue, since the car cools off at higher speeds---this would not be possible if the latter items were defective.

    Not sure what you mean by the fan "trying" to kick in. You could be hearing the relay clicking, which still might be bad even if it clicks...I'd go to the public library for a manual, or on eBay, and find your relay box and identify the fan relay...if there is another relay in that box with the exact same part number, you could switch them and see what happens. Either you or someone who knows how could "hot wire" the fan to the battery for a moment to test the fan motor. So you have temperature sensor or sensors, fan relay, and motor, and wiring---all of these are part of the system.

    Also the fan, or a second fan, should kick in when you turn on the AC. You might try that while it's overheating, to see if the fan kicks in and if that brings the temp down. This way you'd know the fan was good and that your sensor, wiring or relay was the culprit.




Answers

  • MrShift@Edmunds 03/24/09 8:05 pm PST

    Overheating is one of the most difficult of all car problems to diagnose (sometimes).

    For us to help you, you have to give us the conditions under which it overheats, such as:

    When standing still and idling?

    ONLY when on the highway or driving 40 mph +?

    Fast overheat, or very slow overheat?

    Can you hear the fan going on and off as the heat gauge rises?

    What do you mean "overheating". Does it peg the gauge (gauge into red) and start to steam, or are you just watching the needle approach "red"?

    How many miles on this vehicle?


  • lovesummer0716 03/24/09 8:43 pm PST

    well i bought it at 109,000miles. it started overheating at 110,000miles and it now has 145,000miles on it. it overheats very quickly when standing/idling. within 15min on a nice day. it still overheats unless driving over 30-40mph. you can hear the fan trying to kick on but it won't turn over. overheating as in red lining and coolant boils out. thanks for getting back to me so quick

  • MrShift@Edmunds 03/25/09 12:21 pm PST

    Okay, based on your info, I'd say the problem is in the fan circuit and NOT a radiator, thermostat or head gasket issue, since the car cools off at higher speeds---this would not be possible if the latter items were defective.

    Not sure what you mean by the fan "trying" to kick in. You could be hearing the relay clicking, which still might be bad even if it clicks...I'd go to the public library for a manual, or on eBay, and find your relay box and identify the fan relay...if there is another relay in that box with the exact same part number, you could switch them and see what happens. Either you or someone who knows how could "hot wire" the fan to the battery for a moment to test the fan motor. So you have temperature sensor or sensors, fan relay, and motor, and wiring---all of these are part of the system.

    Also the fan, or a second fan, should kick in when you turn on the AC. You might try that while it's overheating, to see if the fan kicks in and if that brings the temp down. This way you'd know the fan was good and that your sensor, wiring or relay was the culprit.




  • lovesummer0716 03/26/09 10:26 pm PST

    when i turn on the ac it just makes it overheat faster. the ac works, but i'm afraid to use it because the car overheats so easily. when the car heats up to 230 it's hard to accelerate quickly and it's very jumpy and rough to get moving but once you do it does get better as the engine cools down. what is this problem? i've asked many mechanics and they seem to be confused as to why this is happening.

  • MrShift@Edmunds 03/27/09 11:18 am PST

    No, real "mechanics" are not confused. People pretending to be mechanics are confused.

    You need to find a good "diagnostician", a Sherlock Holmes kind of person, who can examine the car, and step by step say "if it's not THIS, then we go to THAT, and if not THAT, we go etc etc".

    someone needs to go through the fan circuit and the sensors and relays---that seems to be the bottom line here.

    A mechanic can test the sensors, test the fan and either test the relay, or by the process of elimination, replace it.

    The clue here is that the car cools off if you go fast enough. That should tell a mechanic that the problem is not in the circulation of COOLANT at idle or low speeds, but rather in the circulation of AIR at low speeds.

    And what causing a lack of air circulation at low speeds? No cooling fans.




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