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Ok, here's what's been happening. About a week ago my car's temp gauge shot all the way up on the highway, but once I slowed down due to traffic. This was the first time it was higher than the normal 40%. When I got home I checked it out and the upper radiator hose was hot, they say if the therm. is bad then the upper hose would be cool. So I thought it wasn't the therm. So I went home and drained the system and flushed it, found that the reservoir hose was not connected, so I reattached it. The thing ran fine for about a week. Then I went for a drive to the beach, about 45 minutes each way and everything was ok. Then in the morning I noticed a dried puddle under the car. I checked the antifreeze level and it was low so I refilled. But then as I was leaving in the morning to work, not even two miles away, and the car being on 5 minutes the temp gauge shot up all the way. Kind of strange since it normally takes a while to wrm up to 40% in the morning. So I rushed home and when I parked anti-freeze just started pouring out like an open hose. As I looked I noticed it was from the radiator cause it was way up front right over the bumper. I figured my Rad. busted. I went out and got another one, from the junkyard. I put it in, drove the car around a while and it was fine. Then I drive to work in the morning and once again as I hit a patch of traffic the temp gauge shoots up, so I get to work and check it out, no leaks just my reservoir is full to the brim. Seems like the overflow wasn't being sucked back into the system. So I wait till it's cool and check the fluid, low, so top off. I drive home and it's fine even through traffic, but I get to my town and hit a light and bam, again temp goes up. So I get home and check and check, and I notice that one of my fans was running backwards. I have both running continuous, so I fix the fan and wait till the morning to check it. The next two days it runs fine. Last night I get to a gas station in my town and smell anitfreeze so I check and seems my cap is leaking and I could hear a hissing sound coming from it and my reservoir is overflowing a bit. So I go the very next morning (today) to the auto parts store and buy a cap. As soon as I put it in I notice the difference. So I think everything is fine, I go to work and it's great even in traffic. But then I get to work and put it in Park and BAM the temp gauge shoots up again. I hit the throttle a bit and it starts to go down a bit. I check the cap it's fine no leaks, I check the rad. no leaks, I check the reservoir, still full. I check the hoses and they all feel warm. OK... WHAT THE HECK COULD IT BE!!!!!!!!!!!!! My fans are on, my rad. doesn't leak, my cap is on tight no leaks, no hoses leaking that I could tell??????????????? Help ME Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Jeez dude. This may come as a shock but considering you have tried everything possible under the sun you might wanna consider spending the dough and taking this problem to a professional mechanic with a good reputation in your neck of the woods. I'm sure they would find something you missed. Good luck.
 

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I would say that you need a new head gasket bro!!
i had this prob on two of my cars. If your temp gage is going up and down compleatly iradically it is almoast definatly your head gasket. a quick way to tell is buy starting your car and look at the smoke coming out of your exhaust. does it look iregularly white? if you still can't tell go sniff the exhaust a little bit, not huffing it but sniff the fumes, do you smell antifrees in the exhaust? if so your looking at buying a new head gasket, head bolts, and valve cover gasket, and hopefully if your mechanically inclined about 2 hours worth of work. if you need any pointers e-mail me at [email protected] I am available any week day from 8-5
so if you need help and need it fast gimme a mail and I would be more thatn happy to help you out bro. iv'e been in this situation to many times. it suxxxxxx
DO NOT DRIVE YOUR CAR ANY MORE UNTIL YOU CHECK THIS OUT!!!!!!! IF YOU DO YOU MIGHT CRACK YOUR HEAD AND THAT REALLY SUXX TRUST ME I DID IT AND REGRETED IT. AFTER THREE HOURS IN A SNOW BANK REMOVING A HEAD FROM AN OLD MOTOR IN 20 DEG WEATHER IT WAS NOT FUN.
 

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oNe thing might be the used radiator. U never know what u get when u pull it from another car. replace the thermastat, U havent done that have u? hope those suggestions help
 

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change your o2 sensors. your car might think it is running too rich because of them and then it runs lean instead. this would make a hell of a lot of heat. also replace the theromstat if you haven't already. that would be my first move.
also if it is leaking that would indicate a bad hose or connection elsewhere. this would cause your pressure in the system to drop, reducing the cooling capability. fluid likes to run along the framework so where you see it doesn't mean it originated there (think rain gutters on your house)your pump is on the drivers side by the way, behind the timing belt and covered by the plastic guard.
 

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the fluid you see may also be leaking from the head gasket that you may have blown!
 

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you have a bad water pump. Id bet money on it. In real bad cases, the impellers on the pump deteriorate and sometime the blades on the impeller actually erode. you don't have a lot of impeller left because at low engine speeds its not moving enough water to meet your cooling needs, but when you rev on it, the small bit of impeller you have left will start to move the water
 

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WATER PUMP? good idea that could possibly be the problem as well!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The water pump sounds good. Mean if it's the head gasket wouldn't I see antifreeze other places than at the radiator. As for the water pump, I didn't think it was it because I see the antifreeze moving about in the radiator when I have the car on and the cap off. But also I sometimes see white bubbles in the coolant. I'm strapped for cash so I can't afford a mechanics blow out prices. Need to diagnose the problem myself and fix it myself. Radiator will be flushed and cleaned, thermo, replaced, but how do I check the water pump?
 

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the only way to check it would be to physically take it off and visually inspect it.It's behind the timing cover and runs off the timing belt. Thats why i made the comment about the new belt and cam sprockets!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok, if it's my head gasket I think i'll just put er away and do the work myself little by little. Might as well rebuild er while i'm at it.
But I hope it's not.
Ok, i went to check it at lunch and finally the reservoir fluid was 3/4 full. That means that the system finally sucked back some, which means the pressure is finally up to par. one on the check list down.
Ok, here is what I'll try. Remove the radiator and fully clean it inside and out, replace the thermo., make sure I bleed the system when I refill it and see what happens.
I checked the engine block and it's dry as can be no leaks anywhere, although I will check the pump more closely.
The antifreeze is a bit too green, so maybe I have a too rich mixture of antifreeze so when I drain it I'll make sure to test it and get the mixture to 50/50. Any other suggestions?
I'm trying to drive down to NYC for the long weekend and the Yankee vs Redsox series, but if my car is at jeoperdy I wouldn't but really want to go so I'm trying to get my ride straintened out.
 

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if there's any question about the pump, don't go! Is there any oil in the radiator? Is there any steam or excess water coming from the tailpipe? If so it may be a head gasket, but come on man, a head gasket doesn't seal up when you hit the gas! BTW a head gasket wouldn't cause it to run hot unless you let the water run low. A blown gasket will let some water into the chamber, but thats not gonna make it run hot. A head gasket falire is the rusult of running it too hot, too long, not the cause of running hot.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, here's the deal. After the last occurrence the other morning, after putting in the new cap and it going crazy when I put it in park, it has run fine nothing over 45%. Maybe it took a bit for the pressure to build up again once I put in the new cap. Anyhow, I drive with one eye on the temp gauge and nothing since the new cap. And I run it hard on purpose to see if anything happens. So far so good. This morning I tested the anitfreeze and it was at a 30% mixture (could ahve contributed to the problem) so I will dilute it to 50% after work. My reservoir was drawn out a bit too. I think I might have filled the res. a bit too much so I drained it and refilled it with a bit more diluted fluid and now it sits at the max line, ok maybe a tad over. But before it sat about an inch below the top of the res. Too much? I think so. So We'll see what happens now. I am still replacing the thermo and flushing the system and cleaning it. Will make sure no dirt or grime is in there and especially air. Wish me luck.
 

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A blown head gasket or cracked head can cause the engine to overheat. High pressure/temperature combustion chamber gases enter the radiator. This also causes vapor pockets to form. A blown head gasket causes all kinds of strange things to happen.
one thing that nobody has mentioned is to check the entire radiator surface to see if the temperature across it is consistent. A clogged or partially clogged radiator causes many strange things to happen, also. I had a partially clogged radiator on my CRX back when I was less experienced, and I changed everything and was starting to pull my hair out.
Water is a better thermal conductor than antifreeze. An engine with pure water will tranfer heat more quickly than one with any amount of antifreeze. The more antifreeze added the less effective the cooling system becomes. It is best to run the least amount of antifreeze as possible. Here is more info.
 

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kelly on Sep/01/02 said:
Water is a better thermal conductor than antifreeze. An engine with pure water will tranfer heat more quickly than one with any amount of antifreeze. The more antifreeze added the less effective the cooling system becomes. It is best to run the least amount of antifreeze as possible. Here is more info.
Righto...the purpose of antifreeze is just that, to keep the liquid from freezing. If you live in an area that never drops below 40, there is no real need for antifreeze in your engine...

This is why when my radiator was leaking on my Camaro last summer, I just filled it up with water, and it ran as cool if not a bit cooler than the 50/50 mix. Of course, when winter came, I had to flush it and put some antifreeze in.
 

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I had the same problem about 3 months ago... I just took it to the shop, they replaced the heater control valves and the therm, and it only costed 95$.

ran good til just recently when my radiator started leaking, just bought a new one and it's all working fine again.

my advice.... take it to a shop
 

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Kelly, good point about the partially clogged radiator, Hadn't EVEN though about that. that would be tough to diagnose too.
 
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