Grand Prix GT still overheating


Old 10-09-03, 12:31 PM
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Grand Prix GT still overheating

Hi All,
I hope someone can help. I have a 1997 Grand Prix GT(atomatic) that was moderately overheating after driving it for an hour or so(the gauge registered this only after I stopped moving- Ie: while highway driving it stayed within range but shot up as soon as I stopped so if I am correct this meant that the fan must work ). I took the car in and ended up having the waterpump replaced(as per the dealer's diagnosis). However the problem is still happening. When I called the dealer back I was told it probably needed a new thermostat so I got this done and I still have the problem! I had another car in which the waterpump was replaced and from that point on that car started to overheat (they never could identify the problem so they said/ended up writing it off in an accident so didn't have to deal with the overheating problem ). Seems like a strange co-incidence. Could it be that the ignition timing is not set properly now since the repair?? or.....????? Help !!!

A single female scared to death of getting soaked on car repairs
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Old 10-09-03, 12:53 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Long Island, NY
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Have the rad pressure cap checked for holding pressure or just replace it.

Old 10-09-03, 01:11 PM
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Thanks Larry

Thanks Larry-I will try it and let you know
peanut(with crossed fingers and toes and a hopeful smile on her face)
Old 10-09-03, 01:45 PM
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Is this a GM dealer? Sounds like they need a clue and are guessing at the problem by your description.
Old 10-09-03, 02:22 PM
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Hi Joe,
Yes-it was a GM dealer(and I do believe they were guessing/at all times!) Being a single female and having been taken to the cleaners 3 or 4 times since owning my first car, I am sooo leary of car repairs which is why I looked for a forum like this one in hopes I could get some direction.
Old 10-09-03, 03:30 PM
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If the dealer keeps guessing at the problem by throwing parts at it and it doesn't fix things, time to talk to the dealer's owner (not the service writer) and ask for some adjustment on the bill.

Have them put their top person on the repair and tell them you plan to call GM to express your dissatisfaction with this experience. That should get things cooking a bit .
Old 10-09-03, 04:14 PM
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First of all, just because your car doesnt overheat while on the highway and does "in-town" does not mean the fan is working properly. This could very well be your entire problem. On this particular vehicle the ignition timing is set and adjusted by the computer. So that is not likely. I would be looking at all of the components of the cooling system. Do a pressure test and see if you still have a leak. Test or replace the cap. I think this cap is on the reservoir bottle and there isnt an actual radiator cap. This vehicle should also be using Dexcool. If there is green antifreeze in there then somebody messed up. Im betting on the fan not working. This can be caused by a bad temp sensor as well. If the person who replaced the water pump didnt follow the bleed procedure then you could have an air pocket in there as well.
Hope this give you a place to start.
Good Luck,
Old 10-09-03, 09:48 PM
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Hi scared female peanut.

I read your symptoms but only saw two symptoms: "moderately overheating" and " shot up". Mmmm, of course you do know that temp guages do move as the engine temp changes, often when changing from highway to city speeds. Please define 'moderately overheating" in terms of the guage. Does the needle go well into the delimited "hot" range on the gauge, then back to normal, and so on?

You did not mention smelling any antifreeze odor that might occur with a leak, nor seeing any vapor stacks.

Most important, you did not mention whether or not your resevoiur is low and needed to be refilled at any time, or how low, how often is it refilled, etc. This last one, fluid level, is essential to troubleshooting cooling problems. With a little more info we could intelligently point to where you could look next. Whether or not your losing water is the crux of the diagnosis. I can only surmize that you have no leaks because the dealer replaced the water pump instead of performing other repairs.

From your lengthy description, it sounds like you have not had to add any water, and the resevoiur is full. Furthermore, it sounds like your main concern is the gauge reading, especially since you did not mention any symptoms of the car dying when overheated, nor any driveability problems commonly associated with overheating such as rough idle, etc.

If any of this rings true, then relax, you are not alone. Many people get alarmed over gauge readings, especially on recently purchased used cars, and only then, after the summer months arrive.

This is all I can surmize so far. You have a new water pump (dealer installed) and a new thermostat(dealer installed), no apparent leaks and no driveablity problems. Your gauge 'shoots up'. Acutally, this should be easy to resolve at this point.

In this case, let me ask a few questions.
Did you just acquire this car this year?
Are you the sole driver of this car, (i.e. is it your son's car, etc)?
What climate (state) do you live in, i.e. Florida or Wisconsin?
Old 10-10-03, 03:36 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
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Are the fans working?They should work when you turn on the A/C.
I would first check fans if they dont work you will get hot when car is not moving.
Old 10-10-03, 07:45 AM
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Original poster:

Sounds like the dealer is missing something here, make sure they are on the ball. Perhaps inform them of some things to check (or ask if they have been).

After this is all said and done, talk to the dealer owner about getting some greenbacks back in your wallet as it sounds like they are throwing some parts at the problem at your expense.
Old 10-10-03, 09:14 AM
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 516
From your description it sounds like your fan or fans are not working. If you have 2 fans on will come on with the a/c on the other from a temperature sensor switch. If you have 2 fans first put on the air and see if one fan comes on, if it does disconnect the clip switch from the 2nd fan and run 2 wires from the battery to the fan to make sure that it works. If it does work it could be a relay or temp sensor.
If you're the only one who drives the car a switch inside the cabin to the fan is a cheap easy fix. Make sure you get this taken care of promptly as overheating a engine is bad business. Also if you've overheated already make sure you change your engine oil.
Old 10-10-03, 12:56 PM
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Old 10-10-03, 09:15 PM
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Peanut: The guys are correct about the water pump. Water pumps seldom cause overheating, unless they leak and the car runs low on coolant. The ONLY other way for the pump to cause overheating is if the impeller is loose on the shaft or the impeller blades are broken or damaged.

If it was not leaking and they cannot show either of these two to you, you should get a refund as they were guessing with your money.

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