1998 chevy cavalier over-heating problem..


Old 03-17-10, 01:46 PM
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1998 chevy cavalier over-heating problem..

i own a 1998 chevy cavalier. after i drive it and it gets hot, the tempature gauge goes way, way up into the danger zone.

it will cool down only if i turn on the air conditioning (when the fan starts). only then, will it come down to safe operating tempature. then if i turn the air conditioning off it gets hot again.

the fan is not turning on when it is supposed too after it gets hot i guess.

anyone know my problem??? what controls the fan for cool down???

the thermastat had been a short time ago...

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Old 03-17-10, 01:52 PM
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The fans generally operate from a temperature sensor and relay. What should happen is the fan should come when either it reaches operating temperature OR the ac is turned on. On some cars (don't know if the Cavalier is one or not) there are two fans which come on separately depending on conditions.

The relay is controlled by the PCM. There is a wiring diagram on autozone.com, figure 13 in the 1998 Chevy Cavalier repair info.
Old 03-18-10, 06:02 PM
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well check all the basics make sure fluid level is correct.. after reaching full heat does rad cap leak or spill out? also is all air bled from the cooling system? as an air pocket can cause overheatings.... How new is your coolant. Is your serpintine belt good along with the water pump?
Old 03-18-10, 06:30 PM
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Also on some vehicles there is a "coolant temperature SENDER" which is used only for the instrument cluster temperature gauge.

And a "coolant temperature SENSOR" which is used for the computer systems.

Then some newer vehicles only have a "coolant temperature SENSOR" which is used for both.

And looking at the autozone wiring diagrams, I only see a "coolant temperature SENSOR"... (Those wiring diagrams might not be complete. Most factory wiring diagrams books I own have over 100 pages of diagrams.)

Another way to check this is to see if separate parts are available or not.

And this would not make sense if there was just one sensor as your temp gauge is indicating hot, the engine computer should also be getting the same information and turn on the fan. (If there is only one fan).

And if only one fan, it should use the same circuit, fuse, relay for the hot engine as the A/C.

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