Tricky Overheating Problem

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  #1  
Old 08-13-11, 06:52 PM
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Tricky Overheating Problem

Hello,

I own a 1991 Mercury Topaz, and it has a overheating problem. The car has always ran on the hotter side, but recently it has been hovering on the edge of overheating.

When I drive on lower speeds, street speed or 55mph, the temperature stays at normal operating temp., sometimes reaching about 3/4 of the way to the overheating part. It's only when I drive long distance, highway speeds, it when the problem arises. About after 30mins of driving highway speeds, the temperature very slowly creeps up, then hovers on the edge of overheating. I turn on the heater to keep it from overheating, but it still stays too close for comfort.

I have found a pin-sized hole in the top radiator hose and replaced it, the water pump seems to be in correct working order, the radiator fan works, the radiator has been recently replaced (not stock, a couple years old), the coolant has been drained from the radiator BUT not fully flushed, and the thermostat has been replaced. The new thermostat seems to have helped, but it may be because the weather has cooled off.

The only ideas I have it that the radiator may be clogged up because I have added some stop-leak powder pellets in it, or the coolant is bad. What could be the problem?
 
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  #2  
Old 08-13-11, 07:39 PM
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You may have answered your own question. Naver use a solid type stop leak.
 
  #3  
Old 08-13-11, 09:25 PM
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What engine is in that Topaz just out of curiosity?
 
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Old 08-14-11, 07:35 AM
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Don't rule out collapsing bottom hose, as I think I read you changed top hose, but not bottom hose.
 
  #5  
Old 08-14-11, 07:49 AM
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ahm, do this.
on cold engine, remove radiator cap - you still have one, right? - and start engine. you'll lose some coolant, so have some handy.

peek inside the radiator via radiator cap neck. you should see coolant circulating through the radiator chambers. DO YOU SEE ANY BUBBLES OR FOAM LOOKING STUFF in coolant? if yes, you have leaking gasket - either head gasket, or any of gaskets that are between exhaust and coolant, and exhaust gas is gushing into coolant, raising its temperature.

people spent BIG MULLAH on repairs, had their cooling systems replaced, and still had same issue, because of this. I personally know a guy who spent $4000 on repairs, and was aghast when we did this simple test. prolly, more pissed at himself and his mechs.... big hog Chevy truck....
 
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Old 08-14-11, 12:25 PM
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Tempo/Topaz 2.3 HSC engines are NOTORIOUS for cracking cylinder heads...........Is this vehicle losing coolant with no obvious external leaks?????
 
  #7  
Old 08-14-11, 09:31 PM
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So its either the engine is supplying more heat then the cooling system is designed for, or the cooling system is degraded to a point where it is not capable of handling the heat made for the engine
Two things you said I would like to have clarified.
You said you had the rad replaced 2 years ago with a NON STOCK one. Was it new? Did it have the same amount of cores? What is meant by NON STOCK?
Second. You stated you added some stop leak compound into the system. Why was this? Did the 2 year old rad leak? Are you sure the system is full of coolant and the air is gone from the system?

I would be looking close at that rad. If it was leaking then how are the cooling fins?

David. Please post back to some of our questions
Thanks
 
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Old 08-16-11, 09:39 AM
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Thanks for the help, sorry about not replying quickly,

When I mean NON STOCK radiator, I meant that it's a new radiator that replaced the original one. It has a plastic frame and aluminum core, same amount of cores, and the fins are good.

We added some powder stop leak into the system because the car has always had a slow leak, we found and fixed a pin sized hole in the top hose, but I've noticed I've still had to add more coolant after awhile. All the air is out of the system, and we recently flushed the whole system.

I will do the radiator cap test, and the engine size is a 2.3 L.

Thank you for the help!
 
  #9  
Old 08-16-11, 05:54 PM
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I tried the test of taking off the radiator cap and seeing if there was any bubbles or foam, and there wasn't, so hopefully that means there isn't a cracked head or leaking head gasket. The idea was a good one though, since the car would get hotter on high speeds since the RPM would be higher, but the test just showed coolant flowing smoothly.

It MAY be the radiator, possibly clogged since I added the powdered stop-leak. The car runs fine on street speeds, but was odd that I was driving on the high, heat was fine, then suddenly shot up to a much higher temp and stopped. The coolant is flushed, the water pump is solid and doesn't squeal, so maybe a clogged radiator? I'm tempted to take it to a shop and see what they can do.
 
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Old 08-16-11, 07:52 PM
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at least you have one headache less.
I'd say it's water pump. There's really no way of telling if it's good or bad.
Of course, belts need to be checked.

Overall problem with any stop leaks is they do not differentiate - they plug ANY small crevice, crack, hole. Basically, they fix immediate problem, but you have to pay later several fold. You need to see one day sludge that results from oil stop leaks. Coal mine.
 
  #11  
Old 08-17-11, 05:47 PM
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Look at my other posting http://www.doityourself.com/forum/pa...ml#post1879906. You may have the same problem like mine.
 
  #12  
Old 08-19-11, 08:21 PM
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Thanks for the help,

I'm going to change the water pump, the coolant sensor (for the gauge, not computer), and add a coolant additive that reduces the heat in the coolant, helps keep the head cooler, etc. Hopefully this'll help. The water pump doesn't make since haha, it has only one hole where the coolant goes in AND out, from the same hole. Maybe that's why my model of car is known for running hot, it has a poorly designed water pump!
 
  #13  
Old 09-05-11, 09:44 PM
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Problem is solved!

Turns out it was a bad water pump. The old one wasn't in horrible condition, but the bearing was starting to become loose, so it was on it's way out anyway. Thanks for the help everyone!
 
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