2002 Impala coolant issue

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  #1  
Old 02-13-14, 04:27 AM
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2002 Impala coolant issue

2002 Impala 3.4ltr
Replaced radiator, thermostat, and water pump, changed from Dexicool to glycol based coolant. Bled out system both at water pump tower and on thermostat housing.

Now when on cold start, setting idle, the water pump doesn't seem to be circulating coolant enough to preheat heater core ( cold air out of defrosters) unless you rev engine slightly then you get heat out of defrosters.

If you leave to heat up at idle, it will over heat without opening thermostat. Once you rev engine slightly thermostat opens and temp drops way down then heats up normal and everything is fine.

But if after thermostat opens and you sit idle, it cools off again.

HELP!
 
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  #2  
Old 02-13-14, 04:48 AM
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Sounds like you still have air in the system
 
  #3  
Old 02-13-14, 09:56 AM
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I agree with air-n-the system.
 
  #4  
Old 02-13-14, 10:05 AM
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Try taking the outbound heater hose off at the heater core while the motor is running(before it gets hot) until there's a good flow of fluid coming out of the connector and put the hose back on. Have the radiator cap open to bleed the small amount of air that's left. then fill the radiator as needed. Before you start make sure you have it on full heat.
 
  #5  
Old 02-13-14, 11:59 AM
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Yep sounds to me like air in system. Park facing up hill and let it run to get warm, with rad cap off, until it gets to temp. Once the thermostat opens, coolant will drop in the rad so keep it filled, and you'll see bubbles come out. fill it to the top and let it bleed out, then cap the rad. There is also a bleeder screw on the top of the water pump on the left side facing the car. You can bleed any additional air from there. Hope this helps!

Dan
 
  #6  
Old 02-14-14, 05:25 AM
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Is it possible that someplace air can be getting sucked into the system? I see no leaks anyplace but it seems that every time I let it cool down, the coolant level in the radiator drops by a cup full. I have even taken out the bleeders and injected coolant into the holes using a large syringe careful not to inject any air in with it. I know there is air in it but can't seem to get it all out. Took it to a garage and they say they couldn't find anything wrong. I am beginning to hate this piece of crap!
 
  #7  
Old 02-14-14, 06:10 AM
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It sounds like to need a new radiator cap.
 
  #8  
Old 02-14-14, 08:13 AM
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Has a new radiator cap too. 16 lbs
 
  #9  
Old 02-14-14, 01:47 PM
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Then the small hose from the rad cap mount to the coolant reservoir is open/cracked/loose allowing air to be sucked into the cooling system rather than reservoir coolant.
 
  #10  
Old 02-15-14, 06:26 PM
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2granddaughters, replaced hose with new clamps as your suggestion. Still getting air in. Drove it all day yesterday without a problem. Today, drove 20 miles, shut off for 4 hours came back out and over heat again. reservoir filled right up. Engine died after 10 minutes of running. Waited 10 minutes, started and black smoke out of exhaust. Thermo opened and cooling fine now but lost lots of antifreeze again.

Is it possible a intake gasket is bad allowing air into system?
 
  #11  
Old 02-16-14, 09:34 AM
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Have you pressure tested the cooling system? That would be the first thing to do.

Why was the radiator and water pump changed in the first place?

How long have you owned this car?
 
  #12  
Old 02-17-14, 03:42 AM
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Last spring I flushed old Dexicool out. Had lots of brown crud in it. Replaced with new Dexicool. Run all summer with no problems.

Last fall, tested and good for 40 below. More brown crud. The January freeze we had froze up Dexicool. I have never seen antifreeze separate from water but it did. Flushed and replaced with (Green) Glycol antifreeze.

A week later, the thermostat stuck open. replaced with 190 degree. There has been a small leak in the bearing of the water pump for awhile. so I replaced it. Then the drivers side tank on the radiator cracked. Replaced radiator, hoses, cap and clamps.

Each time, I purged it out good.

I haven't pressure tested it. No tester. I can't find any leaks visually.

The issue is erratic. Drive 20 miles, fine then cools down and it's back.

Car has around 130K miles on it. I bought it 2 years ago without any issues. Bills I found shows intake gaskets had been replaced around 65k miles.

Heading up today to buy another new cap. When it overheats, (thermostat doesn't open) and I release pressure through cap, It gurgles into over flow tank filling it up. But won't suck back into radiator leaving coolant level low. (Bad new cap?)

Bought this car from older couple for my 30s son to drive, they had it serviced regularly. They got too old to drive. Car is in great condition, no oil problems, (No coolant in oil either)

Calling a garage today to get it in. I am drawing a blank on this one. I have worked on cars all my life but this one is raising my blood pressure.
 
  #13  
Old 02-19-14, 03:13 AM
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Well took car to reputable mechanic. He did a cold pressure test on cooling systems. Did not loose any pressure seen no obvious leaks. Also did a combustion chamber test, testing exhaust gasses for glycol fumes. Found none.

Said it acted like a bad thermostat. The combustion tests was not saying the possibility of a head gasket leak wasn't present. Possible that a leak could be coming from cylinder into cooling jacket.

I replaced thermostat (again) and found it looked to be defective. Will see what new one brings.

He tells me with a small pocket of air, when engine gets too hot, the coolant inside will boil creating steam thus building air up inside.

Does this sound viable?
 
  #14  
Old 02-19-14, 12:08 PM
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Also did a combustion chamber test, testing exhaust gasses for glycol fumes. Found none.
Did he check the cooling system for signs of combustion gases in the coolant?
 
  #15  
Old 02-21-14, 03:09 AM
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Thanks to all of your input.

Well over one hundred miles and no problem since I changed the thermostat again. Obviously, that was the issue. Not over heating, lots of preheat, no more loss of coolant, no more air issues.

By George, I think I got it!

Took other thermostat back and they told me, yes they have been having a few issues from that company. Go figure!
 
  #16  
Old 02-26-14, 03:34 AM
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Well I lied! Didn't get it. Overheating again. Had it towed nearly 2 hours from our house to a friends shop that builds race care engines.

Blown head gasket for sure! The pressure building up is exhaust gases. Now we see the leak. Head gasket, passengers side behind all the pulleys. Have to get under it or look through fender well to see it. Not enough loss to cause a puddle on the ground but enough to see it before it boils off.

Beings body is in very good condition, he is installing a complete rebuilt blue printed engine in it at his cost of $1K No labor because he owes me a favor.
 
  #17  
Old 02-26-14, 04:24 AM
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Must be a big favor.
 
  #18  
Old 02-26-14, 09:27 AM
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Blown head gasket for sure! The pressure building up is exhaust gases.
That tells me the previous mechanic DID NOT check the cooling system for the presence of combustion gases.
 
  #19  
Old 03-07-14, 05:16 AM
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Well the_tow_guy, Not really a big favor. I gave him a 427 built up engine for a rock crawler several years back. Worth way more than this 3.4 engine.
 
  #20  
Old 03-07-14, 05:32 AM
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Anyway, got car back yesterday. The guy whom done the work, went ahead and took down to block. Said cylinders were good, head gasket was probably original. put new Better head gaskets on. Went through heads and machine accordingly. New Mooge intake gaskets. Cleaned carbon deposits throughout intake parts. Cleaned fuel rails and put new injectors in. New plugs, wires and other gaskets. Found bad EGR. Replaced with a better one with heat displacement fins to pull heat away from coil. Said everything was measured to specs and all new head and intake bolts and torqued to specs.

Showed me old head gaskets. I can't believe they weren't pouring antifreeze out by the gallons.

I took the one gasket back out to mechanic that checked before and showed him how his mechanic needs to go back to school. He gave me my diagnoses money back with constant apologies.

Car runs better than it ever has.
 
  #21  
Old 03-15-14, 01:25 PM
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Ive found the gas test inconclusive unless the leak is very bad, most times tbe gas doesnt really push into the coolant unless engine is very hot or under a hard load.
Ive had enoughexperience with engines to know if you are getting unexplainex air in system its a head gasket,
 
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