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Overheat?

 
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sunflowerchevrolet
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:24 pm    Post subject:  Overheat? Reply with quote

2004 Impala LS 3.8 L ~ 53,000 miles.

Up until recently temp gauge rock steady at 1 line below 3 o'clock (horizontal). It may increase by as much as 1 line to 3 o'clock with ac on and dead of summer at 75 mph. Just the same, rock steady at idle or flyin' down the highway!

Recently at stop light temp climbed to 1-2 lines above 3 o'clock. Not good. Made a right turn to get moving, cranked the heater to high and hot, headed back to the house.

Recently while on highway the temp would climb 1-2 lines above 1 line below 3 o'clock and then suddenly drop back down to 1 line below 3 o'clock.

DexCool ~ 4 yrs old so had the dealer flush system and replace the t-stat. No leaks noted and supposedly the head gaskets tested okay.

Before driving off, lifted hood and noticed coolant level ~ 4-5" above the cold coolant line in the reservoir.

Well, same crap happened driving home on highway from the dealer and then again as I slowed to idle.

After cooling off at the house, massaged the daylights out of the upper hose to try and push trapped air in the system into the reservoir.

Reservoir level now down about 2" from where it was at the dealer shop but still well above the cold level line.

Seemed to help some but temp still tended to wander at highway speeds and then moved upward at idle although not going much above 3 o'clock.

At idle w/o ac, brought temp up to operating level and then opened bleed valve but only liquid squirted out.

Side note, here: observed fans operating in parallel only. Odd after seeing my other vehicle's two fans operate in series w/o ac and in parallel w/ ac.

At idle, both fans run at the same time and they ran really fast when ac on. Temp fairly rock solid, ~ 1 line below 3 o'clock.

At idle, both fans ran at the same time w/o ac on and the temp tended to increase to around 3 o'clock or a little above and then drop down to about 1 line below 3 o'clock. And then increase, decrease and so on.

Might be me but seemed as though both the parallel fan run time was short and frequent instead of sustained. And that they weren't running as fast as when they were when the ac was on.

Temp sensor, water pump and radiator are original. When cold, reservoir level now at ~ 1" above the cold level line.

Have plowed through chatter on several web sites and Impala related blogs but haven't seen anything that matches up with what I am experiencing: not leaking; haven't blown a gasket; temp not red lining; reservoir is not boiling, and fans are not failing to at least turn on.

Any insight would be appreciated.

Thank you.
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98ss
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:31 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

What you are describing sounds like an air bubble in the system. You can try this, after the car cools take the radiator cap off and see where the level is. Post back up with what you find.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:34 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Will do....
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:08 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Sometimes a single try at the bleed screw won't catch the bubble. I bleed mine once a day for three days after changing coolant in the car. Higher levels of coolant in the reservoir are ok: the overflow bottle is at atmospheric pressure and if too much coolant (way above full hot) is in the reservoir, it'll splash out of the throat/nozzle at the top rear corner of the the reservoir.

However my second spot to look at would be the fans. I've never had an issue so I don't recall 100% how they're setup to run. I believe it is one fan only up to about 12 oclock on the temp gauge, then the second fan will kick on if it exceeds that point (200/220 degrees if I remember right). Not sure how the AC affects the fan operation.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:58 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

With the A/C on, both fans should run all the time. My car does this. GARY

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:48 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

9C3 wrote:
With the A/C on, both fans should run all the time. My car does this. GARY


I think you are right, but there are mechanical differences with the 9C1/9C3 compared to civilian models - there is a possibility both of your fans run due to transmission coolers or other police requirements, where civilian models may not be programmed that way.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:04 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Lingenfelter wrote:
9C3 wrote:
With the A/C on, both fans should run all the time. My car does this. GARY


I think you are right, but there are mechanical differences with the 9C1/9C3 compared to civilian models - there is a possibility both of your fans run due to transmission coolers or other police requirements, where civilian models may not be programmed that way.
You could be right. I do know the cooling fan motors on my car are larger than the ones I see on Impala's in the local U-Pick. It is possible they are programmed to come on at different temperatures than most other Impalas. But others here have said both fans run on their cars too when the A/C is on. GARY

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:15 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

9C1 / 9C3 has a HD cooling fan assembly, but they operate the same as the civilian Impala.

Both should run with AC on

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:02 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

This Impala is a civilian vehicle. Am the original owner. Up until now, normal temp indicator position has been 1 line below 3 o'clock. With AC on, half-way between 1 line below and 3 o'clock. At the moment, both fans operate in parallel, with or without AC.

Fuel gauge and temperature gauge share the same window, so to speak with fuel on the left and temperature on the right.

Temp indicator range is from 5 o'clock, cold, up to 1 o'clock, red line.

Here us a link to what the fuel/temperature window looks like....

http://i1263.photobucket.com/a.....G_4059.jpg

Vehicle was off when photo taken.


Last edited by sunflowerchevrolet on Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:18 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

sunflowerchevrolet wrote:
This Impala is a civilian vehicle. Am the original owner. Up until now, normal temp indicator position has been 1 line below 3 o'clock. With AC on, half-way between 1 line below and 3 o'clock. At the moment, both fans operate in parallel, with or without AC.

Fuel gauge and temperature gauge share the same window, so to speak with fuel on the left and temperature on the right.

Temp indicator range is from 5 o'clock, cold, up to 1 o'clock, red line.



I find it will be @ the middle line (3 o'clock) when in traffic or lower speeds
70-80mph below 3 o'clock. as once you get upto speed your basically idling .




I think it should be slightly lower then 3 o'clock though since my has a small coolant leak.

Do note this is the international cluster (KM/h) and not the US one



Last edited by Impala_03 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:32 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:22 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Update....Update.....Update.....


Removed the radiator cap. Level just a bit below the outlet to the reservoir. Filled with 50/50 until it started to drain into the reservoir. Replaced the cap. Removed the reservoir from the two screws on the wheel well and carefully rotated clockwise to displace air in the line from the radiator to the reservoir and the air in the seal leg on the reservoir. Brought car up to temperature and bled at the t-stat twice. Ran a few errands and then hit the highway for a lengthy test drive. Temp was steadier than before w/ and w/o AC, even at idle. Quirk here is that its 50 degrees cooler today, 36 F, than when I took the car to the shop last week. Will continue to rotate reservoir to remove air and bleed the system, topping off as needed. Need a warm day to check things out.

I shouldn't have to be doing this considering how much the shop charged me to flush the system and change the t-stat. I will learn how to do both and next time it will be my garage instead of the shop.

Thank you.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:06 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Took two 30 mile trips today.

Checked the reservoir seal leg at the end of the first leg and it was full of air/gas. Did the quick fix and removed the reservoir, sealed the fill hole, and gently rotated it clockwise to remove air/gas from the radiator neck to reservoir line and the seal leg on the reservoir. Re-installed the reservoir.

Same observation and quick fix at the end of the second leg.

At idle noted the temp needle goes from 1 line below 3 o'clock to 3 o'clock and the two fans kick in at this point in parallel. Also noted lights dimmed just briefly. Both fans shut off when the temp needle dropped below 3 o'clock.

Turned on the AC and both fans came on in parallel and stayed on until the temp needle dropped below 3 o'clock. Both shut off at the same time.

Does anyone know if the two fans are supposed to operate in series or in parallel with the AC off?

Will keep updating.

Thank you.
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