The Truth About Cars » overheating http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 05 Dec 2014 17:06:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » overheating http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Piston Slap: Cooling to the MAXX? (Part II) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/piston-slap-dex-cool-maxx-part-ii/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/piston-slap-dex-cool-maxx-part-ii/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 11:40:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=937498   CJ writes: My name’s CJ I have a 04 (Malibu MAXX) with a 3.5 V6 and I have the same problem with the car running hot (as Part I) but here’s the kicker :when the a/c is on the it runs normal, completely normal under both situations.  I’m thinking fan switch, but the radiator sounds […]

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>>>Insert Greenhouse Joke Here<<<

 

CJ writes:

My name’s CJ I have a 04 (Malibu MAXX) with a 3.5 V6 and I have the same problem with the car running hot (as Part I) but here’s the kicker :when the a/c is on the it runs normal, completely normal under both situations.  I’m thinking fan switch, but the radiator sounds plausible. What’s your take and is there something in between all this that I’m forgetting?

Sajeev answers:

Oh Dex Cool, how you keep my coffers full of automotive queries!  I shall never go hungry as long as the metal forced to circulate you, oh Dex Cool, continue to roam this land.

Keep in mind there’s two fans on this vehicle, one is a secondary blower (sucker?) to help when the A/C kicks on. (Remember kids, the A/C condenser is in front of the radiator.) Which begs the question, does your primary fan work?

Let’s assume the primary fan works, otherwise the engine woulda overheated and warped itself by now.  Warped like an overheated I-6 Supra or 3.8L V6 Ford, that is. If the secondary fan is needed to assist the primary, all signs point to a clogged radiator. Just like Part I: the solution is a new radiator and a cooling system flush to get the gunk associated with Dex Cool out of the system.

Or maybe I’m just lazy, as recycling answers is a sweet way to make the nut.

And with that bizarre ending, off to the Best and Brightest.

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

 

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Piston Slap: Cooling to the MAXX? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/piston-slap-cooling-to-the-maxx/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/piston-slap-cooling-to-the-maxx/#comments Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=484313 Scott writes: Hello – Saw a Dex-cool question you posted previously, and figured I would try my own. We have a ’06 Malibu Maxx SS. Basically the car runs hot, but not all the time. I have been religious about flushing the cooling system and using only the correct fluids. It has 91k, and I’ve […]

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Scott writes:

Hello –

Saw a Dex-cool question you posted previously, and figured I would try my own. We have a ’06 Malibu Maxx SS. Basically the car runs hot, but not all the time. I have been religious about flushing the cooling system and using only the correct fluids.

It has 91k, and I’ve read online that they tend to run a little above avg temp. Like your CTS questioner, this car was clearly driven hard before we bought it, but nothing horrible. It doesn’t throw any codes and doesn’t get into the red, but its definitely high according the gauge. On the highway it tends to sit right in the middle. If it sits in traffic it will rise a little, if I drive it hard it will shoot up but eventually come back down.

The water pump was recently replaced, but otherwise we have had no real problems with the car (aside from the usual crappy GM build quality, ISS, and lots of brake pads). I just ordered a new t-stat, figuring that was a cheap fix to try.

The car is paid off and I would like to keep it for a while, but I am worried putting my wife and daughter in this thing in the heat of summer, or going on a road trip, etc.

Sajeev answers:

So this Malibu was driven hard before you got it, but you’ve been good about respecting The Dex-Cool Monster…not letting the system get contaminated.  This means, depending on when you bought it, the previous owner coulda mixed fluids. And mildly gunked up the system.

See how being an Internet Automotive Mechanical Detective works?

More to the point,“if I drive it hard it will shoot up but eventually come back down” points to a partially clogged radiator. Partially clogged because of mild gunk accumulation.

When we’re talkin’ about a two-owner vehicle running Dex-Cool…well, I’m just being my typical snarky, untrustworthy self. No detective work there.  Radiators do go bad over time, failing more epically when sporting partially plastic construction too.  The water pump?  Not super-likely, unless the vehicle has plastic impellers (cough, VAG products) and they are crumbling to bits.  The electric cooling fans?  Probably not: they are merely less effective when pushing/pulling on a cloggy radiator…so the recovery time from hard driving is longer.

You can flush the radiator, or have a local shop do it for you. Or for added piece of mind: eliminate a known wear item on aging vehicles by spending all of $100-150 on a new one from an on-line parts vendor. I’d just order a new one and be done with it.

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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Piston Slap: The Two-Sided Ethical Dilemma http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/10/piston-slap-the-two-sided-ethical-dilemma/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/10/piston-slap-the-two-sided-ethical-dilemma/#comments Mon, 17 Oct 2011 15:10:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=414908   Bill writes: Hello TTAC crew! My Mom is in need of a new car. The problem is her trade in: It is a 2002 PT Cruiser with a serious overheating problem ($1700+ quote at two reputable repair places) Now here is the problem. Do I keep my dang mouth shut when we go to […]

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seekersofthebat.com

Bill writes:

Hello TTAC crew!

My Mom is in need of a new car. The problem is her trade in: It is a 2002 PT Cruiser with a serious overheating problem ($1700+ quote at two reputable repair places) Now here is the problem. Do I keep my dang mouth shut when we go to the dealership and do the deal? I have a spare car that she is driving until it cools off and the overheating problem will not be noticeable at trade in.

I would never sell the car to a guy off the street without disclosing a major problem. Even to a car dealership I think I feel guilty in not disclosing it. We are not going to be financing, and will be paying cash for the car. So it is not like they can unwind the deal if they discover the problem.
Having ethical dilemma about screwing over a car dealership who exist solely to try and take as much money as they can from you in every conceivable way is weird.

Bonus question. These are the three cars we are considering Hyundai Elantra Touring, VW Jetta Wagon and Ford Focus Wagon. Any recommendations of the three or reasons to avoid them?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Sajeev Answers:

Fair disclosure: my full-time job is in the automotive retail business, so I have my own ethical dilemma. And don’t ask what an autojourno makes, it’s precisely why I work there. With the Jeff Glucker incident fresh on my mind, I’ve decided to publish this query and throw myself at the mercy of the B&B.

I hope I made the right choice. Well…here goes:

Ahem, not all car dealerships are alike. Sure, they all wanna make a buck, but if the mainline dealers inspect a vehicle and deem it not worthy to sell, it heads straight to the auction…so some other chump can deal with the problems. This is one reason why the Buy-Here-Pay-Here lots have the reputation that they often (not always) deserve. You could easily trade in your ride to the big name dealerships, they will see the problem and dump it.

What I’m trying to say is, the dealer may be a little pissed that you traded in a lemon, but they won’t pass their karma on to their used car customers. That’s just bad business, in the long-term. Odds are their trade-in value is about what they’ll get at the auctions anyway, so even if your PT isn’t as promised, the loss will be minimal. Maybe even in the hundreds, as a PT Cruiser isn’t a late-model AMG Benz that’s been abused and almost ready for a $20,000 repair bill once the “extra life” additives wear out and its new owner gets a shocking surprise.

Then again, the converse is that you should be ashamed for not disclosing a problem you know. That’s just basic karma, and it’s something I usually believe in.

Honestly, I’ve stressed over your question for weeks, and I still don’t know what the heck to tell you. I’m sorry.

Off to you, Best and Brightest.

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com . Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

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