: She's runnin' HOT captain.....



danbuc
10-18-08, 09:40 PM
Damn, I haven't been on here in a long time. Anyway, my car's been running a tad hot the last month or so. Normal around town, steady highway driving is okay, but if I get on it a few times times the cooling system doesn't seem to be able to keep up. The other night for example, I was flying through traffic going into the city and was going WOT quite a bit and by the time I got the exit for 52nd street, the car had shut off the A/C and finally went into limp mode a half block from the parking garage. On the drive home during steady moderate highway driving, the needle only moved a tad off center the whole way home.

Now, when it's get's hot, the coolant's been flowing out of the surge tank cap, resulting in a low coolant message after each one of these episodes. Also, occasionally, if it does get hot it will creep up to a full quarter mark past center and just stay there moving slightly past and then back to a quarter over depending on when the fans kick on. It's like it can't keep up with the added demand under heavy load, and tries to just keep it steady where ever it ends up.

I just put a new thermostat in today and flushed out and replaced the coolant (with tabs) and it didn't make a single difference. Drove to the gas station and got it warm and it was fine, merged onto the highway slowly and it was fine. Decided to see what would happen after I rocketed past a few people at WOT, and byt he time I was slowing down to turn around at the next exit the gauge already crept up half way to a quarter past center. Stayed there until I got back on the other side of the highway, then gave it one more WOT to merge into the middle lane and it went up to 2 hash marks past center. I slowed down and drove slowly back home, and by the time I pulled in my driveway it had settle back to the middle. Sure enough I had coolant come out of the surge tank when it go hot and go all over.

Now I'm curious to see if anyone else has experienced this. The only source of coolant loss is what boils over and out of the surge tank cap. I'm not blowing any white smoke either, and I've got no loss of power, or signs of coolant in the oil. At this point, I'm willing to bet that it's not the head gasket, but I don't know where else to look. Is it possible the vanes on the water pump are so corroded it can't flow enough coolant to keep up with he rise in temp under high load? Neither radiator hoses appear to be collapsed either. Anyone got any ideas?

misfit6794
10-18-08, 09:54 PM
Check your water pump belt,tensioner, and pulley. Wait for the fresh coolant to circulate for a few days then test it for exhaust gases. A northstar won't lose power or mix the coolant in the oil if the hg is shot.

Ranger
10-18-08, 10:50 PM
Is it possible the vanes on the water pump are so corroded it can't flow enough coolant to keep up with he rise in temp under high load?
Possible, but unlikely. Purge line clear? If so, you know the drill. Test the coolant.

danbuc
10-19-08, 05:52 AM
Coolant is new, All lines were blown out and cleared. Water pump tensioner is new, and so is the belt. I just don't get why it only overheats if I beat on it. I just drove it all the way out to LI tonight and back, and the gauge didn't move once....I was careful to baby it which is probably why. I'm gonna pick up an exhaust gas test kit tomorrow and give that a shot. I don't want to believe it's the head gasket....if so, there's gonna be a whole lot of '98 STS parts on ebay, and someone's gonna be looking for a Fiero.

Playdrv4me
10-19-08, 08:37 AM
Nice to see you back around, sorry it has to be under these circumstances. Unfortunately, early HG failures very often begin like this... with overheating only when running the motor hard, such as going up a hill, WOT, passing etc and the car going back to normal with careful driving. If nothing else is obviously wrong, the headbolt issue would be my next guess.

danbuc
10-19-08, 12:57 PM
I'm leaning towards that as the issue...I'm just in denial I guess. I'll have to see what the exhaust gas test comes up with.

AJxtcman
10-19-08, 02:10 PM
Does it misfire or run rough on start up?

I always use a vacuum to fill the cooling system. This is something most owners can't do.

I had a water pump job on a 2000 the other day and it had green coolant in it. I didn't want to contaminated my "Vac U Fill" tool so I did it the old way.
It was no fun and I had issues with air in the system.

If you get an air pocket in the wrong spot and drive the car you can cause damage that will cause a head gasket to fail.

Remember this is a reveres flow cooling system it is not the old schools stuff.
That is why I use a Vacuum to fill it

I do not recommend the Tabs.
You may want to pull the purge line off and see if coolant will flow out of the orifice. The Tabs can seal it up.

danbuc
10-19-08, 07:37 PM
This si the third time I've changed the coolant in this car, and I've always used the tabs without issue. I don't put them in the surge tank as I know that can cause major issues.

I started the car today today to go get some food, and the check coolant message came on. I had just riven it out to long Island and back the night before and it never got hot enough to blow the coolant out the surge tank cap as it had before, so it looks like it's disappearing somewhere else...which sucks.

I've always had an issue with rough idle in cold weather due to my iac motor which hasn't worked right in 3 years, but I don't normall have issues above 45 degrees. It was about 52 when I started it this afternoon, but I could here it stumbling....it doesn't misfire enough to set a light, or codes, but you can tell it's off. It's fine once it warms up, it blows a little smoke at start-up but it doesn't smell really sweet like coolant (smells like gas actually-cat is pretty much done). And it's gone after a minute or so of driving, which doesn't seem too abnormal, especially in this colder weather.

I've just got this weird feeling like instead of pulling the motor and redoing the valve seals and replacing the trans mount in the Triumph, that will be going into storage to make room for my front cradle....oh this is gonna be a long winter I can tell already. :banghead:

Ranger
10-19-08, 09:14 PM
It's fine once it warms up, it blows a little smoke at start-up but it doesn't smell really sweet like coolant (smells like gas actually)
Leaky FPR?

Destroyer
10-19-08, 10:00 PM
Coolant is new, All lines were blown out and cleared. Water pump tensioner is new, and so is the belt. I just don't get why it only overheats if I beat on it. I just drove it all the way out to LI tonight and back, and the gauge didn't move once....I was careful to baby it which is probably why. I'm gonna pick up an exhaust gas test kit tomorrow and give that a shot. I don't want to believe it's the head gasket....if so, there's gonna be a whole lot of '98 STS parts on ebay, and someone's gonna be looking for a Fiero.
EXACTLY what my '98 Deville did......and it was the headgaskets. My wife told me it ran hot on her way to work (this after we have been smelling faint traces of coolant) so I decided to take it on the highway and romp on it. I figured if it could take a good ass kicking with several WOT's it would be alright and my wife was just nuts. It didn't, after the first time I floored it, it overheated and went to limp mode. What a POS!.

97EldoCoupe
10-20-08, 10:34 PM
Actually Northstars CAN get coolant in the oil with a failing head gasket/head bolts. They can also get oil in the coolant. There is a pressurized oil passage running through the block into the heads, to lube the cams and lifters. If the head gaskets fail in this area, or the bolts release their claming pressure, the oil can blow past into the coolant jackets in the block. And, of course, there's 3 oil drainbacks in the lower of each head, passing through the block. If the HGs fail here, coolant will be running into your oil pan. And possibly past the rings if the coolant fills the cylinder. Don't run the engine if the cylinders are filling with coolant. The results can be starter/flywheel damage, and possibly throwing a connecting rod trough the side of your engine block. I've seen it happen.

Don't even run them in limp mode, if you can avoid it. The engine heats up too much and the oil gets thin. They have the feature for a reason, I guess, but the engines aren't cheap. It's better to replace your head gaskets, then having to replace the entire engine.

jeffrsmith
10-20-08, 11:17 PM
From time to time I thought that I smelled coolant when I got home and parked the car. It overheated once, I let the car cool down and it ran fine, albeit a rough idle when cold and what seemed like a lot of vapor coming out the exhaust. I topped up the coolant and continued to drive it for a couple of weeks with no problem other than the occasional smell of coolant. I knew the HGs were done, so I did the test, parked the car for a couple of months while I mustered up the courage to start the job.

The one thing that I distinctly remember was hearing the sound of water sloshing about - it seemed that it was coming from under the dash - I thought it was a plugged drain for the A/C, it was actually a low level in the surge tank but it wasn't low enough to set off the warning light.

Buty the block test kit (available at NAPA) and test the vapors in your coolant - it will tell you the truth.

tateos
10-21-08, 02:52 PM
C'mon guys - we all know it's the head gasket(s)

danbuc
10-21-08, 07:15 PM
C'mon guys - we all know it's the head gasket(s)

Thanks for the vote of confidence...haha.

I just have to make room in my garage, and find somewhere to put the triumph while I'm workin' on the car...

jeffrsmith
10-21-08, 09:45 PM
C'mon guys - we all know it's the head gasket(s)

Shame on you Richard - I would have expected a vote of confidence like that from our friend Destroyer.

danbuc
10-21-08, 10:06 PM
Shame on you Richard - I would have expected a vote of confidence like that from our friend Destroyer.

I had just put more coolant in the tank, and went to get some gas. When I got back, left the car running, popped the hood and pulled the cap off the tank. Took a peak inside and the coolant level was still the same as before. Gave the throttle a slight nudge (up around 1500 rpm..nothing really) and in second a half gallon of coolant came rocketing out of the tank all over the place like crazy. 5 seconds later...it was fine. Bad things....bad things.... The temp gauge was still dead even too when I pulled of the cap, and there wasn't a whole lot of pressure buildup in the system either.

Ranger
10-21-08, 10:32 PM
I hate to say it, but this does not sound good.

jeffrsmith
10-21-08, 11:53 PM
I think that major surgery is inevitable!

tateos
10-22-08, 04:18 PM
Shame on you Richard - I would have expected a vote of confidence like that from our friend Destroyer.

I was not being negative - I was saying: Let's face the reality and move on with a fix.

danbuc - I have had this problem twice on my '97 ETC, and both times the symptoms were exactly the same as yours. The first time, I replaced the engine with a used engine; I was ignorant of the fact that this failure is common, so I thought it was a freak thing. When the replacement engine failed the same way 23K miles later, I said WTF!!! I did a web search and found this site and learned what had to be done. I removed, repaired (inserted) and replaced the engine and all is well now.

If you like the car, it is in good condition otherwise, and don't mind a huge project, by all means fix the engine. If you or anyone needs help or advice on this job, do your due diligence and search this forum - my thread was called '97 ETC HG or something like that There are several other excellent threads. If you get stuck, feel free to PM or e-mail me:

rmoore@usdigitalmedia.com

Richard Moore

danbuc
10-22-08, 11:07 PM
Well...I was poking around the caddy dealer down the road from my house while I was picking up my oil filter and exhaust hangers.....they had a nice '05 Fully loaded 1SG STS with 30 something thousand miles on it for around 25k. I think it's time I begin my search for a new car. I'll probably end up pulling the motor and trans anyway and parting out the rest of the car. If I do, they'll be a cheap billet front mount and Corsa exhaust system out there for those willing to pay..haha. I'll see where I go from here....picking up the exhaust gas test kit this Saturday.

Mark C
10-23-08, 07:56 AM
How did you get the cap off the surge tank without getting a face full of steam? Mine will build pressure in the system if I drive it a half mile. If you don't have any pressure built up in the system and you've driven it any distance then try the obvious first, get a new radiator cap.

Destroyer
10-23-08, 08:31 AM
...they had a nice '05 Fully loaded 1SG STS with 30 something thousand miles on it for around 25k. I think it's time I begin my search for a new car.Probably the smartest thing to do at this point especialy since it is much cheaper to buy big cars/SUVs, trucks and so forth in todays economy than it used to be. Only real reason to keep it is for sentimental value (if any).

I couldn't do what I'm about to say here at my current home (association) but my last home was almost 2 acres and would have perfect. I was thinking I could have made my '98 Deville into a jungle gym of sorts for the kids or even use it as a planter. Too late for that now I suppose.

danbuc
10-25-08, 02:49 PM
How did you get the cap off the surge tank without getting a face full of steam? Mine will build pressure in the system if I drive it a half mile. If you don't have any pressure built up in the system and you've driven it any distance then try the obvious first, get a new radiator cap.

It will build significant pressure in the system, but no on a consistent basis, especially after it get really hot (which seems odd).

I just found out yesterday while attempting to put new hanger on to keep my Corsa system from banging around, that it wasn't bad hangers. The mount on the right muffler broke off, and the weld took a chunk of the pipe with it. So now I have to deal with that as well.

There's a tech at the dealer I go to for parts who said he's interest if I'm selling it, so maybe I'll just sell it to him and use that as a down payment on a CPO newer STS....like that nice one they had there.

Gotta get that damn Corsa fixed though, for the money I spent buying it directly from them, they better make good on this. No reason it should have broke after 3 years, or broken the way it did. Looks like metal fatigue to me, maybe they had the amps up to high when they welded it and got the pipe too hot. Who knows...

mtflight
10-26-08, 01:08 PM
how many miles on it, Danbuc? Did you try a new rad cap?

Submariner409
10-26-08, 01:43 PM
The CORSA is guaranteed for life. Call them at 1-800-486-0999 or at 1-216-496-1974 (cell phone).

danbuc
10-26-08, 04:18 PM
how many miles on it, Danbuc? Did you try a new rad cap?

135k miles...I haven't tried a new rad cap yet, was goin' to buy one but forgot. Right now I've gotta fix the exhaust first, since I don't want to worry about the other weld braking and dragging the system everywhere.


submariner409, I already called them and left a message, and posted in the vender thread as well. I'll wait and see what happens when they get back to me on monday.

mtflight
10-26-08, 04:53 PM
The later models have an 18 PSI cap, whereas my 98 a 16 PSI. In my case the Eldo uses the same tank for both years so I tried the 18.

Suntan superman
10-29-08, 03:36 PM
I've had the same symptoms, I've replaced the pump, t-stat, cap, and had it flushed. The flush helped it from overheating so fast but it still did. Also had it checked for exhaust in the fluid, showed 0 ppm. Still the HG's? With the flush helping I was thinking it might just be something getting stuck in the system. I've also noticed that sometimes when it overheats and I keep driving in limp mode it will quickly drop back down in temp. Not back to normal but well under overheated. Anyone else seen this? Suggestions are welcome. 99 STS. 112K mi.

Ekindler0584
10-30-08, 11:06 AM
This might sound like a silly question at first... but have you checked to see if the fans are operating properly?

The reason I ask, is that on my '01 SLS I have been having a similar problem. My car has not been getting as hot as yours, but it has been up to the first tick past half-way. This occurs when I stay on it on the freeway, and was also occuring at stops, while it was still warm out here in Ohio.

With mine, the fans work properly with the A/C on (and keep the car at the proper temp), but the fans do not come on at all based on engine temperature. I am assuming it is the temp. sensor with my car, but I havn't really had a chance to look at it yet. Keep in mind that the coolant mix is perfect, new resevoir cap, new belt, etc...