Question about 2000 Oldsmobile Silhouette

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Temperature rises rapidly, but radiator is cool to touch

I have 2000 Olds silhouette. The weather is nice outside, about 70, and my van is showing that it is overheating. Whats up?????

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Classic sign of a failed thermostat; it is not opening as it should when reaching its design point of 160-180 degrees F so very little is passing through a tiny hole to the radiator, leaving it cold to the touch. If you remember the good ol' days, the temperature gauge would rise to a perdictable point and pretty much stay there regardless of ambient temps. They can fail open too; then the engine never completely warms up and the gauge then wanders and your gas mileage tanks.  
Just replaced one that didn't play fair since its failure was semi-random; sometimes it worked, sometimes not.   Your thermostat is being kind; it's stuck and this condition is crystal clear. 

Posted on Oct 07, 2008

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