1993 Grand Am, 78k miles, great running car except the temp guage climbs upward while in stop and go traffic. The mechanic changed the thermostat. Can anyone offer ANY other suggestions. I read about blowers, fans, and sensors but not sure if these should be on the list of things to check, what order? This really is a showroom car I bought new and want to keep it. :)
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air lock in the cooling system get a plastic bottle cut the bottom off turn upside down put on radiator filler and run engine cut full off water wait until all air bubbles stop then remove and put cap on see how that goes
The cooling system has an air pocket in it. The best solution is to have someone with a vacuum coolant system,and drain and replace the coolant. The only other way,is to jack up the front of the vehicle,and take off the radiator cap,and run it with the heater on full blast. Wait till the thermostat opens,(when coolant level drops)...then top it off while its still running.If you buy ,or have a friend who has a tool called an "Air Lift",..it will make this MUCH easier,and cleaner to fix.
Run the engine up to temp and let it idle (best, in gear holding the brake just like when you are in traffic). When the temp duplicates what you see during times when it's too hot, put it into park and check the electric fan(s) to make sure they are on. Also check the clutch on the mechanical fan. (turn the engine off to do that and immediately try to turn the fan. It should offer reasonable resistance to turning when compared to how it turns when cold. If everything checks out as good, Make sure there are no obstructions to air flow through the AC condenser on the front side of the radiator (visible through the grille). If still everything is OK, flush the radiator. It's possible that you have a slight obstruction to coolant flow. Most Jeep radiators are a bit too small for the application and therefore sensitive to restrictions that in a larger unit, would not matter much. Your air conditioner adds extra loading on the engine and also adds heat to the air flowing through the radiator. When in motion, you actually don't need fans as air flow is far greater than a fan can supply. When standing still, coolant flow and air flow need to be near perfect to keep the temp where it needs to be. If you do flush the radiator, when re-filling do that with the heater on high so you don't get an air lock in the system. Also make sure you run the engine long enough for the thermostat to open so you actually fill the entire system. Use a hydrometer to establish a true 50/50 mix to prevent boil-overs. (even cheap ones are reasonably accurate)
you mention big hills, and other wise no problem, you may be taxing the transmission , have a trans cooler installed, it may cure all your problems, and good for the trans, heat is the trans biggest killer