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if it has a viscous fan hub( fan clutch ) check it for correct operation
what you describe indicates that the fan is not travelling as fast as it should to be pulling air through the radiator
other indications are temp rising at stop lights , temp rising in slow moving traffic or in your case loaded ( going up hill)with higher engine rpm
The first thing I would do would be check the fluid level in the radiator. Sounds like the car is overheating under load due to lack of coolant. If the coolant level is ok then the radiator cap may be leaking pressure and causing the car to overheat.
1. Check the coolant level if you have not already.
2. The most likely cause is a stuck thermostat so that when the engine is getting up to operating temp the thermostat is not opening at all - or enough - for the coolant to flow freely between the radiator and the engine to cool the heated fluid. If you check the radiator after driving and find it is cold it is a sure sign that the heated coolant that is circulating through the engine at operating temp and higher is not getting to the radiator. The first thing I would do is to change the thermostat and re-check. At the same time completely flush the coolant and replace it with new fluid of the correct spec.
The radiator fans are not going to operate when the fluid in the radiator is cold because the hot fluid cannot flow through from the engine. The fans have a temperature sensor switch.
3. If that does not solve the problem I would suspect the water pump has corroded and needs to be replaced. However from the symptoms you have described I believe a new thermo will fix the problem.
4. Don't drive the car when it is overheating. This is a certain way to blow the head gasket and potentially crack or warp the cylinder head. (In a worst case you can crack the engine block.) It will be nice and expensive to repair if you blow a head gasket or damage the cylinder head.
My 2003 warning light frequently goes on after going down a long hill. The dealer has tested, and thinks that it is related to the traction battery being overcharged or overheated after a long hill. Doesn't seem to affect performance and the the problem clears up after turning the car on and off several times. If you have no power when you accellerate, it suggests that the electric motor has cut out some how, until the problem is cleared up. Would be interested in finding out what your solution was.
I would be looking at the radiator fans themselves, especially if the fans are open framed motors. I had the same problem with an intermittent fan on a PT cruiser, If your A/C doesn't seem to be working right at stop lights then the fans are most likely not operating correctly since they assist the condensing coil when idling. Second thing I would suspect is a thermostat which is stuck closed. (This will cause overheat). Hope this is helpful.
All fan comes on that means all temp sensors as well as circuitry are working. The culprit is that the engine has poor coolant circulation to cause this problem. When you on the freeway the air help to cool the engine, but not in a case of stop and go.
There are 3 things can cause this problem: a bad thermostat, a bad water pump or a bad radiator. These 3 things can be all together or just only one of them.
A radiator has all vertical small tubes inside to carry the coolant passing through and dissipating heat through fins outside. When it gets clogged up, coolant becomes stagnant hence heat is not dissipated causing over heat. The same thing happens when water pump is not turning to propel the coolant in the loop.
If a brand new radiator was installed last year then focus on the water pump. If a rebuilt one was installed then it is questionable. Don't ever use a rebuilt one, it is saving only the part but cost a bundle for later labor and headaches. Good luck checking the 3 things to find out a root cause.
low pressure in the tranny, did you check the oil level in park? if so you might have to check it in gear with someone holding it on the brakes, then re-check... hopefully it isn;t the pressure solenoid.... $$$$$$.... they can be expensive, cheers!