I forgot to check the radiator one weeka nd it over heated. I stopped to put distilled water in the thing. I stopped and turned off the car to pick up Tito and all the water drained out. I put in more water and drove home. I stopped, parked and turn off the car and the water drained out again
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Lots of reason a car over heats, water pump not working properly, radiator clogged or leaking, thermostat gone bad or stuck, not enough coolant, air leaking in, etc. lots of things to check. My guess you need new radiator since you put stop leak n it.
That old of a van I would say the cores in the radiator are corrodied and stopped up and impeding the flow of water though it. to check drain down the water in the radiator to about half after the engine is warmed up. Take a flashlight and look down the neck of the radiator and look at the ends or the cooling tubes they should be clean and no buildup, if they have a lot of buildup on them then they are probable plugged and not flowing water. Then start the engine and rev it up. You should see water shooting out of most of the cores above the water line the ones that no water comes through are plugged. The best fix is a new radiator you can pick them up off ebay at a much better price than the auto parts store. I have put 5 of them in different things including my 2001 caravan with no problems. If money is tight and you are able you can drain the radiator and refill with distilled water and run it for a day or two then drain and repeat for several days. the distilled water is pure so it will absorb the mineral deposits that has built up in the cores from useing tap water to fill the radiator. But this may not get enough out to help because the water needs to flow through the tube to work. and do not do this if you live where it get below freezing. When you get finished only use distilled or deionized water mixed 50/50 with antifreeze to refill. You can by 50/50 premix but you are paying several dollars for a half gallon of distilled water that you can buy at the grocery store for 50cents hope this helps
Park the Nissan Altima on a flat surface and set the parking brake. Next, open the hood and check the external temperature of the radiator. If the radiator is warm to the touch, wait for the radiator to cool before you continue.
Twist the radiator cap one turn to relieve any pressure. Step back from the radiator and allow a few seconds to pass, and then completely remove the radiator cap.
Place a bucket or tray with at least a 2-gallon capacity underneath the radiator and below the drain plug. The drain plug on a Nissan Altima is on the passenger side bottom of the radiator.
Loosen the drain plug and let the old coolant drain completely into the bucket. Take care while loosening the drain plug, because it's plastic and can be brittle. Pour the old coolant into a sealable container for proper disposal later and put the bucket back under the drain plug opening.
Close the drain plug and pour distilled water into the radiator until it's full. Then, open the drain plug and let the water flow into the bucket. Keep repeating this procedure until the water runs clear and debris free into the bucket. You will need at least 3 gallons of distilled water.
Make sure to tighten the drain plug and fill the radiator with fresh coolant. Refill the radiator to within an inch of it overflowing. Check the drain plug and hoses for any possible leaks.
Start the Nissan Altima and turn the heater to the high setting. Let it run for about 10 minutes and shut the engine off. Check the coolant level and refill, if necessary. Finally, put the radiator cap on and close the hood.
The cooling fan should run continuously when the A/C is on. If it does then I suggest you drain and flush the cooling system, and replace the thermostat. Fill it with a fresh supply of a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and distilled water.
First I need to ask you,when you add 1/2 gallon each weekend,are you putting it in the radiator or reserve container. Second,when you say it over heats and the reserve tank is always full,Is it clear full and coming out the fill lid. heater cores can only block water going in to them,it could never cause an over heating problem. you need to verify the basic system is working properly first.when it is running hot or you hear something different in the engine,what does your temp on the dash say,is it verifying over heating,or not. the ECT switch is the eyes and ears for the computer,it tells the computer the engine is getting hot and then the computer turns on the radiator fans to cool it down.if the switch is lying or giving false info to the computer,it will never turn the fans on.if you take it to a shop they can test the whole system with a hand held computer and test each part of the system.
Best way is to buy a flush kit. It is an adaptor that you put in your heater hose and can hook up a garden hose to. You cut the hose and put this device permanently in the line. Remove the thermostat, don't put the new gasket in there yet just put the outlet pipe back on and bolt it down. Run the car when cold with your hose running for about 10 minutes with the radiator drain valve open on the bottom of your radiator and the cap loose, water should come out of the drain valve and the radiator cap. This will flush your engine adequately, why waste money on distilled water, save that for topping off your battery. Turn off your engine continue to allow water from your hose to flow as long as you are seeing any thing other than clear water flow until it flows clear. Turn off the hose, put the cap on the flush port you installed. the port stays under your hood and allows you to flush your engine as needed. Let the water drain through the drain valve. Put in a new thermostat, with a gasket this time. Refill with water and antifreeze as directed in your manual. You should be good to go.
Open the radiator drain plug and let out as much coolant as will drain';
Replace drain plug and refill the sytem with distilled water
Run the engine for for few minutes until it is warm (not hot);
Repeat steps #3, #4 and #5 until you've effectively replace all of the
coolant with distilled water. You'll know your finished draining the system
when only clear water drains out.
Drain the system one last time (now only residual distilled water should
be in your cooling system);
**** out all the coolant in the overflow tank (I use a Turkey baster or a
huge syringe with a short length of rubber tubing.)
Replace the radiator drain plug.
Add undiluted anti-freeze to the system;
Run the engine to mix the distilled water already in the cooling system
with the newly added antifreeze.
Check the antifreeze/water concentration with a tester.
Over the next few days, adjust to the desired antifreeze/water mixture
over the next several days. You'll likely have to **** out a little coolant
mixture from the fill cap to create room for either the distilled water or the
anit-freeze you'll be adding to adjust to the desired concentration.
Sometimes I adjust by adding either water or antifreeze to the coolant-
overflow tank which utimately mixes with the engine coolant;
Don't forget to add collant and/or water to the coolant overflow tank.