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Check that you are getting fluid flowing through the system. Obviously make sure system is full. Check the return hose (from engine to radiator; usually the upper) is firm when hot and running and input hose (from radiator to engine; usually the lower) is firm and hot. If out from the radiator is but return to the radiator is not then you probably have a flow problem. Make sure your water pump is turning (and pumping) and check that your thermostat is not frozen closed. A frozen closed thermostat can stop fluid flow causing your engine to overheat and do serious damage while your temperature gauge reads low temp because there is no fluid getting to it to make it sense high temp. Frozen thermostats cause head gaskets to blow and engines to seize. When I replace mine I spend a few extra dollars and get the over temp protected thermostat because they lock open if the engine overheats rather than seizing and jamming closed. I'd rather change the thermostat than blow a motor or blow my radiator cans off. ;-) Good luck and I hope this helps you out.
I'm guessing a new engine block is due....
at the temperatures you describe it is very possible that the water inside this cast-iron block is Still rock solid frozen.
I just cannot fathom how come you have no antifreeze in that vehicle in the first place! antifreeze can be had for six bucks a gallon!
if small bubbles come up in the radiator you might have already a cracked cylinder head and compression gases pushing through.
One Last hope you can have is that you got an air pocket in the water cannot circulate. but if it was frozen and you cranked your probably ripped off the water pump rotor blades...
It could be the water pump , or something else , like a faulty thermostat. Where is the coolant leaking from ? If it is leaking from the water pump , then yes , your pump might be toast.
If the thermostat is no good , the engine will warm up to normal temp , and then overheat quite quickly. As it overheats and the coolant expands and boils , it could back up into the overflow reservoir and leak out onto the ground. You need to get someone to diagnose the problem ASAP , running your engine in an overheat condition could very quickly blow your head gasket and/or warp a cylinder head. If you can , please post a bit more info. Does it run but at a higher than normal temp. Does it only overheat when stopped in traffic etc.
Could be water pump , or thermostat , or plugged up radiator , or nonfunctioning cooling fans.
The engine temp drops because the fan turns on regardless of heat or a/c. During summer of course with warmer weather it will be at a steady temp unless you the gets overheated by radiator or blown head gasket
The engine overheat is due to inefficient cooling. Therefore, there is coolant in the radiator but if it doesn't circulate inside the engine water-jacket to remove the heat generated from combustion's chambers, then it still causes overheat.
If this keeps happening then it can cause the engine head wrapped then leaking from the gasket as people called blowed head gasket.
It could be:
1- Thermostat is not opened.
2- Water pump is not working.
Before starting to replace parts, it needs to verify it it is the root cause of the problem.
Take out the thermostat and run the engine to feel if there is water flowing inside the upper hose.
A- If it is not then water pump is not working.
B- If is, then run the car a few days without thermostat to see if it causes overheated.
C- Running car without thermostat still causes overheat then there are some clogging up in the water jacket defeating the cooling efficiency--> Need a good flush. Good luck.
Water pumps can stall out, but do you have air trapped in system.
Had you recently had the system "open" to replace hose, thermostat, temp sensor. Some Ford and GM have a bleeder screw on a high point in cooling system to bleed out trapped air.
Check your trans fluid color. Since the trans cooler is built into radiator (automatics)
IF the engine is overheating the trans CAN overheat
IF the trans is overheating the engine CAN overheat
They share the same cooling source and trans fluid gets hotter than oil, but yet it has a wimpy cooler built into radiator. Maybe add trans oil cooler to system.
Also outside temp affects the cool down rate of the radiator, ie...hot air trying to cool down hot radiator/engine is less effecting than cool air cooling hot radiator/engine