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first check coolant level in radiator coolant level sound low.if coolant overflow jug empty.coolant sysyem low, when add coolant to coolant overflow jug coolant level should stay at full cold mark.if coolant level okay,engine overheat while sitting or moving in slow traffic either coolant fan relay or fuse could be bad.or engine coolant temperature sensor could be bad. coolant sensor turn on cooling fan at certain temperature.hot wire check to make sure cooling fan motor not bad or short in wires.if all is good have pcm check it controls fan relay to through the coolant temperature sensor signal when coolant get hot.
Turn vehicle off. Allow to cool. Raise hood.
Try to see if the fans spin freely by hand. If not, replace. If they do spin, proceed to next step.
Check coolant level, add if needed. Remember-radiator must be cool before opening cap. Make sure radiator cap is secure and tight if coolant was added.
Start vehicle. Observe coolant gauge as vehicle warms. Fans should come on when temp gauge reads halfway between c and h.
If fans do not come on see if they come on when you turn on ac or heat. If doing this makes them come on, suspect faulty cooling fan sensor switch. If they don't come on replace cooling fan sensor switch and fan relay.
RADIATOR COOLING FAN NOT RUNNING COULD BE BAD ENGINE.COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR IS FAULTY IF COOLING FAN IS NOT TURNING ON AT SET TEMPERATURE OF 196 TO 203 DEGRESS.CHECK SEE COOLING FAN RUNNING WHEN ENGINE RUNNING HOT.IF YES FLUSH RADIATOR , FLUSH ENGINE BLOCK, HEATER CORE,REPLACE RADIATOR CAP.MAKE SURE YOU HAVE 50/50 ANTIFREEZE AND WATER IN THE COOLANT SYSTEM.CHECK WATER PUMP WEEP HOLE IF LEAKING REPLACE WATER PUMP. IF COOLANT FAN DONT TURN ON 196 TO 203 DEGREES, YOU HAVE FAULTY COOLING FAN,SHORT IN FAN WIRING OR ENGINE COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR FAULTY.IGNITION TIMING WILL CAUSE ENGINE TO OVER HEAT.
OVERHEATING CAN BE CAUSE BY MANY THINGS LIKE FAULTY THERMOSTAT AND FAULTY RADIATOR PRESSURE CAP,TOO MUCH WATER IN COOLANT SYSTEM NEED 50 / 50 WATER AND ANTIFREEZE.LOOK FOR WATER PUMP WEEP HOLE LEAK, IF COOLANT LEAKING OUT WEEP HOLE WATER PUMP BAD NEED REPLACING.CHECK FOR LOW COOLANT LEVEL, YOUR RADIATOR OVERFLOW JUG SHOULD HAVE COOLANT AT THE FULL COLD MARK IF NOT KEEP ADDING COOLANT INTO COOLANT OVERFLOW JUG UNTIL COOLANT STOP DROPPING AND FULL COLD MARK, IF OVERFLOW COOLANT JUG WAS EMPTY RADIATOR IS LOW ON COOLANT.WHICH CAUSE AIR IN COOLANT SYSTEM KEEPING THE ENGINE COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR FROM BEING SUBMERGE IN HOT COOLANT WHICH TURN ON THE COOLANT FANS.WHEN ENGINE COOLANT TEMPERATURE GET CERTAIN SET TEMPERATURE LIKE 190 DEGREES THE PCM AND COOLANT SENSOR WILL TURN ON COOLANT FANS, IF VECHICLE OVERHEATING COOLANT FANS NOT WORKING EITHER YOU HAVE FAULTY ENGINE COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR CHECK COOLANT FANS FUSE AND RELAYS. YOU CAN CODE SCAN CAR TO SEE IF YOU HAVE FAULTY PCM, FAULTY ENGINE COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR OR FAULTY COOLANT FAN RELAY.IF COOLANT FAN AND ENGINE COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR OKAY,YOU HAVE CORRECT COOLANT LEVEL IN COOLANT SYSTEM, THERMOSTAT AND RADIATOR PRESSURE CAP BEEN REPLACED, YOU COULD HAVE BLOWN HEAD GASKET CHECK ENGINE OIL LOOKS LIKE MILK SHAKE HEAD GASKET BLOWED ALSO WHEN HEAD GASKET BLOWED YOU CAN DRIVE CAR SHORT DISTANCE START OVERHEATING AND YOU LOOSE ENGINE POWER SUSPECT BLOWED HEAD GASKET.
CHECK ENGINE COOLANT LEVEL.MAKE SURE COOLANT OVER FLOW JUG HAS COOLANT IN FULL COLD MARK.IF COOLANT OVER FLOW JUG IS EMPTY RADIATOR GOT TO BE LOW ON COOLANT POUR COOLANT IN THE OVER FLOW UNTIL COOLANT LEVEL STAY AT THE COLD FULL MARK.SEE IF RADIATOR DONT HAVE A RADIATOR CAP YOU HAVE TO POUR COOLANT IN THE OVER FLOW JUG COOLANT WILL FLOW DOWN IN RADIATOR UNTIL COOLANT LEVEL STOP AT FULL COLD MARK.IF COOLANT LEVEL OKAY.YOUR THERMOSTAT NEED CHANGING ALSO RADIATOR PRESSURE CAP.HAVE RADIATOR FLUSHED OUT.HAVE ENGINE BLOCK FLUSHED OUT.CHECK ENGINE OIL IF OIL LOOK LIKE MILK SHAKE ON OIL DIP STICK YOU HAVE LEAKING HEAD GASKET THAT WILL CAUSE ENGINE OVER HEAT WHILE CAR IN MOTION.CHECK WATER PUMP MAKE SURE ITS WEEP HOLE NOT LEAKING ANTIFREEZE IF SO WATER PUMP NEED REPLACING.
This could have several causes. Is the coolant tank full? Is the coolant relatively fresh and a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze? Does the heat gauge jump up to hot and then fall back rapidly at some point or just rise and keep climbing? If so, it is the thermostat. Is there a leak evident under the car? If so, it could be a bad water pump. The water pump has a small weep hole and if there is water at that point the pump needs to be replaced. If none of this is the cause, then it could be a plugged radiator or a faulty cap located on the radiator or the coolant overflow tank.