Question about 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

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Overhating My 88 cutlass keeps overheating. I just put a new water pump and thermostat on it. The heads are good. the coolant isnt circulating thru my radiator and excess amount of pressure is building up. Could this be a problem with my radiator?

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  • kelsobang5 Feb 10, 2009

    Yea the coolant used to be rusty. so would i need a new radiator?

  • kelsobang5 Feb 10, 2009

    thanx!

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    IT COULD BE THE RADIATOR CORE IS BLOCKED, IS THE COOLANT RUSTY OR EVER BEEN RUSTY? IF NOT U HAVE LEAKING HEAD GASKESTS.

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Chanses are you got an air pocket in the system, there should be a bleeder on top of thermostat housing to bleed off the air, also might be one by the water pump. Its a common problem on them cars after you have drained the coolant to do thermostat or waterpump. Just bleed off the air and you should be good to go.

Posted on Feb 10, 2009

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Car over heating


The most common cause is low coolant level, so check the radiator and overflow tank and fill as needed. If coolant is over 2 years old, it is a good idea to change the coolant and thermostat-start afresh.
Check the radiator cap. If it doesn't hold pressure of about 13-15 psi in the coolant system, the seal is bad and a new radiator cap is called for. The coolant system is a sealed system, so you should never have to add coolant, save for a small loss through evaporation in the overflow tank. If you are losing coolant, there must be a leak that needs found and repaired-a pressure test of the system should show up a leak.
When the engine is warmed up, the thermostat opens and coolant is circulated through the engine (pushed by the water pump on the front of the engine), into the upper radiator hose to the radiator, and down through the radiator where it is cooled, then back to engine and water pump through the lower radiator hose-a continuous circulation. If anything blocks this circulation (like a partially plugged radiator, or leaves, trash or debris on the outside of the radiator preventing good radiator cooling) then you could get engine overheating. You may want to have the coolant circulation checked, and/or have the radiator and engine flushed. Also possible that the water pump may not be promoting good flow-the impellers on the pump may be worn down to stubs-this can happen if regular maintenance is not observed.
Your radiator fans should also be checked that they work when called for.
The worst case would be a blown cylinder head gasket-another common cause of overheating, and the most expensive fix. A compression test could check for this condition- a cylinder or two with low compression indicates head gasket failure. Coolant can get mixed in with the oil, or it may wind up in the cylinders and get burned, putting out white smoke out the exhaust.
Overheating is bad on engines, get it checked right away.

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How long has it been going on? You need to check if you have a bad head gasket. A compression test of the cylinders would tell you. Not saying that's what it is, but that can be a cause of overheating. And it can also be an expensive result of prolonged overheating. That's why mechanics caution against running an overheating engine. If you find the head gasket is good, it will give you great peace of mind, knowing the Shadow's engine warrants a few more dollars in repairs. Compared to the cost of a new head gasket and having the head checked for straightness and for cracks, other repairs for overheating is minimal.
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