Question about 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix

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'97 Grand Prix 3.1L...Head Gasket? Manifold? Control Module?

Had car 1wk. DAY 1 no heat/loses power. DAY 2 overheats, fill 1/2 gal coolant, no sign of coolant on ground. DAY 5 at 65mph go ~8mi and gauge in red, exit and fill 1/2 gal coolant...10 minutes later replace radiator cap. Cap seemed to make drive better than 1st got it. In PM however, in red. DAY 6 cannot drive much w/o overheating...1/4 gal coolant and lost power soon after got on interstate, could not go over 50mph & finally stalled off exit. DAY 7 made it work from stalled area pulling in on 2 cyl. Put in Bar's Gasket Leak and died upon idling, restarted and revved until reached 190. Cooled 25min and turn over but not start. Single MOM and need car...any ideas on what's wrong? THANKS!!!!!!

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Hi Melody- it feels like you could be right. it feels like your car was well worn when you got it. common causes of overheating are coolant too low, which is what i suspect was the case when you first got it. a stuck closed thermostat not allowing coolant to circulate. i assume you have an electric cooling fan- check to see if your fan motor is fried. you could also have large air pockets inside your cooling system which can give false coolant level. when you pour coolant into your radiator rather than your overflow tank, you introduce air into the cooling system that has to be purged by allowing the bubbles to work their way out through your radiator by squeezing your coolant hose you can assist the escape of these air pockets (with engine running) evidence of a cracked head can be presence of coolant in your engine oil-pull your oil dipstick and look. you say no evidence of coolant leakage, however, look underneath your car and check to see if there is coolant splatter surrounding the underside. it maybe that your car is maintaining enough pressure to run but when engine temps reach a point to where the radiator fan should kick on, and/or the thermostat should open to allow coolant flow and these things dont happen-the result is what you describe with no power and overheating that will eventually overstress your head(s) warped heads can cause the symptoms you describe. you can perform a compression test to help pinpoint a blown cyl. an idea for fixing your car for cheap would be to take it to your local high school auto shop. the only way kids learn the trade is by subject cars. ill bet you can even arrange them to pick it up. the will fix your car for cost. you would only need to supply whatever parts are needed to make the repair. its a win-win situation because they get to learn by fixing your car and you get to use your car for doing mommy things without fear of labor fees. which are around $120/hr. I hope i have helped you with your car good luck!

Posted on Feb 12, 2009

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