Question about 2001 Pontiac Sunfire

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Temperature/heat wont work/dashboard lights on and off

My temperature maxed out the other day-260 usually is around 190.... I pulled over let the car sit. The coolent was at the fill line. I sat for an hour. The temp droped a few degrees. The car was towed. A new water pump was put in. I was told the temp needle was stuck. Today my temp was normal at 190-needle is not stuck. My gage light came on. Fluids are full gas is full. The needle jumped to 260 a click was heard then my heat in the car began blowing cold air. The temp went back to 190. It then jumped again the traction off light came on when the needle jumped again. I parked the car the heat began to blow hot then slowly went to cold again.

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  • Anonymous Mar 16, 2014

    when i turn the heat on it takes a much longer than usual to blow heat

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It sounds to me like you're low on coolant. When you checked the coolant level, did you actually open the radiator cap and make sure the radiator is full? The plastic tank you generally add coolant too is actually an 'overflow' or 'reserve' tank. There is a hose that runs from that tank to the top of the radiator so if the radiator gets low on coolant, more coolant -should- run in from the overflow tank. However in practice this does not always work. I have a Jeep that leaks coolant and experiences this exact same problem. Coolant will not run from the reserve tank into the radiator because the hose is plugged up, and whenever the radiator gets low on coolant the temp gauge will go real high and then drop, and the heater doesn't work well. This is because the cooling system of your car is supposed to be a closed system, full of coolant and no air. When coolant leaks out, the space it used to occupy is now occupied by air, which does not transfer heat well. When 'air' is passing through your cooling system, no heat can be transferred from your engine to the heater and radiator, resulting in a hot engine and no heat at the heater. Then when a pocket of water passes through the system, the temperature gauge quickly falls as the water absorbs the heat from the engine. The hot water that cools the engine is where the heater gets it's heat from as well, so when water passes through the heater core, the heater works, but when it's filled with air, it doesn't.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009

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