Question about 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier
Changed the thermostat, heater coil, power steering pump, serpentine belt, flushed radiator, checked all hoses - it wasn't the water pump tried that too - and it's not smoking so I don't think it's the head gasket
You have to :burp" the cooling system.
Rather than me trying to walk you through this with text, just google and youtube yourself through it.
Search for things like "Bleeding the cooling system" and you will find a few different ways you can do this.
Just use caution when the water is hot.
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
The rust is probably in the engine. There are many little pockets, water ways, water jackets (around the cylinders), etc, so getting all the rust out without dunking the block and heads in a cleaning tank is about imposible. I would recommend giving it really good flush every 4 to 6 months. I would try flushing the radiator before replacing it because it is probably not rusted, even though it is full of gunk.
Posted on May 18, 2009
90's Cavaliers are notorious for problems such as these.
I hate to be the barrier of bad news, but in this case I would suggest that your engine either has a blown head gasket, and/or a warped head.
There is also the possibility that you blew a "soft plug" or cracked the block and that the coolant is leaking out through the base of the engine.
To find out of you have a blown head gasket, you can remove the oil cap from the valve cover and inspect it. If it has a yellow-brown-ish goo that is the consistency of paint, then you definitely have a blown head gasket and coolant has mixed with your oil. Meaning that you likely need an overhall.
You can also check by removing your radiator cap and checking to see if little tiny bubbles come up while the car is running. That is a sign of a compression leak, meaning that you most likely have a crack somewhere in either the cylinder head or the block.
Also, those cars have many very small radiator hoses that are in the middle of the engine and hard to see, find or replace.
In this instance, it sounds like your car has over heated more than 4 times, and once you get to that point you are likely to have fried the engine. This is because the newer engines are mostly aluminum and can't stand that much heat that often.
I would suggest seeking either a new car, or seeking a used engine to replace in your car. A used engine for those is fairly cheap compared to the price of fixing the problems that are likely to have occurred from excessive over heating.
Posted on Nov 11, 2009
If you have white smoke from the tailpipe, coolant in the engine oil, engine oil in the cooling system, that indicates a head gasket failure. However, the most definitive way to test is to have a hydrocarbon test done on the cooling system (checks for exhaust gasses that obviously don't belong in there).
If the system comes up clean, you still can have either a leaking intake gasket, partially obstructed radiator (many times flush will go around obstructions not through them), a malfunctioning electric fan or fan relay, or even an obstruction in front of the a/c condenser or between the condenser and radiator (leaves, plastic bags etc) Don't forget though even if the cause is other than a gasket, if repeatedly or severely overheated the head gaskets can also fail. That is why complete testing is very important.
Posted on Jan 20, 2010
Water pump. The impeller can come loose from the shaft and not circulate enough coolant. These can throw you off, because when you remove the pump the impeller will be tight against the shaft. It is when they warm up they begin to slip. If the heater core is not leaking don't bypass it.
Posted on Aug 17, 2011
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