Question about 1994 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

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My car has overheating out of ordinary found that water pump was leaking replaced it, drove 2 blocks car said overheated again. Replaced thermostat and it still said was overheating. Even after I let car sit over night for 12 hours I went out in morning to turn it on and it still said was to the max temp. and flashing hot on dash. The fans didnt seem like they were not working on there own so i hooked up wire to battery then to fan and it did kick on, but still not sure why it says its overheated when i just turn the car on..?

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Your temp Gage is toast along with temp sensor if the coolant drops pass the temp sensor it maxis out the temp Gage damaging it. It will have to be replaced. If your car has overheated you might want to get a coolant flush and a pressure test to make sure there is no internal engine damage.

Posted on Jul 25, 2009

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Sounds like you need a temp sensor for the gage. There's 2 under the hood one is a 2 wire in the intake manifold driver's side & a single wire one under the exhaust crossover pipe,also driver's side. You want to change the single wire one. Yes,it's tough. If it's still overheating quick, then it's a head gasket.

Posted on Jun 21, 2009

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Thermostat, water pump, plugged radiator, blown head gasket? I tinker with autos, but on a very basic level.

My story and course of action (that you may be able to glean some ideas from)
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Started again, and after approx. 3 - 4 miles of driving, car overheated (almost instantaneous going from normal temp to overheating (noticed it within a block). Overheated 1 block from Dodge dealer on Sun. afternoon. Let car cool down, ensured coolant full, and drove to hotel 2 miles away for night (no problems with overheating, but car may not have gotten back up to temp in those 2 miles- was approx 65 Deg Far ambient. Noticed that when the car does "act up" and heads for overheating, the vents blow cold, even though set for high heat.

Got to Dodge dealer the next morning. Dealer said no external leaks, and no mixing of oil and antifreeze (mixing could indicate blown head gasket). Diagnosed thermostat ($340 for parts and labor), and would be fixed in 3.5 hours. 8 hours later, dealer said finally had thermostat changed, but still overheating. Would try to reblead air out of the cooling system (air or air pockets in the system could cause overheating). Still no luck - car was overheating. So dealer said next thought would be partially plugged radiator. Plan- next morning, send radiator out for testing.

Well, radiator was sent out, and some gunk was found and cleaned from radiator
($225 US), but dealer said was not enough to be causing the problems I was getting. Next guess was to check the water pump, at $700 -$800 labor to see if it was defective. Dealer said, but I have not confirmed, that car would idle fine for unlimited time without overheating, but when took out for drive, it would overheat. The cooling fan was functioning properly.

Well, at that stage, decided to just tow car home, and fix there so I rented UHAUL truck and tow dolly ($350 US), plus the gas such a vehicle consumes.

Take to NW Indiana garage, and they say,

check water pump to see if defective ($650), replace water pump if defective, and if not defective, pull heads to inspect for blown head gasket (an additional $450 labor). Said exhause gases could be internally leaking into the coolant (because bad head gasket) and causing the car to overheat. Said may consider just putting in a used engine- may be cheaper. Well I know the previous owner, and the car was maticulously kept, so I say I need to think it over. Drove car home (about 2 miles) and coolant temp gage didn't budge an inch- coolant level was fine, so who knows what happened to it...

Checked from garage that replaced the water pump, and said it was a dealership new waterpump that was installed, with all new gaskets, and did NOT replace timing chain.

Go and talk to dad (aren't dad's great!). Dad has rebuild many motors in his day- was a millright who completly rebuilt from scratch Model A's , 1940's sedans, and some cars in the 1970s and 1980s. Successfully rebuilt 2 automatic transmissions in the 70s and 80s as well. Dad's getting up in age (mid seventies) so didn't want to burdeon him, just wanted his input. He said, consider water pump, but he seemed to remember a test you could do on the coolant to check for exhaust gases. After trips to 4 local Auto parts stores (some "fake" ones like Autozone, and a couple real ones), found a guy who knew of the test, and ordered one for me. So, for $40, hopefully will be able to see if there are exhaust gases in the coolant, indicating a blown head gasket.

Will have to make some decisions based on test results. Have about $1600 or so in car already. May try to do work myself- who knows!

Just trying to explain my overheating issues, and giving some insight into potential causes, and remedies that were explored in my case so they may be of help with you.

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1 Answer

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Hi,
If the car is overheating it could be due to a thermostat which is stuck in the closed position, a failed water pump or just a slack belt driving it. I think there will be a "little" tube carrying coolant from the engine to the coolant expansion tank, and if you run the engine with the filler cap removed you should see water coming through that pipe IF the rump is running. A failed water pump will not necessarily leak, it just won't pump the water round the engine.

Always take care when dealing with a pressurised cooling system on an overheating engine - the water may well be above boiling point.

If you run the engine without coolant the cylinder head may well warp and repair bill will be huge.

Hope this helps you a bit. D

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