Question about 1997 Pontiac Sunfire

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My 97 sunfire is over heating. What is the problem?

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Firstly ensure the coolant level is not low. If it is, top it up with the correct spec coolant.
I assume the coolant level is not low so the problem could be :

1. Faulty thermostat
2. Intermittent blockage in the cooling system which is retarding the coolant flow
3. Faulty water pump.
4. Any combination of the above.

Action.
1. Don't drive the vehicle in this condition - except to get it to the nearest repair shop. Running in this condition may cause expensive engine damage - such as a cracked head - from overheating which could cost more to repair than the car is worth.

2. (a) Have the entire cooling system flushed thoroughly. At the same time replace the thermostat with the correct new factory item.

(b)Whilst this is being done have the water pump removed and inspected. It may also be on it's last legs and require replacement. If it needs replacing you have no choice but to do this work as your engine is history if running on a worn out or corroded water pump which is not circulating the coolant as it should. If you have no record of the water pump being replaced in the past 5 years this should not be overlooked in a car of this age.

If you cannot do this work yourself then entrust it to a quality automotive repair shop.

Ensure the correct coolant is used in the cooling system when re-filling (refer manufacturer spec) and ensure the system is bled of all air. If it is not bled of air after re-filling you will end up with poor coolant flow, hot spots and potential engine damage.


Cheers
Sean
Voluntary contributor

Posted on Dec 12, 2009

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