Question about 2001 Chevrolet Malibu

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Replaced the water pump, thermostat, intake seals (top and bottom), had the radiator inspected and flushed, checked the fuses, and took it to the local auto parts store and ran the electrical test which came up negative, and the car still runs hot!!!!!! 2001 chevy malibu. what is the problem????

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You can do a few quick checks: turn your heater on full blast in side the car and start the engine. As the engine heats up, you should feel heat blowing inside the car. If not, coolant is not circulating. No circulation can be caused by an air bubble caught in the radiator after it was flushed. Look inside the radiator to check the coolant level. It should be within an inch of the top. Don't remove the radiator cap when it is hot, you can be burned by steam. Leave the cap off and start the engine. As it heats up you should see movement in the coolant if you rev up the engine. If you find no circulation, the new thermostat may be bad or not opening at the proper temperature. Check the fan to be sure it is coming on as the engine heats up. The fan is electric and is designed to cycle on and off to maintain a steady temperature in the coolant. If it is not operating properly, engine will overheat. Hopefully when the radiator was flushed, the fins were also "blown out" to allow good airflow through the radiator, if not clean the fins with a good blast of a garden hose until all the dirt, dust and bugs are gone. These are simple tests. If the engine has overheated, there is a good chance you may have warped the engine head. This is beyond the repair capabilities of most drivers. Again, simple tests are: pull your oil dipstick. If the oil is frothy and the color of hot chocolate, you have water in the oil. If you can see spots of water clinging to the dipsitck, you have water in the oil. Check your new coolant. If there is oil in the coolant, (frothy brown layer or sheen on top of coolant) you have oil in the coolant. Either condition indicates you have a blown head gasket caused by warping the head by overheating. Blown head gaskets often cause overheating. The fix is to remove the head, have it planed and rebuilt and reinstall with new head gasket. This procedure is complex and expensive. Do it yourself requires a head gasket kit and planing and rebuilding the head. Expect that repair to exceed $600.00. Good luck, hopefully you will find a circulation problem.

Posted on Sep 12, 2010


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Message light states that engine is overheated and engine must be shut off

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Start with the thermostat and remove it from its housing and either leave it out (for now) and refit the housing to seal the system. See if that helps because coolant is pumped around the engine at start up and once hot the thermostat opens and allows it to flow through the radiator to be cooled as air passes the radiator. That eliminates the thermostat as the cause if it still overheats.
Next, disconnect the bottom and top hoses from the radiator and try to flush through the radiator with a hosepipe and see if there is a flow through it to eliminate a blocked radiator.
Then do the same to flush out the engine.
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