Question about Chevrolet Malibu

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What is causing air in coolant system on 2000 Malibu? I have replaced water pump, intake manifold gasket, & thermostat. It was overheating, loosing coolant, and intermittent interior heat. Much better now. I still have temp issue, but not as often. When guage is up & not going down, I bleed air @ bleeder screw on pipe, and guage drops immediately. I can't figure out why I have to continue to do this!

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  • Cinthia Pulskamp Oct 23, 2010

    Fans are working fine. Running A/C doesn't make a difference. Temp sensor works. I can't find bleeding procedure in my manual. Looked under 'cooling system' & also 'engine overheating'. Don't think it's in there. Anyway... I bleed @ only bleeder screw, while squeezing upper radiator hose. I bleed until a steady flow comes from screw. Hoses, clamps, & radiator look good. Cap is new. Reservoir is intact.

    This is so frustrating! I cant figure out how air keeps getting in system!

    When replacing thermostat, I noticed some 'corrossion' where upper radiator hose connects to thermostat housing. I cleaned it with a wire brush & wiped inside of hose clean, before reconnecting. Clamp is tight.

    It seems like all air is purged, but then I get another air lock. I just don't know if more air is getting into system- or if there it's possible to have more air pockets in my system. I have bled the heck out of it!

  • Cinthia Pulskamp Oct 23, 2010

    Fans work fine. Temp sensor/guage works. Low coolant indicator works at startup, but sensor must be bad. It doesnt come on when coolant is low. I don't see any steam when it overheats. Only sign is temp guage red lines. I no longer have coolant leak, but continue to have air pockets, causing overheat issue.
    Inspection of radiator, clamps, and hoses was good (except one). When replacing thermostat, I noticed 'corrossion' where upper radiator hose connects to thermostat housing. I cleaned with wire brush and wiped inside of hose, before reconnecting.

  • Cinthia Pulskamp Oct 24, 2010

    I sincerely appreciate your help. Please don't give up on me! I've gotta figure this out!



    I have read and re-read sections 5-10 and 5-13, in my manual. I still don't see bleeding instructions, unless suggestions in manual refer to bleeding, but don't actual use the word 'bleed'. The only thing I have not yet tried, is running heater on full heat at highest fan setting WITH WINDOW OPEN. I will try that! I have been adding coolant, as instructed in section 5-13.



    My coolant temp guage works properly. The 'low coolant' light does NOT come on when level is low' but DOES come on at startup (as it should). Is there a defective sensor- or what could prevent warning light from coming on when level is low?



    I haven't mentioned my misfire condition, because I didn't think it was significant to my overheating issue. Correct me, if I am wrong. Car misfires very badly when idling, but rarely otherwise. Cylinder 3 only.



    I will try the 'window open' suggestion tomorrow. In the meantime, let me know if there is any significance of indicator and/or misfiring.



    THANK YOU!

  • Cinthia Pulskamp Oct 26, 2010

    Bubbles appear in reservoir, but not hot. Coolant pushes out of overflow. CO detector reads fine. I am going to try a good chemical flush. I think there is a clog in system.

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  • Master
  • 3,489 Answers

These are real pain to bleed all the air out. Run without the cap on the resevoir, turn the heat on full, and watch your temperature gauge. The temp. should be 220 degrees. Then listen for the fans and fill the resevoir with coolant and distilled water as needed. Try this first and let me know. Oh, by the way, did you have any machine work or a machine shop look at the heads?

Posted on Oct 24, 2010

  • Kori Policy
    Kori Policy Oct 26, 2010

    Quite honestly, it matters not whether your window is open or not. Do turn the heat on high as to make sure you dont have air trapped in the heater circuit. A misfire can cause an overheat in these engines if it has to do with the cylinder head. Do you know why or when it started to misfire? It could be a crack in the head. Did you have any machine work performed?

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  • Chevrolet Master
  • 18,108 Answers

You have a cracked head or blown head gasket. To verify this run the engine and take the cap off the radiator. Check for bubbles or use a carbon monoxide detector to sniff the coolant when bubbles appear.. OR you can have a cylinder leak down test done Or you can run a compression test. The first and last test wont tell you where the problem is though.

Posted on Oct 23, 2010

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  • Master
  • 1,796 Answers

Hi!!
I had a similar problem. When you see that the vehicle is overheating, turn the A/C ON a couple of minutes, this makes the HI Speed or the Auxiliary Fan (if your vehicle has two fans), kick in and your temp. will drop quickly. NOTE: At normal engine temp., the Cooling Fan should be always on when the A/C Compressor is engaged.
On my case it was a little more complicated, my son was driving the car and it overheated he added water, the water build a lot of rust and plugged the radiator, I had the radiator and cooling system flushed professionally and that took care of that issue.
My cooling fan was working fine, when the temp. gets almost half way on the gauge, the fan should kick in. If yours doesn't, check Cooling Fan Relay, if OK, your Coolant Temp. Sensor may be defective, check wiring, if OK, replace sensor.
On your owner's manual you'll find the procedure to bleed air form the Cooling System. Make sure you do it that way. And last, check the hose that goes form the radiator to the reservoir, make sure there are no leaks and that the hose clamps are tight. Check Reservoir for cracks and signs of leakage, and make sure the Cap has a tight fit and the hose that goes into the reservoir is in place. If the reservoir cap or the hose clamps are not properly fit, vapor will get out and air will be sucked into the system.
On my case, the elbow on top of the reservoir cap was cracked and the low coolant light was always on. Once I replace the reservoir cap the light went OFF.
I hope this will apply to your vehicle and help to solve your problems.
A HELPFUL - 4 THUMBS - rating for this solution would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for using FixYa.

Posted on Oct 23, 2010

  • Rene J Solis Oct 23, 2010

    IF YOU DON'T FOLLOW THE PROPER PROCEDURE TO REFILL AND BLEED THE COOLING SYSTEM, THE FAULT WILL BE YOURS. ON YOUR OWNER'S MANUAL, SECTION 5-10 AND 5-13 YOU'LL FIND THE INFORMATION I MENTIONED EARLIER ABOUT PROPER PROCEDURE TO ADD COOLANT TO YOUR SYSTEM AND BLEEDING THE COOLING SYSTEM.



    Engine Overheating


    You will find a coolant temperature gage and a warning

    light about a hot engine on your instrument panel. See

    "Engine Coolant Temperature Gage" and "Hot Coolant

    Temperature" in the Index. You also have a low coolant

    light on your instrument panel. See "Low Coolant

    Level" in the Index.



    Overheated Engine Protection Operating Mode



    This emergency operating mode allows your vehicle to

    be driven to a safe place in an emergency situation.

    Should an overheated engine condition exist, an

    overheat protection mode which alternates firing groups

    of cylinders helps prevent engine damage. In this mode,

    you will notice a significant loss in power and engine

    performance. The low coolant may come on and the

    temperature gage will indicate an overheat condition

    exists. Towing a trailer in the overheat protection mode

    should be avoided.



    SECTION 5
    Here you'll find what to do about some problems that can occur on the road.


    5-2 Hazard Warning Flashers

    5-3 Other Warning Devices

    5-3 Jump Starting

    5-9 Towing Your Vehicle

    5-10 Engine Overheating

    5-13 Cooling System

    5-23 If A Tire Goes Flat

    5-24 Changing a Flat Tire

    5-34 Compact Spare Tire

    5-35 If You're Stuck: In Sand, Mud, Ice or Snow

  • Rene J Solis Oct 27, 2010

    Engine Overheating - Proper Coolant Refill Procedure



    You will find a coolant temperature gage and a warning light about a hot engine on your instrument panel. You also have a low coolant light on your instrument panel.



    Overheated Engine Protection Operating Mode

    This emergency operating mode allows your vehicle to be driven to a safe place in an emergency situation. Should an overheated engine condition exist, an overheat protection mode which alternates firing groups of cylinders helps prevent engine damage. In this mode, you will notice a significant loss in power and engine performance. The low coolant may come on and the temperature gage will indicate an overheat condition exists. Towing a trailer in the overheat protection mode should be avoided.



    NOTICE:

    After driving in the overheated engine protection operating mode, to avoid engine damage, allow

    the engine to cool before attempting any repair. The engine oil will be severely degraded. Repair

    the cause of coolant loss and change the oil.




    When adding coolant, it is important that you use only DEX-COOL (silicate-free) coolant.

    If coolant other than DEX-COOL is added to the system, premature engine, heater core or

    radiator corrosion may result. In addition, the engine coolant will require change sooner -- at

    30,000 miles (50 000 km) or 24 months, whichever occurs first. Damage caused by the

    use of coolant other than DEX-COOL is not covered by your new vehicle warranty.




    Adding only plain water to your cooling system can be dangerous. Plain water, or some other

    liquid like alcohol, can boil before the proper coolant mixture will. Your vehicle's coolant

    warning system is set for the proper coolant mixture. With plain water or the wrong mixture,

    your engine could get too hot but you wouldn't get the overheat warning. Your engine could

    catch fire and you or others could be burned. Use a 50/50 mixture of clean, drinkable water

    and DEX-COOL coolant.




    After the engine cools, open the coolant air bleed valve or valves. 3400 V6 engine: There are two bleed valves. One is located on the thermostat housing. The other is located on the thermostat bypass tube. 3800 V6 engine: There is one bleed valve. It is located on the thermostat housing.


    Fill the radiator with the proper DEX-COOL coolant mixture, up to the base of the filler neck. (See "Engine Coolant" in the Index for more information about the proper coolant mixture.)


    If you see a stream of coolant coming from an air bleed valve, close the valve. Otherwise, close the
    valves after the radiator is filled.


    Rinse or wipe any spilled coolant from the engine and the compartment.
    If you have the 3800 V6 engine, replace the 3800 Series II V6 engine cover shield.


    Remove the oil fill tube, with cap attached, from the valve cover.


    Insert the catch tab on the cover shield under the bracket on the engine.


    Place the hole in the cover shield over the hole in the valve cover. Install oil fill tube and cap by
    twisting clockwise.


    Then fill the coolant recovery tank to the COLD mark.


    Put the cap back on the coolant recovery tank, but leave the radiator pressure cap off.


    Start the engine and let it run until you can feel the upper radiator hose getting hot. Watch out for the
    engine cooling fans.


    By this time, the coolant level inside the radiator filler neck may be lower. If the level is lower, add
    more of the proper DEX-COOL coolant mixture through the filler neck until the level reaches the
    base of the filler neck.


    Then replace the pressure cap. At any time during this procedure if coolant begins to flow out of the
    filler neck, reinstall the pressure cap. Be sure the arrows on the pressure cap line up like this.


    Check the coolant in the recovery tank. The level in the coolant recovery tank should be at the HOT
    mark when the engine is hot or at the COLD mark when the engine is cold.

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