Question about 2002 Pontiac Montana

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We replaced the water pump, thermostat yesterday , still have a overheating problem. Acts like an air lock in the system. bled everthing and still overheating.

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If you get a constant peculation of air bubbles out the radiator while your bleeding the system than you are likely another victim of the well know head gasket failures that occur on these engines (3.4 liter). All it takes is one overheating and they are done.

I would assume that you are sure the thermostat is working?

Posted on Nov 10, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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If the car is still running hot after replacing the thermostat, then there are a few issues that you need to check. Is all the air bled out of the cooling system? Do you have a leak somewhere? Is the top hose and bottom hose both getting hot? Is the temp sensor working correctly (meaning the sensor says that your car is in the red, but really your car is not overheating at all). Is the cooling fan turning on? It has to be one of those that is causing the issue with the car overheating. Most of the time, its due to not bleeding the air out of the system, or the water pump not functioning correctly.

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Full coolant level does not mean your engine cannot overheat. You need to fix the problem as overheating will destroy the engine if not addressed.

The radiator cooling fans must be working, as must the water pump. The thermostat must also be working properly.
There must also be no air in the cooling system as air locks will impair water flow. When cooling systems are drained fully or partially and re-filled air in the system must be bled out using the correct bleeding procedure for the particular engine/cooling system. Failure to do this properly will lead to overheating.

If you ONLY see the overheating warning when running your aircon you need to check that the electric radaitor fans are kicking in at idle when you switch on and run the aircon and the engine has been warmed up some. If they do not start operating when the a/c is running you will get an overheating condition in normal driving conditions.

If the radiator fans are operating normally and you still get an overheating warning when the aircon is on or off the most likely culprit is a faulty thermostat in the engine's cooling system which will need to be replaced.

If you have either a faulty thermostat or if the water pump in the cooling system fails you will get continuous overheating whether the aircon is on or off.

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It might have an Air Lock, Have you bled the system after you have done the repair work? Try flushing the system and bleed it after you fill it up. Failing that the cylinder Head gasket might be on the way out if it has overheated and burned the head.

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Get your radiator cap checked and if replacing use the one for a overflow tank. If the cap pressure was okay then you want to look at water circulation in the radiator. After the thermostat opens you should see flow inside the radiator. If it does not circulate the block is clogged or the water pump is bad.

Finally, if you have an electric cooling fan there are relays and some have two fan speeds. Autozone may be able to diagnose your problem.

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