Question about 2000 Nissan Maxima

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2000 Maxima still overheating

J_del - Thanks for the "burping" hint. I have cycled through this 5 or 6 times topping the radiator off each time. The car is not heating up as quickly nor is it staying hot, but it will still get to the top of the "normal" range if I push the car or if I'm sitting in traffic. It will then after a couple of minutes drop right back down and run at 1/3 up the gauge like normal! The heater is working properly now. When I put in the new radiator and thermostat, I did not back fill the coolant into the engine through the upper hose, I just filled the radiator and the resivoir. Is it possible there is STILL air in there? If so how else can I get it out? Are there any other issues that might cause these symptoms? When I heat the engine up and shut it off to let the air bleed, should the cap be loose? Or should I just wait until it is completely cool and then open it? Thanks again!

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  • ps2205 Aug 28, 2008

    I am having the same type problem. My 1996 Maxima is overheating when the a/c is running and/or driving uphill. We have replaced the thermostat did the radiator flush , water pump okay and all the things that have been suggested here have been checked. Is there something else to check that we may be missing? Thanks!

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Yes, some engine cooling systems are just very hard to bleed. Had the same problem happen. The best solution i found was to drain the coolant back out, remove the thermostat, fill the engine with coolant from the hole where the thermostat sits, reinstall the thermostat, top rad hose, and everything else, then top up the radiator and the tank.

Posted on Aug 13, 2008

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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06 pt cruiser turbo replaced radiator test drove and coolant was leaking found black wire to fan not connected radiator won't fill after 8oz it leaks out


So you drove the vehicle with the power to the fan and it overheated and was discharging coolant?

After you have drained coolant and then refilled, you have to 'burp' the system to remove airlocks. There are videos if you Google 'burping vehicle radiator'. Basically you run the vehicle from cold with the radiator cap off and add coolant as the level drops. When the thermostat opens the level will rise and fall. There is a gadget that you can fix to the top of the radiator cap that you fill and the level is maintained. You can help the process by squeezing the lower and upper radiator hoses. The system must be full of coolant with no air. Then you turn the engine off, top up one last time, replace the cap and then top up the reservoir.

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Will an air pocket in the coolant system cause it to overheat or over pressurize on a 2001 Nissan Sentra ?


1. The radiator cap if working correctly it will release pressure in the system provided the cap you have is the correct pressure setting. If you are having a problem with pressure then replace the cap with a new radiator cap with the correct pressure setting. Do not use a cap with a pressure setting other than the original equipment pressure spec. So you do not go to the parts store and buy any radiator cap on the shelf that fits because they come with different pressure ratings and some of these will be totally unsuitable for your car.

2. If the pressure valve is stuck in the "old" cap the pressure release system will not work.

3. Overheating
Air pockets in the cooling system can definitely cause overheating and can retard coolant flow through the system. If you are draining the radiator to replace the coolant or replacing the radiator you need to follow the correct procedures for bleeding air out of the system for that particular engine after coolant refilling. Some engines have bleeder screws on the cooling system to assist in the air bleeding procedure and some don't.

There are various causes for overheating so don't assume it will necessarily be solved by bleeding any remaining air from the cooling system and replacing the radiator cap with one that works.

Other causes can be...........
1. Faulty cooling system thermostat. (Replace the Thermostat)
2. Faulty water pump, especially if the impellers have corroded away or have disintegrated in the case of those design genius water pumps with plastic impellers. (Replace the water pump)

3. Cooling fans not working and if so the cause needs to be tracked. Check that your fans are kicking in. If the engine is overheating the fans should be running because they will switch on when the coolant reaches a specific temp and well before the coolant gets excessively hot.

4. A partial blockage in the coolant passages inside the engine but not in the radiator if you have a new one. If the coolant is not changed at the required intervals(frequently the case with many owners) or is over diluted with water you can get a build up of debris. If products like stop leak have been used in the system this can create similar problems with partial blockages inside the engine coolant passages.

5. A compression leak into the cooling system.
If you have bled air from the system and have continuous air bubbles in the cooling system I would suspect a compression leak. In that event a basic leak down test will show if you have compression gasses leaking into the cooling system and from which cylinder(s). The spark plug is removed and compressed air is forced into the cylinder via the spark plug fitting and air bubbles will show up in the coolant of there is a leak into the cooling system.
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Have the problem with overheating addressed immediately. Running the engine with an overheat condition will cause expensive engine damage many times the cost of fixing the overheating issue.

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Raise the car front end as high as possible with a floor jack, fill the coolant tank to the top, run the engine until it reaches just short of overheating, shut it down and run water over the radiator, this will burp the air out. Repeat as needed. Don't let the coolant recovery tank run dry during procedure.

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That sound could be whats called air-bound, need to purge system, Fill radiator, run engine for about 4 minutes at idle, turn off let cool down for about 5 min then being careful recheck coolant in radiator, top off fluid then repeat, make sure overflow bottle is full, After about 3 times when radiator stays full run about 15 min and listen for radiator fan motor coming on

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First, make sure engine is warmed up, then feel the top of the radiator hose, is it hot ?, if not then you may have a bad thermostat, replace with a 195 dgree, or you could have a bad head gasket.
Let me know what you find.

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Did you burp the coolant? If not, you have air bubbles in the system that are trapped behind the thermostat, keeping it from opening. Run the car at idle until it's 3/4 of the way to overheating, then shut it down and let it cool. Pop the radiator cap and the air bubbles will burp out. Check the level of coolant in the radiator and expansion tank, top off as needed, and repeat a couple times, and you should be good to go.

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when you engine reaches temp do the radiator fan/s kick on?

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You can't determine if your pump is bad. You just have to take it out and look at it. Its internal insisde the timing cover right by the timing chain. Those pumps are pretty bulletproof, because they are internal, but you never know. I have replaced 1 so far in my 12+ years with Nissan and that was a 1998 Maxima qwith over 200 000 miles. Unless you have a coolant leak or somekind of funny noise coming from the timing chain area, you really can't tell, if the pump is bad. good luck.

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2 Answers

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You have a new radiator and thermostat, so your coolant was flushed. Was the radiator "burped" afterward to get rid of air bubbles? If not, that needs to be done first - it would explain virtually every symptom you're seeing.

Jack up the car so that the radiator cap is elevated. With the coolant topped off, start the car and let it run until it's about 3/4 of the way to overheating. Then shut it down and go have a beer. When it cools off enough to safely open the radiator cap, do so, and any air trapped in the system will bleed out.

What you're doing is circulating the coolant and the air bubbles inside. The bubbles get lodged behind the thermostat and stay there, keeping it from opening (this causes the car to heat up). When you later pop the cap off the radiator, the pressure is vented from the system, the thermostat opens, and the bubbles pass through. They'll work their way to the radiator (since you've got it elevated) and pop out the open cap opening.

Your coolant level will likely drop somewhat after doing this, as the air bubbles will be gone and the space they took up in the system is now available. You may need to add a little more coolant, so top if off (with the car back on the ground) and recap the radiator, fill the overflow to the marked point on the tank, and you're good to go.

Try this if you haven't already, and post back up with your results. If it doesn't solve the problems, we'll take it further.

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