Question about 2004 Oldsmobile Alero

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Car is overheating. When I turn the heat on it comes out cold! Overflow tank is half full and both radiator fans are working/on. I see no leaks on hoses or radiator or around those areas. I just am clueless. Please help.

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  • Richard Scordino May 24, 2011

    Good chance a head gasket has failed.
    When that happens,combustion gasses enter the cooling system. since the heater core is a bit higher than the normal coolant level it fills with gasses and stops coolant flow through the core (no heat). Only other possibility is that you have a leak you have not found yet. You can have the system pressure tested and dye tested to determine if either condition exists.

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This really sounds to me like you may have a bad water pump, especially if your heat is blowing cold. You can try a few cheaper alternatives before you you shell out the dough for a new pump, though. First, you can try caanging the thermostat. This will be located in a metal elbow where the upper radiator hose enters the engine block. It is a very easy process, just make sure you pay close attention to the orientation of the old thermostat when you remove it. Second, you can try to "burp" your cooling system to remove any air pockets that may be present. There should be a bleeder port either on the thermostat housing or on the upper heater pipe. This is a hard pipe running from the thermostat housing or engine block into your heater coil. To find the heater coil, look for two small cooling lines entering the firewall side-by-side. Trace these back to find the upper heater pipe. Once you locate the bleeder port, with the engine running and up to full temperature, slowly and carefully open the port and see if any air shoots out. If air shoots out, leave the port open until you get a steady stream of water, then close the port. Wait a minute or two and do it again. Repeat this process until you get a steasy stream of water each time you open the port. If neither of these work, it's time to get your pump checked.

Posted on May 24, 2011

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