I recently replaced the idler pulley and thermostat on this car. After, I filled the cooling system and bled the system several times, including opening the bleed valve on the engine. The car still overheats consistently after driving several weeks (only short drives, obviously). I'm sure that the new thermostat is working correctly because the temp gauge pauses for awhile in the middle before climbing up to the hot mark. Any ideas, please?
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The vehicle will overheat if the cooling system is not properly filled with coolant and all the air bled from the system. With the system full and void of air, you then must assess the operation of the rad fans for proper operation as well as t-stat operation
Remove your radiator cap (WHEN ENGINE IS COLD), run the motor and let it warm up a minute or two, have someone rev the engine a little while looking into the radiator. If the water goes down and/or you see the water moving, your water pump is good. If not this means that your water pump is bad and is not moving enough water through the system. Try Removing your thermostat and run the engine without it. Keep checking the radiator hoses to see if they are the same temperature. If they are not the same temperature the water pump is bad. If they are the same temperature your thermostat is more than likely the culprit. Hope this helps.
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.
unfortunately these engines are known for this condition and for head gasket failure.with engine cold pressurize cooling system with spark plugs removed.look down into holes with flashlight after about ten minutes.....im betting youll see a puddle of coolant on piston...usually its cyl# 2 or 3.i cant think of any other possibility for system repeatedly airlocking other than a head gasket.good news they are probably one of the easier ones to replace.
You could possibly have air in your cooling system. If the dash gauge temperature sensor does not have coolant flowing past it, it will give a false temperature reading while your engine is actually overheating. If you recently drained and refilled your cooling system, you might need to bleed the air out of that system. If you didn't drain it recently, you might have a leak that's letting out coolant and letting in air.
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.
Having owned a Stanza for over 10 years, there is not a coolant bleeder screw on that car that I'm aware of. I just run the car with the radiator cap off until the thermostat opens, then add coolant as the level inside the radiator drops and the air gets circulated out, then replace the cap. After the car totally cools off, add coolant as needed to the overflow bottle, to bring it up to the recommend maximum level. Always worked for me.