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START WITH THE BASICS. CLEAN, FULL 50/50 MIX IN SYSTEM. CHANGE THERMOSTAT. LOOK FOR TRACES OF COOLANT LOSS FROM THE WEEP HOLE IN BOTTOM OF WATER PUMP (USUALLY UNDER PULLEY). WATER PUMP DRIVE BELT OR SERPENTINE BELT MAY NEED TO BE REPLACED. ALSO MAKE SURE RADIATOR CAP IS WORKING PROPERLY.CHECK FOR LEAKS ANT WHERE ELSE IN ENGINE AREA.
If there is water in the oil, it wouldn't last long under the heat/pressure of the engine, so if you are seeing water it must be super fresh. Are you losing coolant? If so, then i'd suspect water pump/water pump gasket if you never had that replaced. It could be head gasket, but you would probably experience a consistent coolant loss with maybe loss of power or misfiring. You can check with a pressure/leak down test for head gasket. Either way, if you are losing coolant I'd check water pump. If you aren't losing coolant than it can't be the water pump or head gasket really letting "water" in.
Small leak in head gasket sounds right. When the engine is cold check the coolant see if its low if it is, that is the problem with your heater. Now you have to determend why its low. Test the radiator cap, pressure test the coolant system check the serpentine belt tentioner, lose belt can cause loss of coolant.
Check the operation of the cooling fans at the radiator. While idling disconnect the coolant temp sensor at the top left (drivers side) of the engine. It will be a 2 wire connector near the thermostat housing. When disconnected the coolant fans should come on immediately, if not you have an electrical issue with the relays or blown fuse. Check the fuses first in the underhood electrical panel. Next swap the cooling fan relay with an identical one next to it, if the fan works the relay is open.
Let me guess...When the temp gauge goes hot, the heater goes cold, and vice versa? Check your coolant level first in the radiator (when the engine is COLD) and also in the overflow reservoir. ONLY use a 50/50 mix of coolant and water, using the same COLOR coolant that is already in the radiator (if it's green, buy green, if it's orange/red, buy orange/red). Next thing to have checked/replaced is the thermostat which is inside the cooling system of the engine. Finally, and the most expensive, have the water pump checked/replaced.
I would put my money on low coolant level in the radiator. As the engine heats up, the coolant will "surge" through the system as the water pump tries to **** air through the system due to low coolant level. If the coolant isn't flowing, the heat can't escape the engine block and it starts to overheat.
check your oil if there is a white film could be a head gasket als take off your radiator and see if it smells o gas that to could show signs of a head gasket also could just be your water pump is bad or your belt for your water pump is loose
When your temperature gauge reaches "H' it may too late to
prevent a major breakdown. Knowing the symptoms of an overheated car and how
they occur may be the difference between being inconvenienced and
incapacitated. Identification:---Other than a low oil level or low oil
pressure light, there is not a more significant part of a car's instrumentation
than a rising temperature gauge or a glowing "Hot" light. These
lights are really the only confirmation a driver has that his car is really
overheating. It is the identification of the symptoms of an overheating car
that enable the motorist to avert a badly damaged engine. Overheating is always
a traumatic event for a car's engine, which makes the early identification of
the symptom an important addition to the informed motorist's tool kit. Stuck Thermostat:--The car's thermostat is a valve that controls coolant
flow from the engine block to the radiator. When the engine is cold the
thermostat remains closed so that the coolant can reach operating temperature
quicker and also provide heat to the passenger's compartment. The thermostat
has a spring on it that moves depending on coolant temperature causing the
thermostat to open. Sometimes the thermostat fails to open thus restricting
coolant flow to the radiator where it would be cooled down. This condition is often
the cause of overheating. The symptoms of this cause would be a rising
temperature gauge and possibly the loss of heat inside the car. Restricted Radiator:---A car's radiator will have thousands of gallons of
coolant passing through in its lifetime. Along with the coolant comes
particulate matter in the form of corrosion breaking loose from various parts
of the car's cooling system. These contaminates collect in the tubes of the
radiator reducing its efficiency. Extensive "plugging" in the radiator
will cause the car to overheat. The symptom of this condition would be a rising
temperature gauge which goes up when you accelerate. Coolant Loss:--A car's
cooling system is a closed loop system. You are not supposed to lose coolant.
Sufficient coolant loss will cause the engine to run hot because engine is
heating less coolant to higher temperatures. The symptom of overheating induced
by coolant loss would be a pool of coolant on the pavement when the leak is
external. Steam under the hood as the lost coolant hits hot parts of the
engine, or a rising temperature gauge in the case of a undetectable engine
related leak. Of course, the gauge would also go up if the leaks were not
Deteriorated Water Pump:--Cars
use a belt driven pump to push the water and coolant mixture through the
cooling system. This part is called the water pump. Rarely the impeller that
draws the coolant through the pump will rust away making it impossible to push
any through the system. If this occurs the temperature gauge will climb and coolant
will boil over in the radiator.
cooling fans are electrically driven. Some are driven by fan belts. If a belt
breaks or the electric supply to the fan is interrupted overheating may result.
Electric fans are tuned on thermostatically when needed. When the car runs at
idle for extended periods or the weather is extremely hot, a failed fan will
cause overheating otherwise it serves as a standby assist to the rest of the
cooling system. In stress conditions an inoperable fan will cause the
temperature gauge to rise.
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Are your cooling fans working? that will definately be a problem if not working. if they are working shut car off and feel the radiator is it the same temp all over or is it hot in only top or one smaller area. if you do not have same temp feeling on all of radiator your radiator may be plugged.