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Old 08-31-2009, 07:01 PM   #1
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Overheating?


I own a 2001 PT Cruiser. Recently it has been overheating. Sadly, I have taken in once to have serviced and they replaced the elec. fan, which was "burnt out and not working properly". After the $300 set back the car continues to overheat. After a conversation with a local firestone, it was suggested that the coolant system was dirty and needed to be flushed.

Mind you, the coolant has never been flushed and I have never had a reason to do so in the first 130k miles....

The only conclusion they could come to was the fact that the radiator could be clogged (they did say the fluid was quite brown). However, they also did imply that doing the flush could make the water pump leak and in turn kill the timing belt in the process.

The fluid flush is something that i can do alone and given the cost, could have someone else do (see professional shop). What are the chances of the flush causing more problems than it solves? Im a graduate student on a fixed income but I cannot continue to ride around in the Southeast with the heat on in the middle of the summer just to keep the car below the overheating level.

Any help is much appreciated and thanks so much in advance!

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Old 08-31-2009, 07:44 PM   #2
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Overheating?


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Originally Posted by Muzatic View Post

Mind you, the coolant has never been flushed and I have never had a reason to do so in the first 130k miles....
It's a wonder it runs at all. Even with 'extended life anti-freeze' which claims 5 years of 150K miles, you are well overdue for a coolant change. You need to flush it. As far as a flush damaging the water pump, I have never heard that. May be true, but I haven't heard that claim before.

Edit to add: I assume you have never changed the coolant, but you said you never have had a flush (a different animal). If you have changed the coolant, how often?

Have you every changed the AT fluid? If not, you should do that too. Good luck, but it sounds like you may have some serious blockages inside the engine itself. If it's just the radiator, you lucked out.

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Old 08-31-2009, 08:02 PM   #3
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Overheating?


The idea of flushing damaging the water pump was that the sludge was keeping the pump from leaking, something that makes sense to me.

Nonetheless, the flushing of coolant, does that seem like a remedy to the overheating or merely a preventative maintenance that should have been done a long time ago?

Thank you, Bigplanz, for your quick answer.

On a side note, the coolant has leaked before, problem was fixed and new fluid was added lets say 50k ago...

As for the AT fluid, i have been told if no problem, no need to change to avoid unneeded leaks...

Input?
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:38 PM   #4
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Overheating?


Flushing your fluids will not cause leaks. If a leak happens after a flush it is purely out of coincidence. If sludge is keeping your water pump from leaking you would have some serious sludge buildup in the water jacket which would cause some major overheating. Sludge is not going to keep it from leaking, your system is or should be under pressure.

It is also possible that a flush will not clean out all of the sludge/corrosion in the radiator and the a new radiator may be in store.

Did you check to make sure the fan is coming on? Also check to make sure you do not have any build up of debris between your evaporator and radiator. Have you had your thermostat changed lately? What about your pressure cap on the radiator; if that is not holding pressure it will lower the boiling point. Are you getting any white smoke out of your exhaust? If so could mean a cracked or leaking head.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:58 AM   #5
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Overheating?


I agree the 'sludge buildup is keeping the water pump from leaking' reasoning is flawed. Sludge buildup/scale, etc. has to be removed for the coolant to circulate through the engine. Drain the radiator into a pan and see how fast it drains and what it looks like. If it's gooey and runs slow, you need a radiator/engine pressure acid flush (or whatever it's called where you live).
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:02 AM   #6
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Overheating?


Muzatic: all of the advice given is good and intended to help you I'm sure. May I add one more thing-Go to a local auto parts store and purchase a "Chiltons" manual specifically for your car. There will be a lot of information you need to know to maintain your vehicle on your budget. Personally, I am not fond of "Firestone" stores and their auto repair centers, they are tire stores to me, the same as "Goodyear", etc. Ask around to find a good/reputable repair shop that has been in business for a long time. These people are there to help you keep your car running, not interested in what your car runs on. Keep in mind that if you flush your radiator, what are you going to do with the old anti-freeze and any left over flush materials? Good Luck, David
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Old 09-06-2009, 02:46 PM   #7
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Overheating?


Chiltons or Haynes both have good manuals for most cars. Excellent for educational purposes, if nothing else, though I wish they'd concentrate more on repairs an average person would actually be doing rather than go into depth about rebuilding an engine.

Here in Louisville, you can take auto fluids to a waste recycling center for free. I usually put antifreeze and oil in old plastic milk jugs. Just mark them with what's in them.
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:55 PM   #8
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Overheating?



just to let you know i also had the same problem but i don't understand why you haven't checked your thermostat. take it off and put it in a pot with water( the water has to cover the thermostat). right before it comes to a boil it should open. if it doesn't problem solved. i still think that draining your coolant is a good idea.****DON'T FORGET TO BURP THE RADIATOR IF YOU DRAIN IT.**** i just learned this week that you have to burp it since i also had the same problem of my SATURN overheating. if you want take a look at the advice people gave me. I'm a telemarketer so I'm not real good with cars only in making people buy what they don't want or need. hahahaha........
  • there is a member here called newbsauce that gave me real good advice when my car was overheating.
  • ***** AND IT DOESN'T ANYMORE

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