98 Regal EngineTemp Almost overheat


patriot777
03-16-2012, 02:54 AM
Lately the engine temp on my '98 Regal 3800 with 109k has been getting up to the 5th marker on the temp gauge which is one line past the halfway mark. I assumed it was due to low coolant from the leaking tensioner and elbow and water pump. I replaced the water pump, tensioner elbow, oem thermostat, radiator cap and had it flushed twice and air bled from the system. After highway driving and then stopping at a stoplight the temperature still gets up one mark past halfway. On the highway its fine but once it is idling it gets high. I'd like to survey everyone and find out how hot your 3800 typically gets? Do think this is good or bad for the engine life? I'm wondering if maybe the radiator isn't cooling as effectively as it should. It should be noted that it was flushed twice using Peak antifreeze which is the gold stuff that is comptible with dex cool and "all other types of antifreeze." There are no warning lights on and I have an accutron scan tool that I can use if need me to check something. The fans are coming on properly...I think. Thanks in advance...you guys are always very helpful.

GTP Dad
03-16-2012, 08:02 AM
The temperature you describe is not that hot for an engine at idle. The important thing is that the fans are coming on (make sure) and you have replaced most of the cooling system components. One thing you should have replaced was the thermostat unless you failed to mention that in your post. Also there is a possibility that the radiator is slightly corroded from years of use. At this point as long as it cools down once the fans come on I would not be concerned about it.

patriot777
03-16-2012, 10:35 PM
I replaced the thermostat with a new OEM Delco thermostat. I found on another site that the middle mark on the temp guage is 210 degrees and the fans dont kick in until 212? Can anyone confirm on deny that? That would make sense that the fans aren't coming on until after the middle mark if that is the case. I'm thinking that I must have had an aftermarket thermostat in before I replaced it with a new Delco and now it just runs hotter? On the freeway it runs at one mark to the left of halfway but the hottest it got was one mark past halfway at a stoplight after getting off the freeway. I'm thinking of replacing the ETC and seeing if it runs cooler or is that pretty normal?

Tech II
03-17-2012, 10:17 AM
You say you have a scan tool you could possibly use......with the engine at normall operating temp, go for a ride on the highway......should see therm cycle between 190-200F.....DOES IT MATCH YOUR GAGE IN THE CLUSTER?

Think the fans come on when the A/C runs, and also when temp reaches 220F for low speed....

patriot777
03-17-2012, 04:58 PM
Apparently my vehicle doesn't support engine temp information. I know my tool is capable of that. Do you know what the middle mark temperature is on the gauge? Some newer buicks give a digital readout of the temperature as well but mine does not do that either.

patriot777
07-03-2012, 08:59 PM
Today in 100 degree outdoor weather the engine temperature got up to 3/4 to the red marker. It happened primarily in stop and go traffic and also when idling. I'm assuming it would have gotten even hotter if I didn't shut it down.

The '98 Regal 3.8 has 109k miles with a new rad cap, new thermostat, new water pump, new belt tensioner and elbow (no leaks). I also just had the coolant flushed 2x. I popped the hood and noticed both engine fans were running. It has the original radiator......help!

HotZ28
07-03-2012, 09:17 PM
Apparently my vehicle doesn't support engine temp information.Yes it does, and should be available for viewing on about any OBDII scan tool.

patriot777
07-03-2012, 10:52 PM
Thanks for the reply. Are you sure because I have tried three Different scanners and even a shop couldnt read it. They said to bring it to
Gm. The service tech at the dealership said I would need a tech ii scanner to see it because my car is an earlier model?

HotZ28
07-03-2012, 11:33 PM
If is is not displaying with the exact year/model selected in the scanner, you may have to change vehicle info to get it to display. Try selecting 98 Grand Prix GT and see what happens. I have no idea why any OBDII scanner would not provide the ECT info. Something is not right. ECT is a very common display.

enslow
07-04-2012, 10:21 AM
If is is not displaying with the exact year/model selected in the scanner, you may have to change vehicle info to get it to display. Try selecting 98 Grand Prix GT and see what happens. I have no idea why any OBDII scanner would not provide the ECT info. Something is not right. ECT is a very common display.

I agree. I am able to use my AutoXray on both my 97 and my 99 Lesabre and extract engine temperature from both. They may not be Regals, but both use the same OBDII diagnostic system. Verify that you have the tool set up right.

Tech II
07-04-2012, 11:02 AM
I agree with the guys....a good OBD II scanner SHOULD be able to read ECT data....

You want to be able to compare actual data to the gage....

If you have one of those infrared temp readers, check your inlet and outlet radiator hoses, while the fans are running.....

patriot777
07-22-2012, 07:53 PM
Paid to get the "overheat with a/c on "i........n stop and go traffic diagnosed. Everything in the cooling system is functioning time. It apperas to be a lack of air flow into the radiator from the front of the engine due to clogged fins. The shop recommended taking it out and backflush it. I assume he means flush the fins out to clean it out?

Anyone I'm just going to replace the radiator because its 14 years old and if I have to take it out I may as well change it. The shop also recommended backflushing the condensor. I hate opening the a/c system so I figured I'd ask your opinion. Should I change them both or just the radiator. Also, is there anyway to remove the debris from the radiator and condensor without taking it apart. Maybe a hose? What would you guys do in this situation.

HotZ28
07-22-2012, 09:07 PM
You made a wise decision replacing the radiator. Most of the obstruction of flow is probably on the inside, not the outside. The condenser can be cleaned at a DIY car wash. First, use the engine clean setting to totally impregnate the condenser fins. Let it set for a few minutes and go to the rinse setting and wash out the condenser. Do not apply high pressure too close to the condenser fins, as it will bend and distort them. Just use common sense when cleaning the condenser.

patriot777
07-23-2012, 11:39 AM
I'm ordering a new radiator and condenser now.

I was going to order Spectra premium brand if you guys think thats an ok brand? I can't afford delco.

They also sell "TYC" a bit cheaper..... and "Vista Pro" but that is far more expsensive. What are your thoughts?

HotZ28
07-23-2012, 09:24 PM
Spectra premium will work fine. Why are you replacing the condenser, is the A/C not cooling enough?

patriot777
07-24-2012, 12:18 AM
There is an air flow problem causing my engine to overheat. The radiator's fins are plugged up and as long as I have to take it out I may as replace it because its 14 years old.

Apparently the condenser is also clogged up and the shop claims it also interferes with the air flow coming into the radiator.....can anyone confirm or deny that? I assume its mounted in front of the radiator? Its a 3800 vin k?

Also, since I'm replacing a condenser does that mean I need to replace the accumulator and/or orifice tube?

HotZ28
07-24-2012, 09:34 AM
I would just change the radiator first, to see what happens. This a simple procedure, if you follow directions provided in the box. Changing the condenser is labor intensive and not for the DIY's without proper evacuation & recovery equipment. In addition, anytime the A/C system is partially disassembled, it is a good idea to replace the accumulator and orifice tube. You would also need to add about 4-oz of PAG-150 oil to the accumulator when replacing with a new unit. As mentioned, cleaning the condensor fins is an easy job.

patriot777
08-12-2012, 05:22 AM
The condenser and radiator were replaced because the shop said it was clogged causing an airflow problem which would cause the overheat. I drove it home from the shop and without the a/c on. The temp gauge got past halfway to the 5th marker when I had to stop for a train for 6 minutes. The car was left in drive during this time. I opened the hood and the fans were not on. I'm getting pretty frustrated with this. I know the fans turn on when the a/c is on. Is there an expert on this kinda thing who can help me? Please don't guess:) Thanks!

enslow
08-12-2012, 10:29 AM
The condenser and radiator were replaced because the shop said it was clogged causing an airflow problem which would cause the overheat. I drove it home from the shop and without the a/c on. The temp gauge got past halfway to the 5th marker when I had to stop for a train for 6 minutes. The car was left in drive during this time. I opened the hood and the fans were not on. I'm getting pretty frustrated with this. I know the fans turn on when the a/c is on. Is there an expert on this kinda thing who can help me? Please don't guess:) Thanks!

I don't know what temperature the 5th marker is, but the fans kick in with the AC on, or at low speed at something like 210 F and at high speed (second fan) at 240F.

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