2001 Buick Lesabre Limted- Over heating again arghhh!


BOX CHEV
04-12-2012, 06:46 PM
Okay so this car is over heating again. I flushed the radiator lil over a year ago I want to say, and then refilled with dexcool again. :uhoh:

Now the car is overheating again, coolant was low and can't tell where it may or may not be leaking but it was low last time I checked. Also with the usual brown sludge build up inside the rad like I had last time.

I don't think oil or anything is leaking into the system. I have read when air gets into the system it will change the coolant color and somehow make it sludge up, as well as start to deteriorate parts of the cooling systems and engine after dexcool has been siting for 2-3 years. So its recommended by few people to change the coolant every 2 years.

I was thinking of flushing the entire system and putting in the more common green coolant, maybe prestone. I have never had issues with the green prestone coolant like I do now with the orange dexcool.

Well aware that you can not mix the two so I'm concerned of being able to completely flush all the old stuff out. I purchased a new radiator to put in the other day as Im sure the factory one is toast and built up pretty good with sludge.

Haven't pulled the car in yet to get it on stands but where are the coolant drain plugs located on the engine block? When I flush the system I want to remove the water from the block as well.

Found this through google searches about the dexcool. Says he used a degreaser when flushing the system. Anyone else done this?


http://ls1tech.com/forums/general-maintenance-repairs/1529221-engine-coolant-change.html
****My power steering fluid leaked into my block, so it was bad, but this flush process works for normal maintenance flushes too. You might just want to skip the degreaser stages.****
-Cold engine.
-Remove radiator fill cap.
-Remove the t-stat from the housing. ((Buy a new t-stat housing gasket, they're like $3.00)) Leave the housing attached to the rubber radiator hose, just remove the 2 housing bolts and pull it away from the water pump to get to the t-stat. (2-3 minute job). ***The t-stat itself can be removed from the so-called one piece t-stats just like we can remove the t-stat from the newer two-piece t-stats. And the housings will bolt right back to the water pump.***
-Put t-stat housing back on. (1 minute) Just put one bolt in, no need to put them both in, there’s no pressure in the system during the flush.
-Take the entire radiator drain valve (petcock) "off" and let it drain, don't just open the valve itself. It'll drain faster with it off and that’s what you want. ((Buy a new petcock valve before starting this flush process, sometimes they break when you remove them all the way just because they're cheap plastic and they get briddle over time, they're like $2.00))
-Take a hose and stick it in the radiator fill cap, running medium to high.
-Start the engine when the radiator looks like its full again.
-Turn heat on full blast
-Let it run for about 15-20 minutes or until the water is running out the drain CLEAR.
-((If you want to, you can wait till it runs clear, "close" the drain valve, add some degreaser (I use gallon of Formula 88 to clean mine) and let it run for 15 minutes, then let it sit for 15 minutes, then run it for 5 minutes, then drain it all again. Then open the drain and put the hose in for about 5 more minutes and run it all out till its CLEAR. The degreaser will help break up the crap thats stuck DEEP in the BLOCK that sits and swirls and doesn't like to come out.)) ***NO…degreaser will not hurt anything. Just make sure its ok for aluminum.***
-When it runs clear your entire system is clean.
-Remove the overflow reservoir from the car and clean it out real good. (I had to use gasoline to clean mine out because the sludge and grime was so thick inside. The gas broke it all down and then it flushed right out. I filled it about 1/3 up with gasoline and shook the hell out of it real vigorously, the black stuff kept coming out. I did that like 4 separate times with gasoline till no more chunks of black crap came out. Make sure the lines that go to the reservoir are also cleaned out. Or just buy a new piece of 3/8” heater hose and replace that line, 3 feet will do, then cut to fit. My sludge came from my power steering fluid leaking into my coolant system.)
-Put the t-stat back in.
-Put the overflow reservoir back in.
-Put the drain valve back in. Use the new one, what the hell.
-Put half a jug of Dexcool in the radiator. (Or if you live in very cold places, 1 to 1 jugs of Dexcool)
-Fill the rest with water.
***You do not need to use distilled water, clean hose water is just fine, just make sure your city water is clean and not total crap quality.

**Bleeding the system of air:
Take the radiator cap off when its COLD, top it off, start it up and let it idle, and let it warm up till the t-stat opens. I rapidly squeeze the upper and lower radiator hose like 20 times each while its warming up to help move any air bubbles through the system and by the t-stat on the engine side. When the t-stat opens you’ll see the level drop as you squeeze the hoses, its sucking the coolant through the system. You will also see the coolant start to flow in the radiator fill neck, once it starts to flow the level should drop down a lot, IMMEDIATELY top it off with coolant/water. Then the flow will stop when the t-stat closes. Wait one more time for the t-stat to open again and start to flow, if it drops down again top it off again. Do it a 3rd time if you want to make sure. When the level does NOT drop down when the t-stat opens and coolant is flowing....you're system is free of air bubbles. I always squeeze the upper hose during the whole process to keep any air bubbles moving through. Always works like a charm. Just keep checking your temp gauge until the t-stat opens for the first time to make sure it’s not sitting there overheating from a trapped bubble. May take 10-15 minutes for the t-stat to open the first time.
If you do start to get hot while sitting there and the t-stat will not open…..you have an air bubble on the engine side of the t-stat. Shut the engine off and rapidly squeeze the upper and lower radiator hoses again. Then start the engine again and see if the t-stat will open. Sometimes you just have to work those hoses to move the air through. Even after it seems topped off after a couple cycles…check it the next time you have a cold engine…top off if needed.

HotZ28
04-12-2012, 10:36 PM
To do a complete block flush, remove the thermostat and insert a water hose in the radiator with adequate pressure, to flush the block. You will see when the coolant is gone, and clear water comes out of the thermostat housing. If you do this & the radiator is replaced, you should have no problem.

aleekat
04-13-2012, 12:57 AM
Replace you cap with a Stadt when you decide to do this.

enslow
04-13-2012, 02:04 AM
All Prestone has 2-ethylhexanoic acid, one of the Dexcool additives. I highly recommend G-05 coolant.

If your coolant is low, you should do a pressure test and find out what's leaking. It could be your LIM gaskets if they're still nylon framed.

When you flush, a lot of the sludge and old Dexcool can sit in the lower cooling passages and never get flushed out. The only way to get it out is
1) drain as much coolant
2) remove lower rad hose, thermostat, then use a wet-dry vacuum to such more coolant from the lower block.
3) reattach hoses, fill with distilled water. Run without the thermostat until engine is warm, but not up to temperature (70 C or 150F or so)
4) drain the same way as in step 2, then add distilled water through the thermostat housing with the lower rad hose off until you see the old coolant spilling out from the lower block.

When you add cool distilled water in step 4, it will sink to the bottom of the block and displace the warm coolant sitting in the bottom of the block. When you drain, you will get more old coolant out than from a regular flush.

5) Repeat steps 2-4 until you see no trace of old coolant in the washings.

As for mixing Dexcool and other coolants, I believe the sludge problem is solely from air mixing with Dexcool which causes the additives to polymerize. Other coolants simply negate the long life properties of the coolant.

enslow
04-13-2012, 02:06 AM
And get a Stant radiator cap like Aleekat suggested. It's a good idea! (It doesn't have to be the fancy pressure-relief lever type... that's just for people who forget that hot coolant burns and can boil when suddenly depressurized.)

Tech II
04-13-2012, 09:39 AM
I hear about flushing the system, and replacing radiators, but I don't hear anything about finding your leak....

enslow
04-13-2012, 09:59 AM
x2 on finding leak


Also, there are a couple of things I don't like about the flushing procedure given from the ls1tech:
1) I really don't like the use of hose water. City water has too many minerals, and I really don't like having the chlorine from city water in my cooling system. That's why I use distilled water.

2) If you have to do a flush to clean out sludge, I don't know much about the effects of a degreaser in the cooling system. The degreaser may be just fine. However, I do know this guy knows his stuff:

http://www.crownvic.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2495249&page=1

enslow
04-13-2012, 10:12 AM
If you read this thoroughly, you'll understand why I don't like city water in the cooling system. Cities add chlorine, possibly in the form of sodium hypochlorite (bleach) to destroy bacteria, viruses algae, etc.

http://www.northstarchemical.com/prod_sodiumhypochlorite_prof.htm

I don't know how anyone can say that city water is perfectly fine when the bleach reacts with aluminum. Because bleach is basic, it will react with any acids, so it will upset the pH balance in the cooling system, destroying any protective qualities of the new coolant added.

imidazol97
04-13-2012, 10:38 AM
Okay so this car is over heating again. I flushed the radiator lil over a year ago I want to say, and then refilled with dexcool again. Now the car is overheating again, coolant was low and can't tell where it may or may not be leaking but it was low last time I checked.

Miles on the car weren't given. But I would suspect a leak internally in the intake gaskets or throttle body gasket. The throttle body gaskets were not thick enough and GM did a recall adding higher pressure washers to hold the throttle body tighter against the end of the UIM and added the ground organic material to the coolant to seal minor seeps.

When the coolant level goes low with DexCool, the earlier DexCool formula would deteriorate from being aerated because the radiator level was low and air was present. That would be my first guess on your sludging problem. However, the sludge could just be the brownish scum from the organic ground material and the water pump lube in the additive for sealiing that GM added if the recall was done (same stuff as Barr's Gold sealer.

If you determine that your water pump is NOT leaking and the other connections and seals on the heater hoses and L-connectors aren't seeping, you may have an internal seep. If it is larger, you may have a miss occasionally while running or get a vapor cloud on startup that is larger than normal because of coolant getting into the combustion chamber.

The way that I found my coolant from the throttle body gasket only was getting into engine was when I did an oil analysis at Blackstone Labs. Best $25 I ever spent--I was checking on the durability of the Pennzoil Platinum I had gone to for 7000 miles. But the phone call from the lab said I showed a small amount of coolant in my oil after 7000 miles, so the seep was very slow.

You might consider an oil analysis to verify if you have an internal leak.

Also, unless you can see blockage at the ends of the cross tubes, I would suspect your radiator is good and not related to your overheating. Instead, I would guess a low level in the radiator is causing the engine to run up in temperature because of the missing coolant volume.

I replaced cracked radiator on 98 leSabre with DexCool still in it at 185,000 mi, and tubes were good and clear.

If the brown material is a big concern, I would consider a good coolant flush product that knowledgeable people say will help pick up some DexCool residue and follow directions for that. Or have a flush done, which is what I did when I had a mechanic do my upper and lower gaskets when he showed me it was only the throttle body gasket at 110,000. If I had done my throttle body cleaning at 90,000 like I thought about, I would have replaced that gasket and not had a problem for a long time with the large gaskets.

Follow up on the leak. That could cause damage to your engine from coolant in oil hurting bearings or from overheating.

BOX CHEV
04-13-2012, 03:26 PM
Yes I have been looking into doing a pressure test on the system. Currently interested in purchasing a Pressure test kit myself, looking for a decent one for home use, nothing professional. Currently own 5 cars so maintaining things myself helps save money. Or I will end up taking it somewhere and let them test it I guess(not too many places around here I trust however)

Most of this maintenance stuff is pretty easy and I'm pretty damn mechanically inclined to handle it, just looking for right procedures usually.

There is little over 100k on the motor. Was not aware of a recall on the TB. Picked up a new oil filter and oil as well, so I guess I will soon find out the condition of the oil. Looks decent on the dip stick, but will see how it looks when fully drained just might find a surprise.


@enslow
Thank you for the detailed procedure and links. Will be looking into that.

And thanks to all that replied, appreciate it.:bigthumb:

imidazol97
04-13-2012, 05:02 PM
Yes I have been looking into doing a pressure test on the system. Currently interested in purchasing a Pressure test kit myself, looking for a decent one for home use, nothing professional.

O'Reilly (Checkers) loans a pressure tester in this area. Autozone, advance auto parts, others may loan them.

enslow
04-14-2012, 02:21 AM
At this point I'd take an ohmmeter and check the resistance at the side of the LIM gasket. It's visible just between the LIM and the sloped portion of the block. If you get infinite resistance, it's nylon and if not already ruptured, it will be about to. If you get no resistance, it's already been replaced with an aluminum framed gasket and your leak is likely something else. Here's a thread showing what a LIM gasket looks like, even though it wasn't actually leaking yet:

http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=1071241

For this reason, I usually recommend changing the LIM gasket irregardless of whether it leaks or not.

Scrapper
04-17-2012, 04:38 AM
If you read this thoroughly, you'll understand why I don't like city water in the cooling system. Cities add chlorine, possibly in the form of sodium hypochlorite (bleach) to destroy bacteria, viruses algae, etc.

http://www.northstarchemical.com/prod_sodiumhypochlorite_prof.htm

I don't know how anyone can say that city water is perfectly fine when the bleach reacts with aluminum. Because bleach is basic, it will react with any acids, so it will upset the pH balance in the cooling system, destroying any protective qualities of the new coolant added.

i agree on city water and also you have lead in it. you can go to your town board or town hall and get a paper on how high this stuff is in your town water they have to test it atleast once a year and give you a paper on there findings..

BOX CHEV
05-07-2012, 04:48 PM
Got some time to get online for an update.

I did a pressure test on the cooling system. And there was a slight leak in one of the hoses. Replaced the hose, pulled the entire radiator(major pain in the a-s-s btw) and capped off the lower and upper inlets and outlet. Filled it with a degreaser and let it sit for 24hrs then flushed out any build up.

New hoses and filled the system then bled it.. Was running fine few times I drove it.

Then I let the car sit and continued to drive my other cars. Went back to check the Buick and seen small puddle soaked into the driveway under the passenger side. Checked the coolant and it was low again.

Pressure test the system again up to 16psi. Holds pressure for a 1.5-2mins then very slowly loses pressure every minute or so.

Found air bubbles coming out of here. Sorry couldn't really get a better shot.

http://oi47.tinypic.com/r0yqzc.jpg

http://oi48.tinypic.com/16iy0ko.jpg


Also found some puddles here. I had already soaked it all up when I took this picture. I have to take a q-tip and lightly dip it into the puddle and the color on the cotton swab was somewhat orange (coolant). But the block is so dirt of course I picked up a lil bit of black crap on the tip, oil/dirt.

http://oi48.tinypic.com/jhc6lj.jpg

http://oi47.tinypic.com/2n81lpx.jpg

HotZ28
05-07-2012, 11:06 PM
You need to replace the LIM/UIM gaskets! While in there, replace the UIM with an upgraded UIM kit.

Add your comment to this topic!