2001 Malibu overheating problem


billyboy782
02-27-2006, 08:31 AM
A few weeks ago my '01 Malibu started overheating, and my wife drove it hot to get off the highway.

I have had the head gaskets replaced, heads checked, Coolant sensor replaced, thermostat replaced twice, radiator pulled, checked and flushed, new hoses and the water pump replaced, and $900 later it still overheats.

After I changed coolant sensor, the car ran perfect for about 300 miles, and then when right back to overheating. It will not overheat if I leave it at idle in the driveway, but as soon as I get it onto the road, the water will boil, and temp gauge goes to red.
I am using the correct coolant fluid and water ratio as far as I can tell.

I have read other threads on this site and have seen similar issues

Any ideas or has GM had any resolution?

dab64
02-27-2006, 03:03 PM
I have a 99 Malibu LS, 6 cyl with the same problem. I have replaced the thermostat, water pump, coolant sensor and currently have cleaner in radiator to clean and flush. Sitting in the drive is fine but get on the road and after a few minutes the temperature gauge shoots up and you pull over. No other known problems until it overheats. Could the overflow tank or pressurized cap contribute to the problem? The fans work when sitting in the drive but unsure when on the road. Is there a sensor I need to replace for these? I've seen the other comments posted but so far nothing has worked.

billyboy782
02-27-2006, 03:25 PM
Your symptoms sound exactly like mine. I have thought of the fans as well. But, like you, the fans are working at idle in the driveway. What I want to do now is drive it, and when it just starts to overheat, pull over and quickly check the fans at that point.

What is throwing me, is after I changed everything else, I changed the coolant sensor last, the car ran perfectly for about 300 miles, including highway and stop and go. Then it reverted to the same problem.

As for the cap, that definitely has something to do with it. In an attempt to add water early on, my wife broke that cap, and I had to get another one. The second cap broke as well, (defective maybe???) and I got a third one. I just tried putting that one on last night, and it doesn't fit the same for some reason. I was also thinking of replacing the whole tank, but haven't talked myself into it yet. Very frustrating.

wymi
02-27-2006, 08:35 PM
Did you make sure you bled the cooling system with the bleeder screw? I would defintely check those fans while out on the road when the needle goes up. Do the fans kick on if you turn the AC on?

billyboy782
02-28-2006, 08:28 AM
yes, the system was bled at the mechanics shop, after I gave up on it. He actually took the whole radiator out and did a few tests of some sort. Changed all the hoses, ect.

As for the fans, I haven't been able to check them on the road yet. I do know they come on with AC on. I checked that in driveway.

BeatnikTermite
03-01-2006, 08:16 AM
...As for the fans, I haven't been able to check them on the road yet. I do know they come on with AC on. I checked that in driveway.

I think that the fans come on for high temperature, and for AC, under two different control settings. The AC is hard wired into the fans so that the AC compressor clutch will not engage if the fans are not on. The temperature sets off a sensor for the fans. I think I remember this being discussed on the board at a previous time.

billyboy782
03-01-2006, 08:37 AM
thanks for that info on the fans. I am going to check it out after work today.

dab64
03-01-2006, 10:10 AM
I talked with a mechanic at the local vocational school and after explaining all I had replaced he said it sounds like an air flow problem. He had two thoughts: 1.) the fans are programmed not to come on after the car reaches 60 mph, therefore they may not be coming on while driving down the road, and 2.) if an air spoiler or damper has been removed from under the car, this could disrupt the air flow. I had removed the one from my car when I first worked on it and have not put it back yet. I will try that tonight. Any thought on his suggestions?
I put on a new overflow tank cap last night and it seems to have helped, but overheating still occurs. Also, I saw this note on a Consumer Guides site regarding the 99 MAlibu. Have you heard of this before?

Engine temperature: Overheating and coolant loss may be due to rough surface on radiator filler neck. Neck should be sanded smooth and cap replaced. (1999-2000)

billyboy782
03-01-2006, 10:28 AM
I've never heard that about the fans not coming on after 60mph - how do I even check that?

As for the spoiler/ air flow problem, don't think so, all the pieces are in place.

johnholl
03-03-2006, 12:13 PM
"Engine temperature: Overheating and coolant loss may be due to rough surface on radiator filler neck. Neck should be sanded smooth and cap replaced. (1999-2000)"

That's a good one. Hahahaha. Did Mr. Goodwrench tell ya that!

John

bcopeland
03-04-2006, 01:33 PM
I noticed a water leak on my 1999. After replacing the water pump, I looked under the car and noticed the leak was flowing down onto the transaxle pan. I found out it originated near the oil pump housing on top of the engine block. It looks like its leaking near where the heads connect to the block; i.e. - I think the intake manifold gasket or the head gasket is leaking - - - AGAIN !. I heard there was a new gasket type out now - I last changed this in May 2003 and I assumed I used the last type of gasket. Can anyone provide me details??? :banghead:

BeatnikTermite
03-06-2006, 08:34 AM
I noticed a water leak on my 1999. After replacing the water pump, I looked under the car and noticed the leak was flowing down onto the transaxle pan. I found out it originated near the oil pump housing on top of the engine block. It looks like its leaking near where the heads connect to the block; i.e. - I think the intake manifold gasket or the head gasket is leaking - - - AGAIN !. I heard there was a new gasket type out now - I last changed this in May 2003 and I assumed I used the last type of gasket. Can anyone provide me details??? :banghead:

I posted this a while back, hope it helps.

http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=314398

bcopeland
03-09-2006, 08:45 AM
Yeah beatnik - that was the one. Thanks! The new gasket design is much better. Cannot believe Mr. Goodwrench is still pushing that old cheap plastic design. The Fel-Pro looks real good.

GeoStormRS
03-10-2006, 11:55 PM
hey billyboy,
did you ever find out what was wrong with the bu?

bcopeland
03-11-2006, 09:26 PM
He never mentioned the intake manifold gaskets, but he diod mention the head gaskets. I thought from my posts and suggested areas, you all would pick up on the intake manifold gaskets - but I guess not.

stratford_boy
03-12-2006, 11:08 AM
The fans do not come on when you are moving down the road. The reason being that they would only restrict the airflow through the rad. If you were going 60, and they could only pull 40, they will restrict. So the fans are definately NOT your issue!!! Airflow might be your issue, but probably not because of an air dam missing. Many mechanics remove the one piece to get at the oil filter and never put it back on and I have never seen an issue.

chevelle_6969
03-17-2006, 09:38 PM
A few weeks ago my '01 Malibu started overheating, and my wife drove it hot to get off the highway.

I have had the head gaskets replaced, heads checked, Coolant sensor replaced, thermostat replaced twice, radiator pulled, checked and flushed, new hoses and the water pump replaced, and $900 later it still overheats.

After I changed coolant sensor, the car ran perfect for about 300 miles, and then when right back to overheating. It will not overheat if I leave it at idle in the driveway, but as soon as I get it onto the road, the water will boil, and temp gauge goes to red.
I am using the correct coolant fluid and water ratio as far as I can tell.

I have read other threads on this site and have seen similar issues

Any ideas or has GM had any resolution?
We were having the same problem and had to change the heater core! Don't know if that will solve the problem but it don't hurt to try!

Berty72
03-18-2006, 12:02 PM
i am not sure on the coolant system design but if yours has a small return tube to the cooland bottle you may want to pull that tube off the bottle feed it into a jug or something, then start the car. see if you have any flow. If not take an airhose and flush the line with prussure to to backflush it.

I have had this be the cause of many cooling problems after and before major engine problems occored. It will also give you a good indication on how your water pump is pushing.

needforspeed32135
04-22-2006, 12:30 PM
i work for daytona dodge and there is a guy that work there that work for chevy for 16 years and he said that the temp will go up 3 line from half way and said that is normal for the 01 malibu. but my fans kick on as soon as it hits the 3rd line above half.

bryan stodola

pamdooley
05-28-2006, 01:03 AM
I have had the same problem with my 2000 Malibu. I also replaced water pump, thermostat, radiator, resourvoir and cap, surpentine belt, head gasket, intake gasket and 2 different sensors. I also had the heads checked and seated. I finally thought I had fixed the problem when it didn't run hot for 200 miles when it started knocking. Now I am having to replace the motor. what I would like to know is Can I replace the 2000, 3100 6 cylinder with a 2004 3100 6 cylinder?

bcopeland
05-29-2006, 01:32 PM
Sounds like maybe the heads need to be replaced rather than just checked. And make sure you replace the intake manifold gaskets with the troubleshooter fix. Also, I would definitely replace the rad rather than flush it.

As for thwe 3.4 rather than the 3.1 I heard it was a much better engine.

GaryRoe
01-03-2008, 07:39 PM
A few weeks ago my '01 Malibu started overheating, and my wife drove it hot to get off the highway.

I have had the head gaskets replaced, heads checked, Coolant sensor replaced, thermostat replaced twice, radiator pulled, checked and flushed, new hoses and the water pump replaced, and $900 later it still overheats.

After I changed coolant sensor, the car ran perfect for about 300 miles, and then when right back to overheating. It will not overheat if I leave it at idle in the driveway, but as soon as I get it onto the road, the water will boil, and temp gauge goes to red.
I am using the correct coolant fluid and water ratio as far as I can tell.

I have read other threads on this site and have seen similar issues

Any ideas or has GM had any resolution?



I am having the same problem on my 77. Runs great in the driveway for 3 hours, go 4 blocks and it red-ines the temp gauge. No leaks. Bled about 100 times now...no fluid in oil...frustrated. Anyone figure this out yet???

johnholl
01-08-2008, 07:38 PM
'77 Malibu? Did you mean '97?

First you have to establish weather or not the engine is overheating, or if it is a fualty temp guage. When the engine is warm, do you get good heat from the heat ducts. If not, you have trapped air in the cooling system. There should be a bleed screw on the left hand side top on one of the radiator return lines. do you have a 50\50 mix of ethalene glycol to water?

If it is over heating, try running the engine in park while raising the rpm's to 2500. Does the engine overheat while in park,stationary, at 2500rpm?

If not, you either have some sticking brakes or a fualty transmission causing excessive rolling resistance. Jack the car up and make sure the wheels turn freely.

john

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