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2003 impala overheating problem


bobbyboy-g
02-06-2007, 10:50 PM
HEY GUYS, hope someone can help me with this issue...a few months ago i had overheating problems with my 2003 impala back then trans fluid was getting into radiator, i replaced radiator, flushed out the cooling system, added new coolant,changed trans filter etc.. and all was well until this weekend...i was driving home and the red temp warning light came on...car starts to overheat, car goes into limp mode, i get the car home and since it was a weekend i replace the water pump, thermostat, rad cap, hoses, bleed the system, drive the car a couple of miles to test it, then park it and let it run for about 20 minutes, the temp gauge stays at about 175 so i think everything is "cool" well on my way to work monday about 8 miles away the temp light comes on and limp mode starts to kick in, but i am now at work, no leaks anywhere just the overheated hissing sound and the overflow bubbling...so i let it sit the whole day, i top it off with coolant and start for home, about 4 miles later the temp light comes on car starts to go limp, i pull over for about 30 minutes then i start to drive again and then again the same thing a few miles later...i let the car sit for about 3 hours after i got home, then i go check things out, i start the car and have it on for about 45 minutes, the temp stays at 175, no overheating or anything...okay i figure just one of those things..well today i go to work and the exact same thing happens again, right down the same exact locations...i was just outside with the car for about 1 hour with the A/C on and the temp did not even reach the mid way point 200....the fans do come on with no problems..there are no leaks at the heater core either,a friend mentioned bypassing the heater core to see if that might be the problem but i would prefer some input from the forum since it has been helpful in the past.. my car is a 2003 impala 3.4 engine....does anyone have any idea what might be wrong.....http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/images/icons/icon6.gif

adamace1
02-07-2007, 11:54 AM
Are you sure it is overheating? Could it just be a bad temp sensor?

richtazz
02-07-2007, 02:21 PM
Are you actually losing coolant? It sounds as if you have the infamous intake gasket leak these cars with your engine are known for. It will allow coolant in the oil, as well as air into the cooling system. This will cause an air bubble to continue to re-occur no matter how many times you bleed it.

bobbyboy-g
02-07-2007, 09:25 PM
hey adamace1..yes i am very sure the car is overheating....hey richtazz, i checked the oil and it does not seem to have any foreign substance and the coolant is not mixed with anything...as far as coolant loss it does seem to lose some but i am not sure if its because the overheating thing is causing it to...today it did not overheat after driving it about 6 miles, but the needle got up to about 230...real close to the 260 max...crazy thing is i let it sit for about 2 hours after driving it, then go turn it on, and let it idle in the driveway for about 45 minutes, the needle barely reached the halfway point (200)....why would this be....would i have to bleed it again maybe....and if it has a gasket leak would it only show up when i drive the car...http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/images/icons/icon5.gif if the heater core has a restriction would this cause this problem, and could i disconnect or bypass the heatercore and connect one of the hoses directly to each end of the outlets on the block to check it or would this cause any major problems....i hope these are not to many questions....i would appreciate any help...thanks

crazy Jim
02-08-2007, 12:36 PM
Seems it only gets hot while running down the road, I wonder if something is blocking the airflow up front ocassionally? Also are the fans running when it is overheating, although while driving down the road the fans should not be that big of an issue. Secondly, I would bleed the system again and if it still gets hot I would them begin to suspect that the new WP or T'stat are no good.

bobbyboy-g
02-08-2007, 07:04 PM
HEY CRAZY JIM, that is correct,it only seems to overheat when i drive it....today i took it to work and the needle was about to hit red when it got there, same thing on the way back home..it was something like this once it got past 200 the mid way point...needle hits 220 then comes back down to about 195...needle hits 230 then comes back down to 200....needles hits 240 then comes down to about 220....last it goes up to about 250 then it comes down to about 240, at that time i was driving into my driveway, do the fans go on and off or are they suppose to stay on all the time...i am asking because it seems like if the fans go on and cool it a little but then probably cut off and temp rises again..i am not sure if they cut off because i am driving at that time..i am just guessing here...thanks for your reply...

crazy Jim
02-08-2007, 09:39 PM
The fans should be on anytime the temp is over 220. Your description matches exactly what mine did when the water pump started going bad. Unfortunately this desc also matches exactly with a poorly operating T'stat. Since you have recently replaced these items I would first ensure there is no air in the system and then fall back to maybe a faulty WP/T'stat...

Several years ago I peiced together an '84 Camaro that had been involved in a serious head on collision. I basically started from scratch and was unfamiliar with what parts were needed to complete the front end. When I drove the car it would get hot(220+) but when I came to a stop it would cool back down (180-190), weird. Well after much experimantion I determined an airdam underneath the radiator would correct the situation. A bit more research and I found out that I was missing a factory peice that mounted directly below the radiator. This peice acted to create a low pressure area behind the radiator thus "pulling" more air through the radiator. Cooling from then on was never an issue.

richtazz
02-09-2007, 08:11 AM
Heating up as quick as it does, there has to be an air pocket in the cooling system or a sticking t-stat.

bobbyboy-g
02-10-2007, 01:32 AM
hey guys, thanks for replying, okay here here is the latest of this continuing saga, car was driven about 5 miles today and it was acting the same temp up then temp down when it started to reach about 250 i got off the car and opened the hood and only one fan was on...i let it cool off, topped it off with coolant and drove home, when i got home i opened the hood and noticed that the one fan that was working would turn on and then turn off, during this time the needle moved a little backward then forward as when i was driving, but now it was really getting close to overheating. so i turned it off...i replaced a burned out 25 amp fan fuse and the other fan came on, but then the fuse blew out, i put in another one but it also blew out, so i am guessing it is probably the fans...would the fans not working correctly cause it to lose coolant ? thanks http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/images/icons/icon6.gif

richtazz
02-10-2007, 09:25 AM
It would if it's overheating. The coolant will get pushed to the overflow bottle, and may be getting forced out the overflow. I still don't believe teh fans are the problem while driving, unless you sit at a lot of stoplights on your commute. The air flowing through the radiator as you drive should be enough to keep it cool (except on days where the temp exceeds 85F or so. Before you go crazy, replace the t-stat and re-bleed the cooling system and see what happens. Also check the ends of the intake where it meets the heads and block for coolant leakage. You may have one of the rare instances of intake gasket failure where the coolant leaks outside, not inside the engine. Also check the quick connect hose fittings going to the heater core for signs of leakage. A cooling system pressue test may help narrow down where your leak is if the t-stat/bleeding doesn't fix it.

bobbyboy-g
02-10-2007, 10:26 PM
HEY GUYS, well looks like the leak finally showed up....we bled the system, filled it up, and let it idle for about 30 minutes, then as the temp started to rise, i looked under the car and saw coolant coming out of the back middle of the engine,at two different places but maybe because it ran down the frame and split into two...not sure though cause we could actually see where it came from, from the topside i cant see where it is leaking from either...more investigating will be down tommorow under daylight..any suggestions as to where it might be coming from...thanks

bobbyboy-g
03-12-2007, 09:58 PM
hey guys, i have another question, water started coming out of the area around the water pump, causing the water to hit the belts and spray everywhere, i replaced the water pump and it was fine for 3 days, i got another water pump put in, 4 days later the leak shows up again at the same place...i can see it leaking from underneath the pulley, soon as i turn off car it gushes to the floor...(needless to say car overheats) could this be the dreaded intake gasket i heard so much about or could it be 2 bad water pumps..please help...thanks in advance...

crazy Jim
03-13-2007, 11:12 AM
sound like WP, when I replaced mine scraping the old gasket off was the hardest part of the job. Did you make sure the sealing surface was clean?

bobbyboy-g
03-13-2007, 05:35 PM
hey crazy jim, thanks for the quick reply, yes everything appeared to be clean...is that normal for the water to gush out of that weep hole after turning the car off, is there any other thing around that area that could leak water, do these cars have freeze plugs near that area...2003 impala 3.4 engine...i will try and get the water pump exchanged at the auto parts store...thanks in advance..bobbyboy-g

crazy Jim
03-13-2007, 05:44 PM
not normal unless you mean to ask "is it normal for a bad WP to leak out of the weep hole" then yes it is normal...

bobbyboy-g
03-13-2007, 05:51 PM
yes i mean to ask is it normal for a bad w/p to gush water out, it only trickles out when the car is running, and gushes out once its turned off, is there any other place it could leak from around this same area...

eugene4282
12-01-2008, 02:18 PM
hey everyone, im having the same problem mr. bobbyboy-g was having. Ive replaced the fans, coolant temp censor, thermostat and even the gaskets. and it still overheats!!!

CHICHI1980
05-28-2009, 08:46 AM
:banghead:I have an 2003 impala, that is having this same problem right now, the problem was the radiator was leaking, and caused it to run hot, well replaced radiator, still runs hot.......replaced water pump, replaced radiator cap......topped off with fluids....car was good....one week later....runs hot again, now i don't know what wrong...i changed thermostat...maybe i need to change fans, and hoses, i heard about bleeding something????please help someone.

HeMi101
05-28-2009, 10:44 AM
If the rad was changed and never bled, COULD be air in the system cuasing problems. Could also be a temp sensor, if the fans ARE running when it shows hot.

CHICHI1980
05-28-2009, 12:08 PM
Alright, thanks im gonna give it a try..

rhandwor
05-28-2009, 07:46 PM
Feel both top and bottom radiator hoses they both should be hot. Is your bottle full for the radiator. Will the heater blow hot air are both hoses hot.
Are the radiator fans both working one should run when the A-C is turned on the other one is temperature operated.

JohnT396
08-16-2009, 09:50 PM
Great lively discussion on this point! I have a 2000 Impala 3400 engine. I just went through the same problem and mine ended up being the intake manifold gasket. For the second time. Overheating, erratic temperature readings, etc. Finally it all let loose with oil in the water, water in the oil, complete mess. Took the opportunity to replace all the coolant parts, hoses, etc. and had the heads done at the same time. Since my car had 198K miles on it, the valve guides were shot, had them taken care of. Car runs good now and a lot quieter. Interesting enough, the temperature guage still fluctuates around 20 degrees. Not happy with that! I'll be interested to see what you final problem/solution is....

lionpads
10-28-2009, 05:27 PM
Same car. Number 1 & 2 fan fuse keeps blowing. Never see fans on, and does not run hotter than 210 degrees. Just did 1400 mile trip but no red light. Which fan is supposed to turn on when ac is on? Is it the drivers side or passenger side fan? I want to check power to fan in case its something else. Also as I approach 45 to 50 mph i hear a low roaring sound from up front which gets louder as speed increases yet I was doing 70-80mph and no problems. Trans was shifting ok.

gordon_gjs
11-05-2009, 02:18 PM
The fans might be bad. I had both fans start going out at around the same time. They will lock up and the fuse will pop. They are kinda of a pain to replace.

ChevMali99
11-08-2009, 04:34 PM
I had the same problem with my Malibu, and it turned out to be a defective coolant reservoir. Somehow there wasn't any pressure so, for some reason I don't fully understand, the car would overheat... the thermostat would lock... the radiator would violently knock... and the coolant would violently rush out the reservoir. I replaced it and problem solved.

gitouttahere02
12-16-2010, 11:58 PM
Have same problem as bobbyboy but without the trans fluid in coolant problem.Have 237000 miles and have new radiator,water pump,thermostat,hoses,and not losing any fluid. Also flushed and purged system a few times still sporadic overheating. Car drives normal than quickly loses heat and overheats. sometimes will go back to normal. Sometimes have to pull over for a few minutes and start again. After a few miles it starts all over again. Can`t figure out what to do next. Open to suggestions

gordon_gjs
12-18-2010, 05:37 PM
Have same problem as bobbyboy but without the trans fluid in coolant problem.Have 237000 miles and have new radiator,water pump,thermostat,hoses,and not losing any fluid. Also flushed and purged system a few times still sporadic overheating. Car drives normal than quickly loses heat and overheats. sometimes will go back to normal. Sometimes have to pull over for a few minutes and start again. After a few miles it starts all over again. Can`t figure out what to do next. Open to suggestions

Are you sure the car is overheating and its not just a bad coolant temperature sensor? The gauge on my car would stay pretty high or on red even after I replaced alot of parts on the car, I then changed out the temp sensor and the gauge has not got even close to red.

But if you are sure the car is overheating and seeing smoke from the engine then this would not be the case.

Scrapper
12-18-2010, 06:05 PM
you may want to check see if a recall on your cat converter my wife just got one for 06 malibu there close to the same thing. but really dono if go's to the impala i'd check it out anyway just to make sure.

tavo123
03-02-2011, 02:07 AM
well my mother in law had the same problem after fixing the heads i just put the fans straight with a relay to turn on with the ignition a lttle loud the fans but no overheating i made it with a switch so she could turn it off if she didnt want the noise but i didnt mess with any connections meaning if i switch it off and i turn on the ac if the fans fuses and relays were working right they would turn on no problem i also made shure to have water in and bled off the air in the system before that she would always have to be filling the car with water since it would overheat once she turns off her car all the water would come out NEVER TRY REFILLING WHEN THE ENGINE IS OFF AND CAR OVERHEATING

JohnT396
03-13-2011, 11:00 PM
All, I have been through this crazy experience myself this weekend. The car would over heat mostly in traffic or city driving. Then it went down hill from there. It got to the point where the radiator developed a serious leak on the drivers side. So replace the radiator (pretty easy), replaced the water pump (very easy). Test drove, still same problem. Next replaced thermostat (pretty difficult) and did a pressure test. Held 15 pounds for a good period of time, but the temp guage continued to fluctuate, but not as bad. I did have a difficult time bleeding the system though and getting good circulation. I had opened both the value on the thermostat housing and the one on the unit on top of the water pump. Finally replaced the radiator cap and drove about 50 miles, highway and city traffic. I still see some fluctuation and will replace the temp sensor next weekend. Since the pressure test showed steady for about 15 minutes, would that eliminate the head gasket issue? I have already had it replaced twice. Next time, it will be a do it myself project... :screwy:

rhandwor
03-15-2011, 06:48 AM
All, I have been through this crazy experience myself this weekend. The car would over heat mostly in traffic or city driving. Then it went down hill from there. It got to the point where the radiator developed a serious leak on the drivers side. So replace the radiator (pretty easy), replaced the water pump (very easy). Test drove, still same problem. Next replaced thermostat (pretty difficult) and did a pressure test. Held 15 pounds for a good period of time, but the temp guage continued to fluctuate, but not as bad. I did have a difficult time bleeding the system though and getting good circulation. I had opened both the value on the thermostat housing and the one on the unit on top of the water pump. Finally replaced the radiator cap and drove about 50 miles, highway and city traffic. I still see some fluctuation and will replace the temp sensor next weekend. Since the pressure test showed steady for about 15 minutes, would that eliminate the head gasket issue? I have already had it replaced twice. Next time, it will be a do it myself project... :screwy:
Raise the front of the car and try venting the system. Put your pressure tester on and leave the engine running. If the gauge pulsates the head gasket is blown.
Napa sells a tester that will test for dissolved gas in the anti freeze a definite test for a blown head gasket. It used to be around $50.00. Most radiator shops will do this for a fee.

JohnT396
03-16-2011, 07:25 PM
Thanks for the advice. Interesting enough, the radiator does not seem to develop pressure. Even after replacing radiator, water pump, new hoses, thermostat and radiator cap, still no pressure. I would think with the radiator pressure test at 15 lbs and steady, the radiator hoses are firm, that would show the gaskets are good. I do the tool borrow at Advanced Auto and get those special tools basically at no charge. ... :banghead:

rhandwor
03-16-2011, 08:52 PM
Thanks for the advice. Interesting enough, the radiator does not seem to develop pressure. Even after replacing radiator, water pump, new hoses, thermostat and radiator cap, still no pressure. I would think with the radiator pressure test at 15 lbs and steady, the radiator hoses are firm, that would show the gaskets are good. I do the tool borrow at Advanced Auto and get those special tools basically at no charge. ... :banghead:
http://www.napaonline/ Search 700-1006 Advance doesn't loan these.

chev2003
06-13-2012, 12:13 PM
hey guys im having a problem like that with my 2000 and 2003 impalas. neither one of them is really overheating to the point where the lights come on but on the 2000 impala it is tries to over heat when i sit somewhere (idle) but soon as it starts running again it cools back down to normal. on the 2003 impala its the opposite. temp is normal when its sitting (idle) and when i'm driving in the city but soon as i get on a highway and get to high speed it starts gettin hot but never gettin to the red and soon as i get off the highway temp comes right back down. any ideas anybody please

Tech II
06-13-2012, 01:30 PM
Should start your own thread.......check cooling fan operation.....

gordon_gjs
06-13-2012, 02:45 PM
hey guys im having a problem like that with my 2000 and 2003 impalas. neither one of them is really overheating to the point where the lights come on but on the 2000 impala it is tries to over heat when i sit somewhere (idle) but soon as it starts running again it cools back down to normal. on the 2003 impala its the opposite. temp is normal when its sitting (idle) and when i'm driving in the city but soon as i get on a highway and get to high speed it starts gettin hot but never gettin to the red and soon as i get off the highway temp comes right back down. any ideas anybody please

Yea, what TechII said...

- Check you fan operations and thermostat first

j cAT
06-15-2012, 02:40 PM
hey guys im having a problem like that with my 2000 and 2003 impalas. neither one of them is really overheating to the point where the lights come on but on the 2000 impala it is tries to over heat when i sit somewhere (idle) but soon as it starts running again it cools back down to normal. on the 2003 impala its the opposite. temp is normal when its sitting (idle) and when i'm driving in the city but soon as i get on a highway and get to high speed it starts gettin hot but never gettin to the red and soon as i get off the highway temp comes right back down. any ideas anybody please

the vehicle overheating/running too hot at hyway speed is most likely the head gaskets.

the vehicle at idle running hot would be fans or the relay/power to them.
sometimes the temp sensor. at idle ac on the fan should run.

the other cause would be using non dexcool GM approved coolant with a universal or silicate type coolant. if non dexcool was used with DEXCOOL then check for a black goop restricting the coolant system.

always use distilled water......... NOT WELL/OR CITY DRINKING WATER. these have chemicals and metals that create corrosion . use 60% dexcool for max. corrosion protection.

dpuette
10-07-2013, 07:59 AM
Having the same problem with a twist. Flushed, replaced the coolant, replaced the thermostat, replaced the radiator cap. Red light comes on when I am going down hill and cuts off when I am going up hill. I turned heat on high in the car. When going down hill air is coming out cold. When going up hill air is coming out hot.

rhandwor
10-07-2013, 08:02 AM
Having the same problem with a twist. Flushed, replaced the coolant, replaced the thermostat, replaced the radiator cap. Red light comes on when I am going down hill and cuts off when I am going up hill. I turned heat on high in the car. When going down hill air is coming out cold. When going up hill air is coming out hot.
I would check the fan operation.

dpuette
11-26-2013, 07:39 AM
I would check the fan operation.

It ended up being the head gasket.

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