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Cavy's angry and getting hot... :(

01-19-2009, 11:02 PM
Hey guys, so I have a problem.... the Cavalier has been over heating a bit. Not by much, just by a half line to a line depending on ambient temp, but still enough to irritate me. I checked the radiator hoses and the top one is hot, but the lower is pretty much stone cold. WTF? There was plenty in the overflow tank, but I am going to have to check the actual radiator level tomorrow. Will a bad pump always leak? Tomorrow I will check the water pump belt too. Think it could be the t-stat? Anything else? I'm just pissed, I'm broke as fuck and cant afford to pay someone to do this shit, so its going to be my frozen ass in the parking lot at my apartment doing it in the snow on Wednesday. :(

01-20-2009, 12:41 AM
According to Chevy even a good pump can have a few drops of coolant around the weep hole, which is there to prevent coolant from entering the bearing area. I have seen pumps that showed no sign of leaking nor any bearing or shaft noise but had no vanes remaining on the impeller. However yours is to new of a model for this to be a consideration I would think.

01-20-2009, 11:10 AM
Yeah, I was praying it wasn't the pump... its a 2001 with only 46,xxx miles on it or so, so there's no reason I can think of the pump should be going already. The lines to the overflow tank and the rest of the cooling system are intact and all that too, so I doubt it was low on coolant though it was too hot to check last night and I have been at class so far today. For how cool the lower rad hose was I figured the thermostat was stuck shut but the upper was still pretty warm for that, so maybe it just cant open all the way or there is one of those holes in it that lets a little flow all the time... or maybe even the upper was just warm from the ambient under hood temp. The upper was warm, but cool enough to grab and hold onto without any discomfort. So wadda guys think, sound like the thermostat? I should also say that there is coolant circulating through the heater core as the heat in the car works fine.

I just wanted some reassurance in my diagnosis or a correction if anyone thought I was wrong, with school going again and being broke as fuck the less time and money I spend trying to fix it the better. Looks like I am going to take full advantage of the near 30* weather tomorrow and Thursday, I cant afford to pay someone like $200 to do that when I can do the whole damn thing myself in like and hour and a half for like $30. Fuck it, Cavy is getting a bit of a tune up... I need the oil changed anyway, might as well do the airfilter too and if I'm feeling frisky maybe even change the spark plugs. If I get 35-37 mpg highway now I am excited to see what it can do with some fresh oil, air filter, spark plugs, correct tire pressure, and without the 200 lbs of shit I have in the trunk. :) There is no recommended tire pressure on my tires, what do you guys think 30 psi?

01-20-2009, 11:59 AM
I would say just drain/flush the radiator 1st and check the thermostat. Maybe something go stuck in the radiator or something. Like a piece of the thermostat. Who knows.

Thor you're funny when you write. It starts off one way, and then it leads down another path and you change your mind like 3 times on what you're going to do before you get to the end.

01-20-2009, 12:11 PM
you cant smell it or see it on the ground? i wouldn't think it would be a frezze plug do you?

01-20-2009, 05:51 PM
Dave - Thanks. :) As much as I dont want to spend money on it, I already have to do SOME work on it, why not just get it all taken care of once and for all? I can do the t-stat for $12, premixed Dex-Cool coolant is $10 a gallon and I'll probably need two, then like $15 for oil and filter, another $10 for an air filter, and what like $5 for some plugs if it needs it? I can deal with $60 for all that, but not paying some grungy fuck that doesn't give two shits about my car $200+ to do it. By "less time and money" I meant that I didn't want to spend $30 on coolant and a new t-stat just to take it all apart and find the old t-stat just fine and still have the problem, get what I mean? I can justify maintaining purchases for my car, but not necessarily replacing one thing at a time before I figure out whats wrong. Besides, 200lbs less deadweight, correctly inflated tires, and new oil, airfilter, and plugs should get me a pretty healthy mpg increase, so I should see atleast a partial return in the long run.

Scrapper - Nope, cant see or smell anything. If a freeze plug blew there would be no coolant in the system and I know there is because the car blows heat just fine. Thats why I dont think its a lack of coolant issue, and why I feel the pump should be working up to snuff.

vanilla gorilla
01-21-2009, 10:21 PM
Wow, super low mileage on that thing. I figured it would have like 150k on it by now. At this rate....that car will last you....forever! No but you should seriously get 200k out of it easily.

Anyways, not too sure on the temp issue. Shouldnt be the pump with such low mileage on it. Just as basic maintanence I would go ahead and replace the t-stat, rad cap, and do a flush. Be sure to check for any leaks too. Check all the clamps on the hoses and everything. Changing the spark plugs isnt a bad idea either. I would put some good ac delco's back in it.

01-22-2009, 02:29 PM
I looked it over yesterday, it is the t-stat. On DSM's it is up in the water neck, but on the Cavy it is kind of in the lower radiator hose... there is a pipe that comes off of the motor that the lower radiator hose connects to and the t-stat pretty much sits between them. After driving to Costco the car was hot and lower radiator hose was cold, no coolant moving due to ghey'd up thermostat. As much as I want to do this NOW, I am going to have to wait until I get home for the weekend and do it in my parents garage. It'll be much warmer and safer that way. That way old air filter is still good too, which is suprising... I thought it would have clogged up ages ago.

As for the milage, it is pretty low... but I bought it at 14,646. :) Pretty sure it was a 27 or 30 month lease return or some shit, because when I got it I still had a few months of the 3 year warranty left. Its been an awesome car so far, I had a wheel bearing fixed when I got it (dealership picked up the tab, warranties rock!), then I did the brakes at like 25k, and I had the original battery die at like 20k, but other than that there has never been one single problem. Did I mention I only paid $5,500 for it in May of 2003? :D I love that car, its such a trooper... I really should just drive it for another 5-6 years.

vanilla gorilla
01-22-2009, 11:14 PM
That car should last you along time dude. My buddy has one like that. A 97 with 190k on it, runs like a champ. No problems from it.

01-23-2009, 12:59 PM
Yeah, that LN4 or whatever is a pretty tough little motor, though gutless as hell. It has been and will be a great car for years to come, as much as I'd like to step up it just wouldn't be a smart idea. I've often fantasized about doing something crazy to it if I do drive it into the ground, maybe it could be my second project car after college.

I've been looking around at shit and maybe I'll even step up the tune up a bit more. Its got 100k spark plugs so I'll check them, but unless they look real bad I wont change them. Tranny fluid is a 50k mile thing, so I'll do that while I am at it... its been getting notchy in the past few months. Is it weird that the recommended fluid is III ATF? Fuel filter is a 30k thing that didn't happen, so I should do that too.

Ya know, I am actually a bit pumped. I love working on cars, and I haven't been able to in so long. This is justifiable too, since I kind of NEED to do it. Just to check it all out I am going to fill up on my way out of town Sunday and when I get back to check the milage.

01-25-2009, 10:04 AM
Well, I threw down with the Cavy yesterday. I didn't get nearly as much done as I wanted, but I got some shit done. First was the air filter and FINALLY getting some windshield washer fluid in there, then I did the oil. Oh dear god am I a fucking idiot. I waited soooo long to do the oil, it was black as shit. There were no bearing flakes so I wasn't too worried, but I'm a damn fool for not changing it for so long. Mobil Clean 5000 was only $11 for a 5 qt jug, so that was pretty tight too. I tried to do the tranny fluid but I couldn't find the tranny fluid check plug or whatever, and the Haynes manual was about as useful as vascectomy'd balls. I also got a fuel filter, but its back by the tank in the Cavy, so I didn't end up getting back there to get it done. I think I might just bring it to BP this week and see if they can do it... I'd feel bad paying them for an hour of shop labor to do it but as long as I already have the parts and dont have a spot to do it myself I might as well just choke it up. Got the t-stat done too, and it fixed my problem!

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