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1996 3.1 V6 Coolant Issues

04-06-2009, 11:44 PM
Hello fellow car guys.

I have a 1996 3.1L V6 Chevy Corsica that has a very weird problem and i am trying to figure out what exactly it is.

This happens on a very limited occassion (about once a month or so) but I know it is a coolant issue. I would be driving down the road and I would notice the temerature guage crawl up over halfway, which is not normal. It will scare me as it gets all the way up to the max line in temperature. But once it gets up, then it will go back down. The guages are fine, nothing is wrong. I know it is a coolant issue because the coolant has a slow leak somewhere. I do not know 100% where yet.

My auto teachers say that there might be an air gap in the system where the water pump is just throwing air around an causing it to overheat until the coolant gets to the pump and cools off the engine. My teacher also said something about coolant leaking through the seals of the intake and if it gets in with the oil it would really permanantly damage the engine. I would like to know if anyone else has had this problem and how to fix it. I replaced the heater core in this car about 4 and a half years ago and was wondering if that might be the problem again.

Thanks in advance!

04-07-2009, 12:34 AM
the '95-03 3100 is well known for having a lower intake manifold coolant leak. There's lots of posts about it on here.Check at the ends of the engine at the front behind the power steering pump and at the back below the throttle body. Air can get in the cooling system when the coolant is low and cause the problem you are seeing. A sticking thermostat can also cause the problem. Check your coolant level, check for the manifold leak. If feel the cooling system and get the air out of it, a slow coolant leak in itself shouldn't cause it to run too hot. You probably need to fix the leak and replace the coolant and thermostat though.

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