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Overheating... with all new parts!

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06 Sep 2015, 08:29 am
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Default Overheating... with all new parts!

I've seen many forum posts about over heating, but I didn't see one that has replaced as much as I have.
So the situation is that my 2006 PT Cruiser is over heating when idling or in traffic doing 5-10mph. Other than that, the temperature is fine as long as I'm moving at a normal pace.

I have replaced with new parts:
Water pump
Timing belt
Many thermostats
Radiator
Had another engine (not new) installed after those parts replaced,
That engine overheated too and cracked a headgasket, so the headgasket is now completely rebuilt, seals and all.
The whole fan system with relays etc
and the system has been bled multiple times.

It doesn't overheat in the Winter. And there is always a smell of hot antifreeze coming through the vents, AC or Heat.

There are no leaks, and the antifreeze stays at a consistent level.

No warning lights on dash except for Air bag one.

I am at a loss, any suggestions as to what could still be the issue would be great

Thanks!
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Old 06 Sep 2015, 08:53 am
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Default Re: Overheating... with all new parts!

Over heating at idle sounds like the low fan speed isn't working, also if your smelling antifreeze from the vents, you might have a leaking heater core.
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Old 06 Sep 2015, 09:09 am
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Default Re: Overheating... with all new parts!

When you are idling and its overheating do you hear the fan turn on? It should be very noticeable?

I've replaced the fan in my PT 3 times in 5 years. Could be that your new fan died already. I would buy a Dorman fan which has a lifetime warranty. Now when my fan dies I just pull it out and take it to the auto store and get a new one right there for free.
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Old 06 Sep 2015, 09:29 am
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Default Re: Overheating... with all new parts!

First define better "over heating" .


I. E . Is it the gauge are you losing coolant while idling, a little more information is really needed.

Replacing parts that are not the problem obviously never cure the problem. Always fine your problems before replacing parts.

There mere fact that you smell coolant is an indicator of an unsealed cooling system.


Under most circumstances which depends on the ambient temperature a PT Cruise in working order will not over heat at idle even if the fan is not working.
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Last edited by NitroPT; 06 Sep 2015 at 04:53 pm. Reason: responded in the car on the phone corrected the bad spelling errors lol
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Old 06 Sep 2015, 09:55 am
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Default Re: Overheating... with all new parts!

First, welcome to the forum from the great sovereign state of Arkansas!

If I am summarizing this correctly, you have two symptoms. First, you routinely smell antifreeze through the PT's AC vents. And second, the engine tends to over heat at when the PT is at low speeds in traffic and while idling. Also, you've replaced many parts that might cause this.

Based solely on this information, I would start with the radiator fan. You need to assure it is running while at idle and while the PT is at low speeds. No fan should come on when you first start the car unless you have the AC control set on Air-Conditioning or Defog. Defog also turns on the compressor. Either of these will turn on the "low fan". The "high speed" fan only comes on when a certain water temperature is reached. Check this first to assure the fan is working at both speeds.

Next, it's possible that the head gasket is leaking again. If the fan (including fuses and relays) works normally, I would perform a chemical test to check for compression gas in the radiator coolant. And of course, there's also the possibility the fan or fan relays have failed, the PT over heats, and that ruins the head gasket again. So you could have both issues to some degree.

Also, the antifreeze smell may be due to vapor release from overheating, compression gas coming out through the cooling system, or a leaking heater core that has little or nothing to do with your primary issue. Of course, you should also check for coolant leaks. If the coolant level is getting low due to a leak, that could cause all of these symptoms.

Since you are new to the forum, please know that I am a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) PT owner like you. What works well for me may not necessarily work for everyone.
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Old 06 Sep 2015, 10:15 am
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Default Re: Overheating... with all new parts!

why would you start with the fan when there is still an indicated and obvious coolant leak?

Re read the first post again that would be the part about ALWAYS smelling coolant!
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Last edited by NitroPT; 06 Sep 2015 at 10:20 am.
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Old 06 Sep 2015, 10:54 am
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Default Re: Overheating... with all new parts!

Take a good, close look at your heater hoses where the connect to the firewall. Check the clamps and make sure they're tight. With the engine running (dangerous, I know) move the heater hoses where they connect at the firewall. You MIGHT notice a slight leak near the clamps that is only visible under pressure. If those check out, I'd recommend you get a pressure tester from your local auto parts store (loaner tool) and pressure test the system. The sweet smell you get sure indicates a leaking heater core and that's an all day job on the PT's. You have to drop the dash and either remove it entirely, or rotate it to the drivers seat. Pain in the ass!
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Old 06 Sep 2015, 11:27 am
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Default Re: Overheating... with all new parts!

If you can drive at 35 mph or faster down the road and it doesn't overheat, but in traffic or stopped at a light idling the engine temp climbs above the middle mark on the cluster, I would put the blame on the female end of the wiring connector going to the the fan. They sometimes over heat causing a loose connection the fan doesn't turn on. Inspect the electrical connection closely for any sign of brown (burn) marks around the male and female pins.

The coolant smell may be a little leak by the base of the plastic thermostat housing. Watch it closely while hot, under pressure to confirm. The base will over time be distorted by heating and cooling as the result of only a bolt on each end holding it down.
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Old 06 Sep 2015, 11:33 am
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Default Re: Overheating... with all new parts!

After making sure your coolant system is pressured properly and sealed check to make sure your radiator fan low speed is working. Its very common for the low speed to go out on these radiator fans and have it overheating at an idle. I recommend you do not drive the PT Cruiser until this has been done. With all the parts you have put into the PT Cruiser I would hate to see it overheat and cause more problems.
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Old 06 Sep 2015, 11:40 am
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Default Re: Overheating... with all new parts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuzz View Post
Take a good, close look at your heater hoses where the connect to the firewall. Check the clamps and make sure they're tight. With the engine running (dangerous, I know) move the heater hoses where they connect at the firewall. You MIGHT notice a slight leak near the clamps that is only visible under pressure. If those check out, I'd recommend you get a pressure tester from your local auto parts store (loaner tool) and pressure test the system. The sweet smell you get sure indicates a leaking heater core and that's an all day job on the PT's. You have to drop the dash and either remove it entirely, or rotate it to the drivers seat. Pain in the ass!
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