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2008 Cruiser Overheating...Water Pump?

 
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Old 20 Oct 2016, 10:12 am
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Default 2008 Cruiser Overheating...Water Pump?

Hello everyone,
I've posted before about the nightmare overheating issue I'm having. Everything I do seems to work for about a week or two but then it overheats again. I'll start from the beginning and compress everything the best I can.

The timing belt broke and I had the timing belt, tensioner, water pump all replaced. At the same time I had them throw in a new alternator and motor mounts as well.
After about 6 months the car started to overheat. The radiator was leaking pretty bad and seemed to be cracked near the bottom. I replaced the radiator.
About 3 months after that it overheated again. I changed the thermostat, coolant temp sensor, thermostat housing, radiator fan, radiator cap and checked the line from the thermostat to the overfill tank.
Still overheating....Everyday I look in the fill neck and if the coolant is low I add some more. I also bleed the system using the bleeder valve both when cool and when it's up to temp.
It drives fine for a while and then starts to overheat but not every time. If I check the level it seems to overheat less often. I also noticed that the overfill gets full and the level didn't drop at cool down. Once it overheats, there is air in the system. I bleed it while shut off and a LOT of air comes out of the bleeder valve. Air and coolant both spit out of the bleeder valve if the car is running (It comes out a lot faster if running). It's overheating while I'm in traffic or at a light and will cool down if I'm moving and blast the heater.
I had issues with the guy that did the timing belt work and refuse to go back to him. He quoted me one price and then jacked up the price when I went to pick it up. He claimed to have done additional work on it but who knows? He never asked me if the extra work was okay with me or not. My point is that I don't necessarily believe he did everything he claimed to. I know that the alternator and timing belt were done because those issues went away.
My question is.....what issues should I check? I'm at the point of hoping for a water pump issue. Do my symptoms seem like a water pump to you? I've done everything else I can think of.
By the way, I know my fans (high and low) are both working, my thermostat and radiator are good as I can see the level drop when it opens and the upper radiator hose gets hot while the bottom stays fairly cool.
Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 20 Oct 2016, 10:37 am
Fk5 Fk5 is offline
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Default Re: 2008 Cruiser Overheating...Water Pump?

Doesn't really sound like a water pump to me. When a car overheats in traffic but not when moving the first thought is usually the fan.

Did you pressure test the system? When you say it is better when you check the level, why don't you always check the level? I drove my car with a leak for almost a year. Kept it full of water and drove it everywhere without it ever even running hot. Dc to NY to DC every other weekend. It gets expensive in the winter when you need to use coolant. Sounds to me like you have a leak. Hopefully not the head gasket. It also seems that something you checked probably isn't right. The line or the cap is probably bad if it isn't sucking the coolant back in from the reservoir when it cools, though I think a leak in the system can also cause that issue to a lesser extent.

When you say it "overheated" what does that mean? Did it just start getting hot or did the bells and whistles start going off? If it got that far I would start checking head gasket and worry the head may have warped. They have tests for that stuff.
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Old 20 Oct 2016, 10:51 am
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Default Re: 2008 Cruiser Overheating...Water Pump?

To sort of rule out **bad parts based on fist responses information
Water pump
Radiator
.................................................. .......
This engine year is "self" bleeding.

I see that this happened 6 months after the work was performed so is is highly doubtful after driving without any issues as described that length of time something was done incorrectly?

As mentioned by another member it is best to do a pressure check on the cooling system followed up by a block test.
Basic description is also leading to check again air flow which would be the radiator fans and what controls them.


**I would not assume any of the parts replaced 6 months ago are still 100%.

A hand held digital thermal temperature gun is your friend with these kinds of problems.
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Last edited by NitroPT; 20 Oct 2016 at 10:53 am.
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Old 20 Oct 2016, 11:14 am
Fk5 Fk5 is offline
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Default Re: 2008 Cruiser Overheating...Water Pump?

Oh, so now I'm another member?

I didn't know they became "self-bleeding" How does that work? I mean, my 2003 will bleed itself too. All you have to do is have the highest point open. What was the change?
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Old 20 Oct 2016, 12:24 pm
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Default Re: 2008 Cruiser Overheating...Water Pump?

The fans come on without problems. Low speed comes on when AC is turned on with engine cold, high speed kicks in when the engine gets up to temp. I just replaced the fan along with its relays. I don't think the fan is the issue. It seems as though the problem is air getting in the system because of the air that comes out when I bleed it (after overheating). Sometimes, when I look in the coolant neck, I can see all the way down to the thermostat and there isn't any coolant there at all. That's when I fill it, burp it again and can drive it again (usually for about an hour before any further issue). Also, when I say it overheats I mean that the temp gauge goes over half way - sometimes up to 3/4. I don't let it get any higher and will jack up the heat and pull over if necessary and do the whole coolant in the neck check all over again. I thought that maybe I was just being paranoid about it so yesterday I decided not to check it and see if it would self correct.....no such luck. I jacked up the heat but the gauge went into the red and the light came on. It went down fairly quickly as I drove to an area I could pull over (not even a minute away). Sometimes, in the morning, it will begin to overheat (just over 1/2 on the gauge) and I'll pull over before it gets any hotter and check the level. I splash some in there and it's fine to drive the rest of the way to work.
Again, are there ways to tell if it is the water pump? I'm going to do the test for combustion gasses in the coolant as soon as possible but would like to know more about bad water pump symptoms as well.
Any ideas?
Also, I forgot to mention that I changed the spark plugs as well recently. Not wet and not fouled. No smoke of any kind in exhaust or coolant in the oil/oil in the coolant either.

Last edited by JJenn74us; 20 Oct 2016 at 12:27 pm.
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Old 20 Oct 2016, 12:46 pm
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Default Re: 2008 Cruiser Overheating...Water Pump?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fk5 View Post
Oh, so now I'm another member?

I didn't know they became "self-bleeding" How does that work? I mean, my 2003 will bleed itself too. All you have to do is have the highest point open. What was the change?


I dont really read every responses on threads. I saw "you" posting what I thought was good information and simply responded from that point.

My description used, "self bleeding", ok that was my phrase to simplify but it is still easy,
T & P my friend...Temperatures and Pressures..
The head casting was changed around 2001 or so, most thermostats come with a jiggle valve, or a bleed hole or other bleeding mechanisms built into the valve. Bleeding only needs to be done one time with any engine if it is done correctly the first time. Repeating bleeding incorrectly does not make it correct no matter how many incorrect times to bleed it.
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Old 20 Oct 2016, 12:53 pm
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Default Re: 2008 Cruiser Overheating...Water Pump?

JJenn74us, you are not helping us to help you by not first attempting the suggestions before responding. I am not going to correct or comment what I am already reading regarding diagnostic evaluating of systems and parts you are responding with.
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Old 20 Oct 2016, 01:00 pm
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Default Re: 2008 Cruiser Overheating...Water Pump?

Sorry about that. I'm just at the end of my rope, sitting here at work and unable to do anything about the problem except worry about it. I have a friend willing to help me change out the water pump for free and says that it seems like that's the issue to him. I can get a good price on a water pump (under $30) as well. Before we do that, we're going to block test it to ensure the head gasket isn't the issue.
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Old 20 Oct 2016, 01:12 pm
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Default Re: 2008 Cruiser Overheating...Water Pump?

The water pump on the PT Cruiser USA 2.4 or UK 1.6 production engines is a impeller shaft mounted mechanical water pump with a simple bearing or wear ring and seal. If the water pump was bad you would hear it or it would be leaking coolant.
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Old 20 Oct 2016, 01:15 pm
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Default Re: 2008 Cruiser Overheating...Water Pump?

So, you're thinking head gasket then? Or something else? I just want to make sure I check everything that remains. I also know a guy that said to double check the Radiator Cap. The new one (about 6 months old) is one of those pressure relief jobs with the red lever on top. Is it possible that's the issue?
Thanks for the help.

Last edited by JJenn74us; 20 Oct 2016 at 01:33 pm.
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