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Car overheated only once since my timing belt replacement

 
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Old 10 Jul 2018, 07:16 pm
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Location: 20 minutes from downtown Los angeles
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Default Car overheated only once since my timing belt replacement

Hey all, long time no talk.

Too long didn't read (Shortened version):

I had the timing belt, water pump, tensioner replaced 2 weeks ago. On the first day of the California heatwave, it got up to 117* F. Wifey was driving around and needle started to creep up. about 5/8 of the way up, CLOSE to 3/4 but not that far. She stopped driving and took an Uber home. I went to pick up the car at 5pm and it was probably 100*F by then. The car no longer "overheated". Temperature stayed at the mid level

My thoughts... Maybe the new water pump pushes more coolant than before and probably dislodged a piece of corrosion from the inlet and outlet rubber pipes and got stuck in the radiator. I have driven on the highway, stop and go, street, and left it idling for close to an hour without any issue. Oh and... I NEVER replaced coolant and never had a leak. After the water pump was replaced, coolant was lost so he put in 2 new gallons. Should I get a coolant flush+refill and call it a day? Do you think I need to eventually replace the radiator? If I do replace the radiator, what else should I replace?

If I do flush coolant, where should I get it done? Do any shop do it the best way? I read something about blasting air through the system which many places don't do










Full long story (Not needed!)

Timing belt broke while driving 20mph across an intersection. Steering wheel locked while the wifey was driving the kiddo to the market. Power steering is dead so she had to force the wheel over while kids from the street (thank you middle school black kids!) pushed the car into a safe side street.


I found a local mechanic who quoted me $800 and said he had done a few neons, and he talked thoroughly about the engine and how cramped it is. He has only done one PT cruiser, I was worried but I trust him as he did good work for me before. It took him about a week longer than expected but $800 is a damn good deal for California. Plus he threw in all 3 motor mounts installed for $350. I wish I had done the motor mounts before. Now I don't get any vibration at idle with the AC on full blast.

Car overheated only once on the hottest day and has been fine ever since. I'm thinking partially plugged radiator. What should I do? Leave it alone? Replace Radiator? Flush coolant?

If I do flush coolant, where should I get it done? Do any shop do it the best way? I read something about blasting air through the system which many places don't do
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Old 10 Jul 2018, 07:21 pm
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Default Re: Car overheated only once since my timing belt replacement

btw, coolant was bled when put in. I removed radiator cap in the morning and it looks full plus the resevoir is holding the right amount. I strongly believe that there is no air caught in the pipes. He walked me through his process he went through when I went to talk to him after.
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Old 10 Jul 2018, 08:15 pm
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Default Re: Car overheated only once since my timing belt replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkyfred View Post

Power steering is dead so she had to force the wheel over while kids from the street (thank you middle school black kids!) pushed the car into a safe side street.
LMFAO!!
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Old 12 Jul 2018, 01:02 am
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Default Re: Car overheated only once since my timing belt replacement

My '06 did something similar the first time I ran it after changing the timing belt and water pump. Despite my best efforts to burp the system while filling, the temperature climbed to about 3/4 of the way up the scale on the initial drive. Like you, I stopped and let it cool down, then drove home slowly.
I was expecting the temperature to climb again on the way home, but it didn't. So the next morning I took it out for a careful drive, expecting to see the temperature to climb once more. But it didn't. Instead of spending a bunch more time fiddling with the air bleed fitting and trying to not get burned, I was able to do... nothing.
It's been a year, the temperature has been in the 90s and higher for a month, and the gauge NEVER gets higher than 50%.
My theory is that the first temperature cycle allowed some trapped air to make its way from the engine block to the overflow bottle, swapping air for coolant.
Your mileage may vary and all that, but I was able to get away with letting the system take care of itself.
dougs and JDK52 like this.
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Old 12 Jul 2018, 07:59 am
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Default Re: Car overheated only once since my timing belt replacement

My guess is you had an air bubble. BUT, I would have the system checked and the temp checked with a scanner or laser thermometer to be sure. Spend a few dollars now and make sure you don't wind up overheating the engine and have to give it last rights.

Also make sure the fan is working properly. Being in PA don't know how the temp gauge looks at 117 degrees. Better you than me.

Mike

Last edited by wb2kki; 12 Jul 2018 at 08:01 am.
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Old 12 Jul 2018, 01:00 pm
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Default Re: Car overheated only once since my timing belt replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceMouse View Post
My '06 did something similar the first time I ran it after changing the timing belt and water pump. Despite my best efforts to burp the system while filling, the temperature climbed to about 3/4 of the way up the scale on the initial drive. Like you, I stopped and let it cool down, then drove home slowly.
I was expecting the temperature to climb again on the way home, but it didn't. So the next morning I took it out for a careful drive, expecting to see the temperature to climb once more. But it didn't. Instead of spending a bunch more time fiddling with the air bleed fitting and trying to not get burned, I was able to do... nothing.
It's been a year, the temperature has been in the 90s and higher for a month, and the gauge NEVER gets higher than 50%.
My theory is that the first temperature cycle allowed some trapped air to make its way from the engine block to the overflow bottle, swapping air for coolant.
Your mileage may vary and all that, but I was able to get away with letting the system take care of itself.
It is possible for it to be a bubble... Its been a few days and its been running well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wb2kki View Post
My guess is you had an air bubble. BUT, I would have the system checked and the temp checked with a scanner or laser thermometer to be sure. Spend a few dollars now and make sure you don't wind up overheating the engine and have to give it last rights.

Also make sure the fan is working properly. Being in PA don't know how the temp gauge looks at 117 degrees. Better you than me.

Mike
System checked how? For leaks? I remember seeing something about how to tell if the radiator is plugged by checking temperature of the ingoing/outgoing coolant. I don't know how to do it. Will one of those baby digital thermometers work? I don't know how good of a thermometer I'll need.... hmm... thinking it over... I doubt the baby one will test for temps above "normal body temperature"
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Old 12 Jul 2018, 01:01 pm
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Default Re: Car overheated only once since my timing belt replacement

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Originally Posted by texas2002cruiser View Post
LMFAO!!
lol, they were very helpful. I wish I could have bought them lunch, had I been there.
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Old 13 Jul 2018, 10:11 am
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Default Re: Car overheated only once since my timing belt replacement

My only point is cars don't fix themselves. Since it has been good all this time though it very well could have been some air. I would at least keep a close eye on the gauge for a while. If the car is running normal at 117 deg I'd say it's working.

( When I said checked i meant by a pro).

Mike
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Old 13 Jul 2018, 02:03 pm
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Default Re: Car overheated only once since my timing belt replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by wb2kki View Post
My only point is cars don't fix themselves. Since it has been good all this time though it very well could have been some air. I would at least keep a close eye on the gauge for a while. If the car is running normal at 117 deg I'd say it's working.

( When I said checked i meant by a pro).

Mike
I really do need to test the radiator temperatures but don't know how and don't have the right tools.

Or I'd like to get rid of air if anybody has instructions on how to.


Actually.. .I just noticed

THE COOLANT IS GREEN!!

Do I need to do a flush and refill? I wonder what kind of coolant he used
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Old 13 Jul 2018, 02:12 pm
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Default Re: Car overheated only once since my timing belt replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkyfred View Post
Actually.. .I just noticed

THE COOLANT IS GREEN!!

Do I need to do a flush and refill? I wonder what kind of coolant he used
Check-out the sticky under tech and performance on HOAT and decide for yourself..

Why HOAT? The PT radiator coolant thread...
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