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OVERHEATING 2003 on streets

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Old 04 Sep 2010, 11:04 am
oldorange's Avatar
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Question OVERHEATING 2003 on streets

I have a used and recently acquired 2003 PT that overheats on the streets but so far is fine on the freeway...

Have replaced:

1. Radiator Cap (16 lbs - have seen 18 lbs for it too - which is it & why?)????
2. Thermostat
3. Fan Motor and Relay
4. 50/50 antifreeze (the yellow/orange colored one)
5. Checked for CO in radiator -none reported, how accurate is this test?

6. I dont know if compression was tested though since these are the mechanics at the shop owned by the seller of this car to me, so all the above was done at no cost.

I can hear the fan kick in and hear it go from low to high speed too at idle shortly after starting the car. This does not seem to be dependent on the A/C being on either, as I recall.

I ran it up and down the freeway last midnight and the Temp gauge was solid at the halfway mark for 2 miles to the freeway and at least 10 miles on it, the A/C was on the whole time too. speeds of 65-85. Once getting back on the streets though for about two blocks it was still ok.....

Then started climbing to under 4/6 on the gauge. Next It would move into just below the 5/6 lower line for the RED area and the alarm would sound. I turned OFF the A/C, and turned ON the heater, and still the temp hovered about a needles width into the RED and then would move below as I sped up to 40-45, but it never went down to half again for the 2 mile drive from the freeway to home.

After stopping and shutting it off you can hear the boiling over into the resevoir since it is mounted against the upper dash area. Apparently this is not a fan that runs after engine shutoff(?), so I guess it gets hotter for a time. After it cooled I added water only to the radiator, about a quart, and bled out the air.

I'm afraid to even drive it to a mechanic for fear of fire, flood, or damage to the engine. But I cannot test for engine/head/head gasket problems/cracks etc. What else is left?
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Old 04 Sep 2010, 11:26 am
Hooligan's Avatar
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Default Re: OVERHEATING 2003 on streets

Welcome to the Forum. I know you said the fan motor was changed, but are both speeds operating?

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Old 04 Sep 2010, 11:36 am
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Default Re: OVERHEATING 2003 on streets

Thanks Hooligan.....From the original post.....

I can hear the fan kick in and I hear it go from a low speed to a high speed at idle shortly after starting the car. This does not seem to be dependent on the A/C being on either, as I recall.

Did I mention there are NO maintenance codes? It just says d0ne.
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Old 04 Sep 2010, 07:33 pm
oldorange's Avatar
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Default Re: OVERHEATING 2003 on streets

So it went back to the mechanic and after many hours they are telling me it may very well be the head gasket, even though the traditional tests did not indicate that problem.

Has anyone else had this occur? overheating when the tests said negative and it was eventually resolved to the head gasket, or head or block?

Is it possible that it could still be the head or block too?

Could a mechanic MASK a head or block failure temporarily do you think?

you see this is a recent purchase and is being repaired under the sellers word and 3 month warranty and on his own dime for me.
My 2003 PTOS... ...Will it ever STOP Squeaking & Creaking???!!! And 21 MPG, what's up with that?
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Old 04 Sep 2010, 11:28 pm
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Default Re: OVERHEATING 2003 on streets

Yes there is stuff you can put in a motor to seal head gaskets and cracks but they also seal the cooling valleys which in turn make enigne run hot because they cannot circulate the coolant properly.

Another thing is a water pump that has corrosion on the blades will be less efficient and can run hot a low rpms but can have enough to cool at higher rpms.
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