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02 Running Hot

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 30 Jan 2014, 09:23 am
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Default 02 Running Hot

I have a 2002 PT Cruiser that will all of a sudden run hot while I am driving. As soon as I stop the car, the temp goes back down to normal running temp. It does not do it every time I am driving and I can not make it happen. It is in the single digits here and after my car running for 5 minutes and driving 3 miles the temp will climb, but then 8 hours later I can start the car and drive 25 miles with no problems. The thermostat has been replaced in Oct and I do hear the fan coming on... Any ideas?!?!?!
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Old 30 Jan 2014, 09:39 am
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Default Re: 02 Running Hot

It could be the thermostat not opening up all the way when needed. But I suspect blown head gasket. I've seem many cars with slightly blown head gaskets that show no signs unless the car is thoroughly warmed up. So some cars can make short local trips for a very long time with a blown head gasket.

I'd check the thermostat first because that's easy and cheap. Then check the fan again. And then assure the radiator is not stopped up. After that, a serious look at the head gasket is likely warranted.

Also, when it does overheat, does it blow the coolant out first? And if so, is the coolant super hot, or just warm? Here's a likely scenario for a slightly blown head gasket. Car runs fine during short distant trips. On longer trips, the engine eventually reaches an evenly distributed operating temperature. This causes mild but normal expansion of the engine and normal pressure within the cooling system. And those things cause a minor engine head leak to increase. Pressure from one or more cylinders enters the water jacket causing over pressurization of the cooling system. Coolant is then ejected but is often only about 200 degrees F. After the coolant level gets too low, the engine then overheats and remaining coolant becomes super hot. This kind of head gasket problem can be very frustrating. Because from the driver's point of view it appears the car is doing just fine. And then all the sudden, it blows all the coolant out and overheats.
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Old 30 Jan 2014, 10:04 am
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Post Re: 02 Running Hot

Quote:
Originally Posted by iwuvwoo View Post
The thermostat has been replaced in Oct and I do hear the fan coming on... Any ideas?!?!?!
Sounds like there may be air cooling system.
When the thermostat was installed was the system properly bled?...Because that will cause the symptoms your describing.
Hopefully this link,and these photos will help:


How do you bleed the cooling system on a 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser(process as the same for ALL model years)

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Old 30 Jan 2014, 11:34 am
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Default Re: 02 Running Hot

Thank you for the feed back!!! You guys are awesome.
is there a test that I can do to check and see if it is the head gasket?
And when the thermostat was replaced it was done at a shop so I can't state if it was bled properly or not.
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Old 30 Jan 2014, 12:29 pm
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Cool Re: 02 Running Hot

Quote:
Originally Posted by iwuvwoo View Post
And when the thermostat was replaced it was done at a shop so I can't state if it was bled properly or not.
If they're not 100% familiar with PT Cruisers(or similar vehicles) they may not know it needs to be purged of all the air.
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Old 31 Jan 2014, 05:56 am
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Default Re: 02 Running Hot

Woo; start simple. With a cold engine, take off the radiator cap. The coolant should be up to the top. If not, add a 50/50 mix of coolant to fill it. Turn cap upside down and inspect the 2 rubber seals. If they look mint, put cap back on. ----- The plastic reservoir tank must have coolant in it between 1/3 and 1/2 full. ---- The small rubber hose between the bottom of the radiator cap and the reservoir tank must be tight on both ends and free of cracks. ---- Drive car till temp gage goes near half-way. [around the block?] ---- Park and shut-off the car. Wait a few hours till the engine cools. ---- Check the reservoir level. ---- if the tank level dropped, refill to 1/3 full minimum ---- repeat this process until the reservoir tank coolant level stays the same.

At this point the engine should be full of coolant. Now go for a longer drive. the temp gage should go up near 1/2 way and just stay there.
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Old 31 Jan 2014, 09:01 am
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Default Re: 02 Running Hot

I usually agree with Randy and Handy, but if you had thermostat replaced in Oct, air would be out of the system by now, and a head gasket wouldn't cause grief in 3 miles of driving but not in 25 miles of driving...

Sure sounds like thermostat is sticking at times.

Follow PT06's steps - and look carefully at the coolant in the radiator - it ought to be clear, not murky/cloudy - you can fill with Zerex G05 and distilled water 50/50 - you could have enough scale/crud to get periodic blockages....

How many miles on the PT? Water pump been changed?
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Old 31 Jan 2014, 10:03 pm
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Default Re: 02 Running Hot

2002? Hmm. Probably dirt, bugs, and stuff blocking the fins. Had this EXACT problem on my daughter's PT. Removed, reversed high pressure from backside of radiator, and reinstalled. Solved problem.
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