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Overheating issue with A/C and idle, fixed some problems already

 
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Old 26 Aug 2014, 10:41 am
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Default Overheating issue with A/C and idle, fixed some problems already

Hi all!

This is my second PT Cruiser, just bought it used, had it for about two weeks, 2004 Touring Turbo, with about 75,000 miles. The guy I bought it off of was a mechanic, said the previous owners were customers of his, who he kept telling them they need to address the head gasket, they didn't, so when it failed, he bought it off them, redid the gasket, and sold it to me. (When I had it checked out by another mechanic before buying, they said the head gasket was new and recently replaced).

Within several days of owning it, it started overheating, but when it did, turned the car off, let it sit for a couple of mins, turn it back on, and temp gauge went back to 3 o'clock. Looked on here, seemed like others that had the problem said it was a faulty thermostat. Got that and planned to do a thermostat replace when I had time.

Before I could replace the thermostat, it started heating up and not going back down when turned off and on. Checked reservoir, below the add line, so added Zerex G-05 diluted with distilled water and drove it carefully, leaving heat on and windows open to keep the temperature gauge low (around normal (3 o'clock to tick above that). Also confirmed fan was working (since that's something else I see commonly on here).

Finally got time to replace thermostat this weekend, open tube and see that the coolant below is pretty green. Used some choice words, drain radiator (that draincock is something else), replace thermostat, radiator cap, add all G-05, bled system, but not sure if bled system enough (I might bleed again, just in case, as I connected the tubing so it was resting on something else above the bleed valve, and it was hard to tell if the coolant was really streaming out, since it went up and over). The coolant drained from radiator had some orange gunk in it, not a lot, just a few dregs that I saw. Now it runs with temps at normal, except when idling or using A/C, then the temperature gauge creeps up.

My thoughts on the current situation: I bet the mechanic used the green stuff when he replaced the head gasket, so (I hope) it hasn't been in there long and hasn't been driven much with it in there. I think I might get a coolant system flush at a shop, since there might be some gunk/etc. in there.

Questions I have:
1) Should I have anyone pressure check system? Could I have ran it enough to damage head gasket etc.?
2) Is the radiator possibly bad? Does the fact that it operate fine except at idle and with A/C indicate it isn't blocked, or is it possibly partially blocked?
3) I see a lot with regards to checking the low and high speed fan connector, but from what I understand the turbo engines use a variable speed, so if it was running when I checked it (had A/C on to make sure it would run) does that indicate it's working through all speeds?

Basically I'm wondering what I should check and do next. Probably will attempt to bleed a second time this evening, but anything that can be checked while I'm working on it would be great, plus want a plan of attack for after that if it is still acting up.
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Old 26 Aug 2014, 01:36 pm
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Default Re: Overheating issue with A/C and idle, fixed some problems already

I recommend:

#1 do an engine compression test if ok continue to #3 if not do #2

#2 Cylinder leak down

#3 Pressure test the cooling system. If ok proceed to #5 if not then #4

#4 chemical test the cooling system

#5 With a Diagnostic Scanning tool ONLY check for DTC.


You have a single speed resistor speed control fan. You can check the operation by using the defroster or turning the AC to full on. Fan will either work or not. If it does not work check fuse and relays. If ok than do a jump lead to the large color wire at the connector to the fan direct to battery. Fan will work. If not faulty fan.


Bleeding is over exaggerated on this and other PT forums. If you have a thermostat with a bleeder or bobble than the first and for certainly the second time the engine got to operating temperature and completely cooled it would have self bled. Very very very rare circumstance would this not happen or if you had other cooling system issues.

I also recommend to STOP randomly replacing parts until you have isolated the original problem. Most of the time it is like putting a band-aide on an injury that needs stitches.
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Last edited by NitroPT; 26 Aug 2014 at 01:40 pm.
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Old 26 Aug 2014, 01:41 pm
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Default Re: Overheating issue with A/C and idle, fixed some problems already

I would do radiator flush first, drive it and see if that was the cure - if not, then have a thermal readout on the radiator to look for hot/cold spots indicating a clogged radiator.

You should also ask the mechanic if he replaced the timing belt and water pump when he did the head gasket. The timing belt had to come off to do head gasket, so it was a golden opportunity.

At idle, does RPM go up when you turn on A/C? It should. If not, have Idle Air Controller cleaned/replaced.
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Old 26 Aug 2014, 01:51 pm
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Default Re: Overheating issue with A/C and idle, fixed some problems already

Don a radiator flush normally would be a good idea. But in this case it would not be a first choice given the unanswered condition of the overall engine and cooling system.

A cooling system pressure test should at least be done in this case before a flushing.
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Old 26 Aug 2014, 02:10 pm
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Default Re: Overheating issue with A/C and idle, fixed some problems already

Agree with Nitro. Follow his steps to ensure engine and head gasket are still good first. Once confirmed then you can move on to checking the cooling system.
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Old 26 Aug 2014, 02:17 pm
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Default Re: Overheating issue with A/C and idle, fixed some problems already

Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
Don a radiator flush normally would be a good idea. But in this case it would not be a first choice given the unanswered condition of the overall engine and cooling system.

A cooling system pressure test should at least be done in this case before a flushing.
I agree with both Don & Nitro but for different reasons...

OP said he had head gasket looked at by another mechanic, but still asked if pressure test should be done...I'm guessing your other mechanic just eyeballed it...

OP also said he mixed orange & green coolant, he drained radiator, but said nothing about draining block or overflow tank...that would mean a flush.
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Old 26 Aug 2014, 05:10 pm
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Default Re: Overheating issue with A/C and idle, fixed some problems already

Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
I recommend:

#1 do an engine compression test if ok continue to #3 if not do #2

#2 Cylinder leak down

#3 Pressure test the cooling system. If ok proceed to #5 if not then #4

#4 chemical test the cooling system

#5 With a Diagnostic Scanning tool ONLY check for DTC.
I like this approach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
You have a single speed resistor speed control fan. You can check the operation by using the defroster or turning the AC to full on. Fan will either work or not. If it does not work check fuse and relays. If ok than do a jump lead to the large color wire at the connector to the fan direct to battery. Fan will work. If not faulty fan.
Fan worked with A/C on the other day, so it should be good, unless it goes out at any time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
Bleeding is over exaggerated on this and other PT forums. If you have a thermostat with a bleeder or bobble than the first and for certainly the second time the engine got to operating temperature and completely cooled it would have self bled. Very very very rare circumstance would this not happen or if you had other cooling system issues.

I also recommend to STOP randomly replacing parts until you have isolated the original problem. Most of the time it is like putting a band-aide on an injury that needs stitches.
Agreed, it wasn't my original intention, just thought the bad thermostat seemed likely, and it's snowballed from there. Glad I made the post to find out what should be done next.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quicksilverdon View Post
I would do radiator flush first, drive it and see if that was the cure - if not, then have a thermal readout on the radiator to look for hot/cold spots indicating a clogged radiator.
I have an IR thermal gun, can/should I do a quick check myself?

Quote:
Originally Posted by quicksilverdon View Post
At idle, does RPM go up when you turn on A/C? It should. If not, have Idle Air Controller cleaned/replaced.
It does not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion7718 View Post
OP said he had head gasket looked at by another mechanic, but still asked if pressure test should be done...I'm guessing your other mechanic just eyeballed it...

OP also said he mixed orange & green coolant, he drained radiator, but said nothing about draining block or overflow tank...that would mean a flush.
I'm assuming that he just looked at it, I didn't say anything about it before I went in, he told me it was recently replaced.
Coolant was mixed, I did overflow tank, not block. I'm thinking a flush is needed no matter what else is done, just to make me feel comfortable about the whole thing.
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Old 26 Aug 2014, 05:18 pm
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Default Re: Overheating issue with A/C and idle, fixed some problems already

The engine speed does not go up with AC. The PCM/ECM will adjust engine load based on AC on and correct for normal idle speed.

The thermal gun is next to impossible to ascertain the condition of the radiator because of the AC condenser and inside the engine area the fan and shroud.

The flush is not as easy as you think. There are a lot of hoses .LOL If you must before at least a cooling system pressure test.... then do a chemical flush and rinse. Re- fill with water only for a day and than dump and refill with a 80/20 mix (not 50/50) of coolant to water. It is NOT necessary to use distilled water. The coolant protect against mineral in water causing problems.
Fill the mixed coolant with the front at a slight incline this will aide in completely filling the system the firs time.
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Last edited by NitroPT; 26 Aug 2014 at 05:24 pm.
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Old 26 Aug 2014, 06:47 pm
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Default Re: Overheating issue with A/C and idle, fixed some problems already

Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
The engine speed does not go up with AC. The PCM/ECM will adjust engine load based on AC on and correct for normal idle speed.

The thermal gun is next to impossible to ascertain the condition of the radiator because of the AC condenser and inside the engine area the fan and shroud.

The flush is not as easy as you think. There are a lot of hoses .LOL If you must before at least a cooling system pressure test.... then do a chemical flush and rinse. Re- fill with water only for a day and than dump and refill with a 80/20 mix (not 50/50) of coolant to water. It is NOT necessary to use distilled water. The coolant protect against mineral in water causing problems.
Fill the mixed coolant with the front at a slight incline this will aide in completely filling the system the firs time.
I thought I had read before that the radiator is blocked by things and you can't feel/see it directly, in another thread.

I intended to have the flush done at a shop, as the ease of hooking it up to a machine compared to me doing it over hours seemed like a good trade-off.

I don't know that I even trust myself to do all of the tests you listed, it might just be off to the shop with it.
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Old 26 Aug 2014, 11:39 pm
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Default Re: Overheating issue with A/C and idle, fixed some problems already

Quote:
Originally Posted by bnlfanmatt View Post
I thought I had read before that the radiator is blocked by things and you can't feel/see it directly, in another thread.
That's is what I said.

I intended to have the flush done at a shop, as the ease of hooking it up to a machine compared to me doing it over hours seemed like a good trade-off.
Most shops do a simple generic flushing because of labor vs cost = simple flush. Don't be surprised if they damage cooling system parts that were ready to fail during a flush only procedure leaving you with a final total greater than you expected. This was why I suggested at least a pressure test first. A good shop should also be recommending to do before a flush!

I don't know that I even trust myself to do all of the tests you listed, it might just be off to the shop with it.
A cooling system pressure test is very easy and many auto parts chain stores rent the tester/equipment. If you want to try it your self pm me and I will give you my contact information to call me and I can instruct you how to do anything I have recommended. There are many members that can tell you I have helped them in this way to successfully do work on their own PT Cruisers.. BTW I am actually "real" semi retired mechanic that does this for a partial living and not just only another PT Cruiser DIYr.
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