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Another Cooling System Issue

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 26 Sep 2018, 12:35 pm
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 13
Exclamation Another Cooling System Issue

I read all the other cooling system threads, but haven't seen my particular issue. For the past four years since I had my '06 Cruiser, it would occasionally overheat in the California swelter, but when I took it to my mechanic, everything seemed to be working and it just needed to be topped off on coolant. This summer, however, it got nasty.

When I took it in, they tested as usual, and this time they said the water pump was shot. So, I had the water pump replaced, and while they were at it, since they were in there anyway, they replaced the timing belt and checked out everything else, or so they said. It was fine for about a week, and then it started overheating again.

This time, they said it needed a new radiator cap. They replaced that, and again it ran fine for about a week. Then, it overheated again. Took it in, they fixed a hose that they said had cracked. It only lasted a few days this time.

The mechanic who has apparently taken my car as his personal project, said that the coolant was going through the engine, but not getting sucked back into the radiator and overfilled the overflow container. So, they thought maybe is was the head gasket. They put through a block sealer that they said could give me another year, but that I should consider trading it in soon. It's not even paid off yet, and, aside from this, I love that car.

So, my question is, in the esteemed opinion of the Cruiser experts here, should I replace the head gasket (mind you, at this point I could have paid off the car for what I've paid in repairs), or is it time to give up my baby? BTW - it has about 108,000 miles on it.

Thanks for any advice you can offer, and thanks for reading through this LONG saga.
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Old 26 Sep 2018, 12:52 pm
LionPT's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 4,254
Default Re: Another Cooling System Issue

There could be a hole in the overflow hose.

Adding block sealer is pretty much the last step you want to do...it can cause other problems...like clog up the heater core.
If you want to keep the car, replace the head gasket & flush the engine to try to remove most of the sealer.

JMO
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 26 Sep 2018, 02:30 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Sacramento, CA
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Default Re: Another Cooling System Issue

Did they even check the coolant system for exhaust, oil or pressure loss or did they simply dump block sealer into it and send you off?

If they suspected a leaking head gasket, they should have
  1. Performed a cooling system pressure test (5 minutes with a pump and removing the radiator cap)
  2. Looked for exhaust gases in the coolant (a blue liquid you suck air from the coolant thruogh and if it turns yellow, there is exhaust in the coolant)
  3. Cylinder compression test. Take off each spark plug and crank the engine, then read the pressure gauge


The headgasket job will cost around $1200 and it essentially is also a timing belt job because you have to remove the timing belt again in order to get to the head gasket. There is no reason to replace the head gasket unless it is blown or unless the ports are clogged (sometimes this happens with some stop leak products).

I was amazed that they tried a new radiator cap after replacing the water pump/timing belt. You have to take the cap off when replacing the pump.

When you say some things worked for a week, do you mean you had NO overheating problems for that time? Did you check the coolant level during that time (best to check first thing in the morning after the engine has time to cool completely)

Is your fan working? Run the engine and turn on the A/C. Lift the hood and you should feel/hear the fan running (it's pretty loud and blows pretty strongly).

Seems like the mechanic has not solved any problem yet and has been charging you for his troubleshooting efforts.
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Old 26 Sep 2018, 04:25 pm
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 13
Default Re: Another Cooling System Issue

Thanks for the input. They did do the pressure test, both before and after the block. According to the mechanic, the pressure test stayed blue for a long test time after the block. I'll have to look again at the paperwork to see if they checked the fan. I would think that would be a no-brainer, but you never know. I'll probably do the head gasket in the end, much as I don't want to spend the money. At this point, I feel that the car is practically new inside, so why not? Still open to any other suggestions or opinions on whether it's worth getting the head gasket replaced.
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Old 26 Sep 2018, 06:17 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Posts: 7,144
Default Re: Another Cooling System Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by melissa610 View Post
I read all the other cooling system threads, but haven't seen my particular issue. For the past four years since I had my '06 Cruiser, it would occasionally overheat in the California swelter, but when I took it to my mechanic, everything seemed to be working and it just needed to be topped off on coolant. This summer, however, it got nasty.

When I took it in, they tested as usual, and this time they said the water pump was shot. So, I had the water pump replaced, and while they were at it, since they were in there anyway, they replaced the timing belt and checked out everything else, or so they said. It was fine for about a week, and then it started overheating again.

This time, they said it needed a new radiator cap. They replaced that, and again it ran fine for about a week. Then, it overheated again. Took it in, they fixed a hose that they said had cracked. It only lasted a few days this time.

The mechanic who has apparently taken my car as his personal project, said that the coolant was going through the engine, but not getting sucked back into the radiator and overfilled the overflow container. So, they thought maybe is was the head gasket. They put through a block sealer that they said could give me another year, but that I should consider trading it in soon. It's not even paid off yet, and, aside from this, I love that car.

So, my question is, in the esteemed opinion of the Cruiser experts here, should I replace the head gasket (mind you, at this point I could have paid off the car for what I've paid in repairs), or is it time to give up my baby? BTW - it has about 108,000 miles on it.

Thanks for any advice you can offer, and thanks for reading through this LONG saga.
If you are taking it back to the same mechanic that suggested that the water pump would fix the overheating problem I would suggest that the mechanic give you a big break on the labor costs as it looks like the problem was not the water pump. With 108,000 miles on the Pt Cruiser it might have been not much longer before one of the valves would have started leaking in the head. Did the mechanic suggest that you might also consider removing the head and do a valve job at the beginning?
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Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 26 Sep 2018 at 06:28 pm.
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Old 27 Sep 2018, 06:52 am
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Phoenix AZ
Posts: 226
Default Re: Another Cooling System Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by melissa610 View Post
Thanks for the input. They did do the pressure test, both before and after the block. According to the mechanic, the pressure test stayed blue for a long test time after the block. I'll have to look again at the paperwork to see if they checked the fan. I would think that would be a no-brainer, but you never know. I'll probably do the head gasket in the end, much as I don't want to spend the money. At this point, I feel that the car is practically new inside, so why not? Still open to any other suggestions or opinions on whether it's worth getting the head gasket replaced.
if you can afford all this, including work already performed, you can just get a old honda (that is very original, no stupid teenager modifications!). or better yet, the small kia's have pretty kick butt warranties. buy now before imports are penalized.
you will just run into more pricey problems- dump the '06..especcially with a mechanic like that... p.s.- the kias are pretty dang cheap right now...
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Old 28 Sep 2018, 01:51 am
Senior Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,110
Default Re: Another Cooling System Issue

The sales tax on a new $25,000 car is about $1,600 in CT. The town tax is about $500 for the first year. Collision insurance will be higher, also.

Foreign cars, especially German cars, usually cost more for to repair.

PT's have radiator fans that can be troublesome. A quick check for the high speed fan is to turn on the AC. Heater fan on medium. You should hear the radiator fan turn on within a few seconds. ----- When the AC is off and the temp gauge gets to half way, the radiator fan should also turn on.

There is a special procedure to bleed the air out of the cooling system.

These engines should go 200,000 miles if maintained. If overheated, all bets are off.
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Old 28 Sep 2018, 06:46 am
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Phoenix AZ
Posts: 226
Default Re: Another Cooling System Issue

you know, now im a bit curious if these over heating pt's have anything to do with the oem single layer head gasket... I know our '05 had the multi layer steel from the factory... might explain the "test ok" failiures..
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Old 30 Sep 2018, 02:15 pm
Regular Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 120
Default Re: Another Cooling System Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by melissa610 View Post
I read all the other cooling system threads, but haven't seen my particular issue. For the past four years since I had my '06 Cruiser, it would occasionally overheat in the California swelter, but when I took it to my mechanic, everything seemed to be working and it just needed to be topped off on coolant. This summer, however, it got nasty.

When I took it in, they tested as usual, and this time they said the water pump was shot. So, I had the water pump replaced, and while they were at it, since they were in there anyway, they replaced the timing belt and checked out everything else, or so they said. It was fine for about a week, and then it started overheating again.

This time, they said it needed a new radiator cap. They replaced that, and again it ran fine for about a week. Then, it overheated again. Took it in, they fixed a hose that they said had cracked. It only lasted a few days this time.

The mechanic who has apparently taken my car as his personal project, said that the coolant was going through the engine, but not getting sucked back into the radiator and overfilled the overflow container. So, they thought maybe is was the head gasket. They put through a block sealer that they said could give me another year, but that I should consider trading it in soon. It's not even paid off yet, and, aside from this, I love that car.

So, my question is, in the esteemed opinion of the Cruiser experts here, should I replace the head gasket (mind you, at this point I could have paid off the car for what I've paid in repairs), or is it time to give up my baby? BTW - it has about 108,000 miles on it.

Thanks for any advice you can offer, and thanks for reading through this LONG saga.
I had mine gutted similarly and no one checked the thermostat. Its an easy cheap fix. Might change my nick name to CHANGE THE THERMOSTAT.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 30 Sep 2018, 07:55 pm
Senior Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: SW PA
Posts: 1,305
Default Re: Another Cooling System Issue

As the radiator/AC condenser fan gets older it will work intermittently as the brushes wear out and stop riding the armature. This usually happens first on low speed which keeps the air flowing through the radiator if the AC or defrost is not in the on position. The high speed (AC/ DEFROST) works to keep the radiator cool and to keep the air flowing at a higher rate through the condenser in front of the radiator to keep the pressure in the AC system within operating specifications.
Sometimes the harness connector will over heat due to the on and off which seems constant or a loose pin connection causing the fan to work sometimes making it difficult to find the trouble.
My experience I found that the two speed fan last about 100,000 and I would recommend it being changed with the timing belt kit. BUT if you have overheated the motor all bets are off for a fan change to correct your problem, but it could.
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