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slight overheating in warmer weather? 96 olds ciera sl

single72single72 Posts: 7
edited May 2014 in Oldsmobile

I have a 96 olds ciera sl (not cutlass), 6 cyl. My only problem with it is when the weather heats up, the car wants to heat up to. It only does it after going up a long hill or like while its slowly going thru like a fastfood drive thru. It normally runs on first notch above cold but heats up to at least halfway until I get moving again on the road. What cld b causing this? I've been told thermostat, fan not kicking on, and few other reasons. I don't think its the fan though.

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  • single72single72 Posts: 7

    ty for ur response. yeah, i was told that it wld b ok just going half way.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,399
    edited April 2014

    @single72 said:

    I've been told thermostat, fan not kicking on, and few other reasons. I don't think its the fan though.

    Let me add to the previous answer:
    Since you don't have a digital readout like some cars, we're just guessing at the temperature it normally runs at. I will make an assumption that it is running hot enough, otherwise your gas mileage may seem lower than it had been in the past.

    When you climb a hill or sit in a line, the temperature will go up some until the thermostat is fully open. Then it may not be able to remove all the extra heat and if the temperature reaches 220, the fan may turn on low speed to pull air through the radiator. If the temperature goes higher, maybe 229, the fan will turn on high speed. Some cars have two fans behind the radiator.

    The question is do the fans turn on when the AC is on and it's warm enough the compressor is engaging and cooling the car. If so, then it's likely the fan is not your problem.

    Thermostats sometime start running cooler as they age because they open earlier. When your car is normal on the temperature gauge after driving a normal drive to the store, take hold of the upper radiator hose, avoiding the moving fan if it is, and see if it's so warm you can't hold it more than 3-5 seconds (unless your hands are toughened from lots of outside work). If so, thermostat is probably okay.

    The only reason the age of the thermostat might be important is that eventually they start to open too soon or stick closed and cause an overheat.

    Check for fan operation with AC. You can check temperature of coolant with some scanners that read codes--not the cheaper ones.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • single72single72 Posts: 7
    edited May 2014

    Thanks for your opinion. My AC compressor doesn't work, so I have no AC at all.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,399

    I believe the car you have was designed for the temperature gauge to have the needle midway between C & H when at normal temp. The gauges can change with age, but I'm still suspicious you are running cooler than it should be and then at times with no air flow because the car is stationay, it's going up to the normal temp.

    If you don't hear any gurgling when you shut off the car like the engine is hot and is boil internally, I still suspect your temperature is in the normal range. The car will have to get up to 220 or so for the fans to kick on. I believe there would be a way to test the fans, but that would be trickly electrically.

    My suspicion is that your thermostat opens early or allows some seepage due to age or goop keeping it from closing tightly. When the car has run for 5 minutes, and you turn the heater on HOT and the blower on a higher speed, the heat should be almost too hot for you hand in the air stream after a few minutes. Is the heat after the car has been driven for 5-8 minutes the same as after 20 minutes using that kind of test?

    Another thing is the auto box stores have scanners that they use for reading the codes. Some of those probably can show the temperature of the coolant. Ask at the local favorite Advance Auto, OReilly, etc. about if they can read your temperature. That way you'll have an idea about the gauge. I suggest it would be best to get a reading with the car shortly after it's been started if one of those stores is close. And then read the temperature after a long drive to see what the typical temperature is.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • single72single72 Posts: 7

    Yes, ur right, the temp gauge always stays half way between c/h, unless like i said, i'm been sitting (idling) thru a drive thru or as/after going up a steep hill in the summer. Thats the only tmie it "heats up" to halfway. Thanks for ur response.

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