Overheating, no heat, smell coolant, lots of steam. Kia Sedona.
jenniferlm Member Posts: 14
edited December 2018 in Kia
Drove van to work twice and smelled slight coolant smell. Kept an eye on temp and ran normally. (9 mile drive). Drove van back home and coolant smell was a little stronger and saw some steam coming out from under the hood, not a lot, and temp was still normal. Went to go to the store 2 hours later and went .6 miles and stopped at red light and noticed van started running warmer than normal (just barely above 1/2 way mark). Took off and it stayed at this temp for about 3 miles, then went up to 3/4 on the temp. Made it to store, checked reserve tank and was normal. Went in store for over an hour. Started up van to go home and the temp went back up after leaving the parking lot. Then, I noticed there was no heat blowing from the vent....just cold air. The temp then started fluctuating from 3/4 to hot but mostly stayed at 3/4 until about 100 yds from my driveway, where it went all the way hot. When I shut it off, a LOT of steam came out from under the hood but I didn't hear any hissing or popping sounds or anything like that. I know I should have pulled over but it was later at night and out on a back road so there was no way I was stopping. I just need to know if the thermostat is stuck or the water pump went out or what. My husband will look at it when he gets home from work, but I'd like to give him some direction on where to look first. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
Usually, a slow overheat such as you describe is attributable to loss of coolant from a leak or gradual heating up of the coolant because the cooling fans aren't working.
Things like a stuck thermostat or bad head gasket usually result in a very fast overheat and you probably wouldn't have gotten very far with those defects in place.
for you to smell coolant means that it is exiting the system somehow--either from an actual leak, out of the coolant reservoir, or worst case, out the tailpipe from a bad head gasket.
Whatever the case, you must not drive this car in this condition for very long.
If someone is brave enough, they can feel the entrance and exit hoses to the heater at the firewall, from inside the engine bay. If both hoses are warm after the car's temp gauge comes off COLD, the thermostat isn't stuck.
One good test for a bad head gasket (certainly plausible given the serious overheat) is to pressurize the cooling system with a pump you can buy at Autozone for $15 bucks---then, while leaving the system pressurized (2 or 3 lbs over the radiator cap rating), extract the spark plugs one by one--if you see coolant on any one of the plugs, then the head gasket is definitely toast, and/or the cylinder head might be warped.
You can also test the coolant chemically for combustion gases by buying a simple test kit--so that might be easier.
You might also borrow a scan tool if you can to find out what the check engine light is all about.
Did you notice any circulation in the radiator--it should be swirling around in there with the motor running.
Step 1. Locate bleed strews. Look near thermostat or upper coolet housing. Some cars have two.
Step 2. With a 3/8 or often 8mm loosen the bleed strew without removing it.
Step 3. When car is cold, open radiator cap and pour in Antifreeze until you see Antifreeze come out the bleed strew location. You may hear air start to escape the bleed strew. This will be a big indication you had air pockets in the system.
Step 4. Once you see Antifreeze come out the bleed strew, you can tighten the bleed strew back down. Fill the radiator all the way to the top.
Step 5. Turn the cab heat and fan on blast.
Step 6. Start the car, with radiator cap off. You may want to buy a spill over funnel to catch the extra Antifreeze. If not just let it spill out who cares.
7. Run the vehicle for 20 + until it reaches proper operating temps which is 220 degree fahrenheit. This will kick on the radiator fans. Then you are done. Replace radiator cap. Complete.
If you look closely you will see air bubbles coming out the radiator or reservoir. The heat should start coming back doing this process.
If this doesn't work.
1. Stuck thermostat "highly unlikely" but possible. Fill the upper and lower radiator hose with car at operatoring temperature. These are you entry and return hoses. Both should be about the same temperature. If one is colder the the other change thermostats.
2. Blown head gasket. Water in old "milky oil". Back fires. Trouble starting. Mis fires. Lost of power. Some of these symptoms occur when you have a bad coil also.
3. Temperature sensor makes your car thinks it's overheating but it's not
4. Lastly and rarest, bad cluster.
Good luck people
Hope this helps.