Jeromeo profile image

Why its important to change your Radiator Cap

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Change your Radiator Cap

Your car is your second biggest financial investment. Car notes of $300 and up are not un-common.

So who needs large repair bills...and the monthly car note. Or large repair bills...on top of the rediculus prices we pay for gas.

I have been a mechanic for over forty years, and one of the biggest mistakes I see car owners make is...not changing their Radiator Cap. When you get a Tune Up change your radiator cap. [At least once every year.]

Let me share some recent, horror stories with you.

A client with a 2003, Cadillac Sedan DE Ville, at first the car was just running hot. The Coolant Level Sensor, would flash, warning of the low coolant level, and the client would just poor water in to the reservoir.

The constant over heating caused by the car's loss of fluid eventually caused the following damage: the alternator, and the water pump bearings, went out. Both components had to be replaced.

One of the cylinders cracked, no doubt while cold water was being pored into an over heated engine. Ceramic stop leak worked for a while but eventually the motor had to be replaced; at a cost of $3500.00 plus $1500.00 labor.

The radiator was also replaced. Six months later the same symptoms started again. Turns out, it was the radiator cap that caused all the previous problems and it was not replaced when the new radiator was installed.

Next, a young lady comes in for a tune up. in Newer Cars, a tune up is just changing the spark plugs, PCV, valve, air filter, and oil change if needed. Upon inspection I find the spake plugs, are white on the tips. this indicates an efficient burn during combustion.

So why does she need a tune up? When I check the Coolant level, I see the Radiator Cap, looks like rats have been chewing on it. The moisture from steam escaping into the engine compartment was interfering with the electrical connection between the spark plugs and the spark plug wires.

This made the car run sluggish and jerk when ever the temperature was higher than 195. It also kept the cooling fans form running properly, because it didn't allow pressure to build up in the cooling system.

Last one...client comes in his cooling fan is not kicking in. Once again moisture escaping, caused by a bad radiator cap is effecting the male and female electrical connectors.

Radiator Caps cost; on average $3-$8 and are a very small price to pay, once a year to prevent destroying a good automobile engine and loosing your second largest investment.

Suggestion: as soon as you finish reading this Hub, check your Radiator Cap. if the rubber seals have indentations in them, replace your radiator cap.

If your radiator cap has not been change for over two years, do it now. Even if you own a 2006 model automobile if it hasn't been done change your radiator cap.

Don't wait for the Mechanic to tell you, you need a new alternator or water pump, or engine, change your radiator cap.

Unless you've got deep pockets, and don't mind throwing away your money, you guessed it,........ [ Change Your Radiator Cap.]

Please if you have a serious concern contact me @ domafcons@sbcglobal.net

Nough said.

Jeromeo

 Last updated on November 9, 2011

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Comments 383 comments

glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 6 years ago from Northern California Level 2 Commenter

My friend encountered problems because she didn't get hers changed!

accord300k 5 years ago

problem is, i have an after-market radiator and can't find a replacement cap that fits. any suggestions?

jeromeo 5 years ago

The same place tht sold the radiator should have the cap. the only other thing I can think of is the salvage yard. find a wrecked auto like yours.

Peter 4 years ago

I was having overheating problems with my '95 Windstar (3.8L) after having a rebuilt engine put in ~40k Miles ago. Not believing the local mechanic that the head gasket was gone again (no milkyness to oil; no white smoke on start-up), my GF suggested the rad cap. I googled "why change rad cap" and came across this article. So we said why not...I haven't overheated since.

Peter 4 years ago

I forgot to say thank you very much, as this saved us a lot of money, which we could not afford, at this time.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 4 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Peter,

I accept your thanks and in return, I think we should both thank you GF.

I am glad that my Hub helped you save you money and your auto. That makes it all worth while.

Thanks again and thanks for reading my hub.

Aodhan (Aidan) 3 years ago

I was just trying to work out why my fan was not kicking on in my 94 Civic EX... turns out my radiator cap broke apart :-p on my way to get a new one now.

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Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@Aodhan (Aidan)

Glad this could help.

michael greg 3 years ago

Hi, I just bought a 2nd hand Chevy Venture, I noticed that every time I stop the engine, water from the radiator overflows to the reservois, and spill outside the reservois vent. Then after some time, water in reservois goes back to radiator. Is this caused by a failed radiator cap? Meaning spring is loosingg tension to hold the radiator pressure when engine had been shut off? Thanks in advance Jeromeo.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@Adodhan

This is a normal function of the system and is operating as designed.

But I would advise a new radiator cap just the same.

And as far as the overflow; this comes from too much fluid in the system, also check as make sure you have a 50,50 mixture of water and coolant any thing less than 50% coolant will cause problems.

Be sure to purchase a auto repair manual specific to your vehicle. You can find them at Auto Zone and Advance Auto, or any auto parts store they cost about $14.00.

Happy motoring.

sueann 3 years ago

why will the water reservoir not pass water to the radiator?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

The system operates on a vacuum principle, so if there is any kind of leak in the system the coolant will not flow back and forth.

This can also happen if the rubber seal of the Radiator Cap is worn out. If you have any kind of leak in the radiator itself this can happen.

Check to make sure that the coolant in the radiator is at its highest level[all the way up to the neck.

also make sure you are using a mixture of 50-50 coolant to water.

If you are running too much water in the radiator it will over heat the system and eventually wear out the seals in the water pump and the radiator cap; and rust your radiator.

After you start your car let it run til the temperature Gage starts raises to the first hash mark; then feel the upper radiator hose and see if its tight & looks swollen, if it is your system is functioning properly if not check all hoses and or the heat sensor.

Advance auto or auto zone can help you find out where your heat sensor is.

Hope this helps

Tim 3 years ago

Can a cracked radiator cause a vacuum leak? Thanks for the info, I am going to get a new cap soon!

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@Tim no a cracked radiator will not cause a vacuum leak.

These systems are not directly connected.

Tim 3 years ago

@Jeromeo I was afraid of that...But thanks for the info again!

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@Tim:

For a vacuum leak you can usually hear them. Just follow the sound to he hose that is the guilty party and replace it.

Or if you have an older model car replace all the vacuum lines there should be a diagram of the vacuum system so me where under the hood of the car.

Or if not there purchase a copy of the repair manual for your particular automobile.

It will show you the vacuum system.

Hope this helps.

Jay 3 years ago

Great site. I have a Suzuki Esteem, Wagon, 1.8L

A manifold got loose and was jammed against the radiator and poked a small hole in the radiator, at about the center. I found this out when I realized there was a leak, I saw the manifold, a kind of metal cover, with it's edge jammed against the rad. I took the manifold out. Then the coolant started leaking in a thin but powerful spray toward the engine. I let the engine cool down, and poured Barr's Rad leak stuff into the radiator and filled up the rad with more water, let the engine run for 15 minutes or so and there was no more leak. Please note, that I did not put the rad cap on, as I was advised by a mechanic not to (as it would build up pressure and would force the leak open).

After, this I had to go for a long drive, about 300 miles round trip. I drove there, and came back, WITHOUT the radiator cap on, I repeat, the radiator cap was NOT on, during the trip. Before, I started my trip back, I checked the radiator and poured more water into the radiator, as the water was low, about 200mls, to bring the level up. The trip, both up and down, was fine, the temperature needle remained in the middle and cooling fan was kicking in when needed.

Now, two questions for you,

1.Can I go on driving like this for some more time, say another 1000 miles?

2. It is hard to get a replacement rad for this model of Suzuki. How can I repair this tiny hole in the rad, I know where it is, (it is where the manifold metal has hit the rad).

Sorry for the long write up. Just wanted you to understand my situation really well. Thanks. Jay

michael greg 3 years ago

Hi Jeremeo, me again with the Chevy Venture. I already change Rad cap, replaced coolant with new 50/50 mix. Now this is what I observed, with A/C on all the time, Rad Fan is also ON all the time, engine temp is normal half of meter. If I did not operate the A/C, Rad Fan is OFF and would kick-in when temp is more than half meter, or around 225deg F. But before the Fan kicks-in, I noticed that the coolant was already going to the Overflow Tank (rumbling sound), and Rad hose had collapsed. When Fan kicked in, water goes back to Rad. Was this normal? I read many forums about Chevy Venture that the Fan really kicks at this high temp? Thanks.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Jay,

You can soldier the spot making sure you use flux and that you get soldier in to the hole itself. I wouldn't try the 1000, mile trip if you get to hot you know you'll cook that engine.

@ Michael Greg,

The fan is supposed to be on with the a/c

Make sure the overflow tank is up to level as long as the system stays pressurized its the coolant system is OK. But make sure the over flow is filled to the indicated level.

elchamber88 3 years ago

Darn, I hope you're right on this. My 1998 Toyota Camry is doing this where water and some radiator fluid would spill out of the overflow reservoir when I turned off the engine. I never added more than what the reservoir tank states(a marker for full and one for low). Once I reach my destination I would left the car running for a while and then turned off the engine. This would usually help.

I thought maybe, hopefully, a radiator flush can help. I opened my radiator and notice that the cap's spring was loose and the bottom part of the radiator was stuck. It doesn't seem to spill fluid, but I'm still going to get a new radiator cap and get a radiator flush from a good(hope they still are) Jiffylube shop that I know. Do you think those things will probably help?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@elchamber88,

Sounds like you diagnosed this one just right and on time.

And just make sure you have that 50-50 mixture of coolant and water.

Way to go El.

Attap 3 years ago

@Jeromeo - nice article and valid but there is a 'but'. "Coolants" like glycol actually decrease your engine's ability to disperse heat - water is a better coolant than glycol. In my home town it gets hot and stays there all year round. The only reason I need glycol is as a very effective lubricant/cleanser for the cooling system. If I use 50/50 I run the risk of overheating my motor as the ambient temps are pretty high. w/g for me is 87.5/12.5 and, of course, a good pressure cap to help keep the temp lower still.

Dave 3 years ago

Hi

I have a 99 Honda Accord 4cyl that I just bought and checked the radiator cap and it is terrible, looks like it's been on there for the whole 155,000 miles the car has on it. One thing I noticed when I went to check it, the car was cool and sitting over night. The upper radiator hose was almost flat, seemed from some kind of suction. Is this normal? I opened the radiator cap and the hose went back to its normal shape. I am going to get a cap now, and I am betting I will see a difference. Thanks

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Hi,

The flat appearance of the radiator hose was the normal suction from the transfer of the coolant to the overflow tank. but it should not collapse; this means that your coolant level is low.

Bill 3 years ago

Hi - I have a 66 Mustang 289 w A/C, just drove with A/C on and water started coming out at the rad cap, not via the overflow tube. Checked and rad was now low - filled it, put the cap back. Question: When I press, not even too hard on the upper rad hose, I hear air come out the cap. Is this normal? Or should I not be able to press out air?

michael greg 3 years ago

Hello Jeremeo, It is the rad cap that causes the water from radiator to overflow on the reserve tank before the Aux Fan Turns-on. With the Old cap, the rad overflows prematurely. When I replaced it with new one, same problem happens. Last week, I searched over the internet, and I didn't know that caps have pressure rating. What I bought was a lower PSI (14lbs). Specs says 16 - 18lbs. Last Saturday, I found the right Rad Cap, then as I observed it again, premature Overflow of Coolant is now resolved. Thanks.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@Bill,

YOU....need a new radiator cap

Clark Perez 3 years ago

O my! i really don't know how important it is to change our radiator cap once every 2 years... My father's jeep is already 17 years old and i don't know when was the last time he changed the radiator cap or maybe i was not there when he changed it... LOL... well then, thanks for this write up...i learn something today and i'm gonna buy one now for my dad before it's too late... =)

Bill 3 years ago

Uh...you were right, so simple - I needed a new radiator cap - worked wonders.

Ramesh 3 years ago

Very good info. I haven't changed mine in 5 years. Noticed temperature rising in heavy traffic. Time to change.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Yes pull in to the next parts store and [Get'er Done]

also check hoses and make sure the fan is coming on when the pressure builds up. Hoses will be balloon tight. Make sure you have a 50/50 mixture of coolant.

Thanks for reading the hub

KentP 3 years ago

My radiator hose from the radiator to the block collapsed like a deflated balloon when the engine cooled after overheating. I opened the radiator cap and you could hear the air being sucked back into the radiator and the hose re-inflated. The radiator was empty of fluid and the overflow reservoir was full. I purchased a new radiator cap and refilled the coolant. This happened 4 months ago and had no problems until today. Once again, the radiator hose collasped from a stuck radiator cap (I think) and the radiator is empty of fluid. Can the radiator cap go bad this quickly or is something else the cause?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Yea a defective cap from the manufacturer can have that effect, or if its not the right cap it can happen.

Check to make sure its was made to the manufacturer's specifications. Then look for weaknesses in other components of the cooling and heating system, the hoses and clamps, also look for green residue from the leaking coolant around hose-connections.

And make sure the coolant mixture is not below 50/50 too much water will overheat the system and slowly degrade the integrity of the rubber seals.

KentP 3 years ago

More information on the above question: I replaced the radiator cap and fluid and everything has been fine. Today I was driving in the morning with the defroster on and the windows appropriately defogged. After about 15 minutes of driving, I felt cool air starting to be blown out of the defrost vents. Within about 30 seconds, the temperature gauge shot up. I immediately pulled over, turned off the engine and popped the hood. No leaks, no hissing, overflow res was fine, no coolant leaking under the car or around the heater. I let the car set for five minutes and then started the engine. The temperature gauge was back to normal and hot air was blowing out the vents. As I was driving home, the air blowing out the vents actually got quite toasty. All this time, the temperature gauge was back at its normal running temperature. I'm stumped on this one. Any thoughts?

wesley 3 years ago

i have a 82 datsun truck that i keep loosing fluid i have just a little white speck of water on oil filler cap but dont seem to have no water on dipstick. and i cant find no leaks on the hoses or water pump or heater core do you think this could be my cap?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

82, how many miles you got on that truck?

Remove your radiator cap turn it upside down, if it has impressions in the rubber seals nine times out of ten that's the problem.

Next question do you have white smoke coming out of your tail pipe? I not breath a sigh of relief and change your radiator cap with a smile.

May have a hair line crack in your head, if so you can get short term relief with, some Stop Leak, but eventually you will have to have the head replaced.

You can get one form the salvage yard but make sure it comes off of a wrecked car, that's the best way top tell it won't be cracked too.

A refurbished head from an exchange shop would be just as good as trying to buy a new one, but hopefully it is the cap.

wesley fowler 3 years ago

it has 186000 miles and i havent noticed any white smoke it smokes alittle when i have to choke it i think is all

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Then change the cap a see what happens. but that's baby miles for Datsun.

lebpharm 3 years ago

I am having this problem with my 05 honda Civic. It overheats intermittently. When I am sitting at a red light, very once in a while, I notice the temp needle start to rise from its usually very stable mid-point. When I take off the temp goes down, until i stop the car again.

I thought it was the thermostat sticking so I replaced it. No joy. and so with the fan switch, also no luck. i did a radiator flush and it showed to be clean.

As long as I keep my speed up the temp is OK.

This time, I got it home and the needle was about 3/4 up the temp gauge. I popped the hood and neither of the fans were on. I'm not sure which is which but it doesn’t matter; I didn't have the A/C on but at least one should have been on.

the fans usually goes ON for a min then OFF for abt 20 sec, then ON again for 1 min... alternating 1 min ON then 30 sec OFF, even if the temperature needle is 3/4 up, is this normal? or it should be ON continuously until the temp goes back to normal?

and do u think it is smtg related to the cap? should i have it changed?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

It could be the thermo-switch that makes the fans engage. or it jut may be that darn radiator cap especially if its the same one you've had since you've had the car.

Make sure the coolant level is up.

erick 3 years ago

Hey! First of all, i would like to thank you for your helpful hub. I have learned a lot about the cooling system with just reading the many quick responses to everyones problems.

Now onto mine. My 2003 Mazda6 V6 overheated yesterday. With my lack of knowledge in mechanics i freaked thinking it was the radiator because i know how costly it can be to fix that. Well, turns out it wasnt. After my brother checked it, he determined it was the thermostat. He came to this conclusion because the radiator hose wasnt tight nor swollen. I just want confirm if the thermostat could be the issue in this case presented?

Also, it wasnt too long ago- less then a yr- that i had to change my water pump. Now this. I've had the car for about 4 yrs now and never changed the radiator cap. i shall go invest in one because it can be the solution to the sequence of problems within my cooling system.

Thanks again, much appreciated.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Could be the thermo, but check the radiator cap to be shure

myshihtzudontstink 3 years ago

I have 2 extra caps in my car now. My old civic overheated one day. I had my 2 very young kids in the car so when it overheated i kept driving. turned out my radiator cap completely came apart making it boil into the overflow and then leaving no coolant in the radiator to control temp. My head gasket blew, all because my radiator cap broke. Now I have 2 extra in my new car since I was not putting 3k into a car with 270k. Had i replaced the cap ever in the 7 years i had the car I would still have it. Change your radiator caps ppl and hey keep a spare just encase you overheat and its your cap,cool it down, add fluid and put your spare cap on. it would have saved my car.

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Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ myshihtzudontstink,

Thanks for the testimonial.

Bloodknuckles 3 years ago

Excellent info here people, I am a drivabiltiy mechanic and deal with hundreds of overheat conditions, listen to this man's advice!

R.A. Acevedo 3 years ago

Today, i added almost one gallon of antifreeze to my oo cherokee.I asked myself why i have to do that every three or four weeks, so i found this site and read about all the problems people ca have for not replacing the radiator cap.Tomorrow i an on my way to replace mine, i have not done so since i bought the same two years ago.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

That's using the old noodle, get'rr done.

Thanks for reading the Hub

Jason 3 years ago

I have a 1984 Toyota Camry. It does not have AC. I have replaced Timing belt, Water pump, Thermostat, flushed coolant, all new seals.. I dont know of any leaks I am having, if I am having any.

My question/problem... When I start the car in the morning I let it run for about 20 min. The car gets to normal temp. With the heater on the car does not get hot with it in park.. If I step on the gas or drive down the road it warms up and gets hot. What could be causing this. Water pump is working good.

I did however take the hose off of the output from the water pump that goes into the heater core and there is not a constant water flow. Only when I rev the engine does any water come out, but not constant.

Which brings me to another thing. My belt that is connected to the alternator/water pump is as tight as I can get it. But I do not have the bolt so I can over tighten it. Could Slack in the belt be the reason for the water pump to not be working all the time?

Please if you can help, it is cold.....

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

When you disconnected the hose you stop the flow of hot-water to the heater core.

When you turn on the, HEAT & blower motor , if its working it blows hot air over the coils of the heater core, and the hot air comes through the vents, on the floor and on the dash board, and the windshield defroster.

The hot air you feel, now, is the direct heat off the engine being forced into the interior of the car, as air is forced through the front grill as you move forward.

Now if the heater core is ruptured you will need to replace it, but other wise you will be cold till you 'put that hose-BACK-where it belongs. lol

The water pump only rushes water when the engine is revved up, its OK.

Jason  3 years ago

Jeromeo,

Thank You. I did put the hose on right after I had taken it off. I was just trying to see flow from the water pump. lol...

I got a new radiator cap last night and put it on... I now know that is not the problem...

I do have slack in the belt that runs the alternator/water pump so I am curious to know if maybe it is slipping a little.

But I understand how the heater works. My wife has a Toyota also and when it is at running temp the heater blows hot whether you are driving or in park.

My car does not.

I will try tonight and flush the heater core. Maybe it is clogged.

Thank You

Jason 3 years ago

I flushed the heater core last night, and made a tension bar for the alternator. I now have no slack in the belt. The heater core had some rust and dirty water in it but when I was done it was coming out with clean water.

But know I am having another problem that maybe you can help me with. When I am driving my car reads normal temp. When I down shit and decelerate my temp gauge drops to 0 really quick then back to normal.

Also I am smelling a little antifreeze now.

Would you have any suggestions?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

The only thing I would suggest is to check you heat sensor, and look for leaks.

Jason 3 years ago

Thank you Jeromeo very much. I will be changing out my Temp Sensor this week. The antifreeze smell was coming from a loose hose that was in fact leaking. I will let you know the results.

Once again thanks for all the help.

Jason

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@Jason

Only to happy to help out Jay, happy motoring. aamd thanks for reading the Hub.

OK 3 years ago

I have a 92 wrangler with a 2.5 i replaced the gead gasket, I put a new thermostat in it and it went to the red, so I let it cool down put the old thermostat back in & it was running to cold, so i put 3 more different thermostats in & the temp will go from normal 210 to the red then back down to the 210 mark. So i replaced the water pump, and put another new thermostat in & guess what it is still going from 210 to the red and back down to 210. Could the rad cap be causing all this?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@OK

Nice recovery on the gead gasket, but I ignored the typo to concentrate on what the problem may be.

double check to see if you are putting in the correct thermostat. If so then it very well may be the radiator cap especially if you have not changed it in a while.

Take it off while the engine is cool look at the rubber seals if they have pressure indentations then you know that's what it is and even if they don't if you've had the same radiator cap for more than a year change it.

Hope this helps, thanks for reading the hub.

michelle690 3 years ago

So the radiator cap is meant to have a rubber seal on it? Checked mine and there is no rubber seal. I think i better go get a new one.

My radiator leaked out all the coolant the other day and mechanic said the seal was cracked so needed a new radiator.Next day my car started overheating again,went straight back to mechanic and the fan wasnt working he said,did something with the wires and it was okay again. I'll take it a drive tomorrow see how it goes.

I had noticed for about a month the coolant in the radiator kept getting low and i was adding distilled water..i guess after doing that quite a few times the ratio wouldnt have been 50:50 anymore.

Also ive noticed,especially after a long trip,when i turn off the engine you can hear the coolant in the radiator bubbling away for about 5 to 10 seconds. Is that normal?

Re the radiator cap, you'd think he would have said something if it needed replacing. It looks like he put my old cap back on the old radiator..it certainly dosent look new.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Yes you need a new radiator cap and a new mechanic.

The bubbling is the water you put in there boiling.

The fan not running is because the pressure won't build up in the cooling system.

All of these problems were because you needed and new radiator cap, and sadly most mechanics do not think of the radiator cap because it not a remedy you can charge an arm and a leg for.

michelle690 3 years ago

yeah def not going back to him and off to get new cap today. Thanks.

joey d 3 years ago

you said too much water in the radiator could cause over heating . how do i determine correct level?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Joey d

Radiator coolant boils at a higher temperature than water. Your car's cooling system: fan, radiator, and coolant mixture are designed to operate below that temperature.

if you have too much water in your cooling system it will over heat. It may not be noticeable at first but eventually it wear out the seals on your radiator.

It will also damage the bearings in your water pump, weaken the rubber hoses, and possible cause cylinder head damage.

Remedy Drain all the fluid our of you radiator, fill you system back up with radiator coolant. Fill it to the top of the neck. If you have a reservoir and follow the instructions.

Check your radiator cap for wear[indentations] in the rubber seals/ or just replace it to be on the safe side.

Do not risk buying premixed coolant. Get the undiluted kind. Squeeze your upper and lower hoses see if they feel weak if so replace them.

There is a possibility they may rupture if you do not.

So there is no simple answer to your question. Auto mobile, preventive maintenance is not complicated but it does demand commitment, after all you paid a lot for your car and you plan to get years of faithful service out of it.

Last tip buy an auto repair manual for your car cost about $19.00 but its worth it the. trouble shooting section will help you with most problems, and they have a preventive maintenance section.

Thanks for reading the Hub.

sasha 3 years ago

Hi. I have a 2000 Ford Taurus that I just bought. Its has not been taken care of by previous owner. So here is my question. My car has NEVER overheated. But ever since I got it the antifreeze will go down (only when I drive it) we have not Seen anyleaks. I have drove it back and fourth 600 miles each twice. Well on my way home, out of no where my car overheated and coolant came gushing out. Since then I let it sit a few days and had to drive it home and it did not over heat a bit.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@Sasha,

Recommendations:

Check entire cooing system.

Make sure the hoses are not

slack and weak to the touch.

Make sure that the 50/50 mixture

of coolant and water is proper.

Listen for squeaks in the water pump.

Replace radiator Cap, and Thermostat.

Check heat sensor, and make sure

the fan works when the coolant&pressure

reach the right levels.

Go down the list then.

Make sure you don't have any white smoke coming from the tail pipe, this could mean a blown head gasket. If so try stop leak for the cooling system till you can get the head gasket replaced.

Keep me posted.

joey d 3 years ago

thank you for your quick response.you really know your stuff.i misunderstood you when you said "too much water " i tought that you were talking about water level. thank you. you have the best information on car problems.

joey d 3 years ago

bought a cap for 04 pt cruiser non turbo.dealer gave me a17psi said it was better.this one has a black plastic top. should i use it? . thanks.

joey d  3 years ago

forgot to tell you my original radiator cap is 16psi.thank you

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Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ joey d,

Go with the original. Usually when they sell you something different it because that's all they have in stock and they don't want you to leave with your money.

Get the 16psi.

Unless I'm mistaken that PT Cruiser should have a Nissan motor in it, or some other foreign engine, anyway, get yourself a repair manual for your car you can't go wrong for about $19.U.S.

sasha 3 years ago

Hi. Thanks a bunch for your help. Turns out it wasn't coming out from the radiator cap. My overflow jug had a hole in it but it only sprayed out when the car was running for a while. So I patched it. When it sprayed out it was going on some pipe. Not sure what but it caused my overheating. My radiator cap was bad tho. And I changed my thermostat as soon as I got my car. I have ALOT of work to do with this car.thanks a bunch for your advice.

joey d 3 years ago

thanks,will get the 16 psi radiator cap.

michelle690 3 years ago

Well i got a radiator cap. Been checking my radiator since new one got put in, was fine first few days..coolant level hadnt gone down. checked it today after an hrs drive and the coolant has gone down again. So frustrating..i just spent $500 on a new radiator.

michelle690 3 years ago

Is it okay to go buy any brand coolant so i can top up before going to a mechanic to check it out? i dont want to keep topping it up with water again but i heard you should only put the same coolant in thats already in there. I have no idea what brand he put in. I just want to top it up and keep an eye on it for a few days. Also should you only put coolant in the reservoir tank? the level off that hasnt gone down at all i noticed..its just the level in the radiator.

Oh by the way i did top it up with a little distilled water, it didnt need much but i dont want to keep doing that and cause problems.

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Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@michelle690,

Michelle pull the dip Stick for your oil out and see if the oil on the stick has a cloudy look to it.

Sadly it sounds as if you have a blown head gasket. This is an old mechanics trick used by nascar pit crews. If the oil is cloudy it means that water is seeping into the oil through a fracture in the head gasket.

Buy a can of pepper and pour about a teaspoon of it in to the radiator.

The fine ground pepper will go to the fracture, when it gets wet it will swell and plug the fracture. This will stop the loss of coolant until you can afford to get the costly wok done to replace the gasket.

Heaven forbid if its a cracked head, because this is more expensive to replace.

If you know a good mechanic that maybe out of work I'd suggest, letting him or her do it.

But be sure to check out there tract record and make sure they are not a shade tree, mech or one who works for the next drink or drug fix.

A good Mech in a shop can charge $65.00 and hour and up, changing a head gasket takes from three to five hours.

A head gasket may not cost but $35.00 But the labor is high.

The cost of replacing a cracked head is higher because it includes the price of the new or refurbished head.

You can also find a replacement head at the auto salvage, or pick and pull a good mechanic will know about that.

Getting the job done on the cheap should cost no more than $100-$150, for labor and 35-50 for either a new gasket or a replacement head form Pick and PUll, a replacement head from a head shop may cost about $100 plus a trade in of your old head.

Sorry for the bad news, and good luck on saving some money on this.

Lastly place a large piece of card board under your car, over night or when you park it for a long period of time and see if you see any green liquid pooling on it.

This will help you find any leak there might be.

Some foreign cars, like Toyota, and maybe Nissan, take a special brand of coolant but other wise its all the same.

joey d 3 years ago

after replacing the radiator cap my over heating issues are over,the temperature needle stays dead center even with the ac on in traffic. thank you .

speedthrills 3 years ago

The deville has an aluminum head over an iron block. It's prone to leaks. GM has dealers put in ginger tablets to the cooling system! Yep ginger and this is a 2003 Northstar engine! The radiator cap does'nt make much of a difference in this car. If it was losing coolant it was a problem that needed to be diagnosed immediately. DexCool is used in this car and mixing other coolants causes it to basically gum up. Just changing a radiator cap without diagnosing the fault properly is setting yourself up for trouble. Regular coolant changes should be great but if your radiator cap is shot, your radiator is in big trouble and the cap is going to be the least of your problems!

Stephanie 3 years ago

I have a 1997 Dodge intrepid and when i put water in it, it sizzles up and come back out instead of going down after a few minutes of being in there. My neighbor said put water on the fan and when i do it goes down and when i stop it comes back up. Would this be caused of it. Do I need to change the cap

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Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Replace the thermostat then replace the radiator cap just to be sure, you have a new one.

But a sticking thermostat is your problem.

Anne H 3 years ago

Here's my problem. I started noticing (approx Sept)my temp gauge going very hot. I pulled over waited a bit (about 40 min) and poured left over water (no it wasn't cold) from a drinking bottle in the reserve tank, not thinking about removing radiator cap. When i got of the mountain i bought the appropriate coolant a shop poured it in and "bleed the air". a month later i'm driving along not doing anything special when i drove maybe 5 mintues away from my house when the gauge did it again going and hitting very hot mark. Needless to say i checkd coolant, then took car to shop to have the thermo in radiator changed. 2 weeks later it did it again. I then changed the radiator cap, you guessed it my gauge went hot again! a month later i had to replae the head gaskett. Guess what the gauge is doing it again and the gaskett was changed dec 16 and it is now feb 15. i have run out of money and patience.what can the problem be NOW?the vehicle is a 2004 chevy impala. how much you want to bet i wont go chevy ever again..i have had nothing but problems with the car even the first 2 months of buying it brand new. the cluster panel was changed twice but over a 4 month period before the chevy dealer did that:O(

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Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

It could be that after the first time it ran hot yo suffered a hair line crack in one of your cylinder.

These type of fractures can some times seal them selves for a while then lose the seal whenever have the cylinders pressure checked, to see if the hold pressure.

Chevy's are known to have real sensitive aluminum engine heads also that will produce hair line cracks when exposed to too much heat.

Stephanie 3 years ago

I replaced the thermostat and my car still run hot fast i can be in the car for about 15 minutes and it will be close to running hot close to the H like right before the H is that because i need to add antifreeze

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Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Stephanie

Check the coolant sensor that regulates the fans and make sure that the fans are coming on. Open the hood start the car and let it run for about fifteen minutes, yo should hear the fans when the come on if they do not come on, then you know to replace the sensor and check for the correct level of coolant.

If the Fan(s) need to be replaced you can find them at the pick and pull for a lot cheaper than buying new ones.

Double check for leaks it is also a must that the thermostat be the right psi.

Drain the radiator and poor straight antifreeze in to replace what you take out.

But it really sounds like you fans are not coming on. So, check the sensor, make sure you've got the correct mixture of coolant and water, and that the system is full.

Feel your hoses and make sure they are getting tight after the fifteen minute run, if not the the system is not pressurizing as it should.

Stephanie 3 years ago

Thank you so much I will try this and get back to you in a day or two if it works so if someone have this problem maybe they can use this

Patrick S 3 years ago

I have a 2001 Grand Cherokee it has burst 2 radiators in 6 months. I've checked head gasket its ok could this be a bad cap?

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Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Patrick S

It sound as if you are using more water than you should in your cooling system, try draining it and replacing the contents with straight [non-premixed] antifreeze.

Next check your thermostat. The combination of too much water and a bad thermostat could cause the radiator to burst.

Also check the position of the radiator and make sure its not making contact with the radiator.

And make sure you don't have any mad lovers in the back ground, doing damage to your vehicle. I say this only half jokingly and the condition you describe is very unusual and highly unlikely.

Normally a hose will blow before the metal in the radiator will burst.

But with the race to make cheaper products, it might happen.

Was it the plastic cap on that cover the top of the radiator or was the metal vents that blew.

At any rate hope this helps.

Thanks for dropping buy.

Jeromeo

Ronnie 3 years ago

Hi i just bought a 2003 TOYOTA YARIS GS 998CC. My problem is this when i turn heater on high i only getting cold air but if on low i get luk warm air. I have plenty of cooliant and both hoses are heating up with no signs of leeks. Can anyone help explain what might be wrong

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Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Ronnie seems you may have an obstruction in your heater core, or a faulty thermostat, or malfunctioning water pump.

if its not changed already get a new radiator cap, check your thermostat and if the problem persists check the water pump.

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Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Ronnie,

Forgot to mention if you have a vacuum leak, this may be the cause of your problems the door that opens to allow air to flow over the heater core coils is operated in most cars by the vacuum system.

This is located behind the climate control panel.

dave442001 3 years ago

i have a 97 tacoma. the temperature stays perfect during the winter or as long as the outside temp is below 60 degrees. once the outside temp starts getting up above 60 then it starts getting hot but it only seems to do it when i go up a long grade. when i start going down an grade or stay on level ground it cools back down. i have replaced the thermostat have flushed and replaced the fluid twice. i think i may have a minor clog somewhere but i thought i would get your opinion first.

thanks,

david

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Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@dave442001,

Thinks for the confidence in my experience. check to make sure the fans are coming on and that they are in peak condition. Seems like the faster the wind blows over your radiator coils the cooler you stay.

So it sounds like bad fans. Start your car let it run with the hood up, fans should come on after a while or next time you drive to the store get out pop the hood and wait for the fans to kick on.

If they are bad replace them yo can get replacements at the pick and pull. All so check and make sure the heat sensor is not burned out it should be near the thermostat.

Its a little bitty gismo bought the size of the tip of your baby finger has a cooper tip that sticks up with a small wire attached to it.

wilgy 3 years ago

I have a 96 contour and keep getting my check engine light on as well as keep losing fluid from my rad cap. I first put my old thermostat in a pot of water and heated it up until about 200f and noticed it did not open. I bought a new one and placed it in the car and my check engine light went off and everything was working well....

So....about 40miles later I was at a stop light and seen the rad cap puffing again. I was almost home and the check engine light came on and an empty radiator tank. Tonight I took out thethermostat to see if that was gummed up but was not....I do notice though my car pressurizes immediately which I am thinking because of no thermostat??? When running water is gushes out the cap but my check engine light is NO longer on????...I will picking a new cap up in morning and if works re install thermostat....does this sound like the cap???

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@Wilgy, Sounds like too much water. Use undiluted coolant instead,and check your engine's heat sensor.

Vanessa 3 years ago

Lately I've been having issues with my car. It seems that the fluid in the reservoir is not making it to the radiator. The reservoir is full but when I take the cap off of the radiator there is no fluid visible. Also, I noticed the fans are always on. Is it normal for the fans to stay on all the time while the car is running? The A/C and heater can be turned off, I could be parked with the car running idol or driving down the highway...either way, the fans are still on full blast. Aside from today (when my car overheated after just a short drive) it usually never overheats. Does this sound like something a new radiator cap could fix? I'm worried I may have a cracked head gasket. Thanks in advance for the advice! VB

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Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Vennsa,

New radiator cap and always make sure the fluid level is up to the top. Hopefully your head Gasket is OK but yoiu need to make sure the coolant level is up to par and the cap is in good condition.

Chris 3 years ago

I have a 99 Ford Taurus...recently I noticed that my temperature gauge was going up between the half and H mark as well as I heard the coolant in my tank bubbling/boiling.

Now I don't put water in my radiator or my reserve tank as I use the already pre-mixed Prestone 50/50 stuff. So the only thing I could think of as I haven't spotted any leaks is that my system was all gunked up but after reading what you said and other ppls comments Im going to replace the radiator cap and thermostat...any other suggestions that you can think of? Thank you.

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Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@Chris

Check the heat sensor that turns on the fans and remember the 50/50 is just that 50 percent water, also make sure that the system is completely full. Refilling a system after a thermostat change can be tricky.

You have to ad coolant then run the engine to make sure coolant gets in to the block and the system is completely filled.

Chris 3 years ago

Well my cap was rather in poor condition, but what my problem was is my reserve tank had cracked along one of the seams and had leaked out most of my coolant. I got a brand new tank and cap, as well as a coolant flush and it seems to be fine now. Thank you

GEORGE 3 years ago

HI Jeromeo, I have a pick up Frontier 2001, i changed the thermostat, and fan clutch, also the radiator cap 16lbs, the level of water is at max, with 50/50 coolant, so still it go up only when I drive on a large trip, I don't know whatelse can be wrong, what do you think?

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Jeromeo 3 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@George There's go to be a leak some where or a possible cracked cylinder, or head. You may get some hint thought form reading other comments that have been submitted they cover the entire gambit of possibilities.

Thanks for dropping by hit me back and let me know what you finally came up with.

meika 2 years ago

I have a chevy impala and my low coolant level kept popping up. i put three bottles within two weeks and now its starting to over heat. i dont know whats wrong.

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Meika

Check your radiator cap if it looks ratty and worn change it check for leaks in your system. Place a piece of card-board under the front of your car; when you when you put it up for the night, then look at it the next morning to see if its shows signs of leaking.

If you see no leaks then you know for sure its your R-C.

But if the radiator cap looks bad change it any way.

Nata 2 years ago

I have a 99 Honda Accord V6 engine. My car has been overheating.. and leaking an excessive amount of coolant on the ground so I stopped putting coolant and started to put water in the radiator and the plastic bottle and I had to do that everytime I made a trip..The radiator would be filled with water but the plastic bottle would be empty... does that mean that the radiator is clogged.. I have noticed that the radiator cap had no rubber on it since I got it a year ago... I have also noticed that only one fan is working.... can you please help.

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@Nata,

Sounds like you need a new water pump, ASAP, and a new radiator cap. lets hope that's all because usually when these things go out like you described, the extra moisture under the hood will take out your alternator.

Normally I'd say not to water but it would be too expensive to put coolant in eery time you wanted to travel cost more than gas that way.

But check and if you see water coming from the front of the engine when you shut it off then you will know its the water pump.

Albert Quijas 2 years ago

One question sir, a piece of radiator cap fell in my radiator when i tried to replace it,will it harm my engine? i have not moved my car at all and i wont till i get a square answer? Please!

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@albert,

Sorry it took me so long to get back remove both the top and the lower radiator hose and then flush the radiator it should come out if it doesn't then it won't be passing through the system so don't worry about it. Again I'm sorry for not getting back sooner.

Chris 2 years ago

Jeromeo:

Help! I have a 2000 grand am gt1. About 3 weeks ago I used my a/c due to very high temps outside, it worked fine. Day #3 my car made a horrible indescribable noise and the temp almost redlined. I pulled over fast & waited about hour for car to cool, checked the resevoir tank & it was almost empty. (2 days earlier it was a smidge below full). So I filled it up with 50/50. It's been fine since, no leaks, nothing. Until recently, I tried to use my a/c, heard a noise, turned it off & my temp gauge kinda started climbing. Only happens if I use a/c. Hope its nothing serious.

Another problem is smelling gas in the cabin of my car. I had someone check for leaks, but nothing? Car does very minor sputter uphill between 40 & 50mph. Any help will be appreciated!

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Chris,

Check the secondary cooling fan the one that comes on when you turn on the A/C, sounds like its failed on you.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Chris,

May have to drop tank to find gas leak, connections to fuel pump sometimes wear then selves loose.

akis 2 years ago

congratulations

I am a Mech. Engineer and i find this advice excellent!

akis 2 years ago

20 years ago i bought a new Mitsubishi Lancer.

Water from radiator moved to expansion tank but not towards the opposite direction causing an overflow and air getting into the radiator.

The problem was that in the plastic hose connecting the radiator neck and the expansion tank there was a dent (like flap) allowing the flow of water only to one direction like the valves in the vanes for blood flowing.

I post this to show how complex can be the problems in cars operation.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ akis,

Thanks for sharpening up this Hub [akis] I am sure this information will be helpful to some one else who visits this Hub

Jiml 2 years ago

I hope you can offer some guidance on what I believe is a scam perpetrated on my 89 year old father-in-law in Roanoke, VA. His 2000 Cadillac Sedan Deville overheated enroute from Raleigh, NC to Roanoke. He had it towed to a local Cad. dealer. They replaced his radiator and charged him a total of $5,000! He paid them and shortlty after taking the car out of the lot the engine overheated again. Now they want another $5K to replace the engine. I can't imagine that the replacement radiator, including labor, would be $5K. and now the additonal $5K for a replacement engine. I think he's being scammed. Any advice you or your colleagues can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@JimL,

It is against the law to give legal advice if you are not an attorney. But let me share some knowledge based on my own experience, it would have been better if your Dad had protested the cost before he paid the $5000 for the radiator.

But what you can do is find the manufacturers suggested cost for repair and replacement of his particular car model's radiator. I seriously doubt it cost 5k. The manual is Chilton's repair manual and you should be able to find it in your local library.

The Consumer Protection Agency, does have a department that specializes in protection for the elderly, you can find them online, under the justice Dept.

As far as the over heating it could have been no more than a bad radiator cap. Pull the dip stick and see if the oil is a milky gray color this would indicate a blown head gasket or wrapped head.

If he's driving a model with a, North Star Engine then nine out of ten, he has blown the engine but a local salvage yard can replace that engine for way less than $5000.

Calculate any where from $75.00 to $125.00 an hour for labor, then add the cost of the engine plus any accessories needed, coolant, new, thermostat, and radiator cap, and see what you come up with.

Or get them to give you a solid price that covers everything, $3500.00 is standard, with a 90 day Warranty.

In the mean time this [may be] a matter you wan to take up in small claims court.

See if you can get the engine replaced for the money you've already spent. The idea of the lack of [Good-Will] a trip to court will bring the establishment that ripped your dad off may bring them to the Alternative-Dispute-Resolution,table. Check with your local Circuit Court Clerk...for details; on local "Rules Of Civil Procedure, and how to file a Pro Se Complaint should you decide to pursue any action against this vendor.

If you are not sure then you need to contact an attorney.

OH yea there is always the Better Business Bureau, but they lack any real power to make a business owner do any thing.

Once again do not take any of this as legal advice, I am just sharing with you my personal experience in getting way ward business owners to see the light.

Hope this helps.

Mia 2 years ago

Everytime i'm driving my car will go to the red line if my a/c is on..What could be causing the problem? i have added antifreeze and all but will still go to the red line and if i turn off the a/c it will go back to normal

jiml 2 years ago

Thank you so much! The information you provided is indeed very helpful. I will share the informaton with my Dad and the family and use it as a strating pooint to see if we can get some relief from the dealer that did the work. I will get on it right away. I do belive that my Dad's car has the Northstar engine. I'll have to confirm that. I am deeply apprecitive of your rapid response and most helpful information. It may take time but I'll let you you the eventual outcome.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Mia,

OK Mia sounds like you auxilary fan is not kicking in. It or your primary fan isn't working at any rate check your fans when you turn on the A/C both fans are suppose to come on, if they don't first check the temperature selenoid it's. YOu may want to spend$14.00 to get the repair manual for your car it will tell where everything

is.

Get back to me if none of this works.

Domafcons@sbcglobal.net.

@ Jiml,

If your dad's engine does have a warped head they make a ceramic engine sealer that may save yo some money in the short term.

If the Rip-off guy is on line, be sure to go online and let every body know to avoid him and let him know if he doesn't make good that's what you will do.

No threat just consumer looking out for consumer.

Hector 2 years ago

I have a 96 bmw 328i. I've been having some overheating problems. I recently took it to a shop because it would overheat and I would have to stop and put water every 4-5hours of driving. At the shop they replaced the heater-hoses totalling to 475.00 parts n labor(i think i got screwed! right? lol) Anyways it worked good for about 3 weeks then it started all over again. Took it back cuz i had warranty. They said it was something else so i wasnt going to pay another 500 for a fan clutch and the resoivoir tank! The res/cap wont seal cuz it strips. Bought new cap n that one didn't seal. So I'm guessing Replace the resorvoir tank? theyre like 50bucks online?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@Hector,

Find a salvage yard and get a reservoir cap see it that works its got t0 be less that 50. Evidently they didn't know what was wrong the first time, also look for leaks in other places.

Mark 2 years ago

Thankyou very much. After reading, I bought a new radiator cap, and my cooling fans worked last night.

Cheers

Hector 2 years ago

i did do that. the new cap stripped also...so im buying a new resevoir tank to see if that works ty

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Hector,

What mixture ratio are you using as far as coolant and water are concerned, I agree with the new Res. but double check the coolant mixture and make sure its at least 50/50 water and coolant, too much water and you get too much pressure.

Hector 2 years ago

I will do that ty! I will let you know what happens once my new res tank gets here.

Hector 2 years ago

well so much for that...got the new exp tank...doesnt strip...but test drove it n it did the same thing! lol gona have a mechanic come look at it now cuz im lost lol

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Pull your dip stick see if it looks milky if so you've got a blown head gasket. NO OTHER REASON FOR IT TO LOOSE COOLANT. If you can't see where its leaking on the floor then the coolant had to go some where.

Hector 2 years ago

yea i didnt go anywhere...the coolant still there...it jus overheats...but yea let me check the dipstick...TY!

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@Hector,

OK, did we check the thermostat, and with the cap of look and see if the coolant is moving in the reservuior, we want to make sure the water pump is working properly, good news is once you finished you will know and understand everything that makes your car fun hot.

If there are no leaks its got to be oneof teh items I just named.

Hector 2 years ago

lol thats what every1 tells me that its probably the darn thermostat. I will have a friend help me check it out. Thank you. I'll let you know what happens.

CG 2 years ago

Hello,

I have a problem with my '95 Honda Accord. usually after driving for a while and I come to a stop the fan runs for a while but this time it isn't running anymore.

Anyways, today I noticed after I came to a stop, white steam was coming from my engine. When I opened the engine, I saw coolant bubbling and fizzling from the reserve tank. I haven't tried driving the car since and will try and drain it and get a new radiator cap soon.

Would you please give me an idea of what to do?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

As soon as the system lost its integrity the pressure became s low it would not actuate the fan switch. Yes try the radiator cap but if that does not stop it form bubbling over make sure your running at least 75 percent antifreeze. And replace the thermostat.

CG 2 years ago

Thank you so much...from what I saw. The radiator cap was completely chewed up. As if a wild animal had taken it to its mouth. There was about 10% of the original plastic that had been on there! Will replace that today along with a few fuses to see if it remedies the problem.

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@CG

Way to go

Hector 2 years ago

Well it turned out to be the dam fan/clutch. Dont have much money for the thing but we did a bootleg version. My stepdad took the fan clutch somewhere to get it welded together with the nut/or bolt that it conects to and it works excellent. Car did not overheat. He said not to leave it like that forever though cuz it would mess up the water pump. Think it will last till the first of Sep?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@Hector you can always get another fan with the clutch at the pick and pull. Check it out its cheap and all you have to do is pull it off a cart like yours and put it on.

Hector 2 years ago

Yes sir. Thank you alots!

pergie1988@gmail.com 2 years ago

hi ,nice to see the cap word ,we are manufacturer of radiator and fuel cap in China ..Any needs ,pls email me !

Mike 2 years ago

Great article, thanks. I have a very odd cooling problem. I have a 1977 mercedes 280e gas 2.8l engine. It has 177k original miles. I just replaced thermostat, thermo gasket, hoses, flushed the cooling system, addded a bit of aluminum stop leak as a preventative. (small bit of rust discoloration in coolant but the radiator has obviously been replaced at some point as it looks great, no smoke from exhaust, oil is clean as well so no head probs). Now it's all back together and runs fantastic, no leaks or hisses, the problem, the temp gauge reads ~200f with ac on and even sitting in traffic. It will slightly increase when stopping for a train etc.. but not overheat. HOWEVER! randomly it will slowly creep up to the notch right below the redline never getting to the red but obviously getting hot. No steaming or leaks just a high temp reading from the gauge. Any ideas?? Thank you very much :)

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@Mike,

Sounds like you're alright as long as it doesn't go into the red you're good. But you may want to make sure that you're running a stricter coolant to water ratio... either 80-20 or no less than 75-25, it has a higher boiling temperature than water in other words stays cooler longer, also check to see if you have a fan clutch and replace if it is not operating efficiently.

177K she's still just a baby will go to 500K and further no sweat just keep the oil changed and giver her a tune up every nine months.

Dwight 2 years ago

I have a 2000 Ford F150 w/5.4 liter engine. I am having a cooling system problem. There is so much pressure building up in the system that it is blowing my upper radiator hose from the radiator inlet connection. My mechanic has changed the thermostat. He said everything else checked our ok. Any ideas on what could be causing the excess pressure buildup?

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@Dwight,

the only ting I can think of is a bad intake manifold gasket. I imagine that your ratio of water to coolant is 80-20 no lower than 75-25 because the steam from the over heated water will cause components of the cooling system to fail also, if your coolant mixture is proper, remove the cap from your coolant reservoir and look for an oily residue if it is present then its an alert to a blown intake manifold gasket.

Scott 2 years ago

My Intrepid over heats. I have taken out the thermostat, and it still over heats though some othe times it doesn't. I just looked at it again and added some water, and watched it while running I noticed that the water neck was squirting water out. Should it do this?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Scott,

No Scott that's definitely not suppose to happen. Get that fixed and then get all of that water out of the cooling system. And please don't put it back in there. A mixture of 75 percent coolant to 25 percent water is where you should have the cooling liquid in your system.

Water turns to steam, expands and then cause hoses and other components to rupture and become damaged.

Hold the Water.

Alhamask 2 years ago

@Jeromeo, I have an overheating issue with my 06 Legacy 2.0L. It started overheating when idle but gets to normal when driving down the road. Also, I noticed even when idle, if I press the rpm slightly higher, it gets to normal levels. I replaced the T-stat which turned to be dead!, cleaned the radiator and replaced the R-Cap which was also completely worn out. After these changes I saw improvements, however the system keeps loosing coolant normally after a long drive, the moment I am about to stop, temperature creeps up slowly, checking in the hood I notice the Reserve tank gets full to the mouth forcing the liquid to gush out. Could I be having a bad Reserve Tank? Any more suggestions?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Alhamask,

Sounds like your system is not completely filled with coolant. After changing the Thermostat it was necessary to run the car for about fifteen minutes to allow the thermostat to open then finish filling the system. More coolant. Without the system being full the fans won't run properly.

Ricky 2 years ago

I got a 94 model of misubishi galant and i encountered problem when my car was overheat coz decrease of water from radiator as well as in the coolant, there was no leak from radiator , and sometimes the water was boiled..pls give me advice

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Ricky,

Check the thermostat, and by all means make sure the radiator cap is new. I also invite you to read some of the comments above, I am almost sure you will find your problem and be able to fix it.

erwin1296 2 years ago

Good day!!!

Is it ok to used an equivalent radiator cap if there is no original cap available?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@erwin1296,

Yes it is.

Kenny 2 years ago

My 96 Intrepid was overheating and coolent was all over the place...noticed that it was coming out of the overflow hose plus the rad cap...i changed the rad cap today and filled with 50/50 premix...now my heater is not working? and it's overheating again....my rad fans are working....Could this be time to replace my "thermostat" (might be causing the problem I think)

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@Kenny,

Check the thermo, and the water pump!!!!!!

William 2 years ago

Hi Jeromeo,

I have 2006 Honda Pilot EXL. My radiator leaked at 59K miles 6 months back. Today the mechanic said I need to replace the water pump as I have seen coolant puddles under the car when it is idle with high heat on at 70K miles. Do you have any recommendations? I am going to replace my radiator cap, What is going on with my Pilot, it is only 70K miles I always take good care of it with scheduled oil changes.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

It is possible for yo to need a new water pump. If the car leaks when you shut it turn it off and the leak is in the area off the water pump then yea.

But if you are in doubt then change your radiator cap it only cost about $5-$6, if you still have a leak after that then you know to have anew water pump installed.

But if it is the water pump it should leak every time you turn off the engine and even when it's sitting still.

Aqelz RS 2 years ago

hi jeromeo..my b16a overheating 3/4 during traffic..yesterday i already flush my radiator and change the radiator cap as well. today i drive my car to see the result..but it still overheat when i stop my car =( any idea? fyi i've removed the thermostat 3 months ago..

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Aqelz,

have you checked to see it the fan is coming on and operating properly. The problem could be one of several things from a bad fan control switch. this is a switch usually close to the thermostat housing that has one thin wire that runs to the computer and turns on the fan when the engine reaches a certain temperature.

It could also be that the fan motor has gone out.

If you don't see any leaks and you are not trailing white smoke, one of these seems to be the answer to your question.

aqelz 2 years ago

ok thanks for ur quick reply..i've already check with my rad fan...its not turning even i switch ON my a/c..only my a/c fan turned ON but after my temperature jump to 3/4 then my rad fan start to turn ON. so whats the problem actually?

THANK YOU JEROMEO..

p/s: i'm glad that i found this website =)

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ aqelz,

Then you need to make sure you are running the correct mixture of coolant to water. They suggest 50/50 but 80/20 is better water boils at a lower temperature than the coolant, and will destroy the rubber seas in th cooling system.

Now lastly you may have a intake manifold leak or blown head gasket, if it is a blown head gasket you will star to see white smoke billowing out of your tail pipe.

If its an intake manifold gasket you will just lose coolant over time, also check all you hows and look for a pin hole in one of them.

Turn the car on and let it run with the hood up for about 15-20 minutes and see what happens, any leaks should reveal themselves and show you exactly where the problem is.

You're welcome

aqelz 2 years ago

ok i just add the mixture to 80/20..now i can see there's a white smoke out of my tail pipe + a black liquid too..but after my engine at the normal temperature the smoke gone and in 20mins time my temperature stays at 1/4(+-) and i see there's no leak at all. so is that mean i have to overhaul my engine again cause i've already overhaul my engine 3months ago..today i drive my car less than 10000km after overhauling it =(

many thanks jeromeo..

FYI my engine is not a stock engine, its a B16A with a B16B type-r pistons/ B18C type-r camshaft/ valve spring & retainer by JUN stage II gold series/ WORKS fuel regulator/ WALBRO fuel pump 255lph/ RSR exhaust system with 3" piping..is it possible if this modifications can cause overheating?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@aqelz,

OK,

The black smoke means that, the fuel mixture is to rich and its not being burned efficiently during combustion/ when the cylinders fire off. the fact that the white smoke stopped when the car got hot probably means you have a very small leak in one of your head gaskets.

If you engine was recently rebuilt then possibly the torque is off on one of the head bolts. For now it seems as if some stop leak will help your situation.

If you have time you may wan to remove remove the valve covers and double check the torque on the head bolts.

If you do this then be sure to drain the coolant before you start because yo will have to loosen all of the had bolts and then re-tighten them in the proper order which is usually starting with the top center bolt then moving in a clock wise pattern to tighten them to specifications.

Best advice is to buy a repair manual for your car it will help with any specific references you need.

And yes its possible that the modifications can cause over heating for that you would need to change the fan. one with more blades or maybe even an electric fan that produces more revolutions.

Yufeng 2 years ago

Hi Jeromeo,

I have a 97 Camry. Three days ago I drove to Mt Rushmore. When I got there I heard of some noise under the hood. When I opened it I found the coolant reservoir was almost full, way above the marks. And I heard of noise coming from the coolant hose. But the temperature needle in the dashboard was fine, pointing to the middle --- not too hot. Then I started to drive down hill. I checked the engine a couple of times since then. The coolant reservoir was fine --- with a level at about middle of the bottle, and no noise in the coolant hose. Since then I have droven the car for over 1000 miles in two days and things look fine. But this still makes me worried. What could this be and what should I do? I just changed the water pump a few months ago (nothing wrong, just replaced it because the car has 200,000 miles on it already). The thermostat is about one year old. Any ideas? Thanks.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Yufeng,

The problem is Your Radiator Cap, the rubber seals inside are worn and not holding pressure like they should. CHANGE IT.

Yufeng 2 years ago

Hi Jeromeo,

Just replaced the cap. The old one feels no spring (broke?). When I pressed against the rubber, it did not move. It looks like you are right on target. Will let you know if there is any problem. Thank you very much.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Yufeng,

Good show.

Kevo 2 years ago

I recently replaced my waterpump and i replaced my thermostat. I didnt have any problem with antifreeze leaking from under my radiator cap until after then. I replaced the cap but i am still having this problem.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Kevo,

Make sure its the right pressure recommended cap.

amanda 2 years ago

I have a 2001 ford taurus, temp always seems fine did a flush and all that replaces thermostat etc. well it runs fine but same as some others when i park the car coolant starts leaking from the resevoir cap dont see any leaks anywhere else but i also have no heat... do you think this may just need a new cap? will that fix my heat issue or no?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Amanda,

If you have a reservoir cap and radiator cap then replacing both of them would be necessary.

keith 2 years ago

have a 97 civic have changed thermostat. it set run to get air out everything was good put cap on radiator and bottom hose went cold. any suggestions.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

2 Kieth,

You had to allow for the thermostat opening up, letting coolant flow into the block, and then having to add extra coolant, to bringing the system back up to level.

LBye 2 years ago

I have a Pontiac Transport '97 van.If i were told my coolant sensor came unplugged after a coolant leak upon parking.Temp never showed hot,just got low coolant light prior.Would it make sense i was told i need to replace radiator and with an included "kit" to fix.Has happened twice.Quoted me over $400, i simply had them put plug back in for now.Could a new cap simply solve this issue/or be related?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Lbye,

OK.L,

Let's go back in time evidently the coolant got low enough, to heat up the system enough to cause a sever increase in temperature, and the amount of pressure in the system. Should not have cause the sensor plug to

blow out. But it did so now what you need is definitely

not a new radiator, the threads in the motor, where you screw in the plug are damaged. Quick fix.

Take a thin piece of wire, like the twist tie from a bread wrapper, stick one end of the wire into the hole where the plug goes, now screw the plug, before you screw in the plug put some lock tite, thread adhesive on the threads.

This should take care of the problem until you can afford a new intake manifold.

In fact it should last the remaining life time of the engine.

But you don't kneed a radiator their trying to shaft you. They may have even just slightly screwed in the plug last time they replaced it, making it easier to come loose again, so they could hit you for the big bucks.

Dakota 2 years ago

I drive a 2003 ford focus, when it gets cold out and I start driving my car warms up like normal. When I go to take turns or sit at a stop light the temp guage goes down to almost cool then as I start driving it raises to normal. It only does when cold. What could cause this?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Dakota,

Sounds like your thermostat is going out or is out, other thing to do is to check your coolant sensor, to make sure its not malfunctioning.

Dakota 2 years ago

Ok that's what I was thinking I'm replacing the thermostat tomorrow. Other signs its causing after driving for 20miles with heat on, you can touch the engine and it will still be cold. I let the car sit for 12 hours while at work and drive the 20miles back home without heat it is 23 degrees here in Louisville. After driving without the heat on I again touch the engine and it was warm but not burning to the touch I could literally rest my hand upon the engine. Thermostat still??

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Dakota,

Yea the thermostat hold the coolant in the radiator till it heats up then it opens and let's the hot water flow through the radiator where it gets cool off again.

But if it never heats up then it stays cool for the most part.

Good Job.

Russ 2 years ago

I noticed my heater was only blowing luke warm air. I flushed the heater core and the water was clear, and no obstruction. When I put the hoses back on, I had FULL heat coming through my vents, then a few days later, luke warm. Flushed it again, heat again. How could the heater stop working like this, there's no way it is plugging up this fast. I just had the coolant flushed at Firestone. Could this be the radiator cap? 1995 Mercury Grand Marquis, 180,000 miles. New thermostat, waterpump, and temperature sensor.

hey 2 years ago

hey russ..could be the your heater control cable not opening the valve to allow water to flow through the heater...check the linkages or replace the cable if needed...could be the heater control valve is bad too..

Russ 2 years ago

I have read there is no Heater control valve on the mercury grand marquis. I traced the heater core cables back and there is no valve. The temperature control in car is all electronic, no cables attached to the piece. I just replaced the radiator cap for $5, and the temperatures get much higher, about 1/2 way, and drop down to 1/4 when Idling at a stoplight. With the old orgininal radiator cap(Motorcraft), the temp was a constant 1/3 the way up.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Russ,

Something most people for get is that after you refill your radiator or reservoir you have to run the care until the thermostat opens then finish filling the system, also you have to have the correct thermostat.

Also radiator caps need to be the right resistance in LBS.

kingkoopa 2 years ago

After replacing a new radiator, my car run fine. Later on that same day, i start seeing steam coming out of my hood while driving. My coolant seems to return back to the coolant reservoir. I have coolant leaking onto my electrical wire. I took a look at my radiator cap, the rubber inside was worn out. I replace the cap and now everything seems fine, for now. REPLACE YOUR RADIATOR CAP!!

Sabby 2 years ago

I have a 99 ford windstar with only 138k. Just bought 2 weeks ago, heat seemed to be warm when first driven but now doesn't really warm up too well! One other thing, I did a test at auto zone n it said I needed a Erg valve! Does the test really tell you what really needs to be done? Thanks

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@kingKupa,

Thanks for dropping by!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

@Sabby,

Yes the test really does tell you what you need to do.

Sabby 2 years ago

Any suggestions on my heating problem? Or would the Erg valve solve that problem with the heat?

Carleton Akana 2 years ago

My friend owns & drives a 92' Lexus ES 300. A mechanic ( 28 years) just worked on this car.Problems still exist though. Car is overheating.He was putting in plain tap water but i told him no.Radiator cap w/pressure release was istalled but i bought him the 1 WO.Your take?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Sabby,

Yes the test does tell you exactly what to do.

@ Carleton Akana you are right now water absolutely no water just collant.

Pete 2 years ago

Well THAT'S THE 1ST. FOR ME ABOUT R/CAPS??? MAYBE THIS IS WHATS WRONG WITH MY 02 OLDS.SILHOUETTE WITH GM/DEX IN IT.

[A]IS DEX ANTI FREZZ OK TO MIX?? THERE WAS ONE OTHER THAT SAID 50/50/? SOME ONE SAID YOU USE IT STRAIGHT?

[B]TEMP GAUGE WOULD GO UP AND THAN DOWN,OFF & ON THAN AFTER ARE LONG TRIP TO FL. GOT BACK AND VAN OVERHEATED 5DAYS LATER SO BAD I HAD TO SHUT IT DOWN, COOLANT DID GO BACK INTO RESERVOIR THEY SHOW ME, THAN THE BAD NEWS.."HEAD GASKET" SO WENT FOR IT!

GOT VAN BACK HEAT GOOD IN FRONT ,BUT NO HEAT IN BACK,WAS THAT STUPID GM DAMPER CONTROL IN THE COLD SPOT [BROKEN]SO I TIE TO HEAT SIDE..OK FRONT THE SAME HAVE TO DO THE MAN.THING FOR SUMMER & FALL THAN IT WAS ALL GOOD!

[C]1 MONTH. LATER BACK FOR NEW TROUBLE/ INSIDE HEAT COIL LEAK IN DISH,I TRY TO TIE THE CONTROL TO HOT SIDE,WAS ON COLD ,SPRING BROKEN OFF AND LOSS THE ARM,SO I HAD TO CUT INTO DISH TO GET IT BACK AND I HIT COIL..LOL, SO THEY FIX IT WITH A NEW ONE..CRAZY! PD.& TOOK VAN AND AGAIN THIS GAUGE WENT UP & NO HEAT, THEY SAID IT COULD BE HEAD GASKET AGAIN, CAUSE I TRY TO DRIVE VAN BACK AFTER THE DISH COIL BLEW AND LEAK OUT INSIDE CAB.BUT I SHUT IT DOWN TO COOL OFF...

I TOLD THEM DON'T PUT NEW TIRES ON IF H/G GONE AGAIN , THIS VAN IS TOAST NOW!! CAME BACK AND TIRES WERE ON..AND VAN HEAT WAS GREAT,GAUGE ETC..SAID IT WAS JUST RE/RE AND AIR IN LINE!! ALRIGHT!! GOOD TO GO , I GUESS[OLD] STAY CAP?

[D]1 1/2 WEEKS AFTER..T/GAUGE GOES UP AND NO HEAT AGAIN? SO FOUND BACK CONTROL OUT/WAS ON COLD SIDE? RE TIE WHITE ARM BACK TO HEAT, NOT SURE WHY THAT WOULD DO ANYTHING OR LET AIR IN?, BUT IT WAS DOING THE SAME SHIT LIKE BEFORE THE HEAD GASKET FIX, SO THIS TIME I PULL THE MAIN CAP?? SAW IT WAS DOWN FILL IT UP FULL,RAN MOTER/ STOP DID IT AGAIN,TRY THE HOSE TO GET AIR OUT, RE FILL AGAIN...SO FAR SO GOOD AND WATER STILL UP??

[E]JUST CAME HERE ON YOUR SITE TO SEE IF THERE WAS A AUTO TRICK FOR A H/G JOB, AND LEARN THE RAD CAP THING?

SO I WILL GET THE NEW CAP TMRW.AND SEE IF THIS WILL DO IT? OR WAS IT JUST AIR AND HOW...CAP DID IT??WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS/ AND HAVE YOU HAD THE GM MAIN F/&BACK DAMPER CONTROL TROUBLE PLUS LITTLE MOTER FOR COLD/SLIT/WARM/HOT ON INSIDE CONTROL, ONLY ONE SIDE WORKS,HAVE TO MOVE AFTER FOR SUMMER? AT THE MAIN ARM UNDER BY FAN IF I WANT A/C ONLY...I'M MESSED OVER THIS!! BIG BUCKS TO FIX ?ALL!!BUT VAN IS MINT STILL!!BUT YES!! THIS WOULD BE TOO MUCH TO SPENT FOR A 02, I CAN DEAL WITH THE MAN/THING FOR NOW. CANADA, COLD EH! THANK-YOU!:)

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Pete,

As far as the controls that determine which side the air blow on; hot or cold, yea you have your finger on that. Sounds like you also had your heater Core replaced, good on that.

Now changing your radiator Cap is a must, didn't catch it but you may want to change your thermostat just to make sure you got everything here.

Vzay76 2 years ago

Hi Jeromeo,

I need your valuable advice. Recently my Matiz(2001) car was the victim of a rat. I managed to send it out and rectified all the damaged electrical wires. But within minutes of starting the car the coolant was boiling and woozimg out from the cap. There is no other leakage. I have replaced the thermostat switch but it is not turning on. So mechanic arranged a switch for cooling fan and now whenever I go out I have turn the switch on to stop engine get heated or coolant boiling. As long as fan is on everything is OK but I need a solution for this as really it is a big headache to operate fan. Please help.

Lilly 2 years ago

I just replaced my radiator in my 2001 Nssan Sentra. I have also replaced the thermostat wityhin the last 4 months. My car started to overheat right wasy while driving yesterday. Smoke was coming out from under the hood within a minute even after filling with 50/50. Could this be a radiator cap problem? No milky color in oil

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Vsay76,

Find the fan rely in a little black box under the hood, replace the one that's broken hard to tell but switching them around should help. And check the fan relay switch on the engine.

@ Lilly,

Sounds like you didn't make sure that after the thermostat opened yo finished filing the system up.

Vzay76 2 years ago

Thank you. I will check the fan relay as you said. But any idea about why the coolant is boiling within minutes(10)of the car start. I need to start the car and fan simultaneously, otherwise coolant gets boiled and once the engine was stopped, it gets out of the cap.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Vzay,

Sounds like the thermostat is not opening up, and the water pump is not working i would check the thermostat. Other than that I don't know what the problem could be.

sorry.

Melissa 2 years ago

I have a 1992 Toyota Camry that I bought and put on the road last March. The car sat for over a year before I bought it. I have always had an over-heating problem. We have changed the water pump, thermostat & just read about the radiator cap problems from other ppl above. I just sent my husband back to the store to get one. Do you think this will correct the problem or might it be something else?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Melissa,

Yes. If you haven't changed the cap since you got and it sat for a bout a year definitely but there may be other problems as well but start with the cap and if it works Yay.

I"" be right here or you can reach me

via email: @ domafcons@sbcglobal.net

gmcneil profile image

gmcneil 2 years ago

Hi Jeromeo,

I have a 2001 Ford Ranger with the 3L V6 and I'm having coolant problems. I replaced the radiator some time last summer because there was a leak between the tank and the fins and all seemed fine. When the weather turned cold and I let the engine warm to defrost the windshield the new radiator started leaking just like the original. A month or so ago I replace the radiator again, but it too leaks on cold mornings. Thinking that the cap might be the problem I bought and installed a replacement, but nothing has changed. Yesterday it was below 20º but the windshield wasn't frosty so I started up and drove off with no warm up. My destination was only 5 minutes away and when I got there the radiator was leaking. I worked for an hour or so and had to go get something and as I was driving I would check for puddles under the engine when I drove away from stop light but there were none. The same was true for the rest of the day. I know when I start up for the first time today the whole cycle will repeat. The radiators I installed were from O'Reilly and were considerably less expensive than the one from Ford, but it did come with a lifetime warranty. Could I have gotten two defective radiators or is the leak just a symptom of another problem?

Thanks in advance,

Greg

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@gmcneil,

Yes its possible to get two defective products one after another. Could have been bad run, on a bad day, or a mishap during transportation or negligent handling at the work site.

But with the life time you can at least get it replaced.

Caution

I once had the same problem with some made in China tires that we got on sale. The side walls would break if you look at them hard.

The dealer had no problem replacing the bad tires but with so many bad we finally just bought a different brand, from a different dealer. You want something [dependable] on your car.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

It seems you have a hole in the top of one of your pistons, or you need a ring job. You've got exhaust form the combustion cycle either by passing the rings and and feeding back into the cooling system or going strait through the possible whole in your piston.

Pull one plug at a time and turn the engine over. disconnect coil, you don't want it to start. Now feel for the back pressure that will let you know the each cylinder is gong through the compression stroke and that if the plug were in pressure would build up.

Also could be a blown head gasket.

Unfortunately the only way to check for the hole in the piston is to pull the heads.

gmcneil 2 years ago

Is there any part of the cooling system that could cause the problem?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@gmcneil,

Yes the water pump if you have a blockage some where in the system.

PETEY IN CANANDA!! 2 years ago

WOW WOW!!!!! MY MAN!! YOU WERE RIGHT ON WITH THE R/CAP!!! LOL I'M SO HAPPY!! THIS WAS THE GUY WITH THE 02 OLDS.VAN STORY WITH TAMPERS & CONTROLS TROUBLES THAT I WILL JUST MOVE WHEN SUMMER COMES AND YES!! THE HEAD GASKET JOB...

ABOUT THERMOSTAT? SORRY! I FORGOT TO TELL YOU ,I DID HAVE IT REPLACE LAST Jan/FEB.2010 WHEN THE FIRST SIGH OF THE TEMP/GAUGE SHOOTING UP & DOWN..DIDN'T WORK AND MISSED TH R/CAP..SO THAN IT WAS THE THE BAD NEWS MY H/G WAS BROKEN....:(

AND THIS 1ST.JOB THAT I TALK ABOUT THEY DID TO ME, THEY WILL NOW BE ON STAY BY TO DO IT AGAIN CAUSE I RUN IT HOT AFTER THE HEATING COIL TROUBLE I DID TO MYSELF. YES! HAD SAME TROUBLES EVEN AFTER THE NEW COIL WAS REPAIRED.

JEROMEO!! WAIT TO YOU HEAR THIS, LAST NITE I STARTED THIS BAD BOY..TO FIND AGAIN OVERHEADED JUST SITTING IN PARK..SHUT HER DOWN IT WAS -16C THINKING MAYBE IT WAS FROZEN, WHEN...COOLANT WENT BACK UP INTO STORAGE ,SO RE/RE FILL BACK TO NECK.DIDN'T GET THE CAP YET..MISSED THE STORE TIME..

NEXT DAY TRY IT AGAIN..HAD TO DRIVE IN FOR THIS CAP..DIDN'T GET TO HOT/HOT THIS TIME BUT LOSS HEAT AND WENT UP AND BACK DOWN SIX OR MORE TIMES , MADE IT TO STORE!!LOL P/U THE 15LB "VENTED" TYPE CAP THEY SAID FOR MY.

KEEP IN MIND??

FUNNY THIS WAS THE SAME TROUBLE THAT COST ME ALMOST 2K THE FIRST TIME...

OMG!! I PUT THIS NEW R/CAP ON AND NOTICE OLD ONE HAD A LOT OF STUFF BLOCKING THE CENTER LOL SAME CAP, NEVER REPLACE, SO WARM THE VAN UP AGAIN SO FAR OKAY..DROVE FOR HOME [10KM]NOW HEAT WAS WORKING PERFECT? THAN THE INSIDE TEMP/GAUGE WAS WORKING 100% ON RIGHT TEMP...HEAT ON FULL! HOT AS HELL..STARTING LAUGHING WITH MY SON 19..COULD NOT BELIEVE THIS..MADE IT HOME EVERYTHING WAS AMAZING!!

NEXT DAY/

WENT OUT FOR THE BIG TEST A 60K RUN @ -14C AND TO MY SURPRISE??? SH....T!! EVERYTHING THING WAS BANG ON!!:)

HEY!! YOU ARE SIMPLY THE BEST!! HUGS FOR THIS FIX AND YOU'RE SO KIND TO HELP ALL OF US GIRLS & GUYS ON YOUR SITE.

VAN WORKING GREAT!!/

THANK-YOU SO SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME AND HELPING ME!!

P.S.MY MECH'S ARE VERY GOOD & I REALLY LIKE THEM..AND GET THIS BETWEEN THE 3 OF THAN THERE IS OVER 50 EXP/HEYYY!! I HAVE 35 YEARS IN PLUMBING..I KNOW WHAT ITS LIKE!! NOW I THINK THEY WERE DOING THEIR BEST TO FIX MY VAN...BUT JUST MISS THIS WEIRD FIX OF A $8 RAD CAP! LOL, BECAUSE THERE'S NO WAY THEY WOULD HAVE LEFT THIS OLD PLUGGED ONE THERE AFTER THEY NAIL ME WITH THE BIG BILL, I BELIEVE THEY JUST MISS THIS SOME WHAT SIMPLE FIX.."NOT" FUNNY NO ONE HAD HEARD OF THIS BEFORE AFTER TALKING TO SOME GOOD FRIENDS ...THEY SAID YOU'RE CRAZY?? A RAD CAP?? NOOOOO.....WAY!!! LOL I SAID WAY!!...THANK-YOU AGAIN / NEXT HEAD GASKET IS NOT NEEDED HERE BOYS, THE NEW RAD CAP HAS FIX MY RIDE!!! :)

P.S./2 I'LL KEEP YOU IN THE LOOP IF ANYMORE TROUBLES, OR IF THERMOSTAT GOES. WOW!! ONLY $8 IF I CAME LOOKING FOR YOU FIRST INSTEAD OF THIS 2K...REPAIR NOT NEEDED AT ALL...THAT HURTS!! LOL YOU'RE THE BEST!!!PETEYPETE:)

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Petey in Canada!!,

Really enjoyed reading your testimonial, now you understand why they say; its the little things that make life worth while.

Now you see the difference, the right radiator cap can make. Even if you buy a used car, replace the radiator cap first thing. Most people don't think of it.

Good hearing from you.

rawlings65 2 years ago

Hi there,

Hoping you can help before I have to take our truck to

the repair shop. We have a 98 chevy s10 and this past week we had no heat. After checking the antifreeze, the

overflow was bone dry, we then added some and it helped

some. We also noticed that after running the truck or driving it for 20 minutes the temp gauge only reaches to the quarter way mark and the radiator cap stays cool. Any suggestion. Btw, the cap was replaced last winter 2010 when we had the radiator flushed.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Absolutely the radiator cap should be changed at least once a year but twice would be safer. The year and model car you have; suggest other possibilities...but for now, change the cap. Make sure you have the correct amount of coolant in the system.

Now when you park your car at the end of using it for the day, place a piece of card board under the engine section if yo have any leaks it will provide you with a map to the section of the motor that the leak is coming from.

domafcons@ssbcglobal.net

loveMycaddy 2 years ago

Hi Jeromeo, seems you have some good advice, cause im at my wits end. I have a 2000 cadillac deville, and im having an overheating problem. The problem started when I changed the radiator. The shop whi did the labor also changed my surge tank cap! The original cap was plastic and held PSI-15, the mechanic put a metal radiator cap on the surge tank that held PSI-16! Since then I have had this overheating problem- I have change the water pump, thermostat, bypass hose, and had the cooling system flushed. Also, the DIC keeps reading change engine oil and I have done that.... What is next????

94accord 2 years ago

I had 5 mechanics tell me I have a blown head gasket all honda mechanics. Cool it would pour into reserve tank. Turns out needed a new cap that's it

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Lovemycaddy,

You need the right temp and the right radiator cap. if it calls for 15 then you need 15. And those North Star engines are delicate and very sensitive to heat. the heads will warp at the drop of hat. However if you have problems this time its your mechanics.

Find a manual or look in your owners guide and show him whats the manufacturer recommends.

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@94accord,

Thanks for writing

loveMycaddy 2 years ago

Thanks just wanted to make sure I wasn't tripping on a women thing! I told the mechanic that and of as well--- I didn't know what I was talking about! But, not my mechanic anymore! Im changing the whole surge tank, and having the head gaskets change, in addition to the O2 sensors! But Thanks for a Sound Ear!

amanda 2 years ago

2003 chevy venture was overheating changed thermostat then head gaskets water pump thermostat again intake gasket and both heads because we found a crack...noticed burnt antifreeze smell and found a leaky hose fixed that now I have overheated twice no visible leaks but my overflow reservoir was bone dry....going to try radiator cap anyone have other ideas let me know.

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Lovemycaddy,

You can go out have dinner buy a new 72" flat screen TV, with the kind of money you're getting ready to throw away.

Listen go to the dealer, find the parts department and asked them for the right reservoir cap for your car. if you don't have white vapor coming out o of your tail pipe, then chances are you have no serious to your car.

I do understand the frustration but the guy is just going to take your money keep you cart a couple of days then laugh over the beers he bought with the bonus you paid him for doing nothing.

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Bad radiator cap probably caused the whole problem from the beginning but you're on the right track now.

nismo 2 years ago

Water transfers heat better than antifreeze the more water the cooler engine will run antifreeze has corrosion inhibitors and keeps ice from busting block etc ive run almost straight water in summer for years

Big Bo 2 years ago

How could I know know the radiator cap size? Every car has the same or different? On cap, there's like 0.9, 1.1, 1.3 what are these?

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@Big Bo,

Give the person behind the counter the make and model of your car and the engine size, and he'll tell you what you need.

As far as the engine size is concerned, there is usually a white sticker located either on the front fan cowling, the strut walls,the underside of the hood, or consult your owners manual; t should help you locate the engine size.

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

@ Nismo,

Here's the deal Mr. Nismo, everybody knows that water causes rust, so when your radiator rusts out and takes other key components of the coolant system with it, then you have to figure how much longer would your radiator have lasted had you used an 80-20 mixture of antifreeze to water.

You've been running water in your car three summers in a row, and so far no problems. I have been working on cars for 49 years, and have seen plenty of problems from people getting there scientific principals, wrong on the working systems of a gasoline engine.

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Antifreeze boils at a much higher temperature than water. The primary damage done from have water in your system is caused by steam when the engine over heats. Even with out major over heating incidents the damage done over time from the steam in the radiator will cause the, rubber seals in the radiator cap to lose there integrity, warp and break down.

Big Bo 2 years ago

@ Jeromeo,

It is not easy as you said as I am not in U.S. My country has only mostly old cars (Mechanics don't know much). And my car is Toyota Celsior 2001 model. (a.k.a Lexus LS430 in U.S).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Celsior

I have to order parts from either Japan or Singapore. But when I look at online, the cap are varies 1.1 and 1.3.

And I would like to ask more about other car parts if you don't mind.

erick lopez 2 years ago

i put 50/50 in my car and after running for a bit it would heat up and the 50/50 is gone is this do to the cap? and thank you for the help

Rose 2 years ago

Hi. I'm a girl who knows nothing about cars. But the past couple days there has been white smoke/steam coming out of my hood. Not a lot, but more than i feel comfortable with. I know the radiator steams, and it seems to be coming from there, but it smells kinda like fluid burning off. There are a couple drops of oil on the ground after i park, but my level is fine. Could it just be leaking a little and burning off? Or could it be a radiator problem? I just want to know if its ok to drive, if i should take to mechanic, or if its something i can get a friend to fix perhaps easily. Thanks so much.

Amanda 2 years ago

2003 chevy replaced the radiator cap like everyone suggested and still losing coolant from the overflow reserve tank. Still no visible leak. Guess I replace the reserve tank next?

Amanda 2 years ago

Just overheated again, this time reserve tank was still full and radiator was half empty..I have no clue where to start. Still no evidence of leaks

Big Bo 2 years ago

@Amanda,

Reserve tank shouldn't be filled full. It has to be in low~high range. I think there's some holes in radiator. Or maybe your gasket is not good.

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

First thing is Toyota and Chevy are share the same engine components, So find and old 2000-20002 Chevy car with the same engine, and use that radiator cap.

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Change the cap

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

You either have a b ad hose or a bad radiator cap either way get it checked out Yesterday.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Some times those plastic overflow reservoirs tend to dry out for the heat and they will leak on the side close the fender son you can't see it.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Change your radiator cap.

Big Bo 2 years ago

Umm, Can I ask about Brake shoes too?

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

What about break shoes?

GINA 2 years ago

HELLO PLEASE HELP !!! I HAVE A 2001 LIMITED EDITION PT CRUISER ASAP LIKE TODAY PLEASE IF ITS THE BATTERY ITS NOT A DIE HARD BATERRY ITS JUST ONE OF THOSE LESS EXPENSIVE .... MY CAR WONT START BUT THE LIGHTS RADIO GO ON BUT MY CAR WONT START . HOW DO I KNOW IF ITS THE CHEAP BATTERY OR STARTER OR THE ALTERNATOR PLEASE ANSWER ME TODAY BEFORE IT GETS DARK . THANKS SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH GINA

Big Bo 2 years ago

Is there any website or brand for pretty good Break Pad? If possible, I would like to search Break Shoes/Pad by type of cars.

Thanks.

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Get a jump to see if your car will start if that doesn't work then the selynoid [sfb,sp]on our starter is probably out new starter.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Just, type, break pads into your browser and it take y9u where you wont to go.

StevenWeaver 2 years ago

Jeromeo

Hi I have a 1998 Mitsubishi Diamante and I have changed the thermostat and flushed the rad twice now but i am still having a problem with the car overheating, what else can I check to see if the waterpump is working? I would love to fix the car simple but I can do the waterpump and timing belt change but would rather not. If you have any suggestions please let me know. Thank You

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Have you changed the radiator cap? Could be bad fan or bad fan switch.

Shaan 2 years ago

Hello sir,

I appreciate your help and suggestion for the people like us. Yes,offcourse I too have a problem (not sure small or big).

Recently my Honda accord 2005 dashboard was showing Malfunction indicator and when I checked the error code it showed "coolant thermostat". Then out of curasity I opened the hood to see where is this. and opened coolant box (white box) cap then small amount of coolant spilled out of it. Again I closed it back and drove to home. Next day I took it mechanic to check this, surprisingly the malfunction indicator went off from dashboard (I am happy now). Now my concern is the temperature guege will not raise from 'C' as soon as I start engine. it is taking around 2 min to raise and will stay normal b/w 'C' and 'H'. Should temperature needle raise as soon as I start engine or is it OK if it takes time to raise and also please comment on my malfunction Indicator which scared and surprised me for few days.

danny 2 years ago

i have a 2002 ford escape i have ploblems wiht overheating .i already replace the thermostat and the water pump and flush it but the problem still there i notice that the fan dont come on when is hot it would only come on with the ac turn on high i chech my fan and is working fine . could that be my fun switch sensor help please thanx

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

you got it replace the fan sensor.

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

You're OK Shaan, it's doing what it suppose to.

Momof2boys 2 years ago

My 2000new Pontiac grand am se overheated once while driving for only about 3 miles. Since I was driving to the hospital to have a baby it sat for 3the days and then we added water to it and it ran fine. Now 2and months later we started using it as our primary car and after driving about 20to miles or so we got home and turned off the car. There was a hissing noise and when we popped the hood it seemed that it was coming from the coolant reservoir area. Any ideas? I'm not mechanically inclined but we only have the one car right now and can't afford much.

Momof2boys 2 years ago

Sorry for all of the typos in the first comment, cell phones are horrible and just add random words on for some reason :-)

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Change the reservoir cap.

toto1234 2 years ago

Accidently found this site,signed up immediatly a need help badly. I drive for a living doing deliveries using my car & drive 100 miles per day. It's a 1998 Ford Taurus. Has been overheating daily. Overheating so badly coming home that it would not turn over after it cooled off. Why it did not turn over after overheating? Mechanic thought it was fan & bit now he's not sure. Now it does turn over. Noticed the steam from resovoir had evaorated the coolant. Just put in more coolant & water as I have no money for more coolant. Could not find a radiator cap & don't think I have a radiator by looking through the handbook & looking at engine. Any advice. Thank you very much.

PS: I know I have to take it to mechanic but have no money right now but don't want to destroy my car either.

toto1234 2 years ago

Hi Jeromeo again. Sorry for the mispelling in my original posts but am so nervous about driving & doing my deliveries tomorrow. If I had any money at all I would have bought more anitifreeze instead of using the remainder antifreeze I had left plus a alot of water. Learned so much on your site. Guess I probably have a mixage of 40-Anti-60-water. Just trying to get through another day of work. Where is the radiator would be in my 1998 Ford Taurus.

I did looked under the hood & the handbook but can not find it. I want to replace the rad cap ASAP. Plus should I change the resevoir cap as well? With all the reading I know I have problems with the fans not working. Plus it might be the thermostator or the water pump even though both were was replaced last year. So afraid of more damage more to the car. Have not seen any white smoke so that's a good thing. Thank you again & looking forward to your response. So grateful I found this site.

Cindy 2 years ago

My heart's pounding louder, have lost radiator cap on Nissan Note 2006 and have not re-placed it. Have taped it around temperorily. Where can I buy it with good price. I live in Sweden where its -6 to -20 Celius cold.

Please help!

Regards, Cindy

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

I am sure that if you go to either one of these online stores they will be able to provided yo the help you need. And that just be careful with the tape, next do they have salvage yards in Sweden where yo can get the cap off a wrecked car, basically same engine type, if yo have a 4 cylinder or 6 cylinder. The idea being either would have the same size coolant coolant system characteristics: Fan, Radiator size and same pressure Radiator Caps I guess between 12ft.lbs. - 14ft.lbs, or rated by degrees 80, - 110. this is how hot the coolant has to get before the thermostat opens up and allows the coolant to flow through the radiator.

Quick fix salvage or junk yard Cannibalize, something. lol

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Original page:http://howtomatthew.blogspot.com/2009/05/under-hoo...

Check this site out but in the mean time look on the left side wall over the tire, that plastic looking bottle your access to the radiator and the top on there serves as your radiator cap.

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Your radiator is locate between your head lights under the hood of the car and is tucked under the cowling behind the front bumper.

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Lou'en 2 years ago

HI Jeromeo

I have a 2004 Ford Fiesta, now my car seems to be sucking water and the water bubbles, the car heats up after 30min of normal driving... There is no milky oil or white smoke out the exhaust... Can the radiator cap cause all the water to be sucked away this quickly ? or is it something else

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Yes and make sure the mixture is right 80-20 anti freeze or coolant to water.

Gregoreo54321 2 years ago

Hey Jeromeo,

I have a 1995 chevy s-10 2.2 liter 5 speed, and I noticed it had no more antifreeze so i filled the plastic tank to the full mark with pre-mixed antifreeze, but I didn't put any antifreeze into the actual radiator. Is that bad or should i put some in the radiator also?

Thanks, Greg

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Yes you need to make sure the radiator, the entire coolant system us filed. That means filling the reservoir if making sure the radiator is filled then running the car for about 15 wait till the engine cools about twenty minutes then check the fluid level again.

The system is full until the thermostat opens to allow the mixture to flow.

Rizwan 2 years ago

Hi,

I just scanned you post regarding changing of radiator cap of the car. I am afraid that I have been late in learning about the marvellous tip that you had posted.

http://jeromeo.hubpages.com/hub/Why-its-important-...

I own a Suzuki Cultus 2007 Model 1000cc (Three cylinders) without EFI.

The problem that i face now a days is reduction in the engine oil level. The car is running smoothly, neither any weird engine sound nor any smoke is found from silencer that could indicate the deteriorating condition of the engine. I am really worried on the issue, last time I got it changed around a month before but the level of engine oil is present at most 75 %, means 25 % of the oil just gone. I got the car checked for any imminent leakage too, but found nothing there.

I am not a very well off person, therefore can't afford a detail examination of the car or replace the engine. A friend of mine suggested me to use thinker engine oil, to solve the problem but I am really not sure, if it could serve my purpose.

I would be extremely grateful to you, if you extend your kind advice to me on the issue, keeping in view my financial constraints.

Waiting eagerly for you expert opinion, please.

Sincerely,

Rizwan Ahmed.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Sounds like you need a ring job. Now if that's going to be a problem, use 50 wt oil, depending on where you live if its real cold you may have buy and engine oil heater also, but the heavy oil won't burn as easily and you'll have better combustion.

Rizwan 2 years ago

I am really obliged to have received you reply.

Here its not really cold, almost 8 months of the year remain hot...rest 4 months are slightly cold.

I will definitely consider your kind advice.

Thanks a bundle!

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

You're Welcome :)

WVHillBilly 2 years ago

I have a 1999 Pontiac Montana....Been running hot the last two days. Extremely sensitive to running hot. I can leave home with it 10 degrees outside and bitter cold and within a mile or two it redlines and the car starts to slug and bump and almost cut off. The temp light comes on when the gauge redlines and from time to time when pulling a hill it the low coolant light comes on. I have pulled the radiator cap. Lots of sticky rubbery gunk (sludge) on it that I cleaned off. The seal looks ok, but I am headed to get another new cap tomorrow. Could this be the cap, or the thermostat...I have new thermostat, all new hoses, both uppoer and lower, and will replace. Will flush radiator too and replace with 50/50 mix. I just noticed that the temp gauge seemd to go up and down quite a bit and fast, like within seconds from a normal to redline. Heater on did not make any differece either..So I was thinking thermostat? Water pump replaced not 6 months ago, so ok there...Any thoughts or ideas?

Lost in WV...

charlesgarcia 2 years ago

I have a 1997 intrepid (3.5L)and it is running hot. I put antifreeze in it and it just boils. I changed the thermostat and noticed that there was no fluid at all in the engine block. It was bone dry! I then filled the reservoir and tried to bleed out the air. Nothing but steam came out. The fluid would not suck into the engine. When I start the engine it runs great, it doesn't even hick-up, but it overheats in a couple of minutes. I thought about it being the head gaskets, but it runs too good. Any suggestions?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Check fan and fan relays

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

"Sticky Rubbery Gunk," CHANGE YOUR RADIATOR CAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Fred 2 years ago

Hi,

I have a Holden Vectra. It overheats a lot and spits out water from the reservoir tank after a 15 minute drive. Meaning i have to refill it 50/50 once again.

However, my Veccy doesn't have a Radiator Cap? It only has the reservoir tank?

The Cap that screws onto the reservoir tank has a small crack in it, and the rubber is split in places. Could it be the Reservoir Cap that makes the overheating or something else?

The fan? How am I suppose to know if it's going correctly?

Thanks

Fred

Thanks

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

The reservoir cap serves as your radiator cap, you're right. And yes the crack in your reservoir cap is causing the over heating. You can hear the fan when it comes on.

But to check and see if its running properly. Standing beside the care while its been running for about 15 or 20 minutes you should hear and see the fan operate.

Also watch the temp-gauge, when the indicator reaches between about 160-180 the fan should come on, but as long as it does come on before the indicator reaches the [red zone] you are okay.

Of course before you can check the fan you have to have the system air tight meaning the cap has to be replaced as well as any hoses that my be damaged.

Holden Vectra Hey?

yovin 2 years ago

hey jeromeo!

i have a 1995 toyota townace,my radiator always run low on coolant...after a day i have to add some water or coolant to make it full...the reservoir is always full and there cant seem to be any leak of water around..could you advise me on how or why the water in the radiator always dissapear ? i changed the cap ...put a new one! and the loss of coolant reduced...

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Bad intake manifold gasket or a leaking head gasket. Leave a large piece of card board under your car at night, it will help yo to pin point any leaks.

Mary 2 years ago

Hi,

last night I was was driving my ford focus back home and the windshield was foggy I thought it was due to the cold and it was 5am also thought it was from the outside. Suddenly it started overheating and burning smell inside the car.I pulled over and noticed the smoke and when I put coolant it was leaking but couldn't notice where was the leak. I waited for an hour and drove slowly home. It stopped overheating (I turned the heating off) but when I got home it started smoking again. I noticed today there's a leak under the car when i tried putting water.How bad could this be? Mean how expensive?aprox...

Thanks

Mary

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Your Heater Core has gone out, its located under the dash board, find a radiator shop and let them replace it for you, unless you are mechanically inclined. If so just down load the instructions and prepare to spend the day in cramped quarters.

Laura 2 years ago

Hello! Our 2004 Toyota Tacoma 4cyl keeps blowing out nothing but HOT air. I can turn the vent off with the other knob all the way at the bottom of the blue for cold air and it still roasts me out. The temperature gauge is always fine. Thanks!

Val 2 years ago

2000 Mercury Cougar, runs hot when stopped at red lights or any time cars on but not moving. Could this also be a radiator cap issue?

Benjamin Terry 2 years ago

95 mustang that the fan runs continuously any idea. It even "locked" on the other day and totally ran the battery down. It is my wives car and she drives 50 miles one way everyday..I had to go and jump the battery to get it started. The fan seemed to start working properly for a little while..now it is back on the whole time again...

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

The system that operates the baffle that opens and closes off the heat is broken its located on the behind the knobs that you turn for ht heat.

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Fan is not working

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Dual fan system one fan is out so the other runs all the time replace both fans, NOW.

Georgann Perez 2 years ago

I have a 2005 trailblazer with 49000.00 miles. The low coolant light has started flashing from time to time and when it flashes the temp guage springs back and forth. could a bad radiator cap cause this?

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

yes

warton 2 years ago

I have a problem with my mustang car is 97 but after heated handle for 20 minutes and lick the water from the radiator lid will change the gaskets on the heads, new water pump, engine and radiator flashe, new termostator and the fan turned on since I turn the car but this cold, but something else did you remove the termostator and connect the fan directly to the battery and is warming up and pulling the water through the radiator cap and water dont mix with the oil not know what else to do if I can help it solve my problem thanks.

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Sounds like the baffle is not opening up inside the care to let the heat pass over the heater core. and for future comments we may need a translator

Monica, Reno NV 2 years ago

Hello I'm having an issue.. I have a Pontiac Montana 1999 Extended Van. About a month ago it over heated and shut down on me.. We bought a water pump and thermostat and installed it. But the car kept reeving up so we took it to a Mechanic who charged us $620 said he changed the intake manifold, valve cover gasket, re-installed the water pump, re-installed the thermostat and added ani-freeze. I did not get an itemized receipt until a week after I got my car back and it over heated again. I asked for the itemized receipt in which he charged me $47 for taxes he didn't charge me before? (and this is a legit business) got upset that I asked for the old parts and the serial number of the parts he changed so I can do my own research. When I went in there my coolant was not leaking.. and now it was spilling massively I asked him to fix it.. he was going to charge me for it.. so I told him I'd take it to another Mechanic, so he told me your car is fixed.. for now but its going to break down soon. I asked to see his manager because something was not right.. and he told me to get the F off his property. my 30day warranty on the labor only expires on the 4th. I drove my car around for a week... it was not overheating.. but still leaking bad.. so I kept putting coolant in the radiator, then yesterday it made a gurgling noise while trying to turn it on.. and it would not come on.. and now it wont start at all it doesn't even make a sound? :( I'm afraid to take it back to that rude mechanic, but idk what else it can be or what I can do?

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Small claims court sue for the cost of the repair and the value of the car check with the Court Clerk in your county to find out about filing fees and local rules of procedure. if he did every thing he said he did then you shouldn't be having problems. But if you have a north star GM engine you very well may have water leaking into at least one of your cylinders and the hydrolic pressure from the water in the cylinder has broken the starter, but i can't tell with out putting hands on, so get a second opinion and an estimate of the cost of repairs and submit that along with out complaint for damages

tiece 2 years ago

ok i have a 1994 honda accord my fans are not coming on but the temperature is under the normal line is that normal

captin curt 2 years ago

where to start. i have a 1999 323i bmw with the dual vanos. i bout the car four months ago for 1000.00 dollars with the head gasket blown. and head bolts stripped out witch is commen for these cars.i have been working on cars for over fifteen years and useally i am did on when there is a problem. i found another motor for the car.that had just been redone with new time serts head gasket arp head studs and the head reworked from a reputtable company that i have delt with often and done good work for me in the past on heads. i was real lucky and paid 600.00 hundred for the motor.before i installed the engine i went ahead and put a new thermastate,metal water pump instead of the plastic one that is prone the plastic impellers break easily.and put put a new radiater in it. because the old one had old head gasket repair stuff in it.and did not want to take any chances of damaging the new engine.but used the old radiator cap.i also used the old resevoir.inspected it for cracks and pressure tested it for leaks.these are also prone for leaks and tested good.when i was done installing every thing i putt 50/50 mix as required in the manual.started the car it ran great.i let the car set and warm up the seat the head gasket propperly.then took it for a drive and around one hundred miles. and parked it and checked for any leaks.also squezzed the radiater hose to see how much pressure was built up and it was hard as a rock.i was a little worried but not conserned with it the next day whent and started the car the resevoir light came on. so i topped it off and started the car with a little miss then cleared up and very little smoke from the tail pipe witch i figured it to be condisasion from a healthy motor.and drove it two hundred miles then checked for leaks nothing.i then again squezzed th radiator hose and again hard as a rock.normally the will be firm but.not hard as a rock.latter that day got back in the car and whent to start it and the radiator resevoir light came on again.checked for leaks and topped it off again and drove it for the day.the next was differant went to start it and it was locked up hit the key three times finally turned over and started right up with a little miss in a few minutes cleared up.then i was scared.so while it was running i took the radiator cap off to see if the head gasket was leaking gases into the coolint. no air bubbles had good flow also.the temperature has never whent above the half way mark. i hooked my actron scanner up to it and did a live feed on the temperature and it said 204-206 degrees and never goes higher then that.i feel that radiator cap is not relieving any of the pressure and when i shut the engine off i think due to all the pressure it is slowly leaking the pressure through the head gasket at its weakist point at this time i feel my my head gasket is still good but wont be if not taking care of. and in need of a good strong second oppinion on this. sorry for all the detail.but i reliesed from the past the better the detailed you are the better the information you get back.

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

First changed the radiator cap, then increase the amount of coolant in you mixture to 80-20. If you're not getting oil in the coolant and no white sweet smelling smoke form your tail pipe then likely hood of continued head gasket problems is minimal bu to be safe drain the coolant form the engine use the pit cock radiator so you will be sure to drain the block, now loosen and re-tighten the head bolts, being sure to do each bolt in the proper sequence. Another thing you could do is pull each plug and look for moisture on the tips of the spark plugs.

Thanks for stopping buy now I know someone to call.

captin curt 2 years ago

thank you for your advice would it also be a good idea to due a pressure test and carbon monixed test to not to sure how these coolint systems work and this is the first bmw i have messed with and is a new learning curve for me due to there complexity i due feel i will get a few new gray hairs as i learn this car and thank you again for your time

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Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Not necessarily on the test but, you may want to just to be sure usually pressure is when the hoses tighten up.

sat13 2 years ago

Hi Jeromeo...I have a 93 chevy lumina that has been sitting parked since it overheated this past summer...I know I had an antifreeze leak, couldn't fix it before it overheated on me while driving on the highway...my question is this..while driving the temp gauge went to hot after about 10 minutes or so of driving, so I pulled over and let it cool off for about 30 minutes or more( summer time with infant in car, no antifreeze in trunk) and when I tried to start it, it took a few tries. I had to drive home then at that point, so I was on the highway watching it, and it jumped up again, and then the FRONT end of my car started smoking, so I immediately pulled over and as I was doing so the car died. While sitting on the side of the highway, in 90 degree weather, a car came and poured water into my radiator, which helped cool it I guess, but the car will now NOT start. It acts like it wants to, I have had the battery checked, the oil checked, which is NOT milky, and nothing leaks from my tailpipe, and the smoke was definitely coming from the front of my car, NOT the rear. My friends are telling me I most likely blew a head, and that is why my car won't start, but I am not so sure. I haven 't had the money to tow it, I am a single mom of 4, doing what I can. I have had the battery checked at 2 different places, one place(where I bought it from) said the battery was fine..another auto store said it was not. Is it possible that my head is NOT blown, and the car can be fixed? I have never changed the radiator cap before, not sure if you think it will help..? ANY advice would be much appreciated before I make the decision to junk the car..I don't want to do that unless I have to. Thank you, and this article is very informative! Wish I had seen it about 8 months ago, lol..:P

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Get some ceramic stop leak that will hold up with coolant and poor that in your radiator change the cap, fill it with coolant and see it you can get it to start. Sound like you may have started with a blown intake manifold gasket but when that good Sarmaritan put that cold water in your hot engine he just may have cracked a cylinder or even caused the engine to warp.

So try the stop leak, if push comes to shove find a pick & pull the sell used engines for around $180.00 find some one to swap out your old engine for the new one, for $200.00 and you're back on the road for very cheap price.$380 in fact ask the inc and pull people if they will swap the engines or if they know someone who will do it for the $200.00

Bigtotsky 2 years ago

Well...I was expecting to pay 300 - 400 for something involving the cooling system. Went to the radiator shop. They hooked up a pressure gauge...kept its pressure. Fans worked fine. He said hot air was coming off the radiator and hot water was going through the upper and lower hoses, so the thermostat was fine. He checked the cap and said it didnt work and that that was the problem. $10 fix. I learned my lesson.

charmessece 2 years ago

The issue I have been having is w/ my 97q45 in which I have been experiencing issues with the ac/heat. I have had the heater core changed, as well as the thermostat. I have read the informative posts by many of you who have experienced the same issues with your models of the Q but am unable to actually find a fix for mine. My 97 q45 blows out cold air and that's no whether if the temp is on 65 or 85. Also note that I had the a/c unit changed as well (above the radio). Further, when switching the temp from 65 to 85 and vice versa I can hear the blower motor operating correctly and have removed the radio to see that it is functioning as well as looking beneath the driver side to see this as well. Additionally, when I press on the radiator hose the car actually will get warmer if placed on the 85 degree position.I have also had the system vacuumed for air bubbles. Could this be the radiator cap that you explained in your article?

Jackie 2 years ago

Hello. The mechanic was checking my car and he took the rad off. The fluid shot out. What does that mean? He said the rad needs replacing?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

It means he's an idiot to take a cap off while the radiator is still ho your radiator is fine you need a mechanic who knows what the H he's doing, stand back.

Gene from Harrison 2 years ago

I have a 1997 Sport Explore Ford V6, 4.0 eng. Four wheel drive.

The radiator was replaced 6,000 miles ago ( I have now 230,000 miles ) New anti freeze, hoses O.K. thermostate about 5 years old.I've replaced my radiator cap twice ( One week ago) When it heats up, The water comes out under the new radiator cap. About one quart in two days. What is my problem ?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Wrong radiator cap.

Jswagg 2 years ago

I got one.. My car overheats at stops and cools right down when i start going.. new thermostat and waterpump.. my fans kick on then go right back off so its really my fans not cooling it because they keep goin on and off

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Check for a faulty fan switch a really small single wire that is send the engine temp to the computer or check to see if the fan is stopping because the bearings are bad.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Replace the RADIATOR CAP.

kat 2 years ago

Hi I have an 01 Ford Focus and I think I have a problem in the water system. The hoses keep getting swollen. I changed out two different ones but now the hose thats comong out of where my thermostat goes is swollen. I noticed when I opened my water reservoir, it relieves the pressure, do you know if thats normal? Somebody said I might need a radiator flush, what do you think?

kim 2 years ago

i have a 97 accord v6... it keeps runnin hot but the temp hand isnt moving and sounds like something is boiling,... what could that be

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

If you have the wrong coolant water mixture it could cause this problem or it may be inferior hoses. But too much water int he coolant system will do that. But try the flush and see if it works.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

The temp sending unit needs to be replaced, and so does the radiator cap. and then make sure fluid level is correct and the coolant mixture is 80%-20% 80 coolant and 20 water.

kat 2 years ago

Ho its me again with the 01 focus, I don't know what to do, I got new hoses and clamps, a new thermostat, a new water reservoir, recently got a new water pump, I did a radiator flush and bought new motorcraft gold coolant, and my top radiator hose is still getting swollen. When the car is running I have to relieve the pressure every few miles by letting the car cool a little bit then opening the water reservoir. I 've asked a few machanics and even a ford dealership but nobody seems to know what it could be, what do you think, I'm going crazy and broke.Lol.

kat 2 years ago

Oops, Omg I was trying to type HI, dumb phone. I wouldn't call you that youre a nice person :)

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Ok, sounds like you have a hole in the top of one of your pistons. While the care is running try puling each of the spark plug wires one at a time. The plug wire that gets no response when its pull is the cylinder that is bad

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Thanks

lily 2 years ago

i have a 2002 saturn and when i drive, i notice the rpm goes high. also, even though i don't step on the gas, uphill, downhill, the car is running so fast. what i do is step on my break all the time so it will slow the car. please help me what to do cause i can't afford to fill gas every other day. i always fill $20.00 and i really don't go far. thanks for your help.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Look for a loose vaccum line they are thing and black. You could have a collapsed line or a disconnected line.

Roman Lines 2 years ago

lol my civic has a hole in the top of resevor ?? somone put it thre im guessing becacause they thought that was going to fix the preshure issue?? now it will slowly lose water tell its out . would this be caused by the bad cap??

brittany 2 years ago

Any idea of why my low coolant sign keeps coming on? Its filled to where it needs to be. We replaced a part today the hoses that connect to the thermastat was cracked. The check coolant light still comes on.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Yes

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

OK, Brittany;

Replace the radiator cap and make sure the system is filled back up.

brittany 2 years ago

The coolant will drain once i replace the cap? Im sorry i know nothing about cars, im paying off this car and can not afford to bring it to a shop right now.the car is not overheating at all but the coolant sign is still beeping. Its a 01 mercury sable

Emcee 2 years ago

Where should the temperature gauge be for normal operation of 2002 chevy venture? I never really paid attention...but lately it seems to idle high (loud) and the needle seems like it goes up too fast when I'm stopped or in slow, heavy traffic. If it starts to edge past straight up, I turn on the heat and it cools down but I don't feel confident.

Thanks

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

OK, What kind of car? But for now find the reservoir and see if its up to MAX---- level, if not find the owner's manual and following those instructions. If they are not available then start the car after buying a new radiator of reservoir cap. Make sue the care is cold when you start it, let it run for about 8-10 min. check the fluid level top it off and you should be straight.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Check your fluid level get a new radiator cap and make sure our fans are operating properly.

james 2 years ago

hey, just wondering, i have an 06 kawasaki kx450f that has been over heating on me and running out the over flow, do you think if i went to a 1.6 new radiator cap instead of the stock 1.3 it would help me?

HI 2 years ago

I have a heating problem....I have already replaced water pump, plus I also removed the engine head and found water channels clugged...I cleaned them out really good....I mean I could not believe what I was seeing...Reason I removed head is because I had oil leak and was going to repleced head gasket. My cans are working perfect because I connected them directly with a switch....What I noted was when I open the Radiator cap there is not water current...It seems like there is a clug somewhere and water if not flowing thru the system....What do you think.....Please email me...alexbuenosoy@gmail.com

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Just a new cap should do 1.3.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Sounds like your heater core is plugged you need to flush the entire system

shb 2 years ago

hi

my honda city 1999 started overheating on the motorway after 15-20kms & at speed of 100 kms/hr. so i went slow at 70 kms/hr & temp came down. took it to mechanic & he pressure tested system & said no leak, that the leak might be fm radiator which looks old. had the radiator replaced, but again on highway temp started going up after 15-20 kms. i kept going at about 70 kms/hr & kept gauge under check so no overheating. later, on two occasions i drove about 10 kms at 80 kms/hr & noticed liquid under the engine.

today i noticed again liquid under overflow tank & on the cap of overflow tank as well. liquid boiling off ? got the thermostat replaced. but still today evening drove 5 kms in city at 50-60 kms/hr & temp rising again. what could be the problem ? pls help

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Change the radiator or reservoir cap today, right now if you're not doing anything.

shb 2 years ago

ok thanks a lot

mrfidgit profile image

mrfidgit 2 years ago

i have a 73 ford f100, i filled up radiator the other day and saw a orange seal floating ...broke in a few pieces but it looks like a seal....what steps should i take ? thanks in advance

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Either the in sides of a reservoir cap or a regular radiator cap in either case if you are not running hot or experiencing any other problems with your cooling system, just fish the material out as best you can and monitor the situation, You should also flush the radiator before refilling the system,with an 80%-20% mixture of coolant to Water.

mrfidgit profile image

mrfidgit 2 years ago

thanks man...

AFoe 2 years ago

I guess it was time to replace the cap on my 17 year old car...

shb 2 years ago

hi Jeromeo,

remember is asked u 2 days ago (see in " " below) i replaced the caps but still the car overheats even after driving 4-5 kms, what could be the problem :

"my honda city 1999 started overheating on the motorway after 15-20kms & at speed of 100 kms/hr. so i went slow at 70 kms/hr & temp came down. took it to mechanic & he pressure tested system & said no leak, that the leak might be fm radiator which looks old. had the radiator replaced, but again on highway temp started going up after 15-20 kms. i kept going at about 70 kms/hr & kept gauge under check so no overheating. later, on two occasions i drove about 10 kms at 80 kms/hr & noticed liquid under the engine.

today i noticed again liquid under overflow tank & on the cap of overflow tank as well. liquid boiling off ? got the thermostat replaced. but still today evening drove 5 kms in city at 50-60 kms/hr & temp rising again. what could be the problem ? pls help

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo Hub Author 2 days ago

Change the radiator or reservoir cap today, right now if you're not doing anything."

thanks for yr advice

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Are the fans coming on? Start the car let it run with the hood up for 15-20 minutes the fans should come on, you just may need to replace the overflow tank. But the fans should be coming on at that time 10-15 minutes after start up and while ruining.

shb 2 years ago

yes the fans are coming on

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

OK, we need to see if the water pump is working. Check to see if there is white smoke coming out of the tail pipe and make sure none of your hoses a folded blocking the flow of water.

If you know how, flush the engine and see if there could be blockage in the system.

When you finish these things you can reach me at domafcons@sbcglobal.net

Jason 2 years ago

Hi jeromeo, My 1.5 automatic carburettor Proton Wira (Malaysians) car had two overheating incidence over a period of two months.

My car is 15 years old. 2 months ago, while driving fast along highway the car overheated. I pulled over and found the upper radiator hose collapsed. Since i have never fully overhauled the engine, i decided to use this oppurtunity to fully overhaul the engine, changing the pistons, bearings, re-boring the cylinders etc. Even the water pump and radiator was changed to a brand new one. However, I noticed that the upper radiator hose and radiator cap was not changed. Then just a few days ago, while driving the car, it overheated again. Pulling over, I found the upper radiator hose collapsed again. I cannot believe this, as I just spent a fortune overhauling the engine. The engine oil is still black (not choclote milk color). Thus I got the radiator hose replaced this time and also the radiator cap replaced with a new one. What do you think the problem is? Was it a bad rad cap all along? Also the mechanic says that the upper radiator hose collapsed because the hose is hard during usage. Is this the reason? Or am I looking at a cracked cylinder head? Thanks. !

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

All that when a $5.00 radiator cap would have suffice so lets buy one before we mess up this new engine. The cap though its bad still maintains a hermetic seal as the water in the coolant evaporates, creating a vacuum and collapsing the hose.

hima 2 years ago

hi i have 1995 bmw e36 316 coupe, and i have problem with radiator thermo switch connector,I've got three loose wires (connector just fell apart)..green-brown-black,and i want to connect the thermo switch ,I looked into the plug and I see the wires labeled '0' 'T1' and 'T2',i don't know which of the wires correspond to this labelling scheme.

thanks in advance for the help

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 2 years ago from Little Rock Hub Author

One f the most dangerous aspects or auto repair is in repairing the electrical system, not all mechanics are qualified to do this, the have companies that do and I suggest you locate one in the yellow pages or find the switch on the web just type it in and it will come up. Green should be (hot)Brown should be the lead to the connecting switch the one that creates the bridge and the particular component to be run. But like I said you can be burned alive in an electrical fire in the closed space of your car. either read up on this well or take it to the "man", or find one in the salvage yard and cut the end you need off and just reattach the wires.

Summer Harris 24 months ago

Hi I have a 2002 Ford Ranger 3.0L...My truck started to run hot off and one so we replaced the thermostat, and yesterday spent 11 hours replacing water pump. I got 20 miles down the road and BAM it ran hot. My Hubby thinks its a blown head Gasket. My friends advised us to try the next cheapest fix which of course was a rad cap. He has had the truck 10 years now and never changed it. We went and got the cap and put it on, drove it about 30 mins and it never over heated. I also have noticed that every so often when we stop at a redlight etc the oil gauge flicks up and down like a vibration. Also there is no water in oil, no white smoke coming from tail pipe. Please give me your advise Thanks!

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 24 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

OK, you solved eh over heating problem way to go. The oil pressure gauge is actuated by the oil sending unit:

Oil Pressure Sender/Switch, OEM Replacement, AMC/Ford, Jeep/Lincoln, Mercury, Pantera, Each

Part Number: SMP-PS60 More Detail …

Estimated Ship Date: Today

$11.95 + Wish List

Hope this helps.

sophia 24 months ago

Hello Jeromeo,I had a new radiator put in my 95 chevrolet camero and the gauge is still going to the red there is plenty of anti freeze in it don't understand why its doing it the old radiator was doing the same thing but it had a hole in it fluid was running out that's why i changed it but i'm still having the same problem. HELP!

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 24 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

You think may be it could be your thermostat is not 0penning up. Check that then back flush the system, and I know I heard you say you put anew radiator cap on the new radiator.

sophia 24 months ago

yes i put a new cap on it i had it checked and i was told that nothing is flowing from the radiator i bought a new thermostat but was told thats not the problem dont know what else to do the radiator is full but when the hose was unhooked no fluid can out of it

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 23 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

You need to flush the radiator, put a garden hose in the top and turn it on full force, then do it reverse put the hose in the bottom and flush the radiator through the top.

sophia 23 months ago

i had the new thermostat put in anyway to see how the car would act and the gauge did not go in the red anymore i had it put on today around 3pm it seems to be doing ok now i pray that when i drive it tomorrow it's still running the way it should if not i dont know what to do next thanks for your help jerome have a good evening

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 23 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Congratulations, sounds as if you fixed it Sophia. And more than anything its allowing the fear and desperation of what it would be like with out a car, or with a heavy repair-bill, to cause you to waste mental energy that, that would have got you there sooner.

I appreciate you giving me a buzz but once YOU got on the right track you figured it out.

So pat yourself on the back for this one, by a manual for your year make and model car, and be prepared for our next car care adventure.

angel521 23 months ago

Hey,

So I just got a 2003 chevy impala & hadnt even had it a month. I'd say about day 5 a light came on saying my coolant was low. So that night a bought sum coolant & had a guy at my job put it in. Went about 2 weeks driving good, the tempature would go back & fourth from a little over the half way line to a little below. I took a trip from georgia to tennesse with no problems but on the way home once I reached atlanta the tempture hit the red & the check engine light came on for the first time. I stopped at an advance auto & had them look at it but they said their machine wasnt saying why the car was overheating. they said they believe I may need my radiator system flushed out because there are no visible leaks, my coolant seems fine. they put water into the coolant tank I think & the temperture went down a little. I started driving back home & once I made it to columbus it went back to the red luckily I was close to home. I parked the car & left it. Now I've had the oil looked at & mechanics say its fine. whoever had the car before me took good care of it. I/m scared to drive the car until I know the problem because the last car I had started overheating & the head gasket blew. the thing is with that car the coolant tank would overflow & it would smoke but this car I have now has none of those problems....

tone 23 months ago

If i don't have a radiator cap just a flush box do I just change that

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 23 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Intake manifold gasket, but first replace the radiator cap

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 23 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

I need more info.

sophia 23 months ago

Hey Jerome, its me again this time i got a question about my son car he has a 02 monte carlo that had a thermostat and a converter put on because they told him that he needed this at the inspection station 2 weeks after the work his car started to run hot anti freeze was running out and 2 days after it stoped but lastnight it started to run hot again gauge going in the red and fluid leaking again i need your advise on what could be causing it to run hot

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 23 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

If hew's got fluid leaking then some one did not do the job right. So start whit the original problem, and recheck the installation of the thermostat.

Thanks for dropping by.

sophia 23 months ago

ok the guy that did the job is coming over tomorrow morning to check the car again when he did the job the car went straight threw inspection it's crazy with these cars if it ain't one thing it's another i hope he can correct the problem

Jenwithrelish 23 months ago

I need help! My 2003 Chevy s10 overheated and will not start now. It sounds like the battery is dead, clicks. It started while I eas idling at a stop light. my car suddenly started pouring white smoke and my temp gauge shot up. Pulled into work and shut it off. Had a friend take me to Napa. Topped all of my fluids thinking maybe I was out of ccolant. Started truck and idled for a few and the temp stay super low. Thought my Tstat bad so would drive it home carefully. Nope. Suddenly started clicking really loud and I lost power. Was smoking again this time still white but not only a coolant smell. Had the truck towed home but it still will not start. Reservoir is full. Oil a little sludgy but not milky at all. I am so confused. Could a coolant system problem cause my car to not start? I have heard people say they drove with a blown gasket or a cracked head so I am convinced tjere has to be a bigger issue. Is it possible tjat I some how ruined my engine but don't have any hard ?proof? I plan on making this my project but I don't know where to start!

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 23 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

It sounds like your engine is in serious need of some TLC. Now first check your hoses, find our where the coolant is leaking from. But I am almost certain because of the year and the propensity of these general motors cars to blow intake manifold gaskets that your problem is just that. A blown intake manifold gasket.

Look for the tell tail green coolant residue somewhere between the intake manifold and the engine block,on top of the valve cover gaskets.

There are also small hoses at either end of the manifold gasket you want to look at.

Daniel G 23 months ago

Ok so ive changed the thermosta, checked my houses and still no water flow, my water tank gfs the same namount of water an coolant imhoping its a airbubble and not a bad water pump

Chris 23 months ago

Hi

Currently my radiator is leaking from the fin. Now waiting for stock to be in. I wonder what will cause it to crack & leak? Currently using motul mocool with distilled water.

Coolant, radiator cap, vibration?

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 23 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Water try 80-20 coolant mixture. 80-coolant 20-water.

flavian 23 months ago

Hello. I bought a truck from uk an iveco 7.5tonnes. I am in zimbabwe. My truck rises temp when it. During the day. In the night the needle will be at half. if I park it even when its idling the temp goes down in ten minutes. I got the thermo removed and the viscos fan was locked. The radiator cap I believe is still ok and it a breather. This truck traveled for more than 3000km from walvis bay namibia to harare zimbabwe doing this. When drivin it when I stop the water level will be ok and its not showing signs of boiling even if I put it my hand on the engine its will not be hot. What could be the problem

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 23 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

With the radiator cap off, when the car is cold, operate the throttle from under the hood and see if the water is passing under the mouth of the radiator.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 23 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

i hope you are using coolant and water mix, but as long as the temp is staying cool I wouldn't think there is a problem. need more info.

Gusto33 23 months ago

Jeromeo~

About 6 weeks ago I put a new radiator in (old one had a crack) as well as new plugs, coils, and wires. Car ran great for about 4 weeks (temp gauge in the appropriate spot slightly below middle marker. After taking the car in for an oil change the shop told me I had a coolant leak (temp gauge still stayed normal). I promptly replaced the upper hose (crack due to wear). Car ran fine for two weeks with no temp issues (Matter of fact, their was no temp guage issues during this whole 6 wks). Then last week I noticed the temperature guage increase above the mid mark specially when the A/C was on and if I let it the car temp guage will rise at least to 3/4 (didnt push it further). When I run the heater the temp pretty much stays in the normal range. The fans are kicking in (dual fans and both kick on) and I replaced the radiator cap but I am still having the exact same issue. Next step I guess would be to change the thermostat. Am I on the right track or am I missing something (possibly water pump?)? Thanks for your help. (I also use a 50/50 mix and no fluid leaks except once when the temp guage rose to about 3/4 but I think the pressure pushed coolant out the upper hose, hasnt happened since and I check every time I drive).

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 23 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Yes you are on the right track, when refilling the system, make sure you allow time [when the temp-gauge starts to rise] for the thermostat to open up-then finish filling the system up with coolant preferably an 80-20 coolant to water mix. Trust me! Its better than 50-50, now you put the radiator cap back on.

Grumpy 23 months ago

Jeromeo, you seem to be just a wealth of knowledge! I need to pick your brain on my 2003 Chrysler Intrepid (Canadian version):

In September I got in a car accident and the body shop replaced a number of parts including the radiator. The radiator was used from a scrap yard and needed to be replaced again after a month as it had a broken mount on the top. I live in Canada and the car has been working fine all winter with no radiator issues until now when the weather is getting hot again. Thursday night I noticed a bunch of radiator fluid on my driveway so I took it to my buddy's garage and he changed the thermostat (what a pain in the butt that was as it's hidden/buried behind the alternator under the car). I also bought a new fan assembly for the rad as one of the two was seized and we changed that. I also got a new rad cap as a matter of precaution. After all the parts were back together we ran the car up to temp and he told me that there was a tiny misting coming from a pinhole leak in the rad :( Now after I drive the car for about 15 minutes and park it, it leaks about 2-3 cups of coolant over the ground from an area that seems to be close to the thermostat housing under the card on the driver's side. It's not the thermostat housing as we checked that for leaking when it was changed. I suspect that the coolant may be coming from the overflow hose as it comes off the top of the reservoir and disappears into oblivion under the hood somewhere. I suspect that since there is a small pinhole leak in the rad, that the system cannot maintain pressure and thus the coolant cannot operate correctly??? The coolant temp seems to climb to slightly above normal when I monitor it via the OBD2 port (about 210-220 degrees...normal is about 195-205 degrees for my car). I will take the car back to the body shop tomorrow and get the rad replaced as it is still under warranty but have you seen this issue before or have any suggestions?

Thanks

Gusto33 23 months ago

OK, so I replaced the Thermostat and my car actually runs hotter......I think since I replaced the upper hose and now the Thermostat that I must have air stuck in the radiator and/or engine. How do I bleed the air out to make sure? I do not have any pet cocks (sp) to bleed and I see no leaks. Do you think having it on my slanted driveway and let it cool and then take the rad cap off and squeeze the hoses that enough air will escape to run properly? I drove the car once since changing the thermostat and ended up adding at least a cup of coolant to the radiator and when squeezing the hoses was able to realease some air. Thoughts? Maybe I am off track but it seems I have air in the system causing the car to run hot. BTW, since changing the thermostat the car runs hotter than previously so I'm sure I added more air into the system.

flavian 23 months ago

when am driving it the temp goes up to the red line but when i park for a few mins it goes down to half. when i increase the speeed the temp up and its governed it doesnt exceed 90km /hr. i am not using any coolent i am just using water.every other thing works perfectly. it doesnt boil. just the temp gauge that goes up.

travis 22 months ago

Great article! Ive just had my second radiator split down the same spot, I bought a new cap about 6 months ago but it wasnt a model specific cap i didnt realise this was important, my radiator split a while after i bought it. I was told a few days ago that my cap might be the problem, so i bought a cap to suit my car today and replaced the radiator.. So Im just wondering if the radiator splitting can be related to having a poor fitting radiator cap? thanks.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 22 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Make sure that the radiators are form a honest aftermarket dealer or straight from the auto-dealer.

Also double check the amount of pressure in each cylinder sounds like you might have a hole in the top of one of your pistons. Off chance but it needs to be ruled out.

but under regular conditions no I've never heard of a radiator splitting down the middle.

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Jeromeo 22 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

GET THAT WATER OUT OF THERE AND REPLACE WITH COOLANT 80-20.

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 22 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Also rock the cared and use the bumper to bounce it help release trapped bubbles, yes the right tract.

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Jeromeo 22 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Sound like you have a pain in the but Baby North Star engine, and you are right, there are two gaskets on the passenger side of the of the engine that go between the two end of the crossover pipe, they probably need to be replaced.

travis 22 months ago

ahh dam.. The radiators i bought were always 2nd hand but have looked and worked fine, they didnt split down the middle but down the side, along the seem. Ill check the pressure today.

Thanks for the advice jeromeo, much appreciated.

sophia 22 months ago

Hello Jerome how are you? my service traction system light is blinking off and on and when i pull off in the car its making a grinding noise and acts like it don' t wanna stop when i hit on the brakes what's causing that problem the brakes was checked and i don't need any HELP!!

SOPHIA 22 months ago

forgot to tell you jerome that's it's a 02 monte carlo 3.4 engine

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 22 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

your breaks may be OK, the pads that is but it sounds like your caliper is sticking and grabbing the rotor. At any rate the traction relates to the drive axles that extend from the transmission. and its possible that one of these may have slip out of the drive gear.

sophia 22 months ago

the guy came and changed the rotors and he said it did not need pads they were ok so he put new rotors on and the next week after he changed the rotors that's when the track light came on and all the grinding noise and things started he came back out to check the rotors and said they were fine i have no clue to what happened after he did the rotors before he did the job i didn't have that problem

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 22 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

If that guy did not know how to remove the rotor from the spindle, that's the axle that holds the wheel then he inadvertently pulled your drive axle that fits in the transmission out of socket and it needs to be put back in.

If you have a mind to have a friend jack up the car so the tire is off the ground. Remove the tire and see if any thing is lose, put the tire back on and while sitting on the ground have him to use both feet to kick the tire back in toward the transmission, do it on both sides.

Or just advise this guy that you will take him to court, get an estimate for damages from another qualified mechanic and take it from there.

sophia 22 months ago

Thanks i'm going to try that hope it works

Amanda 21 months ago

I have a 2001 ford tauras and shortly after purchasing it the heat stopped working and now every so often it is over heating and when i stop the car coolant sprays out from the tank where you pour your coolant in at.....ive changed the thermostat i have also had a coolant system flush and all that but am still having the same issue please any advice would be appreciated

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 21 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Bad intake manifold gasket. Check to make sure the cooling fans, for the radiator are coming on.

water pump 21 months ago

I think my uncle relate this post too, since my uncle was a mechanical engineer for how many years.

Anyway, it is a nice post.

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Jeromeo 21 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Thanks to you and your uncle.

TAUSEEF 18 months ago

I have Lumina LS 2006 it is not taking water from reservoir. When I switch off car water comes from radiator to reservoir and it overflows. Radiator is not sucking water from reservoir and it is always full. I have to open the radiator cap almost every day and fill water before going to office. I changed radiator cap with genuine cap today. I pulled pipe from reservoir and started engine to test whether still water is coming from radiator to reservoir and found that little water is coming. Then I switch on AC and increased gas to accelerate engine. By doing this water stoped coming from radiator. Is it normal ? I will observe for few days with new cap if still water is decreasig from radiator please advise me what should I do. Thanks and regards

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 17 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Check your thermostat sounds like its sticking

Tauseef 17 months ago

I changed the radiator cap with genuine cap and it is ok now. Thanks a lot.

sophia 14 months ago

hello,on my 95 chevrolet camero my gear shift handle came off and when i put the car in park it would be hard to get it back out because the handle was'nt going all the way down on it so i started parking the car in neutral and pulling up the hand break to keep it from rolling and i let my son drive the car and he forgot to park it in neutral and put it in park again now it want come out of park at all please help!

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 14 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

The mechanism is disconnected in side the handle but up under the hood is teh linkage to the trans itself and you can shit back to park form there.

Tauseef 14 months ago

I have Lumina LS 2006 it is not taking water from the reservoir. Water comes from the radiator to the reservoir. Radiator is not sucking water from the reservoir and it is always full. I have to open the radiator cap almost every day and fill water before going to the office. I changed the radiator cap with genuine cap it was fine for two months. Aging water starts reducing from the radiator. There is no leakage from radiator or any water pipe. Shall I change the thermostat? Is thermostat is not working properly and it is not allowed to take water from the water reservoir. Let me make clear that If the water is full in radiator car engine does not heat up. Please advise me what should I do. Thanks and regards

Jeromeo profile image

Jeromeo 14 months ago from Little Rock Hub Author

Flush the system and look for a problem in the water pump.

Denann 11 months ago

I wanted to say this is excellent advice! I have a 2003 Chevy Blazer with 160K miles. She runs like a champ, but yesterday I felt as if the trans was slipping when I would get to 65-70 mph, but I wasn't sure if I was imagining it. Today, I had the heat going and then it was blowing cold. She started running about 1/2 to 3/4 the temp gauge, but usually runs 1/4 of the dial and I thought, uhoh! I could kinda smell that icky sweet smell, but I wasn't sure. When I got home, I checked under the hood and lo and behold, coolant was leaking near the cap. My cap was missing half of the seal! I changed it and refilled the radiator and she is running just fine now! I know the cap was about 2 years old (that's when I got the radiator). Change your caps!

sophia 10 months ago

hey it's me again i'm still having problems with the 95 Camaro had plugs and wires put on and it shuts off on me after driving it for 10 minutes it seems like when it gets hot it start to shake real bad and sound real ugly what do the plugs suppose to be set on

Robert Good 2 months ago

I have a 97 Honda Civic that I have flushed the cooling system, replaced the radiator (burped the air) and replaced the radiator cap a couple times. The problem is if it is driven at 70 mph for a 20 - 40 miles is loses anti-freeze and when it cools it draws what coolant it has out of the reservoir. If there is none it indicates it is over heating but doesn't put out heat when it is driven again.

To me it seems the radiator cap isn't rated high enough and forces the coolant out around the cap. I was warned that if I use a cap with a higher rating I am at risk of blowing gaskets and freeze plugs. It has been checked for a blown head gasket but it has checked out to be alright. I am wanting another opinion, I wonder what I may be missing? Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

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