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PurpleFloyd

02 Grand am gt overheating

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My sons Grand Am is having an overheating issue.

History-

Car has 170k. Have had it for 40k. 

Seemed to be running hot for about 6 months or so but nothing major. A few months agoe I drained all of the coolant, did a flush and replaced with all new universal coolant rather than dexcool. I also suspected the car had a bad LIM gasket. Last weekend we tore apart the top end and replaced the LIM gasket, the UIM gasket, thermostat, put in new coolant, ran it up to temp with heater on, bled the system and now it has been puking out coolant every time he drives it. He says the heater can be on high, putting out heat and he can tell when it is going to spout because the heater starts putting out cold air and then thats when it happens.

I can't see any evidence of coolant anywhere except where it spits it our of the overflow. Could there be an issue with the radiator itself or the heater core? Something plugged that isn't allowing coolant to get to something?

One other thing. When we drained and flushed it, we could only get about 1,5 gallons of coolant into the system after running the heater,  burping it and letting it set. It went for several days with no issues and then just overheated. Added more coolant and then ran for a while and did it again. Now it seems like it is doing it constantly. Trying to figure out the next step. 

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 Sounds like you still have air in the system, did you bleed the system properly with the bleeder screw on the coolant line (or thermostat housing)?

Edited by Macgyver55

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what year? what engine?

Sounds like head gaskets. 3.4 would be more common and there would be no question if it was a 3.4 in a minivan.

The 3.1 and 3.4 have a bleader on the passenger side on the tube that comes out of the water pump housing and a bleeder on the thermostat housing (some older models will have a return tube to the coolant reservoir). If there was heat it was blead. The only way there could not be heat is if the water pump was not able to push coolant or the system is getting air in it (head gasket). If it is bad enough you will be able to smell an exhaust odor in the coolant reservoir when you remove the cap. There is also a chemical test will a suction bulb and special fluid to see if there are hydrocarbons present. 

9 minutes ago, Macgyver55 said:

 Sounds like you still have air in the system, did you bleed the system properly with the bleeder screw on the coolant line (or thermostat housing)?

I would agree, except.... he said there was heat and it went for several days with no issues. It has also been running "hot" for some time.

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15 hours ago, Macgyver55 said:

 Sounds like you still have air in the system, did you bleed the system properly with the bleeder screw on the coolant line (or thermostat housing)?

Yes. like a gazillion times or so :grin:

15 hours ago, Jeremy airjer W said:

what year? what engine?

Sounds like head gaskets. 3.4 would be more common and there would be no question if it was a 3.4 in a minivan.

The 3.1 and 3.4 have a bleader on the passenger side on the tube that comes out of the water pump housing and a bleeder on the thermostat housing (some older models will have a return tube to the coolant reservoir). If there was heat it was blead. The only way there could not be heat is if the water pump was not able to push coolant or the system is getting air in it (head gasket). If it is bad enough you will be able to smell an exhaust odor in the coolant reservoir when you remove the cap. There is also a chemical test will a suction bulb and special fluid to see if there are hydrocarbons present. 

I would agree, except.... he said there was heat and it went for several days with no issues. It has also been running "hot" for some time.

3.4

Ugg, please don't let it be a head gasket. That is worse than the intake gasket.

I actually had a head gasket kit on hand in case I saw that there was a visible sign of it leaking and didn't see anything that indicated there was a leak. Where are the common places to look to see if they are failing?

 

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They typically do not leak externally. When they start to go they will allow combustion gas to escape into the cooling system. This will result in continued overheating and what appears to be air in the cooling system. If you had the lower intake off the heads are another 1/2 hour to pull. Get them machined, slap some new gaskets in there, and have fun with torque to yield on all 16 head bolts (new head bolts are a must).

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Phase 2

Tore down the motor again. New heads, new gaskets and flushed the oil and coolant. Everything appears to be working as should be on that front but there is another issue.

 

When my daughter was driving it she said the car would surge when accelerating. I drove it and it felt like the tranny was slipping. I picked up a different trans from the local crash and dent and put that in. It seemed just fine when I took it out for a drive afterwards but after the latest head swap I took it for a drive and when modestly accelerating it will get this surge like it's shifting while the tranny is slipping, then it engages and every thousand rpm it basically does the same thing.Also, at a dead stop, if you punch the throttle the whole car will shake and shudder like you just hit a washboard on a gravel road. Not sure if this is the same transmission issue with 2 different transmissions, a torque converter issue, something with shift linkage or programming. Any ideas?

Just to clarify- it has brand new tires so that can be ruled out. I did put on new plug wires and plugs.I also thought possibly a clogged cat converter.

 

Edited by PurpleFloyd

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I am not ruling anything out. we did get a code p0302 misfire on cylinder 2 when we first got it running. I checked both at the plug and coil and was getting spark both places. Cleared the code and it didn't pop back up. Are you thinking a coil problem injector problem or something else?

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I have a co worker that had a 02 grand Prix  he was having problems  with the torque converter locking up.

bought a new used transmission. had the same problem. took the trans in for a new valve body. had same problem. called the trans shop and asked whats up they asked if in all of this did he unhook the battery?

He hadn't after he did the problem stopped. this hole time no codes showed up on a code reader. 

He thought it was a misfire also put in new plugs and wires. 

 

I ended up buying this car three years ago I should known better it is a piece of dump!  

Edited by fishingstar

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