Q: Temperature gauge says overheating, engine feels only warm. Heater not blowing hot air.

asked by on October 25, 2016

Hi Everyone! My 2006 Acura TSX has been having overheating issues. It was running fine until one day it started over heating. I pulled over immediately and saw it was steaming and turned the car off. I saw the radiator was cracked. I replaced the thermostat, radiator, coolant temperature sensor (on radiator), flushed out the radiator. Now the car says its overheating on the dasboard and I go to check the engine - no steam, engine is luke warm at best, sometimes both radiator hoses are hot, other times the top hose is hot and bottom is just warm. The car intermittently will blow heat and then just cold air. When car is supposedly overheating, the radiator fans never kick on (only when running A/C). I'm thinking I have a clog somewhere or water pump is going. There are no drips or evidence or leakage when driving or idling even when it says its overheating. Any ideas? This is driving me nuts!

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. From the description you have provided, your vehicle overheating may be a combination of problems. The cooling system work you performed, replacing the radiator, the thermostat, the radiator fan switch and flushing the cooling system, should of taken care of your vehicle’s overheating. It could be, a faulty water pump impeller. From the symptoms you have described. It could be, air trapped in the cooling system. Purging the air can be tricky, sometimes. There is a bleeder screw that helps purge the air. Start the vehicle, with radiator cap removed, heater turned on, open bleeder screw and close when antifreeze come out.

Allow thermostat to open, it may percolate a bit before it opens, once the thermostat opens, accelerate the RPM a few times, check heater hoses for heat on both sides. You should see flow in the top of the radiator if, water pump is working and thermostat is open. Bring up RPM, add antifreeze, and reinstall radiator cap, let engine return to idle. Squeeze the upper hose, if pressure exists, the system is full. It could be, the engine temperature sensor or temperature gauge is faulty. I recommend having you vehicle’s engine overheating be diagnosed and repaired by a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic.

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