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Old 09-01-2008, 03:34 PM   #1
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car keeps getting hot

lately my car has been getting pretty hot. i can't go very far without me worrying about the temp. i put a 180 stat in which didn't work and then put a fan override switch so i can keep the fan on all the time. its still gets hot but not as fast now. but as soon as i stop at a light though the car will start to cool down to 180. what could it be ,really don't want to start buying parts i don't need cause i just started college and don't have any money. any ideas would be great
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Old 09-01-2008, 04:04 PM   #2
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Re: car keeps getting hot

I dont know if the trans ams have this, but do you still have the air dam/spoiler under the front of the car? Sounds like its missing. These things are a must on these cars and it will make it run hot or overheat while driving. The air dam/spoiler directs air flow to the radiator to cool the engine while the car is moving.
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Old 09-01-2008, 04:37 PM   #3
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Re: car keeps getting hot

i just went to look under my car and i thought i saw it, comes to a point in the center a little after the bumper? anyway, it wasn't below the bumper line though, might have been even raised above the bumper line. i'm thinking it should be below. would pictures help.
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Old 09-01-2008, 04:51 PM   #4
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Re: car keeps getting hot

Yeah, pics would be good. On my iroc, it is a flat piece of black plastic that is bolted to the bottom of the radiator support and it hangs down below my ground effects so air can hit it and direct it to the radiator. Here is a pic of a camaro air dam.
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File Type: jpg Air Dam.jpg (689.0 KB, 123 views)
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:12 PM   #5
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Re: car keeps getting hot

i just took some picks and got a closer look at the air dam, it dosen't come down at all and is completly flat the lenghtt hat it runs, never coming down below the bumper line. what do you think of the pics. if there not good i can take more
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File Type: jpg airdam2.JPG (30.5 KB, 108 views)
File Type: jpg airdam3.JPG (33.4 KB, 100 views)
File Type: jpg airdam5.JPG (46.7 KB, 114 views)
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:28 PM   #6
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Re: car keeps getting hot

Thats your air dam. There should be 3 pieces to it. I dont know how far its suppose to hang down on a trans am, but if you did a search, you might find pics or other trans ams air dams. Also, I would make sure there isnt anything obstructing air flow threw the radiator. It's also possible that someone trimmed the air dam so it wouldnt drag and it's not getting its full air flow to the radiator.
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:43 PM   #7
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Re: car keeps getting hot

does anyone have pics of there firebird, trans am air dams they could show me. i only saw one peice and from the pics i saw online it looks like somethings missing.does anyone make replacement air dams for the trans am.
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:42 PM   #8
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Re: car keeps getting hot

You are missing the flap! Mine hangs down a good 2.5 inches and if it is gone you need to find one.Let me know if you need help I have a couple good salvage yards here that may have one I'm sure.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:23 PM   #9
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Re: car keeps getting hot

thanks for offering, i think i want to just get a whole new airdam though. i found some on hawksthirdgen and also on ebay. i'll give you the link for ebay to check it out and see what you think.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/82-90...spagenameZWDVW
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:04 AM   #10
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Re: car keeps getting hot

yea it looks like somone sawed away at yours lol i took mine of cause i kept getting stuck (cause im fat) under the car and my car never overheats.
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:23 AM   #11
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Re: car keeps getting hot

you said the car gets warm when driving and cools down when you stop to idle. That would mean your problem has nothing at all to do with the air dam. My guess is that since your water pump works harder when you are on the throttle, that maybe your lower radiator hose is collapsing under the increased suction. When you stop your rpms drop low and the hose returns to a normal diameter and your coolant can flow again.

my guess anyways.
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Old 09-02-2008, 12:00 PM   #12
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Re: car keeps getting hot

lol, i can't get under the car either. as far as the lower radiator hose goes i'm not sure if its the original, i hope it isn't but i'll look at it when i get home and see wht kind of shape its in. i'm getting a new air dam from that guy on ebay and i'll prob end up putting a new hose on, i just never thought about that happening.
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:24 PM   #13
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Re: car keeps getting hot

Another thought is that maybe the radiator is patially clogged. It is also possible that the water pump is on the way out(vanes rusted away). Take the rad cap off and check for good circulation.If the car has alot of miles I would recommend that you change the waterpump, thermostat and radiator. I will try to get you some pics of the underside of my GTA this weekend, I have all the undershields that should be there.
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:03 PM   #14
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Re: car keeps getting hot

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Another thought is that maybe the radiator is patially clogged. It is also possible that the water pump is on the way out(vanes rusted away). Take the rad cap off and check for good circulation.If the car has alot of miles I would recommend that you change the waterpump, thermostat and radiator. I will try to get you some pics of the underside of my GTA this weekend, I have all the undershields that should be there.
me and my friend thought about the water pump too, even the seals. so we checked the cirrculation about a week back and it was perfect, my friends a mechanic so i trust him.lol i also put a brand new 180 stant thermostat in the car as well and it was still doing it. i'll get the air dam and see how it does after that, i think it will be fine. if not i'll prob end up doing what you suggested. if you could get the pics from your GTA bgood71 that would be great. thanks alot.
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Old 09-05-2008, 06:05 PM   #15
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Re: car keeps getting hot

ok start with basics..i assume its full,,
thermo seems ok...
lower hose still good?not flimsy and possibly collapsing? when driving(not common but it happens)
water pumps,maybe but usually they just leak.for them to caus eover heating that means somehow the impellor is not turning inside enough..kinda rare..belt slipage?i doubt it,youd probably hear it also especially if its the old v belt set ups.
clogged radiator?most likely butttttttttttttt not neccesarily on the inside.try a can of radiator cleaner as directed!!!!!!!! dont skimp or cut corners thennnnnnnnnn get a long air nozzle/blow gun...from the front blow them fins out as much as you can..so many times over the years the fins get clogged with dirt/leaves/bugs/etc....with air going over fins the radiator is just a resovior..how old is it?i bet old..think of all the debris that gets stored inside those fins...
i hope the air dam helps but like the earlier poster said,thats mostly for low speed driving.high speed driving it dont matter much ..let us know.
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Old 09-05-2008, 06:16 PM   #16
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Re: car keeps getting hot

Earlier Firebirds have a one piece airdam. It bolts to the bottom of the front nose piece and goes all the way across.
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Old 09-05-2008, 09:15 PM   #17
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Re: car keeps getting hot

air dam or no air dam did it run hot before? no..so then what has changed since to make it hot..if it didnt have an air dam b4 you dont need one now....so whats changed? thermo good..anti freze good,water pump? radiator? look there first
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:56 PM   #18
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Re: car keeps getting hot

I would pressure test the radiator cap too.Most auto parts do it for free. This may be far fetched but my 95 had a leaking head that would make it overheat too.
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Old 09-06-2008, 06:35 PM   #19
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Re: car keeps getting hot

it looks like someone cut off the air dam on my car. it wasn't always doing this either, not untill a couple of months ago. i might have ripped it off when i hoped a curb also. i have a brand new thrmo in there, just filled it with antifreeze, and the circulation is good.now weird sounds coming from the water pump. i was at pep boys where my friend works and he couldn't find the tester to test the pressure of my cooling system. the exhaust smoke dosen't smell sweet so i don't think its leaking. i should just get a new radiator cap too since i can get it for free. some guy bought the air dam from under me so i have to wait till he posts a new one. i'm about to just start cutting holes in my bumper to let air in.lol
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:21 PM   #20
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Re: car keeps getting hot

I would agree. The air dam has no affect when the car is stopped. My car is running cool on the freeway, but runs warmer in town. Is 220 a normal temp in town? Have replaced heaer core,water pump, thermostat, and fluid.
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:44 PM   #21
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Re: car keeps getting hot

my car is fine when it's stoped, it stay's at 180 then and even around town. only when you get on the freeway or for driving long distances at higher speeds.
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:37 AM   #22
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Re: car keeps getting hot

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I would agree. The air dam has no affect when the car is stopped. My car is running cool on the freeway, but runs warmer in town. Is 220 a normal temp in town? Have replaced heaer core,water pump, thermostat, and fluid.
Our thermostats aren't the most accurate so if you are at or just below 220 you're ok. When it creeps up around the next hashmark which should be 240, that's when you start to run into problems that should be looked at.
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:06 AM   #23
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Re: car keeps getting hot

If your cold sitting at idle, and hot when your driving it sounds to me like an air problem.
A water pump would be more likely to overheat at all times due to coolant not moving thru the engine.
The air dam really only works when your moving. It is needed though.
When your sitting idleing it's all the fans.
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Old 09-11-2008, 04:27 PM   #24
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Re: car keeps getting hot

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I would agree. The air dam has no affect when the car is stopped. My car is running cool on the freeway, but runs warmer in town. Is 220 a normal temp in town? Have replaced heaer core,water pump, thermostat, and fluid.
ok,the air dam is more or less for lower speeds to get extra air into the small openings..highway speeds usually gets enough air w/o dam.
do you have an electric fan?if so 220 is not hot!!!!!!!!!!! these suckers are switched to come on at 223 i beleive........220 is not cool but its not over heated especially in mewer cars..boiling 212 plus with a radiator its 3 degreees more for even psi of pressure.most radiator got to 15 psi..so thats 45 plus 212 or 257 before it boils your fluid...your oil might not like it that hot but you aint boiling over
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Old 09-12-2008, 11:07 AM   #25
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Re: car keeps getting hot

Possiblity that your running lean.
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:55 PM   #26
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Re: car keeps getting hot

i just got the air dam in the mail but it was raining today so i couldn't put it on. i'll do it over the weekend and give you guys a update.
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:10 PM   #27
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Re: car keeps getting hot

whats your timing at. try advancing it like 4*
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Old 09-13-2008, 12:22 AM   #28
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Re: car keeps getting hot

the timing is already bumped up but to what i can't tell you, my dads friend did it when he put a new distributor in bcause it kept stalling on me. all i know is i have to use premium in it now to stop the knok at 2000 rpm.hell of alot faster though lol
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Old 09-13-2008, 08:14 AM   #29
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Re: car keeps getting hot

can you help me
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Old 09-13-2008, 10:12 AM   #30
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Re: car keeps getting hot

I made my own airdams out of sheet metal from menards. I painted them red like my car and it made a difference, still had overheating while driving, it turned out to be the lower radiator hose was bending inwards when the rpms were raised. Coolant wasn't moving. That was an easy fix.
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:34 PM   #31
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Re: car keeps getting hot

alot of people seem to have problems with there lower radiator hose's. i checked mine and it was still stiff. i put the air dam on today and on the way home it didn't go up at all above 180, even heated slower while driving. thanks for everyones help, this took long enough to figure out. even looked at the old one and the whole dam got ripped off.
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Old 09-14-2008, 12:03 AM   #32
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Re: car keeps getting hot

You are right. I never thought of the air dam being important for lower speeds, but it makes sense. I have an air dam,but I think I need to have a look at it. My car is pretty low and it seems like I hit the air dam every day. I need to slow down. Do you know if the electric fan is suppose to come on after the car is turned off?
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Old 09-14-2008, 04:34 PM   #33
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Re: car keeps getting hot

if the car is completly off the fan will not come on. unless your put the ignition on the accesory setting and the fan as just running or you have a override.
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Old 09-20-2008, 04:58 PM   #34
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Re: car keeps getting hot

I am having the same problem you were having. I have never had an air dam on the car but mine is a Firebird so the nose always sat a few inches higher then a T/A.

I have the little lip you have but just that lip.....no air dam. Even when I had a '91 front bumper you could still see that lip if staring straight at the car. This started happening recently. I put the T/A nose on the car a few months ago but I haven't been really driving the car until now. Maybe there really is something to this! Afterall, everything seems to be fine. Full of fluid, fairly new 180 degree thermo, fan is always on, etc.

Last edited by Guro 305; 09-20-2008 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:18 PM   #35
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Re: car keeps getting hot

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I am having the same problem you were having. I have never had an air dam on the car but mine is a Firebird so the nose always sat a few inches higher then a T/A.

I have the little lip you have but just that lip.....no air dam. Even when I had a '91 front bumper you could still see that lip if staring straight at the car. This started happening recently. I put the T/A nose on the car a few months ago but I haven't been really driving the car until now. Maybe there really is something to this! Afterall, everything seems to be fine. Full of fluid, fairly new 180 degree thermo, fan is always on, etc.
I can predict that putting a true airdam on your car will cure your ills if everything else has been tried. No air goes through the radiator otherwise unless the fan pulls it through which is fine when sitting still because there is no load on the engine. It's when you are moving that you need the airdam to scoop up the air and push it through the radiator.
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:34 PM   #36
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Re: car keeps getting hot

I hope you are right! Adding an air dam is much easier then replacing either the radiator or the waterpump.

I'm gonna check the hoses to make sure but I didn't see any fluid anywhere so? The other thing however that I did notice is that it does heat up regardless if the a/c is on or off. However, if the a/c is on and it heats up, the a/c will start blowing hot.
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:37 PM   #37
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Re: car keeps getting hot

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I hope you are right! Adding an air dam is much easier then replacing either the radiator or the waterpump.

I'm gonna check the hoses to make sure but I didn't see any fluid anywhere so? The other thing however that I did notice is that it does heat up regardless if the a/c is on or off. However, if the a/c is on and it heats up, the a/c will start blowing hot.
The AC should not start blowing hot no matter what unless your AC doesn't work properly or isn't charged/cycling properly. Are you certain your electric fan is engaging when it's supposed to? Are you sure you have a good charge in the AC system?

Check your hoses, check everything, and then put the airdam on. This should help immensly. I know that unless I"m actually driving at speed, my AC doesn't blow all that cold...people can say that the R134 isn't any different than the R12 but I disagree lol!
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:46 PM   #38
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Re: car keeps getting hot

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The AC should not start blowing hot no matter what unless your AC doesn't work properly or isn't charged/cycling properly. Are you certain your electric fan is engaging when it's supposed to? Are you sure you have a good charge in the AC system?

Check your hoses, check everything, and then put the airdam on. This should help immensly. I know that unless I"m actually driving at speed, my AC doesn't blow all that cold...people can say that the R134 isn't any different than the R12 but I disagree lol!
Fan is always running. A/C has had it's ups and downs for a while now. Just like your car, my car the a/c starts really getting cold when it's up to speed. I know that in my Sentra when it would overheat, the a/c would stop blowing cold and start just blowing. When the temp' would come down, it would blow cold again.
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Old 09-20-2008, 11:29 PM   #39
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Re: car keeps getting hot

trust me, that lip isn't going to do anything once you put the T/A nose on. all i had was that lip after the air dam got ripped off which was why i was heating up so much. as soon as i put on the air dam it wouldn't go above 180 at all. its worth the money, this guy is always selling them on ebay.
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Old 09-20-2008, 11:41 PM   #40
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Re: car keeps getting hot

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Originally Posted by Grizzlybear226 View Post
trust me, that lip isn't going to do anything once you put the T/A nose on. all i had was that lip after the air dam got ripped off which was why i was heating up so much. as soon as i put on the air dam it wouldn't go above 180 at all. its worth the money, this guy is always selling them on ebay.
Yeah, I'm going to buy one. Might as well, afterall, it does need it regardless.
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:17 AM   #41
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Re: car keeps getting hot

to avoid clutter i am gonna post in here to

my 1986 sport coupe has been running hot lately. i drove it about 15 miles the other day, the exhaust was red hot and i dont know if something is leaking onto the exhaust or not, but there is smoke coming from my engine compartment. white smoke. smells like buring antifreeze lol. i cant tell what my temp is running cause my temp gauge isnt working. anyone know where and how to get it fixed? other then that...it runs pretty hot

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...fcc3b3e7e6.jpg

also, does that front spoiler have anything to do with cooling? cause i took it off because of clearance reasons, but it seems that it started getting hot after i took it off

Last edited by chattersonm; 09-25-2008 at 02:18 AM. Reason: forgot stuff :D
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:52 PM   #42
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Re: car keeps getting hot

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to avoid clutter i am gonna post in here to

my 1986 sport coupe has been running hot lately. i drove it about 15 miles the other day, the exhaust was red hot and i dont know if something is leaking onto the exhaust or not, but there is smoke coming from my engine compartment. white smoke. smells like buring antifreeze lol. i cant tell what my temp is running cause my temp gauge isnt working. anyone know where and how to get it fixed? other then that...it runs pretty hot

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...fcc3b3e7e6.jpg

also, does that front spoiler have anything to do with cooling? cause i took it off because of clearance reasons, but it seems that it started getting hot after i took it off
put the air dam back on, it works alot to keep the car cool. like i said before mine dosne't go above 180 now. as for the white smoke you might have blown a head gasket.
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:01 AM   #43
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Re: car keeps getting hot

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put the air dam back on, it works alot to keep the car cool. like i said before mine dosne't go above 180 now. as for the white smoke you might have blown a head gasket.
maybe, cause it only gets smokey after it runs long enough to get hot

and as far as an air dam goes...i dont even know if my car had one at one point, but i will look into it. i was talking about the black gfx in that pic at the bottom of the front bumper cover.
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Old 09-26-2008, 05:42 PM   #44
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Re: car keeps getting hot

you took front spolier off and then i t started to get hot?
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:54 AM   #45
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Re: car keeps getting hot

it seems like it, but i could of taken it off and at the same time the headgasket is deciding to give out on me. i really dont know. all i know now is there is a coolent leak somewhere.

and a slow oil leak somewhere.
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:59 AM   #46
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Re: car keeps getting hot

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it seems like it, but i could of taken it off and at the same time the headgasket is deciding to give out on me. i really dont know. all i know now is there is a coolent leak somewhere.

and a slow oil leak somewhere.
When in doubt, always check the dipstick. A blown head gasket always turns your oil into milky looking stuff.
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:32 PM   #47
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Re: car keeps getting hot

i will check tomorrow before i go to work lol. if it is a gasket i have the option of eaither getting a new engine or fixing a v6...lol. (thats a hard choice)
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Old 09-28-2008, 02:02 AM   #48
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Re: car keeps getting hot

Yeah, I'm gonna do the same tomorrow. I've put alot of time getting the car back up and in shape to neglect this.

I'm going to install the air dam regardless but I'll do the same checks.
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:42 PM   #49
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Re: car keeps getting hot

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Yeah, I'm gonna do the same tomorrow. I've put alot of time getting the car back up and in shape to neglect this.

I'm going to install the air dam regardless but I'll do the same checks.
right so, the oil isnt milkey, but what i know now is i have an oil leak and a coolent leak. which means...something is wrong somewhere lol
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:02 PM   #50
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Re: car keeps getting hot

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right so, the oil isnt milkey, but what i know now is i have an oil leak and a coolent leak. which means...something is wrong somewhere lol
I didn't get to check mine today. The weather was horrible and I didn't need my chicken today. I'll do it tomorrow and keep your fingers crossed for me that the prognosis is as good as yours.

I'll take a leak somewhere anyday over a blown head gasket!!!!
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