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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently started experiencing fluctuating temperature and poor fuel mileage. The temperature fluctuates at stop lights and when I'm going slow when stuck in traffic. The reservoir is full. I do get the smell of collant quite frequently as well as the occasional white cloud that comes out from under the hood. I am not sure what to think. The usual suspects would be the thermostat and hoses, but I'm not sure I'm over looking anything and was hoping to get some input if there is anything else I should look at. I'm hoping this isn't a water pump and do I dare say head gasket.

I have also notice a significant drop in my fuel mileage, I'm not sure if that helps to diagnose this issue.

The only thing I have changed recently is that I have switches to fully synthetic oil. I don't believe this should have any impact on the issues I am experiencing.

Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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I think that a coolant leak in your lower intake manifold might explain the poor fuel mileage and fluctuating temperature. A head gasket leak could also explain it, but check the cheap options first right?

Also, make sure that you check the actual coolant level in your radiator (when it is cool) because some types of leaks won't actually pull coolant from the reservoir but will drain your radiator.
 

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Pull the plugs and look for a crusty white residue that indicates coolant getting into the combustion chambers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Turns out the water pump was leaking pretty badly, so I had it replaced, no more leaks or the smell of coolant. I am still having fluctuation in my temperature. I have replaced the thermostat, but the thermostat will constantly close and open, then close and open, over and over again. It happens when I'm driving on the road, highway, while I'm idling, no rhyme or reason. I'm wondering if the new thermostat is bad, or maybe the thermostat housing, or maybe there is something going on I'm not thinking of. Any ideas?
 

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If this is a Vulcan engine you're probably looking at head gasket problems, especially if the coolant hasn't been maintained. I would have some leakdown and coolant pressure tests run on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have replaced the coolant temp sensor...still the same issues. This issue of fluctuating temperature seems to be worse when it is cold outside. I've noticed in the past week with warmer temperatures that the engine will warm up and maintain the temperature. I'm also noticing that when the temperature fluctuates the gas mileage is off. What other symptoms of head gasket issues? Is there anything else I should look at?
 

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** EDITED**
Thought it was my Fans not coming on HI but NOPE.

My problem was the Coolant Resivoir outlet hose Leaking when the engine would get hot - fixed it and no isue since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Any chance you could share with me what the fix for this problem is? I can send you my personal e-mail or phone number in a PM if that helps. I am very anxious to get this fixed as it is affecting my fuel mileage.

If you have the time to share how to fix this I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!
 

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Again, it's time for cooling system pressure testing and a cylinder leakdown test on each cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cooling system pressue holds 16 psi, no problems there. Is there anyway for me to test the cyclinders myself?
 

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E-bay to the rescue.....

Leak Down Tester.

Most of these tools are between 100-200 dollars average, if your friend has one ask if you can borrow it ;)

I would like to point out that I did find the issue with my Bull and my Fan Resistor Idea is NOT what was the issue with my vehicle so I have edited my post to reflect that.
 

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I would listen to WJC. It's time to get it checked over for the possibility of warped/cracked/blown head gaskets. Sounds like you ran it hot and damaged something.

Only other thing I can think of is a really screwed over tstat.

If you can't test the cylinders, then pay attention to your cooling system. It shouldn't start pressurizing until it gets warm. If you're loosing massive amounts of coolant with no obvious leaks, then you should smell your exhaust. Keep an eye on your oil, I would check it before every starting, if it turns milky then don't drive it. Make sure there's no oil in the coolant.

Start the engine cold, with the coolant cap on. Put it in drive, press the brakes and rev it up for a few seconds, if that pressurizes the cooling system or causes it to puke out then you know there's a problem.
 

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Start the engine cold, with the coolant cap on. Put it in drive, press the brakes and rev it up for a few seconds, if that pressurizes the cooling system or causes it to puke out then you know there's a problem.
^^ That would indicate a head gasket failure next to a coolant passage in the head, Just FYI to the OP.
 
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