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My bull overheat yesterday afternoon after an hour of driving in freeway, weather is so hot and I have 4 passenger. It happen twice but on the second one we decided to cool it down totally (about 1 hour in gas station) at first 5-10 miles it has strike again over the normal temp (we thought it will overheat again) but it’s not, until we got home. My question is what should I do to prevent overheating again. i just drain and change the coolant last month. And I noticed the water coming out from the reservoir yesterday was light brown.
 

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what color coolant did you put in?
 

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Have you ever cleaned the radiator? Mine used to overheat constantly. Then I got a brush, like they use with dryers or A/C coils (get the thinest one you can find), and cleaned the radiator. It's been perfect ever since. A ton of leaf lint came out.

There are two radiators - in front is for the A/C, in my case it was fine (but clean yours if it isn't). Next is for the engine - that's the one you want, so push the brush between them. (You'll have to go from underneath, remove the splash guard.)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
QUOTE (astc @ May 25 2009, 10:36 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=727712
Have you ever cleaned the radiator? Mine used to overheat constantly. Then I got a brush, like they use with dryers or A/C coils (get the thinest one you can find), and cleaned the radiator. It's been perfect ever since. A ton of leaf lint came out.

There are two radiators - in front is for the A/C, in my case it was fine (but clean yours if it isn't). Next is for the engine - that's the one you want, so push the brush between them. (You'll have to go from underneath, remove the splash guard.)[/b]
so you mean the only place i brush is between these two radiators? is this safe?
 

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Check your coolant level
 

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I agree the radiator is probably externally clogged with organic lint.
 

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QUOTE (taurus GL'97 @ May 25 2009, 06:41 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=727719
so you mean the only place i brush is between these two radiators? is this safe?[/b]
I can't answer that exactly. When I did it, little bits of metal fins from the radiator fell too. But since it didn't dissipate heat before, and it does now, I consider it worth it. Plus I scrubbed it hard (since I didn't want to do it again for another 5 years). Try to get a really thin (and long) brush (give it a haircut if necessary). Also a thin brush helps avoid trying to move the radiators (but I think it's rubber, so it's probably OK).

When I say thin I don't mean like a pipe cleaner. Like a thumb maybe? It's been a while, I don't remember exactly. Look for a brush meant for cleaning refrigerator coils, take off the splash guard and try it. If necessary trim the brush (which I didn't do, but should have - besides not bending anything, it would have been much easier to move the brush).

I think the official way to do it is to remove the radiator and clean it outside of the vehicle. Probably a good idea to do that as part of a drain and refill.

You don't have to brush only between them - any place you see leaves and bugs stuck to the fins clean it. Check the front too.
 

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Here is what my old radiator looked like with the fuzz. And another pic, don't know where it came from but it is looking up between the AC condenser and the radiator.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
QUOTE (astc @ May 25 2009, 03:50 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=727724
QUOTE (taurus GL'97 @ May 25 2009, 06:41 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=727719
so you mean the only place i brush is between these two radiators? is this safe?[/b]
I can't answer that exactly. When I did it, little bits of metal fins from the radiator fell too. But since it didn't dissipate heat before, and it does now, I consider it worth it. Plus I scrubbed it hard (since I didn't want to do it again for another 5 years). Try to get a really thin (and long) brush (give it a haircut if necessary). Also a thin brush helps avoid trying to move the radiators (but I think it's rubber, so it's probably OK).

When I say thin I don't mean like a pipe cleaner. Like a thumb maybe? It's been a while, I don't remember exactly. Look for a brush meant for cleaning refrigerator coils, take off the splash guard and try it. If necessary trim the brush (which I didn't do, but should have - besides not bending anything, it would have been much easier to move the brush).

I think the official way to do it is to remove the radiator and clean it outside of the vehicle. Probably a good idea to do that as part of a drain and refill.

You don't have to brush only between them - any place you see leaves and bugs stuck to the fins clean it. Check the front too.
[/b][/quote]
ok i see, thnks man! now im thinking of alternative way coz its so hard to work underneath, can i do it on the top instead of underneath? u thinks a high pressure water/ compress air (carwash station) can wipe all the dirt in between these two radiator?!

Thank you also SHOZ123 for the pic and ZENRIDDLES for the link.
 

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Have you checked the oil for milkey residue? Maybe the inside of the radiator is clogged with corrosion, and you may need a new radiator. Don't forget to flush out the heater core, too. Somtimes the water pumps start to fail on these, but they don't overheat right away. Another thing to do would be to replace the thermostat, it's a cheap part.
 

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You can also try Red Line Water Wetter...that could help a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
QUOTE (austex04 @ May 26 2009, 12:56 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=727948
Have you checked the oil for milkey residue? Maybe the inside of the radiator is clogged with corrosion, and you may need a new radiator. Don't forget to flush out the heater core, too. Somtimes the water pumps start to fail on these, but they don't overheat right away. Another thing to do would be to replace the thermostat, it's a cheap part.[/b]
ddnt noticed any milkey residue, what do you mean flush out the heater core? and the thermostat where can i find these two parts? it will be great if you can share some picture where can i locate these items.
 

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QUOTE (taurus GL'97 @ May 26 2009, 02:45 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=727944
ok i see, thnks man! now im thinking of alternative way coz its so hard to work underneath, can i do it on the top instead of underneath? u thinks a high pressure water/ compress air (carwash station) can wipe all the dirt in between these two radiator?![/b]
I used compressed air when I cleaned mine, but it's not strictly necessary. I don't think you will have any access from the top. If I remember correctly (and you'll have to look at yours), from the top you can only reach the back of both radiators, but you can not get in between them.

QUOTE (austex04 @ May 26 2009, 03:56 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=727948
Have you checked the oil for milkey residue? Maybe the inside of the radiator is clogged with corrosion, and you may need a new radiator. Don't forget to flush out the heater core, too. Somtimes the water pumps start to fail on these, but they don't overheat right away. Another thing to do would be to replace the thermostat, it's a cheap part.[/b]
If the thermostat was bad it would overheat in all sorts of weather.

If the radiator is clogged (internally or externally) it will only happen when it's hot. And will be much worse with the A/C on.

If you have a bad water pump, or it's internally clogged, you will not get much heat from the system (at least I don't think you will - the heat will stay by the engine and won't move around). But if the clog is external you will get fabulous heat.

Test the overheating with/without the A/C on. And next time you overheat try switching to full heat inside - you'll cool the engine and at least be able to drive.
 

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QUOTE (taurus GL'97 @ May 25 2009, 12:25 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=727697
My bull overheat yesterday afternoon after an hour of driving in freeway, weather is so hot and I have 4 passenger. It happen twice but on the second one we decided to cool it down totally (about 1 hour in gas station) at first 5-10 miles it has strike again over the normal temp (we thought it will overheat again) but it’s not, until we got home. My question is what should I do to prevent overheating again. i just drain and change the coolant last month. And I noticed the water coming out from the reservoir yesterday was light brown. [/b]
so when it gets hot "brown" water comes out of the reservoir?

it sounds like you might have to check your water pump impeller
run it cold w/o the cap on and rev it up a little to see if coolant is circulating
 

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And make sure both fans are running. One of mine quit and it would get hot when I had the A/C on.
 

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QUOTE (-James @ May 26 2009, 08:00 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=727965
so when it gets hot "brown" water comes out of the reservoir?

it sounds like you might have to check your water pump impeller
run it cold w/o the cap on and rev it up a little to see if coolant is circulating[/b]
That sounds like the key right there to me...brown coolant in a 96-99 Vulcan...uh oh. You'd better fully flush the system, including making sure the heater core is flowing. Just adding coolant or cleaning radiator fins won't fix this. The sludged coolant becomes acidic and may have eaten up the impeller vanes on the water pump. Change the coolant yearly from now on; 96-99 Vulcans need frequent coolant maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
my bull every day routes is about 35 mins (home-office) morning and afternoon drive back home (temp didnt pass over normal gauge), then lastweek is the first long drive with very hot weather and heavy load. so maybe some cleaning will be needed (external and internal) drain refill method (2x) maybe i can get decent clear coolant this time.
 
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