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2000 Intrigue overheating when idle

jFreezyy

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I have a 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue GLS that has been overheating the majority of the times I'm idle in drive/neutral. Now, I'm not going to lie, I've been putting the wrong coolant in it. Instead of DexCool 50/50, I was putting the full DexCool and mixing it with water.

Just last week, I decided to switch back to DexCool 50/50 (it was my dad's idea for the strong stuff since you would get more)

Since then, I've noticed the check engine light has gone off, the coolant appears to be staying in the tank, and it doesn't overheat when I'm idle. I didn't mention this, but with the other stuff I've been using, I would need to refill my coolant every other day.

Just tonight however, after coming off the highway at a redlight the thermostat started acting up on me again. It did and has gone done when I rev'd up the motor between 3,000/4,000 RPMs. I'm not sure what it is at this point. If I'm idle when I don't go on the highway, it's fine, but when I go on the highway and I have to stop for a long period of time, it acts up.

I've read about the radiator fan. Now I'm not sure exactly what that is, is that the fan that comes on when the car starts over-heating? If it is, I haven't been hearing it turn on recently when it's been acting up, but then again, I might not hear it because of the music.

Would you guys know why it's been acting up ? It seems to be running alot better now that it's back to the 50/50 coolant. I thought there was a leak because with the other stuff I would need to add more coolant every other day, but since I went to the other stuff, it appears to be staying now. I filled it up yesterday and did quite a bit of driving. Normally, I would need to refill it today, but it was where I filled it to yesterday.

I've had the thermostat replaced twice already.. So I'm not sure if that's the problem. What about that fan? Ever since the 50/50 has been running in the system, it's been running great just until tonight after I got off the highway..
 

Intriguer

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Hey jFreezzy,
All coolants that I'm aware of have an optimal concentration - usually around 50%, but read the back of the Dex-cool bottle to get the right info. Go less OR more and you get worse cooling effect. It's good that you are returning to a 50/50 mix for this reason.
It sounds like you also have a cooling fan problem too, and you will have to pop the hood to see for sure, because you can't tell from the drivers seat. Run the car at idle from cold and confirm that you don't have the cooling fans on - they are pointed at the radiator for cooling when there is no air moving over the radiator from driving. Watch the temperature with the gauge on the cluster, and confirm that the fans come on before the needle hits mid-way (vertical). You will need to check fuses/relays and eventually the electric motors driving the fans if you don't get anything from the fans. Perhaps that is the time to take it to a mechanic, or a friend who has worked on cars before.
Once the car does not overheat, you should not have to top up the radiator anymore.
 

jFreezyy

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Well, I was leaning towards the radiator fan until tonight. First, I had no idea what the fan was lmao. I was pretty sure it was the fan that goes on when the car starts over-heating, which hasn't been going on the last couple of times.

So I was sitting outside my house after I got home from work waiting to see if the fans go on when a kind neighbor walking his dog noticed my hood was open and asked me about the problem. He really seemed to know alot about cars. I'm not sure if he was a mechanic, but he was grabbing hoses, opening the coolant tank and pulling the gas throttle while the car was running.

He checked the fans and they're working, but he noticed the thermostat hoses were hard, when they're supposed to be soft. So when he opened the coolant tank, he noticed the pressure relieving from the hose. Right after he tightened it, it was hard again.

He told me he was pretty sure it was the thermostat. He didn't think it was the water pumps. I've already been through 2 thermostats. So, it won't hurt taking my car into the mechanic to flush the system one more time and replace it with a legit thermostat make for my car.

Not really sure if thermostat's at PepBoys are as good as Intrigue thermostats. Especially with all the problems Intrigue's have, you pretty much need the same parts for the car.

I'm kind of proud of myself.. I don't think I would have found this out if I was putting the other coolant in. With the other stuff, I'd be filling up the tank every other day, plus constantly biting my nails about over-heating. Now with the 50/50, I'm pretty certain to say I don't have any leaks, which was the main concern originally.

So I'll be taking my car to a mechanic tommorow to get looked at. Hopefully, this will be it with the thermostat, but with the lucky Intrigue I have. When one thing is fixed, something else goes wrong. :]
 

moparman

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Pepboys parts are really junk as far as intrigues go. I have a 00 gx that had the same problem i replaced it with autozone no fix so i got the gm factory one and it fixed it. Now if that dosent fix it be prepared to replace the water pump bc thats prob your problem not the thermostat
 

jFreezyy

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I'm well aware of the water pump aswell. I'm not certain, but when I usually had to take my car in for fixing, usually they have to repair more then one part.

I've read somewhere that smelling engine coolant outside the car aswell as white smoke coming from the exhaust is a sign of bad head gaskets?

Not possitive there, but I wouldn't be suprised to hear that I need a new thermostat, water pump, and head gaskets if that's the case =[

Edit: They've looked at it and they say they can't find anything. They said they could replace the thermostat, but I'm about to replace the thermostat and the waterpump.

I don't see how for the longest time, the coolant would be low every other day along with overheating sporadically, and when I switched it, it's not low anymore and it overheats when I'm idle.
 
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jFreezyy

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Well, they've looked at my car and they can't find anything wrong with it.. AMAZINGLY.

Now, I don't know when you can consider "overheating" but for me, it's when the gauge goes above the middle line.

So instead of spending money on having them check the water pumps, I'm taking it slow. I've read it's okay to mix regular DexCool with water.

When I was doing that, I would need to refill the tank every other day because it was low. Now, when I switched to 50/50, it's staying at the same spot.

Could there possibly be a leak and now since I switched to the 50/50 there's a blockage?

I really don't think the water pumps are bad. And when I'm idle and it acts up, I need to rev the engine to get the thermostat down.

By the way, I don't think water from the side of the house is distilled..


Official Song for my car :D

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Brruaaam

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clogged heater core?

I had a similar problem w/my 2000 intrigue a few years ago. It would overheat and you could hear a water gurgling noise from behind the dash and a clunking sound. Long story - short, it was not the radiator, thermostat (I replaced this first), or waterpump. The culprit was a clogged heater core. My mechanic determined that by temporarily re-routing the coolant flow so it would bypass the heater and then he ran the engine fine w/no overheating. He then took out the core, and I could plainly see that it was clogged with some dried gunk (coolant?). He replaced the heater core with no problems since.

I don't know if that's the problem with yours, but you might want to have your mechanic investigate. good luck!
 

jFreezyy

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First things first..

Back in November after my last post, they said the head gaskets were bad. It's understandable, considering the fact if you were to put my car in the garage with the car running, you could literally hot box the garage, even with the door open. It got that bad.

Got the head gaskets replaced, no big deal, right?

For the entire month of December the car was back and forth between my house and the mechanic, since it would overheat 20x worse then it originally was doing. (When I say 20x, overheating constantly, not the same before I replaced the gaskets)

Then they decided to bleed the system for about a week straight. Wow, January 1st comes in, cars running great.

End of story

Just getting started.

While the overheating is no longer an issue, suddenly this weird problem emerges with the starting. I get out of work on a below freezing day, and I go to start my car and the darndest thing, it doesn't start! Now, when I say that, I don't mean it "doesn't ignite" I mean the car just won't start. The radio comes on, but it doesn't even crank!

Get the car towed, mechanics try to start it, and it starts! I've been fighting over that problem, which I think is about to be fixed since the mechanics found the problem. Me, I just thought my car was being lazy =p

2 weeks ago, I'm driving when I look at my thermostat to see it shoot to the middle line. It was 3/4 below, so I immediately remembered how in the past how the gauge looked right before it overheated.

On the 13th, finally did it again. Only this time, I've learned when you redline the RPM's out of frustration, the thermostat drops back to normal. :)

So yeah... just about had it with the car. Car's currently at the mechanic, they could check the heater core.
 
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