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A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
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Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

92 Chevy Corsica, Overheating Problems
Q: I have a '92 Chevy Corsica (6 cylinder, 3.1) that runs "hot". The idiot light comes on and it runs about 1/8 inch from the red zone at speeds higher than 65 mph (and often runs hot during in-town driving). I have had it tested and the head gasket is fine. I have put in a new radiator, water pump, thermostat, and block thermostat. I have had two separate mechanics look at it and cannot find the problem. It has never overheated. The fan and fan relay have not been replaced, but one mechanic said they are activated appropriately when it hits a certain temperature. The upper hose blew so I had it replaced, and now it seems to run even hotter. It does run a little less hot when I run the air conditioner, but with winter coming up, that won't be an option. Any ideas?

A: Check the coolant temperature with a scan tool via the vehicle’s computer. The temperature sensor for the computer is a very accurate sensor. Drive the vehicle under the condition that the temperature gauge reads the highest and the warning light is coming on. See if the information seen on the scan tool confirms that the vehicle is, in fact, running hot. If the vehicle is running hot and the repairs you stated have been performed correctly then it is likely there is an engine problem. A bad head gasket or cracked cylinder head doesn’t always present itself in a fashion that is easily diagnosed. From time to time a vehicle will elude standard diagnostic procedures, which requires a more aggressive approach. With one such vehicle in our shop the engine was run up to operating temperature and then shut off and the cooling system was pressurized. The pressure for test was performed at nearly double the normal testing standard. This regulated pressure was left on the engine for over 24 hours. The next day the answer was found when the spark plugs were removed and the engine was cranked over. A small amount of coolant exited a cylinder. There was a crack in the cylinder head of the engine. You may have to just push the limits to find the answer to your overheating problem.

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