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Car problem - Update: Bad Water Pump?

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Car problem - Update: Bad Water Pump?

Postby the izzy » Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:54 pm

I really am dreading taking my car to a service place and dropping $100-500 to fix a problem that could just be a bad fuse. So, if anybody knows anything about cars and might have a suggestion, I would greatly appreciate it.

Car: 2002 chevy cavalier.
90,000 miles

A few weeks back, my wife returned home from work. Upon turning the car off, she noticed the cooling fan under the hood did not shut off. I went out to inspect. The engine temp was normal, so I was puzzled as to why the fan didn't turn off. I let it run for a while, but after about 30 mins, I went out, popped the hood and pulled the Electrical Cooling Fan fuse. This cut the fan off. I put the fuse back in.

About a week later, the same thing occurred, and was fixed in an identical fashion. We've gone about 5 weeks now w/ no problems until a few days back.

A new problem occurred (but I think is related) in which the RPM will jump from around 500 to 1000 if the car remains idol for a period of time. For instances, waiting in a Fast food line will cause the cars RPM to jump back and forth from the normal 500 up to 1000. I thought maybe this was bad gas, but now I think it's related the the earlier problem.

Yesterday, we were returning home from visiting in-laws (about 200 mile trip). About half way home, we hit stop and go traffic for about an hour, due to an accident. After a few minutes of being stopped, the car began to jump in RPM from 500 to 1000. After about 10 minutes though, it stopped. However, the temperature gauge now moved from the middle reading (about 195) up toward the higher end (around 230, the red zone being about 260).

I noticed that whenever we sped up, the temperature would drop back to normal, but when we had to stop again, the temperature would rise again. I'm not an expert with cars, but my assumption was that the electrical fan was not working.

I popped the hood when I got home and checked, but the fan was running. Now I don't know what to think. I think I have a bad fuse for the fan, which would only cost a few bucks to replace. However, I think my only option is to take it to a shop and pay to have a mechanical diagnose the problem, and then pay again to have it fixed. Could cost anywhere from $100 to $500 if the fan itself is somehow broken.

Suggestions?
Last edited by the izzy on Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Car problem - anybody have any advice?

Postby The Artful Dodger » Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:23 pm

Hmmm...interesting. Have you tried adding coolant or letting your coolant to drain and replacing it? If I'd hazard to guess, it sounds like a lot of air is being pumped even at idle.
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Re: Car problem - anybody have any advice?

Postby Old_Style » Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:33 pm

Check the coolant level. If it's low that could be where the problem is.
If that isn't the case, I'd guess you have a bad thermostat.

I'm no expert, but those are the first things that came to mind.
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Re: Car problem - anybody have any advice?

Postby bigken117 » Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:42 pm

I have a 2000 Jeep Cherokee (being a mod doesn't pay as well as you think) and I had a similar problem in that every once in a while on the highway the Temp would jump up to 230, I would pull over, it would reset, and I'd repeat that cycle every 20 minutes or so. Turns out there is a leak in my radiator hose, which causes me to lose coolant. I poured this stuff called Barrs in it, and so far it seems to be holding up well.

He wanted $370 for a new radiator. I asked the guy why he couldn't just duct tape it...
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Re: Car problem - anybody have any advice?

Postby thedude » Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:50 pm

Your problem might be that your engine is over heating and the gage might be broken. Or the sensor which switches on the fan might be broken.
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Re: Car problem - anybody have any advice?

Postby CadensDad » Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:22 pm

thedude wrote:Your problem might be that your engine is over heating and the gage might be broken. Or the sensor which switches on the fan might be broken.


Sensor and/or thermostat is two other possible problems. You could just goto Auto Zone and ask one of them. Most of those guys are pretty good and figuring out small stuff like this
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Re: Car problem - anybody have any advice?

Postby the izzy » Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:25 pm

CadensDad wrote:
thedude wrote:Your problem might be that your engine is over heating and the gage might be broken. Or the sensor which switches on the fan might be broken.


Sensor and/or thermostat is two other possible problems. You could just goto Auto Zone and ask one of them. Most of those guys are pretty good and figuring out small stuff like this


Checked the coolant level a few minutes ago and it is a little low. I guess I'll talk to an Auto Zone guy tomorrow and see what he says. Anybody know how $ it cost at Auto-Z to run the diagnostic check? Just want an idea before hand and I can't find prices online + they're closed at the moment.

Thanks.
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Re: Car problem - anybody have any advice?

Postby Dan Lambskin » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:31 am

the izzy wrote:
CadensDad wrote:
thedude wrote:Your problem might be that your engine is over heating and the gage might be broken. Or the sensor which switches on the fan might be broken.


Sensor and/or thermostat is two other possible problems. You could just goto Auto Zone and ask one of them. Most of those guys are pretty good and figuring out small stuff like this


Checked the coolant level a few minutes ago and it is a little low. I guess I'll talk to an Auto Zone guy tomorrow and see what he says. Anybody know how $ it cost at Auto-Z to run the diagnostic check? Just want an idea before hand and I can't find prices online + they're closed at the moment.

Thanks.


if you're talking about the one where they hook the code reader to the car and read the code it's free. if there's something beyond that i'm not sure
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Re: Car problem - anybody have any advice?

Postby markj11 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:04 pm

Sounds like it could be thermostat. They cost about $5.
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Re: Car problem - anybody have any advice?

Postby ayebatter » Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:13 pm

markj11 wrote:Sounds like it could be thermostat. They cost about $5.


This would be the 1st thing that I'd check after finding the coolant level acceptable.
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