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Discussion Starter #1
Ok,

This started about four months ago. I drive an awful lot and my car was overheating but because I live on the road I always had supplies in my car and always had coolant. I could never find the reason why the car would overheat so I would always figure one day it's gonna show it's ugly face.

Finally one day the hose that is under the injectors that goes to the block popped. As much as it sucked I figured well finally I found the problem. I replaced the hose and it was all good.....for about three weeks and it started heating up again. For those thinking it's the thermo, it's not because the car would get hot and cool back down and repeat the cycle until it would finally run out of fluid. Turned out it was the bypass hose from the thermo housing that popped this time. Great! I replaced it and moved on....for about two weeks after that.

Finally I had it pressure tested and it was the waterpump. Changed the waterpump out and pressure tested again. No leaks!!!! Hooray right?! Wrong! A few times while the car would heat up I would check the fans, with the a/c off and they would be spinning. Finally I did the easiest thing and replaced the radiator cap with an OEM radiator cap but to no avail. A week later pressure tested it again for leaks and nothing. I've checked my oil repeatedly and it's not milky it's nice and black.

So in short, replaced three hoses, water pump, radiator cap, and still the car is overheating. After it gets hot I let it cool off and take off the cap and sure enough it is low on coolant. Where the hell is the coolant going? Is it just a bad or going-bad radiator or what? I need some help here.
 

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Out of all the problems to have with a vehicle the overheating one is the worst because of the obvious implications and I hate it however you might get lucky yet. Do you ever see any white smoke/steam coming from the tailpipe? If you do then you are looking at replacing an intake manifold/head gasket because depending on where the gasket is breeched depends on whether it goes to the oil or exhaust. If you are mechanically inclined then you may want to take off the valve cover and verify the water thing because the dip stick does not always give you good info (I had a Lumina do the same thing) and it does not cost that much if you do it yourself. Do you smell antifeeze when the car is running? If you do you might want to check on the heater core, that is also a lot of fun! Because you have already changed the water pump you have already taken one part of the tshooting out of the equation, now you just have to figure out where the water it going. If you KNOW that it is not leaking from anywhere in the engine department and it is not the pump then more than likely you are looking at replacing a gasket somewhere. Good luck and let us know what you find because mine has been starting to intermittently heat up and then cool back down but it hasn’t gotten too hot yet. Good luck with it!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I forgot to mention that. No, I have never seen white smoke coming out of the tailpipe and I have looked and looked for it and never have I seen it.

Mine is like yours. I have had this car going on twelve years now and know it well. It will heat up but not too hot and cool back down. It'll do that several times before it begins to get to the too hot part and then I will always pull over and shut it off and let it cool off before putting some fluid in.

Funny you mention the valve cover because I just replaced it and all the gaskets last weekend. I replaced it with a B13 valve cover to be able to replace not just the gasket but the spark plug tube seals as well because it was leaking some serious oil into the number two plug and causing it to misfire. It's been a week and zero oil leaks thank goodness but when I had the valve cover off I didn't see any evidence of water. The oil was nice and black there as well.

This is driving me nucking futs. You would think having pressure tested it a few times you would've found something by now. The only thing I can think of is when the bypass hose blew, I couldn't find a replacement and used one from a B13. The one from the B13 is so much more frail then the B14 that in a few days it popped. I replaced it with a piece of hose from the power steering reservoir which are tough as hell but not soft enough to bend over like a question mark like the factory ones for the thermostat housing.

The new "makeshift" hose kinks. Although it has never popped, I'm wondering if the pressure is causing it to leak very very slowly but not enough to leak through the pressure test. I finally broke down and bought one at the stealership but it won't be here till Tuesday. Any other ideas?
 

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COOLANT

WELL I DONT WORK AT A STEALERSHIP. I WORK AT CERRITOS NISSAN THE HELPERSHIP. I WANTED TO KNOW IS IT ACTUALLY HEATING UP OR ARE YOU JUST LOOKING AT THE NEEDLE. THE FACTORY GUAGES ARE MORE OF A GUIDELINE THAN REAL GUAGES. IVE SEEN SENSORS GO OUT ON THE CAR THAT WILL MAKE IT LOOK LIKE ITS EITHER COLD OR HOT WHEN IT IS ACTUALLY RUNNING FINE. LET ME KNOW WHT THEY TELL YOU AND I WILL TRY TO HELP YOU AS MUCH AS I CAN (PRICE IN PARTS WISE)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You could be right, it could just be a bad temp sensor. However the other day when that bypass hose popped the temp gauge went sky high and I pulled over just before it got to the "H" and turned her off.

You could see the steam coming out of the reservoir. Nothing is leading me to believe that the temp sensor is bad because it does go up then back down and it will do this several times before it will no longer go back down and only start to go up. I never let it get too hot but when I check the coolant there is none in the reservoir and the radiator looks empty. You can pour a whole two liter bottles worth of water into the radiator before it tops off.

Like I said, I've had this car since '98 and that needle never goes higher then the illustration of the thermometer unless there was some real overheating like the first time my waterpump went bad or the radiator went bad, etc. Since this crap started over four months ago, it's been the same ol' crap.
 

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HEATING

WHAT DOES THE PLASTIC PART ON YOUR RADIATOR LOOK LIKE? AND HAVE YOU CHANGED THE THERMOSTAT
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What plastic part are you talking about and no, I haven't changed the thermo in a few years but considering the temp gauge goes up and down I didn't bother.

I could pull her out and put her in the ol' glass coffee pot to test it to make sure it's working.
 

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HEATING

THERMOSTATS HELP CONTROL THE TEMPERATURE, WHEN THEY ARE DONE THE CAR MAY RISE IN TEMPERATURE(WHEN STOPPED) OR DROP(WHEN DRIVING). MOST RADIATORS HAVE A ALUMINUM CORE WITH PLASTIC ENDS AND IF THE ENDS HAVE WHAT LOOKS LIKE CRACKS(EVEN IF ITS NOT LEAKING) ON IT, IT CAN BE BAD
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oooo! Didn't think about the corners of the rad'. I'm gonna check it out.

A thermo is cheap anyway so it's really no sweat to replace. When it comes to imports I'm still green. Even my little guy who I've had for ten years. What temp thermo do you suggest?
 

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THERMOSTAT

WHAT YEAR MODEL AND MOTOR DO YOU HAVE? ILL GIVE YOU A QUOTE AND YOU CAN GO CALL A NISSAN OVER THERE AND SEE IF THEY CAN MATCH IT. OR COME CLOSE.
 

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You could be right, it could just be a bad temp sensor. However the other day when that bypass hose popped the temp gauge went sky high and I pulled over just before it got to the "H" and turned her off.

You could see the steam coming out of the reservoir. Nothing is leading me to believe that the temp sensor is bad because it does go up then back down and it will do this several times before it will no longer go back down and only start to go up. I never let it get too hot but when I check the coolant there is none in the reservoir and the radiator looks empty. You can pour a whole two liter bottles worth of water into the radiator before it tops off.

Like I said, I've had this car since '98 and that needle never goes higher then the illustration of the thermometer unless there was some real overheating like the first time my waterpump went bad or the radiator went bad, etc. Since this crap started over four months ago, it's been the same ol' crap.
I suggest you buy a IR thermometer, they are $10 to $20 and as far as i can tell mine is very accurate.
This will tell you what temp your thermostat housing is at, radiator etc.
that will answer questions about whether the car is really overheating, thermostat working, etc.
Yes you could be losing coolant only under pressure ( and temprature.) This might cause cracks that are there to open up that dont show when cold or left parked.
If you cant find where it going then you are back to the internal loss into the combustion chamber.
A gas leak into the head causes air locks and hot spots which will result in these symptoms, but normally throw coolant into the overflow bottle.
this should be detectable with a coolant check for contaminants, acid etc.
Did you check the passenger footwell ?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Nothing wrong with the passenger's footwell. No coolant is going into the reservoir it's the opposite.

The reservoir will be dry. Coolant has been flushed out. Other then the normal ugly, it was fine....even reusable. I put new coolant anyway. I'm gonna try the thermo and change out the bypass hose when it finally comes in. It's all I got right now.
 

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When refilling the coolant system, always remove the air purge plug to remove any possible air pockets. Jacking up the car helps to purge any air.
 

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yes the plug on the thermostat housing, and i think there is another somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm gonna take a look today. I have read a few posts around here about burping the coolant system similar to bleeding the brake system.

Apparently they have about three valves one being the thermo housing the others being somewhere around the block that will allow or maybe in my case have allowed air in or out. Anyone know more about this?
 
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