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Old 02-08-2007, 08:50 PM   #1
JAY
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Question Chevy 4 cyl. running hot question...

Actually, my cousin has a Cavalier that keeps running hot. It's a 2.2 (I think) 4 cylinder and he has already replaced the radiator, thermostat and the water pump. Any ideas? He said it's not blowing any white smoke. Someone told him it might be a head gasket. Shouldn't it blow white smoke and have coolant in the oil if that's the case?

Any info is greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-08-2007, 10:12 PM   #2
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Not necessarily. Check the oil, It might be leaking into an oil passage rather than the chamber. If that is the case, the cooling system won't build pressure and flow is reduced. It doesn't build pressure because it's all leaking out the PCV. Check the oil. If it's milky brown like coffee with cream in it and has stuff that looks like either rotten mayo or Mickey D's secret sauce, you got a popped head gasket leaking coolant into the oil. Get it fixed quick.

It might not be a head gasket either. You might have a leaking intake gasket. It is much less likely on a 4 cylinder but many 4 bangers from the 80's and early 90's have coolant passages right under the TB or carb to help heat the air/fuel mixture in the winter to aid in atomization. Improves throttle response, emissions and fuel economy in cold weather.
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Old 02-08-2007, 10:41 PM   #3
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How about the cooling fan? If so it could be just a fuse blown...
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:08 AM   #4
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The fan's switch might be bad too. It could be spinning but not coming on at the right time and causing it to over heat. It also might be a bad fan motor and it's not spinning fast enough to move enough air across the radiator.

If it's overheating to the point where it's going to boil over though, that's not likely a fan problem. A fan problem would be more likely to cause it to just run hot at idle.
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:12 AM   #5
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Yeah, I asked him about his fan last night, and he seems to think it's working.

Thanks for the info, and I'll have him take a closer look at the oil.
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Old 02-14-2007, 03:48 AM   #6
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It could be a headgasket without the symptoms, but yes check the fan and the relay first.
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Old 02-14-2007, 10:35 AM   #7
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How new of a car is it? A former coworker of mine had a 2.2 Cavalier that blew the headgasket to where it would leak coolant to the outside of the engine. You could see it leaking right out the front side of the engine between the block and head.
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