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Old 06-07-2016, 12:56 PM   #1
aroundincircles
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my alero doesn't like the heat...

So its now hit over 110 here in AZ, and when I drive to work in the mornings (80* outside) my alero has no issues with keeping cool, but yesterday when it was 113* outside, the temp climbed to just under the 3/4 mark and stayed. there... I stopped for gas on my way home and leaving the gas station, it was at just over the 3/4 mark but dropped down closer half way between 1/2 and 3/4 mark on the two mile drive to my house.

My drive to and from work is 24 miles of highway, 55-75mph, with just a couple of miles of surface street.

the Records show that the PO replaced the water pump about 10k miles before I bought it, but that was 3 years of time between when then and when i bought it a couple of months ago.

Is there any specific things I should look at, or should I just flush the system, and go from there? I did replace the t-stat on saturday as friday is the first I noticed the temp go up, and figured it would be an easy/cheap thing to replace (ha!).
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Old 06-07-2016, 01:24 PM   #2
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113 degrees is a pretty brutal temperature to deal with. At only 90 degrees around here, my coolant temp gauges can easily read 1/2-5/8 in traffic. If it reaches a peak at 3/4, but then ramps back down to below 1/2 for awhile, then back up and down over several minutes, it may actually be close to normal. You can use a handheld scanner and monitor coolant and intake temps, and observe if the fans kick on at appropriate heat levels.
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Old 06-07-2016, 01:32 PM   #3
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yeah, Friday was 115, and saturday was 118 (we didn't go anywhere saturday though).

It seems to get just under 3/4's and stay there while driving home, and will drop once I'm no longer going 65-75, but doesn't go back to 1/2.

I'll have to pick up a scanner. This car sat for a long while before I bought it, so I am def. going to do a fluid change this weekend, just to make sure the coolant is nice and fresh.
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Old 06-07-2016, 02:30 PM   #4
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Also check the A/C condenser for flattened cooling fins, obstructions around the air intake, and consider a CAI (cold air intake, or "less hot" in this case).

I don't recommend it for long term, but you can remove the weatherstrip on the front of the hood to get a little more airflow. At least for one day to see if it changes the gauge readings.

Heat soaking in general has been an issue for these cars, because the heat from the fans goes right to the upper intake manifold.

And try to keep the gas tank at least 1/2 full, to help keep the fuel pump cool.
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Old 06-07-2016, 02:41 PM   #5
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My alero ran that hot for the 7 years i had it. Even after flushing coolant etc. She never actually hit the 3/4 mark but would constantly play just the tip with it in the summer months.

Never caused any problems other than my anxiety.
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by AleroB888 View Post
Also check the A/C condenser for flattened cooling fins, obstructions around the air intake, and consider a CAI (cold air intake, or "less hot" in this case).

I don't recommend it for long term, but you can remove the weatherstrip on the front of the hood to get a little more airflow. At least for one day to see if it changes the gauge readings.

Heat soaking in general has been an issue for these cars, because the heat from the fans goes right to the upper intake manifold.

And try to keep the gas tank at least 1/2 full, to help keep the fuel pump cool.

I looked at the radiator/ac/condenser, and there are a few bent fins caused by just where it sits so close to the ground with no protection, but nothing that would make me immediately want to change it.

I'm not a fan of CAI, as the current intake pulls cold air from in front of the driver's side tire, and not from the engine bay. I may look into something less restrictive, but it will still have to pull air from somewhere other than the engine bay.

I never run my tank below 1/4 of a tank. I drive a lot of miles so I fill up regularly. But I have

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Originally Posted by leroBob View Post
My alero ran that hot for the 7 years i had it. Even after flushing coolant etc. She never actually hit the 3/4 mark but would constantly play just the tip with it in the summer months.

Never caused any problems other than my anxiety.

I have to admit I'm super paranoid about overheating. My 89XJ stranded me after It blew a head gasket, overheated and left me on the side of the road out in the desert very unexpectedly. I just bought this car, and really want it to last me 4-5 more years before I have to think about replacing it.
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:01 PM   #7
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Not that it's great idea at 100 plus temps. But throw the heater on and roll the windows down. It may bake you a little but it may possible to keep it from cooking something important.

Pat
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:32 AM   #8
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I kept it at 65 today, and it seemed much happier, it get over 1/2, but just barely. it was a cooler day today though. I think it only got up to 108.
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Old 06-08-2016, 05:39 AM   #9
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Not that it's great idea at 100 plus temps. But throw the heater on and roll the windows down. It may bake you a little but it may possible to keep it from cooking something important.

Pat

Rev the motor a little bit, Not crazy revving, but like 1500 RPM or so. This does work. I do it at the track on those really hot days, and my first car had overheat issues and this would bring the temp down. All youre doing is letting the heat escape the motor
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:56 AM   #10
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The question is, does the temps raise as u sit and idle or slow traffic.
Does it cool down once u hit the freeway and cruise down with 55?

Even here in Germany, I have severe issues with heavy city traffic and the never ending stop and go.

Take a really close and good look at the corners of the lower intake manifold where it meets the heads. Also take a general good look at the valley between, there might be traces of coolant.
The whole cooling system of the Alero is under pressure, even the tank on right side. If the system can not reach its pressure, due to a leak, the temps will rise.

For me a flush of the cooling system and a good Victor Reinz Manifold gasket set helped for the last years. BUT now with the traffic and slower speeds, it is back at heat issues. Which calm down as soon as I can cruise along for more than 20 min with above 55mph speeds.

I assume you have the AC running the whole time?
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Old 06-08-2016, 10:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aroundincircles View Post
I'm not a fan of CAI, as the current intake pulls cold air from in front of the driver's side tire, and not from the engine bay. I may look into something less restrictive, but it will still have to pull air from somewhere other than the engine bay.

I think you may be confusing CAI with WAI (warm air intake, aka short ram intake). CAI's typically loop around behind the front bumper cover, where a as WAI sit in the engine bay. An actual CAI (not a WAI that some idiot calls a CAI) will offer better flow, and feed your engine nice cold fresh air.
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Old 06-08-2016, 10:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bahlzeron View Post
I think you may be confusing CAI with WAI (warm air intake, aka short ram intake). CAI's typically loop around behind the front bumper cover, where a as WAI sit in the engine bay. An actual CAI (not a WAI that some idiot calls a CAI) will offer better flow, and feed your engine nice cold fresh air.

No, he has a stock intake now, so it still pulls in outside air. But it is still possible to improve on that by having less massive tubing and filter housing, better routing and placement of components.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bahlzeron View Post
I think you may be confusing CAI with WAI (warm air intake, aka short ram intake). CAI's typically loop around behind the front bumper cover, where a as WAI sit in the engine bay. An actual CAI (not a WAI that some idiot calls a CAI) will offer better flow, and feed your engine nice cold fresh air.

When most people refer to a "CAI" they refer to just slapping a pod filter on there, and calling it good. I've done true cold air intakes on my turbo charged saabs, pulling air from in front of the passenger side tire.

I haven't researched options much for the alero, expecting them to be like most "cai" out there, putting the filter where the current air box sits.
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:10 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by falloutboy View Post
The question is, does the temps raise as u sit and idle or slow traffic.
Does it cool down once u hit the freeway and cruise down with 55?

Even here in Germany, I have severe issues with heavy city traffic and the never ending stop and go.

Take a really close and good look at the corners of the lower intake manifold where it meets the heads. Also take a general good look at the valley between, there might be traces of coolant.
The whole cooling system of the Alero is under pressure, even the tank on right side. If the system can not reach its pressure, due to a leak, the temps will rise.

For me a flush of the cooling system and a good Victor Reinz Manifold gasket set helped for the last years. BUT now with the traffic and slower speeds, it is back at heat issues. Which calm down as soon as I can cruise along for more than 20 min with above 55mph speeds.

I assume you have the AC running the whole time?


It seems to be fine at the lights/slower traffic. It doesn't like the higher revs of driving faster. So if I go 55-65, it is ok, if I go 65-75, temps go up, and only start to go back down after a long slower drive. I checked around, and found no leaks at all, before I even replaced the t-stat. (that way if I caused a leak with replacing the t-stat I would know it was my fault).

yes, at 110* outside, I run the A/C. I go to end user sites often, and I cannot be sweaty/stinky. but turning off the a/c doesn't seem to make a difference unless i turn on the heat.
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by aroundincircles View Post
It seems to be fine at the lights/slower traffic. It doesn't like the higher revs of driving faster. So if I go 55-65, it is ok, if I go 65-75, temps go up, and only start to go back down after a long slower drive. I checked around, and found no leaks at all, before I even replaced the t-stat. (that way if I caused a leak with replacing the t-stat I would know it was my fault).

yes, at 110* outside, I run the A/C. I go to end user sites often, and I cannot be sweaty/stinky. but turning off the a/c doesn't seem to make a difference unless i turn on the heat.

Ok, so the fans seems to be ok, as these provide the cooling in slow speed traffic (city, stop & go).
If it get hot while faster driving, it points a bit towards the radiator or airflow itself. For higher speeds fans are irrelevant and even get bypassed by flaps in the shroud (on some cars).
What we could do is check temps at the radiator inlet and outlet, under different conditions.

Something else you could check, if it really holds the pressure for a day or so. Pressure rating is on the cap, just keep it a tad below and see if it gets less after a day, as it could also leak into the cylinders slightly.
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:17 PM   #16
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My cold air goes down into the wheel well/bumper area. They are swarming all over ebay. Pictures are what you get. You will know which is a CAI because the pipe will look like its running down in the fender.
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Old 06-09-2016, 02:22 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by leroBob View Post
My alero ran that hot for the 7 years i had it. Even after flushing coolant etc. She never actually hit the 3/4 mark but would constantly play just the tip with it in the summer months.

Never caused any problems other than my anxiety.

I would think that in Michigan that it would stay near the halfway point like mine does.
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Old 06-09-2016, 02:49 PM   #18
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My cold air goes down into the wheel well/bumper area. They are swarming all over ebay. Pictures are what you get. You will know which is a CAI because the pipe will look like its running down in the fender.



Cool, does it add anything to power? In my experience with other cars, a CAI doesn't make any difference unless you also program the ecu.
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Old 06-09-2016, 04:33 PM   #19
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Cool, does it add anything to power? In my experience with other cars, a CAI doesn't make any difference unless you also program the ecu.

When they do add any power, it's by a very small amount, not under all conditions. But if the IAT (intake temp) gets past a certain point, spark timing will be reduced by the PCM, which reduces power. Excessive coolant temps will also reduce timing. Nothing really stops a heat soak; in some cases more metal tubing in the intake tract will be hotter than plastic OEM type tubing. On the track after a cool-down, a CAI may get you a little more power.
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Old 06-09-2016, 06:04 PM   #20
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We'll See, I don't track my car, I drive it to and from work. and since I've owned in ~a month, I just don't want it blowing up on me. I spent a long time looking for a low mileage one.
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