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Author Topic: Sad Times  (Read 1484 times)
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« on: February 17, 2019, 01:50:53 AM »

After being the proud owner of The Great Pumpkin for the past 11 years, I am sad to say that I've had to take it off the road. At least for now.

A few years ago I had the head gasket done and switched to green antifreeze. A few months ago, it started overheating. We thought it may be the thermostat, so we replaced it and flushed the system til the water was clear (there was a lot of crud left over from the dex-cool and I never got around to doing a flush back when the gasket was done). Then it would randomly overheat. I could drive it for 2 hours, then get it home, and the temperature would start to rise as soon as I put it in reverse and backed into the driveway. I bled the system over and over again, changed the radiator cap (it had several slits in the gasket), changed the hose on the bypass to the bleeder (it was splitting and leaking tiny amounts of coolant). Everything would work fine. I could run it for an hour in the driveway, and no problem. Take it out on the road and it would start to climb. Unlike when I killed the first gasket, I can't recover from the temperature climb by revving the air bubble out. No coolant in the oil. No oil in the coolant, but I did start to see some random bubbles in the overflow. The last gasket, it was all exhaust. The dex-cool ate the gasket around the water ports. Luckily, Only exhaust was getting in there and nothing else was going in or coming out.

Took it to the mechanic for a full diagnosis, but blew the radiator on the way. My father and I are pretty convinced it was the radiator the whole time. With the amount of crud I flushed from the leftover dex-cool, it's possible it clogged something. It's squirting out on the driver's side by the bracket. The mechanic told me that even though it's shooting out fluid, it was still trying to build up pressure, so it was the gasket. But that doesn't make sense to me. It's a pressurized system, so it is going to try to build up pressure. It's going to keep trying because it can't. He couldn't have really compression tested it with the geyser of coolant. Then he told me it would be about $3500 to replace the radiator and head gasket. He is reaming me on the parts prices. He charged me $400 for a $185 fuel line kit. We won't be going back to that guy.

Until the weather warms up, we're going to replace the radiator and see what happens. In the meantime, I just bought an 04 GMC Envoy.

I don't want to give up on the Tek. I love that thing. Also, a couple of days before this drama, I dropped $800 for brand new fuel lines and a brake line patch.

So, hopefully, fingers crossed, The Great Pumpkin will ride again!
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2019, 01:32:45 PM »

The 04 GMC Envoy is also a good rig, I should know, I own one too.

For the Envoy, for help and assistance that is lightyears ahead of this website, come over to www.gmtnation.com

As far as the pressurized system, that is correct to a point. Typically, the Aztek cooling system is under 7-12 PSI at operating temp. And if the radiator cap is removed, and the engine allowed to warm up without the cap, you should be able to get a CO2 reading off the coolant. If the cooling system is being pressurized from a head gasket being blown, or some other cause, than getting that C02 reading is going to be nearly impossible from coolant being blown out of the cooling system.

Brian - Carpe Diem

01 Pontiac Aztek GT OPT AWD 121k - 04 GMC Envoy XUV 182k - 05 Mercury Montego Premier AWD 52k (wrecked)

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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2019, 07:33:35 AM »

I would definitely replace the radiator and see what you end up with. Hope this is all it needs. Also, I have noticed if you have replaced radiator hoses with aftermarket and still using spring clamps leaks tend to happen. As well as if you replace a hose and then use a regular hose clamp, they frequently need tightening or will develop a slow leak where you can smell coolant, but never enough to collect on the ground.
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