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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys, I just bought a 2008 e with 290,000 on it, and I'm encountering some overheating issues, which came in three distinct stages over the course of a week and a half.
1. When I first bought it, it would almost overheat if you got on the freeway within five minutes of starting the car from a cold engine, but then it would settle down 2 or 3 minutes later, running a bit hot but otherwise it was fine. I figured the thermostat was dying slowly, as the performance was fairly consistent, so I was going to wait until I was at my parent's house and could use dad's tools to replace it. I know that's not the smartest idea, but I'd concluded the problem could wait, and my stubborn pride blinded me to the severity of the problem as it got worse.
2. Then on Tuesday, two days before this post and 8 days after acquiring the e, when it got rather chilly overnight, the problem got slightly worse and it actually overheated, but only for about a minute. By the time I got near the side of the road, it was fine again and stayed that way for the rest of the drive to work, so I figured it was fine. Also, I'd just gone over a hill that was barely big/steep enough for it to downshift to get me over the hill, so I figured that was what caused it. It wasn't until I got caught in traffic on the way home and it briefly overheated again that I had the barest hint of a thought that there was a problem, but again my pride made me ignore it.
3. Yesterday morning, it actually overheated and stayed that way, so I bit the bullet and called out of work. When I checked the temperature ten minutes later, having pulled off to the side of the road, it had cooled down a lot, and was only reading about a quarter of the gauge, so I drove it a couple hundred yards until it was getting close to overheating again, then parked and turned it off. Again, it cooled quickly, so I repeated this to the nearest auto parts store, got a new thermostat, a gallon of coolant, and some tools, then limped it back home. On this last leg of my journey, whatever is causing issues finally warmed up enough that I had a halfway functioning cooling system, and I was able to drive normally the rest of the way home as long as I took it slow and careful.
After changing the thermostat, when I tried to refill the system with coolant, I couldn't get the coolant to go into the engine block, and the water pump makes a nasty screeching sound when the engine is running. At least, I assume it's the water pump as the engine wasn't making that noise before I replaced the thermostat.
As a side note, I've already put a lot more blue asian coolant into the engine than came out during the replacement. During this process, I discovered that my radiator cap is bad, as the spring was completely missing and the lower seal was just sitting in the hole beneath it.
So now my questions are two-fold. First, does anyone have any idea what the initial problem actually was? I'm not sure if it was actually the thermostat as I haven't even idled the engine up to temperature due to the horrible whining noise from the water pump, as I don't want to break it trying to refill my engine with coolant.
Second, why isn't the coolant going into the engine, or even leaving the reservoir?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
After reading the manual and seeing the rated capacity, I realized my second question is irrelevant, as I put in enough coolant to fill the system, so just ignore that one for now.
 

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2007 EX AWD AT (two!)
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Sounds like maybe the system wasn't full beforehand. If your water pump is screeching, the impeller may be spinning on the shaft and not pumping (or intermittently pumping) coolant to the engine) - time to replace it before you ruin your engine.
 

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The water pump on the E is relatively easy/cheap to replace. I'd suggest a new one, with a new thermostat, radiator cap and, of course coolant.
 

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Did you properly bleed the coolant system? I was having a similar issue & bleeding the system fixed it. Turn the fans off & run it til the fans come on. Add coolant as you go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry it's been so long since my initial post, things have been a bit hectic. Turns out the noise is just the serpentine belt since I spilled a bunch of coolant on it. As a side note, I can confirm there is a coolant leak somewhere on the driver's side of the radiator. It might be the hose or the nipple, I'm not sure yet, I'll look closer at it this evening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I can confirm that the most obvious leak, and hopefully the only leak, is right where the top hose connects to the radiator. How would I determine if the hose is the source of the leak, or if there is a hole in the radiator right there?
 

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So I can confirm that the most obvious leak, and hopefully the only leak, is right where the top hose connects to the radiator. How would I determine if the hose is the source of the leak, or if there is a hole in the radiator right there?
Look at it. Mirror and light should help.

Maybe squeeze the upper radiator hose a bunch of times to see if you can get air or coolant to come out of the leak.

Consider buying a radiator pressure tester; pressurize the system and look for the leak.


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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Turns out the seal between the plastic top of the radiator and the aluminum body is leaking, and the radiator needs to be replaced. I took the front grill off to help track down the leak, and it doesn't look like the radiator is too hard to remove. My only question is will the fans and such get in the way?
 

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Remove the plastic shroud above the radiator, remove the metal bulkhead from above the radiator. Disconnect fan connectors, radiator hoses, auto transmission cooler hoses. You remove the radiator with the fans still attached to it. If you haven't done it in a while, change the AT fluid filter mounted behind the bottom center of the radiator while you have it apart.
 

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Remove the plastic shroud above the radiator, remove the metal bulkhead from above the radiator. Disconnect fan connectors, radiator hoses, auto transmission cooler hoses. You remove the radiator with the fans still attached to it. If you haven't done it in a while, change the AT fluid filter mounted behind the bottom center of the radiator while you have it apart.
I know a lot of folks do this all from the top, maybe it’s because I’m kind of short. To remove the bulkhead, coolant temp sensor, AT hoses, and un clipping the wiring harness from the bulkhead, I took off the underneath splash shielding and went after some of the hard for me to reach bolts, connectors, clips etc. from below.


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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm probably going to take the whole front grill off as there really isn't that much holding it on. I'd hoped to work on it today, but it's not here yet... Oh well, there's always tomorrow.
 

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I don't remember how I went about it when I did the partial rebuild of my daughter's. Pretty took the whole front end off to give good access to get the cylinder head and everything else off the block.
 

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After reading the manual and seeing the rated capacity, I realized my second question is irrelevant, as I put in enough coolant to fill the system, so just ignore that one for now.
If the cooling system isn't sealed, you could lose some coolant every time the engine heated up. If the radiator cap isn't sealing, the overflow tank is non-functional. Either way, air gets pulled into the system, and the water pump eventually operates in an air bubble, which stops circulation through the radiator. That causes overheating and accelerates fluid loss.

ps Did you know that you can modify your posts when you find that you made an error, a misstatement, or no longer need an answer to your question?
 
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