Overheating mystery........ - Nissan Xterra Forum
 
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#1 Old 08-18-2012, 08:39 PM
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Overheating mystery........

I have a 2000 Xterra with the V6, 120k miles. I recently replaced the timing belt and water pump. Every once in a while, while idling, the temp. guage will rise (regular to hot in about 10 seconds). If I idle the engine to about 1500 RPM's, the engine will cool immidiately (within 5 seconds). Does not over heat while driving.

I have checked the following:

Anti-freeze - full
Top radiator hose - hard when running indicating good flow and properly working thermostat(?)
Heater blows hot air
Radiator fan and automatic transmission fan appear to be working properly (They are turning when it overheats)

I have two questions:

1) Should an engine that hot cool that quickly?
2) Could it be the Temperature Sending Unit or Coolant Temperature Guage (Is there are difference)??

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a bunch....
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#2 Old 08-18-2012, 08:52 PM
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It is possible it's the sender as they are known to wear out. Mine did and the gauge would make huge rapid changes.

The sender has an L shaped connector that is affixed to the sender with a rivet and the weight of the connector will work the rivet loose over time. The action of speeding up and slowing down moves the L shaped spade conector back and forth causing the gauge to give erroneous readings.


The red arrow indicates the ECU temp sender and the blue arrow indicates the temp gauge sender. Ignore the ECU temp sender but check to see if the temp gauge sender L spade is loose.



Check and see if it's loose then report back what you find.

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#3 Old 08-18-2012, 10:24 PM
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Thanks for the help, I appreciate it.

I checked the temp gauge sensor and it is tight.
I also failed to mention a couple of other things. When the engine was hot I (stupidly) removed the radiator cap and did not have coolant spill out. I also checked the coolant reservoir and there was no coolant in it.

Is there a way to manually check the engine core temp?
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#4 Old 08-18-2012, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by School Bus Yellow Xterra View Post
Thanks for the help, I appreciate it.

I checked the temp gauge sensor and it is tight.
I also failed to mention a couple of other things. When the engine was hot I (stupidly) removed the radiator cap and did not have coolant spill out. I also checked the coolant reservoir and there was no coolant in it.

Is there a way to manually check the engine core temp?
Well you could use an infrared temp gun right on the housing next to the sensor to verify the temp. Sounds like there may be air in the system. Add coolant with the air relief screw removed if there is air in the system it will go to the bleed hole and be forced out when you add coolant.

Air relief screw location next to the throttle cables.

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#5 Old 08-19-2012, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by School Bus Yellow Xterra View Post
When the engine was hot I (stupidly) removed the radiator cap and did not have coolant spill out.
Bad cap; no pressure.
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#6 Old 08-19-2012, 08:48 AM
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I agree with RacerXXL, it really sounds like there is air in the upper system and possibly due to the wax seal in the throttlebody. They slowly weep water when you have high miles and air gets into the cooling system.
Search in DIY section for pix and the explaination of repair.
If you look at the throttlebody towards the firewall, you usually can see antifreeze residue or even a little coolant, if it is leaking.
Do that, if after burping, it comes back.

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#7 Old 08-19-2012, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muadeeb View Post
Bad cap; no pressure.
+1 - i spend months trouble shooting an old pu that would overheat while idling (radiator cleaned, fan clutch, new thermostat) to no avail.. Replaced the $5 radiator cap and that fixed my over heating

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#8 Old 08-19-2012, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muadeeb View Post
Bad cap; no pressure.
I'd check this as well.

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