What are all possible reasons for which car has tendency to go almost up to H for "Hot"?

40

Asked by Apr 05, 2017 at 08:36 PM about the 2004 Kia Spectra LS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

After driving a little bit and its hot outside
my KIA Spectra 2004 tends to go hot
almost all the way to the higher part of the
4th quarter temperature gauge...

I've treated the cooling system with K-
Seal;
- then I gave it a radiator / coolant flush
(drained, filled with water, drained filled
with 50/50 coolant - I didn't air it out just
filled it to the top);
- I replaced the radiator cap (old one was
pretty used up)
- I did an oil change (it was low and dirty) -
looks good now
- no signs of leakage show under where
the car is parked overnight....

So what causes the overheat?

I did notice the main bigger hose that goes
from the radiator to the engine looks like
it's a tad ballooned out on the end closer
to the engine, almost like it's swallen and
its a bit discolored all sound on that same
end but the clamp it's still there snug and
tight and I can't see any leaks. ( I can send
photo of anyone would like to help me
figure this out). Could that even be a cause
of overheat?

Thank you in advance,

43 Answers

40

And here is another photo....

73,655

The problem you have is the cooling system is not purged from the air pockets. In the picture above, the coolant hose is on the left, and that looks like a plastic tube for something right in front. Coolant hose does not look bad from here but may want to have someone look to be sure. Here is how to purge the cooling system... www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUpXgAJ1gjU

73,655

If that tube in front above is rubbery, it shouldn't be like that. Have someone look at that, hard to tell from here.

40

The hose in this photo now is a little rubbery.. but no more or no less than other houses just like it - it just looks a little swollen up at that end that goes into the engine.. So just because there's some air into the coolant system can cause the engine to be a little hotter than normal? In the video you linked Eric is talking about the bleeder valve - do I really need to find that and loosen it out because I don't know where it is on the my car ... can I skip that step ? Thank you for answering so fast ....

40

This photo .....

100,295

I would change out all the hoses, replace the thermostat, add a quart of water wetter and then refill the cooling system and run the Air bleed protocols as listed. Make sure the thermostat you get has a jiggle pin in it, this can really help with air pocket problems.

73,655

Being a 2004 the radiator hoses and thermostat should be changed out as tennesshoes is saying. That is an original clamp on that hose, and if it were ever changed out before, mechanics like to use the screw type hose clamp. A old hose can pop at any time. Might as well do this right. And what they don't show in the video is that it helps to raise the front end of the car when purging as air bubbles float upward, even have it on an incline of some sort.

40

So I will need to purge out the air but I will need to top off the coolant for that... Should I use the same type of anti-freeze concentrated that I used to actually fill in the cooling system after the flush or I can use the cheaper topping off type coolant ?

40

And here is how the hose looks when the car is all cool and there's no pressure ... it looks a lot less bumped out? doesn't it? Thank you....

73,655

Ok, hoses should be changed. Use 50/50 mix when filling the cooling system. Not the straight concentrate.

40

I did a purge, not the hose or the thermostat (I had ordered them but didn't arrive at the time)... I will do those as well but in the mean time after the purge I noticed that the temperature fluctuations were a lot reduced but still present... Also Check engine light came on >> code was P0121 TPS > Throttle Position Sensor >> MY QUESTION IS: Is there anyway the TPS can affect the temperature / heating and cause the engine to run at a higher temperature than normal?

73,655

No, but the TPS needs to be looked into before it starts having bigger problems. It affects acceleration, idling, and can cause a reduced engine power.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
40

Replacing it is just as easy as taking the old one out and put the new one in, correct? No codes or special tune up or configuration that needs to be done, right? I'm gonna order this for $23: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004HO1L2Q /ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_z-b7yb748PS4K Looks ok?

73,655

On any sensor, the wiring should be checked from the plugin back into the wire. A lot of times a wire will break under the insulation. This is a 2004 so I wouldn't feel so bad in replacing this, because there are little fingers so to speak that get frayed in the TPS that run across a rheostat that do wear.

40

So last night I replaced the thermostat and just the upper radiator hose (put new screw- on clamps), replaced the TPS as well and GUESS WHAT I noticed while cleaning the thermostat housing - it frigging has a while in it about 1 mm - all very likely from the too high a temperature. So I will get one from PepBoys tonight BUT the question IS: what was causing my car to run so hot that in time it dug through the Metal housing of the thermostat?

40

And here is another photo of the hole in close up...

100,295

That looks like flushing solvents have been added to the cooling system and was not flushed out properly so it attacked the impurities in the metal, this damage may also be inside the engine, if it is too bad you may have to pull the engine disassemble the block and have it hot tanked and tested to see just how bad it really is or junk the engine for a cleaner engine that has been ran with proper ph balanced cooling system.

40

Could that little hole cause fluctuations in the temperature?

100,295

Yes as it let's air into the system, I would recommend finding and fixing all the leaks, then put on an analog temperature gauge, temporarily if need be and verify the swing in temperatures, if the analog does not show a swing in temps them you either have a sender or gauge malfunction with the stock system. If it conforms temperature swings then it's time to use a lazer heat sensor and try to find hot spots in the cooling system and the block and repair or replace as needed.

73,655

I bet the water pump would need changing, I can just imagine what the water pump impeller looks like.

100,295

That's right Rowefast, especially on a Kia with the tin impellers.

40

Do I have to remove the timing belt before I can replace the water pump ? Is replacing the water pump pretty hard to do ? And thirdly what caused all of this (before the hole in the thermostat casing) heating...?

73,655

The timing belt does not drive the water pump, but looks like it is in the way for water pump removal. So the timing belt would come off. The thing is here is you might as well replace the timing belt and idler pulleys, and belt tensioner since it is apart. You would want to line up the timing marks first before removing the timing belt. It is not like this job is hard but it has to be done right! This is a big job. And the cause for this is neglect to the cooling system, not being serviced, flushed and new coolant put back in. Also I would have the coolant tested for carbons that indicate a bad head gasket first before putting this time and money into it. Shops have this kind of test, I am not sure how it is done. Tennisshoes may know, he has a good head on his shoulders and you would want his input on this also.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
100,295

It's called a block check, you can have it done at a shop or purchase the equipment and run the test yourself, its easy just follow the directions and you won't mess up. Just how many miles are on this engine, just want to make sure it's worth all the effort your putting into it.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
40

65,300...

100,295

Ok if it hold form as other Kia's then you have around 40000 miles before the engine will need serious work, less if it is not maintained.

73,655

I concur with tennisshoes.

40

Are you saying that if it was good at 40k than it may be worh to do the serious work? Also once I will replace the thermostat housing it is possible all my problems are resolved BUT I am pretty sure that the coolant level will be VERY low so I will need to refill > should I use the concentrate and then will purging refill with 50/50 or should I just use the 50/50 all the way?

100,295

I'm saying that you should get 40000 more out of it before something goes bad. just use the 50/50 mix all the way.

40

So I put in the new thermostat housing turned on the engine after I topped off the coolant then let the engine run until it reached normal operating temperature then reved a few times, the coolant temperature reached 197, and then short few minutes after that the engine died on its own. I tried to start it again and it just seemed like it was coughing and Couldn't start it again. I checked the oil cap and it looks like in the picture..does that mean I have water in the engine now and It's busted and I need to have major service on it?

100,295

The way it looks it has been that way for while if it has blown all the way up there, Rowefast suggested way back that you should have done a block check test. Oil in the water or water in the oil are sure sigh of either a blown headgasket, a cracked cylinder head or cracked block. And people wonder why I dislike Kia's so much, right there is a very good reason, with mileage that low, something like that should not have happened.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
40

And now I'm getting all of these code then never showed up until tonight ...P0300 / P0303 / P1586 / P0304... I don't even know if it's worth for me investing another probably at least $1000 in fixing the engine - it really seems like that's what it is !?! P0300 - Random multiple misfire P0303 - misfire on cylinder three P0304 - misfire on cylinder 4 P1586 - Pertaining to the engine control module

100,295

You can't trust any codes on a hurt engine like yours, excess oil gasses from the mixture of oil and water enter the intake system causing all kinds of false readings as misfires system lean system rich, the basics have to be fixed first then when that is done and cleaned up then see if any codes are present after it has been reset. As far as if the vehicle is worth fixing, well you already know my opinion on Kia's.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
40

Is it possible that because of the hole in the thermostat housing and even though i plugged it with a thin metal wire because i drove the car like that, is it possible that some air, condensation and coolant got inside the engine block and that's why is now getting hot? Can a simple engine flush fix it for me?

100,295

Doubtful, try the block check test that will tell the tale.

40

http://www.blocktester.com/instructions.ht m Would that be able to test the block or car needs top be in an actual mechanic shop for proper testing?

40

So I guess it's kind of clear that I have a blown head gasket: heating up, cooling fluid level drops without clear signs of leaks, White milky stuff at the bottom of the oil cap, coolant in the radiator jumps out / raises a lot while accelerating with the radiator cap open, rough idle to the point where engine stops, P0300, P0303, P0304 diagnostic codes. I think that's most if not all of the signs for a blown gasket. Agreed? So I think I'm going to embark in the adventure of replacing it all by myself well I'm going to take the bike to work. BUT, once I have the cylinder head and the engine block out of the car, where can I go to have them pressure tested and surface leveled? I called the actual dealership and they said they don't do that kind of stuff, I called some mechanic shops and they said they don't do that kind of stuff....

73,655

You may be better off finding a different engine out of a junk yard.

40

How come better ? Isn't there a big risk of getting one that is for sure cracked (that's why it's in a junk yard) ?

100,295

Here's what you do, call a machine shop tell them what you have and you would like to have a basic overhaul on the entire engine, you will pull it yourself and deliver it too them and would like a estimate on what the initial cost might be, you know that this is just an estimate and it could change once they get it disassembled and checked. Once you get that price then compare it to a long block from an engine supplier, most parts stores can give you that price. Then find a good price on a used engine at a used engine supplier, those are usually guaranteed to be good for at least 30 days, some warranties are longer but more money. Then decide if the vehicle is worth any of the above and go from there. Now if it were me{shutter to think that} I would get a running engine from a wrecker, put it in the car and then sell it for whatever I could get over the repairs I have in it. Then put that money towards a different vehicle. Hopefully not another used Kia.

73,655

For that car, it is just my opinion. Your going to have a lot of time and money into this. And I guess your right on finding one in a junk yard, but where I am at, you can get an engine the junk yard would warranty for 30-60 days, you'd know if the motor was bad during that time. I'm also just holding my tongue because I don't care for Kias.

40

I'm willing to put my time in doing it as long as it's just the gasket (i'll take the cylinder head to the shop and have it resurfaced) But is there any other way of testing the block for cracks other then taking it out and then to a shop for pressure testing?

100,295

That really is the beat way, but after taking the head off inspect the cylinder bore very carefully, your looking for hairline fractures in the walls them selves, a tightly focused light and a magnifying glass will be a great help on this, also look for a blue color in the cylinders metal if it is blue then it is junk, the block has lost all the tempering inside the cylinder walls so your then dead in the water with that engine. Here's hoping it's just a blown headgasket.

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