Running a little hot, secondary fan doesn't seem to kick on?

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Honzo
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Running a little hot, secondary fan doesn't seem to kick on?

Postby Honzo » Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:40 pm

So I think my engine has progressively started running hotter and hotter.

The Background:
I seem to remember a few years ago when I got the car the temperature stayed consistently no higher than 210, probably right around 200. Almost a year ago, I noticed the temperature gauge go up into the red. Come to find out one of the hoses developed a small crack and leaked a decent amount of coolant slowly over time. Added some water and it was enough to keep the temp down long enough to get it into the shop. After I got it back though, it always seemed to run a bit hotter than I had remembered, about a tick over the 210 line. Somewhere between then and now, my dad replaced the thermostat (he believes with one rated at 180), but I didn't really notice much of a difference.

Now:
Just last week, I noticed the temperature climbing quite high again. It never reached the red zone, but got pretty close before coming back down to above 210...

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A friend recommended trying the defrost the next time it happens and sure enough, the temperature started dropping. He said possibly a bad temp sending unit or the set point for the secondary fan is set too high? For the time being, i've just left the defrost on at all times and it doesn't seem to remedy the situation all the time, as it'll still start climbing randomly until the secondary fan decides to turn on (I assume thats what's happening, but I don't know). Also, in the past couple weeks, I've noticed if I have to jump on the throttle a bit, I'm starting to get the smell of burning oil :( I really hope I don't have a leaky head gasket

What I've done so far:
1. Coolant looks fine
2. Topped it off with extra coolant just to be sure the level was fine
3. Bled the system with the bleeder where the t-stat is

The Questions:
1. Any recommendations about the sporadic temperature increases? Anything I can do myself to help diagnose what's going on? This is really my biggest concern
2. Should I be concerned about the slight burning oil smell?
3. Is just above 210 too hot? Even if its a little above average, I don't really care about it as long as I'm not doing damage to my engine, but I don't know

Any help would be greatly appreciated! I also apologize if this issue has been addressed here before, I tried searching but it didn't turn up anything that sounded similar.
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ArkanzanWheeler
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Re: Running a little hot, secondary fan doesn't seem to kick on?

Postby ArkanzanWheeler » Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:26 pm

For the oil smell I would look over the whole engine and try to see where the oil is coming from. My guess is it is leaking down onto the exhaust manifolds somewhere, but it might be wise to do a compression check just because.

Some things I would check would be the radiator hose, when it is warmed up do they feel about the same hotness?

Are you losing any coolant? When you add the coolant are you checking it at the radiator or just the overflow?

Take some jumper wires from the battery and try to get the second fan to spin that way. (have you checked your fuses and relays?)

If your radiator cap is sticking it could be building up too much pressure which increases the temps, might swap it out for a good one.

Take the radiator cap off and look in there with a flashlight while the car is running to make sure the coolant is flowing (it needs to be warmed up for this so the t-stat is open). The t-stat might be bad or the water pump is out if there is no flow, I would start with the t-stat since it is easier and cheaper to replace.

That is about all I can think of off the top of my head, maybe someone else will think of some more but this will give you a good start. Good Luck
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