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My mysterious 93 Corsica

this thread has been split from the original.

in this post, references may be made to the previous posts, they exist in the original thread which is here: http://www.techsupportforum.com/showthread.php?p=337121#post337121



I also have had an overheating problem with my 93 Corsica, ever since I had the antifreeze changed about 7 yrs ago - ever since the temp sits from almost 1/2 to almost 3/4. I've been given every excuse under the sun of why, and 5 mechanics, a thermostat, radiator, new hoses, pressure test, new computer and a flush later, it is as hot as ever, if not hotter. I've ruled out the block and any leaks, and yet I've been averaging about a 1/2 gallon of coolant I have to replace about every two weeks or else it does overheat. I've had the computer tested and the fan sensor check to see if the fan goes on at the right temp, and stays on the proper amout of time.

My newest mechanic who replaced the radiator and did a flush thought he had it, but low and behold the very next day it lost a 1/2 gallon - he attributes this to evaporation from the hot temp. - I drive 16 hard miles to work on I295 in nj - which is stop and go constantly, and the car seems happy when I'm doing 60-70mph - but as soon as we stop and idle the temp climbs up to almost 3/4. I've had one mechanic try to tell me my gauge was wrong and that it wasn't hot at all - lol - needless to say, he's history - the gauge is correct.

With all that said, where is the coolant disappeaing to? and are we looking in the wrong places, I've heard alot of theories, - water pump only leaks while driving, so there's no trace of leaks, nah - ain't buying it - transmission is overheating - nah - don't buy that either, trans fluids are fine. - collapsing hoses, nope ! - dirty engine, ditto - engine's clean

well, at least I'm not the only frustrated Corsica owner

I'd appreciate any help you guys can give

Peace
 

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greetings pintoms, and welcome to techsupportforum.

i am splitting your post into it's own thread, as when we have more than one problem in each thread, it gets confusing.
 

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pintoms said:
I've heard alot of theories, - water pump only leaks while driving, so there's no trace of leaks, nah - ain't buying it
where did you hear this? i suspect those people are insane, because, i have replaced about 100 water pumps in the last 15 years, and none of them leaked more while running.

most of the time, if you try to fill the car full in the morning, the water would just start leaking out the water pump weep hole, and it's a race between you and the leak.

wheras if you start it up, it barely leaks at all, and you can manage to fill it.

also, i see you mentioned living in nj, how hot is it outside while you are driving?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I agree - the pump does not leak - although I just talked to another friend who told me he had a simular problem with a 92 pontiak and his mechanic told him that the water pump blades are normally curved to push the water and sometime they bend straight up from the heat and push less water, slowing down the circulation. He replaced the pump and fixed the problem.

As for New Jersey, I work in Voorhees and live in South Philly which is a 16 mile ride, the temparature this week has been cool, low 80's but a month ago it was torrid in the high 90's - the car runs the same even in winter when it's below freezing.
After I wrote this thread today, I went out and checked my radiator and it was full, I was surprised because when I got home from work last night the thermostat was between 1/2 & 3/4 - too hot considering I just got it back from the shop after a flush. It looks like the coolant held for the time being anyway.
Let me know what you think
thanks

Peace
 

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ok, here's an odd question that i am asking a few people lately.

inside the radiator, do you have 2 or 3 columns of flow tubes?

also, exactly what size engine do you have?

on top of that, sometimes the ignition timing can be off a little bit, and it can cause the engine to run alot hotter.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Columns ? - I'm not sure - I'll check

engine is 3.1L v6 Corsica LT - fuel injected

timing is something I'm considering too - I've replaced two of the three ignition coils - as they went bad - and the third is due to go soon too I suppose - it is idling a little ruff, that's a good possibility - expensive to replace those coils - I think it cost $180 each time I replaced one.

The radiator is brand new too - I'll check out the column thing

thanks for the intelligent question
keep em coming

Peace
 

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ok, here's another good one, honestly now, do you drive it hard?

that's a good high performance engine in there, i am hoping it has three columns inside the radiator. being a corsica, the radiator isn't all that wide side to side, and isn't all that tall top to bottom, so a 2 column core would be a bit on the small side.

something to consider is those have tubing headers on the exhaust if i'm not mistaken. this leads to more heat leeching out of them into the inside of the engine compartment.

this has an electric cooling fan, does it not? can you hear the fan when it comes on? if so, does it come on often? does it come on and stay on?

do you use the ac alot?

one simple test, is to drive it right until it starts to heat up, and turn the heater on as hot as possible, and see if it goes down.

if it does, your radiator is not large enough to cool the car you have, the way you drive it, in the place you live.

there are aftermarket radiators, there is also the option of putting in a cooler thermastat, to make it begin cooling sooner.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
How do I drive - you're right about the high performance engine - but I have been behaving myself on the road, not that there's any room to open up on 295 - lol - so I guess the answer is, I have been driving it tenderly lately.

Tubing headers - I'm not familure with - I'll have to mention it to my mechanic on monday when I update him

electric fan is working fine - we checked it - I can hear when it goes on when I idle - which is usually when it gets past 1/2 and stays on about 1 minute give or take a few seconds

The A/C compressor is shot - no air (phew)

I've tried the heater test and turning up the heat made no difference in the engine temp so I guess I have the right size radiator, although I'm not sure if my eyes are playing tricks but when I first seen the new radiator I thought it looked bigger than the old one, I'll also have to ask my mechanic about that too

I like your idea of a cooler thermostat - that just might do the trick !

What did you think about my friend's bent water pump blade theory ?

Peace
 

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although i've never heard of bent pump blades, i have heard of them eroding away from age.

as far as bending from heat, it takes 2000 degrees to make aluminum pliable, and iron, even hotter.

if your water temp was 2000 degrees, your engine would melt.

it is however likely that if your pump is as old as the car, the blades are mostly gone.

one way i check for pump volume, is to leave the cap open, and rev the engine a little, and watch for a surge of water.

the level will suck down just a little, and then surge when you let off it.
 

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pintoms said:
Columns ? - I'm not sure - I'll check

engine is 3.1L v6 Corsica LT - fuel injected

timing is something I'm considering too - I've replaced two of the three ignition coils - as they went bad - and the third is due to go soon too I suppose - it is idling a little ruff, that's a good possibility - expensive to replace those coils - I think it cost $180 each time I replaced one.

The radiator is brand new too - I'll check out the column thing

thanks for the intelligent question
keep em coming

Peace
Wait a sec...those coils cost $180 each? Where you been getting them? Ours sell for nowhere near that!
Man...I'm still is shock over that... :O
Make sure you're running a 50/50 mix in there as well...thinking on further solutions...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think the coil itself goes for $90 or $100 - but it cost around $180 installed

I took it back to the shop once again - and they did a flush - and it runs ok on the highway, but by the time I get home, it's still past half and I can hear the fan kicking in, then it levels off

My mechanic still wants to alter the fan so that it stays on for a longer time, but I'm concerned that that will shorten its life - and I heard that thats an expensive item to replace, and I've already dumped about two grand into the car in the last two years - starter - two coils - rotors & breaks - radiator -thermostat - altenator.

Wife wants me to get a Hundi Tiberon - lol

Peace
 

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There are ways to control when the fan(s) come on. A manual switch can be wired up, and there is a Hayden probe that can be used. You need to find some Corsica forums to ask about rigging up a fan control.
 

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pintoms said:
My mechanic still wants to alter the fan so that it stays on for a longer time, but I'm concerned that that will shorten its life - and I heard that thats an expensive item to replace, and I've already dumped about two grand into the car in the last two years - starter - two coils - rotors & breaks - radiator -thermostat - altenator.
i myself have wired the fan to run constantly when the car is running.

also, the fan isn't all that expensive, and isn't there two of them?

if your mechanic knows how to alter the fan to stay on longer, that's a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well my temp has been staying at just under half since the flush and the antifreeze level hasn't moved which is a major accomplishment. The fan don't kick in until you're a notch past half and does seem to bring the temp back down. The killer is when I get off the highway and get stuck in city traffic - that when it's getting past half. I'd like to know why it gets so high in the first place before I start messing the the fan

On another topic - can anyone tell me what the horsepower of my car is?
93 Corsica LT - 3.1 liter v6 -fuel injection - auto trans - It's a powerful engine for a small bodied car

Thanks for your help

Peace
 

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It sounds like it's operating normal now. Temp will always go up when sitting in traffic versus riding down the freeway.
 
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