1997SE engine races when cold. - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 02-23-2008, 08:40 AM   #1
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Default 1997SE engine races when cold.

First time on forum.
This started at highway speed ,the car acted as if the cruise was on. I had to shift into neutral to help slow down and rpms would jump to~3500. Iwas still afew miles from a dealer so I kept an eye on the guages and carefully drove along up to a red traffic light,stopped , and saw steam billowing out from under hood.
Made it to garage without overheating,yeah.
Water pump came apart,impellor chewed up mounting flange,major repair I had them do as the car was there and my home was 30kms. away(18miles)
Now when it is cold,I mean -20 degrees Celsius my idle speed =3000 for the first couple of minutes. Engine temp does not get to 90 degrees after 25mins highway driving.Poor heat in cabin
This car has 280,000KMS and has been quite the gamer, got a Lexus in the barn waiting for the @#!$ snow and salt to be gone.
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Old 02-23-2008, 09:47 AM   #2
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Welcome to Bonneville Club.

Re coolant temperature: With the engine cold, remove the cap and check the coolant level in the radiator. It should be up to the top. Coolant level in the overflow tank should be normal, too. If not, a huge air bubble could be starving the heater core. If the coolant level is OK, the thermostat needs to be changed. If you have one of those super duper "fail-safe" thermostats, you might have gotten it hot enough to lock it open when the water pump failed. If you change the thermostat, re-fill the cooling system according to this procedure to minimize the possibility of air entrapment: http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...=article&k=100

Re fast idle: Some possibilities include: vacuum leaks, dirty, or bad IAC valve, dirty throttle body and/or throttle plate, binding throttle linkage.
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Old 02-23-2008, 07:33 PM   #3
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Coolant level good in rad and overflow. Thermostat was changed and heater core back flushed. Heat is a bit better but guage only reads 80-90 degrees C./ 180F at best. Water pump changed at dealer, so I trust coolant refill without air entrapment but who knows!
It will take me a while to investigate your suggestions regarding the fast idle. Should I
follow throttle body cleaning regimen as found in tech info?
Still a bit perplexed about engine temp.
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Old 02-23-2008, 07:56 PM   #4
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Well, it would not cost very much, nor take much effort to install a drilled 195F thermostat and fill it according to Techinfo to make sure that is not the problem. I presume the dealer installed a 195 thermostat? But who knows how or if they bled the system properly. Maybe with such a simple task, they assigned it to the owner'* nephew. With a new water pump, new thermostat and no air bubbles, you should be getting up to temperature with no problems. I really cannot think of any other reason why the temperature should not be rising to the thermostat set point. It could seem that way, I suppose, if you have a plugged up heater core (preventing sufficient flow to warm the thing up) and a bad gauge.

Without maiming yourself, you might want to check the temperature of the heater hoses going (top) and coming (bottom) from the heater core. These should both be nearly as warm as the top radiator hose. If you have a non-contact (infrared) thermometer, you could just shoot each and determine the temperature. If you find the top hose hot and the bottom one cold, that would suggest a plugged heater core.

These cars have a bad habit of eating the little electric stepping motor that controls a flap in the ductwork providing air flow through the heater core. It is called an air-mix door actuator and changes position in response to your commands for temperature. It the door is stuck closed, you get no heat. When that is the problem and the heater core is OK, the hoses to and from the core will be nice and hot.

Someone else may have a better idea, but if it hasn't been done for a while, cleaning the throttle body and the IAC pintle and passages is cheap, easy, and the third thing I would do to address the fast idle problem after checking for sticking linkage and vacuum leaks.

The Techinfo method will be fine for cleaning the throttle body. (That'* why we put it there! )
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:57 AM   #5
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I was reading another thread and came across this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by 93RedSled-SSE
Past related history:
1. Have had two TPS (throttle pos. sensor) go bad. 2nd one was an Autozone part and only lasted 2 years. This was to fix the problem of the engine rpm up and down at idle as high as 1500 - 2500, really fun in rush hour traffic.
BTW, good to know, both of them passed the voltage test, but ohming pins B to C (unplugged) would display multiple K-ohms of resistance at idle position. This should usually be real low, almost a short. Replacing TPS fixed both times.
This is from this thread: http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...ic.php?t=92971

So, I'm thinking we should add "test TPS" to our list of things to do here for your fast idle.
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