94 SSEi...running hotter than usual...and more! - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 05-23-2005, 07:39 PM   #1
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Default 94 SSEi...running hotter than usual...and more!

Over the last few days, my car has been acting strangely in that the brake warning light in the dash will come on and it will beep at me (as if I had the parking brake on) while I'm driving. I thought it might be Traction Control freaking out, but it would still do the same thing when I turned it off. This seems to happen mostly for the first 15 or so minutes after the car has been started - or if the engine was somewhat warm already, then perhaps less time than that. Sometimes the beeping would continue even if I stopped (at an intersection), and it becomes less frequent as the car has been on longer, although moderate acceleration can still trigger it at any time, it seems. The parking brake is completely disengaged, and both it and the regular brakes still seem to work just fine, as far as I can tell. Any ideas as to what could be causing this.....?

Now on to the other issue....it'* been very hot here lately, with temperatures over 95F both yesterday and today. The temperature gauge in the car'* instrument panel gets higher than I would like, sometimes nearing the first mark after 200 degrees. And from what I remember from what someone told me here before, the radiator fans should always be on, since I always have my climate control (A/C) on auto/"full blast". The temperature will usually go back down to almost 200 after a while though; it doesn't stay that high all the time. I remember my old Bonneville would always remain at 200, no matter what (including during the Texas summers)...and if I remember correctly, this one used to be the same way. What'* different now.....?

Along those same lines (I assume) as the overheating issue, sometimes (not always) in the last few days when I shut off the car after having driven it for a little while in the heat, I notice white smoke coming out from under the hood. I popped the hood after I got home a little while ago, and discovered that the smoke seemed to be originating from some area below the maxifuse/relay center.

What kind of repairs (in both description and cost) am I looking at here for these things....?

Thanks in advance, as always.
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Old 05-23-2005, 08:07 PM   #2
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Brake Light and Dinging:

Sounds like to me you need to check your brake fluid level and add some as neccesary.

Overheating Problem:

When was the last time you had a flush? What does the coolant look like?

Smoke:

Does the smoke have kind of a sweet smell? Does it smell like oil? Can you find any leaks in the area of the smoke after the car has cooled down??
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Old 05-23-2005, 08:53 PM   #3
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Brake fluid level...I didn't think about that, I'll check it when I next go out to the car.

Coolant was last flushed in January, almost exactly four months ago to the day. It looks somewhat dirty, I suppose?

As far as the smoke smelling like anything...I can't tell (or perhaps I didn't pay attention enough to identify it, is more likely). I'll see if I can look (and smell) more closely if and when it does that again.
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Old 05-23-2005, 10:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SynthDude2001
Brake fluid level...I didn't think about that, I'll check it when I next go out to the car.

Coolant was last flushed in January, almost exactly four months ago to the day. It looks somewhat dirty, I suppose?

As far as the smoke smelling like anything...I can't tell (or perhaps I didn't pay attention enough to identify it, is more likely). I'll see if I can look (and smell) more closely if and when it does that again.
Yes, once you check those things...We can better help you.
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Old 05-23-2005, 10:54 PM   #5
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I could only add that looking at the back manifold area when cold would be a good start. Look at the intake, valve cover (as much as you can see) and the various wires etc. You could be burning oil, coolant (check ur levels on both) or something simple like ur wires.. (Hope not)
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Old 05-24-2005, 08:51 PM   #6
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OK, the brake light/dinging issue was indeed because of low brake fluid - I added some this morning and all seems to be well on that front.

I drove the car around for about an hour (~60 miles) just now, and the temperature would fluctuate between 200 and 220, which I guess is normal from what I've read. So that just leaves the smoke issue. I don't know if I'm crazy (probably am ), but I thought that it looked like the smoke didn't start appearing until a minute or so after I turned off my car. I'm not too sure if that'* what actually happened or not, so I'll keep paying attention. It did seem to be coming from the same place as before, though I can't tell where exactly. The smoke did not seem to have any sort of sweet smell at all, and I can't tell if it smells like oil. It just seems to be a generic mild "burning" smell, if that makes any sense. I have not yet checked for leaks under the car, but I intend to do so within the next hour or two (before the sun goes down). I'll keep my eye on it over the next few days and see if I can find anything more specific.
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Old 05-24-2005, 11:15 PM   #7
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Won't it be hard to see under the car once the sun goes down?
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Old 05-24-2005, 11:27 PM   #8
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When I bought my car, smoke would bellow pretty well from the engine compartment. This was caused by neglected valve cover gaskets that allowed oil to accumulate on the exhaust manifolds and heat shields. After some time, gunk make this a lovely, crusty mess that smoked when when the manifolds reached normal operating temps. The smoke would continue for several minutes after shut down until the manifold temps cooled.

First, I addressed the gasket problem then I cleaned. The front manifold was easy enough to clean with a degreaser and a garden hose but I got more serious with the rear. I borrowed a 2500 PSI pressure washer with a soap intake. The car was driven up on ramps so I could spray from underneath. The tube for the soap intake was dunked in a gallon jug of Simple Green and I sprayed until the jug was nearly empty.

No more smoke.
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Old 05-25-2005, 12:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randman1
When I bought my car, smoke would bellow pretty well from the engine compartment. This was caused by neglected valve cover gaskets that allowed oil to accumulate on the exhaust manifolds and heat shields. After some time, gunk make this a lovely, crusty mess that smoked when when the manifolds reached normal operating temps. The smoke would continue for several minutes after shut down until the manifold temps cooled.

First, I addressed the gasket problem then I cleaned. The front manifold was easy enough to clean with a degreaser and a garden hose but I got more serious with the rear. I borrowed a 2500 PSI pressure washer with a soap intake. The car was driven up on ramps so I could spray from underneath. The tube for the soap intake was dunked in a gallon jug of Simple Green and I sprayed until the jug was nearly empty.

No more smoke.
Hmm...I did have to have the valve cover gaskets replaced when I bought the car, I believe...
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Old 05-25-2005, 08:02 AM   #10
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And that'* what you call a serious cleaning.

My car stunk badly when I got it. Just general neglect and battering ram duty. I have a mechanic buddy and was able to get C.A.R. products maxiclean. Spray on undiluted, let it sit for about 2 minutes and rinse off w/o pressure...regular hose. Beautful
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