'96 Bonneville running hot - 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 04-29-2009, 01:56 AM   #1
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Post '96 Bonneville running hot

My '96 Bonneville seems to run hot while idling. It runs fine while cruising on the highway but once I hit stopped traffic the water temp. needle starts to rise slowly but never gets to the red. Anyone else have or had this problem and know how to fix it?
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:10 AM   #2
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First... welcome to the club... for all new members we ask that you go to USER CP and edit your SIGNATURE with your year model and trim code (SE, SSE, SLE, SSEi) to help us help you without having to ask this

now what do you consider hot?

if yours is a supercharged motor they tend to run a lil hotter than a NA engine does but the 3.8s tend to run pretty warm because they use a 195* thermostat, so basically your coolant doesnt really get to cycle fully until the car hits 195*... this causes the guage to show between 200-220* when running depending on driving once the car gets to operating temperatures.

most of us run a 180* thermostat to keep it a lil cooler, but if its over 220 then it is running hot... id suggest checking the coolant level, water/coolant balance, and if its low check for leaks
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:44 AM   #3
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Great Info - I agree they do tend to run hotter then usually (supercharged) I would run a extra fan in front of the radiator to help the other 2 fans to keep it from getting any hotter. Run a switch to turn the aftermarket fan on and off.
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:54 AM   #4
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Most of the issue is probably that we have electric fans.

Our fans turn on low speed at about 216F and high speed around 228F.

Not where I would have done it. If you know someone with a DHP tuner they can reprogram that in your 96 for you to something lower.

I hated heating up in traffic and around the city. Changing that fan setting keeps your temps regulated as if you were on the highway with airflow.
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Old 04-30-2009, 01:01 AM   #5
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It just started acting like this recently, I have had the car for over a year and there are over 101,000 miles on it. Why would it start acting up now?

1996 SE
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:08 AM   #6
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Is it behaving about how I described with where the fans are set to come on?
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Old 04-30-2009, 05:29 PM   #7
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How do you tell when the fans are about to come on?
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Old 04-30-2009, 05:36 PM   #8
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there is another guy on here with what sounds like the same thing. check and see if your fans are coming on at when its just sitting with the engine on
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