Airbound 3800 (1996 SE) - Page 3 - 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 12-15-2004, 05:37 PM   #21
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If you are getting "air" every time from the bleeder and you are not losing coolant, then you may have a small leak in a head gasket. If you can get your shop to put the sniffer in the radiator or overflow tank when it is acting up, they can confirm the presence of exhaust gas.

If not, then, the only other thing I can think of is that you have something in the cooling system that is acting as a one-way valve, or a very tiny hole somewhere letting air in, but not letting coolant out. I don't think this is impossible, but I do think it is highly unlikely. It is easier to pass a gas through a small orifice than it is to pass a liquid. That is the principle used for air bleeds on hot water heating systems in homes. I just can't think of what that might be. An air bleeder that doesn't completely close maybe?

The heater temperature control is accomplished by ducting, isn't it? If your heater temperature control affected the flow of coolant to and from the heater core, then you might suspect that as the cause of a small air leak, but I don't think coolant flow to the heater core is controlled.

Maybe one of the smarter mechanics can confirm that possibility for you.

I'm running out of ideas!
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Old 12-15-2004, 10:34 PM   #22
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Have you ever tore apart your dash? Im not familiar with bonnE'* very much yet, but sounds to me like something in your dash isnt hooked up. Maybe the ducts got dislodged somehow and only letting a minor bit of air/heat through to your drivers side. Doesnt sound to be any mechanical/electrical problems to me. But i could be wrong. Just throwin my 2c around.
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Old 12-15-2004, 10:38 PM   #23
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Sorry for not reading very thoroughly...i see now that you have spent that idea...Once again i apologize. I will reread when i decide to post again.

Moderators and Administrators Please Dont kill me!!! :(
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Old 12-16-2004, 03:40 PM   #24
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On my way home from work last night I noticed that if I'm going slow (stuck in traffic) and then stopped at the stop light the temp gauge went to a hair over 200 and when I started going again back up to speed the temp gauge dropped back to where it should be and I had heat all the way home (talk about a wonderful feeling!!!!) granted it wasn't hot like it should be but right about now anything is better than what I had - this morning on my way to work I still had heat - today'* a good day! Hopefully when I leave work I'll still have heat.

When we open the bleeder it always spits and then spurts and then will start pouring coolant out like it should - like I said before - the coolant level has not dropped at all and there'* no sign of it being in the oil, etc.

I'm not glad to hear that nobody else can figure it out either but then again it makes me feel better knowing that we're not the only one'* having trouble figuring it out - all suggestions are appreciated and if they haven't already been tried we'll gladly try it.
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Old 12-16-2004, 04:55 PM   #25
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The problem isn't your cooling system, it'* the HVAC ducting, or the vaccum system in your car. Getting heat isn't the problem, getting heat where you want is.
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Old 12-16-2004, 09:32 PM   #26
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I agree,,,sounds like a door or actuator problem...perhaps a foreign object was dropped down the defroster and is blocking a door....although disassembling the dash is a lot of work....it may be the only way to find your problem...also...i would check vacuum lines for cracks/disconnection....
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Old 12-17-2004, 03:03 AM   #27
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I would be concerned that the cooling system will not stay free of air and repeatedly requires bleeding to maintain flow. This is not normal. Have you asked the shop to do the sniff test for exhaust gas?
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Old 12-17-2004, 11:03 AM   #28
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Luke warm heat again today!!! I've noticed the last couple of days (since I've had somewhat heat) that if I'm going 45 or slower and stopped at the stop lights I get cool air and the temp gauge will rise to about 200 or a hair over but once I get going back up to 50 or higher the temp gauge goes back to 190/195 and I get warmer air - all my other gauges are right on - and the system panel isn't lighting up indicating any problems.

We've already pulled the dash apart twice and there'* nothing blocking the vents -

We're going to check the vacuum lines, etc. over the weekend to see if there'* any holes/cracks or leaks -

I'm thinking it'* time to buy a new car - not what I want to do - I love my bonneville - the body is in perfect shape and everything else works great -
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Old 12-17-2004, 11:19 PM   #29
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It is normal for the temperature to rise when you come to a stop. It is a heat-soak effect. The cooling system equilibrates with air rushing through the radiator and the water pump zipping along at 1500-2000 rpm, then you stop and the water pump slows to 700 rpm and there is no air through the rad, but still a bunch of heat in the engine, so the temperature rises..

I think the reason you are getting heat at speed is similar - water pump cannot overcome minor air bubble at idle, but as speed increases, it is able to push a little coolant past the air block, and you get some heat. As the air bubble builds, nothing can overcome it. Heater core is first to be starved in the cooling system. It is trying to tell you something.

Have you checked the cooling system for exhaust gas?
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Old 12-18-2004, 10:28 AM   #30
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This is a strange one.

Personally I think I'd go about replacing the entire cooling system....somehow, somewhere air is getting in
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