thermostat or Fans?? - 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 04-20-2010, 12:33 AM   #1
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I was driving my 1999 Bonneville sle and all of a sudden the power steering went off and i couldn't go above 25 mph. When I pressed the accelerator the rpm never moved. I pulled over and smelled rubber coming from the hood. I let it sit and drove another mile and it did the same thing. The next day I noticed the fans weren't moving. I haven't driven it since last Thursday. I went to auto zone and they said it might be the thermostat sensor or the fan motor. I replaced the thermostat sensor today. I let the car run for about three minutes and smelled a weird smell. I had enough engine coolant. I thought it was overheating and maybe the fan motors have to be replaced. Any help?
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:12 AM   #2
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How does your accessory drive belt look?
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:08 AM   #3
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Check the belt. The thermostat and sensor have nothing to do with power steering. Replace the belt.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:09 AM   #4
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make sure you check serp. belt ,check for any seized accessory pulleys. check coolant level and oil. if all of above are fine. do a visual inspection of fans then start engine let it warm up and see if fans kick on after warmup.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:46 AM   #5
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YOu are saying the engine kept running and the power steering was very tough to turn, and you couldn't manage to get the car over 25mph, correct?

What noises precluded this and what noises came afterwards?
Did the coolant temperature spike quickly or enter the red area of the gauge?
Did the Autozone guy do a scan of codes on your car, is that why they told you thermostat/fans? The fans are relatively easy to check, turn the AC to on. This should turn the fans on.

Since you have odd smells and other issues, you may want to seek a real mechanic as we won't be able to see/smell and honestly diagnose your car properly, if the belt(*) is still on and in place.
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:17 PM   #6
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The belt looks fine. This morning I started the car up and I saw smoke close to the engine oil cap before the needle even showed it was getting hot.
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:39 PM   #7
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Please answer some more of the questions, to help us better understand all the symptoms.

The most common causes of that smoke could be from a cracked manifold or oil burning off.
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:55 PM   #8
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correct the power steering was tough to turn and the engine kept running. There was no noises. I didn't look at the coolant temperature, but i have plenty of engine coolant in the car. The autozone guy didn't scan my car. I think im going to have it towed to a full service shell station a mile away from my college. I will try putting the AC on and see if the fans go on.
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:53 PM   #9
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I wonder if he blew a power steering line? But that still doesn't account for little throttle response.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:04 PM   #10
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This is my brothers car, they are saying its the manifold gaskets but there not sure. IDK to be honest it seems like something different is happning every time we rule out one thing. I am going down there friday and maybe by then I can try to figure it out. Any suggestions on what to look for? I thought it was the belt right away when he said power stearing.
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