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I have an 89 TC which runs fine. It recently started running hot, but the fan comes on and it cools down. I recently drove it to a car show over 100 miles in 95 degree heat and it never overheated but the temp gauge ran nearly 3/4 before the fan came on.

I took it to a mechanic today and he informed me I have a blown head gasket and estimates it will cost over $2,500 to fix.

Does this seem reasonable or am I getting taken?

Doug

 

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I would not suspect blown head gasket unless you have symptoms like oil in coolant, coolant in oil, or bubbles in coolant. The electric fan is designed to let the engine heat up before it kicks on to cool it down, it won't run at a steady temp but will go up and down regularly. Did the mechanic mention any other symptoms that made him think it was the head gasket?

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I would not suspect blown head gasket unless you have symptoms like oil in coolant, coolant in oil, or bubbles in coolant. The electric fan is designed to let the engine heat up before it kicks on to cool it down, it won't run at a steady temp but will go up and down regularly. Did the mechanic mention any other symptoms that made him think it was the head gasket?

Hey Ghostly, had just logged in to say basically what you just said and add that I would sure get a second opinion and price. A car that goes 100 miles in 95 degree weather and the only noted problem is a gage reading at 3/4 sure doesn't sound like a car with a bad head gasket.  

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The radiator cooling fan will not come on automatically until the engine coolant reaches 210 degrees.

The fan will turn off when the temperature goes down below 200 degrees.

This is programmed into the SMEC.

If you want the fan to come on AT YOUR WILL, turn on the AC. If you don't want the compressor to run, disconnect it at the 2 wire connector to the AC clutch.

This will only work if the system is charged.

If you are out to freon, jumper the 2 terminals at the low pressure cycling switch connector.

 

I drive my cars all the time in our Arizona heat which currently is between 111 and 116 degrees. No problems ever!

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Not to threadjack this, but since we;re on the topic...

 

Hemi, my '91 has had its radiator and thermostat replaced yet I still don't trust it. In hotter weather it is somewhat slow to warm up and as long as it is at highway speeds the coolant gauge stays under the 1/4 mark. Sitting in traffic it creeps up to about halfway and wavers a bit. If I resume highway travel the gauge drops back to the 1/4 area again.So far it hasn't gone too much past half way, but I'm not accustomed to all this up and down gauge play in a car unless something is amiss. I do hear the fan kick in and shut down periodiaclly at long idles. Any suggestions as to what is wrong or should I just "get used to it, it's normal" as someone here in the forum said when I broached the subject a while back. P.S. In the winter it tends to stay in the lower registers even when idling.

Edited by joeworf (see edit history)
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I had a similar problem with my '90 TC V-6, where it would be running on the cold side most of the time. Traced it to a faulty thermostat

that was stuck open about a quarter inch. I replaced it with a new 195 degree thermostat and since then it has always maintained

a temperature about mid-scale. Check the functioning of your thermostat. It may be stuck partially open when cold. I hope this helps.

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OK you guys, the temperature gauges in all, including mine, seem to run rather low during normal driving. Even here in AZ where I drive in temperature at least 110 daily, the gauge does not run further up than about a 1/4 way, unless I stop or slow down. Then it rapidly comes up to about 1/2 and I hear the fan running.

Even just driving into my street and up the driveway, the fan comes on, but that is only 110 to 114 degrees coolant temperature.

YOUR ENGINE DOES NOT MIND EVEN RUNNING AT 240 DEGREES, so long as you have a 50/50 antifreeze/water mix and a good 16# radiator cap.

So, seeing your gauge fluctuate when in stop and go traffic is normal.

 

I know it is easy to worry, but I have driven with coolant temperature at 220 on Interstate 40 in 126 degree weather and my cars are still running perfectly.

Just be sure your cooling system is RUST FREE and up to par.

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I had a similar problem with my '90 TC V-6, where it would be running on the cold side most of the time. Traced it to a faulty thermostat

that was stuck open about a quarter inch. I replaced it with a new 195 degree thermostat and since then it has always maintained

a temperature about mid-scale. Check the functioning of your thermostat. It may be stuck partially open when cold. I hope this helps.

The original thermostat in the Mitsubishi 3.0L is prone to failure. They literally break apart on the bottom and end up completely useless as a result.

Install a STANT 195 degree thermostat. There are 2 models, regular and HD. Either one is good.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Well, you guys know much more about car repairs than I do, but here's my experience with overheating. About 3 years ago, my car overheated and died. My mechanic tore it apart and had the heads machined, and put it all back together for about $1600. It's been great until about a week ago, when it started running warm again and I had to keep adding water/antifreeze every time I drove. The oil has been fine. It was also blowing some white smoke on startup. The overheating scares me because I don't want to ruin the engine again. I bought Blue Devil Pour 'N Go Head Gasket repair and tried it out yesterday. It ran well and didn't overheat for the 50 minutes it took to circulate it, and it seems to be running fine now, except for the distributor ignition pickup, so I am replacing that and hope that the problems are over for a bit. If anyone has any ideas or pointers, I am always open to your expertise. ~ Sue

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Well, you guys know much more about car repairs than I do, but here's my experience with overheating. About 3 years ago, my car overheated and died. My mechanic tore it apart and had the heads machined, and put it all back together for about $1600. It's been great until about a week ago, when it started running warm again and I had to keep adding water/antifreeze every time I drove. The oil has been fine. It was also blowing some white smoke on startup. The overheating scares me because I don't want to ruin the engine again. I bought Blue Devil Pour 'N Go Head Gasket repair and tried it out yesterday. It ran well and didn't overheat for the 50 minutes it took to circulate it, and it seems to be running fine now, except for the distributor ignition pickup, so I am replacing that and hope that the problems are over for a bit. If anyone has any ideas or pointers, I am always open to your expertise. ~ Sue

Tea kettling on start up is a sign of coolant seeping when cold and as you've already used the blue goo, my best suggestion at this point is to pull  your plugs and  look for one that looks like new when compared to the rest. Never used the blue goo myself, if it works, it works. If it doesn't adding more probably won't help.

 

If you find an extra clean plug recheck your intake and head bolt torque when the engine is cool, knowing where the leak is will be important, blue goo or not. If you didn't get new bolts when your head was shaved it might not be to late to fix a suction leak as used bolts never quite torque like they should.

 

Do keep  a close eye on this and check under your radiator cap when the engine is cold, not just the expansion tank. If you've fixed the leak it should always be full.

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