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Old 12-15-2008, 07:42 AM   #1
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Default car overheated in very cold wheater

so this morning at like 5am i was driving to work in -15 degrees out, my car just randomly went to very hot, it was near the very end of the red area for the temp gauge, i immediately pulled into a parking lot and parked and called someone for a ride. I was wondering if anyone has had this kind of issue in well bellow freezing temperatures? btw i have replaced the thermostat like 2 months ago, could it possibly be that it just stuck shut? any info would be greatly appreciated
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Old 12-15-2008, 07:46 AM   #2
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Got anti-freeze in there?

Freezing your coolant == Bad..
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We tried to put in on a dyno, but when we ran it, the whole shop moved about 3ft to the west. We still have problems with the landlord....
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Old 12-15-2008, 07:53 AM   #3
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yea the anti-freeze level should be fine but i havent checked it in probably 3 weeks or so cuz i havent driven my car much lately due to cold wheather, would that cause it to over heat like that?
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:00 AM   #4
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sounds to me like the mix might not have been good enough and it was frozen which was the cause for the over heat. hopefully the block is still ok.
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:03 AM   #5
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However you look at it... that sounds like coolant that isn't flowing.

Either frozen coolant or stuck thermostat.

I used an off-brand thermostat (mr. gasket or something like that) in my old mustang once, and it seized every time it got cold outside... guess it was better at reading external temp than internal. :\
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:27 AM   #6
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well im going to see if i can drive her home when i get off work, maybe if it was frozen it will melt later today when it gets warmer outside, i hope thats all it is. but as fas as a thermostat goes does anyone know a good brand name for one just in case
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Old 12-15-2008, 10:14 AM   #7
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Brandnames for thermostats: 180deg = GM, 160deg = SLP

And, yes, freezing your coolant would cause it to overheat, as it would stop the coolant from flowing, and causing pockets of hot water to stay in one place in the block. Your coolant-temp-sensor is one of those places.

The bad news is that if you really froze your entire block, you might have cracked it...
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:12 PM   #8
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well i hope thats not the case
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Old 12-15-2008, 02:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curlytoesZ28 View Post
so this morning at like 5am i was driving to work in -15 degrees out, my car just randomly went to very hot, it was near the very end of the red area for the temp gauge, i immediately pulled into a parking lot and parked and called someone for a ride. I was wondering if anyone has had this kind of issue in well bellow freezing temperatures? btw i have replaced the thermostat like 2 months ago, could it possibly be that it just stuck shut? any info would be greatly appreciated
I have seen where if the mix is not good enough the water will freeze the thermostat shut. That was in low 20's. With subzero temperatures I would put my wallet on that is what happened.
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:03 PM   #10
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I had that problem before. I replaced the t-stat just before the winter a couple years back. The car overheated on a crazy cold single digit morning she same way yours did. I let the car cool and started it and it was fine. a couple weeks another single digit day and it did it again! This time I used an IR thermometer to see the temps around the cooling system and the t-stat housing was barley warm. I let the engine cool a bit started it back up and noticed the housing got warm with the engine and worked normally. When I got home I found the radiator was down on coolant so I burped the system and checked it a couple times to be sure it was completely full. The only thing I could think of was a bubble in the cooling system that worked its way to the t-stat keeping an air bubble around it keeping it from warming up enough to open. only a theory but I never had a problem the rest of the winter.
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Old 12-17-2008, 02:28 PM   #11
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yea she over heated again the other night and it spit a bunch of antifreeze out of the over flow, i filled it back up with some premixed stuff and it seems like its working fine now, i wonder if it flushed the frozen antifreeze out because now shes working fine
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Old 12-17-2008, 02:35 PM   #12
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yea, it sounds like the coolant froze and there was zero circulation, if its that cold you better check it every season.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:43 PM   #13
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Had that happen before with a Saturn I owned. Once I parked it and it warmed up later that day it was fine. Did you check the coolant with a hydrometer yet? Curious what temp it was good to.
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:48 AM   #14
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sorry i have no hydrometer lol but it was 15 below 0 without wind chill so i would say just about anything freezes when its that cold out lol
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Old 12-18-2008, 01:25 PM   #15
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Actually you should be good well below that, like -70 or -80 if you mix the anti-freeze with water at the right ratio
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Old 12-18-2008, 04:17 PM   #16
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sorry i have no hydrometer lol but it was 15 below 0 without wind chill so i would say just about anything freezes when its that cold out lol
There's pretty nowhere on earth cold enough to stop a block and heads from overheating in just about 10-15 minutes of normal driving.

Don't you guys use those heat lamps overnight under your hoods? My friend in Norway has one, they're made for cold weather, it keeps the entire block/heads/radiator warm all night, down to about -60*F in still air.
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Old 12-18-2008, 04:17 PM
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