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I originally posted about the squeezing of the radiator hose untill the sloshing noise stops. Here's an update. It's Been a month now, we have had weather from the 70's to 16 degrees. Not once did it go above 205. Heater worked every time. I'm gonna stand behind the squeez and listen method. I also did a few 1/4 mile runs back to back and temps were below 200.
 

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When this thing is off warranty, I'll be squeezing along with you, but as long as it is covered they can damned well fix it themselves (it goes in on Monday).

Imagine my delight to find a car that is designed so that the cooling system craps out if you fill it on a slope and then needs a $500 tool available only at the dealer to fix it. What next, a special $600 tool that you need to change the oil? Anything to keep you coming back?

I know that isn't the case, but this seems like something that should have been sorted out before these things made it to the showrooms, or if it didn't show up until they were in service, within a very short time thereafter. And the fix shouldn't be a special tool no one but the dealer owns, it should be some way to eliminate the problem for good, be it a new reservoir or a new mount or a new hose routing. I don't mind the crappy cup holders that self destruct that much, but silliness in necessary engine systems does tick me off a bit. Could you tell?
 

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I appreciate your pain in the cooling system issues that many of us have/had/ or will have at some point.

Our system is sensitive to air bubbles because the top of the heater core and the reservoir are nearly at the same height. The HVAC system for the Kappas was taken from the H3 IIRC. The coolant system like the brake system is vacuum filled for this vehicle and all GM vehicles that I'm aware of. This eliminates the need to burp (or bleed) the system later in the assembly process. The filling instructions for the coolant system mention to fill the car when it is on level ground, and if you can jack up the left side and pull the reservoir tank up out of the car to ensure it is the highest point in the system. That if you don't have access to a vacuum filler like many dealers.

I'm not saying that it's right that we have to deal with these issues, just trying to shed a little light on why it happens.
 

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Appreciate the explanation. All cars are flawed creations, hampered by available money, hardware and imagination. I understand this. I still lament the shortcomings I see in all cars, mind you. I own another example of a case where easier production line procedure trumped harder servicing thereafter. And I cuss the designers at Abingdon every time I have to jack up my MG, remove a wheel and then remove an inner fender panel just so I can reach the distributor to set the timing. Wasn't an issue on the assembly line - they fitted the complete engine to the bare chassis and dropped the body on top. Ah well.

Part of it is probably me - I am used to working on my own cars, something becoming less and less possible every year.
 

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I appreciate your pain in the cooling system issues that many of us have/had/ or will have at some point.

Our system is sensitive to air bubbles because the top of the heater core and the reservoir are nearly at the same height. The HVAC system for the Kappas was taken from the H3 IIRC. The coolant system like the brake system is vacuum filled for this vehicle and all GM vehicles that I'm aware of. This eliminates the need to burp (or bleed) the system later in the assembly process. The filling instructions for the coolant system mention to fill the car when it is on level ground, and if you can jack up the left side and pull the reservoir tank up out of the car to ensure it is the highest point in the system. That if you don't have access to a vacuum filler like many dealers.

I'm not saying that it's right that we have to deal with these issues, just trying to shed a little light on why it happens.
Ultimately we should probably all familarize ourselves with the (manual) bleed procedure. I for one will not be spending some $500 for the vacuum bleed tool which amounts to not much more than a plastic bottle and a couple of hoses. Nor do I want the hassle of going to the dealer to correct this when it does happen.

My problem was originally fixed by the dealer, but when it reappeared I did the jack the left side and raise the bottle method which has been working ever since.

This is not all that uncommon a problem but it's usually associated with mid-engine cars. I have a 72 Lotus Europa Twincam that severely suffers from the same symptoms. In its case it's because of the radiator being way up front and the engine in the rear at the same level. At least for the Europa it's easy to bleed because they put a bleed valve on the top of the radiator. All you have to do is park on an incline with the nose up and open the bleed screw until the air stops.
 

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At least for the Europa it's easy to bleed because they put a bleed valve on the top of the radiator. All you have to do is park on an incline with the nose up and open the bleed screw until the air stops.
Sounds like those are the retrofit parts that small dealer is talking about, right? I hope so...your point about needing to know the manual procedure for some future non-warranty day is well taken...would be a lot easier if we also had some kind of GM designed apparatus designed to make that easier like a manual bleed screw...sort of a zombie parting gift from the ex-parrot that is now Pontiac? Sorry we are no more, but here is a fix for the cars you love...
 

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It is probably only the fact that there IS a procedure that allows owners to remedy this themselves, albeit with some inconvenience, that prevents this being rectified by a mandatory recall. Good luck for GM, bad luck for the owners that have to put up with it forever after. If the situation had been otherwise, with a condition likely to repeat itself that required returns to the dealer for expensive rectification periodically, or the purchase of a $500 tool to fix a repeating fault, I doubt they'd get away with it.

Reminds me of another industry - computers. I have clients in that game and they design and maintain software systems. It is illegal to do anything that means that their product will cease to operate without constant input by and payment to the seller - that would be like Microsoft having your version of Office cash every year unless you sent them a cheque.

I know of one instance that was both totally illegal yet pretty creative. The systems required maintenance via phone contact by modem. If the client's cheque bounced, that contact could be used to shut down the system, apparently a routine problem that would require urgent attention, instant payment of all arrears and a hefty bill for emergency service. Completely illegal, but there was something about it you couldn't help admiring....

Not that I am suggesting that GM would do anything of this sort. I am sure this sort of flaw is just another example of poor design, taking a system from another car because it saved money, lack of foresight to see a potential problem with the system functioning properly in the new vehicle, and the usual patchwork fix that doesn't really fix anything, but then hey - they don't have to unless a recall is demanded.

Same way with all sorts of automobiles, computers and other complicated consumer gadgets.
 

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Update.

Got the dealer to do the flush/bleed (apparently they do it three times to be sure the air is out).

Got back the invoice and it said something to the effect of "checked it out, nothing wrong, functioning normally, did flush to placate customer'.

I asked them about it and they said everything was working as normal - the fans kicked in at 225 deg. So I asked them why the coolant temperature had climbed to 225 deg. in the first place given that the last time it happened it was right at freezing termperature and I was travelling at ~ 60 MPH on the highway. They just looked blank and had no answer.

Nothing I have ever driven or built would/could rise to that temperature under those conditions even if there were no fans at all (as is the case in one of my race cars), as the flow of air is more than sufficient to cool it even if the ambient temperature were considerably higher.

Ah well. Hopefully it will not later become air locked again. The thought of having to sit there burping a new car or taking it to a dealer to burp does not sit well with me. I shall be sure never to open the coolant tank unless the left side of the car is highest of course.

I still see this as design defect that will/may entail repeated visits to the dealer during warranty period for many people and possibly cost them money after they are off warranty. It is too bad there is no incentive for them to come up with a permanent fix, assuming one is possible, but I can't see a recall happening unless engines start seizing (which they shouldn't as they'd go into limp mode when it gets too hot). Guess it will just go down as one of the things they could have done better on these cars.
 

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Update.

Got the dealer to do the flush/bleed (apparently they do it three times to be sure the air is out).

Got back the invoice and it said something to the effect of "checked it out, nothing wrong, functioning normally, did flush to placate customer'.

I asked them about it and they said everything was working as normal - the fans kicked in at 225 deg. So I asked them why the coolant temperature had climbed to 225 deg. in the first place given that the last time it happened it was right at freezing termperature and I was travelling at ~ 60 MPH on the highway. They just looked blank and had no answer.

Nothing I have ever driven or built would/could rise to that temperature under those conditions even if there were no fans at all (as is the case in one of my race cars), as the flow of air is more than sufficient to cool it even if the ambient temperature were considerably higher.

Ah well. Hopefully it will not later become air locked again. The thought of having to sit there burping a new car or taking it to a dealer to burp does not sit well with me. I shall be sure never to open the coolant tank unless the left side of the car is highest of course.

I still see this as design defect that will/may entail repeated visits to the dealer during warranty period for many people and possibly cost them money after they are off warranty. It is too bad there is no incentive for them to come up with a permanent fix, assuming one is possible, but I can't see a recall happening unless engines start seizing (which they shouldn't as they'd go into limp mode when it gets too hot). Guess it will just go down as one of the things they could have done better on these cars.
before they knew the cause or fix my dealer specifically said they had to see it happening before they could put in for anything since they might be replacing something that wasn't the problem

finally it happened continuously so the dealer got to see it, they diagnosed a faulty thermostat but we know now that wasn't the problem

changing the thermostat did fix the prob but we see now it's because they would have had to add fluid according to proto call and THAT'S probably what fixed my problem
 

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Just glad you got it fixed! I think the forum was a big reason that it was eventually diagnosed correctly...more people sharing information...even if the forum had nothing to do with GMs diagnosis, many people have been able to get it fixed now because the procedure is here in black and white.
 

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I agree. Any individual dealer may not get many of a given problem (Heck, some of them still haven't even done a GMPP upgrade yet), but when you pool thousands of owners, things are a lot easier to figure out.
 

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Update.

Got the dealer to do the flush/bleed (apparently they do it three times to be sure the air is out).

Got back the invoice and it said something to the effect of "checked it out, nothing wrong, functioning normally, did flush to placate customer'.

I asked them about it and they said everything was working as normal - the fans kicked in at 225 deg. So I asked them why the coolant temperature had climbed to 225 deg. in the first place given that the last time it happened it was right at freezing termperature and I was travelling at ~ 60 MPH on the highway. They just looked blank and had no answer.

Nothing I have ever driven or built would/could rise to that temperature under those conditions even if there were no fans at all (as is the case in one of my race cars), as the flow of air is more than sufficient to cool it even if the ambient temperature were considerably higher.

Ah well. Hopefully it will not later become air locked again. The thought of having to sit there burping a new car or taking it to a dealer to burp does not sit well with me. I shall be sure never to open the coolant tank unless the left side of the car is highest of course.

I still see this as design defect that will/may entail repeated visits to the dealer during warranty period for many people and possibly cost them money after they are off warranty. It is too bad there is no incentive for them to come up with a permanent fix, assuming one is possible, but I can't see a recall happening unless engines start seizing (which they shouldn't as they'd go into limp mode when it gets too hot). Guess it will just go down as one of the things they could have done better on these cars.
I've heard that if your heater is on high enough (No I don't know what high enough is) you can pull enough heat out of the coolant to partially close the thermostat which can then cause temp spikes.

Take it for what it's worth, a theory.
 

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I've heard that if your heater is on high enough (No I don't know what high enough is) you can pull enough heat out of the coolant to partially close the thermostat which can then cause temp spikes.

Take it for what it's worth, a theory.
I have found it interesting that this is the very first car I have had or heard about where the engine temp gets hotter when the heater is on

for the life of me I cannot figure out how that happens accept a guess;

is the heater coil taking coolant from the engine?

and if that's the case why doesn't the same thing happen on every other car
 

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I have found it interesting that this is the very first car I have had or heard about that gets hotter when the heater is on

for the life of me I cannot figure out how that happens accept a guess;

is the heater coil taking coolant from the engine?

and if that's the case why doesn't the same thing happen on every other car
An air bubble that reaches the water pump will cause it to cavitate and stop pumping. Once it's not pumping there is nothing to then push the air bubble away from the pump. Once you're in this situation the heater will put out cold air and the motor will overheat. This, even though all indications are that you have sufficient coolant. The coolant system design is such that air does not necessarily work it's way to the top of the system (typically the top of the radiator) and it gets caught in a loop only to find it's way back to the water pump again at some point.

The best temperary fix I found was quick acceleration which appearantly caused enough water movement from inertia to dislodge the bubble and the coolant temps and heater would go back to normal...for a while, until the bubble finds the waterpump again.
 

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I have found it interesting that this is the very first car I have had or heard about that gets hotter when the heater is on

for the life of me I cannot figure out how that happens accept a guess;

is the heater coil taking coolant from the engine?

and if that's the case why doesn't the same thing happen on every other car
Ditto on that.:lol::lol:

But the reason this happens on the Kappa is because of how aggressive the heater core is at exchanging heat/cooling the radiator fluid when the fan is on high. Basically the heater core sucks so much temperature out of the radiator fluid passing through it, when the fan is on high and temp is on high, that the fluid returning to the block actually cools the thermostat enough that the thermostat closes a little. (as far as I know the thermostat is still a traditional mechanical style and does not have any kind of computer control).

This is another design symptom of taking "parts off the shelf" to build a car. I am pretty sure the heater core/heater fan set up are out of a VUE. So the system is designed to heat just a little more cabin space than we have. :lol: But this is also something I really like about my Sky. One thing you can never have to much of in a convertible, is heat. :thumbs: With the top up, I never have the temp above about 1/2 and the fan is never above the first setting. But that baby sure comes in handy in questionable top down weather. ;)
 

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well that explains it, combine these two posts and it's probably both

I personally love the heater in this car, it's not the typical heat other cars have and this feels more natural
 

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I had the problem, and wish I had only seen 225, try 265 it happened twice, both times I was in traffic where I could not get off the road by the time I could it had resolved itself. It happened within 5 minutes of starting the car both times, never happened until after the dealer did a service to replace the temp sender unit for the radiator, to fix it they replaced the thermostat, as other dealers have and no more problem. I must assume it is because they bled the system and not actually because the thermostat was bad. I told them about the issue and they will do the permanent fix as soon as parts are available. I love my extended warranty!
 

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A centrifugal pump gets "air locked" because the air entering the pump remains in the eye of the impeller and any liquid in the pump, which has a much greater density, is flung to the perimeter of the pump housing. Until the air leaves the eye of the impeller, the pump remains air locked. The best way I've found to rid a pump of air, is to stop the pump. With the pump off, gravity takes over and the air will rise to the top of the pump casing and hopefully to the pump discharge port. This would be a temporary fix on a closed loop system (engine cooling). If my memory is correct, as little as 1% air in a liquid can cause air lock in a centrifugal pump.
Has anyone tried shutting off their engine and then restarting during an overtemperature condition?
 

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A centrifugal pump gets "air locked" because the air entering the pump remains in the eye of the impeller and any liquid in the pump, which has a much greater density, is flung to the perimeter of the pump housing. Until the air leaves the eye of the impeller, the pump remains air locked. The best way I've found to rid a pump of air, is to stop the pump. With the pump off, gravity takes over and the air will rise to the top of the pump casing and hopefully to the pump discharge port. This would be a temporary fix on a closed loop system (engine cooling). If my memory is correct, as little as 1% air in a liquid can cause air lock in a centrifugal pump.
Has anyone tried shutting off their engine and then restarting during an overtemperature condition?
you know, I was suprised that shutting the engine down and waiting a smidge would usually do the trick

now I see why
 

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Has anyone tried shutting off their engine and then restarting during an overtemperature condition?
Yep had it happen a time or two and this has been a quick fix. The key is that the car also has to be stopped to this to really be effective. If you shut it off while the car is still in motion you get mixed results. Stop light is the best cycle off while the light is red and then the over temp should be gone.

Have also seen that you can force this if you try and draw too much from the heater before the engine is up to full operating temp. I have noticed that if you watch the temp it will rise to a top temp like 199 or 201 and then drop a bit to 194 or so and then settle in at the normal operating temp. It is then and only then that I use the fan on anything more then 1. I also try to avoid 5th gear until then as well. Hope that helps someone!
 
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