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Discussion Starter #1
In cool weather all is fine; uphill, straightaways, fast or slow. In summer months with temps only in 80's, driving up steeper hills the temp climbs. Changed thermostat with no positive results. We have 220,000 miles of great memories. Normal parts replacement; alternator, water pump, power steering pump and starter. We've managed to DIY it all...but this issue may be above our talent level. I fear we may now own a "fair weather" car.

Any ideas or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for any replies. Jim
 

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ever flushed the cooling system?
the rad can be a spot where things plug up and during warmer weather may not provide the cooling necessary.
so can debris caught beteen the condenser and the rad.
it may not allow enough airflow for cooling.
 

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Could there be air in the system? I have a 3.5 engine with a bleeder valve on the thermostat housing that must be used if any work is done to the cooling system. Trapped air can cause overheating.
 

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Check the radiator fans; I've ran into it several times; worn motor, or fan not operating; will do it everytime---especially if they are the original 24 year old fans. Happened to my car in fact, ran perfect in the winter, come summer, slowly overheated, turns out the high speed side of the fan system had given out;

3.3's are pretty much bullet proof, so thats the first place I would look.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ever flushed the cooling system?
the rad can be a spot where things plug up and during warmer weather may not provide the cooling necessary.
so can debris caught beteen the condenser and the rad.
it may not allow enough airflow for cooling.
Yevrah...thanks for the idea. We shall give that a try. I guess flushing should have been our first thought. Okay! It is on my list...we'll do it. Hmmm, isn't there a cautionary thread/post about removing a plug? I'll search the forum. Thanks again. Jim
Could there be air in the system? I have a 3.5 engine with a bleeder valve on the thermostat housing that must be used if any work is done to the cooling system. Trapped air can cause overheating.
Rusty, thanks for the thought. I shall check...I don't remember seeing any type of bleeder. But, I wasn't looking. Thanks again. Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Check the radiator fans; I've ran into it several times; worn motor, or fan not operating; will do it everytime---especially if they are the original 24 year old fans. Happened to my car in fact, ran perfect in the winter, come summer, slowly overheated, turns out the high speed side of the fan system had given out;

3.3's are pretty much bullet proof, so thats the first place I would look.
Daytripper...thanks. I did "try" to make sure the fans operated, but never gave any thoughts about them shifting to a higher fan speed. Hmmm, good idea. Makes sense. I'll see if I can locate a method of checking fan operations. Thanks again. Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Fan operation? Will only one fan operate at moderate temps? Should both fans operate? OR, does the second fan only come on when needed? AND...do they only operate at one speed? With engine idling, the drivers side fan eventually came on for a few minutes and then shut off. The driver side fan never spun.
 

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Does the 3.3 engine have a coolant fill box near the firewall? If so, you may very well have a bleeder valve.
 

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Fan operation? Will only one fan operate at moderate temps? Should both fans operate? OR, does the second fan only come on when needed? AND...do they only operate at one speed? With engine idling, the drivers side fan eventually came on for a few minutes and then shut off. The driver side fan never spun.
There is a low and high operation setting on the fans on some cars. Base models (some 3.3's and 2.7's) are mostly single speed; sounds like you have two speed.

I'd have to consult the FSM, been a while; but; low is generally one fan, then both fans--(low speed) with a/c on. Fans can be two speed---this depends on options---low and high depending on temperature.

The last one I worked on, was overheating almost exactly how you describe, it had 2 speed fans; however, the high speed side was not working---both fans would come on low with the a/c running, or one fan with no a/c, but no high speed---IIRC high speed comes on around 225*; with a/c on, and a higher temperature regardless; if high speed comes on, it stays on for 3 minutes minimum; you know when high speed kicks in; fans get a whole lot louder. If you have a scanner, you can turn this on and off to test them.

It overheated in traffic, or in the mountains when pulling a hill, but only during the summer, and mostly with a/c. New fan assembly cured it. High speed side was out; fan motors were two speed, had no relays (as some do); so best guess is the high speed circuit had a failure somewhere. New fan assembly was the quickest and cheapest option. All the fan relays were good in the fuse box, so It was down to the fan motors themselves.
 
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