Last post on Nov 17, 2013 at 1:57 PM
You are in the Chevrolet Cavalier
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Chevrolet Cavalier, Engine, Sedan
#67 of 78 Re: overheated; possible head gasket problem [becky30]
Sep 24, 2011 (8:08 am)
how can I be certain that I do have a blown head gaket. There are problems with loss of water & over heating. The oil remains clean not milky.
Help in Miami....
1996 chevy cavalier, 4cly. 1.6 or 2.2 litre engine.
Thank you for your help
#68 of 78 Re: Can't seem to fix it [burnedoutrob]
Jan 07, 2012 (1:24 pm)
My 95 did exact same, try another thermostat. Test it first. Radiator clogged? Another possibility Block could be warped, not allowing good seal around where block and head meet. This is gonna sound funny, try new spark plugs. I had gasket leak for months without realizing it. Old plugs, car ran fine but back pressured through resevoircouldnt burn coolant fast enough, i assume. Put new plugs in, no doubt gasket leak. Blew white terribly.
#69 of 78 Re: overheated; possible head gasket problem [oremon7]
Jan 07, 2012 (1:29 pm)
blowing white out of tailpipe is good sign. Those 2.2 motors notorious for blowing gaskets. Make sure you are using antifreeze and not straight water. H2o evaporates. Check water pump and thermostat first.
#70 of 78 Re: overheated; possible head gasket problem [oremon7]
Jan 07, 2012 (1:50 pm)
another thing you might try, take resevoir cap off. start motor, look for bubbling, also a good clue, your gasket is faulty.
#71 of 78 Re: Can't seem to fix it [burnedoutrob]
Jan 28, 2012 (8:29 pm)
I don't want to be rude but I been listening to the same thing for over 25 years, I wish one of you burber flippers could explain to me how you can get water in the oil in an ohv engine without having a bad intake gasket on a V type engine. As for white smoke, once the engine warms up and the converter is working you may not see white smoke unless the gasket is real bad.
As someone else has already stated, step one buy a block tester, it is a kit that will look for combustion gasses in the cooling system if it fails the test take the head off send it to the machine shop and have it checked for cracks and warpage, once you get it back install it with new head bolts from GM follow the instructions to set the torque angle. Then pressure test the system to make sure you don't have any leaks. Then unplug the cooling fan and crank the car, as it is warming up feel the cores of the radiator and make sure the top and bottom are warming up at the same time, if the bottom is cold take the radiator out and have it rodded out or replace it. If the top is cold, turn the engine off and full it up with more coolant. DON'T LET THE CAR RUN TOO LONG WITH THE FAN UNPLUGED you don't want to over heat it and blow the headgasket again. Make sure you flush the old coolant out and install fresh clean coolant in it and DONOT USE GM SEAL TABS. If the radiator starts to warm up evenly turn the engine off, plug the fan up and start the engine and let it run with a/c off, it will have to get to around 223 degrees before the fan will come on, make sure it does.
#72 of 78 Re: Can't seem to fix it [ase25]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Jan 29, 2012 (8:46 am)
Well you can have a break in the head gasket between a water and oil galley---the coolant, under pressure, will enter the oil galley. So, too, a leak between the combustion seal on the head gasket and a water galley will cause back pressure into the radiator. A crack in the head might also do the same thing.
What isn't so common is oil in the radiator.
#73 of 78 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Overheating
Mar 12, 2012 (8:04 am)
I work as a mechanic and had just recently ran into this problem. Customer brought me a 1996 Cavalier that kept overheating. After finding a bad thermostat, bad head gasket and cracked head, I went ahead and corrected these issues. Car STILL overheated. Approximately 6 weeks prior, I had installed a new water pump. No blockage, coolant flowed freely. It was then that I noticed something - the water pump was pushing the anti-freeze in the opposition direction than it should have, so the thermostat was not opening. After a little research, I solved this problem by relocating the thermostat near the water pump to the housing next to the coolant temperature sensor. I was able to do this by using a 1995 Cavalier set-up, which has the thermostat located at the coolant temp sensor. It was a straight bolt-on deal. Problem solved!!! I noticed Chevy used this oddball set-up for 1996 and 1997 Cavaliers only. Sometimes you have to out think these idiotic engineers. Hope this may be of help to someone out there after 10 days of frustration for me.
#74 of 78 Re: 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Overheating [kingpalm61]
Apr 27, 2012 (6:32 pm)
brother and i had the same issue with a 97 sunfire with a replaced motor from a 96 or 07 ..Cav... we changed head gasket because of a bent valve ..its because of snapped timing chain ... it would spill antifreez everywhere after a short drive .. but never at idle ... head scratcher !!... after doin compression checks and the likes ... with no issues !! my brother decided to try yr options ... he cut the upper housing containing the temp senser to accomadate the lower thermastat ..... it held the thermastat no problem ... it does not leak . and not throw liquid !..... "NO issues" yr quote ..lol!!!... thanks again !! .. engineers and their "back flow" issues !? lol
#75 of 78 Re: 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Overheating [kingpalm61]
Jul 29, 2012 (11:47 am)
My brother has the 1997 with the thermostat at the water pump area. Still having problem with overheating!
#76 of 78 Re: 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Overheating [kingpalm61]
Aug 14, 2012 (4:19 pm)
Yeah, I got a 98 cavalier 2.2L and notice the thermostat is no longer there on the right end of the head--it has a black pipe running out the left end of the head around the alternator bracket and across the front side of engine to hose going to radiator and heater core. NOW I CAN'T MOVE THE THERMOSTAT TO THE HEAD END FROM THE LOWER RADIATOR HOSE THAT RUNS INTO THE BOTTOM AREA OF THE BLOCK. PULLING COOLANT AWAY FROM THE THERMOSTAT IS JUST PLAIN STUPID---GM ROCKET SCIENCE WAS SMOKING DOPE WHILE COMING UP WITH THIS NEW DESIGN? WHY HAVE THE THERMOSTAT BEFORE THE WATER PUMP??? WAITING FOR THE HEAT TO GET TO THE THERMOSTAT WHEN IT WAY TO LATE THAT THE HEAD AND BLOCK IS NOW AT 212 DEGREE??? WHERE IT SUPPOSE TO BE AFTER THE WATER PUMP AND AT THE HIGHEST END OF THE ENGINE WHERE HEAT RISES. YOU WILL NEED TO RIP OUT THE THERMOSTAT, SEALANT AND BOLT IT BACK UP (OPEN) AND MODIFY A NEW THERMOSTAT HOUSING UNIT WITH TWO MALE ENDS, CUT UPPER RADITAOR HOSE AND ADD IT THERE MAKING SURE THE SPRING END OF THERMOSTAT FACED THE ENGINE.