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SEVERE overheating, help!

649 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  der_panzer
Well this afternoon after a short drive down to the gym, I get back in my car after it was sitting for about an hour and start it up. HUGE puff of blue smoke comes out of the exhaust. Now, I've gotten the occasional puff of blue smoke and asked my mechanic about it. He said it was the oil gaskets or something, i cant remember exactly, but not a huge worry. That's why I didnt think much about the big puff.
But then, 2 minutes later when i was about to merge onto the highway I look at the temperature gauge and it's right at the top! I freak out. Get the car to a gas station and let it sit for a bit. Start it up after 25 minutes or so to limp it down to my mechanic to leave it there and the temperature is fine! I drove it for maybe 25 minutes after that and it was only running slightly hot.
What could have caused something like this? I recently replaced my clogged up cat with a new one. There was slight over-heating before I replaced it which I thought would go away with the new cat but it didnt. The moderate overheating started just after I had an oil change done. Any ideas? thanks
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Re: SEVERE overheating, help! (golfkid1.8)

Main things to check for:
Water pump
All water hoses including heater hoses (Make sure no leaks, even pin holes will cause your engine to overheat)
Stock closed thermostat.
Clogged radiator
Faulty fan switch or radiator fan
And finally, if you overheated your engine for a while it could cause your cylinder head to warp. In this event you would have to resurface the cylinder and then find out what cause the problem in the first place.
Good luck, keep us posted! http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
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Re: SEVERE overheating, help! (golfkid1.8)

Check that thermostat! The only time I ever overheated a VW, it is caused by a bad thermostat!
You might want to pull out your spark plugs to check for a blown head gasket. If one or two of them are much cleaner than the others, you've got problems. A blown head gasket that leaks into your bores will literally "steam-clean" your spark plug(s). A really clean plug compared to the others is a dead giveaway.
Re: SEVERE overheating, help! (golfkid1.8)

I had the same problem this winter and it was the thermo switch on the radiator not turning on the radiator fan...
Re: SEVERE overheating, help! (Nash50)

I also had a bad thermoswitch, but that would only cause the car to overheat when under 30mph, you may want to check for crap (leaves, trash, cats,) inbetween the condenser and radiator, you cant rule out an easy check.
Re: SEVERE overheating, help! (Coupe_88)

Okay so if it is a bad thermostat, what explains the puff of blue smoke THEN the overheating? That's gotta have something to do with oil. And why would it happen when my cars been sitting for an hour? If I drive to work and let it sit for 8 then get back in, everything is good. MYSTERIES.
The guys at Westmount here in van are looking at it tomorrow, hopefully they'll find something that'll fix it all.
Thanks guys
Re: SEVERE overheating, help! (golfkid1.8)

A bad head gasket could cause that. You may be seeing steam instead of smoke!
During the hour that your car sits, you might have some coolant (under pressure from being driven around and heating up) seeping into one of your cylinders. In 8 hours, it will have stopped leaking and evaporated.
Just a theory. I've had it happen to me before.
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