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Need some help with coolant issues by new_fiero_owner
Started on: 02-19-2014 09:32 PM
Replies: 13 (337 views)
Last post by: armos on 02-25-2014 08:57 AM
new_fiero_owner
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Report this Post02-19-2014 09:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for new_fiero_ownerClick Here to Email new_fiero_ownerSend a Private Message to new_fiero_ownerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hey everyone i could really use some help. I just bought my first fiero today. its an 86 fiero se with a fiero gt motor. All I know is that it has a 3 1/4 in. cold air intake done to it. There is a problem with the coolant bubbling and smoke coming from under the right side of the hood. It only happens when the car is warmed up and idles for about 5 minutes. I was told by the guy i bought the car from that it has to be drivin or reved up to get the fluids pumping and it i wanted to solve this issue completely i should get a high powered water pump for it. I know next to nothing about fieros or water pumps or brands to get. I could really use some help or advise with this situation and if I do need to get a high powered water pump or something which would be the best one or most reliable one to get for this car. I also bought a hydro shield for the intake filter because it lies directly underneath the left back vent and when it rains water gets in there and drips on the filter. Does anyone know of any good water proof or water resistant intake filters? or would the hydro shield made by injen that I bought would be just as fine and a water proof filter?
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Gall757
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Report this Post02-19-2014 09:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welcome to the Forum!

If you can get your intake back to the original construction, you won't have any problems with water.....and it will probably work just as well.

As for water pumps, the power is supplied by the belt, and if it is slipping it could smoke. You should test to see if the pump pullly spins freely with the belt removed.

[This message has been edited by Gall757 (edited 02-19-2014).]

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maybenot
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Report this Post02-20-2014 07:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for maybenotClick Here to Email maybenotSend a Private Message to maybenotEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
hi,
search through here for info on and check your thermostat, burp the cooling system properly, check for crushed coolant lines under the car and that your coolant is fresh. Also check all these areas for a leak.
thats where i would start and the info gained here will help you better understand your car. i just started with fieros a few months ago and can tell you that the help here is invaluable and i wouldnot have attempted half the things i did to fix this car so far. not to mention the money saved on a mechanic.

[This message has been edited by maybenot (edited 02-20-2014).]

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Marvin McInnis
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Report this Post02-20-2014 07:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Marvin McInnisClick Here to visit Marvin McInnis's HomePageSend a Private Message to Marvin McInnisEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by new_fiero_owner:

All I know is that it has a 3 1/4 in. cold air intake done to it.
...
I also bought a hydro shield for the intake filter because it lies directly underneath the left back vent and when it rains water gets in there and drips on the filter. Does anyone know of any good water proof or water resistant intake filters? or would the hydro shield made by injen that I bought would be just as fine and a water proof filter?



All Fieros came straight from the factory with a true cold-air intake, including a water separator. Do yourself a favor and put a stock intake back on your car.


 
quote

There is a problem with the coolant bubbling and smoke coming from under the right side of the hood. It only happens when the car is warmed up and idles for about 5 minutes.



Be sure that the cooling system is properly filled and that there's no air in it. Air in the system is by far the most common problem with Fiero cooling systems. Due to the rear-mounted engine, the Fiero cooling system requires a rather unusual "burping" procedure to remove air from the system. You can find the details repeated many places here on PFF. Also be sure the proper (195 F) thermostat is installed.


 
quote

I was told by the guy i bought the car from that it has to be drivin or reved up to get the fluids pumping and it i wanted to solve this issue completely i should get a high powered water pump for it.



If the former owner actually told you that, he is an idiot. The engine does not have to be "revved up" to get the coolant circulating properly, and there is no such thing as a "high powered" water pump for Fieros.

It's important to find out what's going on as soon as possible. Driving around with the cooling system not working correctly can result in overheating the engine and possible major (read "expensive") damage.

[This message has been edited by Marvin McInnis (edited 02-20-2014).]

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85 SE VIN 9
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Report this Post02-20-2014 07:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 85 SE VIN 9Click Here to Email 85 SE VIN 9Send a Private Message to 85 SE VIN 9Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
When you say smoke is coming from right side of hood do you mean front of the car? Or rear decklid - where the engine is? If front it might be a cracked or overflowing coolant reservoir. It could be a leaking hose either front or back. There are lots of hoses and clamps, just tightening may be enough.

By 'burping' people mean basically you need to raise the rear of the car so the thermostat cap is the highest point and keep filling, capping, running, and filling again until no more coolant can be added.

A coolant pump is an option to gain horsepower, but it's neither necessary nor likely to solve your problem.

Smoke from rear decklid vent could be something dripping on hot manifold.

How's your oil pressure gauge? The standard oil pressure gauge sender is likely to fail, causing a bouncing and pegging gauge needle and lots of oil loss through the sender. It's possible to replace this sender with a different one used on the '88 models, but it requires a minor wiring change and different connector.
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armos
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Report this Post02-20-2014 08:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for armosSend a Private Message to armosEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
There is a problem with the coolant bubbling and smoke coming from under the right side of the hood. It only happens when the car is warmed up and idles for about 5 minutes. I was told by the guy i bought the car from that it has to be drivin or reved up to get the fluids pumping


Find exactly where the coolant is coming from.
When I read this description, it sounds like you have a leaking hose or radiator in the front of the car. As the engine runs for 5 minutes, the coolant heats up and the pressure increases until something starts leaking. Fill the coolant and then watch it and find where the leak is. Make sure it doesn't overheat though.
I'd probably remove the thermostat until the problem is found and fixed. If it doesn't run cold without the thermostat then it's not fixed.

Check the radiator cap. Make sure the valve has a spring that will hold it closed. If the valve flops open with gravity then it needs to be replaced. Many Fiero owners installed the wrong radiator cap because the wrong part was listed in catalogs for a very long time.


The coolant leak will cause the coolant level to be low, and that would cause erratic or nonexistent coolant flow. That's probably why the previous owner had the issues they did.
My main concern would be how long has it been doing this, and has the previous owner been allowing it to overheat and caused any more serious problems.
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Gall757
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Report this Post02-20-2014 08:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Marvin McInnis:
If the former owner actually told you that, he is an idiot.


That seems to be a re-occurring problem with former Fiero owners.
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new_fiero_owner
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Report this Post02-23-2014 04:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for new_fiero_ownerClick Here to Email new_fiero_ownerSend a Private Message to new_fiero_ownerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks guys. All this is helping alot. So i was driving it to the garage the other day and while i was driving i came to a stop light and the car stalled out and then wouldn't start back up. so you know i called the cops and everything since i was in the middle of the street during rush hour. i had my 4 ways on too. so while i was sitting in the cop car waiting for my buddy with the tow truck i watched my 4 way light go dim and eventually nonexistant. could that be the alternator or does anyone think it could be a different problem? my temp. light on the dash had came on like 2 mins into driving too. but surprisingly the coolant didn't boil or smoke like it had before. Does anyone have any ideas? do i need to replace any sensors or is that not the problem
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new_fiero_owner
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Report this Post02-23-2014 04:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for new_fiero_ownerClick Here to Email new_fiero_ownerSend a Private Message to new_fiero_ownerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks guys. All this is helping alot. So i was driving it to the garage the other day and while i was driving i came to a stop light and the car stalled out and then wouldn't start back up. so you know i called the cops and everything since i was in the middle of the street during rush hour. i had my 4 ways on too. so while i was sitting in the cop car waiting for my buddy with the tow truck i watched my 4 way light go dim and eventually nonexistant. could that be the alternator or does anyone think it could be a different problem? my temp. light on the dash had came on like 2 mins into driving too. but surprisingly the coolant didn't boil or smoke like it had before. Does anyone have any ideas? do i need to replace any sensors or is that not the problem
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85 SE VIN 9
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Report this Post02-23-2014 10:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 85 SE VIN 9Click Here to Email 85 SE VIN 9Send a Private Message to 85 SE VIN 9Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It sounds like your water pump/alternator belt is broken.
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Report this Post02-23-2014 07:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SpoonSend a Private Message to SpoonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 85 SE VIN 9:

It sounds like your water pump/alternator belt is broken.


Or its missing altogether.

Try checking the pump for a loose impeller. Shaft is moving but the impeller is not.

Spoon


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Report this Post02-23-2014 08:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BoostdreamerClick Here to Email BoostdreamerSend a Private Message to BoostdreamerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If the water pump had a cheap plastic impeller, it could have deteriorated to the point that it only moves enough coolant at higher RPMs.

Of course check for leaks at all hose clamps. Also, I've seen pics posted here of coolant hoses clogged up like a kitchen sink. That may have been a screen on a 4-cylinder, though. Thermostat housing and radiator caps can go bad or the wrong ones may have been put on. Cheap to replace to be sure.

A V6 water pump isn't expensive and should be available at any local parts store. Check for a metal impeller. It can be changed with the engine in the car. A pain, yes, but I've done it. Also, check your two metal coolant tubes that run down both sides of the car when they are cool. Run your hands over them checking for kinks. They can be kinked on the upper sides where you can't see. A kink will cause flow trouble.

Some thermostats work better than others. Even stats of the same brand and rating won't be identical in operation. Try driving without a thermostat for a few miles and see if you get the same overheating problem. If not, the thermostat is blocking the flow.

The sensors and senders can fail slowly in odd ways. If you are boiling over, it is not being caused by a sensor or sender but when you get that resolved, a high temp shown on the gauge can be a bad sensor or sender.

[This message has been edited by Boostdreamer (edited 02-23-2014).]

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Report this Post02-24-2014 10:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Gall757:


That seems to be a re-occurring problem with former Fiero owners.


AMEN
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Report this Post02-25-2014 08:57 AM Click Here to See the Profile for armosSend a Private Message to armosEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by new_fiero_owner:

Thanks guys. All this is helping alot. So i was driving it to the garage the other day and while i was driving i came to a stop light and the car stalled out and then wouldn't start back up.

What exactly did it do when you tried to start it?
Did the starter crank at full strength? Crank weakly, or wouldn't crank at all? Did the lights dim?
Did it crank at full strength but engine wouldn't fire at all? Did it crank and sputter occasionally but not enough to run?

 
quote
so you know i called the cops and everything since i was in the middle of the street during rush hour. i had my 4 ways on too. so while i was sitting in the cop car waiting for my buddy with the tow truck i watched my 4 way light go dim and eventually nonexistant. could that be the alternator or does anyone think it could be a different problem?

How long did it take to die? The battery presumably ran dead while it was sitting there. If it wasn't already dead, then the flashers should have kept working for at least 30 minutes I think. I had a breakdown once and I think mine ran about that long. I could be way off on that though.
If the flashers died in just a few minutes, it just sounds like your battery was already dead. If so, and if the engine is back to normal on a charged battery, then it might be the alternator.


 
quote
my temp. light on the dash had came on like 2 mins into driving too. but surprisingly the coolant didn't boil or smoke like it had before.

Are you sure it was actually filled with coolant? I accidentally drove off without coolant once, 2 mins sounds about right for this to happen. I stopped and found it empty.
Also, if the coolant is low and you're pointed downhill, same thing will happen just as quickly. I've had that happen also.
Things you described in your first post point to a coolant leak.

If I understand correctly - did it indicate overheating after 2 minutes, but you kept driving and eventually the engine quit? If I have that right then it doesn't sound good. If there was no sign of an electrical problem, the starter was cranking normally but it would no longer start.. it really doesn't sound good.


 
quote
Does anyone have any ideas? do i need to replace any sensors or is that not the problem

An unstartable engine is very unlikely to be caused by sensors. Sensors may make an engine run poorly, but to make it impossible to start is unlikely.
Have you been able to get it to start since your last post? I hope that problem was electrical, I hope it wasn't a result of overheating (head gasket failure).
I think your car has a real overheating problem. You mentioned boiling coolant in the first post.


I'm not sure if you saw my last post, so I'm repeating here:
You need to find exactly where the coolant is coming from.
From the sound of your first post, it sounds like you had a leaking hose or radiator in the front of the car. As the engine runs for 5 minutes, the coolant heats up and the pressure increases until it starts to leak. Fill the coolant and then watch it and find where the leak is. Make sure it doesn't overheat though.
I'd probably remove the thermostat until the problem is found and fixed. If it doesn't run cold without the thermostat then it's not fixed.

Check the radiator cap. Make sure the valve has a spring that will hold it closed. If the valve flops open with gravity then it's the wrong one. Many Fieros have the wrong radiator cap installed because it was listed wrong in parts catalogs for something like 10 years. The wrong cap will cause coolant loss.
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