Q: I have a 1998 Chevy Astro that won’t stop overheating. I have had fan belt, hoses, the fan clutch, temperature gauge and radiator replaced. In desperation, I bought a used engine and had it installed. The temperature gauge still goes up to 3/4 and most of the time comes back down while still driving. Sometimes I have to park it and wait several hours to get it to cool back down. What is left to check?
A: I had a similar car problem many years ago. The customer had done most of the repairs you listed. My shop checked all the mechanical and cooling functions and found them to be working fine. The problem happened to be a missing air dam in the front of the vehicle. Check that all the plastic components below the grill are properly in place, as well as the electric fan. You may want to check the radiator fan to make sure it is not spinning backward. The fan should be pulling in air from the outside. A fan running in reverse will be blowing air out of the grill — that’s not what you want.
Car Care Tip: While driving home the other night, I glanced over at cars near me on Interstate 95 in the Topsfield area. Seven out of the 10 drivers that I passed or were near me had cellphones to their heads and were clearly not concentrating fully on the road. To those needing to talk on phones while driving, consider using a Bluetooth device.
Larry Rubenstein is a master technician who owns a North Shore service station. His column appears every Saturday. Write to Larry at The Salem News, c/o Auto Scanner, 32 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA 01915, or send an email to email@example.com.