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4 cylinder running hot

1661 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  gherbert
I've had an intermittent problem with my 2016 Colorado WT with 121,000 miles running hot. It started about a year ago. I was driving a back road that wasn't too hilly or winding at that point, and I noticed that the needle was just touching the red on the gauge. I had the truck towed to a dealership, and they couldn't find anything wrong with it on the next morning.

Between that day and late December, the truck was fine, although sometimes the needle would wiggle a bit. On December 23, I had to drive in a show storm to get to my wife's family's house because our power was out and the temperature was dropping in the house. This is normally a 15-minute drive, but we were driving maybe 20 mph so it took much longer, and my temperature needle started up towards the red again. Sometimes it would drop if I sped up a little. I took it to the dealership again, but they were closed until the 27th. When the reopened, I found out it would be 2-3 weeks before they could look at it. I got an appointment at a dealership about 45 minutes away, so I went to get the truck. It still ran hotter than normal, and then the needle would drop back to around 200 degrees after a bit. I towed the truck to the other shop, and they were also unable to find the problem. They said they pressure tested my coolant system, and there were no leaks. Over the next 2 months or so, it would randomly jump up and then fall back. It seems to be worse when I'm in a drive through lane or sitting in traffic, but it isn't all the time. The needle still wiggles a bit.

On Thursday (2 days ago), I had the spark plugs changed and the coolant replaced. I drove it home yesterday, and I still got random spikes in the temperature, although not quite to the red. I drove it to get lunch today, and it spiked on a slight hill, but dropped just as I told my wife to look at the gauge. I let the truck sit for 2 hours before checking the coolant levels, and there was only a small amount above the hose that comes out of the surge tank. I walked the dogs around the house a couple of times, and went back to the truck about 10 minutes later. The level is still below the fill line, but it had gone up quite a bit. Is it normal to be filling the surge tank over 2 hours after the truck was turned off? Does it look like the dealership didn't burp the coolant system to get it full?

I have heat, and most of the time it happens when the truck isn't being driven hard. First picture shows about 2 hours after driving it. The section picture is about 10 minutes later. Any suggestions about what to try first? I was going to put it on ramps and burp the system before I noticed this. I also thought about getting the temperature sensor changed. I have seen a few posts about the temperature gauge wiggling, but nobody has followed up about what the cause was.
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Well filling the reservoir would be a great start like @Hunter62 stated
But, have you ever changed your coolant.
Coolant is supposed to be good for 5 Years/100K Miles
In the original post, I said that I had just had the plugs changed and coolant flushed 2 days ago.
Well filling the reservoir would be a great start like @Hunter62 stated
But, have you ever changed your coolant.
Coolant is supposed to be good for 5 Years/100K Miles
In the original post, I said that I had just had the plugs changed and coolant flushed 2 days ago
have you did what I mentioned or is that for today?

when they "flushed" the system and if they filled the tank up, there was air trapped in the system, which is common
Trying it now. I had heard these were bad about needing burped, but I guess I assumed the shop knew that also. I suppose they didn't.
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Either you have a bad thermostat or your radiator fan isn't working.

If it stays cool on the freeway (the thermostat is working) but heats up at slower or stopped speeds. The fan isn't kicking on.

Electric fans don't run unless commanded. As long as your moving. Air is flowing through the radiator therefore the fan is never commanded. If your moving fast enough.

There's also the possibility of bad sensor. But if you're losing coolant. You've got other problems. See if you can find any traces of orange color that would indicate a coolant leak. Maybe the Reservoir cap isn't holding pressure. Or a loose hose clamp. How does the waterpump look.
I don't see any signs of leakage. No puddles under the truck or spots that look like something ran down them. I had a Stratus that lost its water pump, and that was a huge mess. Nothing like that here.
OK, it has been almost a week since I topped off the coolant and burped the system. We've had one of those weeks where you have winter, spring, and summer all within 48 hours, and I've driven the truck on a longer trip. It's been pretty thoroughly tested in the environments that were giving me problems. The coolant level has been staying right at the full line. The fan comes on. Best of all, the needle has been rock solid where it always used to sit before the problems started last spring. If I have any further trouble, I'll get the thermostat and/or the sensor changed. At least I feel like I can drive it in traffic now.
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