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Pontiac Grand Am Running Hot

Q. The car had never overheated before but we always noticed that the temp would go up to 220° before the thermostat would open. After running errands one day, the top radiator hose was leaking lots of coolant. We purchased and installed a new one. The temperature still read the same way and just trying to do some "preventive" maintenance, we decided to change the thermostat.

Pontiac Grand Am Running Hot

Ever since the thermostat was changed the interior temperature gauge has never moved from below 100°. However, the coolant is coming out of the reserve tank. When the thermostat was changed, we filled the reserve tank until the radiator was full and the upper hose before connecting them together.

Could the coolant that is coming out of the reserve tank be excess due to air? The reserve tank is not full by any means, in fact we had to add water to the tank the last time this happened as it ended up below the full cold line once it was cool.

Also, can you tell us where there might be a sensor for the temperature gauge? We believe it is under the thermostat, but not sure exactly. A sensor plug was found near there melted by the heat from being too near the block or exhaust.

  • 1992 Pontiac Grand Am SE
  • 2.3 liter SOHC
  • Automatic transmission
  • 223,115 miles
  • Fuel Injection
  • ABS brakes
  • P/S, A/C, Cruise control

Thank you for your help!


Just wondering but does the coolant fan work? Some late model GM cars have a coolant sensor with both the ECM sensor and gauge sensor in one unit. It does sound like you have found it near the thermostat. Replace it, rewire it and give it a try. Also fill the coolant to full and let it run a day and cool down.

Next day re-check the level. If all is okay, great. If not, it may be overheating. Bad head gasket? Faulty thermostat? Maybe it's in backwards? Air in the system? Some of these have little bleed valves.

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