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1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass Question: Car seems to heat up in traffic past the middle line summer or winter

 

Question

mackieman1967, Pembroke, MA, February 11, 2011, 08:09
 Technician

My car seems to start to overheat when in traffic, I recently replaced the coolant reservoir with new one because of same problem but, still heats up. I replaced the thermostat last summer and the fuse for the 2 fans in good (the fans come on randomly-not sure what makes them go on. The cars heat is good, AC fair in summer. coolant level good. New coolant, radiator and condenser replaced about a year ago,, It seems to rise to about the 3/4 mark till it makes me nervous and I blast the heat. anyone????

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  • Answer #1

    February 11, 2011, 15:41
     Master

    The operation of the temperature gauge on your 1997 Oldsmobile sounds normal to me. When driving in traffic there is not enough air flow across the radiator to cool the engine. When needed, the cooling fans will turn on to cool things off. As long as the coolant level stays full and the temp gauge stays at the 3/4 mark or below, you should be OK. On most cars with electric cooling fans, they will not operate unless the A/C is on or the engine temperature reaches at least 230 degrees.

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    mackieman1967, February 11, 2011, 16:46
     Technician

    Thanks!! sure makes me get nervous to see it rise above the half way point but, good to know, sounds about right,,,AND was wondering why those fans had not come on, I replaced the fuse once before and yes indeed that is what I thought I saw was they did come on when the ac was on,, EXCELLENT thx alot---know anything about drum brake replacement--how easy or hard is is to do on my car? thx

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    Jim Taddei, February 11, 2011, 16:51
     Master

    Drum brakes can be a bit tricky for a 1st timer. Some special tools are also needed. One thing you can do to help yourself - only take one side apart at a time, that way you have the other side to look at in case you forget where something goes.

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    mackieman1967, February 11, 2011, 16:58
     Technician

    reason i ask is got red BRAKE light on in car,, sometimes goes off, then back on and someone suggested possibly the rear drum brakes adustment or sensor or possibly the shoes are worn out,,,etc. bought the car 4 yrs ago not sure when or if they were ever done,,,like I said someone said adjustment of the emergency brake cable and sensor?! sound like anything likely,, brakes work fine, fluid in good,,,

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    Jim Taddei, February 14, 2011, 11:23
     Master

    The red BRAKE should illuminate when the parking brake is on or the brake fluid level is low. A fault with the fluid level switch of the park brake switch would be the most likely cause. Worn brake pads or shoes should not cause the BRAKE warning light to come on unless it results in a low brake fluid level.

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    mackieman1967, February 14, 2011, 15:21
     Technician

    Dude you are AWESOME,,,, I asked a guy yesterday who rebuilds old cars and makes them look like new etc etc and he said EXACTLY the same thing,,He said gotta check that switch on the parking release, like when the parking brake(which I have never used) comes back and is disenguaged it is not seeing it. THX SOOO since you are like the OBI WAN of cars to my liking,,, can I trouble you with just a rough Idea on what it would entail to do my wifes TIMING belt on her Toyota Sienna,,, what I am looking for is not the entire instructions begin to end,, I just want a breif idea like-- you would need to do this then that etc etc,,,just a rough idea on what it would take to do(hope that makes sense),,,as well as easy/hard etc on this vehicle,,,,and I guess if you can,, what roughly would the dealer charge and do you think it safe to let any mechanic do this or better to stick to dealship? sorry alot to take in,,, but while I got ya...lol

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    Jim Taddei, February 15, 2011, 10:10
     Master

    Timing belts can be difficult - at least an all day job for a first timer. Generally speaking, on a transverse mounted engine, the engine will need to be supported and the front motor mount removed to access the timing cover. removing the timing cover is usually pretty straight forward but clearance can become an issue in some cases. When replacing the belt, the tensioner, idler pulleys, camshaft seal, crankshaft seal, and water pump should all be inspected and replaced as necessary.

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