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If it is overheating going down the highway, you most likely have a cracked head or possibly a plugged catalytic convertor. Seei if some shop in your area has a combustion leak tester. That should give you the answer. I have had cracked heads that won't show up cold and even sometimes on a hot engine until you put a load on the engine. I know you said you had it checked but was it by a professional or just visually looked at?
Not likely. Take it to a professional shop for a proper diagnosis. You may have to pay for a proper diagnostic routine, but should be well worth it.
No, it is fed by a vehicle soeed sensor located in the rear od the transmission or if it is a 4wd, in the rear od the transfer case. It feeds asignal the powertrain module, which in turn feeds the signal to the speedo located the the instrument cluster. It can be diagnosed with a scan tool by seeing if the signal is getting to the PCM. If so, most likely you will need a cluster.
Your a/c compressor is seized up. Get a professional to attempt to turn the outside hub of the compressor. If it doesn't turn, yoyr compressor is seized.
White or blue smoke. White is anti-freeze, blue is engine oil burning. Having the cooling system pressurized for coolant loose. Then if there is, remove spark plugs to see if the cylinders are filled with ant-freeze. If so the cylinder head will have to be removed for inspection of warpage and/or cracks.
Check the blower fan switch connector at the switch to see if it is melted. When a blower motor starts to pull too much amperage, it can cause excessive draw of current and melt connectors.
Sounds like a Mass air flow sensor problem. Try tapping on the sensor located in the top of your throttle body with a screw driver handle and see if the engine starts quacking out.
The most common places for a 3.4 engine to leak are the intake manifold ends and the oil pump drive located under the rear of the intake manifold. See if someone in your area can add a flourescent dye to your oil and pinpoint your leak to properly diagnose it.
GM has a bulletin out about this issue. The cure is to replace the A/C compressor. The original compressor causes the belt tensioner to become damaged from the startup load on the belt.
My preference to your question are Wagner Thermo Quiet brake pads. I have installed over 200 sets with no complaints of squealing nor excessive amounts of dust.