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Why is my car tryin to run hot?

(1996 Mazda MX-6)
in Richmond, VA on January 20, 2011
ok. i checked the coolant level i the radiator that was a little low so i put more in. It didnt help. When im on the highway the temp does fine as soon as i slow down or stop the temp goes up fast. The fan is coming on but i guess either its not working properly or something is making the engine to hot for the fan to cool because once the fan comes on the temp drops a little but not much then it starts going back up. i keep seeing fluid looks like antifreeze around some of the hoses and i think the radiator cap.
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Popular Answer
on January 20, 2011
Thanks for the deails. The more you say the more I'm suspicious of the radiator being plugged in the lower cooling tubes area. As I recall, the 626 has a cross-flow radiator which can get clogged in the lower tubes and cause a reduction in cooling even if everything else is OK. This was a common problem in some Jeeps and older BMWs because they had wide, low, cross-flow radiators. What I used to do for them and for Mazdas was to compare the temperature of the tube and fin areas between the top portions and lower portions of the cooling section. I used a remote sensing infrared thermometer (great tool) but in a bad case you could feel the difference with your hands. The engine should be warmed up and in your case, probably when it's getting hot. If you can feel that the lower area is cooler than the upper section, it's plugged. The radiator can be disassembled at a rediator shop and the tubes 'rodded out,' or the complete unit replaced. I think, if you look on the internet or call around at radiator shops you could find a good price for a new one. If the radiator cap is leaking, the rubber gasket is hardened and the cap needs to go. If the hoses are seeping at the connections, I'd think that the hoses are original and probably the radiator is original. 14 years is plenty of time for the radiator to plug up. PS: the cooling fans are controlled by the computer and it uses the engine coolant temp (ETC) sensor for data.
I sure hope this is useful to you.
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