car is over heating

Car started overheating. Reservoir filling up with antifreeze and bubbling. Did a block leak test which showed no combustion gases. Changed radiator cap. Did pressure test on radiator and found water pump was leaking. Replaced water pump. Bled air yesterday and drove car for about 30 minutes.A/c and heat worked well. Later yesterday I drove car about 5 miles, and it was doing fine. On way home I stopped at store. When I tried to crank car to come home car wouldn't start. Checked battery cables and made sure they were tight. Tried cranking again, this time giving it gas and was able to drive car home, about 1/4 mile. This morning tried starting car and it started right up. Turned heat on, and no heat. Decided to try bleeding air again. Reservoir filled up with coolant and was bubbling again. Please help. Need car and running out of ideas. Someone point me in the right direction. Thanks

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Keith Pike, If coolant is going down after bleeding the system properly and the water pump is good now, no evidence of coolant leak, there must be an internal leak to engine,do you notice more white smoke from exhaust or do you see a build up of foam on the oil cap. Have cooling system pressure tested again both when warm and cold to verify no internal leak. The most common failure I had noticed on the 3.4 were the intake manifold gaskets breaking down allowing coolant into engine. The 3.4's can also be a bear to bleed some times, you may have to repeat the bleed process a few times over a couple days to rid the air in system. Lets not rule out a bad thermostat, collapsing radiator hose or partial plugged radiator also and do use correct coolant to water mix. Good luck. I hope this helped you out, if so let me know by pressing the helpful button.

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Thanks L Pfaff...

There is no smoke from exhaust, white, black, or any other color...there is no 'foam' build up on oil cap...the oil is clean looking oil as well, not milky looking, just clear oil. If there was coolant getting into engine, shouldn't one of these things be visible?

I bled air 'again' this morning, and I think that I got the air out. Although while making several short trips [ 'three' - 5 miles round trips] with A/C on, I did faintly hear what sounded like water sloshing underneath the dash.

I put a new thermostat in a couple years back. And, I replaced the radiator hoses when I replaced the water pump a couple days ago. I had the radiator flushed a few weeks ago. So I'm pretty sure it's clean, plus the coolant that came out when I drained it to replace water pump, was clean. And, at last, the coolant I put back in was the 50/50 mix so shouldn't the coolant to water mix be ok?



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@slowboy ,Keith, Re guarding your first statement(smoke,foam,milky are all good signifier's but there can still be small internal leak(some times all that is noticed is coolant level going down. ((Just keep an eye on the coolant level and you should be OK, unless you see yourself having to add)). Everything sounded good, except when you said you may have heard water sloshing underneath the dash, did it perhaps sound like maybe air traveling through the heater/core. Like I stated before, some times these engines are hard to bleed cooling system and you may have to do 1 more time. What I noticed in these vehicles if it had air in cooling system the heat gage may act weird, say your driving on the highway the gage could go to almost over heat then fall back to normal or cool side of normal. Good luck with your Aztek.

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L Pfaff, it just sounds like water sloshing, so maybe I should try bleeding one more time. Before I bled it, it was a gurgling sound that I was hearing.

The heat gauge 'is' acting screwy. Mostly when I turn car off, it won't drop down to peg below 'C' like all of the other gauges. It stays where it was while motor was running, and then starts from there the next time car is started. Eventually it ends up in 'HOT' zone, and if not manually reset before starting car, [by turning key 'on'/'off'/'on'/'off'] until it drops down below the 'C' mark where it belongs when car is turned off it will go all the way to gas gauge's 'half full' mark.

So, I've gotten into the habit of resetting manually every time I turn car off so the gauge starts at the place.

Also, since I last bled the air out, the car seems to be running at a temperature just below the halfway mark.


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Keith Pike, Yes do try bleeding system again and top up coolant if needed. If temperature is running 1/2 way mark that is good. Lastly your temp gage may have a failing stepper motor, which is common. Lots of info. on this on the net. One other thing, if answer was solution or helpful, feel free to vote it up.

Have a good day Keith.

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