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How many miles do you have on the truck?
Well, I agree, this could be a sign of something acting up
The temp gauge should normally sit just below half way
How handy are you?
pretty handy. capable of intstalling a thermostat or radiator. Never done a water pump. I do like to do most of my own repairs unless it's just over my head
I have a chilton's manual and willing to try most things
well doing the T-stat isn't a bad idea.
But before you do this, Lets try bleeding the coolant system.
To bleed the coolant system, remove the radiator cap. Install the coolant bucket. Fill the bucket about 1/2 way. Then raise the front of the car as high as if it were on ramps. This way if there is air in the coolant system, the circulation brings it to the highest point. Then turn on the car, and put the heat on speed number 4, recirc mode on, and face mode. You may need to rev the engine to move the coolant around to get the air out. After you have good heat, and little to no bubbles in the coolant bucket. Then the coolant system is properly bleed. You should have good heat when bleed properly. So when you put your hand over the vent and hold it there for 30 seconds, you get a slight burning sensation. That is perfect heat.
Now on your engine you do have a bleeder screw. But you have to be very careful cause you have a copper washer on it.
So you want to fill the coolant system ( not running ) pull the bleeder screw until the coolant comes out with no air.
Here is a image on where it's located
Let start by doing this. The water pump won't normally cause this.
If you continue to have issues, I would use a temp gun on the radiator to see if that is restricted and see if that is the cause or the Thermostate
ok. My first time here, so pardon my ignorance. Is this to get air out of the system so that it can circulate? If there's air, then does that mean there's a leak somewhere? I have noticed one, but haven't looked seriously.
Yes, bleeding the coolant system will get the air out. These coolant systems are very sensitive to air.
Oh, just saw the last part of your response. You mean the radiator restricted possibly like dirt on the outside or something blocking inside?
So if bleeding the coolant system helps, then we need to monitor the system and see if this issue returns. If it does, then we need to see why air is entering the system
Yeah, it could be restricting flow at idle.
But when you drive , the pressure allows the coolant to circulate better and that is why it cools down
Yeah, dramatically! I was in bad traffic on expressway, didn't think I was going to make it
That is why I would like to start by bleeding the system, then move on to checking the radiator.
You can always do the touch test, just be careful. See if one side of the radiator is hot, and the other cold or warm
When I got home, I immediately check the upper hose and it was very firm, tight. Not sure if that's a clue
Then would you move on to flush the radiator or more serious?
if it's hot on one side and not on the other, what then?
Sorry wife was bothering me..
If the radiator is hot on one side, and not the other, that would mean you have a restriction in the raditator
how do I clear it besides a new radiator?
You can try running a garden hose through it and flush it out. But if you still have a restriction, then it would need to be replaced.