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96 pontiac sunfire: overheats..coolant..engine fan kicks..thermostat

Resolved Question:

I have a 96 pontiac sunfire that overheats. it is full of coolant, the engine fan kicks on. Is is possible there is an air lock in the system or do i need to replace the thermostat or is it something completly different.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Carhelp4u replied 9 years ago.
What engine is in your sunfire?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to carhelp4uhere's Post: The engine is 2.2litre that is all i know. it's my girlfeinds car and i'm trying to get details about it over the phone. hopefully that will help you.
Expert:  Carhelp4u replied 9 years ago.
This is somewhat of a common problem on the 2.2 engines. I would verify that the cooling system in fact is flowing. This would be done by simply making sure that both radiator hoses are in fact getting warm. If not, then I would say that you will be looking at a possible thermostat or water pump replacement. You could also try pinching the upper radiator hose to see if you can feel the coolant flow. That is the best case scenario. The most common failure on this particular engine is a faulty head gasket. These engines were so commonly failed by this problem that gm actually extended the warranty to accommodate all of the problems that existed. The warranty on a 1996 would no longer be covered. To check for this, I would remove the coolant fill cap and start the engine. If there is a constant flow of bubbles, this is likely you problem. There is no temporary fixes that will work. I would also verify that the engine oil is not turning to a milky substance as this is another telltale sign of a head gasket failure. The oil mixing with antifreeze will make this happen and it is imperative that the engine is not ran with the oil in this state as it WILL cause failure of the engine internal bearings. Feel free to contact me with any questions or if you would prefer a second opinion! Good luck!
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