Overheating and dealer "fixed" twice, still happening - Chevy Traverse Forum: Chevrolet Traverse Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Overheating and dealer "fixed" twice, still happening

Hi All,

Looking for advice on what I can say to the service department to have them look in the right direction, because our warranty is up at the end of October, and I want to get this overheating issue resolved under warranty!

About two weeks ago, my wife was driving our 2013 LT (~47.7 k miles) around town for school pick ups, and got the "Engine Hot / AC Off" message. She immediately pulled over, and cut the engine. When she started it up later, it was ok and she kept the heat on just in case, and we took it in on /8/17 for various issues (overheating, AC blowing cool not cold, and some trim/non-warranty issues). They found a leaky compressor coil for the rear AC and fixed that under warranty and told us the overheating was the result of the AC working too hard in combination with the cabin air filter being extremely clogged (never changed was their words, which was another annoyance as we had it in there for the 25k service, and they should have changed it). I'm not really a "car guy" and this seemed like nonsense, but I agreed to change the cabin air filter and keep an eye on it.

Less than a week later, it was overheating again (or close to it, we put the heat on before it got past the last tick mark and hit 260), so we took it in again. They found the water pump was leaking and replaced that under warranty and waived the deductible since we were already in for the same issue.

On the way home from the 2nd attempt to fix the overheating, the needle started creeping up to the 1st tick (~225 max, I'd guess) and when I turned the car off and came back 5 minutes later and turned it over, the temp was up at the last tick mark (~247.5-250)! It came down after a short time.

Yesterday, after the car was parked in sunlight, we were driving in windy roads leaving a park at 20-25 mph on low-grade hills and the temp hit 235-240! Once we got on the freeway, it came down (guessing due to better airflow at 70 mph), but it seems like the issue is still not fixed.

Some additional info as of now:

- coolant level looks good
- radiator from what I can see from the front in between the grill is not too clogged up, some debris but not terrible
- a friend of mine said he thinks it could be a leak between the water jacket and the combustion chamber

Any ideas? I'm going to give them a call tomorrow morning to get a 3rd appointment, but at this point I'm wondering if I should try a different dealer. If there's anything I can say to the service rep to put into the notes for the tech that might steer them towards the right thing to look at, I'd appreciate it!
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 01:12 PM
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Are the radiator fans working? Shouldn't really need them at highway speeds, but "around town," you do.

2011 2LT FWD replaced by 2017 2LT AWD
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Are the radiator fans working? Shouldn't really need them at highway speeds, but "around town," you do.
Thanks for the quick response! I believe so, though they cut off when I turn the car off and I thought before they'd stay on for 15-20 seconds. They were extremely loud before we took it in for the 1st service, but seem quieter now or less likely to be running when I pull into the garage so perhaps they're not working optimally? Is there a good way to test/check other than drive it hard around town for a bit and then stick my head out the window?

One other point I should note - a couple of times it's creeped up like that, but come back down near 210 on its own even when driving on side streets but yesterday it was creeping up and hit 235-240 on the side roads during 15-20 minutes of driving before we got on the freeway.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Are the radiator fans working? Shouldn't really need them at highway speeds, but "around town," you do.
Just turned the car over, then turned the AC on full blast and saw a brief dip in the lights/power as the compressor kicked in, and the radiator fan is definitely blowing.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 03:50 PM
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Is the radiator thermostat was replaced?

Traverse 2017, chevy Uplander 2009 LT short wheelbase, Impala 2003, jeep cherokee Laredo 1990, chevy citation 1984 2.8 v6, vauxhall Firenza1972, rambler american 1964 model 330, vauxhall velox 1956 rebuilt, NSU Prinz 1961 2 cylinder micro car rebuilt, Renault Dauphine 1960 rebuilt, ford prefect 1952 ( english car with non hydrolic brakes rebuilt. Honda 1986 motorcycle in new condition and 13 travel trailers from a Boler 1300 to a Rockwood mini lite 20 feet.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Is the radiator thermostat was replaced?
No, and I'm honestly surprised they didn't do that when they replaced the water pump, since they have to empty the coolant out anyway, right? I guess that's what I'll ask them to try when I take it in again, though the thermostat does seem to work at least partially as the temps do come down, but maybe it's a "lazy thermostat"?
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 05:13 PM
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If there was an air pocket I'm sure it would have worked itself out by now. Keep an eye on the overflow tank level.
Other than the thermostat the only thing I can think of is maybe the radiator is full of bugs?

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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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If there was an air pocket I'm sure it would have worked itself out by now. Keep an eye on the overflow tank level.
Other than the thermostat the only thing I can think of is maybe the radiator is full of bugs?
Yeah overflow level seems stable. I looked through the bumper/grill and didn't see a ton of bugs on the radiator, though there are some. It doesn't look too bad.

So most likely thermostat at this point? I've never seen the temp on this car > 210 before, and when we originally took it in they blamed the weather and said since it's hot it'll run over 210 but as I'd never seen it like that before even in 100+ temps with the AC blasting, it seemed like a load of crap.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 09:56 PM
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I'm guessing T-stat, too.

2011 2LT FWD replaced by 2017 2LT AWD
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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I spoke to the service rep this morning, and they were nice enough to put the tech on the phone (I guess he was nearby). He said he didn't see anything unusual with the thermostat after they replaced the water pump and that they'd let it idle for 45 minutes and normally the temps would go up in those conditions if it were still a problem.

They are also standing firm behind Chevy's policy that anything under 248 is "normal". :/ I said "yes, flooring it uphill in 100 degree weather, but this was 85 degrees and 25 mph steady driving". I doubt it got above 3000 rpms in that 10 minutes of driving when it was up near 235-240.

They are going to do an engine block test to rule out a head gasket leak, but assuming that comes back clean do I just ask them to change the thermostat? They may not do that under warranty I guess, but as the problem hasn't been fixed I am not sure I should have to pay for it nor the deductible I already paid, but I guess that's a battle I'll have to fight with the dealer.
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