I noticed lately that on my dash engine heat goes close to hot but never really gets there. That usually happens when i am in idle. When i start driving it goes back to normal and only sometimes goes close to hot. I hope this is not water pump which might get pricey.
Any suggestions?

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This is what the top of the radiator looks like. enter image description here

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! First, ensure your coolant level is up to snuff. Second, ensure your fans are kicking on. This is usually a cause of overheating when stopped. Next, is the cooling system due for new Dexcool (150k miles/5 years old)? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Nov 4 '18 at 13:35
  • Coolant level looks ok in the white tank. Fans are definitely kicking in. I noticed that needle goes to borderline between normal and red but never goes into red. I know 2.5 years ago my engine was overheating amd timing cover was changed as well as coolant. I just opened the radiator cover and took a pic – Stribor K Nov 13 '18 at 3:02
  • @StriborK did you ever get this figured out? My first guess would be the (mechanical) thermostat (generally between the radiator and the water pump). Second guess for me would be the water pump. – Cullub Jun 10 at 15:50

Ive owned 3 3800 powered vehicles. First thing you need to do is get rid of dexcool. Completely flush it out and refill with distilled water and add some preston cleaner or TSP drive the car for about 3 days then drain then refill with water idle until warm cool down drain. Then refill with green antifreeze and don't forget to bleed the system there is a small 8 mil bolt on top of the thermostat housing. Once you have this done change your thermostat to a 180 degree thermostat. You should see a cooler running car unless in stop in go traffic during this time it will still climb to 190. Also 04+ grand prixs do not have coolant temp sensors located on the radiator.

  • Thanks for the info here. Could you explain why the green is better than the orange? I hadn't heard that before. My first guess would be the thermostat as well. – Cullub Jun 10 at 15:49

yeah sometimes it's your coolant temperature sensor that's on the outside of the radiator maybe you could unscrew it clean it off and put it back in don't forget to put the white pipe dope around the threads additionally I think your coolant looks pretty funky it doesn't look very clear looking looks kind of cloudy you might want to change your coolant but it could just be that your temp sensors clogged with a bunch of junk around it so it's not very accurate?

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