My best guess is that it is either a coolant fan relay or switch of some type. I have exactly the same problem and it left me on the freeway once or twice. The way I fixed it is i took some wire and ran it from the positive terminal into the cab of the car to a toggle switch, then two wires to the fans and then a wire to the negative terminal. When i connected the connection on one of the fans caught on fire so that didn't work for that one,but one of the fans did work and that was enough to get it the 200 miles back home and it has sat there ever since. I'm going to be working on this problem again here soon and if it is still a problem for you then E-mail me to let me know and i will E-mail you with what i find out. If you have found the solution by some other means then could you please E-mail me and let me know? Thank you.
Engine overheating may be caused by many different things. First, ensure that there are adequate levels of coolant in the system, and that the system is flushed completely every now and then. I bought a Prestone flush kit from Kragen for around $12 (i think). All that's required is to splice into one of your hoses near the firewall, where you install the fitting, and screw on a garden hose to reverse flush the system. Timing may also contribute to heating, especially if it is too far advanced. As the previous poster stated, check to make sure that your cooling fan comes on once the engine warms up. Cooling fan is the one on the drivers side of the engine, the other fan is only for the air conditioning. If your fan doesnt come on, you may have a bad coolant fan switch, located on the thermostat housing, or a bad fan relay switch, located in the relay switch box on the firewall. Also check that your fuses are all ok. Im not sure, but there may be multiple fuses, ones under the dash on the driver side, and also in the front under the hood, near the right side next to the battery. Also replace your thermostat, which is at the engine end of the coolant hose coming from the top of the radiator, as these are usually only $8-$20, and if frozen, will cause overheating. Water pump can fail as well, which requires a little more work, and should be checked. Lastly, if there is a leak in the head gasket or cylinder head, it could cause back pressure into the cooling system, preventing it from working correctly, and/or burning coolant in the cylinders (this just happened to me, and I just replaced my cylinder head and all gaskets). Check to see if there is any white colored smoke coming from the tailpipe when the car is running, if there is, your cylinder head or gasket may be bad. Take off the radiator cap with the engine running (when its cool), and add water til its full, if the water/coolant continually splashes up from the radiator filler neck, then pressure is escaping from the cylinder head and/or cylinders into your cooling system. Another sign of blown head gasket or warped or cracked cylinder head. A compression checker may help to narrow the leak to a certain cylinder.Sorry for the novel, but hope it helps someone, as overheating can be frustrating to pin down sometimes.
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