Check the radiator fans to see that they spin freely and they are not stuck. Assuming this and the electrical wiring is good, there is a thermal switch or sensor and a relay that turns on the radiator fan motors.
A quick check to of the fan motors can be performed by starting the car and engaging the air conditioning. This should turn on the fans.
If not, the relay itself is likely bad. These take a beating for use and heavy current demand. The relay is probably in the fuse box.
If the fans run, then a coolant sensor or switch or its wiring could be At Fault.
I have not worked on a 96 Regal but GM vehicles are similar across years in how the cooling system is loop monitored and controlled and one of the loops is not dependent upon the car's computer to operate. The 'dumb' loop has sensors or switches to failsafe in high temperatures, but they all depend on the relay to energize the fans.
Focus your suspicion on this loop.
The radiator cooling fan is most likely not working.
Low coolant, stuck thermostat, failed waterpump, plugged radiator, inoperative radiator fans, etc.
it is possible for heat from combustion to cause an engine to overheat quickly depending on where the gasket is blown, but i would look for a lack of coolant circulation first. if your coolant is not getting out of the motor and into the radiator it will overheat very quickly.
Probably any normal thing like not enough Radiator Fluid or something is wrong with your radiator or a head gasket leak could cause the radiator fluid loss. Does this Help?
it is possible your radiator is clogged
The most likely cause is an inoperative radiator fan.
A cracked radiator would leak the fluid out, leaving no coolant for your engine which would cause your engine to overheat and be destroyed pretty quickly. So the answer is NO.
low coolant ,froze thermostat ,leaks in hoses ,radiator
The Mercury Villager and Nissan Quest are basically the same vehicle. The radiator is cooled by an electric fan and thermostat. If either of these are malfuntioning, that could be the cause. Otherwise, all of the normal things such as low coolant, bad water pump, clogged radiator, bad radiator hoses, bad thermostat,and incorrect timing could all cause the engine to overheat.
to add to this, a big YES,on the radiator cap .the radiator cap needs to be specific pressure rating. radiator caps do wear out. also the cheapest fix to start It is doubtful a radiator cap would cause a car to overheat. Common overheating causes are insufficient coolant, leaking coolant (into or out of your engine), faulty thermostat, blown cooling fan fuse, faulty fan temperature switch ( sender ), faulty fan, or a faulty fan relay.
Blown head gasket or bad radiator cap
Blocked radiator, low on coolant, stuck thermostat, air in cooling system
If the Chevy Celebrity radiator is smaller that the Saturn radiator it might well overheat from not enough cooling capacity. If the Chevy Celebrity radiator is the same size or larger than the Saturn radiator I would think it would not over heat.
A bad radiator could be the cause, or the car might have a blown head gasket which would cause it to overheat.
If the coolant levels are ok, check to see if the fan spins, and see if there's a blockage in the radiator hose
U NEED A THERMOSTAT. THAT IS WHAT HOLDS THE COOLANT IN THE RADIATOR, SO IT CAN COOL DOWN BEFORE IT GOES BACK IN THE MOTOR.
It could be a bad fan clutch. If the fan clutch goes bad it could cause it to overheat while idling, but it would cool off when driving due to the wind going over the radiator.
A lack of water in your cooling system will cause your 2002 Pontiac Sunfire to overheat. A malfunctioning thermostat can also cause it to overheat.
One situation that the overflow jug would cause an overheat condition would be if the hose and/or connectors were plugged up or blocked. NOTE: before disconnecting anything to do with the radiator, ensure the engine is COOL! The cooling system operates under significant pressure.
it may be a defective sending unit or sensor.
low coolant levels
Numerous possible reasons - low coolant, defective radiator, leaky hoses, bad thermostat, blown head gasket... take your pick
Check the fan thermostat.
check radiator for small leaks or cooling lines which would most definitely cause it 2 steam when running after awhile