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Chevy S-10 Overheating

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ohnomrbill, Apr 26, 2003.

  1. ohnomrbill

    ohnomrbill Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    I have a 92 Chevy S-10/4.3-V6 with a Meyer 6.5 plow. Whenever I take it out on the roads with the plow on, the engine temp guage just keeps climbing, even in the coldest temps. It doesn't do this with the plow off, even in the summer months. I have tried angling the blade left and right and running with it all the way up or as low possible w/out hitting the road.
    Any other suggestions and have other S-10 owners (or other small trucks /Ranger,etc?) had this same problem?
    (I realize that a full-size Silverado/F-250/Ram is taller so the radiator is not blocked as much.)
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    At what speed is this happening? Second thought is that either the coolant level is low or the thermostat is too high a temperature and not opening when it should.
  3. Mike 97 SS

    Mike 97 SS Banned
    from U.S.A.
    Messages: 1,106

    What Mick said above about a low coolant condition will make a vehicle run hot, but if it only does it with the plow on, its not gonna be that, if that were the case it would run hot regardless. You didnt say if it does it all the time or just with the plow on, I am assuming just with the plow on. Your truck could very well need a fan clutch. Its probably never locking in and really pulling air, probably just loping along. This is a part that is often overlooked. My friend has a 1990 Nissan 240SX that was running hot and he said he had it at a few shops and no one could figure out why. He had a new thermostat put in at one shop and that didnt fix it. Another shop told him its not a thermostat problem. He told me the whole story and asked me if I could take a look at it. I said yes, leave it with me one day. He leaves it with me, I check the coolant level, full both radiator and plastic tank. I drove it all over and watched it get hotter and hotter. I came back to my shop, popped the hood and gave the fan a spin with my hand, it just spun and freewheeled, it wasnt locked whatsoever and it should have been by then for how hot it was getting. I said to myself, can this be, that everywhere else he had this car, they didnt check this? I was like cant be, cant be this simple of a fix. I put in a new fan clutch and drove the car all over again, gauge never went above 1/2 anymore after that. He was happier than a pig in poop to know it was only that and not a head gasket problem. I cant believe to this day none of the other shops picked up on this, I also cant believe he took it somewhere else before letting me have a look. :D Mike :drinkup:
  4. c.t. lawn care

    c.t. lawn care Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    i have a 93' sonoma and i had the same problem. what i ended up having to d0 is drive it in Drive not over drive and i had to put an elsectric fan in it along with driving with the plow pretty low to the ground and now it doesnt get to hot
  5. ohnomrbill

    ohnomrbill Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Thanks for the thoughts guys.
    The coolant level is good and since it runs fine with the plow off, summer and winter, I dont think the thermostat would be the trouble.
    I'll have to look into it being the fan not running.
    Does anyone know if the fan is suppposed to turn all the time or just when the temp gets up there? I would suppose that to check this I'd just wait til the temp rises, then pull over and see if the fan is turning? Then it's either the fan clutch or put in an always on or switchable electric fan I would guess.
  6. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    I had the same thing happening to me with a Ford Ranger with a Sno Way. High, low, left, right, no difference. The fix was to stop and let it idle for a few minutes, and the temp would come back down. The real fix would probably be to add an aux. trans cooler, and electric fan. Those radiators are small enough to have to deal with engine heat, let alone, then add in the heat generated by the trans, and having the radiator blocked by the plow. I think a trans cooler would keep the heat down a little, but maybe an electric fan with the aux. cooler would be the best fix. I doubt it is the fan clutch at this point.

  7. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Mike, ordinarily I would have agreed with you about the truck running hot all the time if the coolant is low. But I had just that happen this last winter with the Dodge 1500. With the plow on it would run hot. Without it, it would be fine. Couldn't figure it out until finally I checked the coolant and it was just below the add mark on the reservoir. Added coolant and ran fine for several days, till it had lost more. Still I could drive without the plow and be fine. Kept adding coolant the rest of the winter and had it taken it to the shop a couple weeks ago. Turned out to be a leak in the radiator.

    Maybe it shouldn't happen with just the plow, but it did.
  8. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    It's a 92, so when was the last time you flushed the coolant/radaitor out?
  9. ohnomrbill

    ohnomrbill Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Again, thanks for all the thoughts. Flushed the radiator out season before last, in fall of '01, but it ran hot before that and after also.
    I bought the truck in '96 and I dont remember this temp problem the first couple of winters, but its happened ever since, like I said. I guess a good general overall is in order for starters and I'll look into the electric fan and tranny cooler. (This is a 5-spd stick, not auto).
  10. Mike 97 SS

    Mike 97 SS Banned
    from U.S.A.
    Messages: 1,106

    I still say the fan clutch is bad. If the clutch fan is working properly and so is the thermostat, and its full of coolant, there is no need for an electric fan. As long as its full of coolant and the thermostat is new and working properly, the fan clutch is still my bet. Considering the age of the vehicle in question, Id assume its original, and that would make more sense that it needs replacing. Mike
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2003
  11. Bun Hauler

    Bun Hauler Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I have a 94 jimmy 4.3L vortec and auto trans with a 6.5 plow.
    Mine was running hot until I went with a lower temperature thermostat.
  12. Bun Hauler

    Bun Hauler Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    It doesn't get hot even after stacking snow like this

  13. DanG

    DanG Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    My S-10 would heat up some times when the grill got packed with snow. Or if i had my foot into it going down the highway.

    I think your problem might be the clutch fan like mike said.

    I know when my fanclutch kicks in it sounds like a hoover under the hood but when the temp goes back down(within 15 seconds or so) it's quiet as heck.

  14. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    It very well could be the fan clutch.

    Another thing is getting air to the fan clutch.Vehicle and plow aerodynamics can cause no airflow,or even reverse airflow with the plow on,and travelling down the road.With no airflow \,the fan clutch had no idea the radiator is hot,and won't kick in.At low speed,or stopping to let the vehicle idle,will heat up the fan clutch,and the temps drops quickly.

    Check and make sure all the original factory parts are in place,like the lower air dam,filler panels or seals on either side of the rad,rad shrouds,etc, so the system will funtion as designed.Additional items like trans coolers and ac condensors can also hurt airflow.Make sure they are clean,including the rad fins.

    Try replacing the clutch fan with a standard solid fan,and see if it helps.If it does,then the fan clutch is either bad,or not getting enough airflow to activate it.Check with GM,there may be an updated unt available which kicks in at a lower temp and is more sensitive to temp changes.