2011 3.6L saying it's hot when it's not - Chevy Malibu Forum: Chevrolet Malibu Forums
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Cool 2011 3.6L saying it's hot when it's not

OK, puns aside, I'm having some very unusual issues right now. Please pardon the long post, but it's to make sure I share as much info as possible for others to offer good input.
**********************************

Previous day around 6:30 PM, 65 MPH and alerted to overheating. Pulled over, turned off engine, lifted hood. No leaks, no sound of internal boiling, no coolant smells. Carefully loosened rad cap just enough to prove that it was holding pressure, then tightened back down.

Started engine, drove off watching temp gauge that was pegged at the top of the scale and the over-temp indicator was illuminated.

A couple minutes later, several seemingly unrelated messages on DIC: Service ESC, ESC Off, Change Oil Soon, and possibly some others that I can't recall.

Another few minutes later and a new message: Eng Reduced Pwr! It started to run like it was on only 3 cylinders, which it may have been.

Parked at meeting location, came out 2 hours later and it's all good.

Drove a few miles and all the above repeated in the same pattern: Over-temp, then later other messages, then lastly Engine Power.

At home, BlueTooth dongle for OBD would not communicate, but it was due to how I was doing it.

This morning before work I took the 2 connectors at the BCM off and back on 3 times each and headed for work.

Same pattern, and the Eng Pwr message come on only a block before I arrived.

After work, checked for codes: Message said it was in engine protection mode. Cleared code. (Sorry, I forgot to remember the code. )

This evening on way home, same patterns again...

Got home, let it cool off for a couple hours, then checked it using OBD and Torque app (Pro version). I got the same message and cleared it. (Yep, forgot again! )

I pulled the Neg batt cable and held it to Pos for ˝ a minute, hooked it back up, then started engine and reset clock and OLM on DIC. All of my personalizations were still there except for my oil life, which was at 80% on Sunday.

Started engine, let it warm up normally. When it started to rise above center of gauge I started watching app.

Laser thermometer showed 85F at radiator fins, 155F at water pump outlet housing (front of engine), 193F at t-stat housing (back of engine), 223F on block immediately next to t-stat housing. App was reporting 244F via sensor input.
**********************************

Additional info: Battery (Optima Red Top AGM) is likely in a weakened condition after dying one time last week, which could explain the BCM messages.
**********************************

What would be a wise course of action?

I tend to think it needs a new ECT sensor, but the BCM messages I hope are related to the battery, which I plan to replace this week or next. (Hopefully.)


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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 06:03 PM
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Stupid question, where the fans running properly?

2009 2LT 3.6
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 2011 3.6L saying it's hot when it's not

Not a stupid question, but instead an omission on my part.

Recently the fans have been running for a few minutes after turning the engine off.

While the engine is running they are running constantly, which is not normal.


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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 06:22 PM
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I'd check the thermostat before anything else.
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 2011 3.6L saying it's hot when it's not

Ordered water pump and t-stat from Rock Auto. They don't seem to carry the ECT. Will look around locally for that.

Reason for doing both is that I've had the pump fail after replacing a failed hose and filling with new coolant, so now I just do everything in the system and don't worry anymore.


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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 05:54 AM
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Re: 2011 3.6L saying it's hot when it's not

without looking at it myself, I'd say an ECT sensor is a good guess.. might not be a bad idea to hook your dongle up and bring up that PID on your device, then with KOEO, pop the connector for the ECT off and see if it defaults (should be in the area of -40 deg F).. simple & quick method to verify the circuit..

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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 05:57 AM
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Re: 2011 3.6L saying it's hot when it's not

here's the NAPA part number for the sensor..
BEM 0280130122
should be less than twenty bucks

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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 2011 3.6L saying it's hot when it's not

So today I finally had the smarts to remember the code BEFORE clearing it. SMH

It's P1258, which appears to relate to the engine going into Eng Pwr Reduced mode.

After getting home today and suffering another limp mode I did the following:

1. Hood up (both fans were running at 100%)
2. Let it sit for a bit
3. Started engine, cleared code, checked the reported temp with Torque and used my cheap laser thermometer.

The ECT was reporting about 18-22F above the spot on the side of the head, 238-242F vs 220-225F. As the ECT temp rose, so did the laser temp.

So now I think it might be the t-stat and/or pump, a partially clogged hose, or partially clogged radiator.

On my way to get a Duralast ECT for $25... (a buddy is giving me a ride over there)


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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 2011 3.6L saying it's hot when it's not

ECT replaced, Torque temp goes past 250F, needle goes almost to "Too Hot!"

Called boss, taking the day off work, parts due to be delivered by EOD, hopefully soon enough to do the work in the afternoon.


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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 06:34 AM
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Re: 2011 3.6L saying it's hot when it's not

is the lower radiator hose roughly the same temp as the upper radiator hose?

Paul - 2010 Malibu

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